The Grand Ole Opry will be celebrating 40 years of country music at the Grand Ole Opry House, its permanent home. There will be special events going on March 15th and 16th and continuing throughout the year, all to lead up to next year’s mark of 90 years since the Opry was founded on Nov. 28, 1925.
Some of the artists set to perform during the 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.
Debuting on March 16th during the self guided tours there 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.
Here is a run down of all the events going on at The Grand Ole Opry House that weekend:
On March 15th throughout the day there will be an Opry House Yo-Yo-A-Thon, and there will be a 5K Run & Walk at 7:30am hosted by 650 AM WSM. At 5:30pm there will be a signing of the book Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. That night at 7:00pm and 9:30pm the Opry House will be rocking with shows featuring some of country music’s hottest artists.
On March 16th throughout the day there will be an Opry House Yo-Yo-A-Thon, as well as self-guided backstage tours of the Opry House presented by Humana from 11am-4pm. There will be another signing of the book Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry from 2pm-3pm that afternoon.