Today, over 90 years after the first Grand Ole Opry show was broadcast live on the radio, people in every corner of the globe recognize the Grand Ole Opry as the show that made country music famous. How it earned that reputation is quite a tale.

It began on the night of Nov. 28, 1925, when an announcer on Nashville radio station WSM introduced fiddle player Uncle Jimmy Thompson as the first performer on a new show called “The WSM Barn Dance.” Now, over 90 years later, the show Hay started is still going strong. Along the way, it has launched countless country music careers and led the way for Nashville to become Music City.

The Opry’s story is set in interesting locales such as Nashville’s Dixie Tabernacle and historic Ryman Auditorium and features as characters some of America’s most iconic entertainers—everyone from Patsy Cline and Hank Williams to Carrie Underwood and Garth Brooks.

To share the Opry’s history is to share the story of country music. To explore the Opry’s history is to open a window on a unique portion of America’s cultural landscape.


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