14 years ago today - Friday, November 6, 2009 - The day I met Willie Nelson when we opened a show for him at the Ryman Auditorium. With great anticipation, we took the stage. The house lights were up and never dimmed as we started the set with our bluegrass “Song of the Year” - Kentucky Borderline. People were milling about, barely applauding, and barely listening. Since we don’t use a set list, it became a challenge to find the right song that the audience might react to. We played another song of the year - Is The Grass Any Bluer on the Other Side. Still no response, so I decided on one of the fastest songs we do, sang by Mickey Harris – “Lost All My Money But A Two Dollar Bill”. That was the magic song that turned things around. They immediately started listening and the response was amazing. They were intently listening, so now the new challenge would be how they would react to an accapella gospel song “Fishers of Men”. It worked!! Standing ovation at the Ryman. Sometimes you just gotta find the right song. I was honored to record with Willie on two of my albums. His line on the Christmas project “Eleven pipers piping” on the Twelve Days of Christmas is the BEST! He also sang a duet with me on the song “Only Me”, singing and playing guitar!! Willie — you are amazing and I’m honored to have these opportunities. Thank you!!
Rhonda Vincent Memory Bank
It was September 2007 when I had the opportunity to meet Harold at the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival. We sat on a park bench near the bus and had over an hour long visit. Just the two of us. We sat basking in the fresh morning air and beautiful sunshine. After a long day at the festival and at the end of our second show closing out the night, I was greeted by Harold at the stage steps. He said, “I’m 93 and I came to say goodbye, cause I won’t see you anymore.” I instantly wrapped my arms around him and sang in his ear, “I will see you again - for this isn’t the end - you’re my forever friend - and I will see you again.” I had just recorded this song, and I feel it was God’s gift to express to Harold and anyone else who wants to know and receive the gift of salvation. Here’s a link to the song that was released just a few months after I met Harold. “I Will See You Again.” - Rhonda Vincent
One early morning years ago — I was waiting in the airport to board my plane. I had planned to sleep as soon as I got on the plane, and was so sleepy I was sitting with my eyes closed. Then someone came up and said, “Where are you going?” I think I was flying to Detroit MI. It was Connie Smith looking at me. I couldn’t believe it. All I could think of, was that I wished I had put on some make-up and fixed my hair better. There was Connie — all radiant and beautiful at 6 o’clock in the morning. She was traveling with her steel player, and got my ticket and gave it to the steel player, and gave me his so I could sit next to her. She and her husband Marty Stuart had been writing songs. She was so excited about the songs and wanted to share them. So the plane took off, and I’m sitting next to one of my heroes from the Grand Ole Opry. Connie leaned over and got right in my ear and sang the newest songs she had just written. CONNIE SMITH WAS SINGING IN MY EAR!! (That is what my mind was screaming). My eyes filled with tears as she sang to me. I squeezed my eyes tight, hoping she didn’t see the tears. We talked and mostly she sang for the entire flight. It was such a moving experience and one I will never forget. Thank you Connie Smith for the flight of a lifetime!!
Memory Bank - October 22, 2009 - A special performance with Steve Martin at the Ryman Auditorium - Nashville TN. Highlight was a backstage jam with Earl Scruggs. I love Steve and how he consistently makes us laugh through his comedy, music, movies and more.
