ICYMI: PHOTOS – GRAND OLE OPRY MEMBER BILL ANDERSON’S 62ND ANNIVERSARY, LONGEST-SERVING MEMBER IN SHOW’S HISTORY
On July 22, 2023, Country Music Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson was recognized at the Grand Ole Opry as the longest-serving member in the show’s history.
Anderson, one of the most awarded songwriters in the history of country music and a highly successful performer in his own right, was inducted into the Opry family on July 15, 1961. His membership has not lapsed in those 62 years, eclipsing the membership run of past Opry member Herman Crook, who joined the Opry in 1926 and remained with the show until his death in 1988.
Many of Anderson’s Opry family and friends including Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson, and Jeannie Seely paid tribute to him throughout the show, including a Seely/Anderson collaboration on “When Two World’s Collide,” a Johnson/Anderson collaboration on “Everybody Wants To Be 21,” and Gill’s performance of his hit “Which Bridge To Cross, Which Bridge To Burn,” co-written with Anderson. Anderson was also presented with a plaque by Gill and Seely to commemorate the historic achievement.
“The Grand Ole Opry continues to be built on the shoulders of Opry members such as Bill Anderson,” said Dan Rogers, Opry vice president and executive producer. “Singling Bill out as the Opry’s longest-tenured member in our history among so many greats who came before him as well as so many contemporaries he calls his friends is a tremendous honor for all of us.”
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum currently features the life and illustrious career of Anderson in the exhibition, Bill Anderson: As Far as I Can See, which has been extended through Monday, September 25. The exhibit is an exploration of his life and musical legacy, from childhood through his contributions as one of the most decorated recording artists, songwriters, and entertainers in history.