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Archive for the ‘Grand Ole Opry’ Category

Drew Baldridge Surprised By Josh Turner During His Grand Ole Opry Debut

©2016 Grand Ole Opry Photo By: Rachael Black

©2016 Grand Ole Opry
Photo By: Rachael Black

Five years ago this month, Drew Baldridge made the bold move from his small hometown of Patoka, Ill., to Nashville, TN.  He did so after an 18th birthday surprise trip to Nashville to see Josh Turner play at the Wildhorse Saloon.  Since that evening, Baldrige credit’s Turner for inspiring him to pursue his dream of music. Last night (6/15,) Baldridge stood on the circle for his Grand Ole Opry debut and during his third and last song, the country newcomer got the surprise of his life.

The evening was hosted by Opry announcer/host Bill Cody. Baldridge took to the stage following Opry member John Conlee, and performed the title track to his album debut that was just released Friday, June 10, called “Dirt On Us,” a song he wrote about his hometown and his best friends.  For the second song of the night, Baldridge performed “Tractors Don”t Roll,” also found on his debut album, and for the third and final song of his Opry debut, he performed “Your Man,” a homage to his idol Josh Turner.

Baldridge took a little time to explain his third song choice to the Opry audience stating,

“The very first time I came to Nashville, my mom bought me tickets for my 18th birthday to see Josh Turner in concert at the Wildhorse saloon. I’ll never forget the first time I came here, I went downtown and bought a cowboy hat just so I can have Josh Turner sign it and I don’t even wear cowboy hats!  But I went down there and got a hat, Josh Turner signed it and I watched his show in the front row.  That was the night I decided I was going to move to Nashville and I was gonna do this and try to pursue my dream. It was because of Josh Turner. And I know Josh is a Opry member, and what better way than to sing one of Josh Turner’s songs.”

During the musical break of “Your Man,” Josh Turner came out on stage to sing the bridge and surprise Baldridge. It was a memorable moment on the hallowed stage and Baldridge, along with the Opry audience, were all taken back.  Surprised and humbled, Baldridge was so overwhelmed by Turner he had difficulty singing alongside his idol.  After the end of the song, both singers received a standing ovation form the Opry audience.

Backstage, with family, friends and his record label in support, Baldridge spent some time with Turner and was able to thank him for the first time before heading to the Opry shop to sign copies of his new album, Dirt On Us, to a long line of fans eager to congratulate him.

Baldridge headed out of Nashville last night to Marinette, WI for a performance at the Porterfield Country Fest and then on Friday (6/17) will be joining Kenny Chesney and other country stars for Country Fest in Cadott, WI.

For the latest updates, follow Drew Baldridge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit .



Opry Surprises Charles Esten with City of Hope Softball Jersey

charles esten

As a returning player for the 2016 City Of Hope Celebrity Softball Game and a regular at the Grand Old Opry, ABC’s “Nashville” cast member Charles Esten was presented with a jersey at his Opry performance this weekend. Opry VP Pete Fisher, who is a long time staple of the game as the Captain of Team Opry, presented the jersey to Esten during his performance. Tickets are still available for this year’s game at

Player Roster Announced for June 7 Game include: Lauren Alaina, Danielle Bradbery, The Bobby Bones Show, Jessie James Decker, Charles Esten, Vince Gill, Mickey Guyton, Jonathan Jackson, Chris Lane, LOCASH, Scotty McCreery, Tristan McIntosh, Bret Michaels, David Nail, Jake Owen, RaeLynn, Jamie Lynn Spears and former Major League Baseball pitcher Barry Zito with more to come.

The City of Hope Celebrity Softball game is just one of the many many events during this year’s CMA Music Festival.

