George Strait Isn’t a Grand Ole Opry Member. Has He Even Played?
If you want to get a shocked reaction from a country music fan, tell them that George Strait is not a member of the Grand Ole Opry. As country music’s most storied institution, and with George Strait considered arguably the most revered artist of a generation—so much so that he’s often referred to as the modern day “King of Country”—how could it be that he’s not a Grand Ole Opry member?
There’s actually a pretty simple explanation for Strait’s absence from Opry membership. As a Texas resident who has remained living outside of San Antonio throughout his illustrious career, it just wasn’t feasible for George Strait to become a Grand Ole Opry member. After all, members are expected to make regular appearances on the show. In previous eras, deadbeat performers would lose membership if they didn’t make the required amount of performances. These days, performers shirking their Opry dues are pretty common, especially among today’s mainstream performers, with little recourse unfortunately.
Living in Texas is the reason Willie Nelson is not a Grand Ole Opry member either, even though Willie was a member for a while when he was living in Nashville. Making his debut on November 28th, 1964, and joining as a member in 1965, Willie eventually gave up his membership when he moved back to Texas in 1972. “In order to say you’re a member of the Grand Ole Opry, which is a great honor, you had to be there 26 weeks out of the year,” Willie said in 2018. “You can’t play in Texas on Friday and get back to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night. It just don’t work out that way.”
But a question that arose around the recent airing of a special celebrating the Grand Ole Opry’s 95th Anniversary is if George Strait has even played the Grand Ole Opry before at all? After all, there doesn’t appear to be any photos or videos of him at the Opry if he has, and no public record of an Opry performance. On the Opry website where they list not just members, but performers at the Opry from the past and present, they include George Strait’s name, but there’s no information for him; not even a photo, let alone a date when he might have made his Opry debut like with many artists. During the Opry’s 95th Anniversary special, they had a segment about important debuts on the Opry stage, but George Strait wasn’t included in it.
So Saving Country Music reached out to Grand Ole Opry historian and archivist Byron Fay of the great Fafare’s Opry Blog to find out if George Strait has ever taken the hallowed Opry stage, and when. It turns out George Strait has made an appearance in the Opry circle, but only one.
“George Strait was on the Opry Saturday October 9, 1982. On the early show he was on the 8:30 segment and on the late show, he was on at 11:00. That appears to have been the only time he was on the Opry,” Byron Fay confirms. Fay also says that despite some rumors over the years you may have heard of perhaps bad blood between George Strait and the Opry, nothing was ever publicly acknowledged, and Strait’s lack of Opry appearances likely was just because Strait lived in Texas. His one appearance came when Hal Durham was the head of the Opry.
So there you go. Yes, George Strait did appear at the Grand Ole Opry in late 1982, when he was promoting his second record Straight from the Heart, and about a month after he released his single “Marina Del Ray.” But he only played it once—quite an anomaly for the guy many consider the modern “King of Country.”
February 16, 2021 @ 9:24 am
Why does he need the Opry? He sells out stadiums everywhere he goes, even outside of Texas. That’s pretty big for any artist, let alone the King of Country.
February 16, 2021 @ 9:36 am
I don’t think George Strait needs the Opry. If anything, perhaps the Opry needs George Strait, though as I said above, living in Texas, and now being retired, I’m not sure he should be obligated to play it either.
February 16, 2021 @ 5:42 pm
The opry is garbage. They let anyone in there.
February 17, 2021 @ 5:50 am
Shaun, you’re a meathead…
March 7, 2021 @ 9:06 am
I think being available 26 weeks is a bit silly. I mean I they should only have to perform a few shows to keep the honor while being able to do more if their schedule opens up.
Barbara G Efsic
February 23, 2021 @ 1:47 am
George Strait didn’t become an Opry member because of the number of times he would have to perform. He doesn’t live in Nashville. He had his life and Ranch and Family in Texas. He is the King of country. God Bless him!
February 16, 2021 @ 9:26 am
Don’t worry, King George–maybe The New King, Bobby K. Bones, will hook you up.
