Rascal Flatts have a lot to celebrate these days, and since their most recent cause for celebration came at night, they might no longer be prayin’ for daylight. Because it feels like today (well, yesterday to be exact and to not cleverly reference a song) their wish came true. Their dreams have stayed big and their worries have stayed small.
You’ve easily seen nothing like this: late last night on the Opry stage, Vince Gill simultaneously insulted the golf score of Nashville artists Rascal Flatts and gave them the biggest compliment he could – he invited them to be the next members of the sacred Grand Ole Opry. Vince made his sudden stage appearance after a stirring (not to mention quite amusing) gospel-esque deliverance of “Bless the Broken Road.” At first the detour seemed to be all in fun (and Gary LeVox jumped back in startled shock at the unexpected sight of Vince), with Vince taking shots at the guys’ golf game and Joe Don jokingly explaining of Vince’s spontaneous arrival: “I got a new guitar tech by the way”…but then it got serious. After all, life is a highway. What better time then than following “Bless the Broken Road” to be asked to join the Opry’s unbroken circle. It’s enough to make one melt.
“No guys, I came out here for one reason only. On behalf of all of us here at the Grand Ole Opry, from the management at Gaylord and from every member of the Grand Ole Opry, I’m here, and gratefully and gladly so, to invite you guys to be the next members of the Grand Ole Opry,” said Vince.
The group became visibly and understandably choked up – with Jay DeMarcus (who this writer can’t help but have noticed on several occassions comes across looks-wise like a Vince clone!) working to hold back tears almost immediately. Lead singer Gary LeVox leapt for joy…and a hug for Vince. Joe Don Rooney jumped back in swinging, driving the topic back to golf – and thus the incredibly deserving group (who, by the way, are so giving they gave their 2003 CMA Vocal Group of the Year Award to Alabama) momentarily got back to reality. Well, at least the reality that is performing your song in front of a very large crowd of adoring fans who just witnessed you go through a life-altering goal. It’s a memory they won’t let go of for a long time.
Why this group hasn’t won Entertainer of the Year time and time again is beyond me. They keep giving, joking, laughing, running, having fun – and doing it all for and in front of their fans. They go out of their way to insert city names (especially “Nashville!”) and places (especially “Grand Ole Opry!”) into their live performances – and finally, someone is standing by them. They clearly can’t get enough of the Opry’s everyday love.
Jay DeMarcus Tweeted this afterwards: “I am beside myself. We were asked to be members of the Grand Ole Opry tonight!!! The greatest honor ever!!! Can’t believe it, am I dreaming?”
Rascal Flatts are scheduled to be movin’ on and inducted into the ranks of the Opry on October 8th (during the Opry’s 86th birthday weekend) – those who can’t be there may listen online at http://www.wsm650online.com/, plus at least parts of this performance are slated to air on GAC-TV starting on the 8th at 8 pm central time.