First Timer At The Grand Ole Opry

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Let me start off by saying that I have not been known as a Country Music fan but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally listen to it.  I do listen to it more now since living in Nashville.  You just can’t help it.  I mean, this IS the Country Music capital of the world.   You can’t exactly run around the Music City with fingers in your ears.  I have realized now that when scanning radio stations, I don’t always scan past the Country stations.

Last night my wife and I attended the Grand Ole Opry for the first time.  We were not disappointed.

My extent of Country Music growing up was Hee Haw.  I don’t recall ever listening or watching the Grand Ole Opry before last night.

We were close to the stage.  I’m talking like four rows out.  It was awesome to be that close to the various acts.  Last night’s line up included:  Riders In The Sky, Raelynn, T. Graham Brown, Chuck Wicks, Danielle Bradberry, Dailey & Vincent, Bill Anderson and Kelsa Ballerini.  The only people I knew before last night were Bill Anderson and Kelsea Ballerini.

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Kelsea Ballerini performing at the Grand Ole Opry

 

Just a few facts that you should know about attending a performance at the Grand Ole Opry:

  • The show is a LIVE broadcast.  There is a worldwide radio audience listening to the show.
  • Each act performs three songs which is fine for some acts but for some you wish they performed longer.
  • Seating is long “church pew” seats so if you better hope everyone is within the average size.
  • The show isn’t like a concert.  It’s more like watching those old variety television shows in the 70s.
  • The Opry sells concessions but not quite like a movie theatre.  It’s best to get something to eat before the show.
  • Alcoholic beverages are sold but I really don’t think it’s necessary for something like this.
  • There is a 15-minute intermission during the show.   Good luck with going to the bathroom if you are a woman.
  • Traffic after the show is horrible since there are only two ways out of the area.
  • If you see someone you like, get your tickets early.

The Grand Ole Opry started on November 28, 1925 as a one-hour “barn dance” on a local radio station.  The phrase “Grand Ole Opry” began in 1927 when the show followed NBC’s Music Appreciation Hour which was a program of classical music and selections from the opera.  Opry presenter George Hay introduced harmonica player, DeFord Bailey by saying:  “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely form the Grand Opera.  From now on, we will present the Grand Ole Opry.”

The Grand Ole Opry called the historic Ryman Auditorium home until a new 4,000-seat Opry House was built and moved the Opry there in 1974.  The new facility was more modern although they did include a section of the stage from the Ryman to include in the stage of the new Opry House.

Regular performers at the Grand Ole Opry become members from referrals of current Opry members.  Their membership must be maintained throughout their career with a minimum number of performances throughout their career.

The Opry features shows every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from March through November.

More than you wanted to know about the Grand Ole Opry?   Perhaps, but when you’re in Nashville you have to go at least once.  I’m glad we did and I’m thinking we might go back soon.  Sure, there were some acts I really wasn’t interested in but it was all entertaining.

For more information about the Grand Ole Opry or for tickets:  www.opry.com

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