J. B. Journal: Gladewater Opry - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

J. B. Journal: Gladewater Opry

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(KYTX) - Having a chance to play in front of an audience is every singer and musician's goal.
   
Here in East Texas there's a place that packs them in every Saturday night to hear the latest talent.
     
Tonight J.B. Smith takes us to the Gladewater Opry. 

"If you come see us on a Saturday night, see a good band and a lot of good performers."

With its barn backdrop and sounds of house band "Texas Smoke", the 250 seats at the Gladewater Opry fill to capacity every weekend.

"We have regulars been coming 15 years here every Saturday night and if they're not here they call you and tell you they're not going to be there."

The family entertainment showcases local talent from all over the region.On this night,they're welcoming back the Ivy sisters.

"Someone walking through here the minute they hit the aisle there'standing ovation, when you inspire people your doing something right."

In 1936, theCozy Theater opened in Gladewater.

"It's pretty much a basic theater got a lot of history and a lot of character."

For many years the stage of the Gladewater Opry has helped to launch the careers of many famous entertainers, one of them a rock and roller from Memphis Tennessee.

"Elvis and Johnny Cash both came through here in the early years when they were getting started."

"Jim Reeves came herein 1949, he played his first professional gig right here in this theater."

The walls are lined with photos of famous singers who have stopped by.

"So many legends have come through here and think one day I might be one of those legends say she was at the Gladewater Opry."

The tip box at the front of the stage is one way the folks show their appreciation.

A small town experience that could help rising stars launch their careers.

"I could never forget the place that gave me my start."

Today there are fewer of these venues around, but the Gladewater Preplans to keep the spotlight on.

"We've been successful 25 years, still here intend to stay here."

For CBS 19,I'm J.B.Smith and that's my story.  

Performers come from all over the region. They must audition before they can take the stage.

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