Saturday, April 25, 2009

backstage at the Grand Ole Opry!

Last night was amazing! My friend Mathilde (an exchange student from France) is doing her masters thesis on how country music has shaped Nashville's economy. In addition to our buying tickets to attend a night at the Opry, she was able to get in touch with some of the head honchos and set up an appointment including a backstage tour before the show.

The show didn't start til 7, but we showed up at 5 for the tour. Steve Gibson, the director of Creative Services, spent an hour and a half giving us a tour, and then an additional 45 mins in his office supplying us with all the information Mathilde might ever need for her paper. I was so impressed with the kindness and eagerness of all the employees to share the legacy of the Opry with everyone who came through the doors. NOBODY was the least bit pretentious, and we were walking around the guys 2nd and 3rd in command in the whole company!

Steve gave us full access to green room, refreshment area, sound booth, video booth, light booth, advertising booth, even the stage itself (!) for the entire evening.
There were a few seats on stage behind the performers that we helped ourselves to, and even though the sound really wasn't that was incredible just to be there. And to meet Marty Stewart, the Cherryholmes...some really big names.

Near the end of the show Steve came out on the stage and brought Mathilde a book he had purchased for her in the gift store; one he thought would give her some more good material. Then he arranged for her to meet with his boss, the CEO and Chairman, next week. I just can't say enough about his generosity! He went completely out of his way to make sure we were taken care of.

(And I might just have snagged myself a paid internship in the Marketing Department next year!) :)


  1. omgosh, how fun!!:) i've always liked marty stuart - nice guy?

    i'm so happy for you, shirah:)!! let's get together for coffee soon;)

  2. Well, he was nice enough-- a little eager to get off the stage and back to his wife (understandably!).

    See you Friday chick-a-dee!


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