The Isaacs Are The Latest Grand Ole Opry Inductees

photo: Chris Hollo

As the world once again is roiled with concerns for COVID-19 and the ramifications of surging numbers, you could have missed that one of the most important moments in country music occurred on Tuesday evening (8-10) as a new member was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry.

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.

Mamma Lily, daughters Becky and Sonny, and son Ben were all on the Opry stage Tuesday ahead of the release of a new album on Friday the 13th called The American Face when they were surprised on stage by Ricky Skaggs who was carrying a framed copy of the album with an inscription that read,

“Presented to the Isaccs on August 10,2021 to commemorate the release of the new album ‘The American Face’ and to celebrate your invitation to become official members of the Grand Ole Opry … Do you say yes?”

“Yes, of course we will marry you!,” Sonya Isaacs said laughing. Lily later said, “I’m celebrating 50 years of singing and performing music. This is the American dream.”

Though the Isaacs may not be immediately familiar to everyone in the country music world and may find more name recognition in the Christian side of music, it’s hard to argue with the pick, even if it feels a little unexpected. We are less than two months removed from Carly Pearce being picked as a new Opry member, and now we’ve got another.

The Isaacs pick is in line with a trend for the Opry that has emerged during the regime of current General Manager Dan Rogers who assumed the post in August of 2019. As the storied country music institution continues to try and contemporize—and while they weathered the COVID-19 lockdowns by becoming one of the most successful streaming events on a weekly basis in all of music—they’ve continued to invite more faith-based performers to the stage.

Though the Opry has always been open to Christian artists of both the more rootsy and contemporary persuasion, adding the Isaacs to the roster of members is a way to satisfy the desires of bluegrass, Christian, and traditional country fans. It may have not been anticipated by many, but it does makes sense.

With roots that trace back all the way to 1971 when the son and daughter of Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors Joe and Lily Isaacs formed a bluegrass band performing under numerous names over the years—including the Calvary Mountain Boys and Sacred Bluegrass—as kids came along eventually The Isaacs were born, with daughter Sonya Isaacs also enjoying a career as a solo artist.

The family band will be formally inducted on Tuesday, September 14th.

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