Ever since Patty Loveless graced the country music scene with the release of her first single, “Lonely Days, Lonely Nights,” in 1985, she has drawn comparisons with such country stalwarts as Loretta Lynn and Reba McEntire.
But Loveless is not merely another female singer. While she’s reminiscent of the old-time sound, she brought a fresh voice to country music in her own way.
Let’s get to know more about Patty Loveless with these facts!
1. She’s a native of Pikeville, Kentucky.
Patty Loveless, whose real name is Patricia Lee Ramey, was born on January 4, 1957, in an Appalachian mining town in Pike County. However, she spent most of her childhood in nearby Elkhorn City, where her father worked in the coal mines.
2. She found escape from the culture shock through music.
When Loveless was 10, her family was forced to move from their rural home to Louisville, where her father sought medical treatment after developing black lung disease or the coal worker’s pneumoconiosis that resulted from years of working in the coal mines. Unfortunately for Loveless, city life did not prove easy for her. At that time, music was her only refuge!
3. She’s the sixth among seven children.
Loveless’ siblings were actually her first source of inspiration. Her brother Roger and sister Dottie were aspiring country musicians who frequently performed at small clubs in eastern Kentucky. When Dottie got married, she left her place as a singer in her band Singin’ Swingin’ Rameys – Loveless took over, where she would perform at local country jamborees. She was only 11 then.
4. She started her music career at a young age.
Loveless was only 14 when she impressed Wilburn Brothers with her singing and songwriting that they offered her the opportunity to join their shows. She also auditioned with Porter Wagoner, which resulted in a publishing contract and a team-up with Dolly Parton and Wagoner himself. Loveless had to do singing and schooling at the same time.
5. She went through a turbulent marriage.
In 1976, she married Terry Lovelace, who played drums with the Wilburn Brothers. The two then started life in country music together. However, it ended up in a messy divorce. Later, she eloped with songwriter and music producer Emory Gordy Jr. – and they didn’t tell anyone they were married for nearly two years. They have been married since, and Gordy Jr. produced some of Patty Loveless songs.
6. She changed her last name for a reason.
When her marriage with Terry Lovelace ended, she changed the spelling of her last name to “Loveless.” This is mainly because she did not want to be associated with then-pornographic film star, Linda Lovelace.
7. She’s distant cousins with the Lynns.
8. She went through throat surgery that gave her a new voice.
In 1992, Loveless went through corrective throat surgery to get rid of an inflamed blood vessel on her vocal cords. For nine weeks, the country singer was forbidden to talk or sing, so she needed to communicate using a pen and Post-It notes. However, on her 36th birthday, she returned to the Grand Ole Opry for her very first performance with a deeper and fuller sound.
Isn’t it fascinating to get to know one of the timeless female country singers out there?