The Grand Ole Opry honored Vince Gill‘s 20th anniversary as an Opry member Saturday night. Emmylou Harris, Martina McBride, John Anderson , The Time Jumpers, Vince’s wife Amy Grant and his daughter, Jenny Gill were all on hand to help celebrate. Vince opened the sold-out show by performing “Gotta’ Travel On” in honor of Opry Member Billy Grammer who passed away last week. He also played a Grammer Guitar he purchased just weeks ago.
During the show, Vince and Emmylou performed “Two More Bottles of Wine” and “If I Needed You.” Martina stepped up to the mic to sing “Take Your Memory With You,” Vince’s first No. 1 single while Amy sang “True Love” with Vince accompanying her on guitar.
A highlight of the night came when Jenny performed her dad’s hit “If You Ever Have Forever In Mind” while Vince sat on stage with a look of pride on his face. Vince shared with the audience that more than 20 years earlier, he had turned down his very first invitation to play on the Opry because if conflicted with Jenny’s grade school talent show.
Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher presented Vince with a framed print commemorating his anniversary. “The friendships I’ve built here mean more to me than every song I’ve ever sung out here on this stage” Vince said. “I wouldn’t know how to do this [music] without this place.” Vince held the print up and declared “Here’s to the next 20!”
As he closed the show, Vince performed the very first song he ever performed on the Opry stage, “When I Call Your Name.” He offered a quote from Roy Acuff before he sang. “In the immortal words of Mr. Roy [Acuff], ‘You better sing the one that brung ya.’”
During the show, a video tribute to Vince was shown. Fans can view it at http://Opry.com.