Age discrimination at the Opry?

April 14, 2007

This morning’s National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition did a story on country singer Stonewall Jackson’s age discrimination suit against the Grand Ole Opry. Jackson, a member of the Opry since 1956, claims that he is getting less airtime because of his age–he’s 79–and is suing Gaylord Entertainment, the owners of the Opry, for $20 million.

The Opry still carries a lot of old-timers–Charlie Louvin and Porter Wagoner are prime examples–so it’s hard to tell whether the suit has any merit. The biggest reason that Jackson is getting eased aside may be that he hasn’t had a big hit since his 1959 “Waterloo,” which he still chugs through whenever on stage.

The irony in the case is that “Waterloo” is a song whose lyrics ask “where will you meet your Waterloo?” The final line is “Everybody has to meet his Waterloo,” and Jackson’s lawsuit may be just that for him.