The Grand Ole Opry made a historic invitation on Tuesday, and the 85-year-old radio show did it the modern way: by Twitter.
Tweetin’ fool Blake Shelton, after performing “Hillbilly Bone” with Trace Adkins, was told he’d just received an important message via Twitter. A screen at the back of the stage displayed the note from @opry: “@blakeshelton, you’re invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. See you on 10/23/2010!”
With that 69-character note, Blake became the first new member added to the cast since Montgomery Gentry joined the Opry family 15 months ago. He gave an ecstatic hug to Trace, then a figurative tip of the hat to the crowd.
“Man, it takes a long time!” he exclaimed. “I know a lot of guys that want this just as bad as I wanted it and, uh, forget them!”
Blake’s invitation came near the end of GAC’s two-hour telecast, Country Comes Home: An Opry Live Celebration. It represented the Opry’s return to the Grand Ole Opry House five months after the Cumberland River flooded the legendary venue. The Opry was forced to hop around to numerous Music City sites while its home was renovated.
The evening included appearances by many of the Opry cast, including Brad Paisley, Little Jimmy Dickens, Martina McBride, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Lorrie Morgan, Josh Turner and Del McCoury. What was a big evening for all the Opry members was clearly a big moment for Blake.
“I don’t know what I ever did in the last year or so to turn Nashville’s head a little bit, but whatever I did, man, I love this,” Blake said. “This right here is hands down the highlight of my career. Thank you so much.”
Blake wasn’t the only person happy about it. Miranda Lambert sent out a celebratory note.
“I am engaged to a member of the Grand Ole’ Opry!!!! That rocks:).”
She sent it, appropriately, via Twitter.