Jamey Johnson lived his childhood dream Saturday night when Bill Anderson inducted him into The Grand Ole Opry.
“I’ve been talking about this moment since I was a kid,” Johnson said. “I prayed for it every day and hoped it would come.”
“Well, this is proof our prayers do get answered,” Anderson replied.
The men, who co-wrote George Strait’s ACM and CMA-winning hit “Give It Away,” performed the song on the Opry’s stage, and Johnson joined Ricky Skaggs for collaboration on the hymn “Near The Cross.” Skaggs celebrated his 40th anniversary as an Opry member on Saturday night.
“I know exactly how Jamey feels tonight; that was me 40 years ago,” Skaggs said. “I want to thank my precious wife Sharon and The Whites for being here. We can’t do this without family.”
The “In Color” singer attended the Opry for the first time in 1999 while he was in town for a job interview and was backstage that night as Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens and Porter Wagoner performed. Johnson made his Opry debut six years later, an experience he called “surreal” because he grew up listening to the famed radio show with his dad. Johnson’s daughter was 1 year old at the time of his debut. She’ll graduate high school next week.
Johnson is an 11-time Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter who is one of just a few people in country music history to win two Song of the Year Awards from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.
His breakthrough album “That Lonesome Song” is certified platinum for 1 million in sales. His double album, “The Guitar Song,” debuted at No. 1 on the country album charts and is certified gold. In 2012, Johnson released a Grammy-nominated project honoring one of his heroes, “Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran.” As a songwriter, he has written songs for George Strait, Willie Nelson, Trace Adkins, James Otto, Joe Nichols and others.