A salute to the women of the Opry

Published 4:55 pm Saturday, May 11, 2013

A taste of authentic, roots country music is coming to the Paramount Theatre with the Women of the Grand Ole Opry show at 7:30 p.m. May 18.

The show will feature Millie Kittleson, who played on the Opry, and fiddle and renowned fiddle player Billye Jane Kruse.


Millie Kittelson

Tickets are $14 in advance and $16 at the door.

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“I think whoever comes out will really enjoy the program,” said concert promoter Dennis Charnecki.

He described Kittleson and Kruse as veterans in the music business.

“These gals, they paid their dues many, many times,” he said.

Kittleson, who was born in Fairmont, played on the Grand Ol’ Opry and toured with many well-known musicians in he 1950s and 1960s, including the Jack Schultz Orchestra, Roy Aika and more.

She even toured with and was friends with George Jones, who recently passed away.

She recently released her third CD, “My Precious Memories.” She was recently inducted into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame.

Kruse, who was born in Armstrong, Minn., plays saxophone and guitar, and does a Dolly Parton impression, but she is best known as a championship fiddler.

“She’s just unbelievable,” Charnecki said.

Kruse features more of a bluegrass sound.

The women will be backed by the DC Drifters, including musicians Charnecki, Doug Bathke and Ann Hemann.

“We’ve had a connection to country music for a really long time,” Charnecki said.

Charnecki described the concert as a classy show that will feature beautiful costumes and dialogue along with the music.

He said it’s almost like turning on the television or the radio.

“You’re getting just a class, class show,” he said.

Charnecki said this is the real deal for fans of authentic, roots-based, unprocessed country music.

“This is the best of the best,” he said.