On this day 61 years ago, Loretta Lynn stepped on the Grand Ole Opry stage for the first time. Nearly 60 years have passed since that iconic day in the songstresses’ career.
The 28-year-old recalls being so frightened that she has a hard time remembering her performance at all. She says, “The first memory I have of the Grand Ole Opry was, when I went out to sing, I remember patting my foot, and that’s it. I don’t remember even singing. Now, I was so excited, I don’t remember singing, but I remember patting my foot.”
Now, that’s not even the crazy part. The singer didn’t know she was playing the Opry until the night of. She was touring alongside her husband Oliver Lynn while promoting her first single, “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl.” Lynn continues, “He’d parked it in front of the Grand Ole Opry, and I didn’t know he’d done that. I woke up and seen the Grand Ole Opry, so I could not believe I was sleeping over from the Grand Ole Opry, but that’s where we were, sleeping in the car.”
Two years later, on September 25th, 1962, Loretta Lynn officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
“I’m A Honky Tonk Girl,” written and recorded by Loretta Lynn, became Lynn’s debut single. Lynn and her husband Oliver self-promoted the single driving from one radio station to another. That summer, “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl” hit Number 14 on the Billboard country songs chart. The song was written in Washington after a distraught woman confided in the singer about her husband’s affair. Lynn and the woman developed a friendship. She wrote the song leaned up against her toilet seat as well as single “Whispering Sea.”
Loretta Lynn Is Highly Decorated
More than six decades ago, Loretta Lynn began composing country music. She has multiple gold albums and is known for hits “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” Fist City,” and more.
She’s received eight Country Music Awards, thirteen Academy of Country Music Awards. She owns thirteen Grammy awards, seven American Music Awards, and eight BMI awards. She is the owner of an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music. Lastly, she’s a Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.