Grand Ole Opry To Celebrate 40 Years at Opry House

blake sheltonThe Grand Ole Opry is poised to celebrate 40 years of country music at its permanent home, the Grand Ole Opry House, beginning next month, with special events kicking off the weekend of March 15 and continuing throughout the year. The celebration will lead up to next year’s mark of 90 years since the Opry was founded on Nov. 28, 1925.

Among those scheduled to appear on two Opry House Anniversary performances March 15 are Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Clint Black, Diamond Rio, and Josh Turner.

The Grand Ole Opry House is the Opry’s sixth home. It is also the only home built specifically for the Opry and the residence the Opry has called home the longest. The Opry House opened on March 16, 1974 with a standing room only Opry performance attended by President and Mrs. Richard Nixon, among other VIP guests. The evening marked the first time a U.S. president had ever attended the Opry. Nixon still stands as the only president ever to have performed on the Opry, having played “My Wild Irish Rose” and “God Bless America” on the Opry’s upright piano in addition to “Happy Birthday” in honor of First Lady Pat Nixon, who was celebrating her birthday that night. Even more memorably, President Nixon received an impromptu on-stage yo-yo lesson from Opry stalwart and yo-yo enthusiast Roy Acuff.

Weekend Shows and Events

March 15, 2014
7:30 a.m. – 650 AM WSM 5K Run & Walk
5:30 p.m. – Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry Book Signing
7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.  – Opry House 40th Anniversary Grand Ole Opry shows featuring Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Clint Black, Diamond Rio, Josh Turner, and more

Throughout the day – Opry House Yo-Yo-A-Thon
March 16, 2014
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  – Self-guided Backstage Tours of the Opry House presented by Humana
2 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry Book Signing

Throughout the day – Opry House Yo-Yo-A-Thon

The public is invited for free self-guided tours of the Opry House 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on March 16, made possible by Opry presenting sponsor Humana. Debuting that day will be a new backstage display commemorating the Opry House’s 1974 grand opening with artifacts including the yo-yo used by President Nixon and inscribed by Acuff, a printed invitation to the grand opening show, and a program from the night. The Opry House Yo-Yo-A-Thon is set to continue throughout the day Sunday, and visitors are encouraged to make donations to Hands On Nashville and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville in lieu of regular tour admission.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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