Notable "Grand Ole Opry" members include Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks and Minnie Pearl, among many other country music superstars. The long-time radio show continues to launch careers of new artists in the genre.
Hank Williams nearly didn't have a chance to perform at the "Opry," thanks to his reputation as an alcoholic. However, after 12 chart-topping singles, producers asked him to join the cast in 1949. Patsy Cline joined the "Opry" in 1960, three years before she would die in a plane crash at the height of her popularity. Dolly Parton debuted at the "Opry" in 1959 at the age of 13. She returned often over the years, even after her career took off in 1967.
Loretta Lynn appeared on the "Grand Ole Opry" show in 1960 after her single "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl" reached No. 14 on the country charts. The move brought her even more positive career attention. Johnny Cash, already an icon in both country and rock and roll music, joined the "Opry" in 1956 after his single, "I Walk the Line" made a splash with audiences.
Garth Brooks contends that, despite his many record-breaking accomplishments as a recording and touring artist, his proudest accomplishment is obtaining membership in the "Opry." Minnie Pearl, the stage name of Sarah Colley, joined the "Opry" in 1940 as a comic performer. She continued the act, often at the "Opry," for 50 years.