Sunday, August 18, 2013
– Old Crow Medicine Show was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday by Opry member and friend Marty Stuart during the group's concert at the Ohio Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio.
The group will formally be inducted into the Opry at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on Sept. 17.
Among the group's first performances in Nashville were on the sidewalks outside the Opry House in summer 2000, playing for fans entering and exiting Opry performances. The band graduated to the Opry stage for its official Opry debut on Jan. 13, 2001.
Near the end of the concert, Stuart surprised the group on stage, saying, "In 1925, there was a show started in Nashville called the Grand Ole Opry. It was founded on a traditional fiddle tune. It was founded on hard-hitting old time music. It was founded on being a good-natured riot. And it's been going on for 88 years. It's a great American story. Would you all consider becoming a part of this great American story and becoming Grand Ole Opry members?"
Old Crow members answered with a resounding yes and hands in the air while the sold-out crowd responded with a standing ovation. Stuart and the band then combined forces on We Don't Grow Tobacco before the band launched into its signature crowd favorite, Wagon Wheel.
"From our humble beginnings on street corners to finding acclaim on stages worldwide, our eyes have always been on one prize in particular. More than anything else Old Crow Medicine Show has wanted to be a part of the Grand Ole Opry, " said OCMS fiddler Ketch Secor. "To join the company of those brilliant, bright stars who first shot across Country Music's most celestial stage - Roy Acuff, Deford Bailey, Uncle Dave Macon, Maybelle Carter, Sarah Cannon - is the finest company that any picker could ever hope to keep."
"Inviting Old Crow to become our next member is truly exciting for us," said Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager. "For one, Old Crow has grown before our eyes from entertaining Opry-goers for free in the Opry Plaza a dozen years ago to rank today among the most respected and popular acts in music. The band leaves the audience wanting more every time it takes the Opry stage, or any stage."
"It's also exciting that in many ways Old Crow looks and sounds a lot like some of the string bands of the 1920s, which helped first propel the Opry to national prominence," Fisher said. "While recent Opry inductees and contemporary hit-makers such as Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Dierks Bentley, will help shape the Opry in coming years, our future is also in excellent hands with this group, which happens to be quite reminiscent of our musical past. It's an awesome full circle."