25 Artists More Deserving of Opry Invitation Than Darius Rucker

October 2, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  91 Comments

On Tuesday night (10-2-12) Brad Paisley popped out of the crowd at the Grand Ole Opry and surprised everyone by presenting former Hootie & The Blowfish frontman turned pop country star Darius Rucker with an invitation to become the Grand Ole Opry’s newest member. The invitation came a week after Gaylord Entertainment’s $210 million sale to Marriott International was approved by shareholders.

As a frame of reference, you can cull through the vast Saving Country Music archives, and aside from maybe a passing comment, you will find no ill will towards Hootie around here, no negative reviews or features of any sort. No matter what you think of the man, he’s generally kept his nose clean over the years, understanding that he is privileged to be amongst the mainstream country ranks, and no, not because of his race.

The problem with this invitation is that he is a country interloper, a carpetbagger who came to the genre like so many others to save a dying pop rock career. And we don’t even know how long he will stay. He said in late July that Hootie & The Blowfish are reuniting and recording new music. But here we are, handing Hootie country’s most coveted invitation with a lifetime guarantee when there’s so many other artists out there so much more deserving.

And the invitation is so obvious. It’s a headline maker. How about showing the man some respect by letting him earn the invitation, as opposed to using him as a prop for a publicity blitz? It is good that the Opry finally has another black member, but not that it is being done this way.

SCM’s Top 25 Artists Deserving Opry Membership

  1. Hank Williams
  2. Willie Nelson
  3. Merle Haggard
  4. Dwight Yoakam
  5. George Strait
  6. Miranda Lambert
  7. Jamey Johnson
  8. Lee Ann Womack
  9. Hank Williams Jr.
  10. Zac Brown
  11. Kellie Pickler
  12. Rosanne Cash
  13. Ronnie Dunn
  14. Dale Watson
  15. Mark Chesnutt
  16. Jo Dee Messina
  17. Sam Bush
  18. Elizabeth Cook
  19. Easton Corbin
  20. Jack Ingram
  21. Gene Watson
  22. Josh Abbot
  23. “Cousin” Kenny Vaughan
  24. Eli Young
  25. Aaron Tippin


And after sleeping on this list, 6 other names that probably deserve to be on it somewhere:

  • Billy Joe Shaver
  • Kris Kristofferson
  • Robert Earl Keen
  • Asleep At The Wheel
  • Gary Stewart
  • And though nowhere near the top for sure, but still probably more deserving than Darius – Taylor Swift

And just in case you were wondering where Hootie would be on my list? Well, you have to fast-forward pretty far…

722. Goo Goo Dolls

723. 80’s one hit wonder band “Mister Mister”

724. Limahl – The guy that sang the theme song to The NeverEnding Story. This dude:

725. Darius Rucker

726. Billy Ray Cyrus’s mullet

727. Garth Brooks’ enlarged prostate

728. Kid Rock

I tried to be practical when making my list, but if all things were equal (and taking into consideration the Opry’s family friendly environment), here are some names from the underground/independent country world that would deserve an Opry nod:

  • Wayne “The Train” Hancock
  • James Hand
  • Caleb Klauder
  • Rachel Brooke
  • Lucky Tubb
  • Caitlin Rose
  • Justin Townes Earle
  • Whitey Morgan
  • JB Beverley
  • Chris Scruggs

Who would you like to see in the Grand Ole Opry?

91 Comments to “25 Artists More Deserving of Opry Invitation Than Darius Rucker”

  • Honestly what do you expect? It truly hasn’t been the Opry for a long time.

    • What does Kathy Mattea have to do to get in, Two number songs of the YEAR and many huge hits.

  • 1. roni stoneman

    not knocking your top 3 but inviting roni would be a way for nashville to finally show the stoneman family some respect.

    • Hey, no worries. It’s just my stupid list. We’ll all have different ones.

      • Gary Stewart,good call

      • Your top 5 is spot on man Gary Stewart, chesnutt and watson as well. If they are all about being hip and new, I dont see a damn thing wrong with Pickler, Corbin, and Zac Brown. As far as mainstream goes they do country some justice………As a actual Kid Rock fan it made me chuckle. I do see your point. dont always agree with you but some good picks.

