NASHVILLE, Tenn. – June 28, 2023 – The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will explore the life and career of Country Music Hall of Fame member-elect Patty Loveless in a new exhibition, Patty Loveless: No Trouble with the Truth. The exhibit will trace Loveless’ story, from a musical prodigy to a Grammy award-winning country music star who carries forward the sounds of her Appalachian roots. The exhibit, which will be open from Aug. 23 through October 2024, is included with museum admission.
“Patty Loveless achieved lasting success by merging traditional country music styles with a modern sensibility in her song choices and musical arrangements,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “As one of country music’s most accomplished song interpreters with immense vocal power, she has remained focused on conveying deep emotion through her lyrics and recordings, and her influence resonates throughout today’s generation of country artists.”
“My journey into a career of music all started out on an Epiphone acoustic guitar my father bought for me in 1969,” said Patty Loveless. “As a 12-year-old, I didn’t want to set the world on fire, I just wanted to play and sing music. By the age of 14, I wrote ‘Sounds of Loneliness’ and ‘I Did’ on this guitar, two songs that in 1986 ended up on my debut album for MCA records. Now that guitar will be displayed in my exhibit of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum where it truly belongs with other memorabilia of the many people that supported me throughout my musical journey to whom I’m forever grateful.
The exhibit will include stage wear, tour memorabilia, manuscripts, set lists, instruments, photographs, videos, posters, advertising pamphlets and more. Examples of items to be displayed include:
- The 1968 Epiphone FT-30 Caballero acoustic guitar Loveless used when she performed with her brother Roger Ramey as The Singing Swinging Rameys in the early 1970s.
- The jacket and floral-print dress, accented with rhinestones and beads, that Loveless wore when Porter Wagoner inducted her into the cast of the Grand Ole Opry on June 11, 1988.
- A black velvet dress, with floral pleats and velvet sleeves, worn by Loveless in the 1991 music video for “I’m That Kind of Girl.”
- The 1987 Gibson J-200 acoustic guitar Loveless used extensively for stage work.
- An original handwritten manuscript by songwriter Kostas for “Timber, I’m Falling in Love.” The song became Loveless’ first #1 hit, in 1989.
- The Givenchy black jacket and pants Loveless wore when she and Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill performed “Go Rest High on That Mountain” at the funeral service for Country Music Hall of Fame member George Jones at the Grand Ole Opry House, May 2, 2013.
- The monogrammed USO jacket Loveless wore during the USO Tour that Randy Travis and Patty Loveless made of United States military bases in Alaska, Japan and South Korea in 1988.
- The beaded, floral-print Black Tie Oleg Cassini dress Loveless wore at the CMA Awards in 1998, when she received the Vocal Event of the Year award for her recording of the Jim Lauderdale-penned “You Don’t Seem to Miss Me.” George Jones sang backing vocals on the record and was also honored with the award.
In support of the exhibit’s opening, Loveless will participate in a conversation and acoustic performance in the museum’s CMA Theater on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 2:30 p.m. During the program, she will discuss her career and share stories and memories associated with the artifacts included in Patty Loveless: No Trouble with the Truth. Tickets will be available here on Friday, June 30.
A Kentucky native, Loveless was the youngest of eight children in a coal mining family. By age 11, Loveless began singing and writing songs. At age 12, she began learning to play the guitar her father gave her and performing with her brother Roger as the The Singing Swinging Rameys at fairs, festivals, schools and more. At age 15, Loveless began performing with the popular country duo the Wilburn Brothers on the weekends, later joining them on tour after she graduated high school.
In 1985, Loveless’ brother convinced her to travel to Nashville for a recording session, which he funded. The five-song tape drew immediate interest from record labels, and she signed on with MCA Records that year. Her self-titled first album, released in January 1987, earned more press acclaim than radio play. Older artists — including George Jones and Willie Nelson — rallied behind her, taking her on tour and inviting her to join them on stage.
Loveless’ second album, 1988’s If My Heart Had Windows, provided her breakthrough. The title song, a cover of a 1967 George Jones classic written by Dallas Frazier, became her first Top Ten hit. With her third album, Honky Tonk Angel (1988), Loveless earned her first #1 hits. Nearly a decade after her first album, Loveless reached new peaks in record and ticket sales, radio hits and awards recognition. In 1995 and 1996, she won Top Female Vocalist honors from the Academy of Country Music. The Country Music Association handed her the 1995 Album of the Year for When Fallen Angels Fly; 1996 Female Vocalist of the Year; and 1998 and 1999 Vocal Event of the Year, for duets with George Jones (“You Don’t Seem to Miss Me”) and Vince Gill (“My Kind of Woman/My Kind of Man”).
Loveless achieved thirty-one Top Twenty hits by 2003, including five #1s. Her foray into bluegrass on her acclaimed 2001 album, Mountain Soul, featured the enduring song “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” Despite receiving little radio play, Mountain Soul became a music critics’ favorite, landing on many Top Ten country album lists for 2001 and, later, on lists of the best country albums of the decade.
As Loveless became a veteran artist, she continued to focus her recordings on works by songwriters she favored. Her albums after 2002 included songs by highly respected writers such as Tony Arata, Matraca Berg, Paul Kennerley, Jim Lauderdale, Gary Nicholson and a young, largely unknown Chris Stapleton. She also released Sleepless Nights, an album of classic songs by country artists, including George Jones, Gram Parsons, Ray Price, Porter Wagoner and Hank Williams.
In recent years, Loveless took a hiatus, occasionally recording with others including Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Carly Pearce, John Prine, Bob Seger and Chris Young. In 2022, Stapleton, a fellow East Kentuckian, recruited Loveless for a benefit concert for Kentucky flood victims. Their performance of the Mountain Soul album track “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” led to the duo performing the song, to a standing ovation, at the 2022 CMA Awards.
Loveless has won five Country Music Association awards, two Academy of Country Music awards and two Grammys. She became a member of the Grand Ole Opry on June 11, 1988, and will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October of this year.
About the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum:
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum collects, preserves and interprets country music and its history for the education and entertainment of diverse audiences. In exhibitions, publications, digital media and educational programs, the museum explores the cultural importance and enduring beauty of the art form. The museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and is among the most-visited history museums in the U.S. The Country Music Foundation operates Historic RCA Studio B®, Hatch Show Print® poster shop, CMF Records, the Frist Library and Archive and CMF Press. Museum programs are supported in part by Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and Tennessee Arts Commission.