Thursday, November 16, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 11/17 & 11/18

Sometimes the Opry is a little slow in getting the line-ups finalized and posted and this was one of those weeks. It took until early Thursday evening for the shows to be finalized and after everything was said and done, all four shows have pretty good variety and talent. Each of the shows feature several veterans and Hall of Fame members, bluegrass, comedy and rising young stars. Something for just about everyone.

Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for both nights, and hosting segments include Bill Anderson, Mike Snider, Connie Smith and Jeannie Seely. (it should be noted that Bill is hosting on both shows on Friday night but only on the first show Saturday). The only other Opry member scheduled this weekend is Bobby Osborne on Saturday night. I have stated my opinion before, but it is pretty sad that out of 64 Opry members, only four could be rounded up for a Saturday night show. I guess we should be pretty thankful that there are guest artists who are more than willing to appear on the Opry when asked.

As to those guest artist, there are a couple of interesting names on the Friday Night Opry, one of which is Larry Stephenson. Larry is a great bluegrass artist. I saw him on the Opry a few years back, along with hosting the Midnight Jamboree, and he did a great job. Very talented and he always has a good group working with him. Another act of interest are The Secret Sisters. If you have not seen or heard Laura and Lydia Rogers before, you are in for a treat. Very little instrumentation and great harmony. Each of their songs tell a story and they receive regular airplay on the SiriusXM Outlaw channel. William Michael Morgan is another of the young talents with a real country voice and he has reached the top of the country charts. Tucker Beathard, John Moreland, Mark Wills and comedian Dick Hardwick round out the line-up. Actually there is one more and I was saving her for last and that is Sylvia. Sylvia has several Top 10 records to her credit and after seeing her on the Opry Country Classics show in October, she still looks and sounds great. She has made several Opry appearances this past year and it is nice to see her making another.

Dick Hardwick will also be on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, where he will be joined by Holly Williams, Brook Eden, Aaron Tippin, Devin Dawson and LOCASH. As stated before, some good variety and some nice young talent on the Opry Saturday night.

Friday November 17
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Larry Stephenson Band; The Secret Sisters
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Tucker Beathard; Sylvia
8:00: Connie Smith (host); Dick Hardwick; William Michael Morgan
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); John Moreland; Mark Wills

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Larry Stephenson Band; The Secret Sisters
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Tucker Beathard; Sylvia
10:30: Connie Smith (host); Dick Hardwick; William Michael Morgan
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); John Moreland; Mark Wills

Saturday November 18
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Holly Williams; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Brooke Eden; Aaron Tippin
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Dick Hardwick; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Connie Smith (host); Devin Dawson; LOCASH

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Holly Williams; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Brooke Eden; Aaron Tippin
10:30: Connie Smith (host); Dick Hardwick; Opry Square Dancers; Devin Dawson; LOCASH

I did want to mention a couple of items from the Opry's health files this week. First, as was reported on various news outlets this week, Carrie Underwood fell at her home and broke her wrist. She is recovering well, but she was scheduled to be on the Opry Saturday December 9th. Because of her injury, she has cancelled those appearances. We have talked before about Carrie always making her 10 Opry appearances each year and those two shows that Saturday night would have put her at 10. So, though no fault of her own, Mrs. Fisher will come in at 8 shows this year. Still not a bad number for this superstar.

Secondly, Opry member Jesse McReynolds had a bit of a setback in his recovery and was hospitalized earlier this week. Apparently nothing serious (although at age 88 every hospital stay could be considered serious), and he was due to be sent home today. Based on pictures I saw of Jesse and his doctor, he looked in pretty good shape.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of November 16 & 17, 2007:

Friday November 16
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Keith Anderson
8:30: Ray Pillow (host); Chris Young
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Ashley Monroe; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Restless Heart

Saturday November 17
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Daryle Singletary
7:00: Van Zant; Eric Church; Nanci Griffith; Loretta Lynn
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; IIIrd Tyme Out; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jamey Johnson

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Daryle Singletary; Loretta Lynn
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Nanci Griffith
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); IIIrd Tyme Out; Eric Church; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jamey Johnson; Van Zant

