• Julie Moree

95 Years of Country At the Grand Ole Opry

Country superstars Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley rocked the night with a heartfelt tribute to the last 95 years of Great Country Music. The show aired live on NBC on February 14th, 2021 and was an awe-inspiring show perfect for Valentine’s Day.

The night kicked up with 2014 Opry inductee, Little Big Town who performed “Wine, Beer and Whiskey”. Music greats spent the night sharing their experiences about the age-old Grand ole opry as 2004 inductee, Dierks Bentley took the legendary stage with “Burning Man.”

The two-hour show also remembered those who have since passed away including Tammy Wynette with a snippet from her song, “Stand By Your Man” and Carrie Underwood gave a short history of the birth of the Grand ole Opry beginning with the Ryman Auditorium, which pieces still exist inside the current stage.

Darrius Rucker continued the night musically with “Rock Me Mama” performed with Old Crow Medicine Show on the iconic stage. Shelton and Paisley also shared their unique experience of becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry including their first songs, which they riffed off of, including “Austin” and “Pictures of You”. A montage of past and current members shared their first thoughts of becoming members of the Opry. For the first time, Kane Brown performed “For My daughter” in his debut on the iconic stage.

A snippet of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues followed to remember yet another legend and Dierks Bentley performed his song, “Ole Red”. Kelsey Bellerini showed off the dressing room as even more legends spoke of being a woman and stars in country music and Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood performed a song from Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty called “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” as a fitting tribute to the greats, which paved the way for yet another great, Dolly Parton who performed “9 To 5”.

Artists also shared about the spontaneity on the Grand ole opry as stars never think twice about performing with each other, especially when given the chance to perform with a great. One of those include a unique privilege of Dierks Bentley who had the opportunity to perform with Marty Stewart with the song, “Pancho and Lefty”.

One of the newest members, Kelsey Ballerini, performed Allison Krauss’ “When You Say Nothing At All” with great humility.

And of course, artists talked about how resilient country music has been in hard times including in 2020 with the pandemic. Brad Paisley also performed “American Saturday Night”. Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks performed together, “Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House”.

Of course, as tradition holds, past member Darrius Rucker asked Lady A to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. As a tribute and with gratitude, Lady A performed Randy Travis' ``Forever and Ever, Amen” for the first time as members of the Grand Ole Opry.

The third snippet was of the late Great Charlie Daniels Band performing “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”.

Kelsey Ballerini took the stage a second time with her hit, “Hole In the Bottle'' and Blake Shelton reprised a performance of God’s Country. Derrius Rucker paid homage to the late great Charley Pride with his performance of “Kiss An Angel Good Morning”.

The fourth and final snippet of a classic was Lorretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and Brad Paisley performed a tribute to all the women of the country, “She’s a little Off-Road” as a video montage to country women of the past played in the background. The newest members of the Grand Ole Opry, Lady A performed one of the most iconic songs, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” as a fitting tribute to mark the 95 years of the country.

It is currently streaming on Hulu with an active subscription, click here to rewatch the complete show..

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