Country Music Roundup: Pete Fisher leaves the Grand Ole Opry for Academy of Country Music

This Week’s News

You might not know who Pete Fisher is, but if you’re a big fan of the Grand Ole Opry, you certainly know his influence. Now, the Opry will feel the effects of his absence.

Fisher, the vice president and general manager of the Opry, announced Monday that he would be headed out west to L.A. after 32 years in Music City.

The Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville, TN. Photo from Flickr user Todd Vam Hoosear. Used with Creative Commons license.

The Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville, TN. Photo from Flickr user Todd Vam Hoosear. Used with Creative Commons license.

He will become the second CEO for the Academy of Country Music in that institution’s 53-year history. Former ACM CEO Bob Romeo left the position last May, leaving a vacancy ever since.

“I want to thank the Officers and Board for giving me this exciting opportunity to lead the ACADEMY into a new era. I look forward to collaborating with them and our passionate and talented staff, charting an exciting course into the future,” Fisher said in a news release Monday.

Fisher presided over all things Opry-related for the last 17 years, a time period where many pop-country acts (acts like Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, etc.) were invited to the country music institution’s esteemed membership, a fact that didn’t sit well with some Opry members.

The Grand Ole Opry began as a radio broadcast on WSM’s 650 AM station in 1925 and is now considered one of the most prestigious venues in country music.

This Week’s Best New Song

Bluegrass queen Alison Krauss is about to release her first solo album in 17 years. “Windy City,” due out Feb. 17, is a collection of bluegrass and country rarities and standards by artists like Brenda Lee, Willie Nelson, Bill Monroe and the Osborne Brothers. Her take on Brenda Lee’s “Losing You” is heartbreaking and beautiful, replacing the trumpets on the original with lilting steel guitars.

This Week’s Worst New Song

Guess what finally got released to country music radio this week? That’s right, “God, Your Mama and Me” is about to get piped through your airwaves. Can’t say I didn’t warn you about the song’s cloying, pandering nature.

This Week’s Best Country Show in Austin

Hayes Carll. Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman.

Hayes Carll. Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman.

Hayes Carll takes his show back to Austin to play the Saxon Pub tonight at 8:30. Tickets are sold out, but if you’re one of the lucky few who got a seat, you should be in for a good time. His latest album “Lovers and Leavers” was one of my favorites of 2016, and his “Austin City Limits” taping last August wasn’t something to be taken lightly, either.

This is the Country Music Roundup, a weekly blog where we’ll give you the latest news in country music releases and local country shows. For a more in-depth analysis of the genre and where it’s headed, check back with our weekly Gone Country blog every week.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know on Twitter @jakeharris4 or by email: jharris@statesman.com.


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