  • I would add Chris Young and Sunny Sweeney to the list as well.

    And then there is another artist I would add, an artist who over the last 4 years has expanded country music’s audience more than any other artist, but just mentioning her name in the same sentence as the Opry would constitute high blasphemy on this site, so I will refrain…

    • Those are two good names. The point of the Opry is supposed to be to take artists that are good and put them over the top, and those two artists fit that mold. Instead the Opry nowadays wants to see someone become a bona-fide country music franchise, and only then do they give them the nod.

      I almost put Taylor Swift on the list somewhere between 20 and 25. If I had stretched it out to 30, she probably would have been on there. The problem with Taylor is not that she’s not good or not deserving, it’s that in the end she’s just not country enough. But I think Taylor Swift is WAY more deserving than Darius Rucker simply because however country she is or isn’t, she’s worked her whole life (however short) in the genre, while Rucker is an interloper with one foot in.

      Make no mistake, Swift will be an Opry member someday, unless she doesn’t want to be. In the end, that’s the reason that Merle, Willie, and George Strait aren’t. But I believe these men are such legends, they deserve the recognition even if they don’t or can’t fulfill their Opry obligations.

      • “I almost put Taylor Swift on the list somewhere between 20 and 25. If I had stretched it out to 30, she probably would have been on there.”

        Uh oh! Now you have committed the ultimate blasphemy! Prepare to be burned at the stake by your own readers! Not even King Arthur can save you! :)

  • BTW, have you heard “Merry Go Round” by Kacey Musgraves? I just heard it on the radio about a week ago and it truly stunned me. I have never heard such a cynical song about tradition and the country lifestyle on country radio, or even in any of the old country songs that I have heard for that matter. It truly seemed like the ultimate “anti-country” song. Playing such a song to a country music audience definitely takes guts.

    Are you planning to do a review of the song? I think you would find it very intriguing.

      • This harkens back to the Seeker vs Dweller comment I posted a few months ago. Country music has always served as the core musical choice for Dwellers, and therefore a hard-core Seeker song like this is truly groundbreaking in the country format. Frankly, the fact that country radio is actually playing this song provides a ray of hope for the future of mainstream country music.

      • Check out the song “John Prine” by her too

  • As far as Darius being that far down on your list… I’d kind of have to disagree.

    I didn’t listen to Hootie and The Blowfish when they were popular in the 90s. Hell, my dad wouldn’t have allowed it because it wasn’t country or his beloved Beach Boys (pretty much the only non-country he likes).

    I actually bought “Cracked Rear View” last year, or the year before that. Surprisingly enough, it’s an album that is every bit as current now, nearly two decades after it’s release, as it was then. That makes it a rarity when it comes to 90s music, as a lot of it didn’t have much staying power, and there were a ton of one-hit-wonders in that decade.

    Not only that, but it’s MORE country that most mainstream country now. In fact, if it was released today it would play on country stations, and most of your Taylor Swift/Carrie Underwood/Rascal Flatts loving crowd would call it TOO country.

    Am I saying it actually IS country?

    Hell no.

    But The Opry could and absolutely HAS done far worse than Darius Rucker lately, both as performers and members. I don’t disagree that his being invited is premature, and possibly politically motivated, but I think you exaggerate just how “grievous” this is. Hell, Elvis performed on the Opry stage with songs that were less country than what H&TB put out.

    Oh, and I don’t know where I’d put him, but Kevin Fowler deserves an Opry invite if we’re all making our dream lists.

    • Rucker being that far down the list is obviously a joke. I’m not sure where I would put him on a list if I strung it out past 25, but I would put many other artists who’ve shown dedication to country throughout their entire career before him. Rucker started in pop rock, and may end up there again depending how the winds blow. I don’t have any problem with Hootie & The Blowfish, and you’re right, his album probably is more country than most mainstream fare. But this is the most coveted invitation into one of the most important institutions in all of music. There are artists and musicians who’ve worked their whole careers, since they were little kids to get into the Opry, yet Rucker flips genres and all of a sudden gets in. As much as I hated the Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban inductions, at least they made some sense because they had been playing in the genre many years.

