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Country singer Loretta Lynn got her big break at a Vancouver chicken coop

Did you know the famous Kentucky coal miner's daughter launched her career at an unusual Vancouver music venue?
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Loretta Lynn earlier in her career. The "Coal Miner's Daughter" died Tues, Oct. 4 at age 90.

Country music star Loretta Lynn got her big break at an old Vancouver chicken coop.

As the story goes, in South Vancouver, there was a chicken coop that was turned into a makeshift dancehall and jam space. According to the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, in the late 1950s, it became a pillar for the region's country music scene. The venue was located in the backyard of a bungalow on East Kent Avenue.

As such it attracted a pair of producers who'd just moved to Vancouver from Toronto, looking for new talent. At the same time, Loretta Lynn was just finding her voice as a musician. She'd moved from Kentucky with her husband and was a mother of four living in the lumber town of Custer, Washington.

In 1959, she performed live at the coop, on a night the producers, who'd just founded Zero Records, were in the building.

Together they turned Lynn's "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl" into a single and it got the attention of industry giant Decca in 1960, and from there Lynn's star took off.

Lynn rarely mentions the story to journalists and the barn was demolished in the early 70s.

Her biggest hits came in the 1960s and '70s, including “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “The Pill,” “Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind),” “Rated X” and “You're Looking at Country.” 

Lynn died Tuesday, Oct. 4, at age 90. In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Lynn's family said she died at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

With files from The Associated Press and the Vancouver Courier. Additional reporting by Lindsay William-Ross

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