Patty Loveless was born in a miner's hospital
in Bowling Fork, Pike County, KY. As a child Loveless lived, and attended
school, in Elkhorn City, KY. One of the last real coal miner's daughters
she never has forgotten her Kentucky roots. Her photo hangs on the
wall of Rusty Fork Restaurant, in Elkhorn City as a reminder that the
people there are proud of her and her accomplishments.
"We have a wall dedicated to all the Kentucky stars," said
Kathy Mullins, manager of the restaurant. "The photo of Patty
Loveless was donated by her first cousin, Alan Gibson, who lives in
Gibson, who is running for Mayor in 1998, and his wife Leslie are
very proud of Loveless. "Ever
since she was big enough to sing, that's all she ever wanted to do," said
Gibson. "Her mother Naomie Ramey was a sister to my mother and
we used to have a gospel singing group and Patty sang with us. Naomie
always said she would do everything she could to see that Patty had
a singing career. Naomie and Patty's brother, Roger, who was Patty's
first manager, were the keys to her success along with the influence
made on Patty by the singing of Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. They
were her idols and it wasn't until she met Loretta in Nashville, and
they sat down to talk about their similar background that she found
out they were cousins. They found out they had the same grandmother."
When Loveless finished the eighth grade the family moved to Louisville,
KY so her father, Johnny Ramey, could be closer the the doctors and
hospitals there. Disabled in the coal mines her father was suffering
from Black Lung and needed medical attention. Eventually Loveless moved
to Nashville, where the Wilburn Brothers helped with her career by
giving her the
opportunity to perform with them. As she sang her way to the top of
the Country Music scene she always remembered where she came from and
visited regularly in the Pike County area.
"Patty always came back every October on Patty Loveless Day to
kick off the White Water Rafting event which takes place in Elkhorn
City," said Gibson. "Although we still have the
rafting, we haven't had Patty Loveless Day in the last few years but
if I'm elected Mayor I hope to start Patty Loveless Day again and do
a lot of things to make Elkhorn City a place to really be proud of."
When signs were erected along Country Music Highway 23, A sign bearing
the name Patty Loveless was erected at Elkhorn City. At that time Loveless
came back to Elkhorn City, spoke and gave a concert in the high school
auditorium with all the proceeds going to the lunches for underprivileged
children and for scholarships. She came back to do this for the next
two years. One year she brought Vince Gill with her as a surprise guest.
Another year she brought The Wilburn Brothers and Ralph Stanley.
Loveless sings with the wisdom of Dolly Parton and the innocence of
Loretta Lynn and it all comes out as one of countrys most powerful
and unique singers. She makes Kentucky proud.