Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rhonda Vincent And The Grand Ole Opry

I came across this post, from "The Front Porch".

Bluegrass 'Queen' Rhonda Vincent Has Her Sights Set On Opry:

Rhonda Vincent still seems honored to have been named the "New Queen of Bluegrass" by the Wall Street Journal back in 2000. "It's a great honor....and it has kind of stuck," Vincent said. "It's wonderful to be thought of like that and know that you are representing bluegrass music. I'm so thrilled." Listen to any of her live albums and you will hear why that label has stuck. Backed by a group of ace musicians, her energetic live show is one of the best in the business, and the reason she has won the IBMA Entertainer of the Year in 2001, and was the reigning IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year from 2000-2006.

But after rising to the top of the bluegrass scene, Vincent does still have at least one milestone she wants to reach. Although she's played many times on the hallowed stage, Vincent would love to join the ranks of the Grand Ole Opry. "It's always been a dream to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry," Vincent says. "Growing up in Greentop, Mo., we would always listen to the Opry on the radio. Just to get to perform there is an honor. To be a member would be the ultimate.
(Jessica Phillips)

It has always been rumored that Rhonda Vincent has been up for consideration to become an Opry member. There is always back of the house politics going on at the Opry, and some of that may be a reason why Rhonda so far as not been asked. But in my opinion, this should happen today. Rhonda has played the Opry many times and has been well received. She gets it!!! And, I think, like Del McCoury has been, she would be a loyal member, who would be there on a regular basis to perform. And, she would fill a need. Currently, the only true female bluegrass singer on the Opry's roster is Alison Krauss, and she is hardly ever there. This would be a good fit.


  1. It is very sad when politics get in the way of what should be the #1 priorities of membership selection... artist integrity, and the music itself. But that is what happens when enterprise wins out over other criteria. It's even sadder, that unfortunately, many fans and tourists, would rather pay to see the current flavor of the month when they come to town, instead of realizing it should be an opportunity to learn about and enjoy other forms of Country music as well. The Opry should be above that mentality, and think long term, by allowing membership to all the deserving, no matter what their chosen genre of Country music may be.

    If the Opry can give membership to some of the current Mainstream artists, who wouldn't even have been considered under older standards, they certainly can give honor to someone who has proven herself and been at the top of their chosen Country genre for so many years.

    I don't think there is any one out there who works harder than Rhonda, when it comes to touring and trying to get her music out to those who appreciate it the most. To many, she would be a welcomed and wonderful addition to the Opry membership.

  2. I have wondered whether the politics in this case is that Martha White sponsors her tour and no longer is an Opry on-air sponsor, though the relationship continues. In a way, I thought it might help her when Martha White stopped sponsoring segments regularly. Anyway, I hope this will happen. The Opry needs some younger bluegrass acts and a female bluegrass act, and she fits the bill beautifully.

  3. Just a FYI. Martha White sponsors the 11:00 segment of the 2nd show on Saturday nights. Also in listening to the Opry on WSM, they have been running at least one Martha White commercial each Friday and Saturday night, between segments of the Opry.

  4. Rhonda's definitely been on my short list for a while not only because she's an outstanding artist (she's one of only a handful of acts that I will buy their latest release without hearing any of the tracks in advance) but also because she's a genuinely nice person that has certainly "paid her dues" in the business. I've had an opportunity to work with her and her group on several occasions and it's always a pleasure both personally and professionally. I'm thinking the Opry is about due for another bluegrass act in the cast.

  5. There have been Martha White spots during the broadcast, and the company sponsors the Opry Plaza Parties but, last night, no segment--Dollar General, I believe, did the 11:00.

    I found it interesting that Humana replaced Cracker Barrel as the presenting sponsor. Any word on what happened there? I confess, I miss the old days of having different sponsors. I also notice that Odom's Tennessee Pride sponsors the warmup show--and, while I like Mike Terry and think he does a great job, I notice that he brings in more guests and younger acts than Keith Bilbrey did. Not a criticism, just a note.

  6. I love Rhonda and her band and think she is as deserving of anyone to become a member. And if you miss Keith Bilbrey like I do, I hope you have been catching him on Larry's Country Diner on RFD-TV. He is a hoot!