Old Crow Medicine Show to Opry roster

Old Crow Medicine ShowIn a move that may come as a surprise to some, the seven-piece string band Old Crow Medicine Show has been invited to become a cast member of the Grand Ole Opry.

The invitation was extended on Friday August 1, by Opry member and friend of the band Marty Stuart during an Old Crow Medicine Show concert at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square, Cleveland, Ohio.

Near the end of the concert, Stuart surprised the group on stage, saying, “In 1925, there was a show started in Nashville called the Grand Ole Opry. It was founded on a traditional fiddle tune. It was founded on hard-hitting old-time music. It was founded on being a good-natured riot. And it’s been going on for 88 years. It’s a great American story. Would you all consider becoming a part of this great American story and becoming Grand Ole Opry members?”

Old Crow members answered with a resounding yes and hands in the air while the sold-out crowd responded with a standing ovation. Stuart and the band then combined forces on We Don’t Grow Tobacco before the band launched into its signature crowd favourite, Wagon Wheel.

Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager, commented ….

“Inviting Old Crow to become our next member is truly exciting for us. For one, Old Crow has grown before our eyes from entertaining Opry-goers for free in the Opry Plaza a dozen years ago to rank today among the most respected and popular acts in music. The band leaves the audience wanting more every time it takes the Opry stage, or any stage.”

Fisher added by way of an explanation …

“It’s also exciting that in many ways Old Crow looks and sounds a lot like some of the string bands of the 1920s which helped first propel the Opry to national prominence. While recent Opry inductees and contemporary hit-makers such as Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Dierks Bentley, will help shape the Opry in coming years, our future is also in excellent hands with this group which happens to be quite reminiscent of our musical past. It’s an awesome full circle.”

So, there you have it. Old Crow Medicine Show are the new Dr Humphrey Bate & His Possum Hunters.

Old Crow Medicine Show got its start busking on street corners in New York state and north into Canada, winning audiences along the way with their boundless energy and spirit. The band eventually found themselves in Boone, North Carolina, where they caught the attention of legendary folk icon Doc Watson who invited them to play at MerleFest, helping to launch their career. Shortly after, the band relocated to Nashville for a residency at the Grand Ole Opry, where they entertained the crowd between shows.

15 years later, the band has toured the world, sold over 800,000 albums and performed at renowned festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella and The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.

Old Crow, as they are known to fans, along with Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, won a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video for the film Big Easy Express, which was shot as they toured from California to New Orleans on a vintage train, playing shows along the way. In May, the band’s classic single Wagon Wheel received the RIAA’s Platinum certification for selling over 1,000,000 copies. On their newest release, Carry Me Back (ATO Records), Old Crow Medicine Show continues to craft classic American roots music while pushing themselves in new directions.

Old Crow Medicine Show will be formally inducted into the Opry at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday, September 17th.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.