Grand Ole Opry Announcer Eddie Stubbs To Retire | WCAI

Grand Ole Opry Announcer Eddie Stubbs To Retire

Jul 29, 2020
Originally published on July 30, 2020 6:00 am

After 25 years of hosting shows from the Grand Ole Opry, Eddie Stubbs is retiring.

Eddie Stubbs came to Nashville in 1995 to play fiddle for Kitty Wells. But within a week, that voice got him a job at radio station WSM and just a few days after that, he was auditioning to host the Grand Ole Opry.

From that perch, he's seen one amazing performance after another and quite a bit of history — from the Opry debut of Carrie Underwood to witnessing the last performance of an icon like Grandpa Jones.

"He went backstage after his final performance and collapsed with a stroke," he remembers.

When Eddie Stubbs wasn't at the Opry, he had a long-running radio show at WSM, where he interviewed many of the greats of country music, from Ray Price and Reba McEntire to Merle Haggard and Marty Stuart.

Eddie Stubbs will host his final show for WSM tonight and he'll have a message for his long-time fans.

"The Opry goes on," he says. "And it celebrates its 95th anniversary this year. And I just want to say a heartfelt and sincere 'thank you' to every person who's ever bought a ticket or each person that's tuned in."

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's tip the hat - maybe a cowboy hat - to a beloved voice in country music broadcasting. After 25 years of hosting shows from the Grand Ole Opry, Eddie Stubbs is retiring.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

EDDIE STUBBS: We have got a great show in store for you tonight, ladies and gentlemen. Here to head our broadcast is a Grammy Award-winning member of the Grand Ole Opry family. Would you please make welcome Ms. Jeannie Seely.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Eddie Stubbs came to Nashville in 1995 to play fiddle for Kitty Wells. But within a week, that voice got him a job at radio station WSM. And just a few days after that, he was auditioning to host the Grand Ole Opry.

INSKEEP: From that perch, he'd seen one amazing performance after another and, as he told us, quite a bit of history, too.

STUBBS: From the Opry debuts of somebody like Carrie Underwood to witnessing the last performance of an icon like Grandpa Jones. He went backstage after his final performance and collapsed with a stroke.

GREENE: When Eddie Stubbs was not at the Opry, he had a long running radio show at WSM where he interviewed many of the greats of country music.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

STUBBS: We welcome Ray Price into the studios here at WSM. Good evening, sir.

RAY PRICE: Thank you, Ed. I'm glad to be here.

STUBBS: Ms. Reba McEntire, welcome to you.

REBA MCENTIRE: Thank you very much.

STUBBS: Mr. Merle Haggard. Good evening, sir.

MERLE HAGGARD: Good evening to you, Ed.

STUBBS: We are so honored to have Marty Stuart here. Good evening.

MARTY STUART: Hello, Eduardo.

GREENE: Eddie Stubbs will host his final show for WSM tonight. And he'll have a message for his longtime fans.

STUBBS: The Opry goes on. And it celebrates its 95th anniversary this year. And I just want to say a heartfelt and sincere thank you to every person who's ever bought a ticket or to each person that's tuned in.

(SOUNDBITE OF SAM BUSH'S "BLUE MOUNTAIN")

STUBBS: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Eddie Stubbs in Nashville, Tenn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.