Locals to perfom in Country Store Opry

For 46 years, members of the Country Store Opry have gathered to share country and gospel music, while providing wholesome family entertainment.

The tradition continues this weekend for a special anniversary show. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. today at the Landes Art Center in Petersburg.

The Country Store Opry started in an old country store building in Pansy in 1967. Back then, the group members gathered with friends to share a weekly evening of good music.

The group now plays a few times a month during the spring and autumn. Performances rotate between the Landes Art Center in Petersburg, Pendleton County High School in Franklin and the Bottling Works in Romney.

All shows begin at 7 p.m. and are suitable for all ages.

CSO singer and guitar player Wendell Nelson is the only living charter member of the group.

“I hope everyone comes out to help us celebrate this special event,” Nelson said. “We enjoy playing classic country music and want everyone to come and have a good time.”

Elkins resident Susie Heckel will be the special guest singer for the anniversary celebration. Heckel, her sister Beverly and father William “Pee Wee” were regular performers with the CSO during the ’70s.

Current members of CSO include Danny Kendrick, lead guitar player from Buckhannon; Jeff Broschart, drummer from Beverly; Tammy Western, keyboard player and vocalist from Petersburg; Harold Cupp, bass player from Sugar Grove; Grey Cassell, harmonica player from Brandywine; Carolyn Simmons, guitar player and vocalist from Franklin; and Nelson, guitar player and vocalist from Franklin.

Tickets for the performance are available at the door. Additional information about the County Store Opry is available online at and on Facebook.