On Oct. 15, 1960, Loretta Lynn made her Grand Ole Opry debut. Just two years later, she was inducted as a member on Sept. 25, 1962. In honor of one of its longest-running members, the Grand Ole Opry will celebrate the life and music of Lynn, who died on Oct. 4 at the age of 90, during the 97th birthday celebration of the famed venue.
The upcoming Saturday live show at the Opry on Oct. 8, along with the radio broadcast, livestream, and Circle Networks broadcast will all be dedicated to the 60-year Opry member. Bill Cody’s WSM Radio “Coffee, Country, and Cody” broadcast will celebrate Lynn’s life with show visits from Opry members and other friends of Lynn.
Several artists already paid tribute to Lynn during the Oct. 4 Tuesday Night Opry show with performances by Jeannie Seely, who sang “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” and Chris Young, performing a portion of “After The Fire Is Gone,” while Carly Pearce shared a song she wrote in 2021, “Dear Miss Loretta,” singing Dear Miss Loretta, I ain’t ever met ya / But I’m lonely tonight and I just betcha / You might have some wisdom to pull off that shelf / Your songs were all fun ’til I lived them myself.
“There is no monument, award, or musical performance that can ever begin to recognize the incredible woman Loretta Lynn was or the contributions she made,” said Dan Rogers, Vice President and executive producer of the Opry, in a statement. “There was absolutely nothing like the moment when Loretta was introduced to an Opry audience that would spring to its feet before she had even taken the stage.”
Rogers added, “We are thankful for her life and career and humbled to honor her this week. Loretta and the Opry are forever connected, and as long as there is an Opry, Loretta’s treasured music will live on.”
Lynn’s final performance on the Opry took place on January 21, 2017, when she inducted her sister Crystal Gayle as a new member of the Grand Ole Opry. Throughout her performance that evening, Lynn performed “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Fist City,” and “You’re Lookin’ at Country.”
Earlier in 2022, the Opry recognized Lynn’s 90th birthday (April 14) with a show full of performances by Gayle, The Gatlin Brothers, Maggie Rose, and the Opry debut of the duo Twitty and Lynn, the grandchildren of Lynn and her frequent duo partner, the late Conway Twitty.
Lynn was pre-deceased by her husband of 48 years Oliver Vanetta “Doolittle” Lynn, her daughter Betty Sue Lynn and her son Jack Benny Lynn. She is survived by her daughters Patsy Lynn Russell, Peggy Lynn, Clara (Cissie) Marie Lynn, and her son Ernest Ray Lynn as well as grandchildren Lori Lynn Smith, Ethan Lyell, Elizabeth Braun, Tayla Lynn, Jack Lynn, Ernest Ray Lynn Jr., Katherine Condya, Alexandria Lynn, Jasyntha Connelly, Megan Horkins, Anthony Brutto, Jason Lynn, Wesley Lynn, Levi Lynn, Emmy Rose Russell, David Russell, Lucca Marchetti and step-grandchildren David Greer, Jennafer Russell, Melody Russell and Natalie Rapp, and her great-grandchildren.
Information about a memorial service and celebration of life will be revealed at a later date.
Photo credit: John Russell / CMA