Steve Wariner Celebrates 20 Years as Grand Ole Opry Member 

Credit: Chris Hollo/Hollo Photographics for the Grand Ole Opry

Credit: Chris Hollo/Hollo Photographics for the Grand Ole Opry

This past Saturday (May 14), four-time GRAMMY and CMA Award winner Steve Wariner celebrated his 20th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry Vice President and General Manager, presented Wariner with a special plaque during the singer/songwriter’s performance. Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson, who inducted Wariner into the Grand Ole Opry 20 years ago, also was on hand to pay tribute to his longtime friend.

“Wow! I can’t believe I’ve been an Opry member for 20 years,” said Wariner. “It’s still one of the greatest honors of my career. I remember my first time on the Opry in 1973 as a member of Dottie West’s band back at the Ryman as if it was just yesterday. It seemed like an impossible dream back then that I would be asked to join…but it happened a few years later! Dreams can come true. Glad to call the Grand Ole Opry my home!”

Earlier in the evening, the Opry threw a backstage party for the ACM Award winner, complete with a special cake decorated with an illustration of Wariner’s red telecaster guitar.

The country music legend is currently in the studio working on a new album to be released later this year. His next concert performance will be at City Winery in Nashville on June 11 at 8:00 PM during CMA Music Festival. The show will be filmed for a future project. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

Wariner has achieved 14 No. 1 songs and more than 30 Top Ten hits, including such classics as “Holes in the Floor of Heaven,” “Life’s Highway,” “The Weekend,” “I’m Already Taken,” “I Got Dreams,” “Small Town Girl,” “Two Teardrops,” “Some Fools Never Learn,” “Lynda,” and more. An award-winning songwriter, Wariner has also composed songs for Clint Black (“Nothin’ But the Taillights”), Garth Brooks (“Longneck Bottle”), Bryan White (“One Small Miracle”), and Keith Urban (“Where the Blacktop Ends”), as well as artists such as Country Music Hall of Fame members Alabama, Kenny Rogers, The Statler Brothers, Conway Twitty, and Don Williams; pop music icon Peter Tork (of The Monkees); R&B singer Ruben Studdard; bluegrass music’s Del McCoury Band, and many more. Revered for his guitar talent, he was given the rare status of C.G. P. (Certified Guitar Player) by his mentor Chet Atkins. For more information, visit

Grand Ole Opry To Kick Off CMA Music Festival Week with Star-Studded Tuesday Night Shows and Opry Plaza Party

Photo Courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry

Photo Courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry

Grand Ole Opry members Carrie Underwood and Darius Rucker along with Chris Janson, Charles Esten and more are hitting the stage Tues., June 7, as the Opry kicks off its CMA Music Fest Week with two star-packed shows, 7 and 9:30 p.m.

The music begins earlier in the afternoon with a free Opry Plaza Party presented by Humana® featuring Warner Bros. recording artist Janson, who continues to enjoy the success of his debut album Buy Me A Boat. The title track became the singer-songwriter’s first #1 single, was certified platinum, and won the iHeartRadio Award for “Country Song of the Year.” Opening the Party will be Stoney Creek Records recording artist Lindsay Ell. Both Janson and Ell are featured on the Opry’s new release Opry 9.0, Vol. II, Discoveries From The Circle.

Kimberly Williams-Paisley is scheduled to sign copies of her new book Where The Light Gets In in The Opry Shop beginning at 5:30 p.m. The actress will return to the Opry stage for her second visit as a guest announcer later in the evening.

Artists already scheduled to visit the Opry later during Music Fest Week include Easton Corbin, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Scotty McCreery, Oak Ridge Boys, Charley Pride, and Jamie Lynn Spears, among others.

Underwood is scheduled to play the Opry twice in advance of the June 7 shows, visiting May 20 and 21. Among others scheduled for the Opry before Music Fest Week are Trace Adkins, Charlie Daniels Band, Jana Kramer, Martina McBride, and Kiefer Sutherland.

Tickets and exclusive Music Fest packages including the June 7 Opry, nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium, and much more are available at 800-SEE-OPRY and on the “Plan A Trip” page at

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 Opry shows running through December 13.  To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or visit 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 and, 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

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