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Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection from Cracker Barrel

Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection and The Grand Ole Opry Presents: Celebrating the classic and contemporary performers of the Grand Ole Opry and presented by the Cracker Barrel.
Various Artists
Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection: Classic Hits (OM-0622)
Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection: Duets
Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection: Outlaws
The Grand Ole Opry Presents:  Our Kind Of Country (OM-0625)
Opry Music


By Christine Ellis

The Grand Ole Opry and Cracker Barrel have teamed up to celebrate the Grand Ole Opry with a collection of songs and performances of country classics. The Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection is a three CD collection with performances from Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner, Loretta Lynn, and many other artists who defined country music. Each CD features performances recorded live at the Grand Ole Opry.

Grand Ole Opry Classic CollectionGrand Ole Opry Classic CollectionGrand Ole Opry Classic Collection

Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection: Classic Hits

The traditions of the Grand Ole Opry are featured in this collection: great performances from great artists. From the first song to the last, you get performances from a handful of the many Opry favorites. Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Ray Price, Marty Robbins, Jack Greene and Garth Brooks were the artists chosen for this CD.  The recordings are clear and you feel as if you sitting in the Opry house listening to the performances. It is a treat for any Opry fan to have in their collection. "Stand By Your Man," "Elvira," "Statue Of A Fool," and "Crazy" are a few of the highlights, but there isn't a bad track on the CD and you're left wanting to hear other classics. 

Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection: Duets

A variety of performers again highlight this collection. From Johnny Cash and June Carter through Ronnie Dunn and Rebecca Lynn Howard, you get well known songs and a few you may not have heard in a while. George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Ernest Tubb, and The Louvin Brothers are a few of the highlights on this collection. The age of some of the performances is evident in the underlying hiss (or pops and crackles) that can be heard on some of the tracks; however it doesn't take away anything from the quality of the songs. It shows the timelessness of the performances - you still feel like you're listening on WSM the night it happened.

Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection: Outlaws
The outlaw movement of country is featured on this CD in the Grand Old Opry Classic Collection. Performances from Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kris Kristofferson, Bobby Bare and George Jones highlight the rockin' and rowdy side of country music.  "The South's Gonna Do It Again," "There Ain't No Good Chain Gang," "I've Always Been Crazy," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" are highlights in this collection. As with the other two CDs in this series, there aren't any lowlights. Performers on the Grand Ole Opry always bring their best performances to the Opry stage.  Although this CD has less variety of artists than the others, it is the best of the best from the outlaw country performers.

A CD is a great CD when it leaves you smiling and wanting more. This collection of 3 CDs leaves you wanting more, in a good way. There are many performers and songs in this collection and hopefully many more to come from the Cracker Barrel and the Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry Classic Collection is a must have for fans of the artists included and those who love the Grand Ole Opry.

Grand Ole Opry Presents

Today's country artists and newer members are not forgotten in this collection, a fourth CD The Grand Ole Opry: Our Kind Of Country, is twelve songs from current artists, including one of the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry, Blake Shelton. Studio recordings from Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins, Carrie Underwood and others highlight the biggest hits of the younger members. While it would be better if it were a collection of live performances of the artists on the Opry stage, it is a great compilation of the artists that bring new fans to the Opry.

On any given Friday or Saturday night, you could hear the newer artists perform alongside some of the classic artists featured in these CDs. The newer artists often pay homage to their predecessors at the Grand Ole Opry and this collection will introduce their fans to a few of their heroes. The traditions of the Opry will continue on, creating special moments like those captured in this collection.

~July 10, 2011, Christine Ellis