Grand Ole Opry And The Terminator ?




Tim Atwood
Tim Atwood

Once again the Grand Ole Opry management is making what they call changes.  They have terminated employment of keyboard player Tim Atwood who has 38 years of service with the Opry, and fiddle player Hoot Hester who also has been with the Opry for many years.  As you can see by the article below, no reason was given, no personal meeting, just a phone call.  It is sad to think that The Grand Ole Opry cares so little for their employees, and fires and hires at will, no matter how long or how much each one of these musicians gave of their time, effort, and their lives to make the Opry one of the great live venue’s in the world and where country music has its home.

Money surely cannot be the reason for letting both of these great professional musicians pass through the doors of the non-employed.  I am sure that there was a severance package given to each one of these musicians, and no doubt they were advised to not talk about their loss of employment, and if they did talk about it, then I am sure they were told that their severance pay would be curtailed in some way shape or form.  I feel we all know who had a hand in letting Tim and Hoot go, and there is no doubt it was done with the least amount of compassion for either of these musicians.  I keep wondering if either Tim or Hoot did something to warrant their being terminated from their job’s at the Opry.

In the past, those who have been let go, were never given a reason and if there was a reason, they were probably told that silence is their key to their severance pay.  Opry management has no feeling for anyone that they wish to terminate.  I wonder what kind of life a certain person at the Opry will have when he no longer is employed at the Grand Ole Opry.  And when he is falling down the ladder he climbed to success, he will have to meet those that he stepped all over to get to the top, and you can be sure his decline will not be a good time of his life.  He has hurt a lot of good people in his time on his lofty perch, and he will have to live with some of the decisions that have hurt so many musicians who gave their all to the Opry.  I sometimes wonder if those who have been fired or terminated, did something that is not public knowledge, and if so, then I hope that one of those who has lost their job in the past few years, will come forward and tell the real story.  Over the years those who have lost their jobs at the Opry have never come forward to speak any negative comments regarding their dismissal, so it sure does leave a bad taste in our mouths, but dealing with the Opry, is like dealing with the devil himself.

Marty Martel
Marty Martel

I try not to write negative things about the Opry because I want to see The Mother Church of Country Music be as strong as she once was. Half of the members who have been inducted into the Opry over the past several years are never there.  Garth Brooks talks a good game, Carrie Underwood used to pay her dues to the Opry, Trisha Yearwood forgot directions to the Opry just like her husband.  The Opry cannot survive without its members not giving her the breath to live by breathing new life into her soul so that she can survive the ups and downs of the country music industry.  The legends are dwindling every year, and soon there will only be the new members by name, not by their appearances.  Their acceptance speeches mostly have been worthless by their actions of never appearing on the stage where they promised with all of their heart that they would covet for the rest of their life’s, and that The Grand Ole Opry would be their home forever.  The ones who have kept their promise to help keep the Opry alive are the legendary members, Jean Shepard, Little Jimmy Dickens, Stonewall Jackson, Jan Howard, Jeannie Seely, and many of the musicians who make the music that allows the Opry to stay alive.

Now, once again we see two more of Nashville’s great musicians fired, terminated, let go, whatever the reason, and like former firings, no reason given, or possibly management was too embarrassed to give a reason.  I would bet good money that those let go were given ultimatums of what would happen should they spill the beans on why they were let go.  I have always been told that there are two sides to every story, so what are the stories behind these terminations.

Hoot Hester
Hoot Hester

I would hate to think that Tim Atwood and Hoot Hester caused their own termination, but that could be.  No doubt there are legal ramifications regarding this.  I really believe that sooner or later, one of those who has been fired or let go over the past several years, will finally come to the conclusion that the truth needs to be told, and I hope they come to me with the story.  There is nothing I would like better  than to know what really goes on behind the closed doors of the Grand Ole Opry.  Squeaky clean is what you think, but trust me, it is not lily white as it looks.  There is no way that the Opry so-called Family IS A FAMILY.  Looks are deceiving, but what the public doesn’t see or hear, will not hurt them, as long as they keep coming to buy a ticket to see the Grand Ole Opry.  Maybe you might have an opportunity to meet the GM and ask him personally what causes all of this turmoil behind the scenes.  I think it would be great if all of the fans would start a “Let’s Ask Someone About The Status of The Grand Ole Opry.”

In closing, I wonder if the Opry can survive the non-commitment of its’ new members who pledged to keep her alive by being a part of her history, and up till now most of them have forgot where the Grand Ole Opry House is, and what its significance is to country music, OR DO THEY REALLY CARE.  I was told that money comes first, and I guess the Opry comes in a distance second.    

You can come to your own conclusion.  The above article is my opinion and I am sharing it with you.  The following article below is in regards to the dismissal of Hoot Hester and Tim Atwood. 

Marty Martel©

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 Opry Fires Tim Atwood and Hoot Hester


oprystage01News from the Grand Ole Opry is that they have apparently decided to make some changes and have let go piano player Tim Atwood and fiddle player Hoot Hester. Tim was with the Opry for 38 years and Hoot has also been around awhile.

And in the Opry’s usual manner, they apparently did it with a simple phone call. No explanation, no personal meeting.

This is not the first time that this has been done. One of Pete Fisher’s first moves after becoming the Opry’s General Manager was to let a bunch of the staff bands members go.

Tim and Hoot will still be able to perform on the Opry if invited by any of the artists to do back-up for them. They were both great musicians and will be missed.

Is the Opry trying to save a dollar or just moving in a different direction. How much difference a new piano player makes, I don’t know.

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