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40 Years Ago: Ronnie Milsap Is Inducted Into the Grand Ole Opry

Ronnie Milsap
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Forty years ago today (Feb. 6, 1976) was a day of celebration for Ronnie Milsap. It was on this day that the singer-songwriter was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, when he was just 33 years old.

Milsap became an Opry member just as he was beginning to dominate the charts. At the time of his induction, he was getting ready to release his eighth studio album and was climbing the charts with his 10th charting single, “(I’m a) Stand By My Woman Man,” which became his sixth No. 1 hit. By the time he was invited to join the hallowed country music institution, the North Carolina native had already been a frequent guest on the revered stage.

“Before I joined the Opry in 1976, Jeanne Pruett was always getting me to come out here and guest,” Milsap recalls. “Eventually she said, ‘I think you need to join the Grand Ole Opry.’ And I said, ‘Well, how do you do that?’

“All of a sudden, one night, I was over here, and Mr. Roy Acuff came up to me in the hall and said, ‘Hey, Ronnie, you want to be a member of the Opry?’ I said, ‘Yes, sir.’ He said, ‘OK, then, you’re going to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry.’”

Milsap, who became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014, remains a frequent performer at the Grand Ole Opry. A complete Opry schedule can be found on the official Grand Ole Opry website.

NEXT: Is Traditional Country Music Dead?

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