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Nashville's famous Grand Ole Opry, the world's longest-running live radio show, will celebrate its 75th Anniversary beginning June, 2000, with a year long series of spectacular events. The stage of the Grand Ole Opry has presented such musical legends as Hank Williams Sr., Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest Tubb and Lester Flatt as well as all of today's superstars including Marty Stuart, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Country music fans around the world will join in celebrating the anniversary of this enormously popular show that has not missed a broadcast since signing on the air in 1925. In honor of this American tradition and the close role Martin has played (and continues to play) as the guitar of choice for so many of Nashville's greatest artists, Martin has created a limited edition Grand Ole Opry guitar. The "herringbone" HDO Opry guitar will be available for a limited ordering period and no more than 650 of these unique instruments will be crafted.
The fingerboard and headplate of the HDO Opry limited edition guitar create a visual representation of the famous WSM microphone and white placarded mike stand that continue to grace the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. The minute details of the microphone, complete with WSM's famous 650 "spot on the radio dial" are nested below Martin's gold foil logo in several contrasting shades of abalone, agoya shell and mother of pearl. A pearl audio cable snakes around the mike stand, contrasting with the genuine black ebony headplate.
Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the instrument is the ivory colored fingerboard inlaid with red pearlescent letters spelling out "WSM GRAND OLE OPRY" across the vertical length of the fingerboard in the style of the original stage placards. Inlaid between the 19th and 20th frets are the Opry's Anniversary years: 1925-2000.
The soundboard of the HDO Opry guitar is bookmatched from select Sitka spruce, bordered with Martin's herringbone wood marquetry and inlaid with a Style 45 abalone pearl rosette. The hybrid top braces are carefully scalloped for optimum projection and balance. East Indian rosewood is selected and matched for the back and sides, contributing warmth and resonance to the tone. The comfortable low profile neck is carved from genuine mahogany.
Each Grand Ole Opry Limited Edition guitar will bear a pair of special photographic interior labels depicting the famous red brick facade of the Ryman Auditorium where Opry radio broadcasts originated for more than 30 of its colorful 75 year history. Each label will bear the signature of Martin's Chairman and CEO, C. F. Martin IV and every guitar will be numbered in sequence with the edition total (i.e. 1 of 650, 2 of 650, etc.). Martin Guitar dealers will begin to take orders for the HDO Opry model immediately, though the edition will not begin to appear in stores until the summer of 2000.
The Grand Ole Opry, WSM, and the Ryman Auditorium are all owned and operated by Gaylord Entertainment Company. The Grand Ole Opry broadcasts from the Grand Ole Opry House at Opryland USA in Nashville. Because of Martin's long standing relationship with many of the Grand Ole Opry's most awarded and revered members, it is especially appropriate that Martin and Gaylord Entertainment Company collaborate in commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry.
The Martin Guitar Company dates back to the 1830s when Christian Frederick Martin, Sr. moved to the United States from Germany. The guitar shop he set up over 165 years ago has been continuously family owned and operated. Current Chairman and CEO Chris Martin, IV is the sixth generation Martin to head this venerable company.