Paisley, Dickens Help Install Opry Stage Circle 8-25-2010 - WSMV News 4

Paisley, Dickens Help Install Opry Stage Circle 8-25-2010

As it turns out, the circle will be unbroken.

Images: Stars Help Lower Opry Circle Into Place

Brad Paisley and Little Jimmy Dickens helped install the 6-foot oak circle in the center of the Grand Ole Opry House stage Wednesday after 46 inches of floodwater nearly destroyed it.
"I don't think it's ever looked this good before," said Dickens. "And I'm just wondering what it's going to look like when it's finished. It's going to be beautiful."
The circle, made from a part of the old stage from the Opry's former home at Ryman Auditorium, was sumberged under 46 inches of water during the May flood that damaged the Opry house and the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort in Nashville.
"It felt like watching your church be demolished. I mean, it just felt that sacred and that wrong somehow," Paisley said. "And to see them take this to this degree and make it this much more beautiful in the end, I mean, it's going to be 10 times better."
Many musicians and fans consider the circle the heart of country music. The wood proved to be sturdier than the modern Opry stage and it has been painstakingly refurbished.
“It is as it should be,” said Paisley. “That circle means the world to all of us who love country music. I’ve always said that the circle still contains the dust from Hank Williams’ cowboy boots. Well, now it contains that dust, but also the heart and soul of this town and all the people who have worked to rise above this spring’s floods. I know I speak for all my fellow Opry members when I say, ‘We are so excited to come home!’”
Repairs on the rest of the concert hall continue and the building will be ready for the Opry's 85th birthday celebration in October.
Before that, the Opry has scheduled a re-opening show Sept. 28 to include Dickens, Paisley, Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels Band, Diamond Rio, Del McCoury Band, Montgomery Gentry, Blake Shelton, Mel Tillis and Josh Turner. It will be shown live on GAC: Great American Country.
"The Grand Ole Opry is just a huge contributor to our history, our identity and to our traditions, and having it restored and operating will be a great boost to our city," said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
The Opry hasn't missed a show since the flood, instead broadcasting from other Nashville venues, such as the Ryman and the War Memorial Auditorium.
Reporter Josh DeVine contributed to this story.
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