Thirty-six years ago today, on Oct. 1, 1986, Patty Loveless kicked off her run as one of the leading ladies of country music with the release of her eponymous debut album on MCA Records.

By the time that Loveless, born Patty Lee Ramey, released her first record, she was already a seasoned performer, having worked for several years with her brother, Roger Ramey, as part of the Singin' Swingin' Rameys; together, they performed all over their native state of Kentucky. Additionally, while still a teenager, Loveless toured on weekends with the Wilburn Brothers, and eventually became an official member of the group after she finished high school.

Patty Loveless album cover
MCA Records

In 1976, Loveless married Terry Lovelace and moved to North Carolina, where she played with her husband in a band -- but her eyes were always on Music City. After separating from Lovelace (they officially divorced in 1986), she moved to Nashville to fully pursue her music career. When her brother played her demo for the then-head of A&R at MCA Records, Tony Brown, Loveless quickly earned her first record deal.

Loveless' freshman project didn't garner any Top 40 hits, but it did introduce her to her current husband, Emory Gordy Jr., who produced Patty Loveless. The two wed in 1989.

Loveless earned her first two Top 10 singles, "If My Heart Had Windows" and "A Little Bit in Love," when she released her sophomore album, If My Heart Had Windows, in 1988. It was her third studio album, Honky Tonk Angel, also released in 1988, that gave the singer her first chart-topping single, "Timber, I'm Falling in Love."

To date, Loveless has notched 35 Top 40 singles and released 16 studio albums.

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