Everyone Calm Down: The Grand Ole Opry Isn’t Slighting Hank Williams, Sr., by Not ‘Reinstating’ Him
There's been much ado online over the course of the last few days in the wake of an interview Grand Ole Opry Vice President and Executive Producer Dan Rogers gave to Rolling Stone Country regarding Hank Williams, Sr.'s current status at the Opry. But while some outlets have decried the fact that the Opry won't "reinstate" Williams as a member, the more mundane truth is, there's absolutely no slight going on from the Opry to the country icon.
In fact, it's just business as usual, as Rogers explains to RSC.
“Hank Williams will always be a treasured past member of the Grand Ole Opry," Rogers states. “The Grand Ole Opry is made of living, breathing artists who can contribute to the show, and to whom the Opry can give back.”
Rogers made his comments in an interview dated Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.
Williams made country music history when he debuted on the Opry in June of 1949, reportedly drawing six encores. He was fired from the Opry in 1952 after missing shows due to his alcoholism, and he died on Jan. 1, 1953, at the age of 29, before being reinstated.
"Had Hank Williams lived, there is little doubt in my mind that … I would hope he would have returned to the Opry and all would have been great and right in the world," Rogers says. "Unfortunately, he didn’t. And now he’s a beloved past member of the Opry, as is Porter Wagoner, as is Kitty Wells, etc. I hope the world knows how everyone at the Opry is thankful for and respects all of his contributions. There is not a single Opry night that happens where his influence isn’t felt. And there are many, many, many Opry shows where his music is sung."
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