Fans visit Ryman to celebrate life of Loretta Lynn

WSMV's Terry Bulger reports.
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:05 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Fans continued to gather outside the Ryman Auditorium Wednesday following the death of country music star Loretta Lynn.

The Ryman Auditorium was Country Music’s Palace. Loretta Lynn was its Queen.

As a songwriter, she crafted a persona of a defiantly tough woman, a contrast to the stereotypical image of most female country singers. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce, and birth control and sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers for material from which even rock performers once shied away.

“I just liked the music; it tells a story; country music tells a story,” Lilian Beam told WSMV4.

Her English accent shows Loretta’s influence went far beyond her Kentucky roots.

Lynn knew that her songs were trailblazing, especially for country music, but she was just writing the truth that so many rural women like her experienced.

“I could see that other women was goin’ through the same thing, ‘cause I worked the clubs. I wasn’t the only one that was livin’ that life and I’m not the only one that’s gonna be livin’ today what I’m writin’,” she told The AP in 1995.

For more than 40 years, it was motorcycles at her West Tennessee Hurrican Mills Dude Ranch, where riders came here to race and camper. Those campers wakened every morning at 7am to the loud sound of Lorettetta’s coal miner’s daughter.