When newcomer Vince Gill was first invited to perform on the Grand Ole Opry, he politely declined because he had a previous engagement – he was scheduled to watch his then-9-year-old daughter, Jenny, perform in a recital. The Opry powers-that-be obviously understood because they not only asked the singer-songwriter-guitarist back, they invited him to become an official Opry member.
Twenty-five years ago today, on August 10th, 1991, Vince Gill was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry by longtime Opry legend Roy Acuff. As Gill performed what had been his biggest hit to date, “When I Call Your Name,” Acuff stood by with a visible tear in his eye, marking one of the most memorable Opry inductions of all time. More than a quarter-century later, Gill’s voice, along his gift for heartfelt songwriting, still move people to tears. But the Oklahoma native with the quick, self-deprecating wit has also inspired humor in others, especially his fellow artists.
In the above video, titled “What’s Your Vince Gill Number,” a whole host of Gill’s country-music peers, including Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, David Nail, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves and more, uncover the closest connection they each have to him. The video was inspired by the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game, which assigns a number depending on the degree of personal interaction one has had with the subject. The number one is the closest you can get (although wife Amy Grant’s number is most likely 0.5), and, not surprisingly, several of the artists have that close connection to the superstar entertainer. Little Big Town, however, prove the most competitive, with a funny outtake of their interview closing out the video. More of Gill’s connections to his fellow players, singers and songwriters can be found at the special 6DegreesOfVinceGill website.
On Saturday, August 13th, Vince Gill’s 25th Grand Ole Opry anniversary celebration will feature special guests Rodney Crowell, Patty Loveless, Bill Anderson, the Time Jumpers, Ashley Monroe, Andrea Zonn and a special “family” segment with Amy Grant and Gill’s daughters Jenny and Corrina.