Today is Sept. 15th, time to salute the birthday of Country-Western superstar, Roy Acuff . The head of the Smoky Mountain Boys was a staple on the Grand Ole Opry and eventually the first living inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition to his time on the Grand Ole Opry , Acuff made great appearances on The Kemtone Hour, The Judy Canova Show , and The American Ace Coffee Show. On the latter, he performed "Turn Your Radio On." Acuff's career also included a skirmish with Tennessee Governor Prentice Cooper about whether or not Country music was disgraceful hillbilly fare. This would, in a roundabout way, lead to an unsuccessful Acuff run for Governor. Not winning that office, he'd have to be content in the post of King of Country Music.
December 10, 1927: (85 years ago today) George Hay introduce the WSM Barn Dance as The Grand Ole Opry for the first time on this day. The Grand Ole Opry began just five years after commercial radio was born in the United States. In 1925, WSM was formed. National Life hired George D. Hay as WSM's first program director. Hay started his career on radio at WLS, Chicago. He created a barn dance show. Hay called himself "The Solemn Old Judge" and launched, along with championship fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson, what would become the WSM Barn Dance . Hay's popular weekly broadcast was renamed the Grand Ole Opry in 1927. When WSM radio increased the power of its transmission to 50,000 watts in 1932, the Opry, which aired every Saturday night, could be heard by most of the United States and parts of Canada. Additional recordings can be heard from old radio cat .