Saturday, April 7, 2018

Bobby Bare Back As An Opry Member

Tonight on the Grand Ole Opry, Garth Brooks made a surprise appearance and announced that Bobby Bare is back as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Bobby, who is celebrating his 83rd birthday today, was an Opry member for about 10 years, from 1964 to 1974.

Bobby acted very surprised, thanking the Opry, Sally Williams, and Garth. An amazing Opry moment.

28 comments:

  1. Awesome! Wonderful! Sally Williams is great! Welcome home Mr.Bare!

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  2. I was listening, what a great honor for Bobby.

    Who are the other living "former" members?

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    1. BJ Thomas, Margie Bowes, Sam Wellington and various members of The 4 Guys, Willie Nelson. I know I am missing some but those are the first that come to mind. Of course, there are a number of current members who are retired.

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    2. Wonderful 83rd birthday present for The Bare, and for us. Other former members: Jim Glaser, Leroy Van Dyke, Norma Jean, Doug Kershaw, Don Everly.

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  3. Great News!! He has been visiting the Opry a lot lately; still lives in Nashville area; although he doesn't go out on the road alot, this will probably put a dent in those now. Always a favorite of mine but have only had one chance to see him in person. Great guy, great family man.

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  4. Thanks Mike, I knew I was missing some and was just doing some fast thinking. Really a great night.

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  5. Why was he removed from the opry?

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    1. He left on his own in March 1974 when the Opry moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House.

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  6. Awesome is the only word that can discribe this. Bobby Bare is a legend and a Hall of Famer. I think we will see him quite often.

    For those who saw the clip on facebook, Garth inducated Bobby was a member when this was a "membership", now it is a "family". I somewhat disagree with Garth on this. It has always been a family. But requirements were expected. Either way Bobby has made more guests appearances than Garth has since his induction. Garth made it casual that the Opry was "bringing Bobby back in the family".

    As to the other former members, I'm sure they would take Willie Nelson back in a heartbeat, but I don't see it in Willie's plans. Of those listed (and I would add Ray Walker of the Jordonaires), I don't see any of them returning unless it was B.J. Thomas or Leroy Van Dyke. B.J. appears often and has large recognizable songs. Leroy appears a couple times a year and is listed among those who might be a future Hall of Famer. The others I can't see coming back. Norma Jean has all but asked. Publicly announcing her regrets of leaving the Opry. The others that were attached to a group, duo or trio, won't be back.

    With what I've been seeing the last few months it would not surprise me at all if someone such as Charlie McCoy is not asked. Either way Sally Williams is doing an excellent job in my opinion.

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    1. David, thanks for your thoughts, much of which I agree with. I know that when Leroy Van Dyke made an Opry appearance last October, which was what would have been his 55th anniversary as an Opry member, there was an article posted on whether Leroy had actually been fired or not, of he was just suspended for not fulfilling his Opry requirement (I do have a copy of the letter that was sent by Ott Devine to Leroy).

      In Bobby's case, I do see that he has a new public relations firm and management team working with him. I wonder if they were the ones who approached the Opry without telling Bobby, and setting things in motion.

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    2. Hi David and Byron:

      I heard/watched Garth's entire speech to Bobby Bare and I heard of the "membership" and how it is a "family." First of all, family is how the majority of them describe themselves to begin with. I've heard that word used to describe the entire Opry cast for as long as I can remember, it's just Garth being Garth - not a fan of his and never have been, though I like his music - and I disagree with him about the word membership - they are called Grand Ole Opry members or Opry members for a reason. To me, that means they are part of a membership. I've also heard the Opry be described as an exclusive club, not every artist will be invited to be a family member of this institution; Garth mentioned the word "club" vs "family" as well. So Garth can spin words any way he wants to suit himself ... but WE shouldn't lose sight as to what the Opry is and what it means to most of its members but apparently not to all.

      And @David B, you are totally correct. Bobby Bare HAS made more appearances to perform for the Opry audience in the last 15 or so months than Garth has in the last five years and more likely it's ten.

      I also think that Sally Williams is doing a tremendous job. In my opinion, she has started to return the Opry to its former glory and last night is another example of that. I mentioned this last night on Facebook - maybe there can be a way of bringing back The 4 Guys - I really thought they were terrific and always seemed to be well received by the audience but they were treated terribly. While it wouldn't be so much to right a wrong (but that would be a great start) it's because they really were a terrific singing act. I always enjoyed seeing them on the Opry when it was still being televised.

      All I know is that I am very happy that Bobby Bare is back as an Opry member. Congratulations and welcome home. :-)

      (Jeanene)

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    3. Jeanene, your comments are right-on. I like Garth and I do think he cares about the Opry, but he needs to come and sing, not just come and induct new members, unless that is his new job. I am sure those attending feel bad when Garth comes out and does not sing. I can still remember the night Reba came out and invited Little Big Town to be the newest members of the Opry, and at that time Reba had made one Opry appearance over the previous decade. And people in the audience did complain that she did not sing that night. At the very least, it would appear that Sally Williams and the Opry are reaching out to Garth and he is responding. One step at a time.

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    4. I agree Byron. Folks like Reba and Garth can spin their words, and show up just to induct. Howeve, membership is an exclusive club, and that means coming and performing a few nites out of the year. If the number is 10, then 10 it is. I would out Brad Paisley in there too. So much love for the Opry, BUT I dont see enough of him there.... Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday..... I am sure he could make it at least one nite. Even to do a classics show.
      Regards to Sally Williams, love the fact that there is a woman in a key position at the Opry, and she is in tune. I think she gets it. She understands that there will be bridges that were burned by the Fisher regime, that need repaired in good faith.

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  7. As I recall the story, both Kitty Wells and Earl Scruggs asked to be brought back as members and were told no--I think by Pete Fisher.

