When Darius Rucker was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry by Brad Paisley on October 2, it was a secret his wife Beth had kept for nearly two months. She called into Charleston’s WEZL, a radio station in the Rucker family’s hometown, to dish on how she kept it a secret – and how she managed to get herself and some of their friends to Nashville for a Tuesday night Opry show without raising suspicion.
“What we were going to do is send Darius on the bus then 15 minutes later the band bus was going to come by and pick us up,” Beth told the station. “But then I thought, ‘You know what? That’s ridiculous to have two buses going and it would be so much more fun to ride with him.’”
Luckily, a friend was celebrating a birthday. It was just the cover she needed to orchestrate her plan. “I was like ‘Hey, we were just thinking about getting out of town for a night…would you mind if we jumped on the bus with you?’ He was like ‘Yeah, sure no problem.’ He didn’t think anything of it because I’ve done that before.”
In August, Beth learned from Darius’ management team that he was going to receive an invitation to join the Opry. They knew she would want to be there and gave her time to organize the covert trip from Charleston to Nashville. But it turned out Darius wasn’t the only one who had no idea his family and friends were at the Opry for his special night.
“Frank Rogers, Darius’ producer — and he also produces Brad — said when Brad got asked to do it, Brad was all bummed out because he thought nobody was there, but they were all hiding,” explained Beth. “When Brad got offstage with Darius, he saw all these people and he was like ‘Oh my gosh! I’m so happy all these people are here.’”
Beth isn’t the only person who’s known about the Opry invitation since August. The couple’s three kids also knew. “I cannot believe they had a secret,” she laughed.
Their kids are young though, and don’t quite understand the importance of the Opry just yet. “When daddy came home, Jack was like ‘Congratulations on whatever just happened,” Beth said of their son’s reaction to the news.
It was back to business as usual following the Opry invitation. Beth shared that the couple had attended one of their children’s volleyball games once they were back in Charleston. Meanwhile, Darius was flooded with more than a hundred text messages (and tweets) congratulating him on the honor.
“He’s just so honored and awed that he can’t believe it,” Beth said. “In fact somebody sent us the YouTube video and I said ‘Did you watch it?’ and he said ‘I can’t. I just can’t get through it without crying.’ Country music is such a family. That’s the epitome of ‘You are a part of our family.’ He’s just so honored.”