These members of the Grand Ole Opry—including a lovely Minnie Pearl, front and center—are actually taking a break from performing at another well-known venue: Carnegie Hall, New York.
Photograph by William P. Gottleib, courtesy Library of Congress

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  • On November 28, 1925, WSM Barn Dance, a country music program, was broadcast on the WSM radio station in Nashville, Tennessee. Now known as the Grand Ole Opry, the program has earned the nickname “the home of American music.”
     
    Although some country musicians call the Grand Ole Opry “country’s greatest stage,” it started out as a studio performance, not one attended by the public. WSM Barn Dance originally followed a radio program on classical music. In 1927, Barn Dance’s legendary harmonica player DeFord Bailey said, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music largely from grand opera, but from now on, we will present ‘The Grand Ole Opry.’” The name stuck.
     
    The Grand Ole Opry has featured live performances from downtown Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium since 1943. Country musicians still consider membership in the Grand Ole Opry one of the genre’s highest honors. As of winter 2014, there are 65 members of the Grand Ole Opry, including Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, and Carrie Underwood.  
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    broadcast Verb

    to transmit signals, especially for radio or television media.

    classical music Noun

    formal Western European style of music, prolific in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

    country music Noun

    style of music originating in the American South, influenced by Irish and Appalachian folk music, western and Mexican "cowboy" music, and rhythm-and-blues music.

    genre Noun

    category of art.

    opera Noun

    comic or dramatic play in which all roles are sung.

    public Noun

    people of a community.

    radio Noun

    wireless transmission based on electromagnetic waves.