Grand Ole Opry’s Pandemic-Era Performances Coming Soon on Vinyl
The Grand Ole Opry will commemorate some of its most unique shows with a vinyl release. Unbroken: Empty Room, Full Circle collects select performances from during the COVID-19 pandemic, chronicling a moment in time when artists were playing to empty pews for an audience at home.
As the pandemic began, the Opry opted to close its doors to the public as of March 14, 2020, to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, although shows on other nights were canceled, Saturday night performances continued, with a bare-bones cast and crew putting the show on for broadcast on radio and TV. The limited-edition Unbroken vinyl LP collects 10 songs from those performances.
More than 60 artists participated in Saturday night broadcasts while the Grand Ole Opry remained closed to live audiences for 29 weeks. Trace Adkins, Luke Combs, Dailey & Vincent, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Reba McEntire, Old Crow Medicine Show, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban -- all Opry members -- plus Rodney Crowell, Dom Flemons, Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle are all featured on Unbroken. A full tracklist is below.
Unbroken: Empty Room, Full Circle is due out on June 24. The first 1,000 copies sold will include a special-edition Hatch Show Print.
Pared-down audiences have been allowed back in the Grand Ole Opry House as of Oct. 3, 2020 -- the Opry's 95th anniversary celebration -- and the Opry is currently running Tuesday, Friday and Saturday night performances at limited capacity. Per a statement from the Grand Ole Opry, its live Saturday night show has been canceled only once, on April 6, 1968, during a curfew imposed in the city of Nashville after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tenn. That night's show was pre-taped that afternoon.
Additionally, in May of 2010, when a devastating flood hit Nashville, including the Grand Ole Opry House, employees worked tirelessly to move performances until the venue was restored and re-opened late that September.
Unbroken: Empty Room, Full Circle Tracklist:
1. Marty Stuart, "No Hard Times"
2. Reba McEntire, "Back to God"
3. Keith Urban, "Coming Home"
4. Luke Combs, "Six Feet Apart"
5. Dailey & Vincent and Ricky Skaggs, "Uncle Pen"
6. Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris, "Leavin’ Louisiana in the Broad Daylight"
7. Trace Adkins, "Tough People Do"
8. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man"
9. Darius Rucker, "It Won’t Be Like This for Long"
10. Old Crow Medicine Show, Dom Flemons, Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle, "Mama Don’t Allow It / Will the Circle Be Unbroken"