Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The "Grand Ole Opry" in Nashville

My cousin Marti and her fiance Byron showed us around in Nashville and we started with the "Grand Ole Opry", the Mecca for country music stars & fans.

Thank you Marti and Byron, for your hospitality and for your kindness to show us all the fascination of country music in Nashville's Down Town. David and I, we've enjoyed that Saturday afternoon and evening in Nashville together with you very much! :)

All the famous country music stars started their big break trough career here in Nashville

Inside view of the theater

A piece of the original wooden floor - from the old music theater "Hall of Fame" - was integrated in the new "Grand Ole Opry" house

The Grand Ole Opry
No trip to Nashville would be complete without experiencing the music phenomenon of the world-famous 4,400-seat Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry is the world's longest-running radio show and showcases the best in country music, bluegrass and more. On October 5,1925, the National Life & Accident Insurance Company launched Nashville's first radio station. Its call letters were WSM and the abbreviation stood for the insurance company's motto, "We Shield Millions."

Top-charting country music acts performed there during the Ryman years, including Roy Acuff, called the King of Country Music, and also Red Foley, Hank Williams Sr, Webb Pierce, Faron Young, Martha Carson, Lefty Frizzell, and so many others.

The Opry was nationally broadcast by the NBC Radio Network from 1944 to 1956; for much of its run, it aired one hour after the program that had inspired it, National Barn Dance. From October 1955 to September 1956, ABC-TV aired an hour-long television version once a month on Saturday nights (sponsored by Ralston-Purina), pre-empting one hour of the then-90-minute Ozark Jubilee.

On October 2, 1954, a teenage Elvis Presley made his first (and only) performance there. Although the public reacted politely to his revolutionary brand of rockabilly music, after the show he was told by one of the organizers (Opry manager Jim Denny) that he ought to return to Memphis to resume his truck-driving career, prompting him to swear never to return. In an era when the Grand Ole Opry represented solely country music, audiences did not accept Elvis on the Opry because of his infusion of rhythm and blues as well as his infamous body gyrations, which many viewed as vulgar. In the 1990s Garth Brooks was made an member of the Opry and was credited with selling more records than any other singer since Presley. Brooks commented that one of the best parts of playing on the Opry was that he appeared on the same stage as Presley.

In the 1960s, as the hippie counterculture movement built, the Opry maintained a straight-laced, conservative image; "longhairs" were almost never featured on the show. The Byrds were a notable exception. Gram Parsons, one of the pioneers of the country rock genre, had worked with The Byrds on a country album and was allowed to perform with the band at the Ryman in March 1968. Audience response was muted.

Hi my friends,

I hope you have enjoyed my little report about the Grand Ole Opry! It was a wonderful experience for me to see this famous house of country music from the inside and also backstage - I felt like a star myself :)

Tomorrow I'll show you some picture impressions from our afternoon in down town Nashville in the HOT June sun - yes we get sunburned all together - and photos also from the streets where all the famous bars are located and where you can just sit down and listen to good country bands, have a drink or two... and I have also seen a happy couple they were dancing to the rhythms of great country music - yes, it was my pretty cousin and her fiance - it was exciting to watch this two "love birds" :)

We arrived in North Carolina and plan to stay for a while on this place and explore the beautiful shores at the Atlantic... I missed the ocean on our trip!

Stay with me and scroll trough my last posts, so called "Older Posts" - any comment is very welcome and is appreciated.

Susanne and David


The Retired One said...

Loved the shot of the old floor circle at the Grand Ole Opry...I have been there (twice!) and loved it.

Carole said...

Nice account Susanne of your viait to the Grand Ole Opry, it looks fascinating

Anna said...

And thank you Susanne for showing us your tour. Anna :)


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