In a ceremony held earlier today on stage at Ryman Auditorium, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry issued a proclamation celebrating May 10, 2017 as Ryman Auditorium Day in honor of the iconic venue’s 125th anniversary.
“From its beginnings as a church to its years as the home of the Grand Ole Opry to its revival as the coolest concert venue in the world, the Ryman has a story like no other building – anywhere,” Mayor Barry said. “I’m grateful for everything the Ryman means to Nashville, and I’m excited to celebrate its first 125 years while looking forward to many more.”
Colin Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Ryman Auditorium’s parent company, Ryman Hospitality Properties and Opry Member Vince Gill joined Mayor Barry onstage to celebrate Ryman Auditorium Day, which is also the 132nd anniversary of the meeting between Captain Thomas Ryman and Reverend Sam Jones that inspired Ryman to construct a grand tabernacle for the people of Nashville.
“As the owners of this Nashville treasure, we view ourselves as both the stewards and protectors of its rich and storied legacy,” said Reed. “We are thankful that Mayor Barry has chosen to recognize not only the historical significance of the Ryman but also its continued influence on Nashville’s thriving music and tourism industries.”
“If you think about it, music has had a great history here, but the real purpose of this building was to save people… and 125 years later it’s still saving people,” expressed Gill. “This place just has spirit that you can’t even put into words. It really is a magical place. The very first time I ever sang in this building it was just me and a guitar, and it was one of the most majestic experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I really felt that spirit move through me. This place more than any place I’ve been…I really felt that spirit. Whether I play here with a seven-piece band or a bluegrass band… no matter what you throw at this place it takes it and elevates it.”