  • Jerry Reed, John Prine, Wayne Hancock, Glenn Campbell….I’m waiting for them to kick Randy Travis out for his recent brushes with the law.

    • Not untill he shows up there drunk. I would have included Whitey Morgan & The 78’s on the list.

    • Well, Jerry Reed is dead, and Glenn Campbell is officially retiring, so…

      I tried to be practical with my list, but I can definitely see John Prine as a legitimate candidate.

      If all things were equal and underground artists had a legitimate shot (and taking into consideration the Opry’s “family friendly” environment, I’d induct:

      Wayne “The Train” Hancock
      Rachel Brooke
      Caleb Klauder
      James Hand
      Whitey Morgan (as long as he kept it clean)
      Lucky Tubb (As long as he kept sober)
      Billy Joe Shaver (a name I probably should have included on the list up top)
      Chris Scruggs

      Some more I’m missing for sure, but that’s a start.

  • If I remember correctly, I think Merle Haggard has repeatedly refused invites from the Opry since the 70s or 80s because of the way the institution shits on more deserving artists.

    • I don’t care if they want to be in or if they’re able to fill their Opry “obligations” (one reason some big stars that don’t live in Nashville turn an invite down), to not have Willie and Merle in there is an atrocity. If Merle turned them down because he doesn’t want to be associated, then they should change their ways until he accepts.

      • Agreed.

      • Willie was a member of the Opry during the Nashville Sound era though, but that membership didn’t last that long.

  • Add Waylon as someone who turned down an invite.

    • The fact that these guys refused is solid proof that the Opry is a joke. These are the names you (should) think of when you think country music. After looking at the Country Music HOF, there are some big names missing on that list as well.

      • I feel two different ways about induction to the Grand Ole Opry and the Hall of Fame. I like the exclusivity of the HOF, and though there are some folks I’d like to see in there that are not, this is better than seeing folks in there that shouldn’t be. As for the Opry, if I was in charge, I might induct 20 new people tomorrow. There seems to be a ton of glaring omissions. Part of the reason I see more with the Opry than the HOF is because the Opry really hasn’t been inducting many people in the past few years, much less than the HOF. One of the reasons for this I think is a Human Resources issue with Gaylord (now Ryman Hospitality) stemming from the Stonewall Jackson lawsuit. They no longer want to make members who they feel won’t be self-sustaining later in their careers.

  • I surely thought Michael Jackson Montgomery would’ve made your list Triggerman.

  • […] Strait is on their list of  “25 Artists Deserving Opry Membership.” Wait, George isn’t a member? No, he isn’t. From what I’ve read, to become a […]

  • Nice list!

  • RE Keen? Lovett? I could make a small argument for Fowler…

    • Very good catch on REK and LL.

      I would also add Jerry Jeff to the list.

      Viva Terlingua was the first country album I ever owned and it started me on the path to loving true country music.

    • Robert Earl Keen was the name that popped into my head after writing this last night. Him, along with Billy Joe Shaver and Kris Kristofferson for sure deserve to be on there.

      • How the hell did Kristofferson slip my mind?

  • Gary Stewart is a must.

    So is DAC.

    Hellbound Glory.

    Dallas Wayne.

    Kris Kristopherson.

    Pat Green.

    Cory Morrow.

    I also think that Mickey and the Motocars and its brother band, Reckless Kelly, are very strong, albeit in more of the country rock category.

    • Good list.

      The reason I didn’t include Hellbound Glory is because I don’t think they would fit the Opry’s “Family friendly” environment. I was trying to be practical. BUt the talent is certainly there.

      I’d only accept Pat Green if he’d stop bleaching his hair and stop trying to be the Rascal Flatts of Red Dirt.

