Classic Country trailblazer, Jeannie Seely will celebrate the 55th anniversary of her debut performance tonight on the Grand Ole Opry®. On the night of her debut, she sang “Don’t Touch Me” on the portion of the show hosted by Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper and sponsored by Stephens work clothing. All total, she made eight guest appearances in 1966 and three more in 1967 before becoming an official member and inducted to the Opry® family on September 16, 1967. She will celebrate 54 years as a Grand Ole Opry® member in 2021 and is one of only three living women (the others being Loretta Lynn and Connie Smith) to have reached this milestone.
“Whenever I have had the opportunity to introduce an artist on their debut at the Opry, I always stress to them and the audience that this is a night they will remember for the rest of their lives,” shared Jeannie Seely. “It is a memory I have treasured for 55 years, although I never imagined at the time I would be here this long! I am grateful to the Opry and the Opry fans and I thank you all!”
“Can you even imagine a Grand Ole Opry without Jeannie Seely over the past 55 years? There would have been a lot less heart, soul, and laughter, that’s for sure. Congratulations, Seely!” Vice President and Executive Producer of the Grand Ole Opry - Dan Rogers “Every time I put in a call to Seely, her first word is YES. She is always willing and ready to step up and promote her beloved Grand Ole Opry. She is a blessing to the Opry and a treasured friend to me,” adds Director of Opry Talent Scheduling and Logistics -Gina Keltner.
"Don't Touch Me" is a song written by Hank Cochran. The song was released as a single on Monument Records in 1966 and became a major Billboard country hit and became Seely's signature song. In 1967, her original version of "Don't Touch Me" won the Best Female Country Vocal Performance accolade at the Grammy® Awards. The song's success also led to an invitation for Seely to become a member of The Grand Ole Opry®.
Jeannie recently re-recorded “Don’t Touch Me” which can be heard on her highly-acclaimed album, An American Classic, on Curb Records. Digital downloads, streaming and physical copies of An American Classic are available on all digital music platforms here.
Listen to Jeannie Seely talk about “Don’t Touch Me below:
Clips courtesy of TV and Radio personality, Shannon McCombs