The Darkest Day

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"The Darkest Day"
Loretta Lynn--The Darkest Day.jpg
Single by Loretta Lynn
B-side"Gonna Pack My Troubles"
ReleasedMay 1961 (1961-05)
StudioWestern Recorders
Songwriter(s)Loretta Lynn
Producer(s)Don Grashey
Loretta Lynn singles chronology
"Heartaches Meet Mr. Blues"
"The Darkest Day"
"I Walked Away from the Wreck"

"The Darkest Day" is a song written and originally recorded by American country singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn. It was released as her third single in her career and was issued on the Zero Records label. The song was later re-recorded by Lynn in 1966 for the album You Ain’t Woman Enough, and also again for her 2018 album Wouldn’t It Be Great.

Background and content[edit]

Earlier in 1960, Loretta Lynn released her debut single called "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl." Self-promoting the song for several months, the effort paid off when the single reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.[2] One of Lynn's self-compositions chosen for her next single release. The track was recorded at the Western Recorders studio in 1960. It was Lynn's second recording session in career. The studio was located in Hollywood, California was produced by Don Grashey.[3] The song was recorded in style of country music known as the Bakersfield Sound. The style was popular with country artists who recorded on the west coast of the United States. It was a style popularized by artists such as Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. While Lynn was at the Zero label, her music mostly identified with this sub-genre.[1]

Release and reception[edit]

"The Darkest Day" was released in May 1961 and was Lynn's third single issued on the Zero label. It was also Lynn's final Zero single release. She would later sign a contract with Decca Records and remain there until the late 1980s.[4] It was issued as a 7" single and included the song "Gonna Pack My Troubles" on the B-side.[5] Despite the success of her previous single, "The Darkest Day" did not reach any chart positions on the Billboard country chart following its release. Lynn did not have another charting single until 1962.[4]

The single was later reviewed by Peter Stenshoel of while reviewing a compilation featuring the recording. He praised the song and commented on its storyline: "If anybody can write a bleak lyric, it's Loretta Lynn. "The Darkest Day" is especially aching, with its ironic thrust: "Darling when you told me you were leavin', I thought that you were only foolin' me."[6] In 2018, Lynn re-recorded the song for her studio album Wouldn't It Be Great.

Track listing[edit]

7" vinyl single[3][5]

  • "The Darkest Day" – 2:20
  • "Gonna Pack My Troubles" – 2:00


  1. ^ a b Fablo, Syd. "Loretta Lynn – Honky Tonk Girl: The Loretta Lynn Collection". Rock Salted. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Loretta Lynn: Biography and History". AllMusic. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Lynn, Loretta (May 1961). ""The Darkest Day" (1960 Vinyl Single Insert)". Zero Records.
  4. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  5. ^ a b "Loretta Lynn -- "The Darkest Day" (1960, Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  6. ^ Stenshoel, Peter. "Peter Stenshoel's Album of the Week: Here's Loretta Lynn". Retrieved 5 October 2020.