November 23

Relive Mel Tillis’ Final Grand Ole Opry Performance


The country music industry lost the legendary Mel Tillis On November 19, last year. He was known as the singer of the hits like “Coca-Cola Cowboy,” “Good Woman Blues,” and “Send Me Down to Tucson” among many others. Tillis was not just an outstanding singer; he was also a great songwriter.

In fact, he penned some of the hits of a number of famous country music artists. Among these include Patsy Cline’s “Strange,” and Kenny Rogers’ “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.” Also, he wrote George Strait’s “Thoughts of a Fool,” and Waylon Jennings’ “Mental Revenge.” So far, these songs have become big hits for the artists who performed them.

Becoming a Member of the Opry

Unfortunately, Tillis passed away at the age of 85 after losing his battle with a respiratory-related disease that has stricken him since 2016. As a great performer, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry like many other country singers. His career began in the early 1950s, but it was only in 2007 when he got to be a member of the Opry house.

On the other hand, it was stated on the Opry’s website that the reason for his late induction was because of his extremely busy schedule.

In response, Tillis said:

“I always wanted to be a member of the Opry. But I was always gone. I was doing the Johnny Carson show – every show you could name – the Dean Martin show, Hollywood Squares, and 13 movies. I just didn’t have the time to commit to being a member.”

Eventually, when he became a member, he got to perform there several times a year. His last performance, however, was on December 11, 2015. Everything was unforeseen as he got sick after then. In his last performance, he rendered “The Arms of a Fool.” It was a single that he released in 1970 as a part of his album, The Arms of a Fool/Commercial Affection. The said album featured Eddie Stubbs as a special guest.

Check out Mel Tillis and his last performance at the Grand Ole Opry:


Grand Ole Opry, mel tillis, The Arms of a Fool

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