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The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music concert show in Nashville, Tennessee which began as a radio barn dance on November 28, 1925 by George D. Hay and has since became one of the genre's most enduring and revered stages. Each show consists of multiple guest artists as well as Opry members, who are selected by Opry management based on several factors including critical and commercial success, respect for the history of country music and commitment to appearing on the program. Publicly, once a new member is chosen, an existing member will ask the new member to join the Opry live on-air during the broadcast, usually when the new member is performing as a guest. Being invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry is considered one of country music's crowning achievements.[1]

Opry members have permission to perform at any Opry show they wish, with each show typically consisting of between five and seven members. Each show is split into four "segments", each hosted by a different Opry member who entertains the crowd, performs and introduces other members and guest artists. As such, the Opry has featured a large, rotating ensemble of members ranging from all-time greats and neotraditionalists to contemporary stars. As the Opry is a running series, membership requires that the performer appear regularly (at least 12 shows per year, according to rules in place for most of the 21st century, down from 26 in the 1960s) on the program to remain a member of the show, and if a performer ceases performing regularly at the Opry or runs afoul of management, they can be stripped of their membership; if the exiled performer reconciles and renews their commitment to the show, they can be reinstated. Membership expires when the performer dies; if a single member of a duo or group retires or dies, the surviving member(s) may continue to maintain Opry membership on the group's behalf. The Opry, in general, allows performers who retire, or are no longer physically able to perform on a regular basis to stay as members. The Grand Ole Opry House maintains a wall of fame backstage that contains a name plate for every person who has ever been a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

There are currently 67 standing Grand Ole Opry members, three of whom no longer regularly perform. Over the course of the program's history, over 200 acts have held Opry membership at some point in their lives. As of 2019, Jan Howard is the oldest living Opry member and Kelsea Ballerini is the youngest.[2]

  Indicates "standing" members
   Indicates duos in which one of the members is deceased or retired, and the other(s) maintain active membership

Acts with a are deceased.

Contents

1920sEdit

No. Name Induction date
1 Henry Bandy 1925
2 Humphrey Bate October 18, 1925
3 Uncle Jimmy Thompson November 28, 1925
4 The McGee Brothers 1926
5 Uncle Dave Macon April 17, 1926
6 The Pickard Family May 8, 1926
7 Deford Bailey June 19, 1926
8 The Crook Brothers July 24, 1926
9 Sid Harkreader July 24, 1926
10 Binkley Brothers' Dixie Clodhoppers October 30, 1926
11 Theron Hale and his Daughters October 30, 1926
12 Arthur Smith July 16, 1927
13 The Fruit Jar Drinkers December 17, 1927
14 The Gully Jumpers December 24, 1927
15 Kitty Cora Cline March 24, 1928
16 Ed Poplin and his Barn Dance Orchestra April 21, 1928
17 Uncle Joe Mangrum and Fred Schriver July 30, 1928
18 Mazy Todd

1930sEdit

No. Name Induction date
18 Ford Rush
19 Hilltop Harmonizers
20 Nap and Dee
21 The Vagabonds September 5, 1931
22 Asher and Little Jimmy Sizemore September 24, 1932
23 Curly Fox September 24, 1932
24 Zeke Clements September 24, 1932
25 The Delmore Brothers April 29, 1933
26 Robert Lunn March 31, 1934
27 Lee White April 21, 1934
28 Sarie and Sally January 26, 1935
29 Jack Shook and his Missouri Mountaineers February 2, 1935
30 The Lakeland Sisters January 23, 1937
31 Bob Wills May 22, 1937
32 Pee Wee King June 27, 1937
33 Roy Acuff February 9, 1938
34 Cousin Jody
35 Bashful Brother Oswald 1938
Jamup and Honey January 7, 1939
36 Bill Monroe October 28, 1939

Oswald allowed his membership to lapse, as he was already part of Roy Acuff's band and a de facto member anyway, but renewed it in 1995 after Acuff's death.[3]

