Eddie Stubbs celebrates 20 years as 'Opry' announcer

Eddie Stubbs puts an album on the turntable during his show Oct. 3, 2000, at the WSM-AM studio. At WSM, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this month, it's not unusual to hear a mountain classic by an old-timer after a hit by Garth Brooks. And it's not unusual for a disc jockey to reach for a vinyl album along with a CD. (Photo: Mark Humphrey / AP Photo)

Eddie Stubbs puts an album on the turntable during his show Oct. 3, 2000, at the WSM-AM studio. At WSM, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this month, it's not unusual to hear a mountain classic by an old-timer after a hit by Garth Brooks. And it's not unusual for a disc jockey to reach for a vinyl album along with a CD. (Photo: Mark Humphrey / AP Photo)

Not only was 1995 a whirlwind for Eddie Stubbs, it forever altered the trajectory of his life.

He moved to Nashville from Gaithersburg, Md., on March 21, 1995, to play fiddle for Kitty Wells and Johnnie Wright, and within a week also had been hired by WSM to conduct research and do on-air work part time.

On April 7, he was backstage at the "Grand Ole Opry" with WSM Program Director Kyle Cantrell, who was also an "Opry" announcer. About 10 minutes before the show began, Cantrell handed Stubbs a page of copy and said, "Can you read this?"

Stubbs guessed he could and Cantrell replied, "Good. You're going to announce the next half-hour of the Friday night 'Opry' and introduce Bill Monroe."

"I had never been so nervous before in my entire life," Stubbs said.

Kitty Wells, left, shares a laugh with WSM radio host Eddie Stubbs during her 90th birthday celebration at the Texas Troubadour Theatre in Nashville Aug. 30, 2009. (Photo: Sanford Myers / The Tennessean)

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