5 Essential Items – Billboard

August 22, 2023 - News

On Tuesday evening (Aug. 22), Patty Loveless celebrated her new Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibit Patty Loveless: No Trouble With the Truth. The exhibit runs from Wednesday through October 2024 and coincides with the recent announcement that Loveless is among the latest additions to the Country Music Hall of Fame, alongside Tanya Tucker and songwriter Bob McDill.

Speaking to Billboard from her home in Georgia prior to the event, Loveless said of her Hall of Fame invitation, “I have to be honest, I didn’t see that coming. I was on a phone call and I thought they were trying to set up a date to pick up items here at my home, and during that call they told me I was going to be inducted. I didn’t even know how to react. I got a choke in my voice.”

That voice, all Kentucky holler grit and the kind of Southern drawl that easily wraps around the full spectrum of emotions, has made her one of country music’s most skilled vocalists, yet one that is always in service to the song.

She earned her first No. 1 Hot Country Songs chart hit in 1989 with “Timber I’m Falling in Love,” and followed with four more No. 1s on that chart (and 44 total entries overall), including “Blame It on Your Heart” and “You Can Feel Bad.” Along the way, she’s earned two Grammys and five CMA Awards, including female vocalist of the year in 1996. In 2001, she returned to her musical roots with the release of Mountain Soul, which proved to be a critically favored project; its successor, 2009’s Mountain Soul II, won a Grammy for best bluegrass album and spent six weeks atop the Bluegrass Albums chart.

The Pikeville, Kentucky, native, born Patricia Lee Ramey, began performing and writing songs by age 11, and soon began performing with her brother Roger as The Singing Swinging Rameys. Another familial duo, the Wilburn Brothers, soon lent their support, and by age 15, Loveless was performing with them on the weekends and joined them on tour after she graduated high school. Her brother Roger convinced her to record in Nashville, funding a session for his sister in 1985; that session would lead to Loveless signing with MCA Nashville that same year. Roger also served as Loveless’ manager for several years early in her career. She issued her self-titled debut project in 1987.

For Loveless, receiving the news of her upcoming induction ceremony as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame was also bittersweet, given her musical origins.

“My first thought was of my brother Roger, because we lost him in June 2022, so it was just overwhelming to me,” Loveless said. “And I was going through a lot of emotions because [Loveless’ husband, legendary producer Emory Gordy Jr.] had lost his youngest daughter in June 2022. So I had been on this emotional ride and it meant a lot to have that kind of wonderful news.”

Loveless added that she is not working on new music at the moment, though she could at some point to reprise work she previously began in 2017, working with Miranda Lambert.

“Miranda and I began working together, writing songs for my album and working with [singer-songwriter-session player] Jedd Hughes. But I had so much going on and then COVID happened. After the CMAs this last year, she was here in Atlanta [at ATLive] with Chris and Morgane Stapleton and Dwight Yoakam but I couldn’t make it out to the show. But she texted me and said, ‘Hey, I’m gonna have some time if you still wanna do that record.’ That means a lot to me, that they still believe and their hearts and doors are open for that. And who knows, when I feel that things have slowed down a bit for me, maybe I’ll pick back up with them where I left off.”

As for the career-spanning exhibit, Loveless hopes fans take away from the exhibit the sense of teamwork that has built her Hall of Fame-worthy career.

“It takes so many people to support and encourage you,” Loveless said. ‘So many people have supported me — my brother Roger, the Wilburn Brothers, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, they all gave me support.”

Below, Loveless tells Billboard about five items that highlight her new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

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