Grand Ole Opry Returns Home Tuesday Night
The Grand Ole Opry returns to its home at the Opryland complex in Nashville tonight (September 28), after being closed since raging flood waters ravaged the historical building last May. Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride, the Charlie Daniels Band, Trace Adkins, Josh Turner, Montgomery Gentry, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Diamond Rio, Del McCoury Band, Mel Tillis and Little Jimmy Dickens are just a few of the singers who will be on hand for the 'Country Comes Home' celebration.
"I wouldn't miss this opening night," Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry tells The Boot. "The Grand Ole Opry is what made country music. I hope the younger artists honestly respect it and understand what it is. For me, to get to meet the guys like Little Jimmy Dickens and Jimmy C. Newman, and all the other great Opry members, and to have the chance to sit down and listen to their stories, is such a privilege."
Craig Morgan agrees. "For someone like myself, who loves the Opry, it epitomizes what country music is about," he says. "You travel anywhere in the world and mention The Grand Ole Opry, and it is an immediately recognizable name."
Another strong supporter of the Opry, Brad says there's more to tonight's event than just a show. "If you could get this lineup together in any given place and any given time, it wouldn't be the same as it will be on Tuesday night," he says. "The fact that it's the first time for us to all play the Opry House after this disaster symbolizes the rebirth of this place. And it's so great that they were able to put the circle of wood cut from the Ryman stage back into the new Opry House's stage. They worked so hard to refurbish the place, that there was no way I was gonna miss that."
Brad adds with a grin, "I was glad I didn't have to juggle too much and I'm able to be here, because I would canceled the show if I'd been working that night."
Artists might not recognize the backstage area of the Opry house, as crews have been working diligently to get it ready for the grand opening event. The door to the backstage area is new and the area itself has acquired a feeling of warmth with different paint and wood. The one thing that has not changed is Roy Acuff's picture, which still hangs in the vestibule.
The warmth factor continues down the hallway that leads to the Opry stage. Another surprise for Opry members is the refurbishing of all the dressing rooms to now reflect some aspect of the Grand Ole Opry. Mr. Acuff's room remains in the same spot with the brass door plaque that reads "Ain't nothing gonna come up today that me and the good Lord can't handle." The Porter Wagoner dressing room for which Marty Stuart contributed memorabilia remains, and they have added a Minnie Pearl dressing room.
In the Green Room, which is the area where guests congregate backstage, there will be a bronze line that shows how high the water rose backstage. It will be a constant reminder of the disaster and of how the Opry House was restored to all of its original glory ... and then some.
Tonight's show will be streamed live right here on The Boot, starting at 9:00 PM ET.