Loretta Lynn has lived an incredible life that has taken her from Kentucky to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Inducted in 1998, it was after 28 years after her debut single “Honky Tonk Girl.” Her songs “Rated X” and “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” is being honored in the museum’s newest exhibit, “Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl,” which opened to the public on Friday and is scheduled to run through Aug. 5, 2018.
Some of the artifacts displayed in the exhibit include the first recording contract Lynn signed for Zero Records in February 1960. Another is the handwritten manuscript of her 1970 chart topper autobiography of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” the Presidential Medal of Freedom she got from President Barack Obama in 2013, her 1956 Gibson J-50 guitar and the Singer sewing machine she used to make some of her early stage outfits.
“Loretta came from so little, yet gave us so much,”
said museum CEO Kyle Young upon describing her humble beginnings during the opening of the exhibit.
Sadly, Lynn was not able to attend the exhibit’s opening because she is still recovering from a stroke she had in May. However, a few of her family members were there on her behalf. They got to witness how the fans and the crowd honored Lynn though a lengthy standing ovation.
Three of country music’s singer-songwriter paid tribute to her as well. Margo Price and Brandy Clark delivered fine renditions of the classics “Fist City” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” respectively, and Kacey Musgraves, who grew up singing Lynn’s songs on the Texas Opry circuit, read from the foreword she contributed to a book based on the exhibit.
“I’m a 29-year-old in 2017 and I’ve seen some pretty interesting situations as far as how women are considered in the country music world,” said Musgraves in an interview before the reception. “I can’t even begin to imagine the s–t she had to put up with, face and fight every day to get to where she is now. … She was (driven) by her own confidence, courage and she backed the things she believed in.”
To end the reception, Loretta’s daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell, came out wearing her mother’s wedding bands. She was the one tasked to pass along the message from Lynn to the guests saying, “Tell everybody I love them and I will be back to see everybody.”