The Grand Ole Opry celebrated 40 years of country music at the Grand Ole Opry House Saturday, March 15. The night included performances from Old Crow Medicine Show, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Bill Anderson, Clint Black, Connie Smith, Josh Turner and more. The Opry House’s 40th Anniversary celebration leads into next year’s mark of 90 years since the Opry was founded on November 29, 1925.
The show began the same way as the very first Opry performance at the Opry House did — with video footage of Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys from 1940 singing their signature song, “Wabash Cannonball.” That performance transitioned to footage of Roy and the Opry cast singing the song on March 16, 1974, the show’s first night at the Opry House, before transitioning to the curtain going up on Old Crow Medicine Show and the other performers finishing the number.
“It’s good to be here tonight, y’all,” said Miranda Lambert after performing “Automatic,” her latest single. She then introduced her hit “The House That Built Me” which included a video montage of special moments in the history of the Opry House, saying “I thought this next song would be appropriate to sing tonight to celebrate the Opry.”
Blake Shelton took the stage to perform his hit “Honey Bee.” “Happy 40th anniversary to the Grand Ole Opry House!” Blake said before inviting Miranda to join him back onstage. “This particular building is the one I grew up dreaming of performing in somedayl,” he said. “I was trying to think coming in here today: ‘What’s something I can do that’s cool?’ There’s nothing cool about me whatsoever. The only real cool thing about me is my wife, so if it’s okay, I’ll have her come back out here.” Blake and Miranda then performed a rendition of Blake’s hit “Home.”
The Grand Ole Opry House is the Opry’s sixth home and also the only home built specifically for the Opry — and the residence the Opry has called home the longest. The Opry House opened on March 16, 1974 with a standing room only Opry performance attended by President and Mrs. Richard Nixon, among other VIP guests.
The Opry House 40th Anniversary Celebration continues throughout the year with numerous shows and events and will include a 40th Anniversary exhibit as a regular stop on Opry House Backstage Tours. Grand Ole Opry House Backstage Tours are available seven days a week and after most Opry performances. Opry shows are scheduled for every Friday and Saturday of the year. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.Opry.com.