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Why I Blog, Remarkable Grand Ole Opry Comment!

January 23, 2009

Anyone who writes and maintains a blog knows that it is not something one does without some time and thought.  But just as with any pursuit when effort is is put into a project, good things often result.  The latest such proof is the comment I found today waiting to be posted.

As readers might know I have a very warm place in my heart for the Grand Ole Opry, and as such there are plenty of posts sprinkled throughout this blog about that famed radio show on WSM.  Since this blog has always been more than just politics and news, the Opry as a topic has always had a home here.  One of the posts this past year concerned the 83rd Birthday Bash for the Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

The comment I got this morning was from Lucy Gray, who has commented before on Opry posts, but never quite so fully as the one today.

She writes….but I highlighted and made bold some of her words.

I am the only living member of the first playing of the now called “Grand Ole Opry”. The first time my father and the group he played with, on WSM Radio, was when Jack Keefe, an attorney, was the announcer  before Judge Hay came. They had played for him at   dinners, etc., when he entertained lawyer friends at his home because and they were interested in “square dancing”. When WSM opened their microphone in October, 1925, he had them perform for a group of prominent business associates who were looking for a program designed from “neighborhood or local music.” Or, to put it plainly,”country”. He had visited other states south of here, and, liked their format. And, too, most dancing was square dancing! It was popular at that time. November 1925 they first played on “The WSM Barndance”, tho’ they had played WSM a month before. I am the only person alive who was at that first playing, in the studio on the 5th floor of the National Life Building. I am now approaching 89 years. The group, The Fruit Jar Drinkers, was named by Judge Hay. And yes, a very happy birthday Grand Ole Opry. I was also in the studio when Judge Hay gave it that name.

Whatever time and effort I put into the blog is always well spent when I get a response such as this.  I am going to contact Lucy Gray and see if she might want to share some stories, and such and have her own posts on my site about this rich time in radio, and the formative days of the Grand Ole Opry and country music.

This is why I blog.

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