Nightly News | September 28, 2010
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: If you still have time to get there, you best hop in the car. It's being billed as quite likely the best party in the nation tonight, and it's in Nashville , where country music royalty will gather for a sold-out show to celebrate the grand reopening of the Grand Ole Opry . The celebration comes five months after that institution and much of that city was submerged in a history-making flood. NBC 's Janet Shamlian is there.
JANET SHAMLIAN reporting: In the cathedral of country music , on a stage scuffed by the boots of every industry legend, this just might be the biggest night ever. The rehearsals have been going on all day. Brad Paisley , Martina McBride , a veritable who's
who of country royalty. You might just call it homecoming in Nashville: the reopening of the Grand Ole Opry . In May, torrential rains and deadly flooding ravaged the region, $2 billion in damage. The Opry 's stage and its historic treasures were buried under four feet of water.
Mr. BRAD PAISLEY: It's heartbreaking to see this.
SHAMLIAN: In the aftermath, Paisley , a hometown boy and Opry favorite, got a first look at his second home.
Mr. PAISLEY: This is absolutely hard to see.
SHAMLIAN: Opry officials vowed to bring it back, a four-month, $20 million, around-the-clock job finished just today.
Mr. PAISLEY: I can't believe it. I'm just in awe of this. They did it, fast, too. I mean, when was it we talked?
SHAMLIAN: May 11th, May 12th .
Mr. PAISLEY: That's crazy. Look at this. I mean, this is the type of thing that should take two years.
SHAMLIAN: The famed circle of wood, dried out and restored, is back in its rightful place at center stage .
Mr. PAISLEY: Looks like there's a spotlight shining on this right now.
SHAMLIAN: The work is far from over here in Nashville , but the Opry 's reopening is a milestone, a symbol Music City has regained its rhythm. Tonight, the building's official rebirth. A celebratory concert before a sold-out hometown crowd.
Mr. PAISLEY: Now we're back to business here, country musicwise, and people still need some help but this is a big step.
SHAMLIAN: As the curtain goes up, a fresh start for a treasured tradition as country music finds it way back home. Janet Shamlian , NBC News, Nashville .