Grand Ole Opry friend Jeannie Seely celebrated her 48th Anniversary with the show recently.
“The Grand Ole Opry has been a part of my life since I first heard it at four years old,” she said. “For many years it seemed like an impossible dream to even attend it, let alone be on it. After I started seriously pursuing my career, I made it my goal to, someday, somehow, become a member of the Opry!”
As she arrived at the Grand Ole Opry on her anniversary night, she made her way to her regular dressing room, number 16, the Minnie Pearl room. She changed from her street clothes and comfortable shoes to her sparkly stage clothes and not quite so comfortable high-heeled boots. She touched up her make-up and made sure her hair was just right. She warmed up with the musicians to decide which songs she would perform that night.
While Jeannie considers it a privilege and an honor to perform any night at the Grand Ole Opry, this night was even more special and she wanted to perform a song that is very special to her. “Don’t Touch Me” was her first number one song, and even won her a Grammy award in March 1967 for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
“Although I was of course thrilled with a hit record, once “Don’t Touch Me” topped the charts, I started lobbying to be invited as a guest with membership in the back of my mind. Nothing in my career means more than being a part of that wonderful ‘family’,” she said. “To me, next to the Hall of Fame, your name on that membership wall signifies, more than anything else, your place in Country Music History.”
Jeannie took the stage to the roar of an enthusiastic audience. Not only did she give her distinctive moving performance on her songs, but also she was fervent in her duties as segment host and gave generous, welcoming introductions to the guest artists in her segment.
“Celebrating my 48th Anniversary reminds me how fast time flies when you are having a wonderful time,”she said. “ I feel my role now is to carry on the tradition as best I can with a helpful eye on the new talent I’m privileged to introduce who will carry this marvelous American treasure into the future for many more generations to enjoy.”
“Actually I am amazed that my career is still going after all this time,“ said Jeannie. “Every year I have thought it would probably be the last time I would be asked to do…whatever! I never take for granted how fortunate I’ve been to see my dreams come true, and to make a living doing what I love most of all. There’s simply no way I can express my gratitude for the acceptance I continue to receive from the industry, my peers, and country music fans.”
Jeannie Seely is in the sixth decade of her entertainment career that began hen she was 11 years old singing on a WMGW morning radio show. She has had success as an actress, author, songwriter, and singer, but mostly she is known as being an amazing entertainer. She has always been known as an individualist. She’s been credited with changing the image of female country performers, and her infectious humor has always been one of her trademarks. When not out touring she can be found hosting and performing at the Opry on any given weekend that she is in town. On a personal note, I always enjoyed the opportunities to share the stage in concert with her through the years. We enjoyed some pleasant visits. To learn more about her career, visit jeannieseely.com.