Opry History

Hoydt Drury, Co-director and founder of The Woodbine Opry

Hoydt Drury, Co-director and founder of The Woodbine Opry

Bob Staats, Co-director

 

Some activities are the result of a well planned out agenda set to achieve a particular goal, and then, some just happen. The Woodbine Opry would come under the latter of these two categories.

Beginning as a fund-raiser for the Old Woodbine School, Hoydt Drury, with the cooperation of The North Florida Bluegrass Association, held free monthly concerts at the Old School in 2001. During this same time period, Hoydt was having weekly playing sessions at his home with his bluegrass buddies. Due to the lack of participation by the association and the growth of the number of pickers in Hoydt’s living room, he moved these home-bound sessions to a room in the Old School on Friday evenings. With the lights on, folks would stop to see what was going on. After a while, there were too many visitors for the room to accommodate, so Hoydt then moved the music into the auditorium. A cake was donated for auction to assist in paying the light bill.

With the success of the Friday night bluegrass program, requests were being heard for a country music night. Hoydt contacted several country musicians concerning this and in November of 2003, country music was added to the Opry every other Saturday night. It soon became apparent that the Saturday night program was a success and it then was made a weekly event in February, 2004. At that time, Hoydt asked Bob Staats to take control of the Saturday night program.

Although there was no plan for The Woodbine Opry in the beginning, its success and popularity has prevailed through the years. What began as enjoyment for a few now provides bluegrass and ole country music to hundreds on a weekly basis.

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