Saturday, June 9, 2007
– Mel Tillis was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry Saturday by his daughter Pam Tillis, an Opry member since 2000. After Mel Tillis performed a medley of his hits "Ruby" and "Detroit City," he was joined on stage by Pam.
"All week long people have been telling me they can't believe Daddy wasn't already an Opry member - and that just tells me 'You belong here.' The best thing about me getting inducted first is that I get to induct you - you are now an official member of the Grand Ole Opry, Daddy," she said.
"Thank you so much. It took me 52 years - and I do appreciate this. I'd like to thank Porter Wagoner who taught me just about everything I know about this business," said Mel Tillis.
"Tonight we are honored to welcome one of country music's finest entertainers into the Opry's family of new stars, superstars and legends," said Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager. "Mel's remarkable talents as a singer, songwriter, actor, and comedian are a perfect complement to the Opry's promise to present an authentic, high quality country music experience. Welcome to the family, Mel!"
During the induction, Tillis was presented the Opry Member Award, a 14-inch bronze and oak wood replica of the Opry's vintage microphone stand designed by renowned sculptor Bill Rains. A portion of the trophy's wooden base recreates the famed circle of wood taken from the stage of the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Opry from 1943-74, and placed in the stage at the Grand Ole Opry House.
Both members of the Tillis family made their Opry debuts during the Opry's original Ryman run, Pam Tillis at age eight singing the folk standard "Tom Dooley" alongside her famed father.