By BEN DUDLEYThe Wilson Post
When Ralph Sloan and the Tennessee Travellers began performing on the Grand Ole Opry in 1952, Eddie Oliver watched his father, aunt and two uncles clog on stage and decided as a young boy to continue that family tradition.
Little did he know that 57 years later, after having performed all across the nation as well as on the same Opry stage as his dad, he would be inducted into the American Clogging Hall of Fame.
Oliver, who is also a real estate agent with Agee & Johnson in Lebanon, was inducted in to the Hall of Fame this past weekend in Maggie Valley, N.C.
“This is the highest honor for someone like me,” Oliver said. “They have the national championships, but they are only for amateurs and I’ve always gotten paid.”
Oliver began clogging when he was 13 years old and joined the Tennessee Travellers in 1966. The Travellers, run by Sloan and later by his brother Melvin Sloan, performed every week on the Grand Ole Opry.
In 2002, Oliver joined the Grand Ole Opry Square Dancers. In all of the companies he has worked with, Oliver has been dancing on the Opry stage for 44 years.
He has been on more than 300 television shows for ABC, CBS, local and syndicated stations. Oliver was with the Travellers when they made a special appearance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 1983 for a tribute to Roy Acuff.
Oliver has performed on “Hee Haw,” “Good Ole Nashville” for 13 years, the “Saturday Morning Eddie Hill Show” in 1960, and was a part of the Grand Ole Opry 50-year Anniversary show.
“This is a family tradition,” Oliver said. “I’ll keep it up as long as it’s fun and I’m able to do it.”
Staff Writer Ben Dudley may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.