The Grand Ole Opry is credited with popularizing country and western music through the United States since its inception. This weekly live concert is broadcast over the radio station WSM, and it’s the longest running weekly radio show in American history. After it began in 1925, showcasing local rural music by singers and musicians who were debuting the new country and western style of music, its popularity skyrocketed, and the Grand Ole Opry found a home in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, where fans can watch the show live, with its radio show broadcast to more than 30 states and lasting four hours every week.
In 1974, the radio show relocated to the Grand Ole Opry House, nine miles east of Nashville. The new venue in the Opry House has a famous circle of wood set into the stage—this is part of the old stage from the Ryman Auditorium, a six-foot circle of wooden boards that once hosted country stars such as Hank Williams. Nashville is well deserving of its Music City nickname, and the Grand Ole Opry, along with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Music Row, is a huge part of that designation.
The Grand Ole Opry has hosted many famous artists over the years, among them legends such as Hank Williams, the Carter family, and Patsy Kline, and it still showcases contemporary artists like Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, and Dolly Parton. The Grand Ole Opry concert schedule starts at 7 pm every Saturday night and is broadcast over the WSM-AM radio station. This weekly show is the original live show, but the Grand Ole Opry concert schedule also includes several similar shows performed on Friday and Tuesday nights—if you can’t attend the Saturday show during your Nashville vacation, this is a great alternative.
In addition, at certain times of the year, there is another show called Opry Country Classics, on Thursday nights, which focuses on classic, tried-and-true country songs and music. Tickets for the Grand Ole Opry are available on the program’s official web site and sometimes as part of vacation packages as well.
If you are planning to buy tickets for the Grand Ole Opry, you may want to consider some of the package deals that can offer you more value for your money. Some of these combos include multiple concerts on the Grand Ole Opry concert schedule, such as seats to the Opry Country Classics concert as well as the flagship Saturday night concert. Other packages include a concert along with a backstage tour of the Opry House, meals, and special exclusive events. Your tickets for the Grand Ole Opry may also include visits to nearby historic venues such as the Hatch Show Print printing press.
You can make your trip to the Grand Ole Opry a treat for all the senses with a visit to the Opryland Resort, which has a host of restaurants of all different types, from Italian to international cuisine to the award-winning Old Hickory Steakhouse. Another good place to eat for the full experience of country music culture is the nearby Cracker Barrel, a country-themed restaurant that is one of the sponsors of the Grand Ole Opry. Many of the Opry's venues, such as Studio A, the Opry Museum, the Opry House itself, and the Opry Plaza, are available for rental for weddings, receptions, corporate events, and other functions.