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Ashley McBryde and Jeannie Seely expect “Not a Dry Eye in the House,” as the Opry marks its 5000th show

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Bev Moser

Ashley McBryde and Carly Pearce have a major hit with “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” but both agree there’s one girl they definitely want to be: one who’s a member of the Opry.

As the institution marks its 5000th Saturday show this weekend, Ashley and Grammy-winning matriarch Jeannie Seely got together backstage to reminisce.

A member since 1967, the “Don’t Touch Me” hitmaker confesses she remembers her friends more than she recalls whether it was her induction or her first performance at the Ryman.

Ernest Tubb was there, Hank Snow, and I believe Stoney Cooper actually introduced me…” Jeannie tells ABC Audio. “A sea of faces and of course, the ladies dressing room, which was a ladies bathroom, with Jean Shepherd… Lord, I miss her.”

You can re-live Ashley’s first appearance thanks to an unforgettable performance of “Girl Goin’ Nowhere.”

“We did my makeup four times,” she confesses. “I cried coming in the artist’s entrance… I cried when Kathy Mattea said hello. I cried when I went up to the circle.”

Membership recently became reality for Carly, while her duet partner waits, admitting it often crosses her mind.

“Constantly, constantly!” Ashley reveals. “I’m like ‘I wonder… who will invite me. I wonder how many Oprys I will have played, and I wonder… how much I will cry. Can I get through whatever the next thing is?'”

“[Opry membership is] awesome,” she adds. “I dream about that more than I dream about my wedding day.” 

For the record, Ashley’s nearing two dozen Opry appearances. Jeannie’s at 2600+, not including the thirty years before computers arrived when they weren’t counting. 

Never one to slow down, Jeannie just released her new single, “Not a Dry Eye in the House” featuring Willie Nelson, from her new album, An American Classic.

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