The Grand Ole' Opry. A show country music fans dream of seeing in person. Watching it on television didn't come close to preparing me for sitting in church pews (wonder which famous butts sat in my seat during award shows?), smelling the popcorn, and listening to the announcer read the commercials as they prepared the stage for the next act. You never know who'll be on stage - they don't always follow the program. Inevitably there are some cancellations and replacements. But the real surprises come when artists just drop by 'cause they feel like it and join the show. The Opry is kind of casual like that. It was nothing like what I expected, it was better.
Dress is casual - a surprise. I was overdressed. Souveniers can be found on your way out the door. Tickets can be bought online and are best bought ahead of time. They don't announce the entire weekend show lineup until Tuesday, so you really don't know who all you'll see when you buy the tickets. And most important, there are plenty of restrooms that are kept clean.
**Note: During the months of Nov., Dec., Jan., and Feb. the Opry returns downtown to the Ryman Auditorium. If you have tickets during these months, make sure you know WHERE the show will be held.
May 2010: The Grand Ole' Opry is not a place. It is a show. So, despite the Grand Ole' Opry House being flooded with over six feet of water & severely damaged on May 1st & 2nd, THE SHOW GOES ON. If you have tickets, the venue has changed & you need to make sure you're headed to the right place. But, don't worry about whether or not your tickets are good for the show... they are... and the show will be as wonderful as ever - no matter where it is held. Most of the show dates have been moved to either the Ryman Auditorium -or- the War Memorial Auditorium. Again, double check on where your show is going to be.
I was cautiously curious about visiting the Opry; I have to be honest. To be even more honest, if I'd had the chance to do something else on the night I went I may have done that instead. But my night at the Opry was paid for as part of the conference I was attending. It included dinner and an open bar. So needless to say, I went. And you know what? It wasn't really that bad. I mean sure, I can't really stand country music, but it does sound a lot better live than it does on the radio. And the place is an institution that has an important place in American history. And now I can say that I've been there.
The Opry has been around for 80 years and still broadcasts the radio show that made it famous every week. It has been in its current location since the mid-1970's (a surprise to me because I never knew that it HAD more than one location). It's original location in the Ryman Auditorium is located downtown. The Opry still does shows at the Ryman at Christmastime and on special occasions.
OK. Here are the people that I saw the night I was at the Opry. I have NO IDEA who they are or how famous they are. If anyone who reads this knows anything about these people please send me an email. Thanks: Little Jimmy Dickens, Erika Jo, Mike Snider, Dierks Bentley. (This last guy seemed really big with the ladies as they were all rushing the stage and screaming. But I still have no idea who he is.)
This is a must see! You know when you go to concerts and they're always checking your ticket before you can even move around? At the Grand Ol' Opry, if you see a country music star that you'd like to take a photo of, you can march right up to the stage for a photo no matter where you're located in the building!
My sister always wanted to see a show. So after we checked in, got settled into our hotel, we checked at the front desk at the Fiddlers Inn. They actually sell tickets and they happened to have just two tickets left. So we bought them and they even had a transportation for us and even picked us up. Really lovely lady and she shared all the history of the local area.
In 1974 the show moved to the 4,400-seat Grand Ole Opry House, located nine miles east of downtown Nashville on a new site that was part of the Opryland USA theme park. When the new Opry opened, a large circle of wood was cut from the original stage at the Ryman and inlaid into the stage at the new venue. The Grand Ole Opry shows are broadcast live on WSM-AM at 7 p.m. Central Time on Saturday nights.
Our show included Riders in the Sky
Del McDoury Band
What was interesting is the commericals they had between the acts. The seating was church pews, but they were comfortable and our seats were awesome!
RYMAN AUDITORIUM - For me it was more important to see a concert here than it was to go to the newer official Grand Ole Opry. This structure is steeped in history. In 1885 the Union Gospel Tabernacle was concieved by Nashville riverboat Captain Thomas Green Ryman. In 1893 Lt Peary lectures on Arctic exploration and the New York Symphony Orchestra performs here. In 1902 Booker T. Washington lectures. 2 years later Captain Ryman dies and the tabernacle is renamed in his honor. In 1923 Rudolf Valentino dances and Jascha Heifetz, Mischa Elman, and Ignace Paderewski perform.
In 1944 The Grand Ole Opry moves to Ryman Auditorium and the name changes again. Started in 1920 the Grand Ole Opry, is the world's longest running live radio program.
