DVD Review: Opry Video Classics

This DVD set puts every classic country performance in one place

Opry Video Classics by Various Artists. Credit: http://www.amazon.com/

Trying to explain just how incredible of a video collection Time Life has created with "Opry Video Classics" is nearly impossible. The set includes eight DVDs that contain live footage of the Grand Ole Opry when it was held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. from 1943 to 1974.

Now you can own more than 120 live performances of country music's most elite entertainers. Watching these live recordings will make you appreciate what these legendary stars have contributed to American heritage.

Country Music's Impact:

Country music is a common thread in the United States, whether you like it or not.. Even if you don't identify as a fan, country music is intertwined with all genres of music in one way or another, through lyrics, how instruments are played, etc. Just within the past 20 years alone it's breathtaking to realize how many early country music pioneers have influenced some of today's biggest names and pop culture in general.

Many artists featured in this DVD collection helped bring country music to the mainstream. Sawyer Brown recorded two major hits that were originally recorded by country legends George Jones and Dave Dudley: "The Race Is On" and "Six Days On the Road," respectively. "Flowers On the Wall" was such a huge hit for The Statler Brothers and made such an impact on Hollywood that it's used in major motion picture "Pulp Fiction."

Other artists starred on screen in films like "Las Vegas Hillbillies" and "Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar," proving that country music and its stars were making a major impact on the world then, just as much as they are now.

About the DVD:

The release of "Opry Video Classics" in 2008 marked the first time in history where such a comprehensive country music video collection was available for purchase. Each of the eight DVDs come stacked with more than a dozen classic songs, and each disc has a specific theme: "Songs That Topped the Charts," "Duets," "Hall of Fame," "Honkytonk Heroes," "Legends," "Love Songs," "Pioneers" and "Queens of Country."

The performances offer a glimpse back in time. Some are filmed in black and white, while others are in color, and you can also see the sponsors that helped finance the Opry over the years, like the Purina Grand Ole Opry, Pet Milk Grand Ole Opry, National Life and Prince Albert Tobacco. Every half hour or hour there is a different sponsor showcased, a tradition that continues at the Opry to this day.

Countless stars have walked across the Opry's prestigious stage, and the DVD organization makes it easy to watch your favorite artists perform. Volume 1, "Songs That Topped the Charts," includes performances of No. 1 hits that established artists' careers and legacies. Think: Tom T. Hall, Stonewall Jackson, Billy Walker, Ferlin Huskey, Leroy Van Dyke, Del Reeves and more. Watching these stars' expressions as they perform their first big hits at the beginning of their careers is refreshing.

Volume 2, "Duets," showcases the Opry's classic duet performances: greats like Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, Bobby Lord and Patsy Cline, and no collection would be complete without George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Their chemistry is undeniable.

"Hall of Fame," Volume 3, provides an inside look at some elite members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Members such as "Little" Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson, Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline all stand in the wooden circle for some unforgettable performances. Volume 4 pays tribute to a group of artists that made it OK to go to the bar and listen to the jukebox while drinking your problems away. Entertainers like Ernest Tubb, Jim Reeves and George Jones sang their hearts out about cheating and leaving, which is why this volume is aptly titled, "Honky Tonk Heroes."

Volume 5 is dedicated to the priceless "Legends," Volume 6 is devoted to classic "Love Songs" and Volume 7, "Pioneers," showcases performances by names who spearheaded country music, like The Carter Family and Sons of the Pioneers. Volume 8, "Queens of Country," perfectly sums up the collection with country's finest leading ladies.

Final Thoughts:

This whole collection is priceless.

Every country fan needs "Opry Video Classics" in their collection, otherwise the collection is not complete. Where else can you watch a performance by Jean Shepard or Jan Howard, and then see Ernest Tubb or Sonny James? This DVD set is a piece of music history.


