Bobby Bare’s birthday surprise . . .

NASHVILLE – It was a night to remember for legendary Bobby Bare, who on his 83rd birthday, April 7, was sharing the Grand Ole Opry stage with Jeannie Seely, Garth Brooks, son Bobby Bare, Jr., Mary Gauthier, and Garth invited him to rejoin the historic show. Back in the 1970s, due to additional career demands, Bare let his original membership lapse, but you couldn’t find a happier singer-songwriter that night, as Brooks made WSM’s renewal offer.
As Garth announced, “The Grand Ole Opry is family. Family is forever. So Mr. Bare, young man – as my dad would say – it is my honor, it is the Grand Ole Opry’s honor, to officially welcome you back, the great Bobby Bare, to the Grand Ole Opry!”
He and Mary had performed “I Drink” from his new album “Things Change,” prior to him and Jr. reprising dad’s 1970s’ smash “Come Sundown.” So Seely, the show’s emcee, gave a warm birthday greeting – and Garth. Visibly touched by his invitation, Bobby confided, “I’ve gotta tell you that this is quite a surprise. I was a member of the Opry for 10 years, but then I just drifted away . . . ,” adding, “Thank you to everybody on the Grand Ole Opry!” That left time enough to sing his #1 tale, “Marie Laveau.”
According to Sally Williams, the Opry’s general manager, “Bobby Bare enjoys an incredible relationship with all of the Opry artists, as well as the Opry staff. He has supported the Opry with visits often over the past few years, and he’s always a crowd favorite. We are so excited to officially welcome him back to Opry membership.” (Photo of Bare and Brooks by Chris Hollo)