This was Television on April 20

1985: Grand Ole Opry Live debuts

The legendary weekly stage concert which has entertained Nashville since 1925 had a sporadic history on television, with ABC and PBS both broadcasting its performances briefly. But it was cable’s Nashville Network which gave the Grand Ole Opry its longest lasting presence on the small screen. The channel ran half-hour broadcasts highlighting the week’s performances of country, bluegrass, folk, and more for 16 years. In 2001, the program moved to Country Music Television, then shifted again to the Great American Country network in 2003, where it has aired since. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Carmen Electra, MTV mainstay (41); James Gammon, character actor (d. 2010); Clint Howard, character actor (54); Gregory Itzin, evil president (65); Jessica Lange, nun (64); Joey Lawrence, heartthrob (37); Lara Jill Miller, voice actress (46); Shemar Moore, investigator (43); Ryan O’Neal, Peyton Placer (72), George Takei, helmsman (76).

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