The King is dead, etc. . . . .
February 16, 2021 @ 8:33 pm
I love George Straight
February 17, 2021 @ 5:51 am
…another meathead to join Shaun, above
February 18, 2021 @ 10:01 am
Why’s everyone a meat head that likes George Strait? Don’t get it, or maybe you’re a fan of Meatloaf.
March 7, 2021 @ 9:32 am
Another moron heard from.
February 20, 2021 @ 1:33 pm
To George strait on Facebook
February 16, 2021 @ 9:31 am
If King George wants to play the Opry, I’m sure he can afford the plane fare a couple times a year. But why would George want to play there? It’s not like the Opry takes a public stand for genuine country music. As their choosing Bobby Bones to host the Covid broadcasts makes clear, the Opry has become just one more “organization” trying to make money off the youth demographic, when it should be run by someone like Marty Stuart.
February 16, 2021 @ 9:50 am
Every time I bring up the Grand Ole Opry, there seems to be this grand disconnect between traditional country fans and this institution, with a false idea that all the Grand Ole Opry is these days is Bobby Bones introducing Kelsea Ballerini and Sam Hunt. Nobody played the Opry more in 2020 than Vince Gill. No doubt contemporary artists are part of the Opry makeup, but the vast majority of the performers are traditional country artists from the past, and often when many of the contemporary artists take they stage, they sing a classic country song. I understand the Opry is not for everybody. But this idea that it’s just completely sold out is just not an accurate assessment. If anything, The Opry is struggling for relevancy as it tries to entice more big, current mainstream names to play and gets turned down.
February 16, 2021 @ 10:11 am
The Opry needs more George Strait instead of Diggin’ up (Bobby) Bones.
February 17, 2021 @ 7:21 am
I’ve always wondered if to George Strait a place like Greene Hall means more to him than the Opry? I have a bootleg of a show he recorded in Saugus MA. The sound is amazing and feels like you’re standing right there in the crowd. He covers quite a few Bob Wills songs, of course, songs about Texas and a heck of a cover of Mirrors Don’t Lie. The show gives you an idea of the type of Country music he enjoyed and that shaped him.
King Honky Of Crackershire
February 16, 2021 @ 11:10 am
…..”But this idea that it’s just completely sold out is just not an accurate assessment.”…..
Triggleisha is correct. The Opry is trying to keep one foot in the traditional lane, and one foot in the contemporary lane. They’re trying to keep one foot in the Tennessee lane, and one foot in the Trashville lane.
This is a failing business model, I believe.
I loved the Opry all my life, but I’m not gonna sit through one second of Karendaelsi Morriserinibertwood, just to hear a few songs by the C(c)ountry singers I enjoy. At the same time, I realize that teenage girls don’t wanna Whispering Bill.
The Opry is going to have to make a choice pretty soon, and pick a lane. I believe both lanes would be successful, but in different ways.
February 17, 2021 @ 9:44 am
But when my grandma was a teenager, they all wanted Bill Anderson. She’s got an autographed picture she took with him and it’s one of her prized possessions.
February 20, 2021 @ 8:37 am
The Grand Ole Opryland stands for traditional country music on which it was founded. This so called country music today needs to find its own genre. It is NOT Country Western music. I am NOT saying it is not good music, all I AM saying is that it is NOT C&W!!!!!!!!
February 16, 2021 @ 11:17 am
Trigger, I could not agree more. Look folks, its understandable to be a grumpy Country purist, I get it. ( Lord knows I’m that way) I wish all the Kane Browns, Hunts, Dan and Shays etc would go away forever and leave the genre alone. I really do. They add nothing to the real music.