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Volume 3 - Hall Of Fame

  1. Johnny Cash - Big River
  2. Patsy Cline - Imagine That
  3. Bill Anderson - Po' Folks
  4. Chet Atkins - Yakety Axe
  5. Willie Nelson - Mr. Record Man
  6. "Little" Jimmy Dickens - May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
  7. Porter Wagoner - Green, Green Grass Of Home
  8. Johnny Cash & The Carter Family - Were You There When They Crucified My Lord
  9. Hank Snow - I've Been Everywhere
  10. Tammy Wynette - Your Good Girls Gonna Go Bad
  1. Loretta Lynn - One's On The Way
  2. Don Gibson - Oh Lonesome Me
  3. Conway Twitty - How Much More Can She Stand
  4. Dolly Parton - Joshua
  5. George Jones - The Grand Tour

Volume 4 - Honky Tonk Heroes

  1. Ernest Tubb - Walking The Floor Over You
  2. Ray Price - Heartaches By The Number
  3. Porter Wagoner - Misery Loves Company
  4. The Wilburn Brothers - Trouble's Back In Town
  5. Jim Reeves - Four Walls
  6. Bobby Bare - Detroit City
  7. Dave Dudley - Six Days On The Road
  8. Charlie Walker - Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
  9. Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
  10. Webb Pierce - In The Jailhouse Now
  11. Charley Pride - Kaw-Liga
  12. George Jones - The Race Is On
  13. Johnny Rodriguez - Ridin' My Thumb Through Mexico
  14. Freddy Fender - Wasted Days And Wasted Nights
  15. Waylon Jennings (Medley) - Brown Eyed Handsome Man/ Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line/ Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)

Volume 5 - Legends

  1. George Jones - White Lightening
  2. Marty Robbins - El Paso
  1. Don Gibson - I Can't Stop Loving You
  2. Jim Reeves (Medley) Four Walls/ Tennessee Waltz/ He'll Have To Go
  3. Faron Young - Hello Walls
  4. Ray Price - City Lights
  5. Patsy Cline - Crazy
  6. Willie Nelson (Medley) - Hello Walls/ Funny How Time Slips Away/ Night Life/ Crazy
  7. Johnny Cash - Ring Of Fire
  8. The Statler Brothers - Flowers On The Wall
  1. Tammy Wynette - I Don't Wanna Play House
  2. Ernest Tubb - Waltz Across Texas
  3. Dolly Parton - Coat Of Many Colors
  4. Conway Twitty - Hello Darlin'
  5. Loretta Lynn - Coal Miner's Daughter

Volume 6 - Love Songs

  1. Sonny James - Young Love
  2. Hank Locklin - Please Help Me I'm Falling
  3. Ferlin Husky - Gone
  4. Patsy Cline - Leavin' On Your Mind
  5. George Jones - She Thinks I Still Care
  6. Roy Drusky - Three Hearts In A Tangle
  7. Bill Anderson - Still
  8. Loretta Lynn - Love Is The Foundation
  9. David Houston - Almost Persuaded
  10. Freddie Hart - Easy Loving
  11. Tammy Wynette - 'Til I Get It Right
  12. Conway Twitty - I See The Want To In Your Eyes
  13. Freddy Fender - Before The Next Teardrop Falls
  14. Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You
  15. Ray Price - For The Good Times

Volume 7 - Pioneers

  1. Roy Acuff - Wabash Cannon Ball
  2. Grandpa Jones - Mountain Dew
  3. The Carter Family - Keep On The Sunnyside
  4. Johnnie & Jack - (Oh Baby Mine) I Get So Lonely
  5. The Carlisles - No Help Wanted
  6. The Louvin Brothers - I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby
  7. Sons Of The Pioneers - Tumbling Tumbleweeds
  8. Eddy Arnold - Cattle Call
  9. Ray Price - Crazy Arms
  10. George Morgan - Candy Kisses
  11. Tex Ritter - High Noon
  12. Bill Monroe - Uncle Pen
  13. Flatts & Scruggs - Foggy Mountain Breakdown
  14. Carl Smith - Hey Joe
  1. Hank Snow - I'm Moving On

Volume 8 - Queens Of Country

  1. Jean Shepard - Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar)
  2. Kitty Wells - Makin' Believe
  3. Patsy Cline - She Got You
  4. Skeeter Davis - The End Of The World
  5. Connie Smith - The Hurtin's All Over
  6. Jeannie Seely - Don't Touch Me
  7. Loretta Lynn - You Ain't Woman Enough
  8. Dottie West - Country Sunshine
  9. Lynn Anderson- Rose Garden
  10. Jeanne Pruett - Satin Sheets
  11. Tammy Wynette - Stand By Your Man
  12. Barbara Fairchild - Teddy Bear Song
  13. Donna Fargo - The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A
  14. Sammi Smith - Help Me Make It Through The Night
  15. Dolly Parton - Jolene

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