Grand Ole Opry Live
GAC: Great American Country broadcasts a full hour of the Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night, plus five encore performances each week.
LEARN MORE about Grand Ole Opry Live on GAC. Don't get GAC? Find out how you can GET IT.
This weekend on "Grand Ole Opry Live" catch performances by:
Exclusive to opry.com, we're taking YOUR questions for GAC's Grand Ole Opry host Nan Kelley. Send your question to Nan and see if it's chosen to be answered on-air!
Here are a few questions from Opry fans that Nan has answered:
Who is someone you’d love to interview on the set of “Grand Ole Opry Live,” but haven’t yet had the chance?
I'd love to talk with K.T. Oslin. I love her music...she's a great songwriter and really carved out her one niche in country music. Glen Campbell, songwriter Jimmy Webb, Dan Seals, Randy Travis,.... When I first moved to Nashville from Mississippi about 15 years ago, a former teacher told me to look up a gal from up the road in Star, MS who was working for Gary Morris. He said she was very nice and since I was new in town, I might make a new friend. That girl was Faith Hill. I never called her. Needless to say, I'd love to meet her!
Did you have a favorite country song while growing up in Mississippi?
I think my whole family loved "Rhinestone Cowboy" by Glen Campbell. We have a cassette tape of my brother Denny singing the song when he was a toddler before he could really talk well. He got a lot of the words totally wrong and he didn't pronounce some of them correctly but he sang it loud..... "like a winetone cowboy...."!! We still talk about that performance--it's a great memory--all we have to say to each other is "like a winetone cowboy!!"
Since you began hosting “Grand Ole Opry Live,” who is one of the favorite people you’ve met?
Loretta Lynn was so sweet! What a lovely, sincere lady. Meeting a legend like that can make you a little nervous and admittedly, I was. She said some nice things to me and made me feel so comfortable. I'll always remember that. It was also a real honor to met Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently. The Secretary came to thank the Opry for its support of our troops through the America Supports You organization. We had a live satellite link to some of our troops in Iraq. The entire experience was very meaningful to me and I was so proud to be a part of this expression of support for our servicemen and women.
Nan Kelley is the television host of Grand Ole Opry Live and it all comes naturally for her. "I'm genuinely excited to be at the show and I enjoy sharing that excitement with the audience," said Kelley.
I have always loved the Opry – the institution and people – and I love television, continued Kelley. "So it is a dream job for me to part of the Grand Ole Opry family."
Nan's journey to the Opry began in her native Mississippi. Nan Sumrall (her maiden name) majored in communications with an emphasis in radio, television, and film at the University of Southern Mississippi. She was bitten hard by the acting and performing bug on her way to a Miss Mississippi title her sophomore year in college. After graduation, she sang for an Opryland audition in Hattiesburg and she was hired on the spot, beginning her professional transition to Nashville.
Since coming to Nashville, Nan's life has been centered around the Opry and country music. She performed at Opryland in two running shows, And The Winner Is... and Brenda Lee's Spirit of America, while making her first appearance on the Opry stage in a trade show for Honda Motors.
Other opportunities soon knocked, including working on Music Row for songwriter and producer Blake Mevis, who first produced George Strait. Mevis also produced and co-managed rising Atlantic Records artist Mila Mason, which led Nan back into performing. Nan sang on one of Mila's albums, performed with her at the Grand Ole Opry (Nan's official Opry debut), and toured Europe with her and The Miracles (of Smokey Robinson fame) entertaining the troops for the Department of Defense. This was Nan's 4th DOD tour; she had made previous tours of the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and Alaska while in college and at Opryland.
It was during her association with Mevis and Mason that Nan landed her first television job as Gary Chapman's co-host on The Nashville Network's Prime Time Country.
"All of my career breaks have come suddenly...I had a goal and I acted quickly when presented with the window of opportunity," Nan said. "I was at the Country Radio Seminar when Kevin Sharpe's manager suggested I audition for the job with Gary. I gave it a shot and there I was on the final year of the show in 1998 and 99."
The year with Prime Time Country began her preparation as Opry host. "Doing a show five days a week was really special…there was time to hang out and get to know legends like George Jones and Waylon Jennings. I was getting make-up with Waylon once when he took a phone call from Kris Kristofferson; you don't forget those moments." It was also Nan's first appearance on Grand Ole Opry television, when she was interviewed by Bill Anderson for Opry Backstage.
"Working on the show also put me in the Opry House building on a daily basis," Nan recalled. "Prime Time was produced in Studio A just down the hall from the Opry stage. I got to know the Opry staff and we worked together on a special event. I knew that's where I wanted to be."
When PTC ended, Nan spent six months in Los Angeles studying acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, but soon she was on her way back to Nashville for big changes, professionally and personally.
In 2001, she became on-air talent for Shop At Home and she married Nashville musician and Grammy-nominated producer Charlie Kelley, a former member of the music group The Buffalo Club. Nan was settling into a life of full-time music and television.
Two years later, when Grand Ole Opry Live moved to Great American Country, she was presented with the opportunity to audition for the role of Opry TV host. Her ultimate goal was realized and it has been her dream job since the Opry's debut broadcast on GAC in October, 2003.
"Ever since moving to Nashville, I keep coming back to the Opry," laughed Kelley."It really is my home. And now that GAC and Shop at Home are both part of the Scripps-Howard Company, my television career is truly all in the family."
"In the beginning at Opryland, I played characters like Minnie Pearl and the Easter Bunny and later, I even went to a show at the Opry House as Strawberry Shortcake. I've come a long way and now what a thrill to be the television host of the Grand Ole Opry!"
Grand Ole Opry Live airs on Saturday nights on Great American Country and CMT Canada.