Vince Gill surprised two of his fellow Country Music Hall of Fame members during Saturday night's (June 11) live Grand Ole Opry broadcast with invites to join the influential radio show's cast. Per the Tennessean, it marked the first time in decades that multiple artists received a public Opry invite on the same night.
Gill first delivered the good news to Charlie McCoy, a harmonica player who's impacted the sound of country music for over 60 years. As an A-Team session musician, McCoy appeared on recordings by Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, Bob Dylan and numerous others. In the 1970s, McCoy scored three Top 10 country albums and worked as musical director for Hee Haw. The 81 year old regularly dons his Nashville Predators cap and appears as a special guest during performances across Music City. When considering McCoy's lasting legacy, the real shocker is that he wasn't an Opry member already.
"I've had so many amazing things happen, but I want to tell you what --this is the icing on the cake," McCoy responded. "I cannot thank everyone enough for this honor. I am blown away. Thank you."
Later that same evening, Gill popped the same question to Don Schlitz, the songwriter behind Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" and multiple signature hits of Randy Travis --namely Paul Overstreet co-write "Forever and Ever, Amen."
"Ladies and gentlemen, what an honor it is to be here every time," Schlitz said from the stage. "What an honor it is to be here with these people who've become friends and family. I guess it turns out if you hang around long enough, friends become family."
Both McCoy and Schlitz will be inducted later this summer. They'll be the first new members since Lauren Alaina and Jamey Johnson joined country music's most exclusive club in February and May, respectively.
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