The People’s Opry

0
68
Undiscovered talent is in good supply at rodeo opry. Photo by Jack Corman.
Undiscovered talent is in good supply at rodeo opry. Photo by Jack Corman.

Granville “Grant” Leftwich’s passion for music helped him turn his backyard jam sessions with friends and family into a legacy for all to enjoy at the Rodeo Opry.

At 7:30 p.m. every Saturday, hundreds gather in Oklahoma City’s Stockyards City to witness Oklahoma’s official country music show.

“I have the opry to thank for my start in the entertainment business, and for that, I am eternally grateful,” says Pickard. “For me, it’s home.”

“If you are wondering what to expect when you come to a Saturday show, be prepared to hear one of the best house bands you have ever heard, backing different artists each week, and being entertained by a fun, family-friendly emcee while enjoying one of the opry’s famous root beer floats and snacks from the concession stand,” says executive director Cindy Scarberry. “It’s always a fun night of quality music and family entertainment.”

Previously known as the Oklahoma Opry, the name was changed when the show moved out of Knob Hill Theater in the Capitol Hill District.

“The Rodeo Opry is currently housed in what was known as the Rodeo Theater in the Stockyards of Oklahoma City,” says opry performer Owen Pickard.

The opry stage is a haven for undiscovered talent in Oklahoma. Grammy Award-winner Bryan White and Red Dirt music star Cody Canada both began their careers performing there.

“Grant (Leftwich) had always put everything he had back into the show and wanted to help promote, showcase and connect young entertainers with industry professionals while providing quality entertainment and education,” says Scarberry.

Pickard was just 14 when he began performing at Rodeo Opry.

“I have the opry to thank for my start in the entertainment business, and for that, I am eternally grateful,” says Pickard. “For me, it’s home.”

To continue this tradition, the nonprofit Opry Heritage Foundation of Oklahoma opened a music school in 2009. At the school, children from low-income households receive music lessons for 50 cents.

“So, while the Rodeo Opry is providing family-friendly shows every Saturday night, rest assured that your $15 ticket is going to great use,” says Scarberry.

“For the Rodeo Opry, it’s more than just showcasing the talented artists and musicians on our stage,” echoes Pickard. “This show is the foundation of the organization, and the school is the platform for the future of our community. Thirty-seven years later, we’re just getting started.”

For more about Rodeo Opry, visit www.rodeoopry.com.

Comments