IF IT WASN'T FOR LORETTA LYNN AND A NEW AMPLIFIER, ROCK STAR
JACK WHITE SAYS HE MAY HAVE BECOME A PRIEST --
"60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY" ON CBS
What's more improbable than a 29-year-old rock star teaming up with a 70-year-old country music legend? Perhaps the fact that the rocker, Jack White, nearly became a priest, he tells Mike Wallace. White explains how he teamed up with Loretta Lynn to create a Grammy-nominated album and how he gave up the priesthood for his music on 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) Feb. 9 on the CBS Television Network.
As God was calling, so was the music. "I'd got accepted to the seminary in Wisconsin and I was going to become a priest, but at the last second I thought, 'I'll just go to public school,'" White tells Wallace. "I had just gotten a new amplifier in my bedroom and I didn't think I was allowed to take it with me."
Years before, it was Lynn's life depicted in the film, "Coal Miner's Daughter," that inspired White. "I fell in love [with music] immediately," says White. So it was a fateful day when he drove past her ranch decades later. "We saw a sign that said, 'Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch,'" he remembers. "We drove into the property and we saw the house. We couldn't believe it�."
That led to White dedicating his next album, White Blood Cells, to Lynn, who invited him to dinner after hearing of the dedication. While there, White rummaged thru Lynn's belongings and found a treasure trove of inspiration. "I was wandering around her house looking for something to steal�and she caught me looking through these old songbooks�," remembers White.
Those books contained never-recorded songs that the country music legend had written about her life. "�I'd pick [a songbook] up and I'd go, 'What's that Loretta?,'" says White, who found a song Lynn wrote about her mother. That song, "Van Lear Rose," became the title track of the Grammy-nominated album Lynn and White created together. "I think that Loretta Lynn is the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century," White tells Wallace.
Jeff Fager is the executive producer of 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY and Richard Buddenhagen is the producer of this report.