Friday, September 21, 2007


When the Ryman Auditorium opened in 1892, the music flowing from the stage was quite different than what one hears there now. Originally called the Union Gosple Tabernacle, it was built by Captain Thomas Ryman to hold revivals for the city. The original building held about 3700 people on wooden pews supplied by the Indiana Church Finishing Company. When Ryman died in 1904, Samuel Jones, the evangelical preacher who converted Ryman, took a vote to rename the tabernacle in Ryman's honor and received a unanimous vote to do so, although the charter wasn't changed until 1944.
Over the years, the Ryman hosted a number of events in addition to the revivals, including lectures, concerts and performances. In 1943, the Grand Ole Opry moved to the Ryman, and the building gained the nickname of the "Mother Church of Country Music." Unfortunately, the Opry moved into its own building in 1974, although there were performances at the Ryman off and on. In the 90s, Gaylord Entertainment spent more than $8 million to renovate the Ryman, and the "Mother Church" is once again hosting concerts and performances. . . .and still using those old, wooden pews!
This is the back view of the Ryman, which is now the main entrance. If you make it to Nashville, be sure to take tour of the Ryman!

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