Country music reflects a way of life uniquely and unmistakably American. Mirroring the hopes, the problems, the sorrows, and the independence of millions of citizens, country music sprang up in the rural South, began to thrive during the bitter depression years, and has gone on to sweep the globe.
The worldwide symbol of this earthy, straightforward, enduring brand of music was and will remain the Grand Ole Opry, a weekly stage show that has been acclaimed, revered, and become almost sacred to millions of country music fans everywhere. But more than a stage show, it is a solid, secure, appealing institution built on the bedrock of a personal relationship between performer and listener.
For more than half a century, the Grand Ole Opry has entertained, soothed, comforted, and thrilled the packed audiences who stream into Nashville from across the nation every weekend. To countless millions of radio listeners, a Saturday night without the Grand Ole Opry is like a church service without hymns.
This illustrated volume records the heartbeat of this American phenomenon; traces its roots to life and reality; recalls the feelings and the personalities, their show-stopping performances, and musical innovations; and reflects the popularity, growth, and immense success of the Opry.
Old and rare photographs, along with pictorial views of contemporary stars and the fabulous new home of the Opry, provide a compelling background against which this unique American saga is retold.
Coauthors Myron Tassin, writer and formerly a New Orleans public relations consultant, and Dr. Jerry Henderson, a professor in the theater department at Pepperdine University, know their subject well and have captured all of its breadth, depth, and emotion on these pages.