Historic Photos Of The Opry: Ryman Auditorium 1974
PHOTOGRAPHER Jim McGuire from New Jersey, of all places was comparatively new to Nashville when he made his two most indelible images. Both centered around the end times of the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium. One, with lightning circling the building, adorns the cover and sets the tone for this book of photos documenting those moments and that neighborhood, circa 1974. A print of the other image, of Minnie Pearl, taken from behind with the pricetag from her hat hanging in the black where the audience lurks, used to (and may still) hang at the Bluebird Cafe, though I remember it as a vertical shot and its horizontal on p. 33.
No matter. Senor McGuire, as he is often styled, went on to take photos for hundreds of album covers and uncounted promotional glossies. He had not settled into that visual voice by the time of these images, which are chiefly of interest for what and who they show, and how long ago it now seems. So many stars of the 1974 Opry are now all but forgotten. So much has changed on Lower Broadway. We dont think of Dolly sweating. Such is the power of a good camera.