Loretta Lynn’s ties to East Texas include friendship with Neal McCoy

McCoy calls Lynn’s death a ‘tough loss for country music’
FILE - Country music great Loretta Lynn poses for a portrait in September 2000 in Nashville,...
FILE - Country music great Loretta Lynn poses for a portrait in September 2000 in Nashville, Tenn. Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter who became a pillar of country music, died Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. She was 90.(CHRISTOPHER BERKEY | AP Photo/Christoper Berkey, File)
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 8:40 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - As the news of Loretta Lynn’s passing spread, we took a dive into the “country queen’s” ties to East Texas. Among them: a friendship with Jacksonville native and Longview resident Neal McCoy.

“She was just so sweet,” McCoy said on East Texas Now. “She was that woman that when you met her, she just took you in. She loved you. It was like meeting a mother and you were the child.”

McCoy met Lynn on his own climb up the country music ladder in the 1990s, and remembers her liking his first hit single “No Doubt About It.”

“She was walking around singing it all day,” McCoy said. “And she’d get down to that low part saying, “no doubt about it.’”

Lynn’s ties to East Texas also include being portrayed by Quitman native Sissy Spacek in the 1980 film “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Lynn also performed at East Texas venues like the Mayfair Building in Tyler and the Reo Palm Isle in Longview.

“She was down to earth,” McCoy said. “She loved people.”

McCoy, who spoke to us from Mexico, said Lynn’s death represents a departing generation of country music legends.

“Boy, it hit me just right in my heart,” he said. “We’re just losing them. The people who were big, big in country music are drifting off.”

Another East Texas tie to Loretta Lynn is costume designer Joe Tompkins of Henderson, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the film “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”