Two performances of the Llano Country Opry will be staged on April 11, at the historic Lantex Theater in downtown Llano. The shows begin at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Grand Ole Opry stars Jack Greene and Jeannie Seely will headline with special guest Justin Trevino. Tickets are $15 and are currently on sale at the Llano Chamber of Commerce, Lively Computers in Kingsland, the Llano National Bank and at KNEL Radio in Brady or by calling (325) 247-5354.
Greene was born on January 7, 1930, in Maryville, Tennessee. In the early 1950’s, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he formed his own band, The Peach Tree Boys as a lead vocalist, drummer, and guitarist. In 1959, he moved back to Tennessee and settled in Nashville and formed his own band, The Tennessee Mountain Boys. One day in 1961, the band opened for Ernest Tubb, and Ernest noticed Jack’s talents and asked him to join his band which he did. For the next few years, he was a drummer, guitarist, vocalist, and M.C. in Ernest Tubb’s band, The Texas Troubadors. Ultimately he soon was starting to open shows for Ernest playing guitar and singing and in 1964, Jack released his first solo record with “The Last Letter” which first appeared on one of Tubb’s live albums.
“The Last Letter” song got attention from Ernest’s record label Decca Records who released it as a single. Another single followed in 1965 with “Don’t You Ever Get Tired Of Hurtin’ Me” but this didn’t chart as it came out at the same time as Ray Price’s version. Tubb encouraged him to pursue a solo career, and Greene achieved great success right away. His first Top 40 hit came in early 1966 with “Ever Since My Baby Went Away”.
Later that year, he released a song that put him on top. The song was “There Goes My Everything” and it was a monster hit staying on top of the Country charts for 7 weeks even becoming a crossover hit. The success continued into 1967 as well with another number 1 smash in “All The Time” (on top for 5 weeks) and a number 2 hit with “What Locks The Door”. In 1967, he received the prestigious awards for Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year from the Country Music Association. In all, he has recorded nine number one country hits on various charts including 5 number one Billboard hits. His success continued into 1968 with another number 1 with “You Are My Treasure” and the top 5 hit “Love Takes Care Of Me”. In 1969, he had 2 number 1 hits with “Until My Dreams Come True” and “Statue Of A Fool”. He completed the year out with the Top 5 “Back In The Arms Of Love”.
In 1970, Greene gained a duet and a touring partner in Jeannie Seely, and together they had a number 2 hit with the song “Wish I Didn’t Have To Miss You” written by Brady native songwriter Dave Kirby. Jack and Jeannie’s stage show became one of the biggest touring acts during the 1970’s. Jack continued to have both solo hits and duets with Jeannie Seely. Among the biggest of these hits during the 70’s included “Lord, Is That Me” (1970), “There’s A Lot About A Woman A Man Don’t Know” (1971), and 2 more duets with Jeannie with “Much Oblige” (1972) and “What In The World Has Gone Wrong With Our Love” (1972). Jack’s career continued when Decca became MCA Records and he continued to chart with “Satisfaction” (1973), “I Need Somebody Bad” (1973), and “It’s Time To Cross That Bridge” (1974).
Greene enjoyed a comeback to the charts in 1980 with the Top 30 hit “Yours For The Taking” on Frontline Records. He achieved several more minor hits on Frontline and then on EMH and Step One. He continued to tour regularly and appears on The Grand Ole Opry, where he has been a member since 1967, and this year marks his 40th anniversary with the Opry.
Jeannie Seely was born in Pennsylvania and made the leap to glamorous Beverly Hills in 1961 when she was 21 and eventually landed a job as secretary for Liberty Records where she met country music songwriter Hank Cochran. The two were later wed.
By 1964, Seely was composing her own songs and recording for independents Challenge Records. With Cochran’s prodding, the couple uprooted from L.A. and moved to Nashville to make in-roads on the country scene, striking gold the first time out of the gate. While Cochran wrote and produced, Seely put the sexy vocals on his “Don’t Touch Me,” a 1966 Grammy award-winning hit single, and several chart toppers followed over the next few years.
While moving over to Decca in 1969, Seely teamed up with fellow Country star, Jack Greene. Together they recorded a single (“I Wish I Didn’t Have to Miss You”) and an album (Jack Greene/Jeannie Seely). Their single hit No. 2 on the Billboard Country charts in 1970 and No. 1 on all the other major Country charts, making the duo one of the most successful duet pairings of the early 1970s. Their road shows were also successful, and gave both singers’ careers a boost. In 1972, they released a new album entitled, Two for the Show. Two singles from the album hit the Top 20 on the Country charts, starting with “Much Oblige”, followed by “What in the World Has Gone Wrong With Our Love”. The duo has been nominated for the CMA Awards’ Vocal Duo of the Year as well as various Grammy award nominations. Together they toured for ten years performing everywhere from New York’s Madison Square Garden to London’s Wembley Arena.
A long list of artists – including Dottie West, Norma Jean, Tex Williams, Lorrie Morgan, Jack Greene, Connie Smith, and Doyle Lawson – have recorded compositions written by Jeannie. In 1972, Faron Young took “Leavin’ And Sayin’ Goodbye” to the No. 1 position, earning Jeannie a BMI Songwriter’s Award.
Under MCA, she recorded a new album, titled Can I Sleep in Your Arms/Lucky Ladies, the name of two singles to be released by Seely between 1973 and 1974. The first single was released in 1973, which was “Can I Sleep in Your Arms”. The follow-up to the Top 10 came with “Lucky Ladies” in 1974, which came close to hitting the Top 10, peaking in the Top 15. While under MCA, Seely’s material got more sexual and riskier like 1975’s “First Time” and 1976’s “Since I Met You Boy”. In early 1977, Seely switched labels again, this time to Columbia records.
Other entertainers on the show will include Rance Norton, Kimberly Murray, Justin Trevino, Sammy Geistweidt, Shane Lively, Charley Walton and Don Ricketson. Tracy Pitcox will emcee the show.