Grand Ole Opry Legend Bill Anderson To Be Honored For Record-Breaking Tenure On July 22

Country music icon Bill Anderson will perform at the Grand Ole Opry on July 22 in celebration of being the…

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Lexi Liby

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July 12, 2023

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Bill Anderson; Photo by Chris Hollo, Courtesy Of Grand Ole Opry

Country music icon Bill Anderson will perform at the Grand Ole Opry on July 22 in celebration of being the longest-serving Opry member in the show’s history. 

Anderson made his Opry debut in August 1958 and then became a member three years later, on July 15, 1961. He is one of the most awarded songwriters in the history of country music and his membership during the last 62 years has not lapsed. 

With this achievement, Bill Anderson’s Opry membership eclipses the membership run of past Opry member Herman Crooks, who was a member of the Opry from 1926 until his death in 1988. 

Bill Anderson; Photo Courtesy Of Grand Ole Opry
Bill Anderson; Photo Courtesy Of Grand Ole Opry

Anderson reflected on his time as an Opry member in an interview with Music Row in 2021. 

“First of all, it’s really hard to imagine I’ve been at the Grand Ole Opry for 60 years,” he said at the time. “It seems like yesterday they asked me if I wanted to be a part of this great family, and of course I couldn’t wait to tell them yes and be a part of this wonderful family… I tell people all the time that the Grand Ole Opry is like Yankee Stadium to a baseball player, or Broadway to an actor, or Hollywood to someone in film. It’s the highest rung on the ladder. It’s as high as you can go in country music and I’m just thankful that I’ve gotten to be here for 60 years.”

The Opry show on July 22 will commemorate “Whisperin’ Bill” with performances from other Opry members Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson, Jeannie Seely Ricky Skaggs and more. It will also include Anderson performing a special set of his own.

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“The Grand Ole Opry continues to be built on the shoulders of Opry members such as Bill Anderson,” Dan Rogers, Opry vice president and executive producer said in a release. “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. We look forward to celebrating his achievement and dedication later this month.”

Bill Anderson is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is highlighted at the museum with his own exhibit Bill Anderson: As Far as I Can See. The exhibit follows Anderson’s life and music legacy from childhood to the recording artist, songwriter, and entertainer that he is today. The exhibit is available for viewing through September 25.

The Grand Ole Opry is known as the home of country music. It allows artists and fans to gather in honor of the past, present, and future of country music. The Opry hosts three to five live shows per week, allows backstage tours, and puts together live broadcasts. It showcases the genre’s newest top talent and welcomes back former inductees.

The opry will feature artists Trace Adkins, Breland, T. Graham Brown, Deana Carter, Steven Curtis Chapman, Henry Cho, Easton Corbin, Gary Mule Deer, Tom Douglas, Steve Earle, Paul Franklin, Vince Gill, The Isaacs, Jamey Johnson, Lady A, Raul Malo, Megan Moroney, Louise Mandrell, Craig Morgan, Scotty McCreery, Ian Munsick, Dennis Quaid, Ricky Skaggs, Carrie Underwood, and more in the coming weeks.

All Opry show tickets are available through December 2023 at opry.com.

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Lexi Liby

Written by

Lexi Liby

I am a senior at Kansas State University, where I am majoring in Communication Studies. Throughout my time at college, I’ve had the opportunity to publish a few of my pieces in the University’s newspaper, The Collegian, and I’ve created my own website. I’ve previously interned for Country Insider, an iHeartMedia-owned country music industry newsletter and I am currently interning for CountryNow, a Red Light Management owned publication. I’m very passionate about music and writing, so I hope to find myself in a career that incorporates both of these passions.