7 Minute Miles

The Oak Ridge Boys @ Ryman ✅

“See a show at the Ryman” has been on my bucket list for a long, long time. I’ve been subscribed to their marketing email list for a while and always marveled at the lineup of shows they get each year. Didn’t really know all of the Grand Ole Opry history in the building, as our family didn’t grow up watching Minnie Pearl and the gang, but a lot of my favorite current acts stop there regularly.

When I started planning a surprise anniversary trip for Colleen, I had a very small window due to my current work schedule. Took a quick look at the Ryman calendar and saw there was a two day window that included the Christmas show by The Oak Ridge Boys, a family favorite for Colleen growing up. Thanks to some very kind connections, I was able to buy two tickets on the main floor in the “golden circle,” up close and personal.

I’ll write more about the rest of the trip soon, but the concert experience was extraordinary. You could just feel the history ooze out of every corner of the venue. The sign listing artists that have played there is like the First Avenue stars on steroids. The acoustics were great and the guest service staff were friendly and knowledgeable. Very nice gift shop near the entrance, which used the latest Evolv screening gear to move people along quickly.

We’ve seen The Oak Ridge Boys a few times at Mystic Lake, but had never seen the Christmas show before. This story from The Tennessean (via MSN) says it’s the first time they have ever headlined the Ryman, which I find somewhat amazing. If you look closely at the crowd shot in that story, you can see both of us. Oddly enough, Setlist.fm didn’t even have a plug page for this show, so I created one (but don’t know what songs were played beyond Elvira, American Made and Blue Christmas).

They are billing this the “American Made Farewell Tour” celebrating 50+ years of touring. Joe Bonsall is the youngster at 75, but he needed to be assisted on and off stage and stayed seated on a stool for the whole show. Found out he had a pulmonary embolism in June 2022 that impacted his legs. Duane Allen and Richard Sterban (Mr. Baritone) are both 80 and the man with the amazing beard, William Lee Golden (pictured above), is 84. He actually shares a birthday with kid two, so he will be 85 next month.

Very fun show in a must-see venue for anyone who loves the history of live music…

Originally published by DK on December 18, 2023 at 12:18 am in Concerts, History, Longform, Music, Travel

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