Wednesday, February 10, 2016
PLACES THAT DON'T SUCK: The Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Tennessee
NOTE: This is one of our occasional, VERY occasional posts on places that are huge tourist draws but manage not to suck at the same time.
It's synonymous with Country music. If there wasn't already a Country Music Hall of Fame, being a member here would count just as much. Everybody in the music business strives to play on this stage.
Now, the Grand Ole Opry show is enough of a draw but what makes it special is the winter version when it returns to its roots in downtown Nashville as opposed to the modern auditorium that's attached to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel to the east, over the Cumberland River.
In the cold months, the Opry returns to its original home...the Ryman Auditorium, just a block north of Broadway in downtown Nashville.
The Ryman has its roots as a church so it's not a stretch to see why this is called the "mother church of Country Music." These are hallowed halls for many.
While there are standalone concerts at the Ryman throughout the year, it's the Opry that made it famous. The Opry is what people want to come to see.
The Opry is not the building, the Opry is a radio show put on before a live audience. It's old and has been on the air in pretty much the same format for over 90 years. That is the longest running radio show in the United States.
People come to be enterained by a half-dozen or so entertainers...some well known, others just starting to make their mark in the business. Entertainers come here because it is the most important stage they can play.
That formula right there...people thrilled for the chance to be here to see the show and entertainers who consider playing here the highest honor they can aspire to...is the main reason this place doesn't suck.
The pricing is moderate, the staff wonderfully friendly, as are your seatmates on the pews that make up the seating area for this place. The show is very entertaining and you'll wonder where the time went when you're done.
Wheelchair accessible seating is available at all levels and price points. Management also enforces that those seats only go to those who need it so someone won't sucker you out of those front row, prime spots.
Most people would say this is the biggest must-see attraction in Nashville. Most people are right. There is nothing bigger or better on the Nashville scene to brag about when you get back to your friends back home.
Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
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