Grand Ole Opry To Be Focus Of A & E Special

Fri. November 17, 2000 12:00 AM by Brian Decker

Nashville, TN - The Grand Ole Opry will be the focus of an A&E Special Presentation this Sunday, November 19th at 7 PM. Country Superstar - and Grand Ole Opry member - Garth Brooks hosts the two-hour world premiere of "The Grand Ole Opry: 75 Years of America's Music."

The special, which is part of the Opry's year-long 75th anniversary celebration, features artists such as Vince Gill, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs and Porter Wagoner and through archival footage brings Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Roy Acuff and others to the screen.

The Opry began on November 28, 1925, in the tiny studio of radio station WSM-AM in Nashville. It became an audience hit and moved through a series of progressively larger venues until it reached its current home, the 4,400-seat Grand Ole Opry House. It never has missed a weekend broadcast and is the longest-running live radio show in the world.

Highlights of the A&E special will include Patsy Cline's first appearance on the Opry stage, rare home movie footage of Hank Williams backstage at the Opry, and Roy Acuff's efforts to teach President Richard Nixon how to yo-yo.

Archival clips from the Opry TV broadcasts from the 1950s through the 1990s that include comedy skits from Minnie Pearl and duet performances by Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton also will be included as will an interview with Country Music Association Horizon Award winner Brad Paisley, who discusses the Opry's influence on his emerging career.