Nashville Elsewhere | Quick Links

Founded by the now defunct National Life and Accident Insurance Company, who used the call sign WSM (We Shield Millions), 650AM WSM Radio first broadcast at 8 pm on October 5 of 1925. Less than two months later, in November of 1925, the station birthed its most famous show, the WSM Barn Dance. Rebranded shortly thereafter as the Grand Ole Opry, what started out as a simple for-radio broadcast of old-time music from Downtown Nashville is today the longest continuously running live radio programme in the world. ‘The Show that Made Country Music Famous’ did likewise for Nashville; because of WSM‘s wide reach — thanks to its iconic National Register of Historic Places-listed, 808-feet-high, 50,000-watt, diamond-shaped antenna and its nighttime clear-channel signal — musical acts from all across the eastern US came to Nashville in the early years of the station’s existence propelling the city into a recording industry capital and the centre of the country music industry. In recognition of its contributions to the bluegrass industry, the station was named Radio Station of the Year at the 1996 International Bluegrass Music Awards.

WSM FISHBOWL STUDIO & EDDIE STUBBS | Former Johnson Mountain Boy, Grand Ole Opry announcer and WSM personality Eddie Stubbs broadcasting from 650AM WSM’s so-called ‘Fishbowl’ Studio of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Music Valley, Nashville, Tennessee. October 16, 2017.

We paid a visit to 650AM WSM Radio‘s ‘fishbowl’ studio inside Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland hotel on our visit to Nashville in October 2017, Eddie Stubbs spinning the discs as he did each weekday evening before his July 2020 retirement from both WSM and Grand Ole Opry announcer duties. A former fiddler with 2020 IBMA Hall of Fame inductees, the Johnson Mountain Boys, he is the recipient of many broadcasting awards including the 1996 and 2002 Broadcaster of the Year from IBMA.

Today, 650 AM WSM has become a broadcasting giant and a friend to hundreds of thousands of fans. WSM personalities are nationally recognized figures in country music, and its listeners range from U.S. Presidents to Country Music Hall of Famers, to artists climbing the charts toward their first number one hit.

GAYLORD OPRYLAND RESORT | The Cascades Atrium of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Music Valley, Nashville, Tennessee. October 16, 2017

Today 650AM WSM Radio, ‘The Most Famed Country Music Station in The World’, is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., owners of Nashville‘s sprawling Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, in the bowels of which you’ll find WSM‘s ‘fishbowl’ studio (you’ll probably need to follow the posted signs to locate the studio). It – the resort and convention center – is a big place; with almost 3,000 rooms, this is one of the 30 largest hotels in the world. The complex wasn’t always this big – when first built in the mid-1970s, to support the neighbouring Grand Ole Opry House, it boasted only 580 rooms. It has been extended at various times over the years, including in 1988 when the showstopping central Cascades Atrium, seen here, was added. To us it was the unexpected highlight of the complex when locating the expected highlight, the WSM studio.

Stopped By? Say Howdy!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.