Connie Smith celebrated her 50th anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member Saturday night (Aug. 8) in a big way, surrounded by plenty of friends and Opry family. Jeannie Seely, The Whites, Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, and Mel Tillis were all on hand to help her mark the momentous occasion, and husband Marty Stuart hosted a special hour-long segment of tribute performances during which he joined Smith on a duet of “Til I Found You.” She also performed favorites “You’ve Got Me (Right Where You Want Me)” and “Satisfied” during the special evening as well.
Opry VP/GM Pete Fisher presented Smith with an inscribed gold bangle to commemorate the evening, proclaiming Smith “the very essence of the Opry.”
“I am so proud to be here tonight. It’s hard to believe that I actually get a chance to be here at all. Much less to have been here 50 years,” said Smith. “I got to be here in the era of Roy Acuff, Ms. Kitty Wells, Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones, Marty Robbins, Dottie West and so many wonderful folks. The Opry is one of the great loves of my life and has been since I was five years old. I said ‘someday I’m going to sing on the Grand Ole Opry.’ Dreams do come true. I have presented all five of my children and all eight of my grandchildren on this stage or on the Ryman stage. It’s such a big part of my heart.”
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