From country to folk to rock to gospel to R&B, if you’ve heard a song, there’s a good chance the Opry Band has played it. The Opry Band and Opry Background Singers have been an essential part of “the show that made country music famous” for decades — one current member of the band joined in 1969.
Their resumes are as lengthy as the roster of talent that has walked through the Grand Ole Opry’s Artist Entrance. Band members have been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, played on Grammy-winning albums and blockbuster soundtracks, written original music for televised programming, and performed on stage with superstars ranging from Carrie Underwood to Keith Urban, Conway Twitty to Luke Combs, and Olivia Newton-John to John Legend.
But the single virtue that distinguishes the Opry band from all the rest is its fleet-footed penchant to master dozens of songs night after night. After receiving the music from an artist booked to play on the show, they’ll study it and play it like it’s the only thing they know. Just before showtime, the band and background singers rehearse each song alongside the artist just once. It’s truly a feat to witness. There’s no show like the Opry, and there’s no band in the world quite like this one.
Norah Lee Allen
Leader, background singer
Music director, guitar
Fiddle, mandolin, percussion
Guitar, bass, banjo, harmonica
Pedal steel guitar, dobro, lap steel, slide guitar