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Country stars celebrate Grand Ole Opry broadcast milestone

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Grand Ole Opry’s broadcast of its 5,000th Saturday show attracted a host of big country music stars to its historic venue.

Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Darius Rucker, Vince Gill, Chris Young and a half-dozen others lined up to celebrate the nearly century-old country music program.

The radio broadcast was carried by WSM radio, the same station that it debuted on as the “Barn Dance” program in 1925, The Tennessean reported.

Bill Anderson, a 60-year Opry veteran, kicked off the show with the Roy Acuff tune “Wabash Cannonball.”

Singer Vince Gill played an acoustic guitar he said was once owned by Opry star Sam McGee. Gill said McGee first played the famed radio program in 1926, months before the barn dance program became known as the Grand Ole Opry.

Brooks and Yearwood closed the show with a set of several songs before Brooks ended with his country classic “Friends in Low Places.”

“Happy 5,000 to the Grand Ole Opry” Brooks said. “Can’t tell you how lucky we feel to be a part of it.”