The second day of our Nashville touring extravaganza led us to the Ryman Auditorium, touted as the “birthplace of bluegrass” and the “Mother Church of Country Music.”
That’s a big claim to live up to.
A little church building on 5th Street downtown, it would be easy to overlook the Ryman. Little did we know that this place was where the Grand Ole Opry got its start and catapulted entertainers like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash into stardom.
The Ryman was built by Thomas Ryman in 1892 and was originally designed to be a church. After Ryman’s death in 1904, it was converted into the Ryman Auditorium in the designer’s honor. The Ryman was home to the Grand Ole Opry, the famous radio show, (broadcasting from 1925 to the present) from 1943 to 1974.
Years after the Grand Ole Opry moved its headquarters and broadcasting center to a large, brand new facility east of downtown, the Ryman converted into a museum and a country music venue, hosting events of well-known artists who want the experience of playing at the Mother Church of Country Music.
The self-guided tour costs $12.95/person for adults and an extra $4/person if you want the guided backstage tour, which we feel is worth it.