Nashville's Legendary Ryman Auditorium Adding Major Exhibit Honoring Music Icons

The historic Ryman Auditorium is bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Nashville. The venue is teaming up with the Rock Hall in Cleveland to host the new major exhibition Rock Hall at the Ryman. Although the Ryman Auditorium is closely linked to country music, the new exhibit will celebrate the venue's role in rock and roll history. The exhibit will open on Nov. 2.

The new exhibit will take over the Ryman's 5th Avenue vestibule. Some of the items featured include Elvis Presley's full-length belted suede coat worn in the early 1970s and Eric Clapton's "Blackie" Fender Stratocaster guitar that he used on the Journeyman tour in the 1990s. Joan Jett's red latex halter top, worn during the 2006 Vans Warped Tour, and an outfit the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins wore to induct Rush into the Rock Hall in 2016 will also be on display. James Brown, The Byrds, and Dolly Parton will also be celebrated in the exhibit, alongside country legends like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.

In May, the Rock Hall added the Ryman Auditorium to its group of rock and roll landmarks, honoring important venues in rock history. Ryman Hospitality Properties President Mark Fioravanti, President and CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Greg Harris, and Nashville Mayor John Cooper attended a dedication ceremony at the Ryman, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary in 2022. Old Dominion singer Mathew Ramsey was also there to pay tribute to the legendary Music City venue.

"It's spiritual, and it's one of the reasons she's called the Mother Church. Like any good mother, she commands respect and makes you feel at home. As Music City and Country Music continue to expand around her, she remains the center of the family," Ramsey said. "She's a beacon and a bucket list experience for us all, creators and fans alike."

"The Ryman has played an important role not only in the history of Nashville but in country music and rock & roll as well," Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bonnie Raitt added during the ceremony. "This stage holds a special place in my heart as I'm able to perform live with many of the incredible Nashville songwriters in the audience whose work has enriched my life and music. I'm honored to help pay tribute to of one of America's great rock & roll venues."

The Ryman Auditorium was built between 1885 and 1892 and opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle. It famously hosted the Grand Ole Opry radio show from 1943 to 1974. It joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and was designed as a National Historic Landmark in 2001.