Self-titled as, “The Show That Made Country Music Famous.” If you are a die-hard country music fan, then you should know about and visit the Grand Ole Opry. In the city of country music, Nashville, Tennessee, this place is host to all of the greatest country music stars including but not limited to Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams, and others. However, many might not know the deep history that this bestowed place has.
Starting as just a radio station, WSM decided to introduce a one-hour barn dance. So, on November 28, 1925, announcer George Hay started the live show with 77-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson. From there it grew to include early stars like Bill Monroe and The Fruit Jar Drinkers. This was still during prohibition. And eventually this barn dance got renamed to the Grand Ole Opry in 1927 and has stuck with the name ever since.
- Moving Locations
Within 11 years of starting its live show at the National Life & Accident Insurance Company building, the crowds became too large and the show finally moved into the Hillsboro Theatre. Shortly after, it moved again to the Dixie Tabernacle. Then again in 1939 it moved to the Nashville War Memorial. And yet, a few years later in 1943 the Grand Ole Opry moved to Ryman Auditorium. There it stayed until 1974. It moved away from the worn-out Ryman Auditorium with only 3000 seats. Finally, the Grand Ole Opry house was built and opened to the public on March 16, 1974 with a modern building, 1000 more seats, and air conditioning. Then President Richard Nixon attended and played songs on the piano. Since then, the house has been home to country’s greatest stars every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday night from March thru November. But during the winter months the show returns to its roots at the Ryman Auditorium to allow for refurbishments to be made at the Grand Ole Opry House and allow the show to acknowledge its roots.
- Where to Listen Today
Believe it or not, you don’t have to travel all the way to Nashville to experience the music the Grand Ole Opry has to provide. While you do have to travel to Nashville to experience the live show you can listen to the show on its own mobile app, the Sirius XM radio station, Nashville’s 650 AM, or the website. What once could only be experienced by those willing and able to travel or those near Nashville can now be enjoyed by anyone with an internet connection.
Country music wouldn’t have been as popular without the Grand Ole Opry, and the Grand Ole Opry wouldn’t have been anything without the greatest country stars who performed and continue to perform there today. The Grand Ole Opry is the reason Nashville is the city of country music. If you get the chance to visit this Tennessee relic you defintely should. Especially, if you are a fan of country music where you can check out the Country Music Hall of Fame.