But we all know that aint happening. As I see it, The Grand Ole Opry is one tradition that still exists and one you can depend on, week after week to deliver live music. In fairness, just last year there were numerous lineups on Saturday that delivered real Country Music mightily, without the distraction of Boyfriend or Bro or hip hop. We saw lots of Gill, lots of Marty Stuart, as well as Larry Gatlin, Jeannie Seely, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dailey and Vincent, Del McCoury, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou, T Graham Brown, Oak Ridge Boys, Trace Adkins, Reba, Josh Turner, Sierra Hull, Billy Strings, and some Ive forgotten to list. Overall, it wasn’t bad. Yes there were some nights I skipped altogether as the lineups were intolerable. ‘There were some strange inclusions of non country artists that were included for various reasons, and for that I don’t have a good defense.
So, The Grand Ole Opry isn’t doing it perfectly enough to suit the purists, I get it. But look at the lineups, many nights are quite strong on the traditional side. If you want to go see it live, go on a night when its mostly traditional artists playing, and go to the concession stand if a metro-bro act is onstage. Folks, we aren’t ever gonna have it ALL our way. The Opry has to make money, fill seats weekly and not just be the venue of gray hairs. It could be much, much worse, believe me.
As for George Strait, IMO he has really shorted himself and the fans the opportunity to be a part of something magical and historical. How can the Opry mean nothing to someone who has devoted their entire life to this music? Thats really a question many of these veterans should be asking themselves. Could George possibly do a few appearances a year to at least pay tribute to this this great, storied American Institution? One would think so.
February 28, 2021 @ 2:34 am
George King can and will do like he as aways done.
Please his fans …
the songs he sings and plays his owe way
For his owe fans.
He is SPECIAL.
February 16, 2021 @ 2:18 pm
Fair enough, Trig. You know the place better than I do, but I stand by my impression that it could be doing a whole lot more to stand up for real country music than it’s doing right now. Honky is right in his post below.
February 16, 2021 @ 6:29 pm
Some may I jump in. I two prefer the older type of country music that is what I grew up on. I’m 55
While yes I dont really care for most of these newer artist out now a days. There “country” to me is not the real stuff just a bunch of fluffed up noise. Also if you look back how many of you can say oh that was so so while if your driving down the road and you sing along to a dolly tune it Johnny cash. all of the older artist have staying power in your brain not like these new and up comers. Sometimes I hear a new song a d wonder what the hell is that. Especially the one out now something about I got drunk got my girl friend prengrite then there a baby in a baby carriage. Bone these new kids coming out will have the power or will hold that power along as the older ones. Reba dottie west Barbara mandell johnny cash johnny Horton’s tex Ritter kitty wells I could go on but I’m sure you know my drift so let’s all hoop it for the good old stuff now the new want to bes
February 19, 2021 @ 12:18 pm
Okay I’ll get in this.I don’t know what the hell this new country music 🎶.I personally don’t like it’s not country music.I do not listen to it.King George and Alan Jackson sang it all.In the Duo Murder Down on Music Row.King George and Alan Jackson what a duo
February 17, 2021 @ 12:35 pm
Just curious, I know Waylon Jennings had played the Opry (no idea how many times), but was Waylon a member?
February 17, 2021 @ 1:52 pm
I don’t believe so.
February 16, 2021 @ 10:09 am
I love the Opry as much as anyone else; and the traditional side. But, Bobby Bones helps draw a new crowd of people to the Opry. While a bunch of people might want it to stay strictly “Traditional” that would be fine. But, the Opry would die a slow death if no contemporary artists performed there.
King Honky Of Crackershire
February 16, 2021 @ 11:38 am
I don’t wanna make you blue, but you are wrong.
Yes, Bunghole Bobby does bring in a new crowd to the Opry, but as soon as that new crowd hears Gene Watson sing “Farewell Party”, they all say “farewell” to the Opry, because they don’t like C(c)ountry music. Additionally, for every new fan Bunghole Bobby brings, there’s probably 3 that he runs off.
The Opry is gonna have to pick a lane and run with it if it wants stay open for another 50 years.
