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Posts Tagged ‘Grand Ole Opry’

Lauren Alaina Plays Grand Ole Opry After Vocal Surgery

Photo Credit: Chris Hollo

Photo Credit: Chris Hollo

Lauren Alaina returned to the Grand Ole Opry stage Saturday night in her first public performance since undergoing vocal cord surgery in August. The Georgia native introduced two new songs, “Doing Fine” and “Breathe Again,” to the Opry audience.

Alaina shares, “There’s nowhere I’d rather make my first appearance back from vocal cord surgery than the Grand Ole Opry. Being able to sing again on that stage is the highlight of my year.”

Alaina is currently in the studio working on the follow-up album to her Billboard 200 Top 5 debut, Wildflower, featuring the fan-favorite tune, “Georgia Peaches.”

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Cole Swindell Makes Grand Ole Opry Debut

cole swindell

CMA Awards’ New Artist of the Year nominee Cole Swindell made his debut on the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage last week. His three song set included his two consecutive No. 1 singles “Chillin’ It” and “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” as well as his latest, “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey,” all from his self-titled debut album released earlier this year on Warner Bros. Records.

 “Standing in that circle where other artists who have paved the way for country music has stood is something a new artist like me will never forget. Of all the places I have played so far in my career from a club to an arena to a stadium I have never experienced a feeling like I did on that stage. I’m glad I was able to share that moment with my family and friends.”

Just wrapping up a run on Luke Bryan’s “Farm Tour,” Swindell is currently on Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night Tour,” and will continue on the road this winter with his own “Down Home Tour,” kicking off in November. Following an impressive breakout year, which earned him CMA Awards’ New Artist nomination and his first two back-to-back No. 1 singles as a solo artist, Swindell has notably sold over 2.1 million tracks, over 250,000 albums since only February, and performed for millions of fans in stadiums and arenas across the country. Named MusicRow’s Songwriter of the Year, he also had the highest selling country debut upon release since 2011, the most played song of 2013 as well as one of the top country radio singles this year, with songwriting credits which include chart topping singles “This Is How We Roll,” for Florida Georgia Line, “Get Me Some of That,” for Thomas Rhett and Luke Bryan’s latest hit “Roller Coaster.”

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Little Big Town to be the Newest Members of the Grand Ole Opry

© 2014 Grand Ole Opry / Photos By: Chris Hollo

© 2014 Grand Ole Opry / Photos By: Chris Hollo

Critically acclaimed Grammy®-winning vocal group Little Big Town (Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook) was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry yesterday evening by Opry member and friend Reba McEntire. The group will be formally inducted into the Opry on Fri., Oct. 17 by Opry member Vince Gill.

As the group finished a three-song set with its smash “Pontoon,” McEntire appeared from the side of the stage, improvising on the song’s last few words. “I know the Grand Ole Opry is very important to y’all, because this is the first place you guys played together as a group in 1999,” McEntire began after the impromptu collaboration. “I have been asked to ask y’all, Little Big Town, would y’all like to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry?”

After hugs with McEntire and between the members as well as a collective “yes” from the group, McEntire said, “Special moments like this—they’re priceless.”

Speaking for the group, Fairchild cheered, “Thank you, Grand Ole Opry! We will try to make you proud!”

Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher said, “We have been enjoying Grand Ole Opry visits from Little Big Town for almost 15 years now. During that time, the group has developed an amazing artistry and has won over millions of fans, all while maintaining a commitment to and love for the Opry we saw firsthand tonight. We will all be excited to officially welcome Little Big Town to the Opry family October 17.”

Grand Ole Opry Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Country Cares for St. Jude Kids

Grand Ole Opry / Photos By: Chris Hollo

Grand Ole Opry / Photos By: Chris Hollo

The Grand Ole Opry® celebrated the 25th anniversary of Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® during a special show this evening.  Performers included Charlie Daniels Band, Jonathan Jackson and Sam Palladio from ABC’s Nashville, Bill Anderson, Eric Paslay, Randy Owen, Maddie and Tae (making their Opry debut), and Brad Paisley, who performed some of his hits and new music from MOONSHINE IN THE TRUNK.

During the show, photos and videos of special moments from 25 years of Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® played on the Opry’s signature barn screen and Opry guest announcer Audrey Stanger, a nine-year old St. Jude patient, was surprised on stage by Charlie Daniels with a dozen roses and an autographed guitar.

A portion of the proceeds from tickets sold for tonight’s show will be donated to Country Cares for St. Jude Kids®.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The Country Cares for St. Jude Kids program began in 1989, after Randy Owen, lead singer of the music group Alabama, met St. Jude founder Danny Thomas. Since its inception, Country Cares has become one of the most successful radio fundraising events in the nation. Thanks to the support of generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Grand Ole Opry Star George Hamilton IV Passes Away

George Hamilton

Grand Ole Opry star George Hamilton IV “The International Ambassador of Country Music” passed away late this afternoon at St. Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville, Tenn. with his family by his side. George IV suffered a serious heart attack last Saturday, September 13 and had been in critical condition. Funeral arrangements are not confirmed at this time. He had been an Opry member since February 1960 and was 77 years old.

George Hamilton IV had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years. He traveled the world earning the unofficial title of “International Ambassador of Country Music.” Along with his title, George IV compiled an impressive list of firsts. He appeared at London’s first International Festival of Country Music (1969) and performed at the first international country music festivals in Sweden, Finland, Holland, Norway, and Germany. He became the first American country singer to appear in Russia and Czechoslovakia and the first American to record a studio album in Eastern Europe. George IV was also the first American country singer to have his own British TV series. He appeared in England’s first Country Music Summer Season show. In addition to numerous appearances on American television, he hosted his own Canadian TV series for six years.

When George IV transferred to American University in Washington, D.C., from the University of North Carolina in 1956, he combined his studies with regular appearances on Jimmy Dean’s local TV show. His music career took off in that year, when he scored a million-selling pop hit with “A Rose and a Baby Ruth.” Tours with such stars as Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent and the Everly Brothers followed. But one evening in 1960, while enjoying the Opry in the audience of the Ryman Auditorium, he decided to switch from pop to country, the first artist to make that transition.

With the assistance of producer Chet Atkins, George IV moved away from teen ballads and began a string of country hits that included “Before This Day Ends” in 1960 (the year he joined the Opry cast), followed by “Three Steps to the Phone” and “If You Don’t Know, I Ain’t Gonna Tell You.” In 1963, George IV scored his first No. 1 country hit, “Abilene,” which also returned him to the pop chart.

An artist of eclectic taste, George IV has covered the material of such folk-pop singers as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. He also recorded several songs by Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot and worked extensively in Canada. From Canada, he ventured to Europe, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia and the Holy Land, where he taped two TV specials.

In 1972, George IV returned with his family to North Carolina, where he hosted a TV series. The Hamilton’s moved back to Nashville in 1986, with George IV making regular Opry appearances while continuing to record and to travel abroad. In 2000 he published his biography, “George Hamilton IV: Ambassador of Country Music.”

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