Long-serving country star Jeannie Seely, who has now been confirmed as the artist with the most appearances in the entire 97-year history of the Grand Ole Opry, will be back on the venerable show on Saturday, September 17 to mark her 55th Opry anniversary. During that time, according to independent Opry historian Byron Fay, she has performed on the show more than 5,000 times.
“The Opry is a way of life, my way of life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”, says Seely. “This is where my heart is. In September, I will have been here 55 years, but it’s not long enough.” The upcoming show will also feature Sunny Sweeney and Chapel Hart, with more names to be announced. Tickets are available here.
Now aged 82, the artist known as “Miss Country Soul,” originally from Titusville, Pennsylvania, first appeared on the bill in 1966, the year she made her country chart debut with the No.2 hit “Don’t Touch Me,” on Monument. That won her a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1967.
Seely went on to amass 27 chart appearances over the next dozen years, reaching No.2 again in early 1970 during her time on Deeca, via her duet with Jack Greene, “Wish I Didn’t Have To Miss You.” A run in the 1970s on Decca produced more hits including the 1973 Top 10 entry “Can I Sleep In Your Arms.”
Opry executive producer Dan Rogers says: “Jeannie Seely’s commitment to the Grand Ole Opry is truly remarkable. I’ve been affiliated with the Opry less than half of her time as an official member, and even in those two decades I’ve witnessed so many examples of her dedication to this show we love: performing in borrowed clothes on the first Opry show after the 2010 flood inundated both the Opry House and her own home, making her way to the show in staff members’ vehicles after a major snowstorm, and simply being here night after night to lend her voice to this one-of-a-kind show.
“I believe I speak for staff members past and present, for her fellow Opry members, and for Opry fans around the globe when I say thank you to her for her incredibly impressive dedication to the show and that we look forward to commemorating both her unmatched commitment and 55 years of Opry membership on September 17.”
Modern-day country star Lauren Alaina enthuses: “Jeannie is hands down the coolest member of the Opry. I hope and pray every time I play that beautiful stage that she is there. Her presence in the room is unlike any other. Every time I am around her I laugh until my stomach hurts. I hope I can be a fraction of what she is to the Opry someday. In my opinion, she represents the Opry and country music flawlessly. We are lucky to have her.”
Listen to uDiscover’s A Night At The Opry playlist, featuring live recordings as well as studio tracks by key Opry artists.