Whad’ ya’ll know? Two 14-year-olds and I were in the audience this morning with Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know? came to Nashville for the first time. I was amazed by the turn-out, a full-house downstairs at TPAC’s Jackson Hall and apparently a big crowd in the balcony as well, so we’re talking, 2,000+ public radio listeners from Tennessee, southern Kentucky and northern Alabama Despite the red state location, it was a decidedly blue-state audience based on what punchlines got the biggest laughs. The show was fun and it was fascinating (in an anachronistic way) to be in the audience of a live nationally-broadcast radio program.
But then, Nashville is unique when it comes to large-audience live radio programs. A person can still attend the Grand Ole Opry every Sad’dee-nite (and Fridays and some Tuesdays). However, the best (and for me, only) time to attend the Opry, is January and February, when the show returns to the Ryman Auditorium. Any concert at the Ryman is special (okay, there are obvious exceptions – scroll down to April 11), but there’s something almost eerily nostalgic about attending the Grand Ole Opry there. A museum-quality event will be February 4-5 when Dolly Parton plays the Opry at the Ryman with the young bluegrass band she’s touring with currently, the Grascals. Yee-haa.