1940sEdit

No. Name Induction date
37 Danny Dill
38 Johnnie and Jack
39 Milton Estes and his Musical Millers
40 Old Hickory Singers
41 Minnie Pearl November 30, 1940
42 The Duke of Paducah 1942
43 John Daniel Quartet 1942
44 Eddy Arnold 1943
45 Cowboy Copas 1943
46 Ernest Tubb February 13, 1943
47 Curley Williams September 4, 1943
48 The Bailes Brothers 1944
49 The DeZurik Sisters 1944
50 The Poe Sisters June 17, 1944
51 Rod Brasfield July 15, 1944
52 David "Stringbean" Akeman 1945
53 Lew Childre, Sr. 1945
54 Bradley Kincaid 1945
55 Wally Fowler and The Oak Ridge Quintet [A] January 27, 1945
56 Jimmy Wakely September 29, 1945
57 The Willis Brothers 1946
58 Grandpa Jones March 16, 1946
59 Red Foley April 13, 1946
60 Lonzo and Oscar 1947
61 Paul Howard and the Arkansas Cotton Pickers 1947
62 George Morgan September 25, 1948
63 Little Jimmy Dickens November 6, 1948
64 Jordanaires 1949
65 Hank Williams[B] June 11, 1949-August 11, 1952

^ A. The Oak Ridge Quintet was a direct predecessor to the group now known as The Oak Ridge Boys. The quintet became a quartet as it evolved and all of its personnel were replaced by the time Fowler sold the rights to the name to Smitty Gatlin in 1957. In 1966, Gatlin turned the group over to Duane Allen, who along with William Lee Golden transitioned to a new lineup that solidified in October 1973; other than a period between 1988 and 1995 in which Golden temporarily left the group, this lineup has served as "The Oak Ridge Boys" ever since. The Allen-era lineup of the quartet was invited and then inducted into the Opry as its own group by Little Jimmy Dickens on August 6, 2011.[4]

^ B. On August 11, 1952, Hank Williams was dismissed from the Grand Ole Opry for habitual drunkenness and missing shows.

1950sEdit

No. Name Induction date Invited by Inducted by
67 Chet Atkins
68 Goldie Hill
69 Hawkshaw Hawkins
70 Kitty Wells
71 The Ladells
72 Red Sovine
73 Ray Price
74 Hank Snow January 7, 1950 Ernest Tubb
75 Carl Smith April 29, 1950
76 The Carter Sisters/Family May 13, 1950
77 Moon Mullican 1951
78 Lefty Frizzell July 21, 1951
79 Martha Carson April 26, 1952
80 Opry Square Dancers[N] July 5, 1952
81 Webb Pierce September 13, 1952
82 Marty Robbins January 19, 1953
83 Carl and Pearl Butler October 17, 1953
84 Del Wood November 13, 1953
85 The Carlisles November 14, 1953
86 Ferlin Husky June 12, 1954
87 Faron Young November 19, 1954
88 Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs January 1, 1955
89 Porter Wagoner February 23, 1957
90 The Louvin Brothers February 26, 1955
91 Justin Tubb September 10, 1955
92 Jim Reeves October 22, 1955
93 Slim Whitman October 29, 1955
94 Jean Shepard November 21, 1955
95 Johnny Cash July 7, 1956
96 Jimmy C. Newman August 4, 1956
97 George Jones August 4, 1956
98 Rose Maddox September 29, 1956
99 Stonewall Jackson November 3, 1956 [C]
100 The Wilburn Brothers November 10, 1956
101 Wilma Lee Cooper January 12, 1957
102 Rusty† & Doug[D] May 18, 1957
103 The Everly Brothers (Phil and Don)[E] June 1, 1957-1960
104 Margie Bowes 1958
105 Archie Campbell 1958
106 Don Gibson May 20, 1958
107 Ben Smathers and the Stoney Mountain Cloggers September 13, 1958
108 Billy Grammer February 27, 1959
109 Roy Drusky June 13, 1959
110 Skeeter Davis August 4, 1959

^ C. Jackson was expelled from the Opry in 2008 in a dispute with management but was reinstated later in the year after he filed and settled an age discrimination lawsuit.