      • Pat is bleaching the hair these day for sure. I’ll say this for the guy when he hits the stage he still plays a raw loud and very swagering set not much different than back in the day. When he plays the major label stuff there is a bee line for the restrooms or another beer. He’s most likely to much past his mainstream prime for todays opry anyway.

        • The hair-bleaching is definitely a problem.

          I don’t know why someone would intentionally try to look like a Beta male.

  • I like your picks and don’t believe Darius is deserving. The Opry has not been inviting members lately based on how good or country they are. They’ve lost credibility in my book.

  • Buddy Miller. He gets “tagged” with the Americana label, but he’s one of the most country artists in the Americana world. Great country singer, too.

    Ditto, Jim Lauderdale.

    I see Elizabeth Cook on your list. I think she has played at the Opry over 300 times.

    • But she’s (Elizabeth Cook) not a member. Doesn’t have the celebrity starpower, I guess.

      • Elizabeth Cook is a perfect example of someone who is a no brainer for the Opry. 300 times she’s played and you can’t give her the nod? She’s pretty, she’s young, she would be a great fit of bringing both substance and accessibility, and it would be a great boost to her career.

        • I think she is the ex girlfriend of the opry manger Pete fisher so I don’t think we will see her anytime soon. The Opry is more interested in selling tickets instead of who has talent which is sad.

  • Speaking of Caleb Klauder; what is he doing? I see on his website that he is touring in the same old places. Where’s his new album? Why can’t he venture out of his same old venues? I truly count him as one of my top favorite new country talents, and I haven’t gotten anything out of him in a few years.

    • Is Caleb Klauder; a member of the Fog horn string banc?

      • Yes, he’s in the Foghorn Stringband and has also been touring with Cajun Country Revival. I saw both projects a couple of months ago at the Pickathon Festival and they were both great. Like a lot of these guys, with a greater marketing push he could blow up.

        • I saw the foghorn string band at a Bluegrass festival once they were very impressive.
          In fact Mike Seeker was in the audience for their set.

          Thats what’s so cool about bluegrass artists are able to watch other artists without being mobbed my fans.

  • Just want to point out that Charley Pride was the second black Opry member when he became a member in 1993.

  • I don’t think Rhonda Vincent is a member either even though she’s played there a million times.

  • Elizabeth cook is the ex girl friend of Pete fisher the manger of the opry so I don’t see her getting an invite anytime soon. This whole thing is a farce. Before I heard this news I thought it was an earthquake. Now I know it was Hank Sr rolling over and over in his grave.

  • It is truly sad but par for the course. It ain’t changing anytime soon either.The process these days is indeed a farce.I’m going to be physically ill. This disgusts me. Trig your list is a good one. I would include Randy Rogers Band on that list although there latest single drives me crazy at least the video is cool. REK would be a good one too. Jerry Jeff Walker would turn it down he only plays a few times a month these days. Doesn’t matter anyway the only one of those three that might get an offer would be RRB but i’d seriously doubt it.

  • The fact is, until pete fisher is put out on his ass, the Opry is irrelevant in a current context. It’s all about record sales and demographics now. Dale Watson has more opry appearances than some Opry Members do, and yet he’s never been invited. there are many artists deserving, yet we get trace adkins and darius rucker. Trace adkins was on the other night doing a new song that was the ‘go amerca laundry list song’ it was crap. I’ve been lucky enough to perform on the opry a couple dozen times, and to me, just being invited to guest is one of the highest accolades I could hope to achieve. Yet, I feel like they’re handing out Opry memberships to people who are indifferent towards it at best.
    some artists that deserve a membership:
    Dale Watson
    Radney Foster
    Rodney Crowell
    Asleep at the Wheel
    Ray Price
    Mandy Barnett
    Bobby Bare Sr.
    George Ducas
    Jim Lauderdale

  • My vote is for Gene Watson. He would be overly deserving

  • I like the fact that Easton Corbin is on the list. Maybe if he continues to make records and a few more number one hits, he might get recognized enough to be in the list. The problem with some of those guys, George Strait for example, is the fact that he lives in Texas and can’t perform enough times in Nashville to get inducted.

