Willie Nelson Is Not A Member Of The Grand Ole Opry

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Country Music News, News, Willie Nelson
Mandy Robinson

There is more shocking news in the country music world. Willie Nelson, the Red-Headed Stranger, the man who wrote “Crazy” and sings “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” is not a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Despite his decades of recordings hit album after hit album, his seemingly endless touring and his songwriting prowess, this country music legend is not a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Willie Nelson Was Inducted Into the Grand Ole Opry

Despite Willie Nelson’s current lack of membership, he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. This was back in the mid-1960s. This was back in his early years in country music, when his singing, songwriting and touring career was just starting.

The “Always On My Mind” singer made his Grand Ole Opry debut on November 28, 1964. It was less than two weeks after he had his first recording at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee. This historical RCA recording was produced by country music legend Chet Atkins.

Shortly after his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, he became a regular. Once he became a regular, Willie Nelson became a full-fledged member. This did not last long though.

A Change In Circumstance

A horrific event, Willie Nelson’s home burning down, changed the path of the “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” singer. He left Nashville, returning to his home in Austin, Texas. The fire wasn’t the only reason Nelson left Nashville. The newcomer to country music was not finding the success he had been working towards.

Once back in Texas, Willie Nelson started touring there. Much like his current touring schedule, Nelson was constantly on the road, doing shows all over the Lone Star State. He did not have the time in his hectic schedule to return to the Grand Ole Opry.

The Grand Ole Opry Has Rules

The Grand Ole Opry has a specific set of guidelines for their members. One of these rules is that a member must perform at the Grand Ole Opry a specific amount of times to keep their membership. Performing so much in Texas did not allow Willie Nelson to be at the Grand Ole Opry as much as they expected their members to be.

Because of this, Willie Nelson could no longer be a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Despite not being a member of the elite group of country music artists, it didn’t stop Nelson’s career from skyrocketing to where it is today. It also didn’t stop Nelson from performing there. The “Slow Down World” singer still performs on stage at the Grand Ole Opry every chance he gets.

The King Of Country Music Is Not A Member Either

Willie Nelson is not the only country music megastar without a membership to the Grand Ole Opry. The King of Country Music, George Strait, is also not a member. Just like with Nelson, it has not slowed down his country music career in the least.

Although it is known why Willie Nelson is not a member of the Grand Ole Opry, it is unknown why George Strait is also not a member. Like with Nelson, it could be due to his grueling touring schedule that did not allow him to perform often enough there. However, since retiring from all his touring, the “You Look So Good In Love” singer is still not a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Share with us what you think of this shocking news. Were you aware Willie Nelson was not a member of the Grand Ole Opry? Did you know the Grand Ole Opry had rules about performing there to be a member? Were shocked to learn George Strait was not a member as well. Sound off in the comment section below.

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