^ D. Opry membership lapsed after the duo's breakup in 1963, before Rusty's death in 2001.

^ E. The Everly Brothers disowned the Opry in 1960. Phil Everly died in 2014.

^ N. Originally inducted as Ralph Sloan and his Tennessee Travelers. The Opry's square-dance troupe has gone through several incarnations through its history and is a regular fixture on shows, though it has a sui generis status separate from the rest of the Opry members. Ralph's younger brother Melvin Sloan ran the troupe from Ralph's death in 1980 until his 2002 retirement, when the Opry took over operations of the troupe. It merged with the other square-dance troupe, Ben Smathers and his Stoney Mountain Cloggers, when Smathers died in 1990.[5] The last dancer from the Ralph Sloan era, Eddie Oliver, retired in 2016.[6]

1960sEdit

No. Name Induction date
111 Jimmy Driftwood
112 Tompalland the Glaser Brothers[F]
113 Bobby Lord 1960
114 Billy Walker (musician) January 1, 1960
115 Patsy Cline January 9, 1960
116 George Hamilton IV February 6, 1960
117 Hank Locklin November 12, 1960
118 Bill Anderson July 15, 1961
119 Loretta Lynn September 25, 1962
120 Leroy Van Dyke October 20, 1962
121 Sonny James October 27, 1962
122 Marion Worth 1963
123 The Browns August 17, 1963
124 Jim & Jesse[G] March 2, 1964
125 Ernie Ashworth March 7, 1964
126 The Osborne Brothers[H] August 8, 1964
127 Dottie West August 8, 1964
128 Willie Nelson November 28, 1964
129 Norma Jean January 9, 1965
130 Tex Ritter June 12, 1965
131 Connie Smith August 21, 1965
132 Bobby Bare[7] August 14, 1964-1974
April 7, 2018[I]
133 Bob Luman September 18, 1965
134 Ray Pillow April 30, 1966
135 Del Reeves October 14, 1966
136 The Four Guys 1967
137 Stu Phillips June 1, 1967
138 Charlie Walker August 19, 1967
139 Jeannie Seely September 16, 1967
140 Jack Greene December 27, 1967
141 Dolly Parton January 4, 1969
142 Tammy Wynette January 4, 1969

^ F. Opry membership lapsed in 1990. Tompall Glaser died in 2013

^ G. Represented by Jesse McReynolds since Jim McReynolds's death in 2002.

^ H. Represented by Bobby Osborne since Sonny Osborne's 2005 retirement.

^ I. Bare was an Opry member until 1974 but was officially re-inducted by Garth Brooks in 2018.

Nelson, Van Dyke and Norma Jean, while all still alive, allowed their Opry membership to lapse shortly after joining and have not attempted to rejoin since.

1970sEdit

No. Name Induction date
143 Tom T. Hall January 1, 1971
144 Jan Howard March 27, 1971
145 Freddie Hart October 16, 1971
146 Barbara Mandrell [J] July 8, 1972
147 David Houston August 12, 1972
148 Jeanne Pruett [K] July 21, 1973
149 Jerry Clower October 27, 1973
150 Ronnie Milsap February 6, 1976
151 Don Williams April 23, 1976
152 Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers December 25, 1976

^ J. Mandrell retired in 1997 (making one-time appearances in 2012 and 2013) but remains listed as a standing member as of 2019.[8]

^ K. Pruett retired in 2006 but remains listed as a standing member as of 2019.

