14 Notable Grand Ole Opry Performers


Deford Bailey

When Deford Bailey was growing up in rural Tennessee, his parents gave him a harmonica, and history was made. Bailey's ability with the "harp" was unrivaled, and after he moved to Nashville, a few lucky breaks got him gigs playing on radio shows. In 1927, those breaks helped him land a spot on the Opry -- without a formal audition. Bailey was the first African-American included in the Opry cast and was one of the highest-paid stars of his day.