Clare Dunn makes her debut at the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night (March 5th), and it’s a homecoming of sorts for the singer from Colorado. The day after she moved to Nashville, she got a job working at the Opry’s gift shop. She worked there for several years while she was in college, and even after signing her first publishing deal as a songwriter.
“I worked in the gift shop and I sold ‘Picture History Books’ before every show,” recalls Clare. “Every chance that I could and even a lot of times when I shouldn’t have, I would sneak into the house, and I would watch as much of the show as possible each night. Considering I worked every show every night, maybe I owe the Opry a buck or two back. [laughs] Anyway, I got to see Porter Wagoner before he passed away. I knew every Little Jimmy Dickens’ joke. I watched Jeanie Sealy & Jean Shepard in their elements every night, and witnessed so many new artists play the Opry for their first time and then go on to become superstars and return to the Opry. And it was just such an amazing experience.”
So, for Clare, performing at the Grand Ole Opry is a full circle moment; one she’s not taking lightly. “I never dreamed in a million years while growing up driving tractors out on the Great Plains where I’m and listening to all the artists that played the Opry, I never dreamed that I would get a chance to see them or even be able to chase this dream myself,” says Clare. “So, working at the Opry was treasured time for me. It was a time of absorbing as much of the rich history of the Opry as I possibly could. It was a time of just getting to be near the music that shaped our genre, and getting to witness not only how the Opry house itself affects the fans, but the artists who are so honored to play that stage that made country music famous.”
Clare has hit the airwaves with her new single, “Tuxedo,” which is featured on her self-titled EP that was released this past fall.