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America's Coolest Music Venues

America's Coolest Music Venues: Ryman Auditorium

Steve Lowry/Ryman Archives

Ryman Auditorium, Nashville

Nashville’s Ryman stage, inside a tabernacle, has been graced by not only Marian Anderson, Mae West, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Louis Armstrong, but also presidents Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, as well as Charlie Chaplin and Helen Keller. The Grand Ole Opry was based here from 1943 to 1974. All that history contributes to the frozen-in-time appeal of this venue, complete with wooden pews and stained-glass windows. But make no mistake about the sound: there are professional acoustics and a fully equipped recording studio, which is available for rent to local artists. ryman.com

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