By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
Country music’s living legend Loretta Lynn lived in Western Washington for about 15 years at the start of her rise to fame.
Now her granddaughter Tayla Lynn lives here with her own family while pursuing her musical career.
Tayla, whose voice is similar to her “Memaw’s,” performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. Ticket prices range from $10 to $25 and are available by calling 425-258-6766.
The show will include a tribute to Loretta Lynn, along with Tayla Lynn’s own country songs and some covers of “old school” rock ‘n’ roll, she said.
“I hear the theater in Everett has an intimate feel, which I like and will make me talk a lot. I like making people laugh. We are excited about our show in Everett,” Lynn said. “We’re starting our son in horseback riding lessons in Stanwood, so we’re going to be traveling to Everett a lot.”
Her son, Tru, is a toddler.
“And, thank you, Jesus,” she said with a laugh, “That boy is plenty for now.”
Tayla Lynn, now in her 30s, spoke with The Herald on the phone last week while watching Tru at a playground. She cautioned that she might not be able to talk long.
Loretta Webb Lynn was just a young teenager when she got married, left Kentucky and followed her husband, Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn, across the country to Whatcom County. Four of her six children, including Tayla’s father, Ernest Ray Lynn, were born there. Loretta started out singing in the grange hall in Custer.
Ernie Lynn also had a music career in his mother’s band. Tayla was raised in Tennessee and remembers watching her father and grandmother perform together and recalls that she was about 4 or 5 when Loretta Lynn brought her up on stage.
In her teens, after her grandfather’s death in 1996, Tayla spent time living with Loretta Lynn in Nashville.
“I got to tour with her, too,” Lynn said. “That’s really when we became as close as we are.”
Earlier this year Tayla and her grandmother recorded a duet of the song “Honky Tonk Girl,” which Loretta Lynn wrote in Custer and was on her first recording.
“When she came into the studio to lay down her vocals, I was so happy,” Tayla said. “Then she starts singing and it’s flawless. She did it in one take. I just cried. It was amazing.”
The other songs on Tayla’s new record included “Coal Dust,” which she wrote as a tribute to her grandmother. The title references Loretta Lynn’s popular autobiographical song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
“My Memaw is 82 now, but she is still pretty and still singing,” Lynn said. “Her biggest badge of support was recording with me.”
On Oct. 11 in Nashville, Loretta Lynn is scheduled to perform at the famous Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry. Tayla Lynn will sing a “pre-show” at Tootsies, the historic bar where her grandfather was a regular and which backs up to the Ryman.
“When I first moved to Seattle, it was really hard,” Tayla said. “Everything I knew was back in Tennessee. My family is there. I had my music going there. But now I love it here. I am really happy my husband’s family lives nearby and they are a huge influence. We eat sushi and salmon and we hike in the mountains.”
Husband Jon Cody Finger is supportive of Tayla’s work to further her career.
“I do the multi-tasking of motherhood and then sing on weekends,” she said. “I feel so blessed.”
At the show in Everett, Lynn plans to offer CDs for sale, and she notes that people can buy “Coal Dust” and “Honky Tonk Girl” on iTunes.
Lynn hopes people stationed at Naval Station Everett come to her show.
While touring with her grandmother, she was tapped to join the country group Stealing Angels. The Angels, which she sang with for several years, visited U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait.
“That was the most eye-opening, humbling experience,” she said. “Our military and their families sacrifice a lot for us. I would love to sing for the Navy.”
Lynn doesn’t mind it when people accuse her of taking advantage of her grandmother’s fame.
“Memaw says to just hang on tight to those apron strings of hers,” she said, laughing. “How cool is it that my grandmother is somebody everybody has heard of? I’m not stupid. I know how to do that. Heck, yes, I tell everybody she is mine.”
In the background, a little boy’s voice pipes up.
“Oh, sorry, I gotta go,” Lynn said. “Tru needs a cupcake.”
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @galefiege.