Loretta Lynn Honored by Country’s Next Generation of Women at Hall of Fame Opening [Pictures]
It's not unusual for living legends to receive a standing ovation at an opening, but Loretta Lynn is one of the few to manage it without even showing up. The country music icon received a massive round of applause at the launch of her new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Tuesday night (Aug. 22) despite her absence for medical reasons.
Lynn suffered a stroke in May of 2017, and in his opening remarks at the exhibit preview, Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young encouraged the crowd of industry and journalists to give Lynn a hand that she could hear even 75 miles away at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, where she is recovering at home.
Lynn is the subject of a new exhibit titled Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl, and some of the most important younger female artists in country music were on hand at the Hall of Fame opening in downtown Nashville on Tuesday night to pay tribute to her in both words and music. Margo Price performed a gritty acoustic version of "Fist City" that emulated the fiery attitude of Lynn's original, and Brandy Clark wowed the audience with her take on "Coal Miner's Daughter."
Kacey Musgraves took the podium to read from her foreword to the Hall of Fame's new book that accompanies the Loretta Lynn exhibit, which she turned in a short two days after she was first contacted.
Musgraves lauded Lynn as "intelligent, irreverently ladylike, witty, authentic, beautiful, strong and brave," adding, "I can honestly say that I would not be living the musical life as I know it without her example to follow. ... songs like Loretta's will stand the test of time, because at the core they are all of us, and we all crave to be her."
Lynn's daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell, took the stage to thank the Hall of Fame and everyone involved in putting together the exhibit, noting that it took an entire year of work on the part of many people. She said her mother had saved everything from her career over the years more out of savvy than sentiment.
"We would always say, 'Mom, you're collecting junk,'" she recalled fondly. "My dad would say, 'What is all this stuff? You're a hoarder.' And Mom would say, 'Nope ... I'm a businesswoman. 'Cause one day, if my career don't work out, this stuff's worth a lot of money.'"
Russell also gave an update on Lynn's health, saying she is continuing to make progress and even had a meeting with her record company about her next release, which was pushed back until 2018 after her stroke.
"Nothing's gonna bring her down," she asserted. "She's doing so well. My mom doesn't do anything without doing it a hundred percent. That's what she believes: if you don't give it a hundred percent, it's not worth doing. When she came into this business, she said you have to be first, great or different. I think my mom is kind of all of those things."
Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl features a wide range of costumes, awards, photographs and other memorabilia from Lynn's decades in country music, including her original handwritten manuscript for "Coal Miner’s Daughter," the sewing machine Lynn used to make her own stage clothes very early in her career and the microphone she used at her first recording session.
The exhibit also features a red-and-white polka-dot dress with sequins and silver cord trim that Lynn made when she was 14, which Sissy Spacek wore when she played Lynn in the film version of Coal Miner's Daughter. Other items include more stage clothing and the Presidential Medal of Freedom President Obama presented to Lynn in a ceremony at the White House in 2013.
Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl opens on Friday (Aug. 25) and is slated to run at the Country Music Hall of Fame until Aug. 5, 2018.
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