Pigeon Forge’s Country Tonite Theatre remembers Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn was a coal miner’s daughter from Kentucky although having roots and history right here in East Tennessee.
Lynn performed at the theatre six times throughout her career.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 11:17 PM EDT
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PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - At 90 years old, country music star Loretta Lynn passed away in her Tennessee home. She was a coal miner’s daughter from Kentucky although having roots and history right here in East Tennessee.

At the Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge, general manager Jeff Taylor has hosted several big-name country music artists over the years, and Loretta Lynn was no exception.

“She was just like talking to the average person you’d run across. Some people their heads get a little big when they’re superstars and she never was,” said Taylor.

Lynn performed six times at the theatre including visits in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2016.

Mike Caldwell has been playing the harmonica at the theatre for the last 25 years but before then was in the band for Lynn for a decade.

“She wasn’t fancy even if she was in a beautiful sequenced gown or sparkly heels. She kicked them off and walked barefoot on stage,” said Caldwell on why fans adored her so much. He added that it was because she was so relatable to fans that she was such a unique and impactful artist.

As the news of Lynn’s passing made its way to her former harmonica player, he couldn’t help but think there was more music to be played.

“The first thing I thought of was, ‘Well, now that she’s in heaven, I bet she’ll write a heck of a song,” said Caldwell.