June 29, 2009 — When the Grand Ole Opry welcomes new members, the inductees get to pick which current member makes the presentation, and when Montgomery Gentry joined last week, their choice had a strong connection to their very first appearance on the show.
Marty Stuart and Little Jimmy Dickens handled the induction, and Marty in particular has a huge place in their memories of their Opry debut in March 2000.
"I remember sitting back in a dressing room, and Marty Stuart was back there and him just startin' to tell some stories about Porter Wagoner," Eddie Montgomery says. "It was pretty cool. I mean, to be honest, I don't know if I was really listening to the stories as much as I'm going like 'Can you believe I'm=2 0sitting back here man talking to Marty Stuart and he's telling me a Porter Wagoner story?!'"
While it doesn't quite qualify as an Opry show, there was another performance that was significant for Montgomery Gentry that took place at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, which was the home of the Opry for 31 years.
"We had the pleasure of recording with Waylon Jennings when he did the [Never Say Die] album," Troy Gentry remembers. "It was very special because Eddie and I both [grew] up with Waylon Jennings, playing Waylon Jennings music. It was very cool to be on that stage with him, one of our mentors and people we grew up admiring."
To round out the full-circle part of their induction, immediately after they became members, Montgomery Gentry sang "Hillbilly Shoes," their debut single from 10 years ago. They also looked forward that evening by playing their newest single — which they hope will also become their next hit — "Long Line Of Losers."