Loretta Lynn Thought She Was “Gon’ Be on TV,” But She Got an Opry Invitation Instead

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Since early in her career, Loretta Lynn has been a part of the Grand Ole Opry. The singer-songwriter, who grew up listening to the longest running radio show in U.S. history, gravitated to the institution as a fan. She recently recalled what it was like — after years of listening on the radio — to become a member of the Opry.

“I was told I was going to go down to see Flatt & Scruggs,” she said. “They were going to put me on their TV show. I ended up in Ott Devine’s office and he said, ‘Do you know why you’re here?’ And I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Well, you’ve come here because I want to make you a member of the Opry.'”

In the below video, you can see the excitement in a photo from the moment it happened. Lynn goes on to explain how important it was to share the stage with her idols.

“It was great to grow up as a little girl and then come here to the Grand Ole Opry come out on the stage and sing with these people,” she explained. “You’re listening to a little ole radio and listening to all these people and never dreaming you’d ever meet them. It was something else.”