Montgomery had wiped away tears during a press conference after Montgomery Gentry sang two songs - "My Town" and "Roll With Me" - during a 10-minute performance to open Tuesday's Grand Ole Opry show.
He broke down even quicker after Montgomery Gentry came back to the stage and sang "Something to Be Proud Of" and their latest release, "Long Line of Losers," and the induction ceremony started. He had to stop twice to compose himself after accepting his award.
"I have not ever been near as nervous as I am today. I was sick to my stomach," said Montgomery, who wore a red shirt, jeans, red boots, black coat and his signature hat. "I couldn't sleep last night. I've had butterflies all day.
"We love playing the Opry. It was always a goal to be a member, but we never had a timeline. It can never be too late (for induction). It's an unbelievable honor. We are dreamers, and this proves that dreams really can come true."
Gentry knew how much the honor meant to Montgomery because Montgomery's father had dreamed of performing at the Opry and never got the opportunity.
"I know his dad is looking down on him tonight, and a big part of this tonight is for his dad," Gentry said.
Montgomery said he was overwhelmed to have Stuart and Little Jimmy Dickens, both Opry members, do the induction. However, he was even more touched by the fans at the Opry as well as friends, including many from Boyle County, who came to support him.
"This is as much a part of them as it is us," Montgomery said. "If not for the working class and all those that came to the honky-tonks when we were starting, we would not be where we are today."
A 23-year friendship
Gentry said he also felt indebted to Montgomery for the role he has played in his career.
"After tonight settles in, it will bring us even closer together. I would not be here if he was not on my side," Gentry said. "I am blessed to have had him as a friend for 23 years."
Grand Ole Opry general manager Pete Fisher believes the Opry is lucky to have Montgomery Gentry as members. The duo made their Opry debut a little more than nine years ago.
"Only a few achieve extraordinary things and carry the Opry in their heart. You will be paving the way for the next 83 years (of Grand Ole Opry) as well," Fisher said.
"This is the ultimate fraternity to be in, and you both have worked hard and deserve this," Stuart told Montgomery Gentry. "You are loved and respected here."
Montgomery Gentry concluded the night by singing "Hillybilly Shoes." That was the first hit that jump-started their career.
"We just felt that was an appropriate song because that's the one that got us going," said Montgomery, who had participated in the grand opening Tuesday morning for Camp Horsin' Around in Boyle County. "We don't ever want to forget our roots."
The fans who applauded the duo's every move seemed to agree and understood what a meaningful reward this was for two Kentucky natives who kept being put together until they became a hit.
"We came to town (Nashville) as friends (years ago) and put this together back home," Montgomery said. "People always put us together. This is the way it was supposed to be. The man upstairs took care of us.
"Now I one day want to look back and have people saying what we were about and what they saw was what got them through with their music. When you become an Opry member, you better work your butt off and teach all you can to everybody. I want to teach kids that might make legends down the road."
However, on the Opry stage, Montgomery was more like a kid on Christmas morning. He was giddy and excited long before Stuart joined the duo for a crowd-pleasing dance during their final number.
"This is the greatest country in the world, baby," Montgomery shouted to the audience. "Dreams can be as big as they can be, and we are seeing it tonight, baby."