Inherent in every strain of a country music song is a way of life uniquely American. Mirroring the sorrow, hope, and triumph of millions, country music, born in the rural South, has firmly established itself as part of American culture, as part of its history and its progress. And what could be more aptly emblematic of this natural style of music than the Grand Ole Opry?
Once a humble radio broadcast, the Opry is now country music's greatest stage--a secure institution buttressed by the personal relationship between performer and listener, a relationship neither forsaken nor forgotten. The Opry is as fundamental to the development of American culture as the music that gave it existence.
Since 1925, the Opry has soothed and thrilled its audience, the members of which travel far to experience a night of unforgettable music and to witness their favorite musicians grace the six-foot circle of oak wood stained with history. And to the innumerable radio listeners unable to attend in person, a Saturday night without the Grand Ole Opry is like a church service without hymns.
The stars who have performed at the Opry perpetuate its enormous popularity. Hank Williams, Red Foley, Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, Uncle Dave Macon, Minnie Pearl, Bill Monroe, Eddy Arnold, Loretta Lynn, Tex Ritter, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette comprise but a small number of those who have stood on the oaken Opry stage.
This illustrated volume records the heartbeat of an American phenomenon, tracing its roots, growth, and immense success from 1925 to 1975. Old and rare photographs, supplemented by pictures of the Opry's fabulous new home, provide a compelling background against which this unique American saga is retold. It recalls, too, the show-stopping performances and musical innovations of many beloved personalities.