Location: Ryman Auditorium Lobby (116 5th Avenue North)
The Ryman is not just one of the world’s most famous music venues. It also is a museum of country music history. The upstairs balcony proudly exhibits a rotating collection of memorabilia from the Ryman’s days as home of the Grand Ole Opry. The hallway entrance to the balcony features a collection of signed Hatch Show Prints from many historic Ryman shows. And in front of the downstairs lobby staircase, there sits a pair of bronze statues honoring two of the Opry’s greatest legends: Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl.
This dazzling work, titled “Oh, Roy,” was sculpted by Russ Faxon who also created the downtown Chet Atkins statue. Listen carefully and you can just hear “The Queen of Country Comedy” speaking these words to the “King of Country Music” as they sit together on the wooden bench supporting their likenesses. Acuff holds a fiddle while Pearl sports her trademark hat with its iconic dangling price tag. What a joyous tribute to these two stars who from 1943 to 1974 often shared the Opry stage together.
The Ryman is open seven days a week for tours from 9am to 4pm. The self-guided tour is $14 while the backstage tour is $18 ($9 and $13 for children ages 4-11). Another way to see these statues and the other items on display is by attending a show at the Ryman. But, if you are interested in just seeing the statues and touring the gift shop, entrance into the lobby during business hours is always free.