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Grand Ole Opry Salutes the Troops, Essential Workers During Special Show

The Grand Ole Opry’s Salute The Troops Memorial Day Weekend Special featured Craig Morgan, Steven Curtis Chapman and Kellie Pickler. The show welcomed five members of the U.S. military as the first audience members in the Opry House in more than two months. (Photo Provided)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The show that made country music famous saluted the United States Military with its annual pre-Memorial Day Salute the Troops Opry performance last weekend featuring Opry member and Army veteran Craig Morgan, Steven Curtis Chapman and Kellie Pickler. This year the Opry also honored essential workers who are on the frontline against the war on COVID-19. The Opry also welcomed its first audience members to the Opry House in more than two months — five members of the U.S. military who were seated at a social distance and watched the show from the Opry House balcony.

Among the night’s honored guests was U.S. Air Force TSGT William Caraway, who works in the 118th Medical Group of the 118th Wing and has been coordinating 118th service members who have been deployed across the region conducting COVID-19 testing.

After introducing each of the distinguished guests, Morgan shared, “Tonight we recognize all the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice and during this Memorial Day weekend, lest we never forget.”

During the current global pandemic, the Opry has overcome ongoing challenges and obstacles as health guidelines and local/state government restrictions have evolved weekly. The Opry, with the help of its membership and wider artist and industry community, has continued to bring millions of fans around the world together to keep the music playing without an Opry House audience in attendance.

Embracing today’s technology, the Opry is broadcast on Circle Television and radio and streamed with a very small production team as the show’s artists perform acoustically.

The Opry’s paused shows without an audience since March 14 have included Opry members Trace Adkins, Bill Anderson, Kelsea Ballerini, Garth Brooks, Terri Clark, Luke Combs, Dailey & Vincent, Vince Gill, Dustin Lynch, Craig Morgan, Brad Paisley, Jeannie Seely, Blake Shelton, Ricky Skaggs, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, Keith Urban, Trisha Yearwood and Chris Young along with special guests Lauren Alaina, Mandy Barnett, T. Graham Brown, Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael Cleveland and Flamerkeeper, Jason Crabb, Amy Grant and daughters Jenny Gill and Corrina Grant Gill, Ashley McBryde, Kellie Pickler, Gwen Stefani and Sam Williams.

This weekend, Opry members Chris Janson and Chris Young as well as Brett Young will step into the circle at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30, for the Grand Ole Opry’s 4,926th consecutive Saturday night broadcast. The show will be broadcast live on Circle and Gray TV stations, DISH Studio Channel 102, Sling TV and other TV affiliates in addition to a companion live stream on Circle All Access Facebook and YouTube channels. TV and radio personality Bobby Bones will host the Circle telecast, while Opry announcer Mike Terry will be heard on 650 AM WSM and SiriusXM.

Those tuning into the Livestream on the Circle All Access YouTube and Facebook channels can watch a “Circle Sessions with Carly Pearce” at 7:30 p.m. immediately prior to the Opry. After the Opry livestream, an episode of “Southern Weekend with Natalie Stovall” featuring Song Suffragettes will premiere.

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