Imagine having backed Hank Williams on his legendary Grand Ole Opry debut in 1949, or playing behind any of the other country music legends who performed on that hallowed stage during the Opry’s golden era. This was the fortune of steel guitarist Billy Robinson.
Grand Ole Opry
A couple of deserving bands from the Texas and Red Dirt side of country are finally receiving their due with upcoming opportunities to step into the hallowed circle at the Grand Ole Opry. It’s just the latest sign things are opening up a bit under the new Opry management.
Original Red Dirt music legend Jason Boland may be best known for straightforward country music heaters such as “Pearl Snaps” and “Somewhere Down in Texas,” but those that have followed his 20-year career know that if you know Boland, you best stay on your toes.
Celebrating her 46th birthday by performing on the Tuesday night Opry, she was surprised on stage by Connie Smith, who sauntered up to lead the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to Barnett before presenting her with a birthday card. Inside was an invitation.
Bluegrass gospel group The Issacs have been around in one incarnation or another since 1992, but really since the early 70’s, paying dues and putting in service time, making fans in both the country and Christian markets. And now they will be the next members of the Grand Ole Opry.
It’s a rite of passage for any artist or band. And no matter how bygone the honor and opportunity might feel to some, to any act in the country and roots realm with any notion of history, it’s a bucket list item they will cherish and remember forever.
There are some items that are so important, so revered, they shouldn’t be possessed by any individual, but by us all. In country music, this includes a specific set of instruments tied to the music’s history so irrevocably, they comprise the very bedrock of the genre.
when it comes to the Opry picking its next contemporary member—meaning not someone past their commercial prime that could instill a little youth and vigor into the institution—there’s just about no better pick than Carly Pearce. Only fitting that Dolly Parton was the one to dole out the invitation.
It’s crazy how things sometimes work out, making it hard to doubt divine intervention. Marty Stuart selected the song “Skip a Rope” for his latest installment, releasing it on Tuesday, May 25th. Lo and behold, the next day we find out that the song’s writer has passed away.
Zach Bryan may have been regarded as an amateur before. But after his performance at the Grand Ole Opry, it doesn’t feel fitting to refer to him as a “viral songwriter” anymore. He’s just Zach Bryan, and folks should be paying attention.
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. But a question that arose recently was, has George Strait ever even played the Grand Ole Opry? It took some digging to answer.
The Grand Ole Opry is celebrating its 95th Anniversary with a big primetime special on Sunday, February 14th on NBC. Called ‘Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music,’ it comes as the Opry is enjoying arguably one of its biggest resurgences in interest in the institution’s history.
Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, Charles Esten, Connie Smith, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Grand Ole Opry, Jeannie Seely, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady A, Little Big Town, Marty Stuart, Old Crow Medicine Show, Riders In The Sky, Trisha Yearwood
Placing aside for a second the list of all of the great traditional country artists and country legends that should be considered for induction into The Grand Ole Opry, and it is ample. I mean goodness, what does Jamey Johnson have to do at this point to make it in?
Sorry Jamey Johnson. Sorry Elizabeth Cook. Sorry Miranda Lambert. Sorry Carly Pearce and Charles Esten, who continue to be some of the most frequent Opry performers who haven’t received membership yet. Sorry cool up-and-coming names like Billy Strings that could be the shot of youth.
The 2020 pandemic has exposed how essential many country music institutions are to society. The Grand Ole Opry beamed its signal into households to the tune of becoming the most successful streaming concern in music during the entirety of 2020.
The Grand Ole Opry will begin celebrating its 95th Anniversary on Saturday, October 3rd, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, gathering for the country music institution’s 4,944th consecutive Saturday night broadcast with Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Terri Clark, and Lorrie Morgan.
When the COVID-19 shutdowns began in mid March, the Grand Ole Opry was one of the only live music institutions that endured, with the first non-audience show transpiring on March 14th with the evening’s regular scheduled slate of performers.
Legendary American music drummer W.S. “Fluke” Holland has died. A titan and founder of drumming in popular music, W.S. Holland was Johnny Cash’s drummer for 40 years, and is considered by many as the “Father of the Drums.”
From 2008 to 2018, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood hosting the CMAs together was one of the few bright spots on a presentation that otherwise offered you a steady diet of bad pop country being crammed down your throat. They won’t be hosting the CMAs again, but they are pairing up for the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night.
Another quality lineup will grace the Grand Ole Opry stage Saturday night, August 22nd as mainstream traditionalist Jon Pardi, upstart singing trio Runaway June, and Grand Ole Opry member Pam Tillis will help keep the circle unbroken by performing and streaming live from the Opry House in Nashville.
There are Grand Ole Opry shows, and then there will be the Grand Ole Opry show on Saturday, August 8th that will assemble some of the best talent of the string disciplines of this generation all in one place. The must-see lineup includes Billy Strings, Molly Tuttle, Dom Flemons, and Old Crow Medicine Show.
The Eddie Stubbs departure left many open questions about who would replace him in the evening weeknight slot, and if it would even be filled by country music since format changes and show cancellations have been a regular occurrence at WSM lately. But luckily, the evening slot will endure with Jeff Hoag.
Vince Gill has been one of the regulars during these quarantine Opry performances, appearing more than any other artist. Adding Emmylou Harris along with Rodney Crowell is just about the perfect combination, not just for the history the duo has together, but due to the history they both have with Vince Gill.