Institutional Award: The Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry, WSM Radio
If there are such things as American “institutions” the Grand Ole Opry is certainly one. For 58 years the Opry has filled the airwaves with what was once known as “country music” but now is more often referred to as “the Nashville sound.” Whatever one chooses to call it, the Opry has made an important mark on both music and broadcasting in this country. WSM Radio has earned an historic place in the annals of broadcasting with the weekly Saturday night clarion call of the violin and the guitar. The Opry has spawned hundreds of television specials, a number of regularly scheduled radio and television programs, and 1983 saw the beginning of The Nashville Channel, a 24-hour program service from the Opry distributed by satellite and cable to millions of American homes. Its list of stars is a legend in itself. And the other legends which the Opry has created are beyond number. Through the years the rich heritage of the Grand Ole Opry has been recognized in many different ways. All have been deserved. Now the prestige of the Peabody is added.