MONTGOMERY - More than 60 years ago, country musicians from Nashville to Hollywood joined locals on a stage nestled in the woods outside this borough to perform and broadcast songs live on WRAK, a local radio station.
The shows were known as the Radio Corral and they drew a post-World War II crowd that was eager to relax and hear and see some of the biggest stars of the Grand Ole Opry.
On Sunday, the Montgomery Area Historical Society holds its third annual tribute to the Radio Corral, with scheduled appearances by guests and family members who were connected to the founders of the Radio Corral and who kept it a popular destination through 1970.
"We're going have an afternoon of music, fun and remembrance," said Douglas Snyder, president of the Montgomery Area Historical Society, who described his excitement of having the musicians and reliving the era of the Radio Corral, if but for a few hours.
First a little background. The Radio Corral was an outdoor music concert on a stage along McNett Road. Anyone could access it from the borough or Route 15. The stage concerts began in 1948, with founders Jim and Jane Claar, who were in a band and performed.
"One of the special guests Sunday expected to perform is Connie Rose, the Claar's daughter," Snyder said.
In 1950, the late Bob and Dean McNett, two brothers from Roaring Branch, began to produce the shows and took over the reins.
"It became a popular place for fans of country music to gather and enjoy the music of Nashville and cowboy entertainers, and hear the broadcast on radio," Snyder said.
In fact, Bob McNett was in the backup band and traveled with the legendary Hank Williams Sr. The band was called "The Drifting Cowboys."
Among other country music legends who played at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and who appeared on stage at the Radio Corral was Ernest Tubb.
Snyder recalled Tubb's visit to Lycoming County. He claimed to be 9 years of age when he attended the concert Aug. 24, 1969. "Price of admission was $2.50," he said.
Dean McNett's wife, Dorothy McNett, and her two sons, Tim and Shawn, are expected to be at the tribute, to introduce selections from the original musical acts.
On Monday, Dorothy McNett told the Sun-Gazette she was preparing a selection of photographs for the display tables.
"They've always been terrific because they bring back memories," she said of the Radio Corral tribute events.
McNett has photographs of the stage filled with performers, such as Sons of the Pioneers and The Carters.
Those who go this time around can expect to hear performances by the McNett Country Band, whose members include Tim and Shawn McNett, Dave Preston, Jimmy Lee and an original member of the McNett Band, Don Clark.