Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm a Nashville Star

So when we weren't watching my sister perform, we did a few touristy things like walk around, eat a lot, drink some more, and also went to the Ryman Auditorium (formerly the Grand Ole Opry House).

A little history about the Ryman:
The auditorium first opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892. It was built by Thomas Ryman (1843–1904), a riverboat captain and Nashville businessman who owned several saloons. Ryman conceived of the auditorium as a tabernacle for the influential revivalist Samuel Porter Jones. After Ryman's death, the Tabernacle was renamed Ryman Auditorium in his honor. Architect Hugh Cathcart Thompson designed the structure.

It was used for Grand Ole Opry broadcasts from 1943 until 1974, when the Opry built a larger venue just outside Nashville at the Opryland USA theme park. (In an effort to maintain continuity with the Opry's storied past, a large circle was cut from the floor of the Ryman stage and inlaid into the center of the new Opry stage.) The Ryman then sat mostly vacant and fell into disrepair until 1992 when Emmylou Harris and her band, the Nash Ramblers, performed a series of concerts there (the results of which appeared on her album At the Ryman). The Harris concerts renewed interest in restoring the Ryman, and it was reopened as an intimate performance venue and museum in 1994. Audiences at the Ryman find themselves sitting in pews, the 1994 renovation notwithstanding. The seating is a reminder of the auditorium's origins as a house of worship, hence giving it the nickname "The Mother Church of Country Music".

The Ryman Auditorium was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and was further designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001.

So yeah...most of our trip included eating, sleeping, and watching dances, not much time for anything else. But I still had a great time!

Here are some pictures from the touristy side of the trip:

Love all of the old adverts on the side of buildings!

I made some friends at the Ryman

Some of the bands that have played there in the past.

Part of the original paint they uncovered to recreate the original building.

All about Thomas Ryman

Cool old stairs

Obviously they didn't have many obese people back when this was built...that fits two people

View from the bottom

Stuff and info from all the performers over the years.

Johnny Cash and June Carter (Look at those RIDIC knee high boots he wore! And look how skinny she was!)

Countless famous people have played here.

I'd actually rock that green jacket now

Visitor center of Nashville

Not sure what this building is, but it had AT&T on the top

Nashville is kind of a cute town, but I definitely wouldn't want to live there!

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