IFCO’s Loretta Johnson Passes; Visitation Set

Loretta Johnson died Monday, April 13, following a long battle with multiple myloma. She was 67 years old. With sisters Loudilla and Kay, Johnson was the co-founder of the International Fan Club Organization (IFCO). Begun in 1967, IFCO’s annual concert and get-together was the precursor of Fan Fair (now known as the CMA Music Festival). The IFCO show proceeds are always given to charities. The organization also gives out the annual Tex Ritter Award to deserving music-industry figures. The sisters created the original Loretta Lynn Fan Club, being attracted to the star because of the two Lorettas sharing the same first name. It became a model for country-music fan organizations, which led to the formation of IFCO. In recent years, the sisters have particularly concentrated on up-and-coming country artists.

Visitation for Loretta Johnson will take place Monday, April 20, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Clark Funeral Service in Beaver, Oklahoma. The funeral service will be at the town’s Baptist Church at 2:00 p.m. with burial to follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Elmwood, Oklahoma. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to The Loretta Johnson Medical Fund Contribution Account, Bank of America, 133 Franklin Road, Brentwood, TN 37027 OR mailed to IFCO – Loretta Johnson Medical Fund, P.O. Box 40328, Nashville, TN 37204.

Because of Loretta’s illness, the sisters have not been able to plan an IFCO concert for this year’s CMA Music Festival. Promoter Rod Harris has announced instead a show billed as, “For the Love of IFCO, a benefit for Loretta Johnson.”  It will take place on June 9 at The Nashville Palace.

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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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