Ka-Ching. This is grand……
Live recordings from Grand Ole Opry legends such as Johnny Cash, George Jones and Loretta Lynn have been discovered in the back of the famous red barn backdrop. The recordings could make it to the marketplace.
According to a Boston newspaper, rumors of the recordings have circulated for years but it was only confirmed when California actor and producer, Richard Pittman, decided to pursue the legend and tracked down the tapes. Deceased sound engineer, Ken Alexander, had recorded hundreds of shows from the 1940s through the early 1970s and left them in a building on his farm. The current owner hesitated but proceeded to sell the reel-to-reel tapes which required two pick-up trucks to remove from the property.
Among the collection are 1940s performances by Country Music Hall of Famers including Grandpa Jones and Porter Wagoner. Jerry Lee Lewis is also included in the find. On one recording, Lee Lewis shows up late and tries to hide the fact that he is drunk onstage, forgetting lyrics along the way. To date, only 50 tapes have been completely restored.
Some of country’s standards will get rolled out with the unveiling of a new Opry Country Classics show on Thursday. The first show of the weekly series will feature Loretta Lynn, Lorrie Morgan and The Gatlin Brothers.
Among the collection are 1940s performances by Country Music Hall of Famers Roy Acuff and Grandpa Jones, Porter Wagoner duets with Dolly Parton and a Loretta concert in which Crystal Gayle appears on background vocals the night before Crystal started recording her first album.
And then there’s Jerry Lee Lewis.
“He shows up late, tries to hide the fact that he’s drinking onstage and finally says, ‘Screw it, I’m drinking,’ forgetting lyrics along the way,” engineer J Franze told The Globe. “It’s great, just him doing his thing.”
Thus far, only 50 of the tapes have been restored completely. The producers still don’t even know all they’ve got in their hands. But they’re convinced there’s an audience for the music.
“Somebody,” J said, “is in for a big treat.”
One thought on “Old Grand Ole Opy Recordings Found!!”
There is definitely a market for these recordings. Some Grand Ole Opry programs are selling on EBAY already. I recently paid $30 for a record and have paid as much as $60. I would love to know when the recordings will be available.