The Past with A Personal Touch: Meeting Loretta Lynn for the First Time

The traffic on 31W S. was just a few vehicles here and there from Bowling Green to Nashville that morning. I was told to be at the studio on Murfreesboro Rd. at 10AM. When I arrived  at the TV station, it took a few minutes to find a parking place. I  drove around & finally found a slot in the back lot. I walked around to the front entrance just to be told that I had to enter through the back entrance.

When I discovered the back entrance to the studio, I slowly walked in. I spotted Doyle straight off talking to a TV camera man. The famous Wilburn Brothers TV set was all lit up & looking like it did on TV. I walked over close to them & just stood there silently. I was taking it all in when someone from behind said, can I help you. I recognized the voice and turned to face Teddy Wilburn. I’m Hank Beach, I’m here to see Doyle. He turned away and placed his cupped hand beside his mouth and hollered, Doyle, Hank’s here,
then smiled at me & walked away. Doyle came straight over and shook my hand and said how glad he was to meet me. I liked him right off the bat. I could tell he was genuinely glad to see me by his demeanor, the way he clasped my hand, the way he dropped everything he was doing and took me all over the studio. He introduced me to everyone from the lighting crew to the camera crew. Then he said, there’s a lady that’s dying to meet you, then turned & took off down the hall.

Within a minute or two, he was back with Loretta Lynn. Hank, its so good to see you. I felt the
same with her as I did when I first met Doyle. I knew she meant it. Hank, come with me, Loretta said, grabbed my hand and down the hall we went. Before I knew it, I was in her dressing room. You stay in here with me, she said, you don’t need to be out there with that bunch. She asked me so many things about my life, family, likes and dislikes, songwriting, etc etc.

While all this was going on, a lady was applying make-up and doing her hair. Right in the middle of all this conversation, she paused, swiveled her chair in my direction, and said. Hank, I need you to do me a favor. Sure, if I can, I said. Go back down toward town on the street out front of the studio till you come to
Sears on your left, go in and get me 5 pairs of pantyhose. I said, but Loretta, she interrupted, handed me some money, escorted me to the door, grinned, and said go on now and hurry back, I need them
for the show.

It only took about 15 minutes, and I was at Sears. I headed straight for the lingerie department. I met a nice young lady and informed her I needed 5 pairs of pantyhose. She asked me what size. Loretta didn’t mention a size, so I looked the lady over thinking she’s about Loretta’s size, so I asked her what size did she wear. She seemed somewhat reluctant to tell me, but finally smiled and said she was a petite. This is where I made a terrible mistake. I said, you look like you are about the same size as Loretta.

Oh your wife’s name is Loretta. I replied, these hose are not for my wife, they are for Loretta Lynn. A strange look came over her face, and she started to tremble. You know Loretta Lynn, oh my God, you know Loretta, oh my God, she’s my favorite singer. I said, Good, now may I please have the hose, I’ve got to get them back to her right away. She composed herself somewhat and asked, what color does she prefer. I told her I didn’t have a clue, she never told me. I informed her I would call back to the TV station and find out.
The nice lady instructed me to use her department phone and to dial 9 in order to get an outside line.
I called the receptionist at the TV station and told her who I was, where I was at, what I was doing, and asked to speak with  Loretta Lynn. Click..she hung up the phone. I called right back and said, ma’am, please don’t hang up on me, if I can’t talk with Loretta, would you please go and ask her what color pantyhose does she prefer. Click, she hung up again. By now, I’m sure the receptionist is thinking, what a weird pervert. I thought to myself, one more try, if it don’t work, I’ll take a couple of pair of whatever and return to the station. I called back again. When she answered the phone, I calmly pleaded. Ma’am, please be reasonable, and please do not hang up until you hear me out. If you want to take the responsibility for Loretta not receiving the hose she sent me down here to Sears to get for her, so be it. But if I was you, I would go and ask Loretta if she sent someone to fetch her some pantyhose from Sears by the name of Hank Beach.

I heard this little voice say, hold, please. I’m sure you can tell by now that I was getting a little perturbed
at all this. The nice lady in the lingerie department just stood staring at me. A good 5 minutes passed before I heard this little giggle and a distinctive voice say, Hank, you poor thing, what are they doing to you?

It was Loretta.

I briefly told her what had taken place, and asked her to please explain to the clerk just what kind
of pantyhose she desired. I turned to hand the phone to the lingerie lady, and she quickly ran away. I told Loretta what had just happened, then looked up to see her returning, dragging a gentleman with her by the hand. He walked up to me with a puzzled look on his face, and I handed him the phone. For the next minute or so, all he said was, yes ma’am, yes ma’am.

Then he said, she wishes to talk with you, and handed me the phone. I said, yes ma’am. Loretta said, Hank, get back here as fast as you can, I need those hose. Yes ma’am, I replied, and hung up. When I returned to the station, I went straight to Loretta’s dressing room. The door was opened, and there stood Loretta in a beautiful Indian outfit. She is part Indian, in case you don’t know, and very pretty too. I handed her the pantyhose, received my hug, turned my back while she put on her hose, even though she was
behind a screen, and then off we went, hand in hand, out and onto the Wilburn Brothers TV set. I found me a seat off to the side and waited for the taping to start. Loretta Lynn was the quickest “get to know” person I had ever met. Although I had met her for the first time just a couple of hours earlier, it seemed as though I had known her my whole life. I found out later on, that everyone who meets Loretta, feels the same way. I was invited back many times to the tapings of the Wilburn Brothers Show. I asked and received permission to bring along with me many family members and friends to meet these talented country music stars. The Wilburn Brothers, Teddy and Doyle, Loretta Lynn, all the band members,
the staff, and all the guest stars, were always courteous and kind to us all.


Story by Hank Beach

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