  • It is a crying shame Haggard and Willie aren’t members. Some more I’d like to add thoughts for: John Anderson, Sammy Kershaw, Tracy Lawrence.

    Kind of shocking Strait, Lee Ann Womack, Hank Jr, and Mark Chesnutt aren’t already members.

    Even mainstream country artists like Chesney, Gary Allan, and Sara Evans are more deserving.

    If were going to add artists who have passed on to the list: Vern Gosdin , Keith Whitley.

  • Townes Van Zandt
    Blaze Foley
    John Prine
    Chris Knight
    Steve Earle

    Of course, if Blaze Foley was alive and invited to be a part of the Grand Ole Opry, he’d probably just laugh and wipe his ass with the invitation. The Opry nowadays is beneath most of these people listed

  • i cant really think of anyone else aside from everyone already listed.

    maybe doug supernaw he’s pretty good.

    • until Doug cleans himself up I don’t think he will be a member anytime soon.

  • Ha! Excellent post. It’s not a race thing, it’s a longevity thing. If I’m not mistaken Cook has played the Opry over 100 times. 100 TIMES! What more do they need?

    I would out Gram Parsons near the top of that list, though he probably wouldn’t give a shit.

  • …reading over comments re: Cook, 3000 TIMES!!!

    Add Dwight Yoakam to that list, though he probably doesn’t give a shit either.

  • Let’s go burn ole Nashiville down
    Set it all aflame
    BBQ the greedheads
    Made country weak and tame
    Burn burn Nash Vegas
    Char it’s rancid soul
    Burn burn Branson too
    Make it a big black hole

    Country music is killing itself
    Tryin’ to be what it ain’t
    Garth Brooks sells as many as Manilow
    Lee Greenwood is a saint

    Burn burn Jimmy Bowen
    Damn your puny soul
    Burn burn Jimmy Bowen
    Country can’t be sold

    Any fool can wear a hat
    And not move when they play
    But the lonesome howl of the white trash wolf
    Can’t be heard today

    Burn burn the fake cowboys
    The Vegas showbiz shit
    Burn burn Branson too
    Sold your soul for a hit

    Let’s go burn ole Nashville down
    Burn it to the ground
    Let’s go burn ole Nashville down
    Save the country sound
    Burn burn soulless swine
    Crossover idiot pukes
    Burn burn lyin’ cheaters
    Country don’t have flutes

  • Lets not mince words. In this PC, image-driven, guilt-laden world in which we live, Darius Rucker is a member not because of some achievement, but only because he is black.

  • What about Hank 3 or Billy Don Burns?

  • i was surprised to see Josh Abbott made your list. I think he’s only played the Opry once.

    This was my list:
    George Strait, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Jr., Kris Kristofferson, Don Williams, John Anderson, Lynn Anderson, Asleep at the Wheel, Bobby Bare, TG Sheppherd, T. Graham Brown, Glen Campbell, Rodney Crowell, Janie Fricke, Crystal Gayle, the Judds, Brenda Lee, Kathy Mattea, Willie Nelson, Ray Benson/Asleep At The Wheel, Randy Owens or Alabama, LeAnn Womack, Ray Price, the Statler Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Tanya Tucker, and Dwight Yoakum…just to name a few.

    Who are those old ass un-hip people anyway? Why should we give a crap about them?

    I guess most of those COUNTRY legends are retired from performing and can’t or won’t perform 10 times a year, so there is really no reason they should be given the “highest honors for a country musician” no matter what they have done for the genre in the past or how many of the current members they inspired to become the artists they are today.

    You’d think the Opry would have an “honorable mention” membership or a “participant” trophy they could give all the people that are worthy, but can’t sell tickets to the shows.

  • You have to lay the opry alot to be inducted right?

  • To accept the official obligation to the Opry induction, you have to be available to perform at least once a month even in the height of your career. Some of the names you’ve mentioned wouldn’t be interested in that commitment, it’s not just about who deserves it or not. It involves a lot of time invested some can’t make. They probably knew he’s able to perform often thus the invitation. It is also not a lifetime commitment, you can be let go as many of the oldsters were, fired, or withdraw if you need to. True he isn’t the first to deserve it but there must be an underlying reason he was chosen that isn’t immediately apparent. He is an exceptional talent with a wonderful voice, he’s not a phony that’s for sure.

