Introducing the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry!
Jamey Johnson has been a devoted guest performer at the Opry for years. He had another show on Saturday night (March 19). The “In Color” singer was joined onstage by his friends and longtime collaborators Bill Anderson and Buddy Cannon.
The trio entertained the Opry crowd with performances of songs they’ve written together, including George Strait‘s “Give It Away” and “Cheaper Than A Shrink,” which was recorded by both Strait and Joe Nichols.
After their performance, Anderson took the mic and spoke about how Johnson played his first Opry show over 17 years ago. He asked Johnson how many times he’s performed at the Opry since then. Johnson answered that he’s made 5-6 guest appearances at the Opry every year over the course of those 17 years:
“You have made a lot of guest appearances,” Anderson said in response. “But the management and the staff and the people at the Opry told me to tell you that this is gonna be your last guest appearance here.”
Johnson joked with him, saying, “I’ve been kicked out of a whole lot of places in my life.”
That’s when Anderson revealed that Johnson would no longer be a guest performer at the Opry…because the Opry wanted him to become its newest member:
“Well you can add this to the list,” Anderson said. “Because you’re not gonna be a gust anymore. The next time Jamey Johnson’s on this stage, he’s gonna be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry!“
— Grand Ole Opry (@opry) March 20, 2022
Johnson and Anderson shared a hug as the audience cheered. Anderson has been a member of the Opry since 1961, so he knows how much weight this invitation carries.
Johnson fully understands the honor too. He accepted the invitation, saying:
“I accepted it 20 years ago. I really don’t know what to say except the obvious — I love country music. I would have never moved here if it wasn’t for that; for the Opry keeping it alive and for the fans. I love you. Thank you.”
Check out the video below to watch the moment when Anderson surprised Johnson with the invite to join the Opry. Congratulations to Johnson on being the Opry’s newest member!