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Loretta Lynn Shares Memories of Her First Grand Ole Opry Appearance

It’s been 52 years since Loretta Lynn became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, but she can still vividly recall 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 to Nashville’s Tennessean. “I don’t remember even singing. Now I was so excited, I don’t remember singing, but I remember patting my foot.

“I went off stage and thought, ‘I forgot to listen to myself sing!'” she adds with a laugh.

Lynn made her debut appearance on the Opry stage as her first single, ‘I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,’ was climbing the charts. Accustomed to driving all over the country, performing and visiting radio stations, she and her husband, Oliver ‘Doolittle’ Lynn, spent their first night in Nashville sleeping in their car in front of the Opry.

“He’d parked it in front of the Grand Ole Opry, and I didn’t know he’d done that,” she 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.”

The songstress’ first performance was on Oct. 15, 1960. It’s a memory she still cherishes.

“I came out the back of the building, and I was hollering, ‘I’ve sung on the Grand Ole Opry!” she recounts. “‘I’ve sung on the Grand Ole Opry!'”

Two years later, on Sept. 25, Lynn became an official member.

“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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