Max Jackson, story
Our editor makes a conscious effort to keep himself out of the news, although difficult sometimes in a small community like Edmonson County. And while it's true that no one really cares who edits or owns a news company, it's pretty out of the ordinary when a news editor can say he's performed on the world famous Grand Ol' Opry. It then becomes ridiculous when you realize his younger brother just experienced the same thing 22 years later.
Edmonson County native Dustin Doyle, a member of the award-winning southern gospel group "Ernie Haase and Signature Sound" marked another line off his bucket list as he performed on the Opry on October 15, 2016, becoming the second member of his family to do so, as his older brother, Darren did the same thing numerous times back in the 1990's.
"Not many families can sit at the dinner table and compare individual experiences on the Grand Ol' Opry," Dustin said, laughing. "We weren't trying to be funny or anything, but Darren was talking about hanging out with Charlie Pride and Grandpa Jones and I was talking about spending some time with Trace Adkins and Exile. Somebody at the table said, "this is a ridiculous conversation that I can't believe we're hearing."
Dustin is the son of Steve and Debbie Doyle of Chalybeate and is a 2003 graduate of Edmonson County High School. He's traveled around the globe touring with the top-rated quartet and he says the Opry experience ranks among the highest.
"I mean, it's the Grand Ol' Opry. Are you serious? How many people get to say they've performed there?" he asked, rhetorically.
He said he was excited about the opportunity from the moment the group discovered they'd been invited, however when he walked into the building, he began to experience a little bit of fright.
"You know, I just thought, man, I really shouldn't be here. I really shouldn't have this opportunity...is this real life?" He eventually began to settle down when he spoke with the night's host, Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs.
"I'd met Ricky before through my best friend Ben Helson (another EC graduate) when Ben played for him and he remembered me. He was really nice and I calmed down and was able to enjoy the moment."
Dustin also said it was amazing standing backstage watching the iconic group "Exile" perform their smash hit "Kiss You All Over," with Platinum selling artist Trace Adkins joining in. "Everybody in the place knew every word to the song and we were all singing along. Those guys were really nice and genuine and it was an incredible moment to see them perform that song."
He also said meeting Adkins was memorable, too. "I've never really been a Trace Adkins fan, but the guy was so nice and he's a giant! He stopped for a second and we grabbed a photo together. Guys like that don't have to do those kinds of things but he did and it was great."
Dustin recently appeared on Bill Gaither's final Homecoming video with Signature Sound, which will be available soon.
He currently lives in Mackenzie, TN with his wife Aubrey, his son Dawson, and daughter Lana.
Author Max Jackson is a native of Austin, TX and currently lives in Nashville, TN. He is a freelance entertainment reporter and is also a studio musician that works in Edmonson County and various areas of south central Kentucky.