U.S. Army veteran and country singer Craig Morgan is joining Steven Curtis Chapman and Kellie Pickler on stage in Nashville for a "Grand Ole Opry Salute the Troops Memorial Day Weekend Special" on Saturday, May 23.
This year, the event will honor both the United States military and the essential workers who are on the frontline of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Grand Ole Opry show starts at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT in Nashville) just like it does every Saturday night. The May 23 show will be the 4,925th consecutive show (dating back to 1925) even though it's been held in an empty 4,000-seat auditorium these last couple of months because of the coronavirus.
The Opry offers you so many ways to enjoy the show. The old-fashioned way is to tune in to Clear Channel radio station WSM 650 AM just like generations all across the South and Midwest have done for the past 95 years. SiriusXM listeners can also hear the show on Channel 56. The radio broadcasts will be hosted by Opry announcer Mike Terry.
The show will be televised by Circle TV, a new digital over-the-air channel that's gaining traction around the country. It's found on the subchannels of local television broadcast signals, the same way you watch channels like MeTV, Bounce, GRIT, Movies! or Comet.
Circle is a channel exclusively devoted to country music with a surprising amount of new music performance programming, plus reruns of "Hee Haw," "F Troop" and "The Jeff Foxworthy Show." It's the kind of music-heavy program that hasn't been seen since the 1990s.
You can find out whether you have Circle TV broadcasting in your town by visiting this page and entering your ZIP code. If you subscribe to DISH TV, it's broadcasting on Channel 102. The website says it's now streaming on Sling TV, so check your service if you're a subscriber.
But wait, there's more! You can also watch the Opry broadcast livestreamed on the Circle All Access Facebook page or YouTube channel. The television broadcasts and livestreams will be hosted by Nashville radio and TV personality Bobby Bones.
Those options cover about 99.9% of you living in the USA, and quite a few folks stationed overseas should be able to check in via Facebook or YouTube.
Morgan's new album "God Family Country" is scheduled for release on May 22 and, to celebrate the release, he'll be featured on a special edition of Circle Session on the Circle All Access Facebook page or YouTube channel at 7:30 p.m. ET, a half hour before the Opry starts.
Country music fans should be excited about a new TV channel that's committed to country music, and there are no celebrities (at least not any who aren't named Lt. Dan) who do a better job of honoring our military than country singers have always done. Consider this show your Saturday night warmup before the Sunday night Memorial Day concert on PBS.
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