Grand Ole Opry To Celebrate 75th Anniversary

Wed. June 7, 2000 12:00 AM by Business Wire

Nashville, TN - The Grand Ole Opry, the world's longest-running live radio show, kicks off its 75th Anniversary Celebration on GRAND OLE OPRY LIVE Saturday, June 10, (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on TNN by unveiling its first new set design in 22 years.

Country music stars Alan Jackson, Ronnie Milsap and Roy Clark will be the first Opry members performing on television on the new set.

What will appear behind the famous curtain, where the red barn and pews from the Ryman Auditorium have watched legends and budding artists for years, is anyone's guess, as the design is a much-guarded secret -- although its designer certainly is not. The new set is a creation of renowned set designer Rene' Lagler. Lagler's work includes sets for the CAROL BURNETT SHOW to papal speeches to the Olympics, as well as Country Music Association (CMA) Awards and previous Grand Ole Opry special telecasts. For his efforts Lagler has been nominated for 16 Emmy Awards and taken home five.

Tall on tradition, superstar Alan Jackson was inducted into country's elite family in 1991, the year his anthem to country music, "Don't Rock The Jukebox," spent three weeks at No. 1. Ronnie Milsap answered The Call to become an Opry member in 1976 as he was enjoying the success of two number No. 1 singles including, "(I'm A) Stand By My Woman Man" and "Let My Love Be Your Pillow." Known for his "pickin' and grinnin'" Roy Clark was picked to join the Opry cast in 1987.

Originally a radio show, The Grand Ole Opry, which dates back to 1925, moved to the Ryman in June 1943 and remained there until 1974 when it moved to its current home at the Grand Ole Opry House. GRAND OLE OPRY LIVE found its television home on TNN in April 1985.

News, photos provided by Business Wire.