Category Archives: Opry

INTERVIEW: CMA Award Winner and Grammy Nominee Deana Carter

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She is likely best known for her debut single, “Strawberry Wine,” but singer/songwriter Deana Carter has a plethora of albums, songwriting credits, award nominations, and a CMA Award on her shelf. Admittedly, I bought Deana’s first album in 1996 (with the hologram cover, thank you very much!) and I couldn’t resist kicking off our interview with a play on the CMA Awards Album of the Year Nominee Did I Shave My Legs For This? So, to answer the burning question you all have, no, Deana did not, in fact, shave her legs for our interview. She also did not imbibe any strawberry wine because “it’s not Friday yet!” After I got these (likely) very much anticipated references to Deana’s breakout project out of the way, I was able to hone in on what this talented, poised, hardworking, and unbelievably sweet musician has been doing as of late.

Lucy Hale’s Album “Road Between” Set For June 3rd Release

Image courtesy of Billboard

Country music newcomer, Lucy Hale, recently revealed plans to release her country debut album in late spring. Lucy’s debut record, Road Between, will release June 3rd on DMG Nashville/Bigger Picture Group.

“This has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl singing Faith Hill and Shania Twain songs into my hairbrush in the mirror,” reveals Lucy. “It was both exciting and scary for me to be so vulnerable making this album, and it’s turned out to be something genuinely me and something I’m really proud to share.”

The exciting news doesn’t stop here for Lucy! She has been invited to make her debut on the Grand Ole Opry this Friday, February 21, 2014!

Congratulations to Lucy! Let us know what you are looking forward to most as Lucy’s bright country music career progresses!

Exclusive Interview: Mandy Barnett

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Mandy Barnett is a Tennessee born and raised country singer who got her start at the ripe old age of five years old. Mandy knew music was her calling because “it was just natural. It was something that just flowed from me early on.” Mandy began by singing at church and soon progressed to performing at Dollywood for a couple of summers. In fact, Mandy was involved with Dollywood during its inaugural year and was fortunate enough to even perform with the legendary Dolly Parton. Because of her involvement with Dollywood at that time, Mandy had the unique honor of singing Happy Birthday to Dolly as Dolly was lifted out of a cake. When asked about her experience with Dolly, as an aspiring singer at such a young age, Mandy explained that it was “really exciting.” Mandy continued to tell us about how Dolly is “such a sweet person, and when you meet Dolly, you are meeting a real star. She’s very humble and very sweet, and there’s just an aura about her that is something else. She is iconic, as you like to describe her.”

Exclusive Interview: Janelle Arthur

Janelle Arthur Interview

Janelle Arthur (@JanelleOArthur) is perhaps best known, at this time, as a contestant from Season 12 of American Idol. A true beauty, inside and out, the Tennessean country singer and guitarist left her life behind and embarked on the journey that so many hope to experience, but a mere few ever will. After placing fifth in a season of the most epic singing competition to ever land on American television, Janelle has been hard at work launching her solo career. We were fortunate to catch up with the incredibly sweet, personable, and inspiring artist to discuss her childhood, Idol journey, and what her bright musical future holds.

Janelle was born in Oliver Springs, Tennessee and began singing certain words before she could even speak them. Immediately it became clear that music was going to be a huge part of Janelle’s life. From that point forward, Janelle began performing around her hometown and in school, which led to a gig that most country-loving kids would be beyond honored to land. At eight-years-old, Janelle was cast as a young Dolly Parton at the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Janelle’s mom was instrumental in her landing the part, as, after seeing an advertisement for the show in Country Weekly, she called Dollywood and inquired as to whether a child performer was needed. The phone call took place at just the right time, as production was looking for a little girl Janelle’s age to portray Dolly. Janelle’s mom asked if she could bring her to the audition, and thereafter, without hesitation, Janelle was immediately cast in the role.

Carrie Underwood Opry News

photo credit Mark Mosrie for the Grand Ole Opry

Big Opry news for Carrie Underwood! Two things…

First, the six-time Grammy winner performed her seventh Opry sold-out show of the summer this past Saturday, August 10. That is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Congratulations, Carrie!

Second, Underwood is the host of a new Grand Ole Opry radio advertising campaign. The campaign will feature Underwood reflecting on her 5th anniversary as an Opry member and inviting fans to visit Nashville. It will air next week in regional markets as well as on the Opry’s nationally syndicated radio program, America’s Opry Weekend.

