During his Opry induction ceremony, Gill sang ”When I Call Your Name,” the title track of his third studio album, with tears in his eyes. At the time of his induction, Gill had just released his fourth studio record, Pocket Full of Gold, which includes the hit singles “Liza Jane” and “Look at Us.”
Although he didn’t have the foresight to see how successful his career would become, Gill knew that joining the Opry was one of the biggest benchmarks of his success. For the iconic artist, the most important part of his Grand Ole Opry membership has been the chance to talk with some of the legends of country music.
“The opportunity to sit and have Roy Acuff tell me war stories from 40 or 50 years ago on the road was priceless,” Gill tells MTV. “To grieve with people, to grieve with their families, to sing a little bit with Jimmy Dickens, to record some with Hank Locklin, to sit around and talk golf with Charlie Walker and to write a song or two with Bill Anderson — that’s what being there has brought me.”
Gill, who became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007, has subsequently played a role in inducting several other acts, including Rascal Flatts and Little Big Town, into the Grand Ole Opry. The singer remains one of the regular performers at the Opry, and he’s even spoken out about other members who don’t perform with any regularity.
“I can sympathize. If you’ve been out there working 120 shows and you get a weekend off, do you really want to play again? You can’t fault a guy for not wanting to, and I don’t; I’m not finger pointing,” he says. “All I’ve said is, it’d be great if they’d come out.”
A list of Gill’s future performances at the Grand Ole Opry can be found at Opry.com.
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