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Updated: Apr 17, 2023

"vocal warmup

(Reba touches a curling iron on the dressing table)

"Oh Lord, that's hot."

(knock on the dressing room door-male voice from behind the door) '

"Reba, you're on in ten minutes."

"Thank you.

I have to go out there and face those people in ten minutes

Well, God, here we go again, little ole me representing big ole you

But what in the world am I going to say

Oh, come on, Reba, you've done this plenty of times

Just lift your head and walk out smiling

Why does every time feel like the first time all over again?

(stumbles as she gets up to walk to the closet)

For goodness sake, don't fall

Just be a lady

That is what everybody calls you

Why does it seem like the first time all over again?

If they only knew."

Reba Rambo wrote the dressing room sketch

Loretta is glamorous in one of my favorite looks for an awards show.

Life on the Road

Every performer has their ritual for the last moments right before the performance we are about to give. I like to listen to music while doing my makeup and get lost in my thoughts with the music.

In her best-selling autobiography, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Loretta Lynn writes about her life, traveling millions of miles to get to her next gig in the back of a bus in her bedroom suite that measures about 12 x 14 feet. Loretta worked hard to provide a better life for her family but didn’t have much time to enjoy it herself.

You can now see the bus at her Dude ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. In one corner of the bedroom suite is a Murphy vanity table equipped with a sink and a makeup mirror. On it sits a can of Vita-E hairspray that could have been hers, or some fan might have left in remembrance of the hairdos of shows past.

Lord, If only that mirror could talk- the stories it could tell.

In the '60s, Loretta was billed as the pretty little girl singer on tours headlined by men long past their hit-making prime. These men made four times the amount Loretta, whose star was still rising. Was making. Loretta would soon change that rule. Not only was Loretta the number one country female-selling artist, but she was also giving her male counterparts a run for their money on the charts. She was the first to have a certified gold album selling 500,000 units of “Don't Come Home a Drinkin,” and was the first female to win the 1972 CMA Entertainer of the Year award.

She and her singing partner Conway, Twitty, opened the United Talent Booking Agency, hiring management from Los Angeles, and began to get top pay. They booked her on weekly television shows where she became a favorite, sharing her Butcher Holler humor.

She challenged those men who wanted to polish her into a giant star. At the time, Loretta liked to wear her cowboy boots while performing on stage. The Wilburn Brothers had a weekly tv show she guest starred on. They wanted her to wear high heels on stage. They did her practice in the hallway of her hotel. That night, she worried the audience would think she was drunk in her unsteadiness onstage. At one point, she kicked off the heels and went into her mama’s squaw dance barefoot.

Staying true to her Kentucky values, she pushed social barriers. She gave women a voice by singing the songs she wrote. Proud to be part Native American, she followed the rules of how she treated people of color. Once, while doing a live country music awards show, she was warned not to hug Charlie Pride because it ruined another girl singer’s booking opportunities. Loretta loved Charlie. She said she just reached over and gave him a "real big hug and a smack" on camera.

Patsy's always a saying, 'You got to run your own life.' but my life's a runnin' me!

In a scene from the movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Loretta, played by Sissy Spacek, is getting ready for that night's show on the bus. She’s trying to learn the words of her latest release. "One's on the Way, “ on a reel-to-reel tape. She can't figure out how to get the machine to work and finally gives up. Leaving the bus ten minutes before she's on stage, she hastily walks to join her band onstage. The band, played by Loretta’s actual band, starts the opening chords for "One's on the Way,” the latest hit. Don Ballinger, the lead guitar player, announces. "Ladies and Gentlemen, please make welcome the first lady of country music, Miss Loretta Lynn,"

Loretta can't remember the lyrics, so he repeats, "They say to have her hair done...."

Finally giving up on it, they start, “You Ain't Woman Enough.." She can't remember it either.

This scene won Sissy Spacek an Oscar for best actress.

Loretta stops the band to address her audience. "Friends, I had something I wanted to come out here and tell you, but Doo, he doesn't want me to."

Visiting the Bus at the Museum

The bedroom at the back of the bus

The glamour table

The bathroom she shared with six bandmates and the bus driver

The Duet and the Award Show

"As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone"

"As Soon as I Hang up the Phone, is a 2:40 song about a man (Conway Twitty) calling the woman (Loretta) to end the affair he's having with. Loretta pleads for him to stop what he's trying to tell her. By the song's end, Loretta accepts it by her telling him goodbye.

"Goodbye, Loretta."

They recorded the song in Bradley's Barn with Conway in a separate room, talking on the telephone that Owen Bradley installed just for the recording. Loretta sang her part in the recording booth. It was their fourth number-one hit on the U.S. country singles chart spending 11 weeks on the charts and at number one for a single week.

Later in the interview, Conway said Loretta got mad at him because she thought he hung up on her too fast. She came out of the booth, fussing at him and Owen about how he was not going to hang up on her like that.

Choosing the Right gown

This is the photo of my favorite of Loretta s dresses that hangs in the closet on Loretta's bus.

Only the best leisure suits for Conway...Pom Pom Pom

I would like to thank Matt and Chad for having as much fun as me on our adventure Your warmth and laughter made great memories.

"Coal Miner's Daughter," by Loretta Lynn and George Vecsey, 1976

"Hey Loretta," by Shel Siverstein, 1973

"As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone," Wikipedia

"Coal Miner's Daughter" 1980 screenplay by Loretta Lynn and George Vescey, directed by Michael Apted

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Wonderful blog!! So glad that you Matt and chad. Are spending time together!

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