Among the most historic venues in the Music City, Ryman Auditorium updates its events calendar every year with exciting shows. Nashville, Tennessee will welcome numerous country hit-makers, pop stars and music icons to the ‘Mother Church of Country Music’. If you want to check out what’s going on in Ryman Auditorium this year, get your Ryman Auditorium tickets here.
Over the course of its 126-year history, Ryman Auditorium served as the home of Grand Ole Opry for 31 years. An architectural pride for the city, the venue has seen its share of glory, years of neglect and time to time renovations. It stands tall in the country music’s capital as a symbol of dream coming true.
In 1885, a charismatic and powerful evangelist Sam Jones was speaking at a religious gathering and his words deeply inspired a local named Thomas Ryman. Nashville’s riverboat captain, Ryman shared the same dream as Jones – to create a tabernacle where the residents of the city could gather. The town joined them in this vision and in 1892 Union Gospel Tabernacle broke ground. Following the death of Thomas Ryman in 1904, the venue was renamed as the Ryman Auditorium.
A National Historic Landmark
In the early years, the Ryman Auditorium’s capacity ranged from 3000-6000, as on and off renovations and additions were made. Since it was the largest constructed structure in Nashville, all kinds of entertainment events, political rallies and community gatherings were held here. Ryman Auditorium sold out fast for operas, theatrical productions and ballets. And soon, some of the biggest entertainers in the country made the venue their stop. Popular artists like Marian Anderson – the vibrant contralto, the ‘March King’ John Philip Sousa and the famous Polish composer and pianist Ignacy Paderewski all held concerts at the auditorium.
Decades later, the Ryman Auditorium earned the nickname “Carnegie Hall of the South” as it hosted performances by European musicians and opera singers, along with Off-Broadway plays. In 1918, the legendary Charlie Chaplin brought his Third Liberty Loan Tour to the venue as a “monster crowd” attended his performance at the Ryman Auditorium. After the incredible response he got, Chaplin returned to the venue multiple times.
From political events to the 1917 Peace Meeting in support of President Wilson, the auditorium has been a center of many significant events in Nashville.
The Grand Ole Opry Years
Founded in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry is perhaps the most important part of country music’s history. It paved way for new genres, launched careers and entertained millions. After seeing a boost in attendance, the Opry moved to the Ryman Auditorium in 1943.
The venue served as the foremost stage for the Grand Ole Opry’s live radio shows as people bought Ryman Auditorium tickets in advance to watch icons like Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash live. Hank Williams, Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl also graced the auditorium as it became the birthplace of bluegrass. During the first ever Grand Ole Opry performance at the venue, singer Marty Stuart stated, “If country music had a Vatican, it would be the Ryman”.
Many music veterans believe that the Ryman Auditorium changed the history of country music and even Nashville forever. From Earl Scruggs historic debut with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys to Hank Williams’ iconic “Lovesick Blues” rendition, every concert at the venue received enthusiastic reception. The then 25-year old Williams holds the house record at the Ryman Auditorium, being the only artist to be called back by the fans for six encores.
For the Rockabilly Hall of Famer Johnny Cash, the Ryman Auditorium held a special place in his life. During his performance there in 1956, he met the dynamic June Carter for the first time, backstage at the venue. Smitten by her, Cash told June that he’d marry her someday and he kept his word – tying the knot with her in 1968.
In 1974, the Ryman Auditorium held its last Grand Ole Opry performance as the broadcast got its permanent home, the Grand Ole Opry House. Paying homage to the glorious years spent at the venue, every winter the Opry returns to the Ryman Auditorium from November till January, celebrating country music’s diversity.
Ryman Auditorium Events Calendar
With much fanfare the Ryman Auditorium has announced its latest schedule and like always there’s something for everyone. The 13-year old ventriloquist, who won over the whole America with her amazing stint at the America’s Got Talent, will perform at the venue on two dates. Yes, Darci Lynne Farmer is all set to make her Nashville debut along with her puppet pal Petunia.
One of the newest names in country music, Luke Combs recently made his debut at the Ryman Auditorium with two headlining shows and sold out both. He’s back on popular demand and will perform songs from his chart-topping album “This One’s for You”.
The Music City’s power couple, Vince Gill and Amy Grant brought the house down in 2017 with their 10 “Christmas at the Ryman” concerts. Set to break their own record, they are returning to the arena in 2018 with more shows this time – “12 nights at the Mother Church”. For the couple, returning to the Ryman Auditorium every holiday season has become a tradition and something they plan on continuing for a long time.
The Billboard Music Award winning band Walk the Moon will also play their hit numbers for the Nashville audience. The country pop sensation Kelsea Ballerini along with Bailey Bryan and Walker Hayes will spread joy and love at the venue on the Valentine’s Day.
The American rock band Blues Traveler will bring their 30th anniversary tour to the Ryman Auditorium on February 15. The Dancing with the Stars Live! will set the stage on fire, also in February. Josh Ritter and The Royal City Band, Tommy Emmanuel and Jonny Lang are also among the performers who will grace the prestigious Ryman Auditorium stage this season.
So many events to choose from – the Ryman Auditorium tickets are now available, so take your pick from the vast inventory.