But we got there, and who was first on the lineup of the evening's performers?
Porter Wagoner. In a fuchsia pantsuit. Covered in rhinestones.
Porter Wagoner is one of the old-old-school country singers, popular back when my grandparents weren't much older than me. The man is in his seventies or eighties, so more power to him for getting on stage at the Opry all the time and rocking the bedazzled pantsuits. But that kind of music is not my thing. And then it didn't stop. One old-time singer after another.
Then this tiny man in a pantsuit covered with rhinestone steer heads and cactuses got onstage: Little Jimmy Dickens. He had a big white hat on and he's 86 years old. JB and I kept cracking up every time he'd go behind the podium when other performers were onstage, because all you could see of him was his white hat hovering just above the top of the podium, disembodied. The man was tiny, but kind of entertaining. Feisty.
Later on, we got a backstage tour and even got to sit onstage while the show was going on. Then came my brush with Someone Famous.
It was ::drumroll:: Pam Tillis! Try to contain your excitement. It was the Queen of Denial herself. Ok, I know she's been releasing country songs since the early nineties, but the early nineties was when she was really famous, so that's the only group of songs I know. She sang this one song, "Cleopatra, Queen of Denial," and the CMT video had people dressed Egyptian-style, if I remember correctly. When we were little, my sister and I used to put belts around our nightshirts (to turn them into really awesome mini dresses), don lots of plastic jewelry and dance around the living room to CMT videos like "Queen of Denial."
Actually, Pam also sang this great song, "Maybe It Was Memphis," which is definitely a classic.
But anyway. Our press group got to meet Pam Tillis and ask her questions about her new CD, which I've heard has gotten rave reviews. I decided it would not be a good time to bring up "Queen of Denial." Even though I thought it was completely awesome when I was 10. I'm pretty sure that's not the song she'd want to be remembered for, but unfortunately that's the only one I could recall during the interview session.
At the end, she asked for any more questions, and I knew she was about to leave and get on her bus, so my hand shot into the air. "May I have my picture taken with you?" I asked. I was the only one. I don't think the other group members appreciated the greatness of early nineties country music.
But anyway, I got my photo (which I'll post once I get my camera back from my editor). Pam joins Mikhail Gorbechev as the only other famous person I've ever met (and been photographed with, see below, I am far left).
But Pam Tillis was really nice and looked great, and her clothes were really cute.
All in all, a very exciting weekend.