Tayla Lynn knows her show Thursday night at the Waco Hippodrome carries the Memaw seal of approval.
Considering that Memaw is her grandmother Loretta Lynn and Lynn’s show pays tribute to her, that’s saying something.
Joining her is Tre Twitty, the grandson of another country icon, Conway Twitty, and the formal title to Thursday’s concert shows its intent: “A Tribute to Conway Twitty and a Salute to Loretta Lynn.”
Though both stars had long successful solo careers, those careers also saw them perform as one of Nashville’s more popular duos in the 1970s and 1980s, resulting in 10 studio albums recorded together and five No. 1 hit duets.
Between 1971 and 1981, the duo scored a dozen Top 10 country songs, half of which topped the charts: “After The Fire Is Gone,” “Feelins’,” “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” “Lead Me On” and “As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone.”
For Tayla Lynn, revisiting those songs, plus Loretta’s solo hits like “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” and “One’s on the Way” bring back memories of singing with her grandmother and tagging along with family members — her dad Ernie played guitar in Loretta’s band — at road shows.
“We’re not impersonators. We’re grandkids out there paying respect to our grandparents,” said Lynn, speaking from her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Lynn added that her grandmother helped pick out the songs she sings in concert.
The younger Twitty was only 16 when his grandfather, “Poppy,” died of an aortic aneurysm at age 59, but has an equally deep song legacy on which to draw: 36 No. 1 hits, most of which are love songs or breakup songs, including Twitty’s signature “Hello Darlin’ ” and “You’ve Never Been This Far Before.”
The two grandchildren have discovered their own performing chemistry in the years they’ve toured with their tribute show, performed with a live band, Lynn said.
In addition to her grandmother’s feedback, there’s the response of Loretta’s longtime fans that keep the younger Lynn in the right spirit to perform her music.
“I think I’ve gotten more confident doing her show. I was timid at the beginning,” she said. “I still have my own music, but I think these shows are more important to me because of her fans.”
Lynn, in fact, has an album of her own in the works, “Love, Momma,” a look at the influences in her life and recorded with Lynn’s mother Cindy in mind. Cindy Lynn died in July 2018.
In Waco, Lynn comes back to familiar territory and friends: She was part of the country trio “Stealing Angels” from 2007 to 2012 that also included Waco native Carolyn Cutbirth and John Wayne’s granddaughter, Jennifer Wayne.
“I know a lot about Waco. I’m so excited,” she said. “(Carolyn) is still one of my best friends . . . (The Cutbirths) adopted me into the family. I really love them.”