Friday, December 09, 2016

New Old Grand Old Opry

The Ryman Auditorium , home of the Grand Ole Opry.
Here are some facts about the Ryman Auditorium you may or may not know:
Thomas Ryman (1843-1904) was a Nashville businessman.  He owned several riverboats.  He saw a lot crime and bad things near the river and wanted to clean it up.  He had built the Ryman Auditorium and named it the Union Gospel Tabernacle.  It opened in 1892.   It seats 2362 people. He had Evangelist Samuel Porter Jones do the preaching and soul saving.
Samuel P. Jones was known world-wide at the time.  He spent the last part of his life in Cartersville, Georgia and also had his daughter and her husband a house built here in Marietta.

Thomas Ryman with the Helm

These pictures were taken with my iphone about 30 minutes  before showtime.  The reason I used my iphone instead of my camera, you might recall in my last adventure (the day before) where I froze my camera's battery in a 9 degree Chinese ice art show.  But in time it thawed out and seems to be OK.

Contrary to rumor, Country Music is alive and well.  We went to the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.  Years ago, they just had one show a week, on Saturday night.  Now, they have Country Music performances several times a week with a matinee and evening shows.  
Frankly, we don't know much about country music... who is hot and who is drunk.  By the roar of the crowd we could pretty much who was hot.
The first group was the White Family.  They got plenty of hoots,hollars, and whistles.  The lead singer immediately dropped a name:  She said she was Ricky Scaggs wife.  
These are the people we saw live on our visit.

The Matinee Show on December 6, 2016
The Whites
Sarah Darling
Diamond Rio
J.T. Hodges
Del McCoury Band
Connie Smith
Trace Adkins

In 1943, it started housing the Grand Ole Opry.  And it has been doing that ever since with a couple of gaps.
Now, it seems to be doing well for itself again.
In 1963, in the early spring a bunch of us friends went to the Grand Ole Opry.  It was just a couple of months before I was going into the Navy.  Before going into the Opry we ate dinner at a Woolworth's.  We sat by the window.  While eating a man in a dirty raincoat, carrying a guitar case stood on the other side of the window and watched us eat.  We motioned for him to come in and we would buy him dinner.  He quickly joined us.
He told us he and Cowboy Copus (the Grand Ole Opry's M.C. at the time) were good friends.  They grew up across the street from each other.  He said Cowboy Copus told him to come to Nashville and he would let him sing on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry. 
We wished him luck and we went out our way and he went on his.
While we were watching the Opry entertainment from the balcony we saw the man we bought dinner for coming down the aisle with his guitar.  We watched in amazement.
Cowboy Copus was singing a song  Before the man in the dirty raincoat got to the stage stairs two big men interrupted his stride.  You could see him pointing up at Cowboy, probably saying it was OK with him.  The forcefully walked him out.
Cowboy Copus didn't miss a beat on his song.

If I remember correctly Cowboy Copus and Patsy  Cline were killed in a plane crash about a week later. 


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