Massachusetts-born singer/songwriter Joel Crouse grew up listening to all genres of music, but it wasn’t until years later that he realized his favorites all had one similarity–the stories. It was at that moment, at the ripe age of 14, that Crouse first discovered his passion for country music. He immersed himself with the lyrics with one goal in mind: to be heard on the same country radio he grew up listening to. Little did he know someday one radio program in particular that he loved, Grand Ole Opry on 650 WSM AM, would feature his voice. Fast-forward to Saturday, May 11, 2013–one move to Nashville and a record deal later–the now-20 year old country crooner is well on his way having made his debut on the hallowed Grand Ole Opry stage.
He was overwhelmed playing on the historic stage, he explains:
“I was overwhelmed with emotions that I don’t even know how to describe. There’s something about the moment you step on its stage…for me, it was the first time I’ve truly felt like a part of the country music community. I’ll never forget that moment.”
Crouse was joined by his mother, father, sister, grandmother and friends as he waited side-stage for his name to be called by Opry member Jeannie Seely. Crouse then performed his self-penned “If You Want Some,” his current Top 40 single on Show Dog-Universal Music, and “That’s Why God Made Love Songs.”
He actually got some pretty cool advice from an Opry member before hitting the stage:
“I actually received some great advice from Darius [Rucker]. He said, ‘It’ll be surreal’ and to take it all in cause you won’t get another first time, and I really took that to heart.”
Crouse will step from the Opry stage to a Red stage as he joins Taylor Swift‘s Red Tour beginning May 28 in Glendale, Ariz. at Jobing Arena.