In support of the Museum’s exhibition “Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl,” a panel discusses the contributions and struggles of pioneering women in country music. The speakers include Brenda Lee, who started as a child star and was eventually elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame; writer Holly Gleason who edited the essay collection “Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives”; and “garage country” singer-songwriter Aubrie Sellers.
The intergenerational conversation covers a wide range of related topics, from the lasting impact of Lee’s contemporaries including Lynn, Patty Cline, and Dottie West, to collaboration and support among women musicians, and the personal validation for women of hearing music made by other women that honestly describes their experiences.
In keeping with the theme of Gleason’s book, each panellist describes an artist that had a profound impact on her.
Gleason reads from her essay on Tanya Tucker and vividly describes the moment she was drawn in by the provocative marketing images for Tucker’s album “TNT.”
Though Sellers was born into a musical family (her mother is singer Lee Ann Womack and her father is songwriter and guitar player Jason Sellers), she cites hearing Alison Krauss for the first time as a watershed moment in understanding the power of a voice. Reading from her essay, she traces the origins of her own confidence in blending rock and country sounds to hearing “Raising Sand,” Krauss’s collaboration with Robert Plant, which Sellers heard as permission to charge forward with her “garage country” vision.
Asked to pinpoint the woman in music who’s had the greatest impact on her life, Lee shares an emotional memory of fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member Patsy Cline.
Video clips supplement the panel’s storytelling, including a vintage performance from Brenda Lee of “Dynamite,” Sellers’s official video for “Sit Here and Cry,” and archival footage of Lynn talking about “the Pill” and accepting an award at the 1975 ACM Awards.
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