Hot on the heels of Ken Burns’ documentary, Country Music, airing on PBS comes more good news for country fans. The Grand Ole Opry is returning to television in the early part of 2020.
Known as “The Show That Made Country Music Famous,” the Grand Ole Opry has been a institution on radio since 1925 when it debuted in Nashville as the WSM Barn Dance. In 1955, Stars of the Grand Ole Opry became the first TV show shot in color.
Even as a kid growing up near New York City, I was aware of the Opry. Of course, to a Northerner, the music and comedy stars featured on that venerated stage in a far off place called Nashville seemed pretty exotic at the time. I’m still impressed by the level of respect that artists have for the Grand Ole Opry.
Over the decades, the television version of the country music showcase jumped around from one network to another. Starting next year, the new Circle Network will feature a Grand Ole Opry weekly broadcast, entertainment news, documentaries, and movies as well as classic Grand Ole Opry segments. Here’s a peek:
Most of the Grand Ole Opry shows will continue to be produced at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House, but the performers return to the legendary Ryman Auditorium for three months every winter. With the line between country and pop music being so blurred these days, it’s good to know the Grand Ole Opry still features more traditional sounding artists like the ones I remember seeing on TV forty years ago.