In 1925, Nashville heard the start of a one-hour country music radio show. Broadcast on WSM, the program became enormously popular over time, evolving into a stage show that soared to the national spotlight and attracted the brightest stars of its genre. The show is still on the air and has become the longest running radio program in the world.
Grand Ole Opry, open thru March 16 at the Laurel County Public Library, is an exhibition that documents the radio show known as the “home of American music” through the work of commercial photographer Gordon Gillingham during the 1950s. These photographs catalog the Opry in its prime and capture the spirit, camaraderie, and joy of the era.
Photographs of Minnie Pearl, Chet Atkins, and Patsy Cline performing demonstrate the carousing spirit of the performances, while pictures of June Carter, Johnny Cash, and Roy Rogers interacting with their fans offer a backdoor perspective of the Opry.
Experience the Grand Ole Opry like never before right here in the heart of Laurel County. This exhibition provides insider access to the radio show that forever cemented country music’s role in American culture.