Youve been up in the clouds with grand opera; now
get down to earth with us in a shindig of grand ole opry!
With those words in 1927, George Dewey Hayknown to listeners
as The Solemn Old Judgeofficially christened the
show that would become radios longest-running musical program.
Grand Ole Opry actually began as The WSM Barn Dance
in November of 1925, as a one-hour showcase for rural music. By
the 1930s, the show had expanded to four hours and station WSM/Nashville
had expanded to 50,000 watts, making the show a Saturday night musical
tradition in nearly 30 states. In 1939, the Grand Ole Opry
began an affiliation with NBC that lasted until 1957.
Many country music legends debuted and became regulars on Grand
Ole Opry, including singers Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams and Patsy
Cline and comedians Minnie Pearl and Archie Campbell. Pearl, with
her trademark greeting of How-deee! and a $1.98 price
tag dangling from her hat, was an Opry regular for over 50
Grand Ole Opry is still heard every week on WSM, presenting
the best in country music from the past and present.
Grand Ole Opry was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame
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