Not Forgotten The Grand Ole Opry and Big Tobacco Radio Scripts from the Files of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, 1948 to 1959 B Y L O U I S M . K Y R I A KO U D E S R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. began sponsoring a thirty minute national broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1938, using the program as a vehicle to promote Prince Albert Smoking Tobacco, and its Cavalier and Camel cigarette brands. Using country music to sell something wasn't new; it reached back to the use of string bands in nineteenth-century patent medicine shows and continued with the advent of radio. Ryman Auditorium, "Grand Ole Opry House," courtesy of the Collections of the Library of Congress. Visit the Southern Cultures website at www.southerncultures.org for online links to the Grand Ole Opry tobacco-sponsored scripts. Historians rely on documents from the past that have been preserved in archives, museums, libraries, sometimes basements and attics. What gets saved and what gets tossed out is often a matter of luck or circumstance. One of the more interesting cases is the fate of the tobacco industry's internal documents. Long considered the most secretive of
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Oct 5, 2006
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