Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust: My Friendship with Patsy Cline by Loretta Lynn, Patsy Lynn Russell; foreward by Dolly Parton

From the publisher: Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust shares the never-before-told complete story of the remarkable relationship between country music icons Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn.

“Loretta Lynn and the late Patsy Cline are legends–country icons and sisters of the heart. For the first time ever Loretta tells their story: a celebration of their music and their relationship up until Patsy’s tragic and untimely death.

Full of laughter and tears, this eye-opening, heartwarming memoir paints a picture of two stubborn, spirited country gals who’d be damned if they’d let men or convention tell them how to be. Set in the heady streets of the 1960s South, this nostalgia ride shows how Nashville blossomed into the city of music it is today. Tender and fierce, Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust is an up-close-and-personal portrait of a friendship that defined a generation and changed country music indelibly–and a meditation on love, loss and legacy.”

Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust (Amazon) (AbeBooks) is the first book I’ve read by Loretta Lynn. I have not read Coal Miner’s Daughter (Amazon) (AbeBooks), nor did I see the acclaimed movie (Amazon) (AbeBooks) of the same name. But I have seen Ken Burn’s Country Music (Amazon) (AbeBooks) and read the book (Amazon) (AbeBooks), so I’m not completely unfamiliar with Lynn’s story. For those who have read the book or seen the movie, some of the stories might be familiar to you.

Lynn writes in a conversational style, which helped because I listened to the audiobook performed by her daughter Patsy, who was named for her friend. Both mother and daughter are great storytellers. You feel like it’s just friends talking to one another and telling their tales. But it’s also hard listening about her old-fashioned relationship with her husband, a husband so old-fashioned I’m surprised he let Loretta sing at all.

Even though Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline didn’t know each other long, they formed an instant bond and became very close. Patsy took Loretta under her wing and taught her a lot, not just about country music, how to make it and how to perform it, but things friends would do like teaching her how to buy lingerie or how to dress so the clothes flatter the body. She taught Loretta how to drive and how to shave her legs, something Loretta had never done before.

Patsy also revealed to and commiserated with Loretta about the struggles of being a woman in the country music world when men didn’t necessarily want them there. The fact that their friendship only lasted a few years because of Patsy’s untimely death made it all bittersweet.

If you’re a fan of country music, you won’t want to miss this walk down memory lane about two female legends.

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