November 28

Porter Wagoner Honors First of Country’s Greats in “Mother Church”

Flashback to the early 1940s, Ryman Auditorium, which was also affectionately dubbed the “Mother Church of Country Music,” opened its doors to the public. Since then, Ryman became the go-to place of all fans seeking to satiate their thirst for good, old-fashioned country sounds.

On that note, Porter Wagoner had one song bearing the “Mother Church” title. In it, he’ll also quickly give us a run-down of Country music’s early innovators.

Got all the names? Starting with the King of Country Music, Roy Acuff and Comedian Sweetheart, Minnie Pearl, Wagoner listed Nashville’s essentials including Hank Williams, Tex Ritter, Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, and Hawkshaw Hawkin. Of course, he didn’t fail to mention Red Foley, Uncle Dave Macon, Lester Flatt, Marty Robbins and many more!

Rightfully Called “Mother Church”

Built in 1892, this home for country music was first named the “Union Gospel Tabernacle.” As the name implied, Thomas Ryman’s initially purposed the tabernacle for Samuel Jones’ revival gatherings. Come the 1900s, lack of funding forced Ryman and Jones to turn over the building to Lula Naff. Soon, the tabernacle was converted into a public auditorium catering to orchestras, notable speeches, and Broadway shows.

A few years later, the site became a hub for Country musicians to showcase their music. Countless legends have graced the place to the delight of Country music lovers. Fast forward today, Ryman Auditorium‘s recorded as among the “coolest venues” in America for real music. Adding to its popularity is its utilization for live shows, exhibits, music videos, and movies.

Today, this “Mother Church of Country Music” continues to expand its influence and is gradually attracting non-Country converts. God willing, may it house more memories and historical events in the future.


Posted by Ryman Auditorium on Monday, July 12, 2010


Dave Macon, hank williams, Hawkshaw Hawkin, Jim Reeves, Lester Flatt, Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, porter wagoner, red foley, roy acuff, Ryman Auditorium, Tex Ritter

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