Sixty-one years ago today, on Oct. 15, 1960, Loretta Lynn made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry.
Lynn, who was only 28 years old at the time of her debut, was so nervous that she admits she doesn’t remember much of her first performance on the hallowed stage: “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,” she recalls. “I don’t remember even singing. Now, I was so excited, I don’t remember singing, but I remember patting my foot.
“I went offstage and thought, ‘I forgot to listen to myself sing!’” Lynn adds.
Thankfully, at least the young singer didn’t have too much time to be nervous. Her husband, Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn, had been driving her around the country, promoting her first single, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” and she was unaware that she was even booked on the Opry. The couple spent the night before sleeping in their car.
“He’d parked it in front of the Grand Ole Opry, and I didn’t know he’d done that,” Lynn says. “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.”
Only two years later, on Sept. 25, 1962, Lynn officially became a member of the Opry.
“I’d like to say the greatest moment of my life was when they inducted me into the Grand Ole Opry,” Lynn says. “It’s a moment you only feel once in your life.”
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