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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Ronee' 's Journal, Part Fifty: Happy Birthday, Grand Ole Opry!! :)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Monday, October 24, 2005

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Ronee' writes about attending the Birthday Celebration for the Grand Ole Opry, which is turning 80 years old this year.

Monday, October 24, 2005~

Dear Journal:

Hi! This is your friend, Ronee' Le-Anne Reaux!

I have been in a very good mood, and I have had an enjoyable few weekends (most notably the past few Saturdays)...our family went to the Grand Ole Opry's annual Birthday Celebration, and we saw a lot of the Grand Ole Opry cast, including the newest member, Dierks Bentley, who joined the Opry just last Saturday. He isn't that very well known yet, but for a young guy, he sure does know his stuff about traditional country music!

Garth Brooks was also there, which caused the Opry audience to go into fits of excitement. He sang with Bill Anderson, Porter Wagoner, and Little Jimmy Dickens, and it was clear to the audience that they were all having a wonderful time. When I saw Garth walk onto the stage, I nearly wet myself, I was so excited!! :)

The cake was brought out later during the televised portion of the show, and everyone (performers, musicians, guests, audience members) got a piece of the cake. It was good! :)

I have been to the Birthday Celebration twice now, and this year, the Grand Ole Opry turns 80 years old. It is one of the longest-running continuous music shows in the world, and when it first began way back in 1925, people had no way of knowing just how long the Grand Ole Opry would last. Now the Grand Ole Opry shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, and there are plenty of younger artists who will no doubt stand in the same shoes the legends have worn and will proudly carry the banner for traditional country music entertainment. Some of the artists who immediately come to mind include Alan Jackson, Dierks Bentley, Alison Krauss and "Union Station", Rhett Akins, and Martina McBride.

Speaking of Martina McBride, she was on the Grand Ole Opry last night, and the televised portion of the show was devoted to her and her new album, "Timeless", which just came out on Tuesday. She sang quite a few selections from the album, and she sang songs she heard when she was but a little girl. She sang songs by Eddy Arnold ("Make The World Go Away"), Lynn Anderson ("Rose Garden"), Ray Price ("Heartaches By The Number"), Tammy Wynette ("Til I Can Make It On My Own"), and Ernest Tubb ("Thanks A Lot"). In addition to these songs, she also sings Loretta Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)", and others. It is a far cry from her biggest hits (among them "Independence Day", which is probably her first and biggest hit by far), but what few people fail to realize is this: Martina was raised on the music of Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, Sr., and others, and her daddy was a singer; and when she was small, she'd sometimes sing with her daddy on stage; and she has come to love the music that so many people of today (especially young people) do not know about. People like Tammy Wynette, Ernest Tubb, and Loretta Lynn are among her heroes, and even though she is considered a singer of "modern country", with plenty of crossover appeal, she still can sing a perfect country classic if you hand her a mic and just let her fly. I have seen Martina McBride in concert, and she puts on a wonderful show! She is very sweet, and she is very pretty!

I have been to the Grand Ole Opry many times, and I have seen just about all of the current Grand Ole Opry cast (some numerous times, like Loretta Lynn, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jimmy C. Newman, and Garth Brooks). I have been backstage, ON stage, and in the audience of the Grand Ole Opry, and to me, the Grand Ole Opry feels just like home! I just LOVE the Grand Ole Opry!! :)

So as a fan of the Grand Ole Opry, let me wish her a very happy 80th birthday! She is truly THE Grandest Lady of Them All, and she will be around for a very long time to come, long after the legends have gone to the Big Stage in the Sky!!

May she go on for another 80 years!! :)

~Written by Ronee' Le-Anne Reaux, aged 12 1/2. :D

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Reviewed by Mr. Ed 10/25/2005
So as a fan of the Grand Ole Opry, let me wish her a very happy 80th birthday!

And let me heartily second that, Ronee - she truly is a grand old place - and I like Dierks Bentley, too!
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 10/24/2005
A wonderful tribute to the Grand Ole Opry, I too just love that place!

love and peace....Carole
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 10/24/2005

You've captured the down home feeling of country music and the Grand Ole Opry vividly and perfectly in this excellent journal entry; well done!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by E T Waldron 10/24/2005
Great write Karen! I too love country and Martina Msbride garth brooks,trisha yearwood(garths wife;) Alison Krause(she's special)are great, still the old ones like loretta were in credible and patsy cline ,eddy arnold,super fantasatic voices. Another super write Karen!;-)

Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 10/24/2005
Thanks for sharing this wonderful memorable piece!!

I love country music tooooooo much!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 10/24/2005
Loretta Lynn has surely come a long ways from being a poor coal miner's daughter and so has her beautiful sis, Crystal Gayle. Loretta was a mother at around 14 years old, just a few years older than Ronee, a grandmother in her 20's if I recall and her difficult life with her liquor-swilling husband Mooney, she called him Doo, I believe.

The Grand Ole Opry has had many greats on the stage of country music. I have followed it for many years. I will never forget when seeing Dolly Parton singing Jolene at the Opry, even though I saw it on television. Great tribute to Loretta, Karen Lynn! Conway Twitty is smiling big in the Heavenly Nashville sky for this! And Little Jimmy Dickens is still kicking it up!


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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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