The newest exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Blue Kentucky Girl, honors the iconic Loretta Lynn with stories and artifacts from her fascinating life. Loretta is still recovering from the stroke she had in May and was unable to attend the opening ceremony for the exhibit, but she sent her gratitude and well wishes through her daughters, who shared that she’s even working during her recovery. She met with her record label this week to discuss plans for a new album after the first of the year.
The opening ceremony featured the newest generation of women in country music, who performed tributes and spoke about Loretta’s influence on contemporary music. Brandy Clark’s achingly beautiful rendition of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” received roaring applause from the intimate crowd of Loretta’s family, friends, and music industry colleagues. And Margo Price knocked out a feisty performance of the sassy “Fist City.”
Kacey Musgraves delivered the highlight of the ceremony, a poignant speech about Loretta Lynn making her mark on country music history without trying to conform to any standards or buckle to the pressures of critics.
When Loretta is touted on Music Row these days, the sequined side of her history tends to overshadow the fact that she’s probably had more songs banned than any other artist in country music history … This is proof that when anyone in the music business – label heads, radio promotion teams, artists, managers, media, songwriters – choose to stay within known, successful lanes, avoiding creative risk and watering down content for easy consumption in hopes of financial gain, they’re not only damaging themselves, but they’re definitely damaging the rest of us too.
Loretta’s tenacity started at a young age and can be seen throughout the new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Full of photos, stories, and artifacts, Blue Kentucky Girl gives you a glimpse into the life of the woman who broke barriers with controversial songs like “The Pill.”
One of the many outfits on display is a dress handmade by Loretta when she was just 14 years old – that was worn by actress Sissy Spacek in her portrayal of Loretta in the hit film Coal Miner’s Daughter. You’ll also find handwritten lyrics to the movie’s namesake song, countless industry awards, and even the Presidential Medal of Freedom that she received in 2013 by President Obama.
Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl is open from August 25, 2017 – August 5, 2018. You can visit www.countrymusichalloffame.org for more information.