The Wagoneer family are surviving the Depression by picking cotton on their family farm in Oklahoma. During a terrible dust storm, Mrs. Wagoneer's rogue brother Red arrives in a convertible. Red is a country-western musician who has just been given the chance of a lifetime, an audition for the Grand Ole Opry. But there are some obstacles to his getting all the way to Nashville: He has no money, is a terrible driver, and has tuberculosis. The family's fourteen-year-old son Whit sees an opportunity of his own and offers to go with Uncle Red as his driver. His mother consents and uncle and nephew hit the road.