Ryman Auditorium: The Seat of Country Music
In the heart of Nashville, Tennessee stands a remarkable structure that was originally built as a tabernacle that will help project the voice of evangelists looking to share the scripture and the word of the divine. This vision was Thomas G. Ryman’s objective and it soon came to reality in 1892 when the architect Hugh Cathcart Thompson accomplished the Union Gospel Tabernacle. Eventually, the structure became a popular venue for a variety of community events, performances, and even political rallies. However, it only became the biggest venue for country musicians when George D. Hay made it the site for the Grand Ole Opry in 1943.
The Grand Ole Opry is the longest running live radio program for American country music. From the 1940s until 1974, its weekly concerts were held in the Ryman Auditorium. This took some of the greatest musical acts to the Ryman stage. Legends like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, and Roy Acuff have all performed in the 2,362-seat auditorium. Even after the Grand Ole Opry moved to a new venue in the 1970s, the Ryman Auditorium continued to host the best talents of country music.
Aside from its rich history and heritage rooted in country music, Ryman Auditorium is particularly special because of the way it was originally designed. As pointed out in the venue’s official website, the acoustics that was originally designed to help amplify sermons are still among the best in the world. As a result, Ryman Auditorium continues its long legacy as a looming presence in the music industry. Aside from country music acts, it also keeps its doors open to a variety of musicians working in different genres.