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Grand Ole Opry House's 40th anniversary

June Carter Cash performs at Grand Ole Opry House in 1999
June Carter Cash performs at Grand Ole Opry House in 1999

The Grand Ole Opry House just north of Nashville, Tennessee turned 40 years old this weekend as it opened on March 16, 1974, according to a Billboard Magazine report on Saturday.

How big was the opening of the Grand Ole Opry House in 1974? Even President Richard M. Nixon performed “God Bless America” on the piano and got a yo-yo lesson form country music legend Roy Acuff.

Actually, the Grand Ole Opry had several locations before it landed at its current location. Most notably, the Grand Ole Opry was in the heart of Nashville at the Ryman Theater from 1943 through 1974 when the Grand Ole Opry House opened. In fact, the Ryman Theater location is still active during winter months to this day.

The Opry celebrated itself on Saturday with a long list of past and current country music stars. Among the performers in the two-and-a-half hour show were Bill Anderson, Bobby Osborne, and Jeannie Seely from Nashville’s past to current music-makers such as Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and Josh Turner.

Next year, the Grand Ole Opry as an organization since 1925 will be celebrating its 90th anniversary.