Monroe, Krauss to Kick Off
Bluegrass Series at Ryman

By Jean Metcalfe

Ryman Auditorium is not just a museum — not anymore. Thanks to an $8.5 million facelift by its owner, Gaylord Entertainment Company (Opryland USA, Opryland Hotel, General Jackson), the cherished Nashville landmark will soon be filled with the sound of live music.

Bill Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass Music," and Alison Krauss, one of its newest stars, will kick off the 12-week series of bluegrass concerts on June 14 in the building that for 31 years was home to the Grand Ole Opry. (Monroe has bounced back from a broken hip suffered earlier this year.)

Dubbed "Martha White Bluegrass Night at the Ryman," the performances will continue through Aug. 30.

In a recent announcement, Robert V. Dale, president of Martha White Foods, and Steve Buchanan, general manager of the Ryman Auditorium, revealed the impressive lineup of performers. Besides Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys and Krauss & Union Station on June 14, the others are:

June 21: Marty Stuart; Jerry & Tammy Sullivan.

June 28: Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Tim O'Brien and Friends.

July 5: The Johnson Mountain Boys; The Del McCoury Band.

July 12: John Hartford and Aeroplane with Vassar Clements, Tony Rice, Tut Taylor & Roy Huskey, Jr.

July 19: Ricky Skaggs.

July 26: Mac Wiseman; Jim & Jesse & the Virginia Boys.

Aug. 2: The Osborne Brothers; Lonesome Standard Time.

Aug. 9: The Nashville Bluegrass Band; The Fairfield Four.

Aug. 16: Alison Krauss & Union Station; The Cox Family.

Aug. 23: Sweethearts of the Rodeo; Run C&W.

Aug. 30: Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys; Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys.

Martha White Bluegrass Night shows are at 8 p.m. every Tuesday from June 14-Aug. 30. Tickets are $10 and can be ordered by calling 615-889-6611. A Bluegrass Pass, good for all 12 Tuesdays in the series, is $80 through May 1; $90 after May 1.

A musical play, "Always . . . Patsy Cline," will be performed every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from June 9-Oct. 29. For ticket information call 615-889-6611.

The Ryman Auditorium is located at 116 5th Avenue North, Nashville, Tenn.