Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.
This past Saturday (May 14), four-time GRAMMY and CMA Award winner Steve Wariner celebrated his 20th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry Vice President and General Manager, presented Wariner with a special plaque during the singer/songwriter’s performance. Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson, who inducted Wariner into the Grand Ole Opry 20 years ago, also was on hand to pay tribute to his longtime friend.
“Wow! I can’t believe I’ve been an Opry member for 20 years,” said Wariner. “It’s still one of the greatest honors of my career. I remember my first time on the Opry in 1973 as a member of Dottie West’s band back at the Ryman as if it was just yesterday. It seemed like an impossible dream back then that I would be asked to join…but it happened a few years later! Dreams can come true. Glad to call the Grand Ole Opry my home!”
Earlier in the evening, the Opry threw a backstage party for the ACM Award winner, complete with a special cake decorated with an illustration of Wariner’s red telecaster guitar.
The country music legend is currently in the studio working on a new album to be released later this year. His next concert performance will be at City Winery in Nashville on June 11 at 8:00 PM during CMA Music Festival. The show will be filmed for a future project. Tickets can be purchased at https://t.e2ma.net/click/gm3ps/s73h3d/ge5tyh.
The Kentucky native, Steve Wariner, has achieved 14 No. 1 songs and more than 30 Top Ten hits, including such classics as “Holes in the Floor of Heaven,” “Life’s Highway,” “The Weekend,” “I’m Already Taken,” “I Got Dreams,” “Small Town Girl,” “Two Teardrops,” “Some Fools Never Learn,” “Lynda,” and more. An award-winning songwriter, Wariner has also composed songs for Clint Black (“Nothin’ But the Taillights”), Garth Brooks (“Longneck Bottle”), Bryan White (“One Small Miracle”), and Keith Urban (“Where the Blacktop Ends”), as well as artists such as Country Music Hall of Fame members Alabama, Kenny Rogers, The Statler Brothers, Conway Twitty, and Don Williams; pop music icon Peter Tork (of The Monkees); R&B singer Ruben Studdard; bluegrass music’s Del McCoury Band, and many more. Revered for his guitar talent, he was given the rare status of C.G. P. (Certified Guitar Player) by his mentor Chet Atkins. He is also a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. For more information, visit www.SteveWariner.com.