Carnegie Hall is real fabulous but it aint as big as The Grand Ole OpryPatsy Cline
The Grand Ole Opry – Early Beats
So, how did the Grand Ole Opry begin? Believe it or not, in 7 years it will be 100 years since this icon of musical traditions first opened it’s doors.
November 28, 1925 is credited as the date when The Grand Ole Opry began. The reason why is that George D “Judge” Hay launched what was called the WSM Barn Dance with 77 year old fiddler, Uncle Jimmy Thompson.
However, the first incarnation of the Grand Ole Opry actually began slightly earlier than this. A clue why is found in what was known as the WSM Barn Dance. This event had it’s beginnings, or seeds, that led to the Grand Ole Opry, when local management began a program featuring Dr. Humphrey and his string quartet of old time musicians. This was built upon a few days later on November 2nd when George D “Judge” Hay was hired, his reputation as America’s most popular radio announcer no doubt contributing to that decision.
A couple of years later, in 1927, specifically December 10th, the Grand Ole Opry made it’s broadcast debut on the NBC Red Network. Fittingly, it was George Hay who gave the pivotal introduction, remarking:
For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from from Grand Opera. From now on, we will present the “Grand Ole Opry”George Hay
Following this introduction, DeFord Bailey stepped up to play “The Pan-American Blues”.
The Grand Ole Opry – Who Has Been On The Stage?
One of the most famous “temporary” artists to have graced the stage is a certain young singer called Elvis Presley. His limited exposure to the event was on October 2nd 1954. Following his performance in which the crowd reacted to his performance politely, Jim Denny told Presley’s manager that his style did not suit the program.
Fortunately, the Grand Ole Opry has had many, many artists who have proven more popular over the years. Some of the more well known names include Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton.
Another one time performer who was not to re appear was a certain Jerry Lee Lewis. He appeared on January 20, 1973. His performance put a few ‘noses out of joint’, because he disregarded two conditions that were agreed should he appear, the first being no rock and roll music, and, the second being no profanity. His complete disregard for both conditions was attributed to revenge on Nashville for the way he was treated when he first arrived in 1955.
The Grand Ole Opry – Definitely Worth A Visit
For historical venues to visit in Nashville, there must be few better places to pass by than the Grand Ole Opry. This is true for both music buffs and general tourists alike. To walk where so many talented and acclaimed musicians have created history is something that will be remembered for a lifetime!