35 Artists More Deserving of an Opry Invitation Before Little Big Town

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Tonight (10-3) on the Friday night presentation of the Grand Ole Opry, Capitol Records recording group Little Big Town was surprised by Reba McEntire on stage and invited to become the newest members of country music’s most storied institution. Of course they accepted, and will be officially inducted on October 17th. Little Big Town for all intents and purposes is filling the membership spot vacated by Opry legend George Hamilton IV who passed away September 17th.

Now Little Big Town, like so many of the Opry’s newest members, can take the accolades and attention the distinction bestows, but not fulfill their performance obligations. Of course, nobody can guarantee this will happen, but we all know it will. Only appropriate that Reba would be the one to formally invite Little Big Town to the institution, since she is one of the Opry members that is most in arrears with meeting the solemn obligation to the institution of giving them at least 10 appearances a year, way down for the 26 appearances Opry members were asked for in 1963. According to Opry historian Byron Fay, Reba was recently quoted as saying she did not want to appear at the Opry because it “no longer fits her image.”

READ: Grand Ole Opry’s Newest Members Not Fulfilling Their Obligations

Though Little Big Town in no way represents the worst that country music has to offer in 2014 and have been singing and performing together since 1998, songs like their most recent single “Day Drinking,” or the unfortunate “Pontoon” in no way help either country music or the Grand Ole Opry put their best foot forward or preserve the roots and spirit of the genre or the institution. In fact when Reba came out on stage to offer Little Big Town the invitation, they were playing “Pontoon,” and Reba joined them in singing the word “Motorbotin’,” alluding to the activity of taking ones face, firmly ensconcing it into the bosom of a well-endowed woman, and blowing back and forth, immortalized by Vince Vaughan in the movie Wedding Crashers.

“I didn’t want to stop singing,” Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town said. “Who misses an opportunity to sing ‘motorbotin” with Reba? It was incredible.”

Though there certainly would be worse choices for the latest members of the Grand Ole Opry, here’s a list of 35 artists who would have been better picks in Saving Country Music’s humble estimation.

  1. Hank Williams
  2. Willie Nelson
  3. Merle Haggard
  4. Dwight Yoakam
  5. George Strait
  6. Kris Kristofferson
  7. Billy Joe Shaver
  8. Miranda Lambert
  9. Jamey Johnson
  10. Lee Ann Womack
  11. Hank Williams Jr.
  12. Zac Brown
  13. Kellie Pickler
  14. Rosanne Cash
  15. Dale Watson
  16. Mark Chesnutt
  17. Jo Dee Messina
  18. Sam Bush
  19. Kacey Musgraves
  20. Elizabeth Cook
  21. Easton Corbin
  22. Asleep At The Wheel
  23. Aaron Watson
  24. Gene Watson
  25. Gary Stewart
  26. “Cousin” Kenny Vaughan
  27. Lyle Lovett
  28. Sturgill Simpson
  29. Aaron Tippin
  30. Rhonda Vincent
  31. Radney Foster
  32. Chris Scruggs
  33. James Hand
  34. Brandy Clark
  35. Wayne “The Train” Hancock

And for the record, Little Big Town, according to Saving Country Music’s official Opry member endorsement aggregator, would have come in at #228 as a new member pick, right behind Earl Dibbles Jr.

Jim Lauderdale. He should be a member too.

Video of Reba Asking Little Big Town to Become Opry Members: