Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Grand Ole Opry Backstage and Opryland Hotel

There was a 100% chance of rain today, so we decided to head to the Grand Ole Opry for an indoor tour.

On November 28, 1925, a WSM announcer introduced a fiddle player named Uncle Jimmy Thompson as a live performer on the program and the show is still being broadcast.  

The radio program was preceded by an opera program,  one night the announcer stated, "For the past hour we have been listening to Grand Opera, from now on we will present the 'Grand Ole Opry'," and the name stuck.

The show was moved to several different venues before ending up at the Ryman Auditorium in 1943 and then moving to its present location in 1974.

In 2010, there was a flood in Nashville where the water went halfway up these doors.  During the tour, we were told about half of what was in the dressing rooms was saved.

The tour started out with a video introduction by Blake Shelton and then our tour guide took us backstage starting with the performers' entrance.   There are postboxes for each Grand Ole Opry member and they are in alphabetical order so the top left one belongs to Trace Adkins.  The only one out of order is the one for "Little" Jimmy Dickens.  Since he is 4'11' and 93 years old, his box was moved to a lower one so it would be easier for him to reach.

We then proceeded into Studio A.  This is where Hee Haw was filmed as well as a lot of segments of the tv show Nashville.

We headed down the hall and were able to look inside some of the dressing rooms.

Each one had a theme and lots of pictures of country singers past and present on the wall.

If you look at the picture at the bottom left, it is Willie Nelson.  Believe it or not.

The next dressing room belonged to Porter Wagoner who was nicknamed The Wagonmaster.

Then we got to go onstage.  This would be the same perspective the performers have before going onstage.

When the Grand Ole Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium, the "heart of the stage" was brought over, a six foot circle from the stage floor.

It was pretty neat to be able to stand on it.

We have tickets to two of the shows while we are here, we're looking forward to it.

Next door, is the Opryland Hotel.  We walked over to take a look.

Now, this is my kind of river walk.  There is a small river running through it with beautiful gardens and water features.  It reminds me a lot of the San Antonio River Walk on a smaller scale.  The best part is it's air conditioned.

This glass sculpture is in the lobby.

It was another great day in Nashville!

1 comment:

  1. So much to see and experience. I am having to live vicariously through you until we hit the road on Sept. 18. Both of us are chomping at the bit. I think we're going to leave around 4 a.m. and drive all the way to Oklahoma City in one day. Crazy, we know, but we just can't contain ourselves. LOL.