In September 1947, stars of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, including Minnie Pearl and Ernest Tubb, played New York City’s Carnegie Hall for the first time. Seventy years later, the Opry will have a more permanent presence in the Big Apple as plans have been unveiled for Opry City Stage, the legendary radio show’s first “home away from home.” The four-level entertainment complex is set to open in April 2017, nestled among other world-famous tourist destinations on Broadway in Times Square.
In addition to serving up some of Nashville’s signature food and homegrown music in its two-floor bar and restaurant space, Opry City Stage will feature live entertainment, simulcast performances from the Grand Ole Opry House, with a listening room on the fourth floor where curated performances from the iconic Bluebird Café will be programmed. Retail space at ground level will spotlight many of Music City’s signature brands.
“For 91 years the Grand Ole Opry has connected country music fans with their favorite artists through live performances, radio and more recently, digital technology,” said Colin Reed, chairman and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties in a statement. “Opry City Stage is all about taking the diverse sounds that originate in Nashville to other markets so that fans have another way to discover new artists and connect with the music they love.”
The Grand Ole Opry first went on the air – as the WM Barn Dance – November 28, 1925, and after broadcasting from several different venues, made its home at the Ryman Auditorium for 31 years before moving to the Grand Ole Opry House in 1974. Beginning November 1st, with Loretta Lynn, Darius Rucker and more, the Opry will continue the recent tradition of relocating to the Ryman for the winter months. A list of upcoming Opry guests is available at the Grand Ole Opry website.
source: Stephen L. Betts, rollingstone.com