As a 5-year-old preschooler in Checotah, Oklahoma, Carrie Underwood had a favorite cassette. Actually, her older sister had it, but one of the ballads on the cassette made enough of an impression that Carrie would record the song years later, and also sing it live with the man whom she first heard on that tape: Randy Travis. The song was “I Told You So,” a tune Travis wrote and first recorded in 1983, then took to Number One in 1988. Ten years ago today, on the night of March 15th, 2008, just moments after Underwood had performed “I Told You So” onstage at the Grand Ole Opry, she was stunned to find Travis standing beside her – and even more shocked to find out why he was there.
“I was asked by the management of the Grand Ole Opry to come out here and ask you if you would like to be their next member,” Travis said, to which a beaming Underwood facetiously replied, “Let me think about it… yeah!”
“Oh my gosh, that was so amazing,” Underwood said backstage immediately after the announcement, as seen in the above video. Still wiping tears from her eyes, she added, “And I couldn’t have imagined it from a different person.”
For his part, Travis noted, “It was fun. It was fun to get to do the little sneaking up behind her somewhat, then watch her and see her response and the audience upfront, see their response.”
The video of her surprise also includes Underwood’s memories of watching the Opry on TV with her family, as well as comments from then-Opry Vice President Pete Fisher and footage of the singer with the now-late Opry legend Little Jimmy Dickens.
Carrie Underwood was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in May 2008. Ten months later, after her solo version of “I Told You So” had been released as a single, Underwood re-cut the song as a duet with Travis. The pair went on to win a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals and their duet sold over one million copies.