Grand Ole Opry Celebrates Country Music With Slate of Original Content Series: Exclusive
Though is has stood as a beacon for country music since 1925, the Grand Ole Opry has always evolved with the times. The WSM Radio show first tested the new waters of a medium called television with an hour-long weekly showcase on ABC in 1955-56. Three decades later, the show started a long partnership with TNN, and later GAC. Fans can stream Opry broadcasts on Opry.com, and can download the app to their phones. Now, close to one hundred years after Uncle Jimmy Thompson first played his fiddle over the Tennessee airwaves, the show keeps evolving.
This morning, Opry officials announced the launch of eight new digital series over the next four weeks celebrating country music, the genre’s top personalities, the city of Nashville, and country living. The announcement is part of Opry Entertainment’s broad digital strategy to drive interest in and fulfill fans’ appetites for country music. Each series will premiere on the Opry’s YouTube channel, with exclusive features running on a variety of partner sites including Billboard.
The platform will make its’ debut this Sunday, July 30, with appearances by Kelsea Ballerini and Opry members Little Big Town in Opry Look Back, a program featuring artists reflecting on their various Opry stage looks, the progression of their style throughout their careers, and the people and places from which they draw their style inspiration.
The scheduled premieres are detailed below:
Opry Look Book: Country artists talk about their past looks on the Opry stage. Premieres July 30.
What’s In Your Bag?: Country stars reveal the items they have stored in their bags and purses, often surprising not only their fans but also themselves. Premieres Aug. 3.
Guitar Hacks: The guitar geniuses of the genre explain their favorite guitar tips and tricks, providing fans with a means of boosting their guitar game. Premieres Aug. 8, featuring Keith Urban and more.
Another Round: Hosts Austin & Colin take viewers to Nashville’s best bars, restaurants and coffee shops to learn about the people, places and libations that make them unique. Premieres Aug. 12.
Radio Replay: Country artists put their own spin on the last song they heard on their way to the Opry. Premieres Aug. 14.
Spotlight Beauty: Country stars reveal the secrets to their beauty routines for their on-stage and off-stage looks. Premieres Aug. 17.
Better Half: The spotlight is on the spouses of country musicians who may not be in the limelight, but manage busy careers of their own. From fashion designers to CEOs, these better halves bring their own success stories to the table. Premieres Aug. 19, featuring Shelley Brown, wife to Zac Brown, and more.
Opry Icons: The lives and times of iconic Opry Members who have helped propel the Opry to the century mark are explored through performance highlights and intimate backstage interviews with legendary country singers and friends. Premieres Aug. 25.
Opry Entertainment’s series roster also includes the recently-launched The Set List, a news show hosted by Jill Wilderman featuring the latest stories about country music's biggest names, which begins weekly distribution on Aug. 2. Other continued programming includes My Opry Debut, with upcoming installments highlighting momentous first Opry visits by newcomers Jacob Davis, Devin Dawson and Ashley McBryde. According to Opry Entertainment President Steve Buchanan, the new initiative continues the progressive spirit of the radio institution.
"The Opry has always been a broadcast property through various outlets, including terrestrial radio, network and syndicated radio, television, satellite radio, and online audio streaming. It is only logical that we would continue to expand our production and distribution of content to incorporate digital video featuring artist-driven programming. Creating short-form episodic content allows us to create a broader relationship with both artists and fans."
Billboard is excited to partner with the Grand Ole Opry for the premiere of Radio Replay on August 14.