Well....I have Jury Duty on Thursday morning.....at 8:30......geeeezzzzz.....I'm just in the middle of good sleeping at the time I have to get up.....at about 6-ish. I'm sure not liking that. Hopefully it won't last long and I can come home. I have no idea what I'm doing, but the card I got says I have to serve on the Grand Jury........well........we'll see just how good I am at it. I'm sure I'll be sent home the first day......(I hope, fingers crossed)
Ok....I hope I didn't get your hearts to racing at the title of todays blog......I just wanted to get your attention.......and now that I have it......let's talk about the Grand Ole Opry, and Casey. From here on out, I will refer to it as Opry, it's alot easier. It's not a matter of "if" he will play the Opry.....it's "when". And you can bet your bottom dollar he will be booked soon. I would venture to say it will be in the next 6 to 8 months, maybe sooner. Probably not before this year is out, but who knows.....I do know this......he definitely will make his debut on the Opry Stage. New artists are invited to sing and play at the Opry, and it is a huge Honor to be asked to play there. Artists actually make their 'debut' there.....that's how important the Opry is to Country music, as well as other genres.
I, for one am going to try to be on that front row, or close to it when Casey makes his debut, because I know he's going to be shining from within with pride!! I encourage all of you who can, try to be there for the debut, as this will be a very important milestone in his career. And he would love it if the Opry house were full of his fans, all there to support him! I don't know how much tickets will be for his show, and I'm not sure if the price changes for each artist or not. But I'll find all that out when he's invited and get the information posted here as soon as I know how much it is. And I will also post a link, so you can go directly there and purchase your tickets!
The Opry, as most everyone knows, sits in downtown Nashville. It has went through many changes getting to where it is today. It was nearly wiped out by the horrible flood in May of 2010 that put 15ft. and more, of water in the downtown area of Nashville.
Everybody who's anybody has sang there! Even Elvis.....if you can picture that!! His gyrating hips didn't go over well with the country folk back in the 50's...and they considered him to be vulgar....lol. But those days are long gone and the Opry invites new acts to their stage, but.....it is a known fact that they always tone down their show if it is at all wild. I think that's just out of respect for 'The Opry'....to be honest with you. It is known for having family oriented shows. The famous, late, great, Hank Williams was actually banned in 1952, and although I don't know the real reason he was banned, I would guess it had something to do with his heavy drinking.....just my opinion. He was known to put a few away.
Now, I'm just going to post the History of the Grand Ole Opry and let you take in all it's beauty!
BeginningsNational Life & Accident Insurance Company in downtown Nashville on November 28, 1925. On October 18, 1925, management began a program featuring "Dr. Humphrey Bate and his string quartet of old-time musicians." On November 2, WSM hired long-time announcer and program director George D. "Judge" Hay, an enterprising pioneer from the National Barn Dance program at WLS-AM in Chicago, who was also named the most popular radio announcer in America as a result of his radio work with both WLS and WMC-AM in Memphis, Tennessee. Hay launched the WSM Barn Dance with 77-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson on November 28, 1925, which is celebrated as the birth date of the Grand Ole Opry.
Some of the bands regularly on the show during its early days included the Possum Hunters (with Dr. Humphrey Bate), the Fruit Jar Drinkers, the Crook Brothers, the Binkley Brothers' Dixie Clodhoppers, Uncle Dave Macon, Sid Harkreader, Deford Bailey, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, and the Gully Jumpers.
Judge Hay, however, liked the Fruit Jar Drinkers and asked them to appear last on each show because he wanted to always close each segment with "red hot fiddle playing." They were the second band accepted on Barn Dance, with the Crook Brothers being the first. When the Opry began having square dancers on the show, the Fruit Jar Drinkers always played for them. In 1926, Uncle Dave Macon, a Tennessee banjo player who had recorded several songs and toured the vaudeville circuit, became its first real star.
NameThe name Grand Ole Opry came about on December 10, 1927. The Barn Dance followed the NBC Red Network's Music Appreciation Hour, which consisted of classical music and selections from the Grand Opera genre. The final selection that night featured a musical interpretation of an onrushing railroad locomotive. In response to this Judge Hay quipped, "Friends, the program which just came to a close was devoted to the classics. Doctor Damrosch told us that there is no place in the classics for realism. However, from here on out for the next three hours, we will present nothing but realism. It will be down to earth for the 'earthy'." He then introduced the man he dubbed the "Harmonica Wizard"—DeFord Bailey—who played his classic train song "The Pan American Blues". After Bailey's performance Hay commented, "For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the 'Grand Ole Opry'". The name stuck and has been used for the program since.
