Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday Opry of "Birthday Bash Weekend"

The world's longest-running live radio show (oldest show of ANY sort, I do believe) is celebrating its birthday (or anniversary if you prefer) this weekend. The Grand Ole Opry began 84 years ago, in a studio of the National Life & Accident Company's headquarter building here. And actually it started later in the year 1925 -- "officially" according to Opry archives -- but since the station that carries the show, WSM-AM 650, began broadcasting early in October, the powers that be choose to celebrate in early October.

Thus, on the Friday Nite Opry there was mention of the "birthday", and even a birthday cake. And as the 1990s country song goes, "I watched it all on my radio". Or at least as much of the show as I could, out of the car radio when wasn't out of the car making a delivery for Bradley Drugstore. The show commenced with John Conley, whom I've always liked since he became a singing star and Opry cast member in the early 1980s. Soon I'd be hearing from Patty Loveless, who joined during the late '80s. Just about the time I moved to Nashville last year she released an album, "Sleepless Nights", and now this evening she sang a song off her newest album, "Mountain Soul II". (But alas! I heard little of her performance on stage over the airwaves, since I was involved in an "involved" delivery to a nursing home.)

I was rather impressed with the prominent display of the love affair between the Opry and our nation and especially our military. Jimmy Dickens commented, after emcee Eddie Stubbs verbally noted the presence of another WW II veterans group, how much he had enjoyed his many trips overseas to perform for active military in theaters of combat and how soldiers were the nicest audience. During the final half hour, Eddie introduced an active-duty Navy man who had done duty in Afghanistan, Iran (covert?) and Iraq, and had just returned to the States. He got a standing ovation from the in-house audience.

And then after Montgomery Gentry, the duo who are the cast's newest members, came out and sang their latest hit "There's One in Every Crowd", plus "Back When I Knew It All", not only was a birthday cake rolled out on-stage, but a "tame" bald eagle was carried forward for the audience to admire!

I love this show! May the Grand Ole Opry show have many, many more birthdays/anniversaries!

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