If the Opry were to re-establish itself as THE premier C(c)ountry music show for rural America, it would bring back a generation of people like me who have largely tuned out. Imagine if the typical Saturday night included the biggest stars in the traditional Country world, like the ones we read about on this site, along with all the living legends, and the stars of the Bluegrass world. Imagine if the most offensive thing we heard on the Opry was Luke Combs or Eric Church, or Maddie and Tae. The Opry would make a comeback, the likes of which you can’t imagine. Do you have any idea how many people are starved to death for a C(c)ountry music show they can relate to?
Conversely, the other path would be equally as successful, but in a different way. Get rid of the past, get rid of the legends, and embrace modernity whole hog. Forget about C(c)ountry fans, and make it a show only the young and urban.
What they’re doing now, trying to appeal to two different worlds, won’t work for much longer.
February 16, 2021 @ 1:12 pm
Honky, I like your vision for the Opry, where it goes full blown traditional. That would be utopic for me, personally. You could also include the Texas Red Dirt artists in that , which would bring some youth and vitality to The Opry. And maybe by doing that you attract some of the younger demographic. We can hope this happens. Realistically, the way things tend to go, I don’t feel optimistic of that happening. Too much money in Trashville’s approach.
As for your thought that Country music should only be for the true rural people, well we could debate that vigorously. I could make an interesting case that Chet Atkins urbanized the music for financial gain when he introduced the Country-politan sound. In fact that was his point and intent. He wanted it to be mainstream. Then you had the Outlaw era which got hippies into the music, and the Urban Cowboy era which revived mainstream interest in it. I don’t see Country Music going backwards in terms of appeal neccesarily, though I do think the ongoing political divide has produced a chasm between heartland middle America and the coastal wealthy elites, who genuinely do not understand the working class, who are more apt to be Country Music listeners.
But as to the universal appeal of Country Music, I have met fans from Europe who have an encyclopedic knowledge of it. I’ve had interesting discussions inside Nashville Honky-Tonks with Brits who can tell you everything about The Wilburn Brothers, Delmore Brothers, Carter Family, Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Webb Pierce, but have zero knowledge of anything after 1970.
And just the other day I was in a record store hunting dusty country vinyl for my collection, and encountered a young man of very urban appearance, who clearly looked like he resided in the hip-hop culture, also digging through the Country bins and grabbing up numerous albums from classic Country artists. I was shocked honestly, but I smiled nonetheless. He wasn’t a hipster type, by any means, but a young man who clearly was doing a deep dive into great music. Is there room for that young man in our circle? I tend to think so. Especially considering he was coming at it from a very honest and inquisitive point of view. Yeah, Country music speaks to people of differing cultures because it tells stories about problems real people have and it has the power of touching the heart like nothing else.
February 16, 2021 @ 2:31 pm
I believe this very topic is covered in the Book that came with the first box set. Also, it has a cool picture of him there. I don’t know where my book is though….
October 31, 2021 @ 2:59 pm
Hell yes well said
strait country 81
February 16, 2021 @ 10:13 am
Well now i want it to stay the only time cause October 9th is my birthday and it would be cool to say that was the date of his only appearance.
February 16, 2021 @ 2:29 pm
That is pretty cool!
February 16, 2021 @ 10:31 am
Put Marty freakin Stuart in charge and have him replace bonehead. Can you imagine all the education viewers would receive in addition to great music? And I prefer the scarves to bonehead’s skinny tight jeans and boat shoes.
February 16, 2021 @ 7:45 pm
So I will just put my 2 cents out there. Years ago I worked with Charlie Louvin who at that time had been an Opry member for over 50 years. Anyhow years later and maybe about 5 or six years after Charlie had passed I had thought it would be fun to maybe work there part time a few weekends here and there doing backstage tours to talk about the Oprys rich history with people who had never been. Anyhow long story short the woman that interviewed me didn’t have a clue about who Charlie was and I just sat there in shock. Well a few days later I got offered the job which I then turned down because of that interview experience. The Opry is nothing like it used to be. Sad.
