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The Grand Ole Opry Just Keeps Getting Better with Age

by Rich and Laura Lynch

For 95 years the Grand Ole Opry has been the voice of country music. Back in 1925, it started off as a radio broadcast that today can be heard around the world through various channels plus the show is now featured on Circle TV. The recently streamlined live format (less focus on commercials) features the past, present and future of country music. Each night showcases different artists - some who are longstanding members of the Opry and others who may be stepping into the sacred circle for the first time.


The Swon Brothers at the Grand Ole Opry in 2022.

The concert on June 16, 2022 was a prime example of the diversity that each show has. Riders in the Sky who have been members since 1982 kicked off the night with their unique brand of cowboy music which concluded with a medley of songs from the Pixar classic Toy Story which earned the group two Grammy Awards for Best Musical Album for Children in the early 2000's.

Next up was the Swon Brothers who had just finished playing a long set outside the Opry before coming inside for their slot. They opened with Don Williams' "Tulsa Time" a song that they grew up singing. The brothers said that they wanted to let Toby Keith know that they were thinking of him so they performed "Should've Been a Cowboy" and in support fans held out their phone lights.


Longtime Opry members - Riders in the Sky.

Jillian Jacqueline has been on the scene for a bit and she opened her show with a new song - the compelling "Better With A Broken Heart" which was countered by "The Ocean" a tune about finding the one who in her case happens to be her husband and guitar player Bryan Brown. The two then quickly brought out their baby Rocky to meet the fans. They finished with a winning "Maybe It Was Memphis".

Richie Furay with a career that spans six decades is among a group of artists considered the founding fathers of country rock. Friday was Richie's debut at the Opry. He told fans that he is releasing an album of country hits so he opened with "Love Somebody Like You" (Keith Urban) followed by the beautiful "Kind Woman" that was written for Furay's wife and he finished with a Poco classic - the peppy"Pickin Up The Pieces".

Tyler Filmore aka Filmore rose to success in early 2018 with his breakthrough single "Slower". Filmore blends electronic and pop elements with country and his set included the ACM Lifting Lives Campers who added a lot of great voices to his performance.


2021 Opry inductees - The Isaacs.

In addition to country music the Opry has a long legacy of comedians who have graced their stage so Killer Beaz told fans a funny story about his wife who brought a bunch of trees at Loews and how he was dealing with that. The last act of the night was a group inducted into the Opry in 2021. The Isaacs are a family band who melds multi-part harmonies with bluegrass.

Currently, the Opry is paying tribute to an influential era in the genres' history with the "Opry Loves The '90s" an interactive tour that opened May 16 as part of the Grand Ole Opry's celebration of '90s Country Music. Now through December, the "Opry Loves The 90s" experience will include the new exhibit as part of the backstage tour package and special in-show Opry programming, '90s-themed Opry Plaza Parties, and surprise artist collaborations honoring one of the most celebrated decades in country music. So come on down to the Grand Ole Opry for either a live performance and or the backstage tour as there is so much to be enjoyed at this legendary institution.


Clockwise from top left: Killer Beaz, Richie Furay, Jillian Jacqueline, Filmore and Bobby Osbourne.

Related Links: For more information on the GRAND OLE OPRY and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Grand Ole Opry | Circle All Access

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