Josh Turner Performs With Autistic Young Musician at Grand Ole Opry
Josh Turner made a dream come true for a very special young man on Tuesday night (May 28). The bass-voiced singer invited a young musician with autism to join him onstage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville to perform his signature hit, 'Long Black Train.'
Turner first became aware of Logan Blade by watching a TV news report about him earlier in May. Blade was diagnosed with autism when he was just two years old, but as time went on, his parents realized that although he cannot hold a normal conversation, the young man can express himself through music.
Blade has excelled in music so much that it has become his means of communicating with the world, either by singing or playing piano. Turner is his favorite artist, and it has been his dream to perform with him on the Opry stage. The country star arranged a meeting with Blade, his family and music instructor backstage at the hallowed Nashville venue, further making his dream a reality.
"Just being around him, hearing his story ... it's hard to put into words," Turner told Fox 17 News in Nashville. "It's just really gratifying and fulfilling for me to be able to see a young man like that, that is struggling in some ways -- but yet, due in part, a little bit, by what I've done musically, he's been able to become a different person."
Introducing Blade on the Opry stage, Turner reflected on how 'Long Black Train' has changed not only his life, but the lives of many others who have written to him and shared their stories about the song's impact on their lives.
But he said he deserves no credit for Blades' remarkable story. "Music is what really changed him and his family," the singer observed. Blade joined Turner for a spirited and heartfelt rendition of the song, which earned them both an emotional ovation from the crowd.
"Music is his niche in life, and it feels so rewarding to see him do something that he enjoys doing," his mother, Darlene, said afterward.
"And to get to be on the Opry -- my goodness!" she exclaimed. "How many people have just wished to be on the Opry? And he got to make his dream come true -- along with me, too, to see him accomplish something so big."