February 16, 2021 @ 12:35 pm
Few realize that many artists have always been “too big” for Opry membership, with a huge touring career or location keeping them from it. Tennessee Ernie Ford, Hank Thompson, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, George Strait, Tim McGraw, and Kenny Chesney all come to mind. Those reasons kept Mel Tillis and Charley Pride from joining for years, and it also was the ultimate reason Eddy Arnold, Lefty Frizzell, Jim Reeves and Willie Nelson left. I respect artists that can say, “The Opry is just not for me”. Look at the legends in the last 30 years who have only been Opry members basically on paper; Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, Tom T. Hall, Dolly Parton, and even George Jones and Loretta Lynn (both could have performed more). If the roster contained big caliber names that never appeared, we’d see nothing but guests and a possible demise of the institution. Artists like Billy Walker, Jeannie Seely, Jean Shepard, George Hamilton IV, Jimmy C. Newman, The Osborne Brothers, etc, are the ones who extended the life of the Opry. We’ll never see a generation as that again, supporting the Opry. And we’ll never again see Hall of Fame legends, such as Roy Acuff, Porter Wagoner, Hank Snow, Grandpa Jones, Bill Monroe, Little Jimmy Dickens, Minnie Pearl and others giving their end of touring twilight days to the Opry. The golden age of the Opry is over.
February 16, 2021 @ 1:57 pm
It appears to me that the golden age of the Opry ended when Marty Robbins and Ernest Tubb died. I love watching Marty Robbins’ Opry performances on youtube they’re legendary! With Marty Robbins it’s amazing he played the Opry so much with all the racing and touring he did! http://fayfare.blogspot.com/2011/12/remembering-marty-robbins.html
February 16, 2021 @ 2:44 pm
Leave Marty Stewart out of it!! He nor Connie Smith can sing good at all!! You just hear the same thing over and over from them !! They have grown a bit out of date!! Never had good songs anyway!!
February 16, 2021 @ 2:48 pm
And not to mention Marty Stewart needs to clean up and cut that nasty hair! Canine Smith needs to know she is not still in the seventies with her hair style too!!!
February 16, 2021 @ 2:53 pm
Strange moment to rail on Marty and Connie. What did they rat on you to the Homeowners Association or something?
February 17, 2021 @ 11:14 am
Mandy and Candy,
You both have issues. Seek professional help! If you knew how Marty’s peers hold him in high regard, and not just int eh country genre, you might be enlightened more than you both appear to be.
And with Connie Smith, she can sing better TODAY than nost of those a 1/3 of her age.
February 21, 2021 @ 11:30 am
I agree with a lot of people that country isn’t what it once was. Even some of the new artists don’t know half the old ones. For instance I watched a YouTube video of Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean. Luke starts singing Fishing in the Dark by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Jason admitted he hated him doing that because he always started singing songs he had no clue what they were. Now I’m gonna be honest I love Jason Aldean, but that comment hit me where it hurts. Who doesn’t remember the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band???????? I love them. And so many of the people that are called “Country” nowadays wouldn’t know Country if it slapped them in the face. Kane Brown, Colt Ford, just to name a few disgrace country music and should not be allowed to ruin what country has always stood for. Good whole music. And those two in particular are no good and definitely not good wholesome country. More like good wholesome crap. I think that George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Jeff Bates are the only 3 I can think of who actually sound anything like good country music. No I’m not knocking all the new people, just most of them. I can’t think of a single new female singer