During an Opry performance earlier this summer celebrating the big 5th anniversary, an on-stage video reel displayed some of her past Opry moments. The country star was overwhelmed by it all:

It’s so hard to believe it’s been five years, but what an amazing five years it has been. Just watching that video, I was getting a little teary-eyed, thinking about how I felt when all of that was happening. And I still feel that blessed and that honored to be on this stage.

Aaron Lewis to make Grand Ole Opry debut

Aaron Lewis.

Next Tuesday is a big day for country singer-songwriter Aaron Lewis. He’ll be making his Grand Ole Opry debut on Tuesday, May 28th alongside Dustin Lynch, Bill Anderson, Ricky Skaggs, Josh Turner, Craig Campbell and Sam Palladio (from ABC’s Nashville). The show starts at 7 pm and tickets are still available at opry.com.

About his debut, Aaron said:

“Getting to play the Grand Ole Opry is such an incredible honor. It’s a dream come true to think that I’ll get to stand in that same iconic circle where music royalty has stood.”

Aaron’s brand new single “Grandaddy’s Gun” is out at country radio right now. It’s a co-write by Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins, and Bobby Pinson. About the song, Aaron said:

“‘Granddaddy’s Gun’ is the only song on the album that I didn’t write. In fact, it’s the only song I’ve ever recorded that I didn’t write.  But the minute Rhett played it for me, it took me right back to my childhood.  It’s my story.  It’s a song I could have written.”

Congratulations to Aaron on his big accomplishment! Are you going next week?

Kree Harrison To Make Opry Debut

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It has been a huge week for Kree Harrison…

The American Idol finale was this week where she finished Top 2 and runner up to Candice Glover. Her debut single “All Cried Out” is available on iTunes. Today is her birthday (Happy Birthday, Kree). And earlier, she received some amazing news… she will be making her Grand Ole Opry debut!

The debut will take place on June 4th. Joining Kree on the Opry will be American Idol judge, Keith Urban. Other previous performers announced for that night include: Rascal Flatts, Kellie Pickler, and Lennon and Maisy from ABC’s Nashville. It sounds like it will be a great show!

The humbled singer was, of course, honored by the invitation:

“I’m speechless. It has been my lifelong dream to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. I am so honored to be invited!”

Congratulations, Kree! We are very excited for you and know you will have a great career. We look forward to following along.

“All Cried Out” iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/all-cried-out-single/id648665235 …

Joel Crouse makes Opry debut

Joel Crouse. photo credit: Jim Wright.

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.

Opry brings back Easter Egg Hunt

Grand Ole Opry Easter Egg hunt.

For the second year, the Grand Ole Opry is teaming up with artists, radio stations, attractions, and other partners from across the country for a high-tech Easter Egg Hunt via Twitter this Friday, March 29. Prize eggs will be hidden around the Opry’s hometown of Nashville as well as in several mystery cities across the U.S., and fans will find clues to the eggs’ hiding spots by following @opry on Twitter throughout the day Friday.

Among the prizes up for grabs from the Opry and participating partners are tickets to see Alabama, Terri Clark, Kacey Musgraves, and more coming up at the Opry; autographed CDs and merchandise from several artists including Trace Adkins, Garth Brooks, Josh Turner, and Carrie Underwood; and more.

Fans will also be able to participate in a Virtual Opry Egg Hunt and enter for a chance to win a grand prize trip to Nashville by searching for virtual eggs throughout opry.com on Friday. Will you be joining in the hunt?

 

 

Chris Janson to make Opry Debut

Chris Janson.

Country singer Chris Janson is about to finally achieve a major milestone – his first Grand Ole Opry performance. Bigger Picture Group’s hot country newcomer and dynamic multi-instrumentalist Chris Janson will make his Grand Ole Opry debut this Friday, February 15. Janson will perform on the legendary stage his addictive new single “Better I Don’t,” which is quickly climbing up the charts and was the second most added song to country radio playlists nationwide the week of release.

“Words can’t describe how humbled I am, that I’ve been asked to play the Grand Ole Opry,” shares Janson. “This will be my greatest career highlight, hands down. Dreams do come true. I’m so grateful.”

Janson will join Josh Turner, Craig Morgan, The Black Lillies, Jimmy Dickens, John Conlee, Ricky Skaggs and more, in Friday’s lineup, which begins at 7:00 PM.