The Frist Foundation

On Stage

Nashville, Tennessee's most recognized landmark is revered by generations of both fans and the stellar list of performing artists who have graced her stage. The Ryman: Mother Church of Country Music traces the building's illustrious history, beginning with its early years as a house of worship.

From the inspiration of riverboat captain Thomas Ryman, to the most significant home of the Grand Ole Opry, from the struggle for its preservation to its eventual restoration, makes The Ryman the definitive Mother Church of Country Music and is a testament to American musical history.

Patsy Cline was a member of the Opry from 1960 until her death in 1963. Over thirty years later, in 1994, the Ryman premiered the musical tribute Always…Patsy Cline.

In 1963, Loretta Lynn performs at the Grand Ole Opry's 38th Birthday. Scenes from Coal Miner's Daughter, the movie chronicling Loretta Lynn's life, were filmed on stage.

There was not a dry eye in the house in March, 1974, when the Grand Ole Opry performed its last show at the Ryman before moving to Opryland. Minnie Pearl & Roy Acuff

Performing a duet at the Opry in 1969, Tammy Wynette and George Jones looked like the quintessential Nashville couple.

Roy Acuff, the King of Country Music, performs with his band, The Smoky Mountain Boys in 1943.

Dolly Patron performing at the Opry in 1970. She returned to the Ryman in 1988 to tape a TV variety show with Minnie Pearl.

In 1973, a thirteen year-old Marty Stuart plays with bluegrass legend Lester Flatt and his band, the Nashville Grass.

Bill Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass," performs in 1947 with his band, the Blue Grass Boys, which included singer-guitarist Lester Flatt and banjo picker Earl Scruggs.

Sporting a famous Nudie suit, Porter Wagoner performs at the Opry in 1973.

Hank Williams, who had a short but memorable run on the Ryman stage, is pictured here with Chet Atkins in 1950.

Flatt & Scruggs formed one of the most famous bluegrass bands of all times, playing together from 1948 - 1969. They are pictured here at the Opry in 1950.

A classic image from the Opry at the Ryman - Minnie Pearl on stage in front of the barn backdrop in 1974.