from the last 20-25 years that I would spend a nickel to see. There are a lot of newer male artists I can listen to and actually like, but their music still isn’t what I grew up on. I have never been to see an opry show and probably will never be able to, because I can’t afford it, but I have always known the opry to have the real country artists. I don’t have a clue who this Bobby Bones person is that you all are speaking of but I’m sure he isn’t Marty Stuart or any of the other great artists that would do a awesome job of hosting the show. Some of the people who are members shouldn’t be, and Garth Brooks is the main one I’m speaking of. I like his older music, but, I am a huge believer in Marriage is forever and since he done his wife like he did I have lost all respect for him, as well as Trisha Yearwood. Along with several other people, like Blake Shelton, his magazine comments towards his fans turned me off of him, and don’t get me wrong I do not like Miranda Lambert but in all fairness he done that woman wrong as hell. I also agree that Jason Aldean was wrong in his methods as well. I take serious offense to cheating, it was done to me in both my marriages and it’s a very hurtful things to go through on so many levels, and it just doesn’t include men cheating, I mean women also. Country Music was a pillar not only in music history, but in family values I feel like also. NOTHING IS LIKE IT USED TO BE. POLITICS RUN THE WORLD, BUT NOT IN A GOOD WAY, BECAUSE THERE ARE NO FAMILY VALUES IN GOVERNMENT ANYMORE AND THE ONLY PERSON WHO HAS BEEN TRYING TO CHANGE THAT WAS TRUMP AND WE ALL SEE HE WAS RAILROADED RIGHT OUT OF THE WAY!!!!!! MAYBE I’M GETTING WAY OFF BASE HERE BUT I THINK I AGREE THAT THE OPRY NEEDS TO PICK A LANE AND STAY IN IT. I BELIEVE THERE ARE ENOUGH PEOPLE STARVING FOR THE OLD WAYS OF COUNTRY THAT IT COULD SURVIVE, BUT I ALSO THINK THE OPRY SHOULD FIND OTHER WAYS TO KEEP IT ALIVE AND NOT JUST DEPEND ON PEOPLE FILLING SEATS, BECAUSE THE ECONOMY IS NOT GOING TO GET ANY BETTER WITH THE CRAP IN OFFICE NOW!!!!!!!!
February 16, 2021 @ 10:13 pm
WOW…Maybe get your hearing checked.
February 18, 2021 @ 9:52 am
Gr8 b8 m8
February 18, 2021 @ 12:12 pm
Connie Smith still has one of the best and most recognizable voices in all genres of music. She’s loaded with talent…regardless of whether you like traditional country music or her song choices. I dare say anyone with accurate hearing would agree.
February 16, 2021 @ 3:01 pm
Nope no ratting on me for nothing!! Just simply do not care for them!! Just like there may be some you may not care about and that’s my freedom of speech!! Yours too!!
Mac Sledge's Revenge
February 16, 2021 @ 7:21 pm
Sure, you have freedom of speech. Nobody is denying that. Simply questioning whether it was necessary to emphasize your distaste for their music by calling his appearance “nasty” and her “Canine.”
February 16, 2021 @ 3:34 pm
The bobby boners have shown up!
February 16, 2021 @ 4:24 pm
Trig, we are hearing bad news about power in Texas right now due to ice. How are things at SCM headquarters? You burning furnirure to keep warm?
February 16, 2021 @ 4:47 pm
Thanks for the concern. SCM headquarters has strangely not lost power yet, but many, many have. Did have a couple of pipes freeze and haven’t had home internet for 24 hours. But that nothing compared to the millions who haven’t had power in two days, and the hundreds, perhaps thousands that might die in this event.
February 16, 2021 @ 4:26 pm
In my opinion, another reason George Strait isn’t a part of the Opry has to do with his personality. He’s a huge name in country, sure, but also a very private person. Being a member of the Grand Ole Opry is also a very public membership. While he loves performing, he’s just as at home riding horses on his ranch. Being a member of the Opry can mean a lot of attention. George just isn’t one to ask for a lot of attention.
February 16, 2021 @ 6:45 pm
Alan Jackson is a member though..
