Monthly Archives: March 2011

Academy of Country Music Names Ryman Auditorium Venue of the Year

General Manager Sally Williams Honored As Promoter of the Year

Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium has been named Venue of the Year by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and its General Manager, Sally Williams, has been named Promoter of the Year. This marks the second time the Mother Church of Country Music has been honored with the industry-voted award. The win for Williams is her first. The 46th ACM Awards show will be held this Sunday, April 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and televised on CBS. Industry awards, including Venue and Promoter of the Year, will be formally presented September 19 at the ACM Honors event.

“We are very proud of the Ryman staff and their dedication to providing superior experiences for our guests as well as for the artists and musicians who perform on our legendary stage,” commented Steve Buchanan, Senior Vice President, Media & Entertainment, Gaylord Entertainment. “Sally Williams is an exceptional leader of the team who brings passion, creativity and know-how to the art and science of concert promotion and venue management.”

Last year was a record-setting year for the Mother Church of Country Music. In addition to being named ACM Venue of the Year, the venue also was named Pollstar Magazine’s Theatre of the Year for a third time. The Ryman presented concerts by country superstars Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Don Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Lady Antebellum and Vince Gill, among others. Major television productions included Fox’s American Idol, CMT’s Crossroads with Kenny Chesney and the Steve Miller Band and GAC’s Music City Keep On Playin’ – A Benefit for Flood Relief. The Ryman also welcomed over one hundred Grand Ole Opry shows, including forty-eight in the wake of Nashville’s historic flooding while reconstruction of the Opry House was underway. During the extended Opry at the Ryman season, performers included country superstars Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and Martina McBride.

Williams began managing the Ryman in 2008 and is only the eighth person to hold the role in the National Historic Landmark’s 119 year history. She began her career promoting concerts while a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia and went on to work for promoters Contemporary Productions, Jam Productions and Pace Concerts. In 1999, she joined Gaylord Entertainment and managed concerts and other events for the Opry Entertainment Complex for more than seven years. After a brief stint at the Country Music Association, Williams returned to Gaylord as the Ryman’s General Manager. Since then she has led the Ryman in promoting concerts ranging from Miranda Lambert to Zac Brown Band and from Paul Simon to Widespread Panic.
“I have the great privilege of working with an incredibly talented and passionate group of people who are dedicated to growing the Ryman’s legacy as a world-class concert venue and the Mother Church of Country Music,” said Williams. “I am very proud to be part of the country music community and tremendously honored to receive the Promoter of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music.”

The current concert line-up at the Ryman offers a wide-variety of entertainment and the venue continues to honor its country music heritage. In celebration of the fiftieth-anniversary of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” the Ryman is bringing back the bio-musical “Always…Patsy Cline” for six weeks starting June 17, 2011. Mandy Barnett will reprise her role of Patsy on the same stage where she first portrayed Patsy in 1994 to national acclaim. Other upcoming events include the 10th Anniversary of Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam to kick off CMA Music Festival and the annual Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman summer concert series featuring Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson and more.

Country music superstars comment on the Ryman:

“Premiering my album “Revolution” live at the Ryman Auditorium was a dream come true.” – Miranda Lambert

“There’s no place I’d rather play!” – Keith Urban

“Playing the Ryman has been at the top of our list of goals since we first got together to write songs.” – Lady Antebellum

“You changed my life forever when I stepped on your stage the first time!” – Taylor Swift

“It’s one of the finest places in the world to play for a country musician.” – Jamey Johnson

“If country music had a Vatican, it would be the Ryman.” – Marty Stuart


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GM Sally Williams Talks With The Tennessean

Anita Wadhwani sat down with our General Manager, Sally Williams to talk about our storied past and our future. They discuss the state of the touring industry, how we set our ticket prices and Sally’s nomination as the Academy of Country Music Promoter of the Year. Read more here.

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Tracy Morgan at the Ryman

Tracy Morgan

Tickets on sale Friday, April 1 at 10 am

SNL alum Tracy Morgan is set to take the Ryman stage Friday, June 3. Current staring as Tracy Jordan on the NBC hit “30 Rock”, comedian Morgan is also the author of “I Am The New Black” which was published in 2009.

Tickets go on sale April 1 at 10:00 a.m. via

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B. B. King & Buddy Guy Return To The Ryman May 31st

B.B. King and Buddy Guy return to the Ryman May 31st! Tickets go on sale Friday, March 25th at 10:00 a.m. via and Ticketmaster.

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OneRepublic Setlist (03/13/11)

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Owl City at the Ryman June 13

Owl City to play the Ryman June 13. Tickets on sale Tuesday, March 22 at 12:00 p.m.

Owl City is back after a long cold winter with a new full-length studio album “All Things Bright And Beautiful” is due out May 17 Worldwide on Universal Republic. Produced by Owl City’s Adam Young and recorded at Sky Harbor Studios in Owatonna, MN, “All Things Bright And Beautiful” features twelve new songs and was mixed by Young along with Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer Jack Joseph Puig whose credits include Beck, Mary J. Blige, Green Day and John Mayer to name a few.

Tour in support of the new album starts with this June 13 date here at the Ryman. Ticket available here.

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Paul Simon to play the Ryman May 19th

To celebrate the release of his first new record in five years, legendary artist Paul Simon has announced a very special Nashville show scheduled for May 19, 2011. Tickets are set to go on sale Friday, March 11 at 10:00 a.m. Ticket says will be online on via Tickets are $115.00, $85.00 and $65.00. The set list willd raw from his iconic career, including several songs that haven’t been performed live in many years. Also included will be songs from “So Beautiful or What” his brand new album set for release by Hear Music/Concord Music Group on Tuesday, April 12. Before hitting the road, Simon will appear two consecutive nights, April 6 and 7 on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”.

Produced by Phil Ramone and Paul Simon, with liner notes by Elvis Costello, “So Beautiful or What” is one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. Rolling Stone magazine recently declared it “…his best since Graceland…” and National Public Radio affirmed, “…his new music balances great poetry and pop. Paul Simon is a national treasure.” In their current issue, Filter Magazine calls the new album, “…a new masterpiece from the Picasso of music.”

Joining Paul for this tour is a stellar band of musicians including Cameroonian guitarist Vincent Nguini, drummer Jim Oblon, pianist Mick Rossi, saxophonist/keyboardist Andrew Snitzer, bassist Bakithi Kumalo, guitarist Mark Stewart, master percussionist Jamey Haddad and multi-instrumentalist Tony Cedras.

For more information, click here

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