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Around The Opry Table: A Feast of Recipes and Stories from the Grand Ole Opry    by Kay West order for
Around The Opry Table
by Kay West
Order:  USA  Can
Center Street, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

Good food has played a role in Country Music since entire bands traveled miles and miles by car from one small town to another. Fans delighted in inviting their musical heroes home for dinner. In some instances, those dinners were exchanged for tickets to see the shows. Old Time Opry Star Roy Achuff remembers when people who didn't have cash for a ticket would barter a dozen eggs or a slab of bacon.

Food continues to be part of the Grand Ole Opry as the stars party and celebrate. One year, more than thirty cakes were brought backstage in celebration of Vince Gill's birthday.

Kay West collected the stories, pictures and recipes from interviews, Opry archives - such as Minnie Pearl's Grinder Switch Gazette or Kitty Well's Country Kitchen Cookbook - and old cookbooks. Each star featured shares a recipe from their family kitchen. The food is not gourmet. It is down home country cooking just like you would feed your family and guests.

A picture of Uncle Dave Macon and announcer Solemn Ole Judge George D. Hay leads the impressive array of colorful pages. Macon joined the cast of WSM's Barn Dance after being invited by Hay. Macon became the first star of the Grand Ole Opry.

Some of us of a certain age recall with nostalgia listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio every Saturday night on WSM. This book includes those stars and the newer stars seen on television today. Remember PeeWee King or Bashful Brother Oswald, Marty Robbins, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Family. The late Porter Wagner is featured along with Dierk Bentley (who was inducted in the Opry in 2005), Terry Clark, Pam Tillis and Alison Krauss. The list goes on and on. You'll find trivia about your favorite Country Music star and great recipes like Doris Tillis dough wrapped Georgia Ham with sage-garlic rub or Hank Williams Jambalaya.

This is a history of the Grand Ole Opry in colorful pictures, humorous stories and delicious recipes from the stars themselves. With Christmas just around the corner you won't find a better gift for that special Country Music fan than Around the Opry Table.

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