February 16, 2021 @ 5:36 pm
Opry members are now asked to perform 12 shows a year. At one time it was 26. Memberships can be removed if number of appearances are not met and those memberships can be reinstated as well. I was surprised to see Garth on 95th anniversary show as he hasn’tappeared in decades last I heard. The Opry, legendary as it is, no longer carries the importance it once did. At one time, playing the Opry was a launching pad for an artist’s career. It’s still considered a huge achievement to be a member but most now days are well on their way to stardom when they receive the invitation to be a member (Lady A). To get into a nasty PR fight by removing someone’s membership just to show the Opry’s power would not benefit them.or the industry. The Opry no longer has that leverage. It’s still one of my favorite places to watch live music. I love that place! Concerts have out priced themselves. New country vs old country???? I guess every generation thinks this version is less country than the last. Labels have more to do with that than anything. “That Nashville Sound” from the 60s was seen as Not Country by many.Someone always comes along and reintroduces “traditional ” country sound. It’s always been about, and always will be about: what brings in the $$. Females 18-34 spend the most money on music. So look at today’s artist; they seem to reflect that. As for Marty, tremendous musician, historian and ambassador for the industry! If you havent watched The History of Country Music it’s worth the money to buy on Prime. I hate the George and others dont participate in the Opry. Each could benefit the other. Regardless, I love the Opry. I love the history of Country Music and whether I like the changing of the sound or not, I like to see where it’s going as long as they keep the connection to the people/sound that paved the way.
February 16, 2021 @ 6:52 pm
Luke Bryan should make a call and get George on the opry stage. After all, he said he would do that for an American Idol contestant recently.
I actually enjoyed that clip though, that 17-yr old Kentucky kid was pretty awesome.
February 23, 2021 @ 5:35 am
Garth Brooks and Trisha were on a couple of times last year during the pandemic!
February 16, 2021 @ 9:09 pm
George Strait is still the “Grandfather” of “Country”; and personally don’t give a sh-t where anybody lives! “Country” is country!
February 16, 2021 @ 10:06 pm
Love country music, have since I was 8 almost 80 now. Hank Williams was my favorite. As for George Strait not beening a member of the Opry, has anyone asked him why he is not a member. Would like to know his answer.
Rebecca Ann Cortez
February 17, 2021 @ 1:27 am
I love the old traditional country, also. I wish they would play one classic opry concert a week or to keep things real and to look back on, etc. I would absolutely adore that! As far as Georgie Straight goes; He’s so damn great, he can do whatever he wants to do!! Although, it would be fantastic to see him at the opry or anywhere, even if it was a rerun!! Love him. I love conway twitty, waylon, johnny, buck, dwight, and ROY CLARK, also!!!!
February 17, 2021 @ 7:39 am
Good info regarding requirements for Opryland membership. I spent much of the tv special trying to figure out why Ballerina was already a member, all the while Lady A was freaking out over their invite and seeing many others (IMO) that seem deserving. Now I know.
February 17, 2021 @ 9:19 am
I suppose the Oprey is a certain tradition. But being a Californian and closer to Buck Owens Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, the Oprey when televised once in awhile, seems irrelevant. I have been shocked by recent CMA andcanither Country Music awards shows with the wonderful almost rapping simple tune lyrics. While I think those are good artists, like Bib Dylan going electric at the famous Folk Music festival, I believe they are good, but are not traditional country nor a rock country like Shania Twain. I miss her sound and her lyrics too.
February 17, 2021 @ 10:47 am
The fact they have some of the newer performers joining and have older ones that still aren’t pisses me off. Also when they took away one’s membership due to her retirement and wouldn’t be performing any longer. Call BS! Their are others that have retired and still remain a member. The only, ONLY, reason she was stripped of her membership was because of her sexual orientation. That is why artist are afraid to come out and be honest about their lifestyle. Rant over…..
February 17, 2021 @ 10:58 am
I’m not sure it has any to do with it or not but you almost never so George Strait do any one off shows without the Ace In The Hole Band. It would seem strange to see him singing with the Opry band behind him instead. Just seems like a package deal like Merle and the Strangers or Buck and the Buckaroos
February 17, 2021 @ 11:53 am
You can bring your own band when performing.
February 18, 2021 @ 9:36 pm
This may be controversial for sure, but I just don’t believe Opry membership means anything when many of the genre’s greatest artists have never been members or have even really played the venue that often. I’ve toured the Opry House (though have never seen a show there) and while I get it’s impact on history – I just don’t view membership to it as anything of much import.
