The Grand Ole Opry will mark its journey through the COVID-19 pandemic with a special vinyl release later this year.
Unbroken: Empty Room, Full Circle will showcase select performances from during the pandemic, marking moments when artists were playing to empty seats for an audience locked down at home.
The world-famous Nashville venue closed its doors to the public on 14 March 2000 at the start of the pandemic to help prevent the spread of the disease. Although shows on other nights were cancelled, their famous Saturday night performances continued, with a drastically scaled-down cast and crew producing the show for radio and television.
Indeed their live Saturday night show has been cancelled only once in history – on 6 April 1968, during a curfew imposed in the city of Nashville after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in Memphis, Tennessee. Even during the devastating Nashville floods in 2010, the venue continued its shows from different locations.
No less than 60 artists took part in the broadcasts during the COVID closure, which lasted for 29 weeks, including Trace Adkins, Luke Combs, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Marty Stuart and Carrie Underwood.
The Opry partially reopened in October last year to celebrate the venue’s 95th anniversary, albeit with a reduced audience, and is currently running performances and shows on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights.
The limited-edition vinyl is due for release on 4 June and the first 1,000 copies sold will include a special-edition Hatch Show print. It will be available exclusively from opry.com and the Opry’s Nashville-based retail outlets.
And just in case you’re wondering, here’s the tracklist :
1. Marty Stuart – No Hard Times
2. Reba McEntire – Back To God
3. Keith Urban – Coming Home
4. Luke Combs – Six Feet Apart
5. Dailey & Vincent ft Ricky Skaggs – Uncle Pen
6. Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris – Leavin’ Louisiana In The Broad Daylight
7. Trace Adkins – Tough People Do
8. Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood – Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man
9. Darius Rucker – It Won’t Be Like This For Long
10. Old Crow Medicine Show – Mama Don’t Allow It / Will The Circle Be Unbroken