If Walls Could Talk
Grand Ole Opry House Tours Take Guests Behind the Scenes of Country Music’s Most Famous Show
At the heart of Nashville’s prominent music and entertainment scene is the show that made country music famous, the Grand Ole Opry. While the show returns to its historic former home, the Ryman Auditorium, for several performances a year, its permanent home is the Grand Ole Opry House. Located just outside of downtown Nashville, the Opry House is marking its fourth decade housing Opry performances. Opry Shows are held up to five nights a week and Grand Ole Opry House Backstage Tours run seven days a week. In addition to a walk through country music history backstage, tours include a step on the most famous stage in country music.
Get ready for your own visit backstage with some behind-the-scenes highlights below.
I’M JUST SO PROUD TO BE HERE: THE OPRY MEMBER GALLERY
Every artist who has ever been a mem-ber of the Opry throughout its 92-year history is honored with a plaque in the Opry’s Member Gallery backstage. With plaques bearing names such as Patsy Cline, George Jones, and Vince Gill, it’s an honor artists do not take lightly. “The ultimate dream when you’re in country music is to be asked to join the Grand Ole Opry,” says Opry great Alan Jackson. “It’s the corner-stone of country music. I don’t know if Nashville or country music would exist if it wasn’t for this foundation, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
YOU’VE GOT MAIL: THE OPRY POST OFFICE
The Grand Ole Opry Post Office, a tradition carried over from the Ryman Auditorium, is one of the first stops for the Opry members on show nights. The boxes, where fans can easily send letters to their favorite members, have always been assigned to the members in alphabetical order with one excep-tion. Late Opry member Little Jimmy Dickens’ box should have been found at the top row of boxes, but since that would have been a challenge for the 4’11” entertainer, his box was located on the fourth row down.
A GOOD HANG: OPRY HOUSE DRESSING ROOMS
With dozens of musicians backstage on any given night at the Opry, the Grand Ole Opry House has plenty of dressing rooms to hold the masses of talented performers before they hit the stage. Opry member Trisha Yearwood shares that half the fun of a night at the Grand Ole Opry is spending time backstage in rooms like the Glitz and Glamour room. “Sitting backstage in the ‘girls’ makeup room is one of the best places to hang out,” Yearwood says. Whether it’s in the make-up chairs or passing in hallways, dozens of coun-try music greats have met for the first time backstage at the Opry. Like the Glitz and Glamour room, each dress-ing room has symbolic and unique themes. Favorites include “Into the Circle,” which celebrates the moment when artists take the Opry stage for the very first time, and “It Takes Two,” which pays homage to country music’s top duet teams.
So if you’re stomping around Nashville, be sure to scoot to the Opry House. Those boots of yours will be walking in the footsteps of Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, and more.
More information on the Grand Ole Opry and Opry House Backstage Tours including money-saving combo packages is available at opry.com.