Joining together a large number of Lynn’s closest pals and industry professionals to honor the legend’s work over the past several decades, the celebration of opening her “Blue Kentucky Girl” exhibit for the first time brought light to the already well-known catalogue she’s given ever so humbly to the world as her Southern gift.
Singer-songwriter Margo Price performed a modern acoustic version of Lynn’s “Fist City” to pleasant surprise from the obliging audience. From one generation to the next in country music, Price showed much promise by way of Lynn’s sound and left folks in awe over the talent of another important female voice on the horizon of the format.
Country Music Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young then graced the stage, with eloquent and kind words for Lynn’s career. Hypothetically questioning how different the music world would be without her spirit engraved in country music’s history, he spoke highly of her impact and how she used her own life experiences to change millions of fans’ lives all around the world.
“She wrote about her life and she sang the truth. In writing about her life, Loretta sang our truths as well. Her story is a triumph for artistry and it is an example of the way that personal expression can foster universal consideration. Her story is not born of myth, but it is rife with wonder,” Young told of Lynn’s legacy.
Giving the stage away to fan and fellow country artist Kacey Musgraves to condense her forward from a book about Lynn into a rather quick introduction speech, she reveled in Lynn’s glory and thanked her for paving the pathway for small town girls like her with great wit, pride and of course, music.
“Some adjectives that I’d like to kick off this forward include: intelligent, irreverently ladylike, witty, authentic, beautiful, strong and brave,” Musgraves began. “These qualities have minted Loretta Lynn as a legendary figure in American music and beyond. I can say, without a doubt, I would not be living the musical life as I know it without her example to follow. Seriously.”
Musgraves continued on about how Lynn’s honesty shaped her genuine songwriting abilities and how she never shies away from telling it like it is, just as her hero had done many years before her. The “Follow Your Arrow” singer even joked about getting her start as a 10-year-old girl singing with a sassy attitude on stage to songs like “Fist City” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man).”
Brandy Clark followed suit in the high praises with an awe-inspiring cover of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which definitely raised the spirits of the crowd even higher as whispered harmonies from guests hummed throughout the hall during the catchy chorus.
After the crowd returned the favor of these honorable speeches and performances with a loud rouse of applause and a standing ovation loud enough for Lynn to hear back at home, her daughter Patsy Lynn Russell addressed how much hard work and dedication was put into the creation of the exhibit and reassured all in attendance that her mother would return soon with her optimistic spirit following right along despite suffering from a stroke back in May.
“Nothing’s gonna bring her down. She’s doing so well. My mom doesn’t do anything without doing it 100 percent. That’s what she believes—if you don’t give it 100 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,” Russell said.
The exhibit itself starts from Lynn’s humble beginnings back in the middle of nowhere Kentucky and builds upon a lifetime of success and gratitude throughout displays of her multiple trophies, gorgeous array of gowns and video clips of her closest friends and family repeating their overwhelming compliments toward her life.
Lynn’s “Blue Kentucky Girl” exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame will open to visitors on Friday, August 25, and remain as a part of the museum until August 5, 2018.