Loretta Lynn was a first-time guest this week on Bravo’s free-wheeling Watch What Happens Live, with host Andy Cohen. Lynn shared the spotlight with fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, while her longtime stylist, Tim Cobb, who was seen in the recent PBS American Masters documentary about the coal miner’s daughter, stood behind the late-night show’s trademark bar. Not surprisingly, the first topic of conversation was Lynn’s flowing aquamarine gown, one of Cobb’s creations, which gave her a little trouble before the show.
“I’ve gained five pounds since I’ve been here,” Lynn said of her trip to New York, noting of Cobb, “He liked to never got me in this dress a little while ago. So if it busts, you just keep on goin’. Just pay no attention.”
Cohen showed several vintage clips of Lynn performing, including on Hee Haw with Dean Martin, singing her signature tune, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” and paired with her longtime duet partner Conway Twitty, singing “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” which the host and guest sang a duet of later in the show. Here are five more gems revealed during the rhinestone-studded conversation, which also included a surprise visitor:
- She never smoked weed with Willie and just missed out on writing with Elvis.
In addition to Lynn’s 1982 appearance on ABC’s Fantasy Island and a Crisco commercial featuring her daughters, Lynn was shown performing with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette. Lynn lamented that she and Parton are frequently at opposite ends of the country and don’t see each other often enough, adding, “I love her so much, and I miss Tammy.” Lynn was asked if she ever smoked weed with Willie Nelson. “Never,” she answered. “He told me how to smoke it, though.” She also noted that she never got to meet Elvis Presley. “We were gonna write together two weeks before he died,” she said.
- Patsy Cline’s dinners often ended with hand-me-downs.
Lynn answered a call-in question about her friendship with Patsy Cline. “She had her own mind and she usually said what she thought. I ain’t getting’ into that!” Lynn recalled how after dinner at Cline’s house, the singer would start digging through boxes of her old clothes and “she’d load me down before the night was over.”
- When it comes to her sister, Crystal Gayle, Lynn has limits.
When another caller wanted to know if Lynn had ever helped her sister – and fellow country star – Crystal Gayle, wash her floor-length hair, the answer was a quick, emphatic “no.” In a game of “Coal Lie-er’s Daughter” Lynn reveals the truth about whether she wore panties given to her by Patsy Cline (true), puts ketchup on pancakes (lie) and if she’s ever talked to ghosts (“a few times”).
- The Coal Miner’s Daughter played babysitter while the Man in Black performed.
In a bonus “After the Show” segment, Lynn talked about the just-released LP, Full Circle, produced by John Carter Cash, and recalled how, as a baby, John Carter would be handed off to her backstage to babysit while his parents, Johnny and June, were on stage. “They were great people,” she said of the couple. “Me and June were so close . . and Anita [Carter, June’s sister]. June was a little bit older than me. Me and Anita was about the same age. I loved Johnny. You couldn’t beat him.”
- Loretta has been buddies with Tanya Tucker for nearly 50 years.
While in mid-sentence, Lynn was interrupted by the sound of a doorbell and was surprised by her longtime friend, Tanya Tucker, who had flown in from Los Angeles. “I just wanted to see my buddy,” she said, with Lynn noting that she first met Tucker when she was nine years old. “I was onstage the other night and I did a Loretta Lynn tribute,” Tucker said, explaining that she performed “You’re Lookin’ at Country” and “Fist City,” two of Lynn’s classic hits. “I loved her fightin’, drinkin’, cheatin’ songs,” Tucker said. The pair also noted that Loretta’s husband, “Doo” and Tanya’s father were good friends.