Transcript of Grand Ole Opry's 75th Birthday Bash chat

opry_host: Travis and Marty are here.

Travis: I suppose you are wondering why you are all here this evening.

Marty: We've bought the Opry and merged with Disney.

Marty: Travis Tritt. My favorite is probably Johnny Cash.

Travis: It is hard for me to say. I have to say Waylon.

Marty: They've been such great positive role models.

Travis: Marty and I learned everything about being gentlemen from those people.

Guest:: Travis, are you going to be recording more bluegrass?

Travis: Well, you know I come from bluegrass, I grew up going to bluegrass festivals. I learned how to play guitar at a lot of bluegrass festivals and I was honored Ricky Skaggs asked me to be a part of that. Every time I am asked to be a part, I try to.

Marty: Sometimes when I lose my way, I find myself at Earl Scruggs house.

Travis: The bluegrass thing is a big part of what I do and anytime I get a chance to play it I will be there.

Marty: Most people don't know he's a great banjo player.

Guest: I want you both to go home and kiss the red out of their eyes. Start at 13 and tell the highlights, Marty

Marty: Well, concerning the Opry, it was almost like a dream. The thing I remember most about it is my quality time with my dad and every Saturday afternoon we would listen to the Opry on the radio and country music touched my heart and the first place I looked at Roy Acuff and all those people from the band and that was the way I was baptized into the Opry. Lester's peers became my peers.
I was accepted and treated like family. The Grand Ole Opry of Country music was a family and it was my place to fit in and that is still the case to this very day. I started trying to make records and one highlight was the day me and Travis met because I don't have brothers, but he is like my brothers.

Guest: Now travis I want you to tell us what the Opry means to you and why does Porter love you like he does.

Travis: I don't know why, anymore why I know Roy Acuff did. All I know is, I have to tell you this...I hate to put myself in a position where I put myself happier or prouder than any of the other people
at the Opry but sometimes I feel I am prouder than anybody because from a child, I have desperately wanted to be a part of this organization. Every Saturday night in the summertime, me and my dad spent every single Saturday night listening to the Opry. This was really more than I hoped for. When I first broke into the business there were a lot of people who emphasized the rock side of what I did and not the country songs I did and I was so afraid that the Opry would not recognize the tradiitonal side of what I did and I would not be included as a member and Mr Acuff liked me. Maybe what he saw was a young kid with a burning desire to be on the Opry. The first night I was on that Opry I had been playing with the Charlie Daniels Band over at the Starwood Amphitheatre and I got an invitation to be on the Opry and, as soon as I jumped offstage, I jumped in to my car and over to the Opry. I wanted to be a part of it so bad and then afterwards I jumped back in and over to jam with Charlie Daniels. That very first night, Mr Acuff sent somebody over to my dressing room becasue he wanted my autograph and that touched my heart. The next time I was backstage and I felt an arm come up and tap me on the shoulder when I was playing banjo and say, "Boy you can play that thing" and from that point on I felt a bond and have been a part of the Opry ever since. I treasure my induction in the Opry and it is where the tradition started, where it is, and where it will continue from. I'm as proud or as prouder than anybody because it is something I wanted for so long.

Guest: We've hear a lot of talk about the Opry history , but how do we keep it from coming somehting of a trophy case?

Travis: I think young people that are coming in---the biggest thing I hear that disturbs me is some of the younger artists don't really care as much about the Opry as some of us obviously. That is scary because if we are going to continue another 75, 175 years after that, it has to come from the young people who recognize the tradition and the music, rock, soul, you need to know your roots and in our case it is COUNTRY and it all started right here.

Marty: But if you go to Doc Watson's festival in Telluride, Colorado and a lot of us came from bluegrass backgrounds and there is a turn to roots right now to give us more credibility to sustain us. If you go to those places you will see young kids who are good singers, good banjo players and I find myself looking to those people ot find the future and there are a lot of new songs, especially in bluegrass music right now and to me that is positive and proof there is a future to country music.

Marty: That was a special moment for me. There is something I see happening in Nashville right tnow. I especially noticed it at BIll Monroe's funeral. Something spiritual happened that day. A mantle was passed and I saw it go to Skaggs. That little boy, I always wondered when my time came and something would be handed to me. The thing that was so special for me was Roland White, who gave me my shot at mandolin and that was passed to me.

opry_host: Marty and Travis have left the press center.

Return To Other Marty Links Return To Home Page