Ryan’s First Visit To The Grand Ole Opry [PHOTOS]
I don't know what the standard amount of time is for someone to be in Country radio before they get a chance to visit the Grand Ole Opry, but I was fortunate enough to go there on day two of my new gig as WKDQ's morning show host and station manager.
Now, if you know me, or are at least familiar with me, you know I've been on the radio in the Tri-State for some time (20 years this September to be exact), but my new position(s) on KDQ is my first time in the Country music world. Having grown up with family and friends that loved Country, I know the significance of the Grand Ole Opry. For lack of a better term, it essentially is the "Mecca" of Country music. Many of the genre's biggest names have graced the stage over its 93 year history, but only a select few get the honor of becoming members; joining the ranks of all-time greats such as Roy Clark, Ronnie Milsap, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and more.
During my trip with Melissa and Travis on Tuesday, Chris Janson was joining those ranks as the Opry's newest member so they invited us, along with Country stations around the country to be part of the celebration by broadcasting live and watching the show (more on that in a minute).
We were set up in one of the many dressing rooms backstage for the broadcast, each of which have some sort of theme, or are named after a famous artist. They set us up in the "Now That's Funny" room. A room dedicated to the various funny people who have passed through the Opry when the classic show, Hee Haw was filmed in the television studio down the hall. To think I was in the same rooms, sitting in the same chairs, and walking the same halls as some of the most famous names in Country was pretty amazing!
Since you don't get the chance to walk the hallowed halls of the Grand Ole Opry all the time, I made sure to take a few photos.
Hanging out in the dressing room.
This piece of decorative metal marks the depth of the water inside the Opry after the massive flooding in 2010. It's roughly three and a half to four feet from the floor.
A mural in the same room. See the light brown, discolored line starting in the lower left corner and running across the entire painting? That's a water stain from the same flood.
One of many displays featuring the artists that have played the Opry. The jacket and tie on the left was worn by Hank Williams Sr.
This display at the end of the hall features copper plates (designed to look like bricks) featuring the names of all the current Opry members.
A side view of the famous Grand Ole Opry stage.
What the artists see when performing. Later in the evening, this auditorium was filled with fans who came to witness Chris Janson's induction.
Chris Janson fielding questions from reporters and representatives from radio stations across the country during a press conference before the show.
Now then, remember how I said we were there because Chris Janson was being inducted as the newest member? And how one of my responsibilities as the newest member of the KDQ team is to co-host the Q Crew Morning Show with Leslie? That last part requires me to set my alarm for 4:00 a.m., something my body is still trying to adjust to. So, by the time Melissa wrapped up her show at 7:00, my body was already entering shutdown mode, and we still had a two hour drive back home, plus another 20 minutes from the station to my house. Needless to say, I was tired and ready to go home, so we all agreed to skip the show and head home.
Unfortunately, that decision led us to miss a really big moment during the show.
Yep, we missed out on a chance to see GARTH BROOKS in person! While Garth didn't perform, it still would have been cool to see. Fortunately, the Opry filmed the whole thing and shared it on Facebook.
From what I'm learning, WKDQ gets invited to broadcast at the Opry a few times throughout the year, so hopefully I'll have another chance to get down there soon.