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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 68 standing Grand Ole Opry members, five 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 active members
  Indicates former active members who have since reduced to guest artist status
   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 Notes
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 Notes
19 Ford Rush
20 Hilltop Harmonizers
21 Nap and Dee
22 The Vagabonds September 5, 1931
23 Asher and Little Jimmy Sizemore September 24, 1932
24 Curly Fox September 24, 1932
25 Zeke Clements September 24, 1932
26 The Delmore Brothers April 29, 1933
27 Robert Lunn March 31, 1934
28 Lee White April 21, 1934
29 Sarie and Sally January 26, 1935
30 Jack Shook and his Missouri Mountaineers February 2, 1935
31 The Lakeland Sisters January 23, 1937
32 Bob Wills May 22, 1937
33 Pee Wee King June 27, 1937
34 Roy Acuff and the Smoky Mountain Boys February 9, 1938 Bashful Brother Oswald represented the Smoky Mountain Boys after Acuff's 1992 death until his own death in 2002.[3]
35 Cousin Jody
36 Jamup and Honey January 7, 1939
37 Bill Monroe October 28, 1939

1940sEdit

No. Name Induction date Notes
38 Danny Dill
39 Johnnie and Jack
40 Milton Estes and his Musical Millers
41 Old Hickory Singers
42 Minnie Pearl November 30, 1940
43 The Duke of Paducah 1942
44 John Daniel Quartet 1942 Included among its members Wally Fowler, who was inducted with his own group in 1945 (see below).
45 Eddy Arnold 1943
46 Cowboy Copas 1943
47 Ernest Tubb February 13, 1943
48 Curley Williams September 4, 1943
49 The Bailes Brothers 1944
50 The DeZurik Sisters 1944
51 The Poe Sisters June 17, 1944
52 Rod Brasfield July 15, 1944
53 David "Stringbean" Akeman 1945
54 Lew Childre, Sr. 1945
55 Bradley Kincaid 1945
56 Wally Fowler and The Oak Ridge Quintet January 27, 1945 Fowler was already a de facto member by way of his membership in the John Daniel Quartet. 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]
57 Jimmy Wakely September 29, 1945
58 The Willis Brothers 1946
59 Grandpa Jones March 16, 1946
60 Red Foley April 13, 1946
61 Lonzo and Oscar 1947
62 Paul Howard and the Arkansas Cotton Pickers 1947
63 George Morgan September 25, 1948
64 Little Jimmy Dickens November 6, 1948
65 Jordanaires 1949
66 Hank Williams June 11, 1949 Dismissed and membership revoked August 11, 1952 for habitual drunkenness and missing shows.

1950sEdit

No. Name Induction date Notes
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 Inducted by 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 July 5, 1952 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]
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 Ira Louvin left in 1963 (and died in 1965); Charlie Louvin represented the duo until his own death.
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 Filed age discrimination case in 2006 and membership was temporarily revoked. His case was settled and he returned in 2008.
100 The Wilburn Brothers November 10, 1956 Briefly members in 1940, the child stars could not legally work in Tennessee and had to wait until adulthood to officially rejoin.
101 Wilma Lee Cooper January 12, 1957
102 Rusty† & Doug May 18, 1957 Departed prior to the duo's breakup in 1963.
103 The Everly Brothers (Phil and Don) 1957 Disowned the Opry and dissolved their membership in 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 Merged with the Melvin Sloan Dancers in 1990 (now the Opry Square Dancers).
108 Billy Grammer February 27, 1959
109 Roy Drusky June 13, 1959
110 Skeeter Davis August 4, 1959

1960sEdit

No. Name Induction date Notes
111 Jimmy Driftwood
112 Tompalland the Glaser Brothers Last performance was in 1990. Tompall died in 2013 and Chuck and Jim Glaser died in 2019.
113 Bobby Lord 1960
114 Billy Walker 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 Membership lapsed prior to 1998.
121 Sonny James October 27, 1962
122 Marion Worth 1963
123 The Browns August 17, 1963 Jim Ed Brown continued to hold Opry membership from the group's breakup in 1967 until his 2015 death.
124 Jim & Jesse March 2, 1964 Represented by Jesse McReynolds after Jim's death in 2001.
125 Ernie Ashworth March 7, 1964
126 The Osborne Brothers August 8, 1964 Represented by Bobby Osborne and Rocky Top X-Press since Sonny Osborne's retirement in 2005.
127 Dottie West August 8, 1964
128 Willie Nelson November 28, 1964 Membership lapsed prior to 1998.
129 Norma Jean January 9, 1965 Mostly retired from the music industry after 1973.
130 Tex Ritter June 12, 1965
131 Connie Smith August 21, 1965
132 Bobby Bare[7] August 14, 1964 Membership lapsed in 1974; re-inducted by Garth Brooks on April 7, 2018
133 Bob Luman September 18, 1965
134 Ray Pillow April 30, 1966
135 Del Reeves October 14, 1966
136 The Four Guys April 22, 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 Greene had already been a de facto member as part of Ernest Tubb's band since 1962.
141 Dolly Parton January 4, 1969
142 Tammy Wynette January 4, 1969