1980sEdit

No. Name Induction date
153 John Conlee[9] February 7, 1981
154 Boxcar Willie February 21, 1981
B. J. Thomas August 7, 1981[10]
155 Ricky Skaggs[11] May 15, 1982
156 Riders in the Sky[12] June 19, 1982
157 The Whites[13] March 2, 1984
158 Lorrie Morgan[14] June 9, 1984
159 Johnny Russell [15] July 6, 1985
Mel McDaniel January 11, 1986[3]
160 Reba McEntire[16] January 17, 1986
161 Randy Travis [L] [17] December 20, 1986
162 Roy Clark[18] August 22, 1987
163 Ricky Van Shelton[19] June 10, 1988
164 Patty Loveless[20] June 11, 1988
Holly Dunn[3] 1989

^ L. Travis has been incapacitated due to a 2013 stroke. As of 2019, he remains listed as a standing member and still makes non-singing appearances.

1990sEdit

No. Name Induction date Invited by Inducted by
165 Mike Snider[21] June 2, 1990
166 Garth Brooks[22] October 6, 1990 Johnny Russell
167 Clint Black[23] January 10, 1991
168 Alan Jackson[24] June 7, 1991 Roy Acuff and Randy Travis
169 Vince Gill[25] August 10, 1991 Roy Acuff
170 Emmylou Harris[26] January 25, 1992
171 Travis Tritt[27] February 29, 1992
172 Marty Stuart[28] November 28, 1992
173 Charley Pride[29] May 1, 1993 Jimmy C. Newman
174 Alison Krauss[30] July 3, 1993 Garth Brooks
175 Joe Diffie November 27, 1993
176 Hal Ketchum January 22, 1994 Little Jimmy Dickens
177 Martina McBride[31] November 30, 1995 Loretta Lynn
178 Steve Wariner May 11, 1996
Johnny Paycheck[3] 1997 Bob Whittaker
179 Diamond Rio April 18, 1998
180 Trisha Yearwood[32] March 13, 1999 Ricky Skaggs Porter Wagoner

2000sEdit

No. Name Induction date Invited by Inducted by
181 Pam Tillis[33] August 26, 2000 Little Jimmy Dickens Marty Stuart
182 Brad Paisley[34] February 17, 2001 Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely and Little Jimmy Dickens Steve Wariner
183 Trace Adkins[35] August 23, 2003 Little Jimmy Dickens
184 Del McCoury[36] October 25, 2003 Patty Loveless
185 Terri Clark[37] June 12, 2004 Steve Wariner Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, and Patty Loveless
186 Dierks Bentley[38] October 1, 2005 Marty Stuart
187 Mel Tillis[39] June 9, 2007 Bill Anderson Pam Tillis
188 Josh Turner[40] October 27, 2007 Roy Clark Vince Gill
189 Charlie Daniels[41] January 19, 2008 Martina McBride Marty Stuart and Connie Smith
190 Carrie Underwood[42] May 10, 2008 Randy Travis Garth Brooks
191 Craig Morgan[43] October 25, 2008 John Conlee
192 Montgomery Gentry[M][44] June 23, 2009 Charlie Daniels Marty Stuart and Little Jimmy Dickens

^ M. Represented by Eddie Montgomery since Troy Gentry's death in 2017.

2010sEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2013-10-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/kelsea-ballerini-oprys-newest-youngest-member-61496378
  3. ^ a b c d Grand Ole Opry members list as of 1998.
  4. ^ Thompson, Gayle (6 August 2017). "6 Years Ago: The Oak Ridge Boys Inducted Into the Grand Ole Opry". The Boot. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  5. ^ https://www.wilsonpost.com/community/music-came-naturally-for-melvin-sloan/article_8a485cc6-002f-57e1-aabc-c06b79aa166f.html
  6. ^ https://www.wilsonpost.com/news/oliver-hangs-up-his-dancing-shoes/article_154be087-da67-5476-919b-f8f103c77636.html
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  10. ^ Gary James, Interview with B.J. Thomas Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, 2005; www.classicbands.com.
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  12. ^ "Riders in the Sky - Grand Ole Opry". Grand Ole Opry. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
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