The History of the Grand Ole Opry Essay examples

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For almost 90 years, The Grand Ole Opry has withstood the test of time to become one of the tried and true traditions in country music. From the show's humble beginnings as an obscure radio program, to it's renowned place today as one of the premiere stages for music, The Grand Ole Opry has had an extremely colorful and interesting existence. Over the 88 years that have passed since the show's inception, The Grand Ole Opry has featured many talented performers. Those performers, along with social changes and economics, have all contributed to the growth and success of The Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry began shortly after National Life and Accident Insurance Company Vice President Edwin Craig launched WSM radio on October 5, 1925 in …show more content…
Those artists included performers such as: Dr. Humphrey Bate and his Possum Hunters, Uncle Dave Macon, The Crook Brothers, The Pickard Family, African-American harmonica player DeFord Bailey, and many others. Deford Bailey, who was discovered by Dr. Humphrey Bate, made his first appearance on the show without ever even auditioning (Escott 7-10; Hagan 16-19, 21). Its was during that time, in 1928, that the radio program was renamed The Grand Ole Opry. On December 8, 1928, following Music Appreciation Hour directed by Dr. Walter Damrosch, Deford Bailey was called upon to play a country rendition of Pan American Blues. As author Chet Hagan describes the performance: “Bailey's selection featured his imitation of a fast moving freight train.” Hagan then goes on to quote George Hay as saying that at the end of the performance, the announcer closed Music Appreciation Hour by saying “For the past hour we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera, from now on we will present The Grand Ole Opry”. From that time on, the program was known as The Grand Ole Opry. (Hagan 24,25; Shaw) Progressing into the 1930's, The United States saw vast socio-economic changes sweep across the country. “Black Thursday”, the stock market crash that took place on October 24, 1929 began a turn of events that would help propel radio programming to the forefront of American's households. The stock market

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