Last night while listening to the Friday Night Opry, Bill Anderson was finishing up his segment and he made the statement to the crowd that there was still lots more to go and that they would be glad that they picked this night to be at the Opry. Right away, I thought, this is finally the night for the Oak Ridge Boys. And it was. After they finished their first song, "Y'All Come Back Saloon", Jimmy Dickens came out on stage with a beard to match that of William Lee Golden's. And after some laughter and much applause, Jimmy asked them to become the Opry's newest members.
Here is the press release from the Opry:
"After the Oaks performed their hit "Y'All Come Back Saloon," 62-year Opry member Jimmy Dickens surprised the group by walking on stage dressed as a 4'11" William Lee Golden, including long beard and sunglasses. "All my life I've wanted to be a little bitty Oak Ridge Boy," Dickens announced to raucous laughter in the Opry House. "On August 6, I will become the newest member of the Oak Ridge Boys, and at that time, you will become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry!"
Joe Bonsall responded for the group, saying, "Jimmy, that's the funniest thing we've ever seen, first of all. This is a brotherhood and sisterhood unlike any other. We have been friends of the Opry for a long time....We will get on our bus later and let this process, and I guess we have until August 6th to let it sink in."
The group concluded its set with the classic "Elvira," then returned to join Larry Gatlin on"All the Gold in California."
The Opry got this one right. The Oaks have been Opry guests and friends for decades. Their Opry roots go back further than that. While they will not make the Opry any younger, they will bring lots of energy and excitement to the show. They appeal to all age groups. I have seen them several times on the Opry and each and every time, it has been a standing ovation. I will be curious to see who handles the actual induction of them as it could be just about any Opry member.
I have said on this blog several times that the Oak Ridge Boys have had discussions with the Opry several times about becoming Opry members, but the group felt that they would be on the road so much that they could not be serious members and give the show the commitment it should. With their careers starting to wind down, it looks like this was the time to do it. I for one, am glad that they are joining the cast.
Congratulations Oak Ridge Boys and nice job by Pete Fisher on this one!!!!!