Chris Hollo for Grand Ole Opry
On the night of Friday 17 January 2020, Gene Watson received a long-overdue invitation to finally join the Grand Ole Opry as the next official member.
The 76-year-old from Palestine, Texas was surprised by Vince Gill, who is one of the Grand Ole Opry’s favourite couriers of formal invitations.
After performing a song, Vince Gill invited Gene Watson out on stage unexpectedly. ‘I’ve got a little bit of a cold and not feeling too good, and they’ve got me down for two more songs, but I’d love to give you one of those songs. I’ll make you a deal. I’m a wheeler-dealer guy. If you do ‘Farewell Party’, we’ll invite you to become the next member of the Grand Ole Opry’.
Of course, Gene Watson accepted, and looked genuinely surprised, elated and emotional.
After catching his breath and receiving a standing ovation, Gene Watson said, ‘In 2019, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the release of this song. And, after 40 years, it’s still the most requested song. And then you pull this on me, I’m not sure I’ve got anything left’.
The invitation to Gene Watson to become the newest member of The Grand Ole Opry is a win for fans of traditional country music.
Gene Watson has waited a long time to be invited to be a member of The Grand Ole Opry, but now his time is finally here.
Watch the moment Vince Gill invites Gene Watson to become the newest member of The Grand Ole Opry:https://www.facebook.com/grandoleopry/videos/459512311390861/
Grand Ole Opry – opry.com
Sean Brady’s thoughts!
‘At Last! (isn’t that a Gene Watson album title!)
On Friday 17 January 2020, Vince Gill invited Gene Watson to become the newest member of The Grand Ole Opry.
This honor is long overdue.
I’m so pleased and delighted that the powers that be have seen fit to induct Gene Watson as the newest member of The Grand Ole Opry, an honor which will be bestowed upon Gene on Friday 7 February 2020.
As the instigator, in September 2004, of Gene Watson’s Ireland-based, and approved, Fan Site, I am ecstatic!
Here’s wishing Gene Watson further success in all he does!
Gene Watson Fan Site – gene-watson.com