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    1. Mike, you are correct. The report that I heard was Kitty and Earl both wanted to come back toward the end of their lives as Opry members. Much of it had to do with the insurance and other benefits that were offered. And yes, they were told no. If I remember right, Earl did make an Opry appearance or two after that but I don't think Kitty did.

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  8. Checking the Opry Website, it indicates Bobby as "Opry member since 2018". I guess he will not get the Jimmy Dickens treatment and given his original date.

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  9. Byron, we have not been back to the Opry since the 90th anniv weekend; have you noticed any other changes by Sally Williams, like getting rid of those ridiculous "games" etc that they started doing before/during the shows - those were really turn-offs for us. Thanks. So delighted to have Bobby Bare as the latest member(again)!. Anonymous in PA

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    1. I have noticed a few changes. The games are still there most nights, but not every night. Not sure why, but I know when I was there in February there were no games that night, but Julia is still there doing the show intro.

      I have noticed in talking to some of the people working at the Opry that the attitude seems better with Steve and Pete gone, and Sally and her team taking over. I have watched Sally a few times and she seems to be always smiling and having fun, where Pete (who I have nothing against) always had that intense look on his face. They are doing work on the Opry House adding a bigger ticket and gift shop. That should be done by October and they have more things going on outside the Opry House, such as food trucks and entertainment. Trying to give it that overall experience. That is what I see.

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    2. Was at the Oprry in December when I went to the States, and I noticed changes as well. Mainly the attitude and no presence of Stinky Pete. I will never forgive nor respect that man and how he disrespected people like Stonewall Jackson and Charlie Louvin.

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  10. I love it...Welcome Back Bobby Bare...Bob

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  11. I was wondering if they would grandfather his original date a la Little Jimmy. Now, the question is, and I must open Pandora´s Box, what does the Williams Family think of this? After all there has always been campaigns, sentiments about having Hank Sr. reinstated, though he is deceased. I know its not the same, but it broaches a question if there will be legends reinstated in the future.
    I hope they do reinstate more.

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  12. It was such a blessing to be in the front row at the Opry House to witness history on Saturday night.

    As others have shared, kudos to Sally Williams and her team for the work that has been done over the past year and a half or so.

    A couple of observations from on site:

    -Some folks around us were confused by what was happening with Bobby Bare and were disappointed that Garth did not sing. I for one, am happy to see the baby steps being taken by Garth and Opry management to get him more involved. I hope it continues;

    -The Opry House was not sold out on Saturday night. A few empty seats appeared in the corners of the mezzanine and the upper balcony;

    -Opry House construction seems to be moving along well. There is a sign which indicates that tours of the Acuff House will be available once construction is completed in the fall;

    -Both Don Schlitz and Charlie Worsham mesmerized the live crowd. It is nice to see the Opry embracing some of the country singer/songwriter vibe which has driven much of Nashville in recent years;

    -As always the staff at the Opry House went out of their way to be friendly and accommodating;

    -Always great to see an Opry debut. Especially nice to be there for Stephanie Quayle, who sang what I would consider to be two country songs.

    Overall, another great trip to Nashville and the Opry.

    We also attended Opry Country Classics on Thursday night. If you love Larry Gatlin, his act alone is well worth the price of admission! The music was outstanding and we left feeling as if we had been to church!

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    1. Woody, thanks for the detailed report. I need to hire you as my new correspondent. And you certainly picked a great night to go to the Opry.

      I have seen Charlie Worsham on the Opry several times, and I completely agree with you that he is an amazing talent. Have not seen Don, but he has been on the Opry a few times now and seems to be well received.

      Larry Gatlin really is a great talent and while many descriptions are used, dull is not one of them. I have heard some say that his act grows old after a while, but I am not one of those.

      I am sure it is shows like the one you saw Saturday that keep you coming back.

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    2. Very interesting reading from ya'll... Keep them coming!!! Bob

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  13. We who listen to the Opry all the time and have visited or visit often overlook the fact that many in the audience may only see people like Larry Gatlin perform on the Opry(classics) that one time.

    Every time we went to the Opry from the 90's though 2013, our mom would set and watch people like Jimmy Dickens and Johnny Russell perform and never crack a smile. She always said the people next to her looked at her like there was something wrong because she had a straight face and they were shaking with laughter. Well, mom thought they were funny but she had heard them so many times it just didn't make her laugh anymore.

    For me, I could still laugh most of the time because of the little differences in delivery or seeing them instead of just hearing them. But I'm the guy who took 50% of my photos some place other than at the artist at center stage always looking for the little side shows going on!

    Anyway, the repetition can be boring to us in radio land but if it is your only visit or you do not listen all the time like we do, you'll probably never know it is the same thing they said last week.

    My two cents.

    By the way, glad to have Bare back on the Opry. Too bad Sally Williams didn't come along sooner while we still had a few other legends left that my have a had a hand reach out to them!

    Jim
    Knightsville

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  14. I think it's time for a change at the Opry Country Classics show. For me, Larry Gatlin is the very best one to host the show, with or without the sometimes dull and offensive jokes he made. he's entertaining and nobody will ever sleep in his seat, when he's there. But I think they offer too less music and too much blabla and dumb games to the audiences, who pay much money for the tickets. What do you think about?

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  15. If Larry Gatlin would just do some different songs once in a while ------- I love the guy but "Broken Lady "gets old ----- Dashmann, Flushing, Mich

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  16. Thank's Dashmann,
    The first Song is always Houston, the last one always All the Gold, same goes for the Gospel part, Why me Lord and Amazing Grace make 80%, I think America got millions of wonderful Gospels....And half of the time is blabla, the same old jokes. I know, the live audience don't know about that problem, but the millions peoples at home....

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