Riley Green Explains His Not-Quite-So-Grand Ole Opry

Riley Green signed a Nashville record deal, wrote a few country songs, recorded them, released one to country radio, and then made a video to go along with it.

However, it wasn’t until he played the Grand Ole Opry stage that his family considered him a success. “That was when I was famous to my family,” the “There Was This Girl” singer told CMT Hot 20 Countdown. “Especially to my grandparents. (It’s) probably the biggest thing I could ever do in country music.”

That may be because growing up in Alabama, Green’s family already had their own version of the Opry. It was a friends and family music hall. He calls it their miniature Grand Ole Opry. “My granddaddy was always big on anybody that wants to play and sing can get up and play and sing. Everybody gets a couple songs, then takes a break, then gets back at it again,” he added. Oh, and his cousin was always there, too, telling jokes just like Minnie Pearl. “It was a really cool thing that I probably took for granted a little bit, because I had it all the time. You don’t see stuff like this anymore.”

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The all-new episode of CMT Hot 20 Countdown airs on on Saturday and Sunday (March 30-31) at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

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Editor’s note: Green was also part of CMT’s reality show Redneck Island when he was a contestant in the fourth season.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.