While it has been great that Travis Tritt is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, he is one of those artists who joined in the early 1990s that just hasn't been around that much. Since joining the show 25 years ago, he has made a total of 43 appearances as an Opry member and no appearances since Porter Wagoner passed away in 2007. Yes, it has been 10 years since Travis has appeared on the Opry stage!! I don't know if there is a connection between Porter's passing and Travis's no-show at the Opry, but I do know that Travis had a lot of respect for Porter and it was Porter who inducted Travis into the Opry on that February night. Some have speculated that there is a connection between Travis coming back to the Opry and Pete Fisher leaving as the Opry's general manager. That I do not know, but what I do know is that Travis will be back Tuesday night and the Opry has been giving it quite a build-up on their website site, Facebook and Twitter. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a new relationship between Travis Tritt and the Opry and we will see more of Travis in the coming months.
Here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, February 28:
7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Flatt Lonesome
7:30: Deana Carter; Dustin Lynch
8:15: Bill Anderson; Chris Janson
8:45: Travis Tritt
A Georgia native who came up in the state's rough-and-tumble club circuit before moving to Nashville, Travis Tritt built his reputation on a blend of Southern swagger, honky tonk themes and songwriting craft that found favor with older stars like Roy Acuff and young fans alike. He began his musical career as a soloist in a Marietta, Georgia church's children choir, teaching himself guitar at age eight and writing his first song at age 14 before plunging into Atlanta's night life as a singer and bandleader. After signing with Warner Bros. Records in 1988, he released the album "Country Club," a strong debut that cracked the Top 10 with its title cut and then yielded three Top 5 singles ("Help Me Hold On," "I'm Gonna Be Somebody," and "Drift Off to Dream") that showed off his muscular singing and versatility.
In recognition of his spectacular rise, Billboard magazine named him the top new male artist of 1990, while the Country Music Association gave Travis its Horizon Award in 1991. Then he began to make appearances on the Grand Ole Opry's stage. "I don't know why to this day," he says with a smile, "but Roy Acuff saw something in me that he liked. He came up and put his arm around me backstage and said, 'Son, we want to see you back here at the Opry more often.'" The following year Travis was invited to join the Opry cast.
For the next decade, Travis was a near-constant presence on the country charts, alternating rowdy anthems like, "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" and "Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof" with power ballads such as "Foolish Pride" and contemplative stories like "Anymore." Travis also teamed up several times with fellow Opry member Marty Stuart for songs that included the CMA and Grammy award-winning "The Whiskey Ain't Working" and Top 10 hit "This One's Gonna Hurt You (For a Long, Long Time)."
Travis announced in 2010 that he was forming his own label for future releases, starting with one to mark his 20th anniversary as a country star. "In some ways it seems like 20 minutes," Travis told Billboard. "In some ways it seems like forever."
Here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up from Saturday February 29, 1992, the night Travis Tritt joined the Grand Ole Opry:
6:30: Grand Ole Opry Tours
Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; David Houston
6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Del Reeves (host); Charlie Louvin; Jimmy C Newman
Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Mike Snider; Jean Shepard; Ray Pillow
7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host); Trisha Yearwood; Travis Tritt
8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; 4 Guys; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Opryland USA
Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Stonewall Jackson; Boxcar Willie; Roy Drusky
9:30: Dollar General Stores
Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Louvin; Jeannie Seely; Travis Tritt
10:00: Little Debbie Snack Cakes
Jim Ed Brown (host); Trisha Yearwood
10:15: Sunbeam Bread/Tennessee Pride Sausage
Roy Acuff (host); Mike Snider
Boxcar Willie (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
10:45: BC Headache Powder
Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Bill Carlisle; Justin Tubb; Del Reeves
11:30: Creamette Pasta
4 Guys (host); Roy Drusky; The Whites; Connie Smith
This was also the weekend that Grand Ole Opry legend Hank Snow returned to the Opry after suffering serious injuries in an automobile accident on November 29 while he was on his way to the Opry. The day after the accident, Hank had surgery that involved removal of part of Hank's kneecap and afterwards he had weeks of recuperation and therapy to get back up and moving around. When Hank returned to the Opry, he said, "I'm doing pretty well. I still can't bend my knee all the way back, but I'm taking therapy for that. It was a pretty rough deal. I've suffered a lot of pain." He concluded by saying it was good to be back at the Opry.
Congratulations to Travis Tritt on 25 years of Opry membership and let's hope that his appearance on Tuesday night is the first of more to come.