NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running radio show in history, is playing on through the coronavirus outbreak by returning to its roots.
The country music institution, which has been airing Saturday nights for 94 years, is set to broadcast live on television this week in front of an empty venue. The show was originally aired without a live audience in its early days in 1925 on WSM, the AM station in Nashville, Tennessee, that still airs the radio broadcast every Saturday.
Normally the show is performed live in front of an audience of about 4,400 people at its current home, the Opry House, but the coronavirus forced the Opry to close its doors to the public last Saturday while the radio broadcast continued. This Saturday, country artists Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, and Marty Stuart will perform acoustically to an empty theater, but the show will air live on television.