Radio stations come and go. You’ll like a station, but you’ll tune in one morning, and instead of oldies, they’ll be playing rap, or instead of Top 40, they’ll be talking sports.
That’s what I like about WSM-650 AM in Nashville, which turns 85 today. It’s always there.
WSM has a neat history. It was founded by the National Life and Accident Insurance Co. as a way to advertise its insurance policies. Its motto was “We Shield Millions.”
On Nov. 28, 1925, the station launched the “WSM Barn Dance.” Back in those days, radio stations played a little bit of everything, and before the “Barn Dance,” WSM played operatic music.
One Saturday night in 1927, the announcer, “Judge” George Hay, introduced the “Barn Dance” by saying, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from the grand opera, but from now on, we will present the grand ol’ opry.”
It’s been the Grand Ole Opry ever since.
Because of the Opry, a lot of musicians set up camp in Nashville, and they wanted to make records, and, eventually, Nashville became Music City.
Of course, there’s more to Nashville than country music.
But country music is what makes Nashville unique, and without WSM, it wouldn’t be Music City USA.
Let’s see an iPhone app do that.