Unlikely as it seems, there is a corner of Glasgow that will be forever Nashville. The Grand Ole Opry in Govan may be 5,000 miles from its better known Tennessee namesake, but the former cinema on Govan Road boasts more rhinestone than Reno and has a love affair with Country & Western that is as deep as the Grand Canyon.
The venue itself continues the illusion of a roadhouse off a B-road in Arizona rather than a former cinema in Govan. Neon signs spell out ‘Grand Ole Opry’ above the stage and ‘saloon’ above the incredibly cheap bar. Murals of deserts populated with wagon trails, circling bald eagles and cowpokes chasing cattle fill the walls. Upstairs is the balcony and snack bar or ‘chuckwagon’ as it’s known round these parts. The DJ’s handle is Rowdy Yates, same as Clint Eastwood’s character in Rawhide.
Founded by the late Alex Fleming, Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry opened its doors as a Country & Western club in 1974. It was, and still is, the largest club of its kind in the UK, if not in Europe.
We’re delighted to share a marvelous short film by Marisa Privitera Murdoch that sums it all up. Thanks Marisa!