There’s an article in the Tennessean that disturbs me. I’m a little hesitant to spew forth my true feelings about it, but, I will say I don’t like it. Not a bit.
Spider Wilson has been a staff guitarist at the Grand Ole Opry for 53 years. He’s as much a part of the Opry as rhinestone suits and Goo Goos. Seems of late, the Opry people haven’t been allowing Spider to play on the tv portion of the Opry. Everybody wants a tv spot, not just cause you get on tv, but, because they pay more. At our house, the mention of a tv spot brings joy and happiness.
The thing about it that irks me is the way they would tell Spider he was not needed on the tv spot. The music director, one Steve Gibson, would send all the musicians emails saying "I need everybody except Spider."
I know the Opry has got to evolve and move with the times in order for it to remain, but, there’s a thing called respect. The Opry dumped longtime bassist and AF of M treasurer Billy Linneman a couple years back. Like Spider, Billy had been at the Opry since he was about 18 or 19 years old. I hear they have recently let pianist Tim Atwood go as well. One by one, they’ve let all those guys go, or forced them out in recent years.
Remember when Spider was part of Ralph Emery’s morning show?
It’s just weird. I could say more about and with a lot more cullah, but, I won’t.