WATCH: Jamey Johnson Performs ‘In Color’ During Opry Induction

by Jim Casey

Jamey Johnson became an official member of the Grand Ole Opry on May 14. During the showcase, Jamey treated attendees to a bevy of songs, including “School of the Fiddle and Steel,” “Between Jennings and Jones,” “In Color,” “Give It Away,” and “Near the Cross.”

Jamey was officially welcomed into the Opry family by member—and mentor—Bill Anderson. Of course, Jamey and Bill, along with Buddy Cannon, famously joined forces to pen “Give It Away,” which George Strait took to the top of the charts in 2006. It also earned the songwriters both the ACM and CMA awards for Song of the Year.

After Jamey performed “School of the Fiddle and Steel” (the first song he played during his Opry debut 17 years earlier), Bill and Jamey once again joined forces to sing “Give It Away.” Afterward, Bill presented Jamey with his official Opry trophy and welcomed him to the family.

“I don’t have to tell y’all what this means to me,” Jamey Johnson said. “Any of y’all who know me, you know I’ve been talking about this since I was a kid. I ain’t a kid anymore, you can tell that by the gray in the beard. I’m so thrilled to have every one of y’all here tonight to help me celebrate. Thank you. Thank you.”

In Color

“I’ll tell you another song you’ve got to do tonight,” said Bill, after presenting Jamey with his trophy. “And that’s that great song of yours called ‘In Color.’ I know that the people here tonight are wanting to hear it.”

Of course, Jamey was in agreement. He couldn’t leave the Opry stage until he performed his most well-known song, “In Color.”

Written by Jamey, Lee Thomas Miller, and James Otto, “In Color” served as the lead single to Jamey’s 2008 album, That Lonesome Sound. But “In Color” almost didn’t happen for Jamey. He recorded the song through the generosity of his buddy, Trace Adkins, who’d already cut it for his own album. Trace had also recorded the Jamey-penned “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” in 2005. But after Jamey got a record deal with Mercury, Trace let Jamey have the song back. Peaking at No. 9 on the chart, “In Color” became Jamey’s most successful single on country radio.

Watch Jamey perform “In Color” on the Opry stage.

Near the Cross

Jamey closed his showcase by collaborating with Ricky Skaggs, who was celebrating his 40th anniversary as an Opry member. The tandem performed the Christian hymn “Near the Cross,” a tune Jamey noted was the “first song I ever learned to play on the guitar.”