Ryman Auditorium Makes History With New Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Monument

  • The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame presented the Ryman with a historic landmark in a ceremony this week.
  • The monument marks the beginning of a planned multi-year partnership between Rock Hall and Ryman.
  • More than 100 Rocl Hall artists have played the Ryman, including Springsteen and Dylan.

Country music‘s most famous venue has carved out a place among the best venues for elevating another genre: rock ‘n’ roll.

the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame unveiled on Thursday a historical landmark for the Ryman-Auditoriumthe 130-year-old tabernacle in downtown Nashville, known for often hosting world-class artists in an intimate setting.

Organizers from both institutions unveiled the landmark Thursday afternoon in a ceremony featuring Nashville Mayor John Cooper, a handful of city council members, hit country band Old Dominion and remarks prepared by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt.

Greg Harris, President and CEO of the Cleveland-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, expresses his excitement at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, to receive a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame monument, Thursday, May 26, 2022.

As the spiritual home of country music, the Ryman represents a fundamental part of the youth culture represented by the Hall, said Greg Harris, president and CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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“Rock ‘n’ roll is not a specific sound; rock ‘n’ roll is an attitude and it comes from gospel, country and blues,” Harris said. “It’s always been that important voice, especially that voice that drives young America. Those things happen on those stages — whether it’s Johnny Cash, whether it’s Hank Williams, whether it’s The Byrds.”

The Ryman as part of the Rock Hall? It makes sense, said Old Dominion frontman Matthew Ramsey.

Old Dominion lead singer Matthew Ramsey looks around Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, talking about history and what it means to perform in 'the mother church' before it receives a monument of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Thursday, May 26, 2022.

“Country and rock ‘n’ roll are so in bed with each other,” Ramsey said. “You can’t have one without the other. It makes sense to me that [it’s part] of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, just like Dolly Parton and Hank Williams.”

In addition to an outdoor landmark, Rock Hall and Ryman have confirmed a multi-year partnership that will begin in the coming months with an exhibit inside the so-called Mother Church that celebrates Rock Hall members who have played on the famous stage.

For the exhibit, visitors can expect rock memorabilia inside Ryman’s lobby overlooking Rep. John Lewis Way, said Peter Weien, chief operating officer of Ryman’s parent company, Opry Entertainment. . Future projects could include collaborative products or a Rock Hall-themed concert, he said.

More than 100 Rock Hall inductees – from Bruce Springsteen to Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Wanda Jackson, Foo Fighters, Neil Young and Brenda Lee – have played the Ryman.

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“We really want to create something where people can say, ‘Yeah, this is the mother church of country music,’ but on the other hand, think of all the great rock ‘n’ roll bands that have played here,” Weien said. .

Old Dominion lead singer Matthew Ramsey reacts after the Ryman Auditorium received the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in downtown Nashville.

The Ryman becomes the 12th venue to earn a Rock Hall landmark, joining Austin City Limits in Austin, Texas, the Troubadour in Los Angeles and Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.

This year, the venue’s management celebrates 130 years of The Ryman, which hosted its first concert – four nights with the Theodore Thomas Orchestra – in May 1982. The Ryman celebrates 130 years with a continuing series of multi-night residencies in 2022, including races from Billy Strings, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill and many more.

Tennessee residents can visit the Ryman for a free daytime tour on Sundays as part of the venue’s annual Community Day.

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