When the War Memorial Auditorium (WMA) was dedicated in 1925, its architect, Edward Dougherty, was given the Gold Medal Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Institute of Architecture. Leading architects and artists of the time contributed to its style, near-perfect acoustics, and atmosphere.
Originally built to honor the 3,400 Tennesseans who died in the First World War (1914-1918), the auditorium became the performance home of the Nashville Symphony (1925-1980) and the Grand Ole Opry (1939-1943). For years, that legacy has continued—the pop culture in one era becomes a part of WMA’s colorful history in the next.
Whatever the decade or style of music, hundreds of celebrity artists have performed here—David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, Procol Harum with opening act The Eagles, Ray Charles, Liberace, Jim Croce, KISS, R.E.M., Barry Manilow, Mumford & Sons, Jason Mraz, Them Crooked Vultures, The Dead Weather, Atoms for Peace, Marilyn Manson, Robert Plant, and more.
At War Memorial Auditorium, history is always in the making.