Anneke Scott, Dan Truman and Me
Thanks to friend Dan Truman of the country band Diamond Rio, I had the incredible opportunity to be backstage at the Grand Ole Opry- the home and heartbeat of country music.
Country music is a genre rich in tradition, and it felt like a big family reunion all night. The older artists reach out to the newcomers, and the young artists have the utmost respect for their musical elders. During the night I was able to hang around Vince Gill, Lee Brice and Tyler Farr- while soaking in the incredible musical talent, sights and sounds (SEE THE PHOTO COLLECTION HERE).
Dan told us that each of the performers and artists are paid $140 per Opry appearance- union scale. Everyone gets paid the same amount, from Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks to Bill Anderson and The Gatlins. He also mentioned that his top four artists/writers/players were Steve Wariner, Keith Urban, Vince Gill and Brad Paisley- the rare guys that could truly 'do it all.'
In a quiet moment, I stopped in a small room with quotes on the wall:
"Talent is being able to please people."- Marty Robbins
"Be better to your neighbors and you'll have better neighbors." - Ernest Tubb
"The Opry is a way of life, it's an institution that gets passed on every weekend. If you're going to be a country performer, the Opry is the place to be." - Marty Stuart
"This is the pinnacle of what I do. Nothing has ever touched being a member of the Grand Ole Opry." - Garth Brooks
"The best of America is sitting in those Opry seats tonight." - Charlie Daniels
"Let 'er go, boys!" - George D. Hay
I pinched myself several times during the night to remind myself that it was real. :) Thanks to Dan for making it possible!