The Little Nashville Opry located on State Road 46 W. in Nashville, Indiana has been the home to country music in the area since 1975. Many local musicians have gotten a start on their career there and many of country music’s top acts have performed there, When Goldwing Express ended their show on Saturday (Sept. 19,2009) evening and left the building at around 9:30 p.m., no one knew that approximately 45 minutes later there would be 911 calls coming into the Brown County Sheriff’s Department that there were flames coming from the building.
Firefighters from 13 different companies came to battle the blaze, but the building was a total loss. Investigators will comb through the rumble in the next few days to find the cause of the fire. Many local residents and fans appeared at the site throughout the time the firefighters battled the blaze. It is a sad day for all of the musicians, locals, and fans of the Opry.
The Little Nashville Opry is a small building nestled in the hills of Brown County, Indiana which started in the early 1970’s when four local couples decided that the tourist town needed a music venue. The building ,which had been a sawmill and an indoor horse arena, needed some renovations for that to happen so the couples got busy and in April 1975 the first act appeared on stage. In 1979, DeWayne and Esther Hamilton bought the company from their business partners and done a major renovation and made it become one of the best music venues in the area.
Friday nights the Opry was home to Little Nashville Express, the house band, who would perform a three hour show for a admission cost of $10 per person. For several years, Lincoln (son of DeWayne and Esther) Hamilton would perform with them. The building would seat 2,000 people and has been the home of over 3,000 performances with shows being between early March and late November.
Saturday evenings were open for top country acts such as Sawyer Brown, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt, The Bellamy Brothers, Bucky Covington, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, and many others. Even Wayne Newton had performed on the Little Nashville Opry stage. George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Bucky Covington, and many others were scheduled to perform this fall.
Fans, musicians, and locals will greatly miss this Opry as there have been many memories made there. It leaves one to only hope that it will be rebuilt and be better than ever, It is as much a part of Nashville, Indiana as the Grand Ole Opry is to Nashville, Tennessee.