A resolution recognizing the Ryman Auditorium - “The Mother Church of Country Music” - and its 125 years in Nashville as Music City’s most famous and respected music venue attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to Nashville each year.
WHEREAS, on May 10, 1885, Captain Thomas G. Ryman attended the Sam Jones tent revival held in Nashville and, after being converted that day, he promised Rev. Jones he would build a tabernacle for him and others which could hold thousands indoors; and
WHEREAS, in 1892, Tom Ryman opened the Union Gospel Tabernacle on 5th Avenue a massive brick building which was the largest auditorium south of the Ohio River and was open to all religions and all people to hear the top ministers and speakers of the day; and
WHEREAS, during Captain Ryman’s funeral on Christmas Day 1904, Rev. Sam Jones at the end of his eulogy asked four thousand people in attendance who wished the name of the tabernacle be changed to the Ryman Auditorium to stand. Everyone rose from the wooden pews and the building has been known as the Ryman Auditorium ever since; and
WHEREAS, since the 19th century, the Ryman has been known for its extraordinary acoustics which famous musicians and fans still marvel at today; and
WHEREAS, in 1904, Lula Naff moved to Nashville to begin her work at the Ryman which spanned over 50 years until her retirement as General Manager in 1955; and
WHEREAS, Lula Naff booked some of the most famous speakers and acts of the day at the Ryman, including President Teddy Roosevelt, President William H. Taft, Caruso, John McCormack, Bob Hope, Nat King Cole, Houdini, Will Rogers, Bessie Smith, Helen Keller, and hundreds of others famous acts and performances; and
WHEREAS, on June 5, 1943 the world’s oldest and most famous radio show the Grand Ole Opry began a 31 year run at the Ryman where country music fans from all over the world saw Opry members Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Charlie Pride, Little Jimmy Dickens, Loretta Lynn and many others on the Ryman stage; and
WHEREAS, when the Opry moved to its new home in 1974, the Ryman was at risk of being torn down by its previous owner, but musicians, politicians, and preservation-minded Nashvillians all spoke out to save the historic building; and
WHEREAS, from 1974 to 1994, the Ryman sat empty, except for daily tours and a few tapings; and
WHEREAS, the Ryman has been used for taping many popular television shows and movies, including “The Johnny Cash Show”, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, “American Idol”, and the CMT show “Nashville”; and
WHEREAS, in 1994, the Ryman received its first major restoration of 8 million dollars, including adding air-condition, restoring the building, creating a new backstage area and dressing rooms and a large addition to create a new lobby with restrooms, offices and a retail shop. That year, the Ryman re-opened as a music venue; and
WHEREAS, Ryman Hospitality Properties Chairman and CEO Colin Reed announced on the Ryman stage in 2014 that, due to the popularity of the venue and downtown Nashville, the Ryman would receive a $14 million dollar renovation. Reed said the 1994 lobby and retail area would be remodeled and expanded to improve the visitor’s experience with a new restaurant added named after Lula Naff, a room which seats 100 to show a new Ryman history video called “The Soul of Nashville”, and that concession areas, bathrooms and retail shop would improve and be expanded; and
WHEREAS, the Ryman Auditorium has been named “Theater of the Year” eight times by Pollstar.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing The Ryman Auditorium, “The Mother Church of Country Music,” and its 125 years in Nashville as Music City’s most famous and respected music venue.
Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to Sally Williams, General Manager of the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry.
Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Freddie O'Connell, Mina Johnson, Burkley Allen, Karen Johnson
|Referred to:||Rules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee|
|Introduced:||December 19, 2017|
|Adopted:||December 19, 2017|
|Returned unsigned by the Mayor:||January 3, 2018|
|Effective Date :||January 3, 2018|
Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.