William Clark Green’s Emotional Grand Ole Opry Debut Was A Moment He Didn’t Think Would Ever Happen

William Clark Green country music

Bringing a little more Texas to the Grand Ole Opry family.

William Clark Green has made quite a name for himself in the Texas country scene since releasing his first album way back in 2008.

Since then, he’s been playing to sold-out crowds in Texas and beyond with his gritty vocals and authentic songwriting, while also joining forces with some other Texas country greats as a member of The Panhandlers.

But this week he added another line to his resume when he brought his Texas country sound to Nashville for his Grand Ole Opry debut.

Speaking before his big performance, William admitted it was a moment he didn’t think would ever happen after so many years of making music:

“It became something I never thought I was going to do. As an independent band it’s just kinda like, ‘Eh, it’ll never happen.’

So for me, we got the phone call and I was just like, ‘What?’

I kind of already was like ‘Eh it’s probably never gonna happen.’ And I’m fans of people who have never done it, so I just kind of pushed it away, like focus on the task at hand, and then obviously when it happened I was shocked.

I didn’t think we were even on the radar or people knew who we were up here, so it’s pretty cool.”

It’s easy to see why he thought that it may not happen. WCG released his first album 15 years before he finally got the invite to play the Opry. But he says the long road to get into the Opry circle only made it all that more special:

“I think the more you struggle the more the important moments become bigger important moments.”

And even coming from the Texas country scene, a group that often does their own thing and – sometimes deliberately – separates themselves from what goes on in Nashville, William made clear what a big, important moment in his career this was:

“I feel the same way tonight I felt the first time I played Gruene Hall, and the first time I played the main stage at Billy Bob’s. It’s kind of like this, ‘We made it’ kind of thing.

As an independent band, an independent songwriter, you don’t get very many opportunities to have affirmation of what you’re doing. You don’t get many things to celebrate. 

You have some sold-out shows here and there, and there are some great nights and there are some not-so-good nights, but actual staple moments where you’re like, ‘Oh man, I’m doing something.’ This is definitely one of them.”

But along with the excitement of the moment comes the pressure and the nerves of such a career-affirming opportunity:

“A friend of mine asked me, ‘Are you excited?’ And I was like, ‘I can’t say that I’m excited. I’m nervous and I’ll be really happy when it’s over.’

And it’s not that I don’t want to be here. It’s just so much risk of messing up, it’s like when it’s over I’ll enjoy it.”

And he also realizes that the moment wasn’t just for him: It was for all of the people who helped him along the way.

“That kinda turned a corner in my head of like, this is for my mom, my parents who’ve watched me struggle all these years, this is a celebration for everybody who cares about me – not necessarily my music, but me as a person.

So once I kinda got that in my head I was able to relax a little bit more…

I’m just so nervous I kind of space out that excitement that everybody has for me.”

Well that excitement spilled over into the seats of the Grand Ole Opry when it was time for William Clark Green to finally make his Grand Ole Opry debut.

The crowd hung onto every word he said as he delivered an impressive performance of “Anymore” from his 2022 album Baker Hotel, and watched as he became overwhelmed with emotion before a special tribute to his mom with an acoustic performance of “My Mother.”

@whiskeyriff♬ original sound – Whiskey Riff

And then it was finally over, and William was able to relax and enjoy the experience of stepping into the circle, 15 years after the release of his debut album.

Pretty damn cool to see – especially for a guy like William, who’s not only so incredibly talented and deserving, but who also appreciates it as much as anybody you’ll ever talk to.

And maybe the next time he comes back – because he’s somebody who deserves to be a regular on that stage – he’ll be able to enjoy it even more.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock