An American institution, the Grand Ole Opry, founded on Nov. 28, 1925 by George D. Hay, began as a one-hour radio "barn dance."
The longest-running radio program in U.S. history, its weekly stage concert showcases legends and contemporary chart-toppers performing country music. Achieving membership in the Opry is considered to be a country musician's crowning achievement and honor.
Enjoy great books and movies about the Grand Ole Opry and her favorite stars of country music, in addition to a wide selection of country music that is available in the Manatee County Public Library System.
"The Grand Ole Opry, History of Country Music" by Paul Kingsbury brings 70 years of country music's hottest stars to life. Illustrated with 250 awesome photographs and fascinating facts, the book invites you to travel down memory lane with the greatest country artists of all time, from Hank Williams, the Carter family, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley to Reba McIntire, Garth Brooks, and many more amazing legends.
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"50 Years down a Country Road" by author and radio and television host Ralph Emery provides a wealth of country lore as he chronicles the lives and careers of such country music luminaries as Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill and George Strait. He showcases timeless melodies with incredible photos of country stars loved by fans of all ages.
"Growing up Country" is a collection of heartfelt essays edited by country singer Charlie Daniels. The all-star cast of contributors includes such greats as Dolly Parton, Toby Keith and Carrie Underwood. United by music, these musical superstars share what country means to them, a belief in hard work and integrity, while telling their personal stories of rustic upbringings and their pride in country and home.
"Lovesick Blues, the Life of Hank Williams" by Paul Hemphill is the honest and revealing biography of the man and his music. From his dirt-poor beginnings to playing in honky-tonks during the Great Depression and then emerging as a star of the Grand Ole Opry, Hank Williams used his life experience to write songs that will live forever. Tragically, he was dead by the age of 29, the victim of a drug- and alcohol-related heart attack.
In Loretta Lynn's autobiography, "Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter," the Queen of Country Music relates the story of her life, from her struggle to survive in the coal camps of the Appalachian Mountains to becoming a bride at 13 and a mother of four by 18. Share her amazing journey from her humble birth in Butcher Holler, Ky., to the glitz and glamour of the country music scene in Nashville. Loretta has penned an honest look at herself and the world of country music.
The movie "Walk the Line," starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, is the inspiring true story of Johnny Cash's unwavering devotion to his music and the great love of his life, June Carter. The legendary "Man in Black" was a singer, rebel, outlaw and hero. The intensity of his voice and character forged his legacy as an American icon who revolutionized country music.
Cathy Habora, is a staff member at the Braden River Branch Library.