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Grand Ole Opry Will Air Longest-Running Radio Show (94 Years), In Spite Of Coronavirus

March 14, 2020

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Long-time readers well know my deep regard and affection for the Grand Ole Opry.  As a boy on many a Saturday night in Hancock, Wisconsin the radio would be turned ‘just so’ in order to get the best reception from Nashville. My love of the fiddle, the banjo, and the magic of those airwaves carried by radio has never abated.  With the national crisis underway, and like every other place where music is made, and thousands gather, the Opry had to make some tough decisions.

The Grand Ole Opry released this statement.

The Grand Ole Opry stands by the motto of the Circle can’t be broken. Throughout the Opry’s history, various events have led Opry management to make difficult decisions about how to alter the show’s format. In an effort to maintain health and safety amid current COVID-19 concerns, the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest-running radio show, will pause performances that include a live audience through April 4.

During this time, the Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry Show will return to its original format as a live radio broadcast without a live audience. Fans around the world can still tune in to the Saturday night broadcasts at opry.com and wsmonline.com, Opry and WSM mobile apps, SiriusXM Satellite, and its flagship home, 650 AM-WSM.

It is widely believed that the Opry has cancelled its live Saturday night performance only once before, as on April 6, 1968 a curfew imposed by the city of Nashville following the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination in Memphis two days earlier forced such a cancellation. For the only time in its history, that night’s Opry broadcast consisted of a previously taped performance. Opry patriarch Roy Acuff and other performers staged a makeshift show at a nearby square-dance hall for Opry fans that afternoon.

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