Jamey Johnson Officially Inducted Into the Grand Ole Opry

Many artists say that playing the Grand Ole Opry, and especially being inducted as an official member is something they dream of since they were young. But when you see them standing there in the hallowed circle in a backwards baseball cap and a T-shirt, tractor rapping about dirt roads, you’re not quite sure if you believe them, or if it’s something their manager told them to say.

But with Jamey Johnson, and especially with the way he’s become the premier torchbearer for traditional country over the last few years, whatever he says in the moment, you know it’s the God’s honest truth.

“I don’t have to tell y’all what this moment means to me. I’ve been talking about this moment since I was a kid,” Jamey Johnson said on the Grand Ole Opry’s Saturday night presentation (5-14), as Bill Anderson brought out a trophy officially commemorating Johnson’s Grand Ole Opry induction. “I ain’t a kid anymore. You can tell by the grey in the beard … I prayed for it every day and hoped it would come.”

The first time Jamey Johnson attended the Grand Ole Opry was in 1999 while in town for a job interview, and he watched legends like Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, and Porter Wagoner perform. When Johnson returned on September 10, 2005, it was to step into the hallowed circle for the first time to make his Opry debut. 17 years later, on March 19th, he was finally invited to become the 228th Opry member by Bill Anderson.

On Saturday night, Bill Anderson and Jamey Johnson sang the song “Give It Away” they wrote together before Anderson presented Johnson with the induction honor. Then Johnson launched into his signature song, “In Color.” Later in the presentation, Johnson sang the hymn “Near The Cross” with Ricky Skaggs, who was celebrating his own Opry moment on the night by marking his 40th Anniversary as an Opry member. Johnson said “Near The Cross” was the first song he ever learned to play, and was taught to him by his father.

“I know exactly how Jamey feels tonight; that was me 40 years ago,” said Skaggs. “I want to thank my precious wife Sharon and The Whites for being here. We can’t do this without family.” 

When Jamey Johnson made his debut appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, his daughter was only a one year old. Now Johnson will be celebrating her high school graduation next week. The evening was full of full circle moments, and that’s what makes the moments at the Grand Ole Opry so much more meaningful.

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