Grand Ole Opry
- Bill C. Malone
- , revised by Travis D. Stimeling
Country music variety show. Begun in November 1925, just weeks after Nashville radio station WSM began broadcasting, the program began as a noncommercial show called the WSM Barn Dance. It was renamed Grand Ole Opry in 1927, a reference to the grand opera often broadcast in Walter Damrosch’s program that preceded it. It is broadcast weekly and has become the longest continuously running radio show in the United States. It was the brain-child of announcer George Dewey Hay, who had previously worked as a producer on the National Barn Dance in Chicago. Originally owned by the National Life and Accident Insurance Company, which owned WSM, the show was sold to Gaylord Broadcasting (later Gaylord Entertainment) in 1983. Early programs featured folk entertainers from Middle Tennessee, among them the Gully Jumpers, Uncle Jimmy Thompson, Dr. Humphrey Bate and the Possum Hunters, DeFord Bailey, the Fruit Jar Drinkers, and Uncle Dave Macon. From ...