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.
May 15, 2022 @ 8:20 am
That’s great. I am very happy for him.
Also, when Natalie Stovall said that Jamey Johnson’s first concert was Alan Jackson, I was a bit confused. I looked him up on Wikipedia and he’s 9 months younger than me! Whaaaaat??? That’s some rough livin’, hoss.
May 15, 2022 @ 8:43 am
On his first Opry appearance JJ sang “School Of Fiddle And Steel”. On his induction night, he started with THAT song. Circle closed! You should have noticed that John Scott played the fiddle! He was in the original band until the Mississippi incident. A few older band members were also on stage with him. JJ is filling the icons’ shoes, Possum and Hag must be proud!
May 15, 2022 @ 8:59 am
Congrats Jamey! Well earned sir.
I was recently at a live show seeing Kendall Marvell. Kendall wrote That Lonesome Song, recorded by Jamey. The two wrote many songs together and remain friends to this day. Kendall spoke at length about Johnson and recalled at one point, he had burned every bridge he ever made in Nashville. This was after his first album, The Dollar. According to Marvell, things were so bad, no one in town would work with him. Kendall said at the time, he felt bad that Jamey had blown his potential career, and then out of nowhere and miraculously, he got offered another record deal, and That Lonesome Song was the result. The rest is history, and here we are today. He got a second chance, and now hes a modern day legend.
Country Charley Crockett's Butter
May 15, 2022 @ 10:42 am
Who’s the next mainstream artist to be invited?
I’m guessing Jon Pardi? He plays a handful amount of shows each year.. Not sure what the minimum requirement is nowadays
Country Charley Crockett's Butter
May 15, 2022 @ 10:50 am
* I looked it up & it appears that Michael Ray & Niko Moon perform at the Opry often too.
May 15, 2022 @ 7:56 pm
Not a fan of either.
May 15, 2022 @ 5:09 pm
Here’s one for you, Trigger, that’s a little off subject, but you may know the answer.
Up until a couple of months ago I could get on youtube on, say, a Sunday after the previous evening’s Grand Ole Opry, and view the show, I understand it’s shown live on something called the Circle Network, but I do not have access to that. At any rate, I enjoyed getting on youtube a few hours after the televised portion of the Opry show and viewing it. Now when I try to do that they post some Opry program from weeks or months before, instead of last night’s Opry.
What’s the deal?
May 15, 2022 @ 8:04 pm
I think they’re just trying to encourage people to watch it live, or to get their “Circle All Access” deal. I’m not sure the Opry wanted YouTube to be a significant part of their new broadcasts of the Opry. But when the pandemic hit, they really took advantage of the opportunity to be one of the few “live” shows out there accessible to everyone. They’ve slowly pulled back from that ever since.
May 16, 2022 @ 7:24 am
Thank you, Trigger.
May 15, 2022 @ 11:20 pm
bigtex, what you are seeing on YouTube is exactly what is being shown on Circle; an actual live Opry performance is only being broadcast every six to eight weeks. It is an extremely disappointing turn of events, but I would speculate that a lot of this change is both logistical (e.g., Circle’s live television broadcasts upend WSM’s radio broadcast, ad spacing, and show timing) and creative in nature (e.g., the Opry has a lot of repeat talent across multiple Saturday nights, so Circle’s producers may fear that frequent shows with John Conlee, Henry Cho, and Jeannie Seely may cause viewers to tune out). Circle also appears to think that people will still tune into their “previously recorded yet new Oprys” as long as there are big names involved, such as Carrie Underwood; however, the chastising that Circle gets on Facebook regarding the lack of truly live broadcasts says otherwise.
If you don’t have Circle, the best way to watch it “live” (whatever that means to them) would be through Circle’s Facebook page; their archive of Opry performances is also quite comprehensive.
May 16, 2022 @ 7:28 am
Thank you, NPC. I had no idea that they were not televising a current live show every week any more.
I appreciate your “heads up” on the Facebook info, but, alas, I am not on Facebook, never have been, and don’t intend to start now.
But thank you very much for the valuable information!
May 15, 2022 @ 6:14 pm
We don’t have anyone else to be a member let’s face it this is slowly dieing building it’s sad
May 15, 2022 @ 7:02 pm
There are MANY good artists who deserve to be a member. And I don’t mean the rap/pop ones.
May 15, 2022 @ 7:50 pm
I’m just glad to see Bill Anderson still going strong and inducting Jamey Johnson. Anderson is not generally thought of as one of the major performing artists in commercial country history (apart from being recognized as a songwriter), so I was suprised to see on the “Taste of Country” link elsewhere on this board that Anderson actually had the most-played song on country radio in two-separate years: “Still,” in 1963 and “My Life (I’ll Throw it Away…” in 1969.
I thought Anderson always did a nice job hosting the Country Family Reunions and various tributes to departed artists. And he’s the nearest thing to a legend on the current Opry.
May 15, 2022 @ 9:32 pm
Just finished watching Bill’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, which was one of the Country Family Reunion episodes. George Hamilton IV mentioned that Bill was the most recorded songwriter in the history of country music, and I was surprised at how many bona fide classics he had written. But I was even more surprised at how many hits he had as a singer that were crazy popular. Outside of Willie and Loretta, Bill has to be the biggest legend still alive and going.
May 15, 2022 @ 11:26 pm
I wouldn’t take an off-the-cuff comment George Hamilton IV as the authoritative source for “the most recorded songwriter in the history of country music.” I’d guess that a few professional full-time songwriters have been recorded more than Anderson, and Harlan Howard could very well be number 1 on the list. But I’d give more credence to a statement by a noted music industry researcher-historian such as Joel Whitburn, who explains his criteria and methadology for addressing the question. Hank Williams’ songs have certainly been recorded by a lot of artists, though he probably died too young to be at the top of the list.
Anderson is certainly one of the great country songwriters, and one who came back into it, successfully, in his later years as a collaborator with new generations of songwriters.
May 16, 2022 @ 4:02 am
Johnson has always been, in my opinion, a “true” country artist. “Lead Me Home”, a track from his debut album The Dollar, has never failed to reduce me to a blubbering mess of tears and is the only song I want played at my graveside. No other song has ever brought the true meaning of a life well-lived and the pure pleasure of going on to what lies ahead than that track, and his delivery of it is just masterful.
Dry Fish Man
May 16, 2022 @ 7:08 am
Truly deserving. Congrats Jamey!
May 16, 2022 @ 6:29 pm
I didn’t recognize the first song he sang from the YouTube page before “Jennings and Jones. I Eve like the words were fiddling steel.