Nicknamed “Miss Country Soul,” Jeannie Seely recently celebrated her 55th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Within the past 55 years, Seely has never missed a year of performing on the iconic Opry stage. Not only is she the first artist from her home state of Pennsylvania to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, but she is also the first female to regularly host segments on the show; In fact, she and Jack Greene were the first artists to record an album live from the Opry.
While she had many impressive firsts, she also had a controversial one when she walked on stage wearing a mini skirt. This simple act paved the way for artists following in her footsteps by allowing them to choose what they would wear when they performed on the legendary stage. She also was requested to introduce artists during their debut performances, where she had the opportunity to do so for Chapel Hart when the trio made its debut last month.
The GRAMMY Award winner was also recognized for holding the record for most performances on the Opry stage with over 5,000 performances.
“This is such a special night. I don’t even know what to say,” shared Seely while welcoming the crowd to the Opry. “I’m just enjoying every second of it, and I will never take it for granted when I come through the Opry doors. I was thinking maybe I should wear a gown for this special occasion and then I thought, you know, if they are not impressed with me after 55 years a gown ain’t gonna do it now! But I didn’t come here 55 years ago to impress you, I came to entertain you.”
“Thank you to the treasured Grand Ole Opry for allowing me to enter that special backstage entrance, occupy the Minnie Pearl dressing room, cover that famous stage and stand in the hallowed circle. I think you should find something you have a passion for in life and embrace it. I found the Grand Ole Opry!” Seely added.
“Every single one of us at the Opry is indebted to Jeannie Seely (it feels strange not to refer to her simply as “Seely”), for so much, including her music, her wit and wisdom, and her genuine commitment to this show she loves. 55 years and 5,000+ performances later, she’s better than ever. Thanks, Seely,” shared Vice President and Executive Producer of the Grand Ole Opry, Dan Rogers.
The night did not conclude when the show did – Seely continued the celebration at The Troubador in Music Valley where she hosted the return of the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree since its hiatus after closing in May of 2021. Surrounded by family, friends, fans, artists, and industry folks, she was joined by Mark Wills, Sunny Sweeney, Dallas Wayne, Diane Berry and Joe Wade Smith, Moore & Moore as special guests.
Two very special honors were made to Ms. Seely during the special evening recognizing her for her many career accomplishments and community involvement. A Legislative Proclamation signed by Governor Bill Lee and presented by Bill Beck and a Resolution from the Metropolitan Council and Davidson County signed by Jeff Syracuse and Larry Hagar was presented by former Vice President and legal counsel for NES, Gene Ward.
“We were truly excited to have Jeannie be the host for the return of the Midnite Jamboree. All the history surrounding this show and her wanting to be a part really means a lot! To have someone as deeply rooted in the business be as passionate about the Jamboree is a great honor for us and the country music family,” expressed Ernest Dale Tubb III.
“We were so excited to have The Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree back at The Troubadour!” exclaimed owner, Rodney Collins. “Jeannie Seely hosting and celebrating her 55th year as a Grand Ole Opry member for this night, truly made the Jamboree historical again. This was such an honor.”
For updates on Jeanie Seely, keep an eye out on her website and social media platforms.