When Carly Pearce stepped onstage at the Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday night, her performance was extra meaningful and emotional: Loretta Lynn’s death had been announced just that morning.
Fans in the crowd might’ve guessed that Carly would perform “Dear Miss Loretta,” a tribute to the country legend that she included on 29: Written in Stone in September 2021, and she did -- but that’s not all.
While she was onstage, Carly explained that after she released “Dear Miss Loretta,” she got a voicemail response about the song from Loretta herself. Then, she proceeded to pull out her cell phone and play the message for the crowd.
True to Loretta’s deadpan, forthright personality, the voicemail contained plenty of humor. “I’m layin’ here in bed, just taking it easy. I’m fixin’ to get up and wash my face maybe, comb my hair....I haven’t got no place to go, have I?!” the message opens.
But Loretta’s words quickly become more heartfelt. “I love your song. Thank you, sweetheart. I love you, honey,” she continues. “Come and see me sometime.”
As she played the voicemail, Carly turned to the crowd with tears in her eyes. “I’ve listened to that message a lot today, and if that doesn’t capture the purest form and the essence of her beautiful soul, I don’t know what else does,” she said before launching into her performance of “Dear Miss Loretta.”
Loretta Lynn died on Tuesday, October 4 at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. She was 90.