Bobby Bare got a pretty great birthday gift Saturday night (April 7) as The Grand Ole Opry welcomed him into the fold as an official Opry member on the Country Music Hall of Famer’s 83rd birthday. Bare had been a member of the Opry cast in the 1960s and 70s, after which his official Opry membership lapsed.
He began his Opry set with a collaboration with Mary Gauthier on “I Drink,” a song she penned and which appears on Bare’s most recent album, Things Change. Bare’s son, Bobby Bare, Jr., then joined his father on the 1970 hit “Come Sundown.” It was the pair’s first Opry collaboration in more than 40 years.
Opry segment host Jeannie Seely then made note of Bare’s birthday and surprised the Opry audience by welcoming Opry member Garth Brooks to the stage.
“I gotta tell you, this might be one of the coolest honors I have ever had bestowed on me,” said Brooks about the surprise. “I don’t know if you know, but it was less than a month ago I was standing right here when I inducted the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry, a kid named Chris Janson. Sweet guy. He sat in this circle of wood and he cried like a baby. And you know why he cried; because he gets it. He gets what it’s like to be a member of the family of the Grand Ole Opry. You get it,” Brooks continued. “…The Grand Ole Opry is family. Family is forever. So Mr. Bare, young man–as my dad would say– it is my honor, it is the Grand Ole Opry’s honor, to officially welcome you back, the great Bobby Bare, to the Grand Ole Opry.”
“I’ve got to tell you that this is quite a surprise. I was a member of the Opry for 10 years, but then I just drifted away. …,” Bare said. “Thank you to everybody on the Grand Ole Opry.”
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