George Strait is one of the top male country artists in the genre. It’s been that way for a bit and it doesn’t appear to be changing soon.
So why is the artist not a member of the Grand Ole Opry?
George Strait is Not a Member
The Grand Ole Opry is the ultimate country music stage. It has been the showcase of key country stars for 95 years. From artists like Dolly Parton to Garth Brooks to Reba McEntire, the stage has been a focal point for many artists.
It is known as “the show that made country music famous.”
It’s hard to say for sure why Strait isn’t a part of the Grand Ole Opry. The most logical answer is likely that him living in Texas and the stage being in Nashville, Tennessee.
The singer is retired from the road so the commute that is required a certain amount of times annually may just not be appealing to Strait.
However, it seems unlikely that the country artist doesn’t end up in Nashville every now and then for work.
Artists Banned from Grand Ole Opry
George Strait is not alone in his lack of being able to add Grand Ole Opry member to his vast list of accomplishments as a country performer. Others like Jason Aldean, Brooks & Dunn, and Alabama.
Even if an artist performs on the stage, that does not mean they are inducted into the organization. This is clear for some of the artists that have been banned along the way.
One artist is Hank Williams. In 1952, he was often drunk and had an addiction to prescription medicine. He was kicked out for absences and would die just a few months later.
If you have ever seen “Walk The Line” then you know that Johnny Cash and the Grand Ole Opry did not mix. He was banned for three years starting in 1965 when he bashed out stage lights with his microphone stand. Talk about a ring of fire.
Many of the decisions to ban artists end up being controversial and often the artist will be reinstated into the institution. For Neko Case, this was not the case.
While playing at the Grand Ole Opry Plaza in 2001, the July heat caused Case to be desperate for a break or some water. The answer was no, so she instead wore her bra for the rest of the set. Apparently, this was a bad move, as she was banned for life just for stripping to a bra. For those familiar with most summer festivals, it’s a strange decision.
According to Wide Open Country, even drums were a no for the Grand Ole Opry. Until a management shift in 1974, drums were a controversial addition to country music. When drums became popular in the ’50s many saw them as “not real country.”
For whatever reason George Strait or the Opry chose to not be involved, it doesn’t appear to be linked to any drama.