After More Than 90 Years, the Grand Ole Opry Is Still the Best Show in Town

No, this isn’t a paid advertisement by the Grand Ole Opry. It’s just an acknowledgment of how fortunate Nashville is to have an entity like the Opry, which entertains house crowds and radio listeners four nights a week. After more than 90 years, the Opry is still going strong, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted, which is why I’m a little embarrassed I hadn’t been to an Opry show in more than a year, until last night (Feb. 28).

On a nondescript Tuesday night in February, there was only one show in the world—that I know of—that featured legendary acts (Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, John Conlee), Top 40 radio stars (Dustin Lynch, Chris Janson), an award-winning bluegrass troupe (Flatt Lonesome) and groundbreaking icons (Deana Carter, Travis Tritt).

Yep, I’m talking about the Grand Ole Opry, where in one sitting I heard “All the Gold in California,” “You’re the One,” “Cowboys and Angels,” “Strawberry Wine,” “Backside of 30,” “Buy Me a Boat” and “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive,” not to mention close to 20 more songs.

From 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the Opry was 150 minutes of well-oiled machinery, with more than a handful of impromptu/exciting/entertaining moments, including:

  • Larry Gatlin dancing with multiple ladies—and one man—in the audience while performing “Houston.”
  • Chris Janson making his 183rd Opry appearance and earning a standing ovation for “Holdin’ Her.”
  • Deana Carter debuting a new song, “Live a Little Everyday.”
  • Dustin Lynch celebrating the five-year anniversary of his Opry debut with the song that kicked-started his career, “Cowboys and Angels.”
  • John Conlee filling in at the last minute for an under-the-weather Whisperin’ Bill Anderson.
  • Flatt Lonesome playing their 2016 International Bluegrass Music Song of the Year, “You’re the One,” a tune written by Dwight Yoakam.
  • Travis Tritt celebrating his 25-year anniversary of becoming an Opry member with a 30-minute set that included a plaque presentation and Travis telling the crowd that being an Opry member is “the biggest honor of my life.”

The Opry is worth the price of admission, and I won’t be waiting another year to return.

Check out the photo gallery from last night’s show by photog Chris Hollo.

Watch a few video clips of Travis, Deana, Chris and Dustin in action from last night.

All photos by Chris Hollo/2017 Grand Ole Opry