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The Grand Ole Opry House, home of the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, celebrated its 50th Anniversary – 50 years to the day since the venue opened with a star-packed show attended by President and Mrs. Richard Nixon.

As it did 50 years ago, the show opened with the night’s cast on stage performing Roy Acuff’s “Wabash Cannonball”. Afterwards, Opry member Mark Wills kicked off an all-cast performance of “Country Roads, Take Me Home,”

“Here’s to all those city streets and country roads that week after week, year after year lead us back to our musical home, the Grand Ole Opry House.”

Photo Credit: Les Levertt

Throughout the evening, the Opry honored members Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, and Connie Smith, all of whom were among those performing during opening night at the Opry House in 1974.

Wills and those Opry honorees were joined on stage by Opry members Mandy Barnett, Clint Black, Jamie Dailey (Dailey & Vincent), The Gatlin Brothers, Crystal Gayle, Del McCoury, Gary Mule Deer, Don Schlitz, and Riders In The Sky.

Photo Credit: Chris Hollo

T Graham Brown, who was invited to become an official Opry member in February and will be inducted this spring, also joined the all-member cast.

Black closed the celebratory night with his “This Old House,” with fellow Opry members joining in as iconic photos from the Opry House’s 50 years rolled on the Opry set behind them.

The Opry House reigns today as the home of Country Music, the current ACM Theater of the Year, and was just named the South’s Best Music Venue in Tennessee in Southern Living’s reader-voted 2024 South’s Best Awards (April 2024 issue).

The Opry House is also included on this list of The Best Local Treasures in Every Southern State. 

In recognition of its effect on popular culture, entertainment and the communications industry, the Opry House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

The Opry House’s 50th anniversary comes just one year before a celebration of the Opry’s milestone 100th year on the air.

Tickets for Opry shows and backstage tours are on sale now at (615) 871-OPRY and


The Grand Ole Opry House is the Opry’s sixth home. It is also the only home built specifically for the Opry and the residence the Opry has called home the longest.

The Opry broadcasted its last Friday show from the Ryman Auditorium on March 15, 1974 where George Morgan closed out the show with “Candy Kisses,” and after the Opry, Johnny and June Carter Cash sang “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” on the Grand Ole Gospel Time to end the evening.

The next night, on March 16, 1974, Roy Acuff opened the first show in the new 4,400 seat Grand Ole Opry House with a performance of “The Wabash Cannonball” in front of a standing room only audience attended by President and Mrs. Richard Nixon, among other VIP guests.

The evening marked the first time a U.S. president had ever attended the Opry.

Nixon still stands as the only president ever to have performed on the Opry, having played “My Wild Irish Rose” and “God Bless America” on the Opry’s upright piano in addition to “Happy Birthday” in honor of First Lady Pat Nixon, who was celebrating her birthday that night.

Even more memorably, President Nixon received an impromptu on-stage yo-yo lesson from Opry stalwart and yo-yo enthusiast Roy Acuff.

During the lesson, Nixon famously quipped, “I’ll stay here and try to learn how to use the yo-yo; you go up and be President, Roy!” 

Since that night on March 16, 1974, the Opry House has been witnessed to the Opry’s first live television broadcast and its first internet stream; its 5000th Saturday night broadcast; and countless “Opry moments” including debut performances, surprise superstar appearances, once-in-a-lifetime artist collaborations, and Opry member inductions. 

In May 2010, the Opry House was ravaged by a once-in-a-lifetime flood forcing the Opry House to close its doors for five months for restoration.

The show went on across other venues in Nashville including two former homes: War Memorial Auditorium and the Ryman Auditorium. The show returned to the Opry House on September 28, 2010. 

Ten years later, in March 2020, a global pandemic (COVID-19) forced the Opry to temporarily cancel live audience shows.  

The Saturday night Opry broadcast went on via livestream from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House, with millions of fans tuned in around the world even while the venue’s pews sat empty.


The Grand Ole Opry is presented by Humana. 

Opry performances are held every Friday and Saturday of the year, with Tuesday night shows running through December, Wednesday night shows returning this spring, and seasonal Opry Country Classics shows on Thursdays.

To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or visit

The Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. 

Celebrating nine decades of entertainment, the Opry can be heard at and, Opry and WSM mobile apps, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and its flagship home, 650 AM-WSM.

The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP).  For more information, visit

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