This past weekend, I had the privilege to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. I always get quite a charge out of doing this as I’ll get to perform with new artists, current charting artists and the elder statesmen and stateswomen of country music. And…, there can always be a surprise guest.
True to form, this last Friday night, Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees made an appearance. He has been working with Opry member, Ricky Skaggs on a recording and performed with Ricky and his band. In addition to a beautiful rendition of the Civil War era song they recorded together (“When The Roses Bloom Again”), Barry couldn’t leave the stage without singing a couple of his legendary hits. He sang “Words” and “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart”.
As soon as he opened his mouth to sing, it was like I was back in 7th grade twirling the radio dial. Not only did he sing in the same keys, but the tone and timbre of his voice sounded just as it did when these records first came out. He rightfully received a standing ovation from the full house. I’ve been lucky to witness many of the Opry “moments”, and this ranks right up there. Frequently, as we get older, our voice changes. Singers often have to lower keys to be able to sing the melodies, and their vibratos tend to widen. Neither of those have yet happened to Barry, and it was a vivid reminder of the emotional impact of a singer and song.