Jeannie Seely has paved the way for countless female artists in country music, including Carly Pearce. It’s Seely who Pearce has looked up to as a role model and mentor, and with whom Pearce shares a deep love of the Grand Ole Opry.
“I think it’s only a matter of time that Carly will be a member of that family,” Seely tells Everything Nash. “As the Opry moves forward and keeps up with the changes in music and changes in the times, Carly fits that, of course. But she also has the traditional roots of country music. She understands it all. And her new song about Loretta Lynn just proved where she comes from, and that she’s not leaving that behind. That’s the thing. That’s key to me.”
Seely is a big fan of Pearce, but she is also a fan of the other rising stars in country music.
“I love seeing the new talent come in and I certainly love hearing what they bring to the Opry,” Seely shares. “Some of them are bringing such great songs and great performances. And I love it when I see that they still understand and keep their tradition of the Grand Ole Opry there. I always tell people there’s room for everything at the Opry as there should be, but you must — Mr. Acuff said it best, ‘Don’t forget what brought you here.'”
Seely has had a career that spans almost 50 years, but she still remembers when she was just getting started, and now is ready to pass that wisdom on to the next generation of singers.
“[It’s] the same thing that I believe for any phase of life, whoever: do what you love and what you believe in, and don’t listen to no, and don’t pay attention to the naysayers,” Seely admonishes. “Just keep following your path and see where it takes you.”
Seely just celebrated the 55th anniversary of her Grand Ole Opry debut, quickly becoming one of the Opry’s most influential members.
“I don’t even know how to describe it,” Seely tells Everything Nash of her love of the hallowed institution. “The Opry has been a way of life for me as far back as I can remember. As a young child, I was a little kid through World War II, and there were two times you learned very young not to make any noise or disruptions. One was when Edward R. Murrow was delivering the news and the other was the Grand Ole Opry. Don’t interrupt Mr. Acuff or Minnie Pearl’s jokes. So the Opry has been a way of life, as long as I can remember, and to be a part of that family means everything in the world to me.”