MEMORY BANK - 2010 September 21, 2010 - New York City - It was an exciting moment in many respects, and this trip, this day, and entire experience was filled with an extreme amount of crazy events. So many, I cannot begin to share here, but I will hit the high spots and someday share the many many crazy details of this trip on my web site Memory Bank. It was the First Release on my own label Upper Management Music. The project is titled "Taken", from a duet with Richard Marx, whom I still have not met in person after all these years. The record release party was held in New York City, and we started the day performing in Times Square, then we performed songs from the new project on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building It was truly a one-of-a-kind release party. The project also includes a song with Dolly Parton, titled "In The Garden By The Fountain". TAKEN released September 21, 2010 Rhonda Vincent - Upper Management Music
January 28, 2015 - The Villages, FL - We we’re performing in Florida, had the next day off, and noticed Merle Haggard was performing at The Villages in Florida. I searched for tickets, and it was sold out. It was 1:30am, and I remembered meeting Merle’s driver Ray McDonald who came to our show years before. Found his number in my phone and called. Ray answered, I explained how we would love to come to the show, but it was sold out. Then I told him we would even love the chance to open the show. Ray simply said he would talk to Chief. We stayed overnight 4 hours away, and at 10am Ray called back and said Merle said to be at sound check at 2pm
We had only enough time to make it. I woke up the driver and we made our way to see our hero and open the show. As soon as our bus pulled in, Merle’s wife Teresa came and said Merle wants to see you. She took me to Merle’s bus, where he was sitting at the back lounge table. We had a nice visit, he told me about a song he had for me, and then it was time for sound check. Merle watched our sound check, and even played Hunters fiddle. He was so kind, and took photos with the entire band. We opened the show that night, and then sat by the side of the stage in awe as we watched and listened to our hero Merle Haggard.
Remembering the late great Merle Haggard April 6, 1937 - April 6, 2016
Memory Bank 2011 - First Day of Recording 2/28/2011 with Grand Ole Opry Star and one of the greatest vocalists in Country Music - Gene Watson & Rhonda Vincent began recording their first all duet project “Your Money & My Good Looks”. The project debuted on the main stream Country Billboard Charts, and the incredible sales of the project is proof that people love REAL COUNTRY MUSIC!!! Check out the back cover where George Jones states “It’s the REAL DEAL!” Available at www.RhondaVincent.com
Invited by my dear friend Jeannie Seely on February 28, 2020. The induction was scheduled for March 24, 2020, but instead I was inducted after an historic 343 days, (the longest time in the history of the Grand Ole Opry that anyone had ever waited to be inducted.) But it didn't matter, I had been invited, and for that I was so very thankful. Thank you Grand Ole Opry and photographer Chris Hollo for capturing this moment. My heart bursts with joy when I look at these photos. Rhonda Vincent - Grand Ole Opry Member
The Grand Ole Opry opened a venue in Times Square in New York City. The Rage and I were invited to play along with the mega talented Vince Gill. As we arrived in New York City, I received a great surprise. A car would pick me up and as I got inside there was Colin Reed - a top executive with the Opry and all of Ryman Hospitality Properties and radio personality Bill Cody. We were going to the New York Stock Exchange to ring the closing bell. Security is very tight there, and I was given a list of rules to follow. One of the most important was not to answer my phone, (which became an issue). The Stock Exchange is so beautiful, ￼exquisitely enhanced with its decor. As I was gazing all around, taking in the magnificence of this experience, I see my phone is ringing, and it reads - “Dolly Parton”. What shall I do? Of course, I answered my phone. It was Dolly’s office inviting me to a recording session Dolly would be doing the next week. “Yes!” I whispered, “I’ll be there,” then quickly rejoined the executives, board members, and celebrities of RHP. My tummy was in tangles for fear I would be thrown out of the Stock Exchange and be so embarrassed in front of everyone from RHP, and my mind was racing a thousand miles an hour. The time was getting closer for the closing bell. We were given new instructions for the closing bell ceremony. At exactly 3:58pm est we were live on camera, at a most historic moment for me, ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
Artist: Rhonda Vincent releases her first Rounder Records album “Back Home Again”. It’s a return to her roots from the country music projects that were released in the previous years. This album solved the mystery behind the question everyone was asking - “Are you country or are you bluegrass?” It’s also difficult to find loyal band members when you are forming a brand new group with few dates. As Vincent signed with a Nashville booking agent, they would tout, “Who’s in the band of the week?” Not an easy time for this new artist, even though she had been performing since she was three years old. That was with her family.
January 2000 is where Rhonda Vincent began her journey as a solo bluegrass artist. It starts with the music and “Back Home Again” is project One for Rhonda Vincent on Rounder Records - released January 2000.