Vince Gill Celebrates Opry 20th Anniversary [video tribute]

(L-R): Steve Buchanan, Pres. Grand Ole Opry Group, Martina McBride, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Pete Fisher, VP and GM Grand Ole Opry. Photo: Chris Hollo

Vince Gill was surrounded by family, loved ones and fellow artists as he celebrated his 20th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night (8/13). Among those joining Gill on stage throughout the show were wife Amy Grant, daughter Jenny Gill, Jimmy Dickens, Emmylou Harris, Martina McBride, and The Time Jumpers.

The Country Music Hall of Fame member opened the show before a sold-out crowd by performing “Gotta’ Travel On” in honor of Opry member Billy Grammer, who passed away this week. Gill played the 1959 hit on a Grammer Guitar he’d purchased just weeks ago.

He teamed with Harris on her hits “Two More Bottles of Wine” and “If I Needed You.” He joined McBride for her take on his first No. 1 single, “Take Your Memory With You,” and accompanied Grant on her song “True Love.” Jenny saluted her dad with a performance of his hit “If You Ever Have Forever In Mind.”

Gill spoke candidly with the audience, sharing that more than 20 years earlier he hadn’t been able to accept the Opry’s very first invitation to play the show because it conflicted with accompanying Jenny at her grade school talent show. “The friendships I’ve built here mean more to me than every song I’ve ever sung out here on this stage,” added Gill. “I wouldn’t know how to do [music] without this place.” Fittingly, he closed the evening by coming full-circle, with a performance of the first song he ever sang on the Opry, “When I Call Your Name.”

During the show the fans were treated to the following video salute.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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