BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – After the death of Loretta Lynn, local country music historians are mourning her passing in their own way.
“It’s something that you know is going to come at some point, but it’s always a sad and a shocking time,” said Leah Ross, executive director of advancement for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. “Because she’s so well known and she’s been in music over seven decades. And her impact on country music is legendary.”
Lynn made much of her fame through the honesty of her songs and telling the story of her origin in “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
For Ross and the female staff of the museum, Lynn’s story is even more meaningful.
“I think she opened doors for women in country music to sing about what they were feeling and what they were thinking,” Ross said. “And I think she helped pave that way for females in country music.”
A new exhibit highlighting the role women played in country and old-time music is in the works at the museum, and Ross said she expects Lynn’s career to play a large role.
Lynn died in her Tennessee home on Tuesday, several years after suffering a stroke. She was slated to visit the Birthplace of Country Music several years ago, but a fall injury kept her from making it to her appearance.
“She was very authentic, she was herself,” Ross said. “And I think she carried the country music model where they talk about three chords and the truth. It was her truth.”