Sunday, August 14, 2016

Vince Gill 25th Anniversary Recap

Saturday night the Grand Ole Opry turned over the night to Vince Gill as he celebrated his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. After attending both shows over the weekend, I can honestly say that they easily exceeded my expectations and they were two of the best Opry shows that I have seen (The best being the 75th anniversary shows) and easily making my Top 10 list. Vince, along with all of the artists, were outstanding. I know many of you followed the evening on my Facebook page as I posted a constant stream of pictures and I appreciated all of the comments. 

Among the highlights: 
  • The first show lasted almost 3 hours, coming in at 2 hours and 53 minutes. The 2nd show, scheduled to start at 9:30 did not start until 10:30 and ran until 1:00 a.m. Both shows were identical as to the songs performed, the difference being a little less talking between the songs, and on the first show Pete Fisher presented Patty Loveless and Vince their 90th anniversary membership awards.
  • As mentioned, Vince and his touring band were on stage the entire show and backed up each of the other artists performing. There were no Opry staff band members or Opry back-up singers. 
  • Each artist told a little story about Vince, usually in good humor, and then performed one of Vince's songs, with Vince singing harmony. Bill Anderson, Andrea Zonn and Charlie Worsham each performed one number, while Ashley Monroe, Patty Loveless, Jenny Gill and Amy Grant did two. The Time Jumpers performed three and also backed up the square dancers. 
  • As mentioned, Charlie Worsham appeared and was the only artist that was not on the original schedule. He performed as the entire night as a member of Vince's band. Vince and Amy's daughter Corrina did not appear.
  • Andrea Zonn, who was Vince's original fiddle player and now performs with James Taylor, did "Look at Us." Patty Loveless nailed it with "Nobody Answers When I Call Your Name" and with Vince sang, "Go Rest High on That Mountain." Amy did the song Vince wrote for her, "Whenever You Come Around." Bill and Vince sang "Which Bridge to Cross." Charlie Worsham was outstanding on "The Key to Life." Rodney Crowell and Vince came through on "Till I Can Gain Control Again." And not to forget Ashley Monroe and Jenny Gill, as they were both outstanding also. Among The Time Jumpers selections was "Corrina." 
  • Amy Grant and Rodney Crowell danced with the square dancers on the first show and Amy came back with them on the second. She also flopped down on the ground to great humor. 
  • Vince opened with "One More Last Chance" and closed with "Little Liza Jane" with everyone on stage and an extended instrumental to close it out. 
  • Pete Fisher made a special poster presentation to Vince, who received a standing ovation. 
All in all, it was a great evening. After the show concluded, one of the hostesses told me that it was among the slowest night for liquor sales during a show that she could remember, as everyone pretty much stayed in their seats the entire time, afraid that something would be missed. The first show as sold out, the second one not quite. 

A great night for Vince and a great night to be at the Opry. 


  1. What I got to hear sounded great. Too me Vince is that persona of what an Opry member should be.

  2. Great summary, will get over to your FB page for photos; wow, that was some show; we missed listening but will catch the re-run on XM

  3. Vince Gill understands what the 'Opry is all about.
    He told Bill Cody on WSM the other morning that he would basically play whatever role the 'Opry might ask of him.
    I would recommend General Manager!

  4. What a great recap Byron and what a great weekend of Opry shows - all four of them, however, the first Saturday night Opry show was one for the ages that is for sure. Sure was great that Patty Loveless and Rodney Crowell were among the well-wishers to share in the evening with their good pal. I too like Ashley Monroe and Jenny Gill and I especially enjoyed Charlie Worsham's version of "The Key of Life" - just love that song and he did a great job in front of the master of it. I see Charlie is scheduled for an Opry appearance and that's good, I really like his music and musicianship, of which I know he can play many instruments. So enjoyed all the artists on stage. And almost six hours of Vince Gill - don't know where he got the stamina to keep that level of showmanship going but it's what they do.

    Thank you for all the great pictures you posted on Facebook, always a real treat, makes me think I have a seat in the House. :-)


  5. Byron, thanks. It sounds like the only person who may have had a better time Saturday night than you did ... was Vince!

  6. I was there too for saturdays first show as well as fridays 2nd show, i guess our paths just didnt cross. Both shows were excellent, in my opinion. I wasnt exactly sure what to expect from saturdays performance, but it turned out much better than i imagined. I never realized how great a guitar player vince gill was. I was hoping to hear bill Anderson do and 2nd song, but getting to hear that iconic voice speak was just as good. It would be interesting if pete fisher leaves and vince gill gets the promotion. Im sure he would bring the opry back to its heyday.

    When i left after the 1st show concluded, i noticed many rain puddles outside, and the wet sidewalk. It looked like it had been recently raining pretty well, but nevertheless, the huge crowd of people still stayed put to wait in line for over an hour to watch the 2nd show. When theres a great show like this one, they wont leave no matter what nature throws at them.

    I got the celebration package for my birthday, and, among the things inside the goodie bag i was given was a birthday card signed by members of the opry, as well as guest artist chris janson. Im not sure if they forgot hes not a member, or are planning to induct him soon, but it seemed interesting to me.

    1. Sorry I didn't know you were there Kyle. I would have liked to have met you. I, of course, will be there for all of the birthday shows. We need to hook up in the Opry House at some point. As far as the 2nd show, it wasn't quite a sell-out but pretty close, similar to the 2nd show on Friday.

      Interesting regarding Chris Janson. I think everyone knows my thoughts regarding Chris and Opry membership. Time will tell.