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Patty Loveless

One of the most popular female singers of the new traditionalist movement, Patty Loveless rose to stardom thanks to her blend of honky tonk and country-rock, not to mention a plaintive, emotional ballad style. Her late-'80s records for MCA were generally quite popular, earning her comparisons to Patsy Cline, but most critics agreed that she truly came into her own as an artist when she moved to Epic in the early '90s.

Loveless was born Patricia Lee Ramey in Pikeville, KY, in 1957 and spent most of her childhood in nearby Elkhorn City, where her father worked in the coal mines. Her immediate family loved music, and two of her distant cousins later found fame as Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle. Unfortunately, her father contracted black lung disease, forcing the family to move from their rural home to Louisville for the sake of convenient medical treatment. Patty found escape from the culture shock in music, and her father gave her a guitar when she was 11. Soon she was singing and writing songs with her older brother Roger, and the two started performing at local country jamborees. At one such show, the Wilburn Brothers caught their act and gave them a standing invitation to Nashville. Roger and a 14-year-old Patty made the trip on a weekend when the Wilburns were out of town, but managed to talk their way into Porter Wagoner's office instead, impressing him with a performance of Patty's original "Sounds of Loneliness."

Wagoner took Patty under his wing, inviting her to perform with him and Dolly Parton on the weekends. In 1973, after finishing high school, she became a featured vocalist with the Wilburn Brothers' band (a post once held by Loretta Lynn) and also signed with their publishing company. She later married the band's drummer, Terry Lovelace, and moved to his hometown near Charlotte, NC, in 1976. There she sang pop, rock, and R&B material with a local cover band for several years and endured bouts with alcoholism and drug use. In the early '80s, she returned home, hired her brother Roger as her manager, and altered the spelling of her married name to Loveless. After traveling to Nashville to record demos of country songs, she landed a publishing deal with Acuff-Rose and moved to Nashville permanently in 1985; she also divorced Lovelace around the same time, and her demo tape impressed MCA exec Tony Brown enough that he offered her a contract later that year.

With Roger's producer friend Emory Gordy, Jr. at the controls, Loveless released her first chart single, "Lonely Days, Lonely Nights," and her self-titled debut album in 1986. She enjoyed some modest success, but didn't really make a splash until the 1988 follow-up, If My Heart Had Windows, which gave her two Top Ten hits in the title cut (originally recorded by George Jones) and Steve Earle's "A Little Bit of Love." Late in 1988, she released the follow-up album that made her a star, Honky Tonk Angel. "Timber, I'm Falling in Love" became her first number one hit in 1989, and three more singles -- "Blue Side of Town," "Don't Toss Us Away," and "The Lonely Side of Love" -- reached the Top Ten before year's end, by which time Loveless had married producer Gordy. In 1990, the album's fifth single, "Chains," became her second number one. Her next album, On Down the Line, came out later that year and brought her two Top Five hits in the title cut and "I'm That Kind of Girl." Following 1991's Up Against My Heart and its Top Five hit "Hurt Me Bad (In a Real Good Way)," Loveless made some major changes in her career. She parted ways with her brother as manager and switched labels to Epic, taking husband Gordy with her as producer; moreover, she was forced to undergo throat surgery to repair her vocal cords before she was able to complete her label debut.

Only What I Feel was released in early 1993 and earned Loveless the best reviews of her career to date, thanks to a newfound level of confidence. The number one smash "Blame It on Your Heart" helped the record go platinum, and "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?" and "You Will" also went Top Ten. The following year's When Fallen Angels Fly won equal acclaim, not to mention the CMA's Album of the Year Award; it spun off four Top Ten hits in "I Try to Think About Elvis," "Halfway Down," "You Don't Even Know Who I Am," and "Here I Am." Released in 1996, The Trouble with the Truth continued Loveless' renaissance with two more number one smashes, "You Can Feel Bad (If It Makes You Feel Better)" and "Lonely Too Long," and the Top Five "She Drew a Broken Heart"; that year, she won the ACM's Female Vocalist of the Year Award. However, 1997's Long Stretch of Lonesome abruptly halted her commercial momentum; despite a similar level of consistency, none of its singles made the Top Ten. Perhaps a shift toward slick country-pop played a role in Loveless' sales slump, as 2000s solid Strong Heart met with a similar fate.

