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How hogs and cows got Leroy Van Dyke to the Grand Ole Opry

Oct 23 | Posted by: Leroy Van Dyke

 

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

On a Missouri farm surrounded by livestock, young Leroy Van Dyke figured raising and selling hogs was all his future would hold.

“I was sitting at home, shining my shoes and listening to the Grand Ole Opry, never dreaming that someday I’d walk on that stage as a regular,” Van Dyke said.

On Music Row, they always say write what you know, even if you’re just a young livestock auctioneer.

Van Dyke’s 1956 hit “The Auctioneer” changed his life.

“But the funny part was, before I got out of the studio, the phone rang and in two weeks I had a record deal. Within three months I’d sold 3 million records. Tick, tick, tick, like that,” Van Dyke said.

The Missouri farm boy was now an overnight success.

“The next week I’m hearing people want my autograph. Why? I’m the same person, but it kind of spooked me. What are these people doing?” he said.

Van Dyke has had plenty of time to get used to it.

Thursday night, he’ll be back on the Grand Ole Opry stage 55 years after his first appearance.

“Everybody in country music viewed that as arrival, you finally got there,” he said.

And he’ll sing once more to that 2017 crowd like he did in 1962.

“It’s never old hat, ‘cause every time you go on the Opry, it’s like a family reunion,” Van Dyke said.

Before he hit it big, Van Dyke played music for the troops during the Korean War.

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