It’ll be one year this Sunday, Jan. 17, since country music legend and celebrated vocalist, Gene Watson, received the invitation of a lifetime: to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Vince Gill surprised Watson on stage at the Ryman Auditorium during the Opry’s Friday night show, and the rest is history.
One year to the date, Watson will be a guest on Jeannie Seely’s show this Sunday on Willie’s Roadhouse SiriusXM to commemorate the anniversary of being invited to become an Opry member.
Willie’s Roadhouse with Jeannie Seely Ch. 59
Sunday, January 17
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
“Being invited to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry is the highlight of my music career,” shared Watson. “When Vince Gill surprised me with the news, I was so shocked I don’t know how I was able to sing. As a kid, I used to sit by the radio with my family and listen to the Opry and now it’s my proud honor to be a member. Right after my induction, the world shut down from the pandemic so I haven’t been able to return but I can’t wait to sing on that hallowed stage again.”
The Texas native was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry family February 7, 2020 by Opry member Steve Wariner. Watson, whose hits including “Fourteen Carat Mind” and “Farewell Party” have become country standards, made his Opry debut 55 years prior at age 21 on the Ryman stage.
After an introduction on stage by Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs who claimed Watson as one of the most respected voices in country music history, Watson came center stage. “It’s hard to find the words to say, so I guess better than talking I ought to sing,” said Watson. “So many people contributed to this wonderful night, and I make a promise to everyone to keep up the tradition of country music,” he continued before delivering his hits “Got No Reason Now For Goin’ Home” and “Fourteen Carat Mind.”
After receiving his Opry member award and holding it high, Watson closed his set to a standing ovation with a flawless performance of his classic “Farewell Party.”
GENE WATSON ON TOUR:
March 6 Azteca Event Hall – Amarillo, Texas
March 13 Dothan Opera House – Dothan, Ala.
March 14 Walhalla Performing Arts – Walhalla, S.C.
March 20 Mill Town Music Hall – Bremen, Ga.
March 26 Heart of Texas Music Festival – Brady, Texas
March 27 The Ritz Theatre – Wellington, Texas
April 8 Sisseton Performing Arts Center – Sisseton, S.D.
April 9 Wild Rose Casino – Emmetsburg, Iowa
April 10 Windstone Entertainment Center – Jefferson City, Mo.
April 16 Liberty Showcase Theatre – Liberty, N.C.
April 17 Liberty Showcase Theatre – Liberty, N.C.
April 30 Little Roy & Lizzy Festival – Lincolnton, Ga.
May 1 The Bam – Sandford, Fla.
May 7 Nashville Palace – Nashville, Tenn.
May 15 Harvester Performance Center – Rocky Mount, Va.
May 16 American Music Theatre – Lancaster, Pa.
May 20 Arena Theatre – Houston, Texas
May 22 Riverwind Casino – Norman, Okla.
May 23 Winstar Casino – Thackerville, Okla.
June 4 Main Street Crossing – Tomball, Texas
June 5 Coyote Store – Gail, Texas
June 12 Social Circle Theatre – Social Circle, Ga.
June 26 The Park Theatre – McMinnville, Tenn.
July 3 Margaritaville – Bossier City, La.
July 10 Blue Gate Theatre – Shipshewana, Ind.
July 15 Larry’s Country Diner Taping – Columbia, Tenn.
July 29 Hippodrome Theatre – Waco, Texas
July 30 The Paramount – Abilene, Texas
July 31 Greenville Municipal Auditorium – Greenville, Texas
Aug. 15 Melba Theatre – Batesville, Ark.
Aug. 28 Barn Convention Center – Winchester, Ohio
Sept. 3 Arts Council of Wilson – Wilson, N.C.
Sept. 4 Anderson Music Hall – Hiawassee, Ga.
Sept. 5 Newberry Opera House – Newberry, S.C.
Sept. 10 The Palace Theatre – Crossville, Tenn.
Oct. 1 Arlington Music Hall – Arlington, Texas
Oct. 2 Municipal Auditorium – Sweetwater, Texas
Oct. 16 Mansion Theatre – Branson, Mo.
Oct. 23 Old Dominion Barn Dance – Hopewell, Va.
Oct. 24 Old Dominion Barn Dance – Hopewell, Va.
Nov. 6 Mansion Theatre – Branson, Mo.
Nov. 19 Country Tonite Theatre – Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Dec. 3 Main Street Crossing – Tomball, Texas
Dec. 4 Honky Tonk Texas – Silsbee, Texas