We are sure that you have heard the name Grand Ole Opry before but few people understand the sheer magnitude of what it feels like to stand in that building surrounded by the rich Nashville history of country music. The Opry began as a simple radio broadcast back in 1925 and still to this day is broadcast on live radio. Among a few other venues throughout the early years, the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville was the home of the show until 1974 when it moved to its newly built Grand Ole Opry House.
Earlier this month, the New York Country Swag team was treated to an incredible VIP backstage tour of the Opry. Walking through those hallowed halls, you feel the presence of all of the artists who have stepped into the circle, laughed backstage and made their mark on country music. We were taken through the special entrance where all of the artists enter for the evening, past the wall of names of all of the current members and their mailboxes where fans can write letters and have it reach the artist directly.
Each dressing room is unique, with the decor emulating the reason for the room. One room that is particularly special is the “Into the Circle” which is set aside for artists to prepare for their debut Opry performance. The walls are lined with photographs of the Opry’s most memorable moments including Garth Brooks, Little Jimmy Dickens, Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis hugging and much more.
Making your way to the side of the stage you can look out on the packed house each night, listening to their favorite artists who are standing in the same wooden circle that has stood the test of time.
On that particular night, artists Maddie & Tae, Chris Janson, Brooks and Dunn and Keith Urban were among a few of the artists to take the stage. Highlights of the night included Brooks and Dunn performing together at the Opry for the first time in many years to sing “Believe”, “Red Dirt Road” and “My Maria”. Closing out the night, Keith Urban performed with just his guitar, putting a different spin on his hits including “Wasted Time” and “Blue Ain’t Your Color”. Inviting Chris Janson to the stage, to duet on John Michael Montgomery’s 1995 No. 1 hit, “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” the performance was definitely one to remember.
New Yorkers are going to get the opportunity to experience the Grand Ole Opry right here at home with the opening of Opry City Stage in Times Square. The first home away from home, this authentic venue will have four levels of music and southern hospitality allowing fans from all over the world a chance to experience a real country music show. Be sure to follow along to find out more information on the opening and events here and on their social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.)
For more on our ‘New York Country Swag Takes Nashville’ experience, click here.
Thanks for supporting Country Music in NYC!
– Team NYCountry Swag