Kacey Musgraves joined Loretta Lynn on stage at the 2014 CMA Awards for a rendition of “You’re Lookin’ At Country”
As Loretta Lynn’s son Ernest Ray Lynn was warming up the crowd at the Ryman Friday night with a spirited but rather tongue-in-cheek version of “Mama Tried,” a roar of approval burst forth from the right side of the auditorium. The catalyst was the glittering appearance of Ernest Ray’s mama in the wings of the Ryman stage, dressed in her full Country Music Princess regalia. It was a moment that spoke of the love that filled the Mother Church that night, the first of a two-night stand. It’s a love that includes family and fans and is powered by the Coal Country Cinderella story that began over five decades ago.
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By RANDY FOX
You might think a country music legend like Loretta Lynn has earned the right to expect continued success — or at least rest on her laurels — but there’s nary a trace of “star” entitlement in her voice. Talking to her is like a phone call from your favorite aunt. She’s brimming with great stories about the latest happenings or joy and delight over a pleasant memory, as when she talks about the reception she received from audiences after the release of her 2004 Grammy-winning album Van Lear Rose.
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PHOTO BY RUSS HARRINGTON (RUSSHARRINGTON.COM)
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For fifty years now, Loretta has fashioned a body of work as artistically and commercially successful-and as culturally significant-as any female performer you’d care to name. Her music has confronted many of the major social issues of her time, and her life story is a rags-to-riches tale familiar to pop, rock and country fans alike. The Coal Miner’s Daughter-the tag refers to a hit single, an album, a best-selling autobiography, an Oscar-winning film, and to Lynn herself-has journeyed from the poverty of the Kentucky hills to Nashville super-stardom to her current status as an honest-to-goodness American icon.
“Before country was ‘cool,’ Crystal was ‘class’…”
Never has one reviewer captured a platinum clad, Grammy Award winning career so beautifully in so few words.
Crystal encapsulates everything the dazzling qualities of her name implies-although that name came to her in quite an unusual fashion. “Crystal” came at the suggestion of Brenda Gayle Webb’s older sister, Loretta Lynn-who knowing there was already a ‘Brenda Lee’ currently successful in the music industry-suggested her younger sibling adopt the name ‘Crystal’ when she began recording.
Loretta Lynn was honored at the 2014 Americana Music Awards on September 17, 2014 by receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award For Songwriting at the Ryman Auditorium.
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Photo Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN