Double DVD Event From Grand Ole Opry Stage

Readers know that classic country music, and the Grand Ole Opry are just a part of this blog.  Strange fit perhaps at times with feisty liberal political rhetoric, and yet it still somehow all blends here at CP. 

Recently I became aware of a double-DVD package that contains nearly seven hours of televised performances from a 1978 series of specials filmed at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry but never aired or seen before. The filming was to celebrate 50 years of country music, and the roster does indeed feature a veritable who’s who of the genre — everyone from Gene Autry and Johnny Cash to Kitty Wells and Tammy Wynette.  On the other hand, sadly, there is no ‘Little’  Jimmy Dickens, Wilma Lee Cooper, Porter Wagoner or some of the other names that jump to my mind when thinking about  this music.  As I previewed the performance list I suspect the globe-shaped footlights, leisure suits, big hair and even bigger mutton chops will be there for all to see.  And that is after all what this DVD set is all about, so there is no reason to justify it in 2010.   I think it remarkable that all this footage that has never been seen before, as it sat since being recorded in a vault, is now ready for our DVD players.  The thing that blows my mind is that at seven hours in length this music will last almost as long as a work day! 

Highlights include Charlie Rich crooning “Behind Closed Doors,” Johnny Paycheck riling up the crowd with “Take This Job and Shove It”  (OK that is the one song that is too red-neck for me here at CP…I wish they would have had his touching song “Old Violin” instead) and Roger Miller tickling everybody’s funny bone on a quirky medley of hits. Meanwhile the First Lady of Country Music, Tammy Wynette, offers a poignant rendition of “You and Me.” It’s also a treat to hear some of these future country classics when they were brand new, such as the Kendalls‘ “Heaven’s Just a Sin Away” and Anne Murray‘s “You Needed Me.”

I could go on and on. As a student of country music history, there’s a lot to learn from these DVDs. Glen Campbell makes a lively host during the first segment, setting the bar high for the rest of the series. And how often can you see Roy Acuff and Bill Monroe playing on the Opry stage? If you have a soft spot for the ’70s, and sometimes wish you could still hear Ronnie Milsap or Dottie West on the radio, don’t miss these DVDs.

For those sensitive homes ( where someone lives with one who is not a Grand Ole Opry fan) I offer this helpful hint. 

Or you can skip the headphones and make a new fan…..

2 thoughts on “Double DVD Event From Grand Ole Opry Stage

  1. Justin


    You always write with such affection about the classic sounds of country music. What you did not mention here in this article was if you bought the DVD set. If you have not, please consider it. Let me assure you this is the best collection of country music to be released so far in 2010. I got mine in early January and counted the songs and found 35 on volume one, and 51 on volume two. I know you will love it. Thanks for making this known to others on your blog.

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