The Grand Ole Opry Playbill

by Robin Turnipseed

I have a confession. I enjoy collecting odd things. From pinecones gathered on walks with my kids to matchbooks with intricate drawings that I snagged leaving a restaurant, I have accumulated quite an assortment of random items. I thought this quirk developed with age, but seeing that I am the girl with a rock on her nightstand, I fear I harbored this tendency for years. Not only do I enjoy collecting unusual things, but I decorate with them as well.

For example, framed playbills cover an entire wall in my bedroom. Since I prefer art that tells a story, I love that I can relieve each of these extraordinary nights spent at the theater every time I glance at my wall. I prefer this to simply hiding them in a box where I will undoubtedly forget their existence. Until recently, this wall space only displayed programs from Broadway productions. However, that all changed with my visit to the Grand Ole Opry, an experience so memorable that I knew this unique piece required a place on my wall.

A Little Backstory

Last year, I decided that for my 45th birthday, I wanted an 80s/90s-themed rollerskating party. I pictured all my friends and family decked out in costumes from their favorite decades, zooming around the rink to music ranging from the 50s to the 90s, smiling and singing at the top of their lungs.

However, my plans went awry after I joined our daughter at her school’s end-of-the-year- skating celebration. In an effort to be supportive,  I rented skates and headed to the nearest bench, where I put them on, stood up, and immediately fell over in front of the entire fifth-grade class. I quickly jumped up, shook it off, and spent the rest of the morning dodging my mortified girl and rubbing the spot on my hip that reminded me that I wasn’t a kid anymore for the next three days.

After this incident, I instantly went home and announced that we needed new party ideas, which is when my sweet husband suggested we cross something off our “to see” list. That something was a visit to The Grand Ole Opry, complete with a backstage tour after the show. If anyone is familiar with a night at the Opry, you know that this provides quite an experience. 

My Night at The Opry

The Grand Ole Opry began as a radio show in 1925 and is the longest-running radio program broadcast live on WSM Radio and The night’s format will be very familiar for those who may have grown up listening to A Prarie Home CompanionOur Miss Brooks, or Abbott and Costello. The show introduced us to a mix of artists with varying styles, and I sat mesmerized by the talent of everyone who took the stage. The night ended with a performance by songwriter Don Schlitz, who invited us to sing with some of his classics, such as “When You Say Nothing at All” and “The Gambler.” It was magical. 

After the show, we checked in with our tour guide, Mike, and spent the next hour listening as he filled us in on all the rich history of the Opry. He even allowed us to step inside of the famous circle on the Opry stage. It was a memorable experience and the perfect way to spend the first night of my forty-fifth year.

Below is a video highlight from our trip. I highly recommend visiting the Opry and even paying for the extra tour. It is worth every penny.


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