Scenes From “Coal Miner’s Daughter” Are Filmed At Ryman Auditorium
March 7, 1980 – The Oscar-nominated film, Coal Miner’s Daughter, was released. Scenes from the movie were filmed at the Ryman. The film is a chronicle of Loretta Lynn’s life starring Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, and Levon Helm.
Gaylord Entertainment Company Buys Ryman Auditorium
September 1983 – Gaylord Entertainment Company (then called Gaylord Broadcasting Company) purchased Ryman Auditorium (as well as the Grand Ole Opry and National Life Insurance’s other broadcasting, entertainment, and hospitality properties) and set out to make exterior renovations that would start in 1989. The first steps included the installation of a new roof, replacement of broken windows, the repair of woodwork, and a rebuild of the brick chimneys of the structure. The most notable change was the large arched pediment on the Fifth Avenue side. The original had fallen into the attic during the 1950’s, and the opening was boarded up during that time. A replica was returned in its place and, once again, the facade was that of Captain Top Ryman’s original vision.
Dolly Parton Films At The Ryman
April 9, 1988 – Dolly Parton filmed an episode of her ABC-TV variety show at the Ryman. During the show, she gathered some of country music’s greatest women to reminisce backstage. In another segment, she poignantly reunited with Porter Wagner, performing with him for the first time since their bitter professional split in 1974.
Emmylou Harris and The Nash Ramblers Record “Live At The Ryman”
April 30, 1991 – Emmylou Harris and The Nash Ramblers recorded a live album and accompanying documentary Live at the Ryman. The documentary featured the Ryman as prominently as it did songs by writers diverse as Stephen Foster, Bill Monroe, and Steve Earle. The highly-respected Harris demonstrated in her usual understanding way how the past can inform and enrich our future. It was a message that reverberated powerfully inside the beloved auditorium and beyond.
Ryman Auditorium Celebrates Its First Centennial
May 18, 1992 – Ryman Auditorium celebrated its first centennial. The Ryman’s 100-year anniversary celebration included a star-studded concert and a one-act musical play, The Ryman: The Tabernacle Becomes A Shrine.
Ryman Auditorium Prepares For Major Renovations
Summer 1992 – Gaylord Entertainment announced plans for a major renovation of Ryman Auditorium. Shortly after the Ryman’s centenary celebration Gaylord Entertainment chief, E.W. “Bud” Wendell announced, “We’re committed to a renovation of the Ryman as quickly as we can get it done.”
Ryman Auditorium Re-Opens
June 3, 1994 – Nashville’s “Mother Church of Country Music” re-opened in June 1994 as a premier performance hall and museum. The first public performance in the newly renovated building was Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. The National Public Radio hit was originally inspired by the Grand Ole Opry when Garrison Keillor covered the last Opry show at the Ryman in 1974.
“Always…Patsy Cline” Premieres
June 9, 1994 – Always…Patsy Cline premiered with a 67-show performance schedule featuring more than 20 of Cline’s most memorable numbers.
“Bluegrass Nights At The Ryman” Debuts
June 14, 1994 – The Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman series debuted. The first year of the series included concerts with Bill Monroe and Alison Krauss.
“Sam’s Place” Showcase Is Held At Ryman Auditorium
October 23, 1994 – The first Sam’s Place showcased a plethora of contemporary Christian, country, and gospel artists. The series was named after Sam Jones for whom the auditorium was originally built as a tabernacle.