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Last week, I had a chance to see a benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame at which Keith Urban was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. I was a little shocked at the time to find out he wasn’t already a member. But I guess being married to Nicole Kidman is not a bad consolation prize.

Tuesday night, I was watching a rerun of the Grand Ole Opry and got to wondering who actually WAS a member of the Opry. Being perhaps the highest honor in Country Music, I figured the roster would be filled with A+++ stars and be a relatively short list. I was right…for the most part.

The more I looked at the membership the more puzzled I became. I found three or four names of modern artists that somewhat surprised me. And also found a few glaring omissions.

I won’t list the names of the ones I found surprising. But you can find a complete list of the members here.

As for the ones who are not members, I present my personal list of candidates worthy for consideration.

  • Alabama
  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Sam Bush
  • Glen Campbell
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Merle Haggard
  • Faith Hill
  • The Judds
  • Toby Keith
  • Tim McGraw
  • Kenny Rogers
  • George Strait

You could also argue for the inclusion of recent superstars like Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, and, of course, Taylor Swift. But with their relative newness to the scene, I understand their omission.

Does anyone on that list surprise you?

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