Zellie's Opry House
Zellie’s Opry House
Productions & Promotion
Zellie’s Opry House Productions & Promotion
From the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the north country . . . keeping a musical tradition alive.
Keith & Terri Grannis, Proprietors
The History of Zellie's Opry House (2008 - 2018)
Her name was Zella, but everyone just called her Zellie. She was the daughter of the mountains, where the Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail wound through her hometown of Coeburn, Virginia, home to coal miners, railroads, High Knob and Little Stony, the Jefferson National Forest and music. She was related to the McReynolds clan, which produced Grand Ole Opry members and pioneering bluegrass duo Jim & Jesse during the early ‘50s. She was of a time when small town music jamborees filled the air with her favorite music--"banjer music" or what is now called bluegrass. She died in 1950 and she never met the granddaughter to whom she passed on that love of southern culture and music. The granddaughter who, through the years, heard the stories that were shared, listened to the music that Grandma Zellie loved, and tucked it away in her memories--to be remembered long after Grandma Zellie walked those hills.
Move forward to 2008 and take that granddaughter with a dream and southern roots, add her husband, the guy with a vision and a “can fix anything” attitude, toss in an old church building from the late 1800’s and you’ve got the makings of Zellie’s Opry House.
On September 29, 2008, Keith & Terri Grannis purchased an old church which was about to be demolished to make way for a parking lot. After three 30-yard dumpsters were filled and hauled away, it was time for the renovation process. For the next three months, the couple repaired, painted, added a handicap ramp and a main floor restroom for accessibility, installed a new furnace and air conditioner, added electrical upgrades, rebuilt floors, refurbished wooden pews and spent 14-16 hour days doing the majority of the work themselves. Yes, there were a few outside contractors used (HVAC, electricians, carpet installers, etc.); however, Keith and Terri were insistent on using local contractors and most were Keith’s former basketball players. This was going to be a family business and those boys, who were now electricians, plumbers, carpenters, flooring installers, etc., were like family. During the renovation process, Keith continually questioned Terri regarding a name for the business...and she would just smile. Terri already knew, without a doubt, what the name of the business would be--Zellie's Opry House. When the sign was hung on the outside of the building, more than a few tears were shed.
It all came together and on December 5, 2008, Zellie’s Opry House swung open the doors, flipped on the microphones, turned up the stage lights and music rang through the rafters. And somewhere from above, Grandma Zellie was smiling.
The Story Continued . . .
For ten years running, Zellie’s Opry House delighted in offering concerts which brought to the stage some of the best regional talent in Bluegrass, Country, Gospel, and Folk. Zellie’s hosted award-winning songwriters, musicians at the top of their game and had the hardware to prove it, and singers who were courted by record producers and the radio airwaves.
The highlight of the year, however, remained the annual “Old Fashioned Opry Show” which transported the audience back to the 1950’s during the heydey of the Opry. Humor-- "Miss Minnie" (aka Zellie’s Granddaughter) made her appearance--talented singers and “knockin’ it out of the park” musicians joined in as the official Opry Show Cast. Toss in the popcorn and a soft drink from the concession stand and Zellie’s Opry House transported audience members to the feel of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry. The “Old Fashioned Opry Show” was a Saturday night filled with fiddles and banjos, laughter and singing.
It was tradition . . . it was Zellie’s Opry House.
Moving Forward . . .
March 31, 2018, marked the end of performances at Zellie’s Opry House, due to the sale of the building by owners Keith & Terri Grannis. While the sale of the building is final, the Grannis’ did not sell the “business.” Legal ownership of the name, website domains, social media sites, etc., remained intact--Terri had another vision of the direction she saw the business moving. Zellie’s Opry House has gone from a “brick & mortar” venue, to Zellie’s Opry House Productions & Promotion. For the past few years, the Grannis' have been proud to help support several regional festivals and will continue doing so going forth. In the fall of 2017, Terri was hired as a publicist by the Edgar Loudermilk Band, featuring Jeff Autry. In addition, in 2017, Terri took on the promotional duties of Michigan's ever-popular Charlotte Bluegrass Festival (Charlotte, Michigan), the long-running traditional Brown County Bluegrass Festival (Georgetown, Ohio), the fan-favorite Marshall Bluegrass Festival (Marshall, Michigan), and the musically diverse Norwalk Music Festival (Norwalk, Ohio). On a musical note, The Zellie’s Band --the lively House band-- continues entertaining and is available for booking. In addition, Terri’s ever-popular impersonation of “Miss Minnie” continues giving a big “Howdy” at various venues throughout the midwest. Keith & Terri will still be familiar faces on the festival scene and look forward to “chasing the music.” While the old church building will always serve as the beginning of the Zellie’s story, it doesn’t mark the end of it—a new chapter is around the corner.