February 19, 2021 @ 11:36 am
Weren’t the CMAs hosted at the Opry every year for a while? If so, George Strait would have played on the stage for several of those.
I know that is different from what most consider “the Opry,” but it is the same venue.
February 19, 2021 @ 8:46 pm
Great read. This is something I’ve often wondered. I think it’s a very unique anomaly. One time in his entire career. Wow.
February 21, 2021 @ 8:55 pm
Sometimes I wonder if those who criticize the Opry have ever even watched a show. I’ve been several times now and have enjoyed each time. They have music representing older tastes as well as featuring up and coming stars. I can’t say I liked all the performers, square dancing just isn’t my thing. But there are those in the audience who love it. Take it all in, it’s a unique cultural experience. Not sure there are many places any more that honor past star performers and welcome new ones all in the same show anymore.
aside from George Strait, the one performer who should be a member in my ever humble opinion, should be Jamey Johnson. He’s always playing there.
February 25, 2021 @ 5:41 pm
George Strait is not a member of the Opry because he has no desire to be one. The rumor back in the 1980’s in town was he declined to an offer to join when they were signing Reba, Vince, and the new hot names; I can see his point. He doesn’t live in Nashville and probably sees no point in it given it’s more for to their advantage than his to be there. Even with them letting the “hot” names off the hook by not really requiring a minimum amount of appearances to keep their membership , why should he bother? Saturday night concerts bring in the big bucks and he’s going to work for scale or close to it just for publicity? Further proof Strait is one of the smartest men in the industry.
Keith E Hunter
March 5, 2021 @ 3:35 pm
I’m just glad Johnny paycheck made it in before he died. Now they just need to put him in the hall of fame.
May 18, 2023 @ 7:51 pm
Very interesting, pardon me for finding this late. I being of a certain age, will always consider Roy Acuff as the King of Country Music, likewise Kitty Wells as the Queen of Country Music. They were touted during their time, same as old George and others, just the others aren’t necessarily my brand of Country music. As far as the Grandfather of CM, Uncle Dave Macon fits that bill on the performance side and George D. Hay on the promoter side. Jimmie Rodgers, who theoretically began it all, as the Father of Country Music never set foot as far as is known in the Grand Ole Opry environs. I reside a mere 60 miles from Nashville, haven’t been to the Grand Ole Opry for many years, no draw for me there, all same sounding junk not worth listening to, so I don’t. There is a whole host of early performers whom have not been honored (as in Hall of Fame) and never will be likely, as some are rapidly approaching the hundred year mark when they were alive and performing. I suspect none of the folks voting performers into the Hall of Fame would know, who Darby and Tarlton, Fiddling John Carson, Riley Puckett and so many more are. Many early performers were off the farm or some other type of hard working employment, not necessarily so for many now. Johnny Cash is quoted as saying something akin to “You’ve got to have had that horseshit in your hands to do Country” or similar in vein. One writer above mentioned Marty Robbins, yes indeed, he was a master showman, I remember listening to him on Saturday nights when he wouldn’t stop at midnight but kept the show going right along. He could play to the crowd. Porter Wagoner, in his later days, was a showman also, as anyone who saw him on the Opry could attest to. Probably the greatest all around showman from all accounts was Uncle Dave Macon, said to be able to hold a crowd for two hours or more. Bear in mind, he only had a banjo, sometimes a sideman or two, but he was a Showman. He only started playing professionally after his half century mark, and was the biggest star of the early Grand Ole Opry for many years. —and a farmer he was! Country Music fell apart for me, with the ‘G. Brooks style of swinging through he jungle, busting instruments, smoke and all that crap appeared on the scene. Once upon a time, it was talent that held the crowd, not anymore apparently, its more show business in a bullshittery way. One can still see and hear genuine old time Uncle Dave Macon genre music at festivals, underneath the trees, folks still do it. Leroy Troy emulates the old style best as anyone!!