That line closes the just-released trailer for the big-screen film American Saturday Night: Live From the Grand Ole Opry, featuring appearances by Paisley, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker and other Opry members, along with newer faces like Brett Eldredge and the Band Perry. Paisley’s reverence reflects the view shared by many more of today’s country superstars who have graced the Opry stage, along with countless others who’ve tuned in to the live radio broadcast that first began airing 90 years ago this month.
Eldredge, who made his Opry debut in October 2010, has since performed many of his biggest hits on that stage, including “Don’t Ya” and “Beat of the Music.” In the film, the Illinois native likens the experience to the “Disney World of country music.”
Paisley, whose 2009 album shares the film’s main title, made his Opry debut in May 1999. When he was officially made an Opry member in February 2001, country icon George Jones wrote him a letter that was read from the Opry stage.
Deeming it his favorite place in Nashville, Paisley says the Opry is a “hallowed place that feels like home that has accepted me from the beginning.”
“I’m so proud to be in it,” Opry member Rucker tells Rolling Stone Country of the film. “I go there when I don’t play, just to talk to people and hang out. I’ve seen Vince [Gill] there — not playing, just hanging out — [as well as] Marty Stuart, Little Jimmy [Dickens], Jim Ed Brown, God rest his soul. I love being a member.”
The film was directed by veteran music video director George J. Flanigen IV, who helmed the CMA Award-winning “Independence Day” clip for Martina McBride. Flanigen also teamed up with his partner Robert Deaton, a producer of American Saturday Night, to direct Brooks & Dunn’s “Believe,” another Music Video of the Year winner.
American Saturday Night: Live From the Grand Ole Opry will premiere with a limited release December 4th; a wider release will follow in February.