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An opry is generally an establishment that features live country music, the most famous example being the Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, Tennessee, but it could be something as simple as the local honky tonk. The term is generally restricted to the southern United States.
The Saturday night opry is a Texas tradition. The opry provides a forum for new country music performers. In Texas the opry is an informal venue suitable for families. The local opry provides a friendly, non-threatening environment for amateur performers.
The word "opry" is an Americanism; it is a diminutive form of the word "Opera". It was coined by broadcaster George D. Hay in 1928 to demonstrate the realism of folk and country music compared to the theatrics of Grand Opera. At the time Hay's program, the WSM Barn Dance, followed a program of operatic music. One night Hay began the Barn Dance by stating, "You have just heard opera. Now you are going to hear the grand old opry."
The term "opry" itself is generic; the Grand Ole Opry (having originated the word) attempted to claim ownership of the word but lost in court.
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