Divine secrets of the y'all-y'all sisterhood

On the night of July 30, the 3,500 people who filed into the new Charlottesville Pavilion expecting to see a country music concert ended up getting much more. Instead of simply singing her songs and then leaving for the next town, Loretta Lynn let the capacity crowd in on an intimate evening of friends and fun as she visited with longtime pal and Albemarle resident Sissy Spacek.

Not long into her set, Lynn managed to coax an admittedly nervous Spacek to help her sing the songs that Spacek brought to life on the big screen 25 years ago in Coal Miner's Daughter. Unfortunately for Spacek, the words didn't come as easily as they had in 1980, and she giggled and blushed trying to keep up with Lynn. "She's bashful," Lynn explained.

In spite of Spacek's best tactful efforts to make a graceful exit after a few numbers, Lynn would have none of it, and soon the two were catching up and reminiscing like they were sitting on Lynn's front porch in Tennessee.

"Her and I are closer than sisters, 'cause there's things we told each other that our sisters don't know and they never will know," said Lynn. Then, as if about to spill the beans, Lynn made a playful nod to Spacek's husband, asking "Jack [Fisk]'s not here, is he?"

In between hits like "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)" (or "Sissy on your mind" as Lynn improvised) "Fist City," and "Portland, Oregon" and discussions of family, what the two stars wear to the grocery store ("jeans and an old top" for both), Lynn and Spacek recounted stories from the production of Coal Miner's Daughter. Among the highlights were Lynn's tendency to pin her lyrics to the lampshades in Spacek's trailer so the young star could learn them and how record producer Owen Bradley taught both of them to be better singers.

But the best nugget from the evening was an anecdote revealing how Spacek came to play Lynn in the first place. Lynn recalled, "I was in Los Angeles by the pool, and they brought me a bunch of pictures. I saw this little freckle-faced girl and said, 'That's gonna be the Coal Miner's Daughter.'" Trouble was, Spacek learned of Lynn's choice only when Lynn made it known on The Tonight Show that "Little Sissy Spacek's gonna play me in the movie."

Spacek recounted that she had already signed on to do "some art film" and went to one of Lynn's concerts to tell her. But she got caught in traffic and missed the whole show. The Oscar-winner then broke out her best Loretta Lynn impression as she recalled watching the larger-than-life Lynn emerge into the parking lot leaving the venue and berating one band member for playing too loudly: "Bam, bam, bam! All I can hear up there are those drums!"

"That's when I knew I had to play this woman," Spacek said, at which point Lynn added, "You're gonna have to make a sequel, 'cause I've done most of my living in [the last] 25 years!"

Soon enough, Lynn and Spacek sang "Coal Miner's Daughter" and left the stage to continue their visit elsewhere, but not before providing Charlottesville with a glimpse of the unique friendship between two entertainment giants who never stopped being country girls at heart.

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Loretta Lynn told her old friend Sissy Spacek she'd have to reprise her Academy Award-winning performance and make a sequel to
Coal Miner's Daughter .



Lynn attracted a capacity crowd to Downtown's new Charlottesville Pavilion.


The view from Belmont Bridge


Lynn's daughter, Patsy, takes the stage.


Spacek and Lynn take their final bow.
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PHOTOS BY JEN FARIELLO JEN@JENFARIELLO.COM