NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country music legend Gene Watson was surprised on stage at the Ryman Auditorium during the Grand Ole Opry tonight by Opry member Vince Gill with an invitation to become an official Opry member. Watson, whose hits including “Fourteen Carat Mind” and “Farewell Party” have become country standards, made his Opry debut 55 years ago at age 21 on the Ryman stage.
“He’s one of the greatest country singers that’s walked the earth,” Gill said, introducing Watson on stage to perform. After Watson performed “Sometimes I Get Lucky and Forget” and “Nothing Sure Looked Good On You” Gill asked, “Would you mind singing ‘Farewell Party’? The Opry told me if you would, you could be the next member of the Grand Ole Opry.” A nearly speechless Gene replied, “I’m not sure I have anything left after that kind of surprise” and then gave an outstanding performance that kept the sold-out crowd on its feet.
“The Opry strives to showcase an array of musical styles in every show,” said Dan Rogers, Vice President and Executive Producer, Grand Ole Opry. “When Gene Watson steps onto the Opry stage, fans know they are going to hear one of the most respected traditional country singers of all time. For years, we’ve watched him wow audiences in the crowd and fellow artists backstage. He’s been committed to the Opry for decades, and we look forward to him becoming an official member of the family. Plus, when all is said and done, you just can’t beat that last note of ‘Farewell Party.’”
About Gene Watson:
This masterful country stylist from Houston, Texas has been thrilling audiences for more than 50 years. Gene Watson’s tally of 75 charted titles, 23 Top 10 hits, six No. 1 country records and three No. 1 gospel hits has led to membership in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and the Houston, TX Music Hall of Fame. Radio listeners are still transfixed whenever classics like “Farewell Party,” “Fourteen Carat Mind” or “Love in the Hot Afternoon” are played. Considered one of the finest pure-country singers of his generation and known as “The Singer’s Singer,” Watson offers up one of the best traditional country shows in the business.
About the Grand Ole Opry:
The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Humana®. Opry performances are held every Friday and Saturday of the year, with Tuesday night shows February 4 through December, plus seasonal Wednesday shows and Thursday Opry Country Classics performances. To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or visit opry.com. The Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. Celebrating nine decades of entertainment, the Opry can be heard at opry.com and wsmonline.com, Opry and WSM mobile apps, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and its flagship home, 650 AM-WSM. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP). For more information, visit opry.com.
# # #
GENE WATSON MANAGEMENT CONTACT:
Sarah Brosmer / Sarah@lytlemgmt.com
GENE WATSON BOOKING CONTACT:
Rob Battle / RBattleArtistAgent@United.net