In response, Loveless turned away from hitmaking and embraced the acoustic Kentucky bluegrass of her youth, which was enjoying a renaissance of its own thanks to O Brother, Where Art Thou? The result, Mountain Soul, was released in 2001 and earned numerous critical plaudits, also selling decently in spite of its lack of concern for commercialism. Loveless kept that acoustic approach for her 2002 holiday album Bluegrass and White Snow: A Mountain Christmas, and it also informed her proper follow-up, 2003's On Your Way Home. The ambitious Dreamin' My Dreams appeared two years later, followed by Sleepless Nights in 2008. In 2009, Loveless followed up Mountain Soul with Mountain Soul II on the Suguaro Road imprint. Unlike its predecessor, II contained classic country, mountain, and bluegrass songs, as well as original material instead of strictly bluegrass tunes. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Patty Loveless is one of my all-time favorite singers!
Hey your not loveless Cause I love you
I agree with Richard Fraser. Love this gal!!
This song began with her needs and he turned the tables. All this tells as always, men are selfish.
Great music
Yeah this little gal can change many minds there are others such as Alison Kraus. Pure clean vocals.
You have to love her music. I don't like much country but this lady and Emmylou Harris changed my mind.
I love just about everything i have ever hear her sing. she is gorgeous and has THE perfect voice for my ears. So many of her songs are favorites of mine! Now, if we could just get her up to Bristol's Rhythm and Roots Reunion!!! (coming up next weekend) Love Yah Patty!!!
my favorite is lester flatt
love all bluegrass
my favorite Patty Loveless song is Pretty Polly with Grandpa Jone, find it and listen to it
Love Party's twang! Such a great voice! Hope she returns to Blue Hill Maine
ctaylor137
One Hell of A Talented Lady!!
A distant cousin, truley a lesson in staying the course regarding your dreams. Bravo Patty!
coolmusiczon e _ 3 3
Patty loveless is awesome
Oh wow! Been a long time since i heard this song by patty loveless. She has one hell of a beautiful voice. Shes definatly country, better than taylor swifft. Thats for sure.
I agree with maxzx.....be a u t i f u l songs..Patty is a TRUE country singer!
maxzx
'Nothing but the Wheel' and 'You don't even know who I am' ... two of the greatest songs ever, perfectly sung ..... truly love Patty.
gforte53
truly multi-talent e d . Love the mountain soul disc.
LOVE THE MOUNTAIN SOUL CD
Nothin but the wheel- best song ever.
westmonroere a l t o r
Can we put Trouble with the Truth on this crappy station for crying out loud?!
NEVER HEARD PATTY'S SONGS UNTIL NOW .WOW!! GLAD SHE'S STILL WITH EMORY. I KNEW HIM FOR ABOUT 5 YRS OR SO. WESTLAKE VILLAGE,CA. HE IS A GOOD MAN WITH AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF MUSICAL TALENT. I SHALL BE LISTENING TO MORE OF PATTY IN THE NEAR FUTURE!
The best country or any voice I've ever heard.
saw her last night at the Library of Congress.... s h e rocked and just as beautiful a voice as ever and she looked great too!
All that I can say is that I Love Patty Loveless, her music, lyrics, everything.
took a little while but I love her singing.
I saw her in my home town what a joy she is.
the phone book would be a joy
I'm so glad this wonderful singer has not forgotten to include her bluegrass roots in her broad country music spectrum of recordings and performance.
I'd listen to her sing the phone book.
I lke the song chains the best of all
Patty Loveless is my all-time favorite female country singer. She can get your feet stompin' or get your heart achin'. My two favorite songs of hers: "Blame It On Your Heart" and "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive." Great stuff.
One my favorite female singers, of her generation next to Lee Ann Womack.
Oh my I meant to say I am NOW the proud owner of three Patty Loveless albums. Lol. Wish I could have all of them right now! Ha ha.

A beautiful voice and even greater music. Way to kick Nashville to the curb, Patty, keep it up! :D
jimhfoster
She's the best female singer of her generation, with the possible exception of Trisha Yearwood.
Patty Loveless, say's it all with "I DON'T WAMT TO FEEL LIKE THIS NO MORE"
I am not the proud owner of three Patty Loveless albums!!!!!!

I can't get enough of her music. :)
highplainsma n
oh this girl patty woke me up on the radio with 'timber I'm falling' back around 1989,,,,,,,, , b e e n in luv with her ever since
I borrowed her albums "Sleepless Nights" and "Long Stretch of Lonesome" from my library.

WOW!!!!! I love EACH and EVERY song!!!! And that is something I'm saying less and less these days as music quality goes the way of what TRUE country music used to be. Patty's voice is so heart-wrench i n g , she makes you feel every note and pulls you into the song.

Both of these albums are now on my Christmas list! Also "Crazy Arms" is my new favorite song by her.
countryst
Patty Loveless fans - CountryStand a r d T i m e . c o m has a new feature about the evolution of her music over the years and what she's up to now with "Mountain Soul II." Check it out!
waregirl
ONE OF MY FAVORITES. PROUD TO HAVE HER AS A FELLOW KENTUCKIAN.
Patty Loveless' music is simply amazing. Every song I hear by her I love.
Each album is better than the last ... She's country at its BEST!
Sleepless Nights is phenomenal. Do yourself a favor, and buy it now.
jimhfoster
She's the epitome of country soul. Lots of great songs - my favorite is "Hurt Me Bad, In a Real Good Way".
Of all the female country singers Patty is the no i female singer of all times bar none.
Ron C Riddle steel guitarists
My favorite country vocalist...r i g h t after Patsy Cline of course.
I found the song "That Kind of Girl" on Pandora Radio. Love it! Her voice kind of sounds like LeAnn Rimes. She has an amazing voice as well.
also a ham radio operator
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