As audiences for the live show increased, National Life & Accident Insurance's radio venue became too small to accommodate the hordes of fans. They built a larger studio, but it was still not large enough. After several months with no audiences, National Life decided to allow the show to move outside its home offices. In October, 1934, the Opry moved into then-suburban Hillsboro Theatre (now the Belcourt); and then on June 13, 1936, to the Dixie Tabernacle in East Nashville. The Opry then moved to the War Memorial Auditorium, a downtown venue adjacent to the State Capitol. A 25-cent admission was charged in an effort to curb the large crowds, but to no avail. On June 5, 1943, the Opry moved to the Ryman Auditorium.
King of Country Music, Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Faron Young, Martha Carson, Lefty Frizzell, and many others.
One hour of the Opry was nationally-broadcast by the NBC Red Network from 1939 to 1956; for much of its run, it aired one hour after the program that had inspired it, National Barn Dance. The NBC segment, originally known by the name of its sponsor, The Prince Albert Show, was first hosted by Acuff, who was succeeded by Red Foley in 1946. From October 15, 1955 to September 1956, ABC-TV aired a live, hour-long television version once a month on Saturday nights (sponsored by Ralston-Purina), pre-empting one hour of the then-90-minute Ozark Jubilee. From 1955–57, The Country Show: with Stars of the Grand Ole Opry, a filmed program, was syndicated by Flamingo Films.
On October 2, 1954, a teenage Elvis Presley made his only Opry performance. Although the audience reacted politely to his revolutionary brand of rockabilly music, after the show he was told by Opry manager Jim Denny that he ought to return to Memphis to resume his truck-driving career, prompting him to swear never to return. In an era when the Grand Ole Opry represented solely country music, audiences did not accept Elvis on the Opry because of his infusion of rhythm and blues as well as his infamous body gyrations, which many viewed as vulgar. In the 1990s, Garth Brooks was made a member of the Opry and was credited with selling more records than any other singer since Presley. Brooks commented that one of the best parts of playing on the Opry was that he appeared on the same stage as Presley.
In the 1960s, as the hippie counterculture movement spread, the Opry maintained a straight-laced, conservative image with "longhairs" not being featured on the show. The Byrds were a notable exception. Country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons, who at that time was a member of The Byrds, was in Nashville to work on the band's country-rock album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo. The band's record label, Columbia Records, had arranged for The Byrds to be allowed to perform at the Ryman on March 15, 1968, a prospect that thrilled Parsons. However, when the band took the stage the audience's response was immediately hostile, resulting in derisive heckling, booing and mocking calls of "tweet, tweet." The Byrds further outraged the Opry establishment by breaking with accepted protocol when they performed Parsons' song "Hickory Wind" instead of the Merle Haggard song "Life in Prison", as had been announced by compare Tompall Glaser.
Opry HouseThe Ryman was home to the Opry until 1974, when the show moved to the 4,400-seat Grand Ole Opry House, located nine miles east of downtown Nashville on a new site that was part of the Opryland USA theme park. Opening night, March 16, was attended by President Nixon, who played a few songs on the piano. The Opry House stage includes a large circle of wood cut from the original stage at the Ryman.
While the theme park was closed in 1997 and replaced by the Opry Mills mall, Opry House itself was left intact and incorporated into the new facility. Currently the Opry plays several times a week at the Grand Ole Opry House, except for an annual winter run at the Ryman Auditorium.
2010 floodingIn May 2010, the Opry House was flooded, along with much of Nashville, due to the Cumberland River overflowing its banks. While repairs were made, the Opry was temporarily housed at alternate venues in Nashville, with the Ryman Auditorium hosting the majority of the shows. Other venues included the TPAC War Memorial Auditorium; another former Opry home, TPAC's Andrew Jackson Hall, Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Allen Arena at Lipscomb University and the Two Rivers Baptist Church. In August 2010, the Opry announced the reopening of the Grand Ole Opry House on September 28, 2010.
Well, I hope yall found this history lesson interesting! I know Casey has a lot of fans who have never had anything to do with Country Music, so it's only fair that they know what he is going to be surrounded by and what is good for him. And this......is great for him!! He is going to be so excited to play the Opry and I just can't wait to see him there with tears in my eyes!!
Hmmmm......guess I better find yall a picture or two......let me see........hmmmm......ok.....I got it!!!!!!!!
Many thanks to Donna Carmarata for her awesome shots from Des Moines, Iowa last month!
I think I will say goodnight to all.....I'm tired and I need some rest! Take care until we meet again......