Grand Ole Opry Announced June 3 Ray Charles Tribute Signature ShowVince Gill, Ronnie Milsap, Martina McBride, Travis Tritt, and Michael McDonald Among Those To Appear
Nashville, TN — May 17, 2006
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - (May 15, 2006) - The Grand Ole Opry® presented by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® has announced another performance in its Signature Show Series, A Ray Charles Tribute set for Sat., June 3. Opry members Vince Gill, Ronnie Milsap, and Martina McBride as well as special guest Michael McDonald will pay tribute to Charles during both of the night’s Opry shows by performing a number of the songs with which the iconic entertainer enjoyed success in country music. Gill will host the televised portion of the first show on “Grand Ole Opry Live” on Great American Country (GAC) at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Charles’ career spanned 58 years, including 250 albums, over 10,000 concerts, and standards such as “Georgia,” “Hit The Road Jack,” “I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” and “America, The Beautiful.” The music legend’s lasting impact on the country music field is the subject of a 5,000 sq. ft. exhibit currently open at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, I Can’t Stop Loving You: Ray Charles and Country Music.
During the Opry’s performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall last fall, Gill credited Charles as a personal influence and musical pioneer. “Ray Charles single-handedly took some of the greatest country songs ever written, did ‘em his way with his arrangements, and showed the world how soulful country music could be,” he said.
Added McBride, “Ray Charles is a vocalist who inspired so many artists including myself. I recorded his version of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” on my Timeless album and it’s one of my favorites. I look forward to doing that song live at the Opry during such a special night honoring him and his music.”