1970sEdit

No. Name Induction date Notes
143 Tom T. Hall January 1, 1971 Retired since 1994 but still listed as a standing member.
144 Jan Howard March 27, 1971
145 Freddie Hart October 16, 1971
146 Barbara Mandrell July 8, 1972 Retired since 1997, but still listed as a standing member.[8]
147 David Houston August 12, 1972
148 Jeanne Pruett July 21, 1973 Retired since 2006, but still listed as a standing member.
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

1980sEdit

No. Name Induction date Notes
153 John Conlee[9] February 7, 1981
154 Boxcar Willie February 21, 1981
155 B. J. Thomas[10] August 7, 1981 Full-time membership lapsed prior to 1998; remains a guest artist.
156 Ricky Skaggs[11] May 15, 1982
157 Riders in the Sky[12] June 19, 1982
158 The Whites[13] March 2, 1984
159 Lorrie Morgan[14] June 9, 1984
160 Johnny Russell [15] July 6, 1985
161 Mel McDaniel[3] January 11, 1986
162 Reba McEntire[16] January 17, 1986
163 Randy Travis[17] December 20, 1986 Appearances greatly reduced following major stroke in 2013. Still a standing member.
164 Roy Clark[18] August 22, 1987
165 Ricky Van Shelton[19] June 10, 1988
166 Patty Loveless[20] June 11, 1988
167 Holly Dunn[3] October 14, 1989 Retired in 2003 and died in 2016.

1990sEdit

No. Name Induction date Invited by Inducted by Notes
168 Mike Snider[21] June 2, 1990
169 Garth Brooks[22] October 6, 1990 Johnny Russell
170 Clint Black[23] January 10, 1991
171 Alan Jackson[24] June 7, 1991 Roy Acuff and Randy Travis
172 Vince Gill[25] August 10, 1991 Roy Acuff
173 Emmylou Harris[26] January 25, 1992
174 Travis Tritt[27] February 29, 1992
175 Marty Stuart[28] November 28, 1992
176 Charley Pride[29] May 1, 1993 Jimmy C. Newman
177 Alison Krauss[30] July 3, 1993 Garth Brooks
178 Joe Diffie November 27, 1993
179 Hal Ketchum January 22, 1994 Little Jimmy Dickens Incapacitated by dementia since April 2019.[31]
180 Martina McBride[32] November 30, 1995 Loretta Lynn
181 Steve Wariner May 11, 1996
182 Johnny Paycheck[3] 1997 Bob Whittaker
183 Diamond Rio April 18, 1998
184 Trisha Yearwood[33] March 13, 1999 Ricky Skaggs Porter Wagoner

2000sEdit

No. Name Induction date Invited by Inducted by Notes
185 Pam Tillis[34] August 26, 2000 Little Jimmy Dickens Marty Stuart
186 Brad Paisley[35] February 17, 2001 Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely and Little Jimmy Dickens Steve Wariner
187 Trace Adkins[36] August 23, 2003 Little Jimmy Dickens
188 Del McCoury[37] October 25, 2003 Patty Loveless
189 Terri Clark[38] June 12, 2004 Steve Wariner Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, and Patty Loveless
190 Dierks Bentley[39] October 1, 2005 Marty Stuart
191 Mel Tillis[40] June 9, 2007 Bill Anderson Pam Tillis
192 Josh Turner[41] October 27, 2007 Roy Clark Vince Gill
193 Charlie Daniels[42] January 19, 2008 Martina McBride Marty Stuart and Connie Smith
194 Carrie Underwood[43] May 10, 2008 Randy Travis Garth Brooks
195 Craig Morgan[44] October 25, 2008 John Conlee
196 Montgomery Gentry[45] June 23, 2009 Charlie Daniels Marty Stuart and Little Jimmy Dickens Represented by Eddie Montgomery since Troy Gentry's death in 2017.

2010sEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ News, A. B. C. "Entertainment". ABC News. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Grand Ole Opry members list as of 1998.
  4. ^ a b 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. ^ Beck, Ken. "Music came naturally for Melvin Sloan". The Wilson Post. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  6. ^ REPORTS, STAFF. "Oliver hangs up his dancing shoes". The Wilson Post. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  7. ^ Watts, Cindy. "Garth Brooks welcomes Bobby Bare into Opry membership". The Tennessean. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Barbara Mandrell Says Goodbye - Today in Country Music History". klaw.com. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
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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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