Recently available ultrahigh magnetic fields offer new opportunities for studies of quadrupole nuclei in biological solids because of the dramatic enhancement in sensitivity and resolution associated with the reduction of second-order quadrupole interactions. Here, we present a new approach for understanding the function and energetics of ion solvation in channels using solid-state 17O NMR spectroscopy of single-site 17O-labeled gramicidin A. The chemical shift and quadrupole coupling parameters obtained in powder samples of lyophilized material are similar to those shown in the literature for carbonyl oxygens. In lipid bilayers, it is found that the carbonyl 17O anisotropic chemical shift of Leu10, one of the three carbonyl oxygens contributing to the ion binding site in gramicidin A, is altered by 40 ppm when K+ ion binds to the channel, demonstrating a high sensitivity to such interactions. Moreover, considering the large breadth of the carbonyl 17O chemical shift (>500 ppm), the recording of anisotropic 17O chemical shifts in bilayers aligned with respect to magnetic field B0 offers high-quality structural restraints similar to 15N and 13C anisotropic chemical shifts.