In 1944 and'45 Bill Monroe is joined by Flatt then Scruggs. Bluegrass and Country are now a staple on the stage. In 1974 This monument to cultural Ameican history becomes Ryman Auditorium again. The Grand Ole Opry moves to its current location.
Culturally this is a must see. Musically a must see.
I apologize for the quality of this interior shot in Ryman Auditorium. This was a wonderful performance by Steve Holy amongst many other new artists.
The Grand Ole Opry, for many, is the reason to come to Nashville. The Opry is the longest running country radio broadcast, and broadcasting every Friday and Saturday nights (two shows on Saturday). The 2-hour show features 3-5 performers during each 30-minute block, each artist performing 1-3 songs each. The show is eclectic - you might hear some traditional country, classic country, bluegrass, new country, country pop, southern rock, folk... I especially love to see Little Jimmy Dickens, who has been a host/performer each time I've been to the Opry. He tells the same jokes each time, but he is just so charming, I laugh along each time anyway.
There is not a bad seat in the house, but if you are on the main level, you are encouraged to "rush the stage" for photos. You get to walk right up to the stage and take pictures of your favorite performers.
The tickets are not that expensive (I believe $45 is the highest price), and the show is wonderful each time. If you like country music even a little bit, I highly recommend this show!
The Grand Ole Opry houses the world's longest running live radio show, broadcast since 1925. The Ryman, in downtown Nashville houses the original Opry, but the modern Grand Ole Opry became the new location since 1974. The artists that sing at the Opry do so for free, as a thanks to the Opry for helping keep country music alive. The shows feature various artists, sometimes even new artists. Even for those who do not like country music, it is a great experience to go there and see one of the major parts of American music history!
You can purchase tickets from $27.00 to $42.00, depending on where you wish to sit. However, if you are seated further away and you want to take pictures or want to see a particular singer up close, you are permitted to walk up close to the stage to see them!
After the Opry House flooded during the May 2010 floods, the Grand Ole Opry went "on tour", performing at various other venues and never missing a show. On September 28, 2010 with much fanfare and pomp, the NEW Grand Ole Opryhouse reopened. Of course, that show sold out SECONDS after the announcement, so Boyd and I went on Friday October 1. The new House is lovely, keeping many of the architectural elements of the former house, but upgrading the lighting, the sound, and installing two HD video monitors, so once again, there is not a bad seat in the house. The famous circle on the stage (wood taken from the stage of the Ryman Auditorium when the Grand Ole Opry moved to the new venue in the 70's) has been restored and replaced in the place of honor. It will give you chills...
It was wonderful to have this piece of Nashville returned to us - and the circle remains unbroken...
The Grand Ole Opry show is the longest running radio show in America, broadcast every Saturday night since November 1925. The Grand Ole Opry House and the Ryman Auditorium host the Grand Ole Opry show which has always featured traditional country and bluegrass music. Though not the original venue for the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium is certainly the most famous as it hosted the Opry from 1943 to 1974, and it still hosts the show occasionally today. The 4,400-seat Grand Ole Opry House has been the home of the show since 1974, and it is located at the Opryland Hotel a few miles outside of the city.
Built as a church in 1892, the Ryman housed the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974. The Ryman was named a National Historic Landmark in 2001. It seems the attraction to us County and Western European oldies, is simply to see the buiilding, which we have heard about much of our lives, but never seen. There is now a museum in the Ryman for which there is a charge, and backstage tours at yet further cost.
Live country music broadcast, featuring old standards and up and coming country musicians. I saw Allison Kraus who has a fantastic voice and is a multi-talented musician. For me she was the redeeming factor in an otherwise low-key show. The seniors I was with however, really enjoyed it so who am I to criticize. Know your audience.
Definitely do the tour of the theater and the hotel whether you like country music or not. There is a certain spirit that you get just walking up on the stage. It is amazing. At night on Tues, and the week end they have a live radio show with special guest and surprize appearances. The layout of the hotel grounds are beautiful. Take the gondola ride inside for more views.
If your in the city you must go to the Opry. Even if you are not a big country music fan you will enjoy the show.
COUNTRY MUSIC MUSEUM ON THE GROUNDS OF THE GRAND OLD OPRY (free admission and entertaining displays)
WILD HOARSE SALOON 6to7 line dancing and no cover untill after 7 when band comes on
Once this becomes the number one Nashville page and it is already and we change this site to virtualDoubleJ, I will then take over the stage there and restore the integrity of the Grand Ole Opry!