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Archive for the ‘Grand Ole Opry’ Category

Grand Ole Opry Throws the Grandest of 90th Birthday Parties

©2015 Grand Ole Opry   Photo By: Chris Hollo / Rachael Black

©2015 Grand Ole Opry
Photo By: Chris Hollo / Rachael Black

The Grand Ole Opry presented by Humana celebrated its 90th birthday this weekend with superstar performances throughout four Opry shows, free Opry Plaza Birthday Parties, and more. Weekend performers rounded out each show by singing “Happy Birthday” alongside a larger-than-life Opry 90th birthday cake accompanied by sold-out audiences.

After a surprise on-stage collaboration between The Oak Ridge Boys and Little Big Town on the Oaks’ classic “Elvira” Friday night, both groups were presented Opry member 90th anniversary member gifts by Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher. “For 90 years, Opry members have been the heart and soul of the show that made country music famous,” Fisher said. “Moments like these connecting generations of great country artists are what the Grand Ole Opry is all about.” The gifts to be presented to all members over the next few months are replicas of new backstage artwork unveiled Friday night in honor of the Opry’s membership.

©2015 Grand Ole Opry   Photo By: Chris Hollo / Rachael Black

©2015 Grand Ole Opry
Photo By: Chris Hollo / Rachael Black

On Saturday, one of America’s most trusted and beloved journalists and long-time country music and Grand Ole Opry fan Robin Roberts trekked to Nashville for the 90th anniversary celebration. The Good Morning America anchor introduced superstar and Grand Ole Opry member Carrie Underwood, who celebrated alongside a bevy of Opry members including The Oak Ridge Boys, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Trace Adkins, and more.

Throughout the weekend, fans packed the Opry Plaza for free performances including an Opry salute by stars of ABC’s NASHVILLE—Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack, and Aubrey Peeples.

The Opry’s 90th Anniversary celebration continues Tuesday, October 6 with appearances by Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Marty Stuart, and more as well as upcoming appearances by Kelsea Ballerini, Easton Corbin, Charlie Daniels Band, Loretta Lynn, Alison Krauss, Rascal Flatts, and many others.

The Grand Ole Opry Goes To The Movies

©2015 Grand Ole Opry Photo By: Chris Hollo

©2015 Grand Ole Opry
Photo By: Chris Hollo

The show that made country music famous is set to take some of the genre’s most popular artists to the big screen in December when its first feature film, American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry, previews in theaters across America. The made-for-cinema concert film captures on-stage Opry performances and backstage moments with Opry members Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, and Darius Rucker, as well as country favorites The Band Perry and Brett Eldredge.

American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry is set for a limited special engagement at select Carmike Cinemas in the US beginning December 4. Distribution across America will follow in January in partnership between the Opry and independent distributor DigiNext, a joint-venture of Carmike Cinemas Inc., a leading motion picture, alternative programming and 3-D motion picture exhibitor.

“We are excited about the opportunity to take the Opry and country music into movie theaters across the country,” said Steve Buchanan, Opry Entertainment President.  “This partnership allows us to present the Opry to fans through a previously unutilized medium and is another way for the Opry to expand its reputation as a vehicle of discovery for America’s music.”

The film will give audiences a virtual front row seat and VIP all-access pass.  Among the performances featured:

  • –Brad Paisley performing his #1 hit and the film’s title track “American Saturday Night” and current hit single “Country Nation”
  • –Blake Shelton’s award-winning “Boys Round Here” and current single “Gonna”
  • –Darius Rucker’s Grammy-winner “Wagon Wheel” as well as “So I Sang” from his current album SOUTHERN STYLE
  • –The Band Perry performing “If I Die Young,” the same song the band sang for Opry management in a backstage dressing room in 2009, earning an invitation to make its Opry debut
  • –Brett Eldredge’s first number one smash, “Don’t Ya”

“Everyone in the audience was swept away by each artist’s incredible performance,” said Bud Mayo, Managing Member of DigiNext and President of Carmike’s Alternative Programming and Distribution Division, who attended the live taping on August 31 with Carmike CEO David Passman. “The Opry production was the best I have seen and heard in 40 years in this business. Add the personal interactions with the artists between their sets and moviegoers are in for a thoroughly immersive experience from the moment they do their virtual walk into the hallowed halls of the Opry. This kind of groundbreaking event helps to fulfill the promise of digital cinema and its importance to Carmike and the exhibition industry at large.”

American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry is directed by George J. Flanigen IV. Executive Producers are Steve Buchanan, Robert Deaton, Pete Fisher, and Flanigen.

