Few country music artists come more legendary than Jack Greene, owner of nine No. 1 hits and two No. 1 albums, and a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
So it's fitting that Greene would come to one of the region's premier opera houses to help it celebrate 10 years of business. At 7 p.m. Saturday, Greene will headline the Ohio Valley Opry's 10th anniversary celebration in McConnelsville.
"He is a country music legend," said Deana Clark, co-operator of the Ohio Valley Opry. "Word seems to be getting out (about the show). We just booked him three weeks ago ... and we've been getting a lot of outside calls."
Clark runs the 562-seat Ohio Valley Opry with her husband, Marvin. The two started producing shows at the opera house 10 years ago after touring for years with their band, The Clark Family.
"We were traveling and singing at venues all across the country and we'd come to a place and think, gosh, right here in our own backyard is probably the nicest opera house we've been in," Deana said.
So the couple approached the board of the Twin City Opera House with a plan to run shows. The board gave them a trial run and within five months they were sold out.
"I sure was planning on (being successful)," Deana said. "That was my goal to start with, and it's pretty cool to make a plan and watch it happen. I was blessed, most definitely."
Turning the opera house into a go-to, family-friendly, entertainment hotspot for gospel, country and bluegrass hasn't been easy. There are still plenty of people in the region, even in McConnelsville, who haven't been to the Opry for a show, she said.
"A lot of folks have never heard of it or if they have, they've never been," she said. "We have five elected officials who've been to this show in 10 years. I just think when things are in your back yard you don't take it as seriously as you would. People don't know what they're missing."
What they'd be missing Saturday is a show by a country music legend. Greene's career has spanned more than four decades. His hits include "Statue of a Fool," "There Goes My Everything" and "All the Time."
Greene got his start as a drummer in the Texas Troubadour band for the legendary Ernest Tubb. Tubb pushed his protege to strike out on his own, and the rest is history.
The pinnacle of his success came during the 1967 CMA awards, where he swept every major prize, including Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for "There Goes My Everything." The song has been recorded no less than 111 times, in 14 languages.
Greene still regularly appears on the weekly Saturday night programs at the Grand Ole Opry.