Ryman Auditorium Partners With Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for New Exhibit

by Alex Falls
Ed Rode / Contributor / Getty

Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium is set to host some historic memorabilia from the history of music in an upcoming exhibit from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Set to open Wednesday, Nov. 2, “Rock Hall at the Ryman” showcases memorabilia from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members who have played at the iconic Nashville venue. Items will include Elvis Presley’s full-length coat he wore on the Grand Ole Opry’s stage in 1954, a red bra halter top worn by Joan Jett on the 2006 Warped Tour, a Shure microphone used (and most likely swung) by The Who’s Roger Daltrey, and the costume Taylor Hawkins wore to induct Rush into the Rock Hall in 2013. Hawkins and the Foo Fighters delivered a special performance at the Ryman on Halloween 2014, featuring all the members in face paint resembling King Diamond and a special appearance by Tony Joe White.

The Rock Hall at the Ryman exhibit also features artifacts from the Byrds, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Eric Clapton. In May of this year, the Ryman Auditorium became only the 12th location in the U.S. to be designated a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame landmark.

Along with being the one-time home of the Grand Ole Opry and the stage for Johnny Cash’s variety show, the Ryman Auditorium has been the setting for a number of monumental live albums. Including releases by Levon Helm, Neil Young, and Emmylou Harris.

The renowned music venue continues to host some of the biggest names in music. Upcoming shows include performances by Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Members like U2’s Bono (Nov. 9), Lynyrd Skynyrd (Nov. 13), Smokey Robinson (Dec. 16) as well as a three-night residency with John Mellencamp (May 8-10), with more to be announced.

Ryman Auditorium Hosts a Tribute to Loretta Lynn

Nashville was also the home of recently passed country music icon Loretta Lynn. And the Ryman Auditorium is where a statue of the legendary singer-songwriter stands. The venue erected the statue last year. Fans have been gathering outside of Ryman since the news of her death broke.

In a long and illustrious career, Lynn crafted a persona of a defiantly tough woman. A contrast to the stereotypical image of most female country singers of her era. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce, and birth control. She even got in trouble with radio programmers for material that even rock stars of the time shied away from.

“My dream like thousands of other singers was just singing on the Grand Ole Opry,” Lynn said in 2020 when the statue went up. “Being a member of the Grand Ole Opry has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Many years, I have stood on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium and there is no place like it. Now, they are unveiling this statue in my honor. It’s like I’m going to get to be there for many more years to come.”