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11 July 2010

Ray Charles On TNN? (c 1985)

The ad reproduced here must be from the mid '80s. The text may well refer to a series of shows that was re-issued on video in the late Nineties under the title The Ryman Country Homecoming Series, "[...] also aired as specials on the Nashville Network [...]. Performed at the legendary Ryman Auditorium and hosted by Ralph Emery and Bobby Bare, the format is somewhat similar to VH1's Storytellers series in that artists appear to tell stories and discuss their material between performances, but where that show devotes an hour to one artist".
So far, though, I haven't found any original TNN footage with  Ray in it.

The Nashville Network was founded - by WSM (a subsidiary of National Life and Accident Insurance Company) in a joint venture with Group W Satellite Communications - as a country music-themed television channel, and launched on 7 March 1983 from (the now-defunct) Opryland USA theme park near Nashville, Tennessee.
TNN's formats included Nashville Now and Grand Ole Opry Live. Gaylord Entertainment purchased The Nashville Network and the Opryland properties a few months later. Programming included variety shows, talk shows, game shows, outdoors shows, and lifestyle shows, all centered in some way around country music.
By 1995, TNN was acquired by Westinghouse Electric Corporation.  Ownership shifted to Viacom in the late 1990s after its acquisition of CBS Corporation,  Westinghouse's successor. TNN subsequently moved out of its original Nashville base to New York City and folded into Viacom's MTV Networks division, and later went up in Spike TV, now Spike - a cable television channel designed for an audience described demographically as "young adult males".

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