Rumsfeld a Hit at Grand Ole Opry

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appeared at the Grand Ole Opry’s 8oth anniversary celebration and was apparently a big hit.

Rumsfeld Appearance a Hit With Opry Fans (AP)

Photo Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, left, thanks the audience for their support of the troops as he takes the stage of the Grand Ole Opry with host Dolly Parton in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, April 23, 2005. The Opry is celebrating its 80th year of entertaining. (AP Photo/John Russell) As members of the U.S. military watched on television via satellite from Iraq, Dolly Parton invited their boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, onstage at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday. The audience applauded as Rumsfeld appeared and thanked the troops serving in the military.

As people entered the auditorium for Saturday’s show they were given postcards with “America supports you,” printed on them. Audience members waved the cards and shouted their support to the troops watching on television.

Rumsfeld was sitting in the front row as Parton sang her hit “Coat of Many Colors” before he was introduced.

You can’t get more Red State than the Opry.

Opry may be turning 80, but still on cutting edge (AP)

His Grand Ole Opry debut? Charley Pride remembers it well. “It was 1967, Jan. 1,” Pride snaps. “Ernest Tubb brought me on, and I was more nervous than a cat on a hot tin roof.” That’s the way most performers feel about the Opry, the folksy live radio show that’s helped define country music for eight decades. The stage with its red barn backdrop is hallowed ground in Nashville, and entertainers still consider their first performance there a milestone.

The show turns 80 this year, and while the anniversary doesn’t have the bang of a 75th or a 100th, the Opry is planning a big to-do, including a rare broadcast from New York’s Carnegie Hall in November. Like a classic country song, the Grand Ole Opry has endured despite changes in technology, musical tastes, ownership and location. It’s the longest continuously running radio show in the country, and though at times it’s been derided as stale and antiquated, there’s a certain charm when the house band begins to play and the burgundy curtain rises.

The feeling is one of seeing something authentic, down to the vintage microphone stands, the live advertisements and the corny jokes. The homespun feel, however, belies the elaborate production. The show is marketed nationwide, streamed over Internet and satellite radio, shown on cable TV, broadcast on regular radio and reaches an estimated 2 million-plus people a week.

Of course, Roy Acuff probably would not have approved of this:

Anna Nicole Over-Exposes Herself Again (xtraMSN)

Busty model Anna Nicole Smith left onlookers open-mouthed at Nashville, Tennessee’s Grand Ole Opry when she flashed her breasts and underpants at the audience. The reality television star was busy showing off her dance skills at the famous country music haunt when she opted to break away from her partner and launch into an improvised solo routine.

Crowd members looked on in disbelief as the Texan unleashed a series of eye-catching moves.
“She was on stage dancing with some cloggers when she broke loose from her partner and did her own thing,” an eye witness said. “She was shimmying around, shaking her breasts, and lifted up her skirt in a sort of square-dance-can-can move and gave the audience a view of her panties. “And then she did some sort of crazy dance where turned around and stuck her butt out at the audience and lifted her skirt. “At one point, her boob popped out.”

Sounds like the makings of a Ray Stevens song.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. al says:

    anna nicole on opry…
    what more would one expect from a pig

  2. McGehee says:

    How does Anna Nicole Smith even get into the building at the Grand Ole Opry, let alone on stage?

  3. Bachbone says:

    If it talks like a boob, acts like a boob and looks like a breast, what did the Opry think it would get on stage?

  4. nash says:

    Didn’t she meet her rich husband while working at a stripper bar? I guess she was just going back to her roots.

  5. Bithead says:

    This one oughta be a clue for the Democrats;

    Country music is demographically, the biggest thing in the US by many margins. Rumseld shows up at the mother churh of Country Music and gets a good reception. Remember, now… this is the crowd that whosed the Dixie Chicks where the exit sign was.

    Until the Democrats recon with this, the congressional majority is safe.