Ray Charles Sings Ring Of Fire At Opening Of New Ole Opry (1974)
In 1974 the Grand Ole Opry moved from the Ryman Theatre in downtown Nashville to the new Grand Ole Opry House, several miles to the east of the city.
To carry on the tradition of the Ryman, a six-foot circle of oak was cut from the center of the old theater’s stage and inlaid into center stage at the new venue.
Exactly at that spot, most probably on or around opening night (March 16), but without any audience present, Ray Charles was filmed performing Ring Of Fire. He sang and played piano live, probably using a specially produced orchestra tape, enriched with some prominent slide guitar.
The clip possibly was part of the opening show, where – God forbid, as this source stated it – also “sitting U.S. President Richard Nixon […] played a few songs on the piano”.