Ask Bill – August 2

1) How are the guests picked to perform on the Grand Ole Opry?

That’s a great question, and I reached out to our talent coordinator, Gina Keltner, for the answer: “Thie Grand Ole Opry is a one-of-a-kind production where all genres of country music are represented. An ideal show will include a mix of the most revered country legends, biggest contemporary chart toppers, and rising stars as well as other genres such as bluegrass and comedy. The Opry administrative office tracks and juggles artists’ availability to put together what are hopefully the most well-balanced and entertaining shows.” And now you know.

2) On an old Opry segment I heard recently you introduced a group called “The Four Guys.” Are they still around?

No, unfortunately the group disbanded back around 2000. They became Opry members in 1967, and performed countless times on our shows. At various times the group consisted of Richard Garrett, Sam Wellington, Brent Burkett, Gary Buck, Laddie Cain, John Frost, and possibly others. I used to marvel at the way they would perform an early Opry spot, sneak out and do a complete show at their popular nightclub, The Harmony House, then return to the Opry for the late show. No matter who was in the group they were always the consummate professionals. I miss them.

3) My question is about songwriting today. I have had some songs published, but I stopped because no one wants songs that are country. It’s all about trucks, beer, and dirt roads. Ugh! Have you felt that impact and has it made you want to stop writing for the fluff music industry?

I understand your frustration, and, believe me, you are not the only person who has expressed these thoughts to me. In the midst of it all, I have tried to just stay true to myself and write songs the way I have always written them. I’m not trying to write for today’s popularity charts so much as to write things I can be proud to put my name on. If something I create manages to sneak onto the charts then that’s a bonus. But no trends or fads, no matter how far fetched they might be, will ever take away my desire to create. First thing I plan to do at the Golden Gate is ask St. Peter for a pencil so I can jot down my latest idea for a song.


Who is going on 2019 Family Reunion Cruise and on what cruise line?

It will be on Royal Caribbean cruise lines, but I don’t have the complete list of artists in front of me. You can get that information by contacting
or by calling 615-673-2846.

Did you write the song “Farther Along?” I love it.

I recorded it, but, no, I didn’t write it. It was written way back before my time.

The number of questions we received slacked off a bit this month, so if you’ve got something you’re wanting to know, jot it down and send it to me. I’ll answer as many of your inquiries as I can. Send them to me at or to my snail mail address at P. O. Box 888, Hermitage, TN. 37076. See you back here next time.