Clay & Barbie Campbell moved to Kentucky Lake in 1988 from Evansville Indiana.
Prior to that they lived in Missouri where Clay was born and raised. Barbie was from a
Minneapolis Minnesota suburb – Eden Prairie.
The Opry was started in a little Quonset hut building just a couple blocks from
where it’s located now. Clay and Barbie had spent their honeymoon and Silver Dollar
city in Branson Missouri. They and their children had attended many
shows there in Branson. Clay actually got started at Lee Mace’s Ozark Opry in Lake of the Ozarks Missouri at at 15.
Prior to marrying Barbie, Clay played in several bands, and had his own band and traveled
all over the United States from 1969 thru 1980. When the group disbanded, Barbie became
a Christian, and Clay rededicated his life to Christ, and at that time they decided to
get married and have a family.
Clay and Barbie raised up three boys while the Kentucky Opry was just in its infancy. Clayton, Cody, and Casey. Each
one played an instrument. Clayton the violin, Cody the piano, and Casey the cello. The boys also learned various other instruments as well as they were going up at the Kentucky Opry.
In 1994 the Opry was expanded and new front was added, and later a new lobby, and various other additions and improvements were made
as the years went along. A new light system, new PA system, new bathrooms and recently added all new seats. The Opry now seats 537 folks, but many nights sell out and they bring out folding chairs. The Kentucky Opry is starting it’s 27th season in 2015.
The Kentucky Opry provides clean family entertainment every weekend year-round. There are all kinds of shows: free Bluegrass and Gospel shows. The Kentucky Opry also brings in big-name entertainers and big-name Bluegrass groups as well many Grand Ole Opry Stars – including Little Jimmy Dickens, Kitty Wells, Jerry Clower, Ray Price, Jim Ed Brown, Jack Green, Jeanie Sealy, Bill Anderson, Lee Greenwood and many others.
In recent years the Kentucky Opry has also started renting the 1800 seat Carson Center in Paducah, and bringing in big-name entertainers like Josh Turner, Kenny Rogers, Ray Stevens, Las Vegas style Elvis Pressley tribute shows and comedians such as Tim Hawkins.
Clay works with and trains young performers and many of them perform at the Kentucky Opry during the Stars of Tomorrow Shows. The Kentucky Opry has an amazing wonderful Christmas show that begins in November and runs up till Christmas and then there’s a big New Year’s eve show every year that rings in the new year.