June 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of Seely’s first guest performance on the Grand Ole Opry. At that time her first hit, “Don’t Touch Me” (recorded on March 12, 1966), was climbing the country music charts. The following year on September 16, 1967, Seely became an official member of the Grand Ole Opry. Later that year, she would win the 1966 Grammy Award for “Best Country Vocal Performance by a Female” for “Don’t Touch Me.”
Seely continues to regularly host and perform on the hallowed stage. “My home continues to be the Grand Ole Opry, and that’s where my heart is,” Seely said, a quote permanently inscribed into the backstage of the Grand Ole Opry House.
“I feel very fortunate to be part of the Opry tradition and I truly am indebted to all the wonderful fans that have supported me over the years. If I’m in town and they invite me in – I’ll be there,” Seely said.
Along with dozens of accolades, including awards from Billboard, Cashbox and Record World, Seely has achieved No. 1 songs as a solo artist, as a duet partner and as a songwriter. Her deeply moving vocals earned her the nickname of “Miss Country Soul.”
JEANNIE SEELY LIVE:
Jan. 1 – Grand Ole Opry – Nashville, Tenn.
Jan. 2 – Grand Ole Opry – Nashville, Tenn.
May 20 – Corn Palace – Mitchell, S.D.
Aug. 28 – Truman Lake Opry – Clinton, Mo.
Sep. 22 – Country’s Family Reunion Road Show – Bremen, Ga.
Sep. 24 – Country’s Family Reunion Road Show – Franklin, N.C.
Oct. 19 – Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater – Branson, Mo.
Dec. 03 – TPC Conference and Convention Center – York, Pa.
Dec. 16 – North Star Mohican Casino – Bowler, Wis.
ABOUT JEANNIE SEELY:
Born in Titusville, Pennsylvania, and raised on a farm outside of nearby Townville, Seely was singing on Meadville radio station WMGW at age 11, and by 16 was performing on TV station WICU in Erie. When she moved to Nashville upon the encouragement of friend Dottie West, Seely only had $50 and a Ford Falcon to her name, but within a month Porter Wagoner hired her as the female singer for his road and television series. On September 16, 1967, Seely’s biggest dream came true when she became the first Pennsylvania native to become a member of the world famous Grand Ole Opry. Seely subsequently became the first female to regularly host segments of the weekly Opry shows. She’s also credited for wearing the first mini-skirt on the Opry stage, as well as for changing the image of female country performers. On March 2, 1967, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences honored Jeannie with the 1966 Grammy Award for the “Best Country Vocal Performance by a Female.” Edging out friends and fellow nominees Loretta Lynn (“Don’t Come Home A Drinkin'”), Dottie West (“Would You Hold It Against Me”), Connie Smith (“Ain’t Had No Loving”) and Jan Howard (“Evil On your Mind”), Seely became only the third female country artist to receive the coveted Grammy. She accepted her award from Chet Atkins. With a successful breakthrough hit, Seely found herself traveling from coast to coast for concert appearances. The new demands forced her to leave Porter Wagoner’s show – and today Seely jokes that she was replaced by Dolly Parton because Dolly’s ‘hits’ were bigger. A BMI-awarded songwriter, Seely’s songs have been recorded by Country Music Hall of Fame members Faron Young, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Ernest Tubb and Little Jimmy Dickens, as well as by many other artists including Doyle Lawson, Lorrie Morgan, Connie Smith and Irma Thomas. Along with placing records on the Billboard country singles chart for 13 consecutive years, Seely also served as a radio disc jockey on her own Armed Forces Network Show, traveled on military tours throughout Europe and Asia, made numerous appearances on national television shows, published her own book of witticisms titled “Pieces of a Puzzled Mind” and starred in several major stage productions, including “Always, Patsy Cline” and “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas.” Seely also appeared in Willie Nelson’s “Honeysuckle Rose” movie and sang on the platinum soundtrack album. Seely has been known throughout her career as an individualist, as well as for her infectious humor. Despite personal and career setbacks that range from a 1977 near-fatal auto accident to a devastating flood in 2010 in which she lost her home, car and personal belongings, Jeannie Seely has remained a survivor with her sense of humor intact. From her 1966 Top 10 Billboard album “The Seely Style” to her 2011 self-produced CD Vintage Country Jeannie’s recordings have now spanned six decades and provided enjoyment to country music fans all around the world.