All Feature Articles

Classic Rock Legend Norman Greenbaum Receives a Spirited Standing Ovation at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Return

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Classic rock legend Norman Greenbaum accidentally "discovered" Nashville during a 2018 trip to the state to visit some of his relatives here. By a matter of luck and a little bit of fate the city's eclectic and all-consuming week-long music festival AmericanaFest was taking place at the same time. So, Norman and his partner Bonita Kay Capps bought themselves a pair of tickets and a love affair with Music City quickly ensued.

Norman Greenbaum onstage at the Ryman Auditorium.

The pair returned in 2019 and Norman appeared onstage at the Basement East performing an extended and celebratory version of his singularly amazing song "Spirit In The Sky" with the help of top East Nashville talent. Greenbaum also found himself behind the microphone as a guest on WSM's Coffee and Cody and that organization invited him out to the Grand Ole Opry where they brought him out from behind the curtain to introduce him to the large audience during the start of the second act.

In a lot of ways, this Nashville chapter of Norman Greenbaum's life represents an exciting second act for the friendly and gentle musical giant who turns 80 in November. Norman was excited and energized by the players in this town - and the city itself - as he got a first hand education in just how important music is to Music City.

The Ryman Auditorium is still making history in Nashville.

Things were going so well that a new band was being wood-shedded in California and dates were being drawn up for a comeback tour with many scheduled to take place on the cruise ship circuit. However, the momentum killing global pandemic and ensuing lockdowns tragically cut those plans short and stopped them in their tracks. Norman and Bonita like the rest of the world hunkered down and waited for the all clear. When the pair felt comfortable with the idea of travel again it wasn't tough to figure out where they were headed - back to Nashville.

And somehow - in another case of extreme and unlikely coincidence - a band who themselves also achieved a great amount of success with "Spirit In The Sky" happened to be playing at the Ryman Auditorium as the Kentucky HeadHunters were opening on a co-bill with Steve Earle on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. But, it couldn't happen - could it? It seemed too good to be true. Sure enough, during the band's two-song encore they talked about the time they recorded the famous track and said the writer was in the building before bringing a flashy Greenbaum out wearing an Old Glory shirt and striking silver sneakers. The Ryman faithful were in awe as history was being made once again at the Mother Church of Country Music and a standing ovation ensued at the end of the song. Now, only one question remains. What does Norman Greenbaum do for an encore in Music City?

Norman Greenbaum and the Kentucky Headhunters in Nashville.

Related Links: For more information on NORMAN GREENBAUM and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Norman Greenbaum | The Kentucky Headhunters | Norman Greenbaum - Classic Rock Legend's Spirits Are Elevated in Nashville Return | There's Still Spirit in the Song at Americanafest | Is There a New Wave of Jesus Rock Rolling Right Out of Nashville? | AmericanaFest 2022: Wrap-Up and 10 Additional Reports from the Music City Nashville Reporting Team


The War Hippies Go to Battle for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville

Enchant Opens with Great Expectations at First Horizon Park in Nashville

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Premiers a New Documentary at Belcourt Theatre in Nashville

Thanks Were Given During Pre-Holiday Concert at at Glencliff UMC in Nashville

Joanne Shaw Taylor Shows Just Why She Is Nobody's Fool at TPAC in Nashville

PBR Team Champions the Nashville Stampede Bring the Big Buckle Home to Broadway

Zoolumination Is Off to a Roaring Start In Spectacular Return to Nashville Zoo

Parnassus Books Is Set to Tell the Story of The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll: 70 Years of Sun Records at Author Signing in Nashville

Gibson Gives and Guitars For Vets Gather For a Memorable Rock to Remember Concert in Nashville

Petra Celebrates 50 Years of Christian Rock at Cornerstone in Madison

Loretta Lynn - Celebrating the Life of The Coal Miner's Daughter at the Opry House in Nashville

BMI Rooftop on the Row Has a Rousing Season Finale with Julia Cole, Callista Clark and Tiera Kennedy

King's X Are Extremely Excellent at Sold-Out Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville

John Petrucci and Meanstreak Make It a Family Affair at the CMA Theater in Nashville

The Hobbs Sisters Break Out the Band at Live Oak in Nashville

The Southern Festival of Books Adds Another Exciting Chapter in Nashville

The Doobie Brothers Close a Chapter on 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville

Songs On 2nd - Is There a Better Writer's Round in Nashville?

Steve Earle and the Kentucky HeadHunters Go to Bat for a Good Cause in Nashville

An Excellent Evening with Chris Martin of Martin & Co. at InDo in Nashville

Hany and the Nets: Nashville SC's Mukhtar Makes a Claim for Both League MVP and Golden Boot Titles at GEODIS Park

Cimarron 615 Makes It Official at The 5 Spot in East Nashville

BMI Rooftop On The Row Remains the Coolest Party in Nashville with Tenille Arts and Elvie Shane

Andrew Jackson - the Nation's 7th President - Remains Revered and Reviled in Nashville

© 2022
All Rights Reserved