Earlier this summer, we celebrated Bill Monroe’s upcoming 100th Birthday with a special edition of Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman featuring Doyle Lawson, Bobby Osborne, Sierra Hull and more.
During December 1945 on our historic stage, Monroe played with his band (featuring banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Chubby Wise and Cedric Rainwater) and Bluegrass music as we know it was born. The line-up have been widely credited with starting the musical genre during that Grand Ole Opry performance.
The Tennessee Historical Commission honored the Ryman with a historical marker (officially #3A-209 for you trivia buffs) to designate us as the offical Birthplace of Bluegrass on Sept. 29, 2006. The sign stands proudly on the northwest corner of the building near Fifth Avenue.
The plaque reads:
In December 1945, Grand Ole Opry star Bill Monroe and his mandolin brought to the Ryman Auditorium stage a band that created a new American musical form. With the banjo style of Earl Scruggs and the guitar of Lester Flatt, the new musical genre became known as “Bluegrass.” Augmented further by the fiddle of Chubby Wise and the bass of Howard Watts (also known as Cedric Rainwater), this ensemble became known as “The Original Bluegrass Band” which became a prototype for groups that followed.