Tootsies Turns 50

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge will celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a special tribute show at the Ryman Auditorium on Nov. 7. Named for its original owner Hattie Louise “Tootsie” Bess, the Broadway honky tonk with access across the alley from the Ryman, has a colorful history as a popular hangout where Opry performers could jam between shows and catch a beer or two.

The Ryman tribute will include performances by Randy Houser, Terri Clark, Mel Tillis, Mark Chesnutt, The Grascals, Ronnie McDowell and newcomer Joanna Smith, with a special presentation by Grand Ole Opry legend, Little Jimmy Dickens. Tillis and Clark will co-host the evening with Kris Kristofferson, who is also scheduled to perform.

“Like Kris, all these artists have a history with Tootsie’s,” commented Steve Smith, Toosie’s current owner. “Spanning the decades, each has stories and special memories to share,” Smith added, “and their music is a part of Tootsie’s history. It’s going to be a memorable night.” For more information and tickets contact ticketmaster or www.tootsies.net.

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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