Alan Jackson Celebrates 30th Anniversary as a Member of the Grand Ole Opry

by Jim Casey
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Alan Jackson received one of country music’s highest honors when he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on June 7, 1991.

The Class of ’89 member—along with Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, and Clint Black—burst onto the country music scene with his 1990 debut album, Here in the Real World. Alan followed up with his 1991 sophomore album, Don’t Rock the Jukebox.

By that time, the Opry had seen—and heard—enough. A little more than one year after making his Grand Ole Opry debut by singing “Here in the Real World” on March 3, 1990, Alan joined the esteemed organization on June 7, 1991, as its 68th member. Alan was officially inducted by Randy Travis and Roy Acuff. Of course, June 7, 2021, marks Alan’s 30th anniversary.

“The ultimate dream when you’re in country music is to be asked to join the Grand Ole Opry,” said Alan Jackson to Opry.com. “It’s the cornerstone of country music. I don’t know if Nashville or country music would exist if it wasn’t for this foundation, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Radio Friendly

Alan Jackson has enjoyed a longstanding connection with the Opry and country radio—and radios for that matter. Of course, Alan scored dozens of hits on the country charts during his Hall of Fame career. But one of his first hits was 1990’s “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow. The tune was inspired by a very special radio that is referenced in the song’s opening line: “Daddy won a radio / He tuned it to a country show / I was rockin’ in the cradle / To the cryin’ of a steel guitar.”

Alan’s father, Eugene, won the vacuum-tube radio in a raffle when AJ was a young boy. The song was released on Oct. 6, 1990, and went to No. 2 on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Later in 1991, that same radio came into play once again. Alan donated it, tubes and all, to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with the song’s original lyrics.

Alan, who co-wrote the song with Jim McBride, told the Hall of Fame he “remembered a radio that my daddy won when I was a young child. And how my mama used to sing to my sisters and me. I also remembered how my mama hated for me to play in the bars. All those things set the story in motion, and . . . my life chasing that neon rainbow was set to music.”

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