  • To merely answer the initial query,. Buddy Miller, for his vocals, guitar, songwriting and production (though perhaps not in htat order?).

  • I forgot to mention Guy Clark and Gary P. Nunn (who just came out with a new CD).

  • This is one of the dopiest things I’ve ever read.

    Of your top 5 artists “deserving” membership: #1, Hank Williams–I hate to break it to you but he’s, um……, dead;. #’s 2 through 5, Willie, Merle, Dwight and Strait: Are you saying that they’re not members? I’ll take your word for it, but did it cross your mind that the reason they’re not members is not that they haven’t been invited, but rather that they choose not to be?

    Despite the fact that artists are typically “surprised” by Opry invitations, which are given to them while they’re on stage, do you think that maybe those invitations are discussed with the artists beforehand—and the invitations are given publicly only to artists who’ve indicated that they would accept?

    • Let me speak bluntly. I don’t give a shit what the rules for Opry membership are. Yes, I know what they are, but there are plenty of names on the current list of members who don’t, can’t, or wouldn’t follow the rules either. Do you think Garth Brooks plays The Opry 10 times a year? He probably hasn’t played there in 10 years.

      Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard aren’t illegitimate because they are not Opry members, it is the Opry that is illegitimate because they aren’t. Screw the rules, you make them members because without them, The Opry means nothing. And if they don’t want to be members, then you right the ship until they do. And yes, a dead guy should be a member because without him, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

      And barring the top 5 names, the majority of the people on that list would be willing to follow the Opry’s rules to be members. In fact as has been pointed out by other commenters, many of them already do play more than 10 times a year. With people like Sam Bush and Elizabeth Cook, they grew up dreaming of the day they could play the iconic country music institution, working tirelessly at their craft for dozens of years. Then Hootie cuts a country record to save his dying career and cuts right in front of them in line. Quite honestly, it makes me sick.

      • Jackson Taylor Band!!!!!! (not family friendly….other than that….AWESOME!)

  • Just like the Grammys, it appears that a corrupt ‘In Crowd’ gives out the rewards,
    and quality is not the first prerequisite for entry into the Country Music Hall Of Fame
    any more. Sales, politics and compliance seem to be more important.
    I nominate the two greatest female singers in the history of country, who can’t get a recording contract with a major label because they have too much artistic integrity for teenagers ( the coveted dempgraphic ):
    1. Suzy Bogguss
    2. Mandy Barnett

    • “quality is not the first prerequisite for entry into the Country Music Hall Of Fame
      any more”

      Are you referring to the CMHOF or the Grand Ole Opry? I think most of us believe that the CMHOF still places a premium on quality and tradition, whereas the Opry’s admission standards have declined.

  • Kacey Chambers. From Australia, and she can go from popcountry to real country and bluegrass without losing any credibility. Her new cd Wreck and Ruin (with husband Shane Nicholson) will be on my best of the year-list.
    Having daid that, I really only care about my own personal Hall of Fame, I don’t need no Opry-institute to tell me what’s country enough.

  • I stand corrected. I didn’t know about the ‘once a month’ appearance requirement.
    It’s worse than I imagined. The Opry makes no sense.
    By theway, what’s the ‘Burn In Hell Jimmy Bowen’ lyric all about? I know he fought for control at Capitol with Garth, and became seriously ill as a result, retiring in Arizona. What was his role in the ‘breakup’ of the Capitol roster?

  • isn’t Gary Stewart dead?

  • Unless there are two of them, Gary Stewart has been dead for about eight years. Sadly he died from his own hand in his West Palm beach,Fla. home. Great performer!

    What about Wynn Stewart,Mel Street and Vernon Oxford.True country artists not this panty-hose crap they do now- a- days. Was Big Al Downing a member,he certainly deserved to be, one the best in person entertainers ever to take the stage.

