Opry Faces Discrimination Suit

Grand Ole Opry musician Stonewall Jackson filed a $10 million age-discrimination lawsuit against management and the show in U.S. District Court in Nashville January 11th.

The suit also brings forth charges of breach of contract and retaliation, according to court documents obtained by the Tennessean.

Jackson, 74, has been a member of the Opry since 1956 and reportedly claims his appearances on the show and revenues from it have declined since general manager Pete Fisher was hired in 1998.

He alleges that Fisher had commented he was "too old and too country," and that Fisher cut most of his show appearances after Jackson filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment commission.

Steve Buchanan, VP of media and entertainment at Gaylord Entertainment, which owns the show, told the paper Jackson’s suit has brought false accusations.

"The allegations of age discrimination are without merit, as evidenced by our lineups in each and every show," Buchanan said.

As for the breach of contract charges, Jackson claims his reduction in appearances violates a contract that guaranteed lifetime Opry memberships to stars who agreed to perform 26 times per year during the heights of their careers, when touring would have been more profitable.

Jackson isn’t the only performer who’s come out recently against officials from the show.

Jimmy "Spider" Wilson ended his 53-year run November 24th because of what he described as humiliating treatment from Opry officials for several months. Wilson, 71, said he resigned mainly because he was excluded from performing on "The Grand Ole Opry Live" TV show.