June 11, 2007 Capping a career that has spanned five decades, Mel Tillis was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry Saturday by his daughter, Pam Tillis, an Opry member since 2000.
After performing a medley of his hits "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" and "Detroit City," Mel was joined on stage by Pam. "All week long people have been telling me they cant believe Daddy wasn't already an Opry member and that just tells me, 'You belong here,'" Pam said. "The best thing about me getting inducted first is that I get to induct you you are now an official member of the Grand Ole Opry, Daddy."
"Thank you so much. It took me 52 years and I do appreciate this. Id like to thank Porter Wagoner who taught me just about everything I know about this business," Mel replied.
During the induction which aired live on "Grand Ole Opry Live" on GAC, Mel was presented the Opry Member Award, a 14-inch bronze and oak wood replica of the Oprys vintage microphone stand with a wooden base that recreates the famed circle of wood taken from the stage of the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Opry from 1943-74, and placed in the stage at the Grand Ole Opry House. Both members of the Tillis family made their Opry debuts during the Opry's original Ryman run, Pam Tillis at age eight singing the folk standard "Tom Dooley" alongside her famed father.
A member of the Nashville Songwriters International Hall of Fame since 1976, Mel has recorded more than 60 albums with 36 Top 10 singles and has has written more than 1,000 songs with 600 of those being recorded by major artists. He was named the CMAs Entertainer of the Year in 1976 and took home the CMA Comedian of the Year trophy six years running in the 1970s.
"Tonight we are honored to welcome one of country musics finest entertainers into the Oprys family of new stars, superstars and legends," said Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager. "Mels remarkable talents as a singer, songwriter, actor, and comedian are a perfect complement to the Oprys promise to present an authentic, high quality country music experience. Welcome to the family, Mel!"