Loretta Lynn-The Living Legend Has Still Got It
There are only a handful of entertainers left from the 1960's still recording and touring, and an even smaller number of that elite group actually sound good and are even acknowledged by the industry! In the summer of 2010, I had the chance to be a guest at a Loretta Lynn concert at Turning Stone Resort and it was one of the best concerts I've ever seen from an artist in their 70s. Now, in 2011, Loretta hits the road again and enjoys even more accolades!
Loretta Lynn placed her first song on the Billboard country charts with 'I'm A Honky Tonk Girl' in 1960. It's amazing to think that fifty plus years later, she's still recording music and touring. In 2010, she receives a special Grammy honoring her career achievements. Then, on top of a tribute album released by Sony Music, Loretta is honored by the Academy of Country Music, as one of the "Superstar Women of Country" set to air on CBS April 22, 2011. Alongside Reba, Martina, Carrie, The Judds, Miranda and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Loretta receives recognition for her fifty year career as a leading female artist in country music, which includes being the only female artist to be named the ACMs Artist of the Decade!
In 2010, I made it a point to see Loretta Lynn live in concert. I always try to see the legends, for two important reasons: rarely do venues take a chance on booking older acts, fearful not enough people will buy tickets, and you never know when they'll stop touring due to poor health or age. My evening with the first woman to ever win the CMA's Entertainer of the Year Award, started with a very pleasant visit backstage. Loretta greeted my grandmother and me with hugs and kisses, like we were family members she hadn't seen in years. Then she couldn't wait to share the exciting details about her upcoming tribute album, which was still in the finishing stages. Loretta was particularly excited about the collaboration with Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert, and another project she was working on with Jack White, the man who produced her Grammy winning 'Van Lear Rose' album. Despite her slow moving, frail appearance from recent health issues, Loretta's spirit was beautiful and I could tell she was excited to see the fans in the sold out showroom. Appearing in one of her trademark gowns, Loretta belted out the hits with a perfect powerful passionate voice. The 'Coal Miner's Daughter' still had the great sound and down-home charming personality that made her a star fifty years ago!
Now, at age 76, Loretta is making a rare appearance in the Northeast on July 15, 2011 at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut. Realizing how lucky I was to see her last summer, and how good this legend was in concert, I immediately packaged a bus trip to the show, so that my fellow classic country music fans could also experience this precious moment. When artists reach their 70s, you should always make it a point to see them in concert because you never know when they will decide to retire or be forced to get off the road. I always regret not seeing Johnny Cash when he was in the area, a year before his untimely passing. Fortunately, I did make an effort to see Tammy Wynette and George Jones together on a reunion tour, just two years before we lost Tammy. Let's enjoy these great legends as long as we have them here on earth!
What Country Music Legend do you wish you had seen in concert before they stopped touring?