Monday, March 9, 2009
Nashville, Tennessee: Ryman Auditorium
This building is famous as the host of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. The Opry moved east after that, and for a while it looked as if the auditorium would close. However, enough fans thought the building was historically significant to save it, and it was renovated in 1994.
Performers still come here today, and you can sense they are thrilled to be on the same stage as all of the great country music stars of the past.
Here's a view from in front of the stage (visitors aren't allowed to actually get on the stage unless they are posing for an overpriced photograph.) Tours are given of the Auditorium, and it's worth the time and money. That's in part because of the exhibits and clippings scattered about, and partly to see the reaction of the other guests. You can tell it's an emotional experience to be there for some, kind of like a baseball fan at Cooperstown.