Sponsored By

Lula C. Naff

  • Legendary theater manager who helmed the Ryman Auditorium for 40+ years
  • Brought the Grand Ole Opry to the Ryman Auditorium in 1943

Lula C. Naff was the Ryman Auditorium's legendary theater manager who helmed the venue for more than 40 years, booking the Grand Ole Opry and a diverse who's who of talent from Katharine Hepburn to Harry Houdini and Bob Hope to the Ziegfeld Follies. She was named Manager Emeritus when she retired in 1955. During her tenure, her vision for the Ryman was strategic and ever-evolving, branching out to include boxing matches, livestock auctions, political debates and more. She had a reputation for standing up for what she believed in, fighting censorship groups in court and welcoming diversity onstage and off. In 1943, she famously agreed to let the rowdy Grand Ole Opry show put down roots in the Auditorium, and the show filled her Saturday nights - and the nation's airwaves - with music and comedy for the rest of her career and beyond.


Inducted to the Music City Walk of Fame on September 14, 2017.