America's longest running radio program will revert back to it's original format this weekend and through April 4 -- no live audience. When the "WSM Barn Dance" began on November 25, 1925 it was broadcast from the rather cramped studios of the Nashville station on the fifth floor of the Life & Causality Insurance building in downtown Nashville .

It wasn't until 1943 that the Opry moved to the Ryman Auditorium and welcomed a live audience. But because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the broadcast will go on just as it did in the beginning almost 100 years ago -- to an empty house -- through April 4. The announcement from the opry says:

The Grand Ole Opry stands by the motto of the Circle can’t be broken. Throughout the Opry’s history, various events have led Opry management to make difficult decisions about how to alter the show’s format. In an effort to maintain health and safety amid current COVID-19 concerns, the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest-running radio show, will pause performances that include a live audience and tours through April 4. The Opry’s first priority has always been the safety of our employees, guests and artists who have been key in keeping the show that made country music famous on the air every week for over 94 years.

During this time, the Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry Show will return to its original format as a live radio broadcast without a live audience.

If you have tickets for the Opry, please visit

Of course the Opry will be broadcast live on radio free or you can subscribe to sling TV and watch. Or if all else fails you can gather around your old AM radio just like 1925 and tune in  our friends at 650 WSM.

Country Life
Getty Images

More From WKDQ-FM