  • Speaking of Elizabeth Cook she on both shows. on Saturday night. Why she isn’t a member. Has to be politics .

  • Dolly Parton should invite Kenny Rogers. Surely he has proven himself by now. Let’s not wait until he dies.

  • Even though he has called them out several times and started a campaign against them, Shelton Hank Williams should be more considered. Who else would be better to wave the flag of True Country music than the grandson of the king? They wouldn’t take kindly to his music, but the Opry should be trying to swing from his nuts. The south is all about tradition and it’s time the crown is handed down.

  • Some of you are confusing the Grand Ole Opry with the Country Music Hall of Fame. To be an Opry member you have to be invited and then commit to playing there several times a year. In other words, all Opry members are LIVING and still playing. George Strait & Merle Haggard, for instance, would surely be invited to join…but through the years have been unable to set aside the time to make it happen.

    The Country Music Hall of Fame is completely MERIT BASED and could apply to both living and deceased musicians. Hope this helps clarify things.

  • Yes. There are artist who should be in that are not,and some that are in and can’t believe they are,but saying Keith urban should not be is unbelievable.that man works so hard for country music.all for the hall.count the times he has been on the opry..he gives so much of his time and his dream was to go to Nashville and play the opry.he sells out very time he’s at the opry.so why should they not ask him.oh and he’s getting a big award I read about for doing so much for Nashville,does any other stars on your list bring in millions of dollors for the hall of fame.put in time at opry his wife Nicole was answering phones for the benefit for the opry when had flood.he have talked and taught children this year.for new program for the hall.gave time and money to St.judes.this is only some of the stuff he has done.so in my book just being a great country astist of today or many years ago.just don’t cut it.and if you are ask to join the opry and you say no.than you don’t love the opry.join and make it better.give your time. Like Keith and Vince gill.its not who you was or who you are.its what you do to make country music better.

  • 542: Chris Gaines.

  • This is a great post to use for creating a spotify playlist. Thanks!

    • Best I could come up with…

  • DAC doesn’t even get to play there. The Opry is a joke. When Rascal Flatts is in it tells you it’s a joke.

  • WOW, first off let me say I agree that there are tons of people that should be in the Opry, first and foremost Hank Sr…..but to degrade Darius for being asked to join the Opry is just so stupid on your part. I am a LIFE LONG country fan from Don Williams to Hank III, but I am also a fan of good music. And if you knew ANYTHING about Hootie and the Blowfish music then you would not call it Pop …..Alot of their songs had bluegrass and country sounds in it, and to be honest alot of todays country is more pop than ANY Hootie songs ever were. So I agree with your list of great country singers who should be asked to be in the Opry, but like Hank III sang “The Grand Ole Opry ain’t so Grand anymore” But learn your music before you put down a Southern band like Hootie and the Blowfish!!! And if your confused on good Country Music, come on down to the Carolina’s and we’ll give ya some sweet tea and some boiled peanuts and we will Show you some good music!!

    • I know a little about Hootie and the Blowfish. After seeing the video for “Hold My Hand,” I quickly went out and bought Cracked Rear View. Liked it a lot at first, but then I just grew bored with it. For me, they just didn’t have staying power like ther roots rock artists that I was into, like John Hiatt. Tried to trade it in at used CDs stores numerous times without luck. Once, I mentioned that to a store owner after he decided not to buy it from me. He said “Yep. Everybody bought it. Everybody wants to get rid of it.” So I guess I wasn’t alone.

      I love, love, love a lot of Southern bands. But Hootie? They were just OK to me. Mainly, it was that their songs didn’t hold me. My guess is that they were a great bar band at one time.

  • Dwight frickin Yoakam! Hoodie is whatever but Darius alone is much better and improved.

  • Holy hell, I can’t believe some of the names on your list of Opry outliers! I’d add Ricky Van Shelton and Clint Black to that list of possible names as well. Ricky is underrated and sadly forgotten nowadays.

  • Ray Wylie “Screw You [Nashville], We’re From Texas” Hubbard!!!

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