The Birth of the Sopchoppy Opry
It has been called “The Little Opry that Can” by the Tallahassee Democrat, “a re-creation of the original Grand Ole Opry experience by country music historians and the Big Bends showcase of country music by those who seek to play at the Opry”. But to the hundreds of fans who have enjoyed the Opry since its inaugural performance in July, 2000, the Sopchoppy Opry is “just the best place to be the last Saturday night of each month” for great country, bluegrass and gospel music! The Sopchoppy Opry is a tremendous success story! The 150+ shows produced to date put it among the longest running regularly scheduled stage performances of live country music in North Florida. The thousands of visitors it has brought to Sopchoppy, some from as far away as Australia and Ireland have given the economy a boost and the opportunity to show off the restoration of the historic Sopchoppy High School. Scores of individuals and dozens of bands have showcased their musical/vocal talents as guest performers on the Opry stage, and the revenue generated from ticket sales, raffles, concessions and sponsorships has been donated to the restoration efforts. Hundreds of hours in volunteer time have been given by musicians, school alumni and friends. These are but a few of the many positive things that have come from the Opry! Its greatest accomplishment might be that it has demonstrated what can be done when unselfish, dedicated and talented individuals work harmoniously together! To no one’s surprise, the reason for the Opry’s enduring success is the music of South Bound, the Opry’s popular house band! The South Bound band was under the capable leadership of Herman “Mac” McWaters from July 2000 until 2010. Since then Reggie Bradley has been the Musical Coordinator and Bass Guitar player for the South Bound band. It’s been our goal from the start to be the best band and produce the best country music possible, says Mac. Even the several changes the band has experienced since the beginning have not influenced our direction. The woods around here are full of pickers with a like passion. They just fall right in when someone moves on and South Bound doesn’t miss a beat. The demand for Opry tickets has made it necessary to sell all seats in advance.
By Jesse Quigg, Sopchoppy Opry Volunteer Publicist
For ticket information, please call Jesse Quigg at (850) 962-3711.