I just wanted to post a couple of comments regarding Carrie Underwood and the Opry. As all of you know, this past weekend, she did 2 Opry shows on Friday night and she is scheduled for another appearance on March 26, which is a Saturday night with 2 shows. That will give her 4 Opry appearances in 2011.
Since joining the Opry in 2008, a year in which she appeared on the Opry stage 9 times, she has appeared at the Opry 10 times in 2009 and 6 times in 2010. She is also the featured voice in the new Opry video that is show prior to each show at the Grand Ole Opry House.
Carrie is probably one of the top five stars in country music today and is very busy with her touring and recording. While it might not seem like her number of Opry appearances is very high, I still congratulate her on continuing to appear at the Opry even as her career continues to take off.
When you look at her 6 Opry appearances last year, that is still more than Opry members Clint Black, Garth Brooks, Roy Clark, Tom T. Hall, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Loretta Lynn, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Ronnie Milsap, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt and Trisha Yearwood. And, she made the same number of appearances as did Dierks Bentley, Ralph Stanley, Pam Tillis and Josh Turner.
While there is no debate that we would like to see more appearances out of her, many of us thought that when she joined the Opry that she would follow the paths of some of the younger country stars and appear once or twice each year.
Perhaps it is her small town values, or she remembers where she came from, or the fact that she had to earn her stardom on American Idol, but she seems to get it. And the way she talks and acts, there is hope that she will continue to get it.
As she continues to grow as an artist and as an Opry member, there is hope that she will follow the example of Vince Gill, Marty Stuart and Rick Skaggs, from the generation prior to hers, and continue to support the Opry and make regular appearances on the Opry stage.
Having 4 Opry appearances in the books after the first 3 months of the year, and knowing that she usually makes Opry appearances in June, around the time of the CMA music festival, perhaps this year she will get it back up to close to 10 Opry appearances, the magic number that we like to see. And, with that, she will continue to outpace the majority of the Opry members.