July 30, 2013 Tuesday
So today’s goal was to find out as much as we could about the Grand Ole Opry. We were able to buy passes that would give us access to any four of several of Nashville’s venues, and we decided to use them for (1) Country Music Hall of Fame, (2) Ryman Auditorium, (3) Grand Ole Opry Backstage Tour, and (4) Hermitage – Andrew Jackson’s home. The first three definitely helped us understand the Grand Ole Opry.
One of the more interesting things is the connection between the Ryman Auditorium (home of the Opry from the 1940’s to the 1970’s) and the “new” building that has been their home since 1974. The new place has a circle of flooring on the main stage that is made from flooring taken from the Ryman. Therefore, all the current and future stars can say that they’ve stood on the same stage as all the old-time, classical stars. Interesting idea. Especially the idea of a circle (in light of the old-time gospel tune, “Will the Circle be Unbroken.”)
It took us a couple of days of learning, but we finally have a pretty fair idea of what the Grand Ole Opry is now. I was especially interested to find out that Garrison Keillor apparently got his original inspiration for “A Prairie Home Companion” after reporting on the Grand Ole Opry.
I’m not really a fan of country music, but I do like knowing things.