Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry had just finished performing their hit “Roll With Me” when they heard a shout come from the audience at the Grand Ole Opry House.
“Hey! Hey! Hang on a minute!”
In the glare of the spotlights, the two members of Montgomery Gentry at first couldn’t see who was trying to get their attention, but as the burly, white-bearded man climbed up on the stage, they recognized one of their heroes. And on that Tuesday night in May 2009, Charlie Daniels had something extremely important to tell Eddie and Troy:
“If you guys agree to it, you’re going to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry!”
The only thing that kept the duo from accepting immediately was that they’d been rendered speechless by Charlie’s invitation.
Since Montgomery Gentry kicked off their recording career in 1999 with “Hillbilly Shoes,” the Grand Ole Opry had been a dream in the back of the two singers’ minds. Simply walking into the Grand Ole Opry House left an indelible impression on them.
“You see all the pictures and the past history in black and white, where people were lined up and down the street, where everybody from way back was interacting backstage, all the pictures they’ve got, and the history,” Eddie says. “I tell you — you can still feel the ghosts back there and you can almost hear them talk.”
The two Kentucky natives got their start performing together in a band with Eddie’s younger brother, John Michael Montgomery. After John Michael got a solo record deal, Eddie and Troy continued performing as a duo.
Montgomery Gentry eventually signed to Columbia Records Nashville and quickly made a lot of noise with a loud-and-proud brand of country music with a strong blue-collar sensibility. They broke Brooks & Dunn’s lock on the Country Music Association’s Vocal Duo of the Year award in 2000; that same year, they also won an American Music Award for Favorite New Artist — Country and an Academy of Country Music Award for Top New Vocal Duo or Group.
Over the years, the duo has worked extensively to support U.S. military troops and on behalf of organizations like the TJ Martell Foundation, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and Camp Horsin’ Around for chronically and terminally ill children. Such broad-based charitable work earned them the prestigious ACM/Home Depot Humanitarian Award in 2010.
In all, Montgomery Gentry have placed more than two dozen tracks on the country charts. With hit singles like “Hell Yeah,” “One in Every Crowd,” “Something to Be Proud Of” and “My Town” they bring elements of Southern rock and outlaw country to the Opry stage.
“This is something Eddie and I have been wanting to be a part of since we came to town,” Troy says. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to be part of such a prestigious organization as the Grand Ole Opry and very flattering to have been asked.”
“My dad always said, no matter what you do in country music, you’re not there until you become an Opry member.”