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50 Greatest City, State, And Town Songs – #48: “Portland Oregon” by Loretta Lynn and Jack White

April 7, 2008

Van Lear Rose

Greatest City, State, And Town Songs: #48

“Portland, Oregon”  by Lorretta Lynn and Jack White

Album: “Van Lear Rose”

Chart Peak: N/A

City, State, or Town: Portland, Oregon

Traditional country stars continue to stretch the boundaries of the genre more and more with every attempt to get back into the swing of things. Loretta, by enlisting the assistance of rocker Jack White, is no different. Her 2004 Grammy winning album became a cross genre sensation as one of the most popular rockers at the time teamed up with one of the most respected female country artists of her time in an attempt to bring her back to the scene. Of course neither single from Van Lear Rose even tapped the surface of the charts, but the videos for both became hits and “Portland, Oregon” became Loretta’s first #1 video on CMT’s Top Twenty Countdown.

Mixing Jack’s guitar talents with Loretta’s enjoyable personality the two collaberated to make this single which stretched the boundaries of the genre as far as it could go. The song that made sloe gin fizz a popular beverage pays homage to the popular Oregon drink which turns out to be a very powerful beverage that really packs a punch. Almost the entire first half of the song shows off Jack’s guitar handling skills before Loretta makes her introduction. Loretta and John take turns as individuals who are enjoying this wonderful drink in the town of Portland and end up having quite an enjoyable night, and hangover, afterwards. It may seem strange, but odly effective, for such a young man to sing beside the elderly Loretta about how he was “movin’ in fast and she was takin’ it slow”.

Although personally this song is quite out of my taste, it shows that Loretta is still at the top of her game. Portland should be mighty proud of itself because it played a huge part in one of the most anticipated comebacks among traditionalists and modernists alike. The popular drink of slow gin fizz has become more than just an additive to cocktails and Portland has become one of the most definitive vacation spots for anyone seeking out the enjoyment of this pure hard liquor.


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