‘The world was her stage’: Eastern Kentucky stages celebrate Loretta Lynn

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Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 7:39 PM EDT
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EASTERN KENTUCKY (WYMT) - With the death of Loretta Lynn hitting the country world hard, some of the stages she hit during her massive career are remembering the country queen and everything she brought to their venues.

The Van Lear superstar bloomed into a country music sensation, but never forgot where it all began. So, performing for her people was always a priority.

“The world was her stage, but she always took time to come back to Eastern Kentucky,” said Mountain Arts Center Executive Director Joe Campbell.

Campbell said he was told the story of Loretta’s first performance at the MAC, which only happened because she heard about the center’s opening and wanted to sing on the stage.

“She drove here to walk around herself,” said “She told her manager to call the Mountain Arts Center and book the show.”

From there, she performed at the Prestonsburg venue many times and also hit the stage at the East Kentucky Exposition Center- now the Appalachian Wireless Arena- in Pikeville.

“That’s one of their idols and they know that Loretta played here and, so, the influence is immeasurable,” said Campbell.

“This is going to impact not only Eastern Kentucky, but the country music scene in general,” said Appalachian Wireless Arena Senior Marketing Director Josh Kesler. “A lot of aspiring artists- and then artists who have made it big- have looked up to Loretta.”

Kesler said that hometown pride and the story of Coal Miner’s Daughter to country music dynamite was an inspiration for many, including most of the musicians who perform on the same stages.

“It’s one of the reasons, too, that a lot of people look up to her,” he said. “Very down to earth and just made it big and she didn’t forget her raisings.”

Though they say her death was a hard pill to swallow, her presence and performances are something that will forever be remembered in the mountains.

“Her presence will always be known here, for sure,” Campbell said.