Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry actually began as the WSM Barn Dance in 1925 as a showcase for an hour of rural music. Later, the show expanded to four hours when WSM/Nashville upped its power to 50,000 watts, making the show a Saturday night tradition in nearly 30 states.
In 1939, the Grand Ole Opry began an affiliation with the NBC Radio Network and was heard for a half-hour on Saturday nights at 10:30 PM. The first show was sponsored by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, makers of Prince Albert Cigars, and featured Roy Acuff as host, Uncle Dave Macon, and the Weaver Brothers and Elviry.
By 1943, the NBC portion of the Opry was a weekly Saturday night fixture of its national radio network programming and was being carried by 143 stations nationwide. In 1951, the half-hour network portion of the program was moved an hour earlier to 9:30 PM. The Opry was dropped from the NBC schedule at the end of 1957 but continued in syndication on WLAK each Saturday night into the 1960's.
1939 - 1964 WLAK (Featured Program)