Opry’s Owners Respond to Age Discrimination Suit

Gaylord Entertainment, which owns the Grand Ole Opry, has filed a legal response to Opry member Stonewall Jackson’s lawsuit claiming age discrimination and breach of contract after his appearances on the long-running show became less frequent after Opry general manager Pete Fisher was hired in 1998. The 74-year-old singer, an Opry member since 1956, filed the $10 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Nashville on Jan. 11. In an 11-page response filed Thursday (Feb. 8), Gaylord’s attorneys said Jackson’s claims are without merit and should be dismissed. The documents also state, “Just as Jackson is free to accept or decline offers from the Opry to perform, the Opry is free to determine the best mix of performers for any given show.” Barring an out-of-court settlement, the case is expected to go to trial later this year.