To find theaters, show times and purchase advance tickets, visit Tickets also available through and

Dierks Bentley Celebrates Ten-Year Anniversary As Grand Ole Opry Member

©2015 Grand Ole Opry  Photos By: Chris Hollo

©2015 Grand Ole Opry
Photos By: Chris Hollo

CMA Male Vocalist of the Year nominee Dierks Bentley celebrated his tenth anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member last night during a special week that will close with the Opry hosting a star-studded 90th Birthday Bash this weekend.

Throughout a 30-minute Opry segment, Bentley performed several of the hits that have entertained Opry fans over the past decade, including” “What Was I Thinkin’,” “Settle For A Slowdown,”  “Free And Easy (Down The Road I Go),” “Home,” and “Riser.” He was also joined by friends Dailey and Vincent for the bluegrass tune “Rovin’ Gambler.”

During his set, the Opry member was also joined on stage by his beloved dog Jake, with whom he had celebrated his Opry induction.

“He was here with me 10 years ago,” Bentley began. “I was driving away this afternoon and I thought ‘Ive got to bring Jake back out.’”

Presented with a print marking ten years of Opry membership by 54-year Opry member Bill Anderson, Bentley said, “The Opry is my home. This means the world to me tonight. We’ve been on the road so much of the past ten years it’s good to be home.”

Bentley may be the only artist ever banned from the Opry’s backstage area before he ever got to sing there. During his early days in Nashville, he had a job as a researcher for The Nashville Network, and he reported for work just steps away from the Opry House. The would-be singer made it a habit to sign up at the office for backstage access to weekend Opry shows so that he could watch performances from backstage and visit with the musicians there. –Such a habit, in fact, that Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher finally limited his backstage access to less frequent visits.

Not too much later, however, Bentley landed a recording contract with Capitol Records Nashville and released his first single, “What Was I Thinkin’.” The song catapulted the young singer to the top of the charts and was followed by a string of other hits.

By October 1, 2005, Bentley was welcomed as an official Opry member by Fisher, the very man who had limited his backstage access just a few years earlier. After having been presented his Opry Member Award that night, Bentley held the statuette high, saying to Fisher and everyone in the Opry House, “This here is the ultimate backstage pass. Maybe I could get this on a laminate? I share this honor with these guys behind me who ride the bus. Thanks!”

Bentley says he’ll never forget wandering the Opry House halls as relative newcomer to town, and tries to make himself available to fans and friends when he plays the Opry today.

“We leave the door to our dressing room wide open, so people can come in and say ‘hi,’” he says. “And if we’re not getting ready, then I want to be out on the stage watching the other bands – just remembering what it feels like to be part of the audience. I don’t ever want to lose that feeling of being a fan.”

“The Opry and Dierks have such a great, unique connection,” said Fisher. “From those early days when a new kid in town was beginning to understand what the Opry meant to the music he loved, to the award-winning superstar we saw on the Opry stage tonight, it’s been a great decade of hits and memorable Opry performances. We’ve watched Dierks become a husband, a father, and a respected artist who can move from one musical style to another seamlessly. We’re looking forward to the next ten years.”

Grand Ole Opry Set For A Ruff Week

miranda lambert

The Grand Ole Opry and Miranda Lambert are joining forces over the next week to send some four-legged friends straight from the home of country music to loving homes of their own. As the Opry celebrates its 90th birthday this Saturday, October 3, Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation will be on hand in the Opry Plaza with rescue dogs waiting to be adopted and off to perfect homes. The pet adoption opportunity is one component of the day’s free Opry Plaza Party that will also include live music on the Plaza stage including a musical salute to the Opry by stars of ABC’s NASHVILLE—Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack, and Aubrey Peeples.

The MuttNation crew is scheduled to return to the Plaza on October 6 when Lambert visits the Opry for two shows that will also feature Alan Jackson and Marty Stuart, among others.

Throughout October, Opry guests are invited to use the code “PAWS” when purchasing Opry tickets to designate a portion of those ticket proceeds benefit MuttNation. Sales of special items including dog collars and “Puppy Opry” prints available in the Opry’s Nashville retail stores and will also help benefit the Foundation. Fans can also bid on autographed merchandise and experiences at throughout October with all proceeds benefitting MuttNation.

“What an honor that the Grand Ole Opry has invited MuttNation to its 90th Birthday Bash,” said Foundation co-founder Bev Lambert. “With its impeccable reputation, Miranda and I are aware the Opry could have selected any number of pet charities with which to work. We are extremely humbled that they’ve entrusted MuttNation Foundation to join arms and paws in October.”

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