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday November 21, 1992:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Jim Ed Brown: I Don't Want to Have to Marry You
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

6:45: Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Old Blue
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Riders In The Sky: How Does He Yodel
Grandpa Jones: Come & Dine

7:00: Shoney's
John Conlee (host): I'm Only Only In it for the Love
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore/Too Many Memories
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues

7:30: Standard Candy
Billy Walker (host): Coffee Brown Eyes
David Houston: Secret Love
Jean Shepard: I'm Just an Old Bridge That You Keep Burning
Stacy Dean Campbell: Singing the Blues/Poor Man's Rose
Billy Walker: Let Me Faith Begin to Move

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Brother Oswald: Hawaiian March
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Forked Deer
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream/Happy Cajun

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): The Wreck of the Old 97/One More Ride
The 4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah
Charlie Louvin & Monroe Fields: Must You Throw Dirt in My Face
Mike Snider: Foggy Mountain Breakdown/Eating Chicken Necks & Wings
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Hank Snow: My First Night Alone

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Roy Drusky: Somewhere My Love
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Porter Wagoner: An Old Log Cabin for Sale/Dooley

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Kitty Klide
Riders In The Sky: Boots & Saddle
Grandpa Jones: It's Raining Here this Morning

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
John Conlee (host): The Backside of 30
Stacy Dean Campbell: Poor Man's Rose
John Conlee: Rose Colored Glasses

10:30: Randy Travis Enterprises
Osborne Brothers (host): A Pain in the Heart & Blues on My Mind
Jean Shepard: I Don't See How I Can Make It With You Gone
Terry Eldridge: You Own Set of Rules
David Crowe: Sally Goodin

10:45: B.C. Poweder
The 4 Guys (host): Operator, Get Me Jesus on the Phone
Mike Snider: Soldier's Joy/Angeline the Baker
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Blackberry Blossom
The 4 Guys: Head on Over to the Twist & Shout

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): That Heart Belongs to Me
The Whites: Doing it By the Book
Charlie Walker: Who Will Buy the Wine
Justin Tubb: Thanks Troubadour, Thanks
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter
Hank Snow: Brand on My Heart

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Big Mamou
Charlie Louvin & Monroe Fields: My Baby's Gone
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Johnny Russell: Me & Bobby McGee
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

One name from the night that some might not remember, and who was featured on the TNN televised segment was Stacy Dean Campbell. Stacy was born on July 27, 1967 in Carlsbad, New Mexico. His father was a gospel singer, touring with several quartets and who, along with other members of "The Singing Campbell Family" is an inductee in the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Raised by his mother in Oklahoma and New Mexico, Stacy began his music career singing in clubs around the Oklahoma University campus and then moved to Nashville. In 1991 he signed a contract to became a staff songwriter for Tree Music, and released his first album as a solo artist on Columbia Records in 1992. Three singles from his debut album reached the Billboard Country Singles chart.

In 1995, he released a follow-up album on Columbia, the in 1999 he moved to the Warner Brothers label and shifted his focus to making an album that featured more of his songwriting. The result was "Ashes of Old Love" which reached No. 3 on the Americana Music Chart. In 2000, he and Dean Miller co-wrote Trace Adkins' single "I'm Gonna Love You Anyway."

In 2001, he left the music business and returned to New Mexico where he began work on a writing project and in 2004, his first novel "Cottonwood" was published. Included with the book was a CD which featured 12 original tracks inspired by the novel and written by Campbell. In recent years, he has expanded his career and moved behind the scenes, working as a director-writer in music videos and short films. He is the creator of the Americana Travel series, "Bronco Roads," a syndicated travel series that showcases life in the American West, and in which he serves as the host.

Finally, a look back 50 years to Saturday November 18, 1967:

7:30: Roy Drusky (host); Norma Jean; Stu Phillips; Minnie Pearl; Cousin Jody
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Osborne Brothers; Margie Bowes; Stringbean; Crook Brothers
8:30: Billy Walker (host); Tex Ritter; Loretta Lynn; Archie Campbell; Del Wood
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; Del Reeves; Grandpa Jones; Jan Howard; Fruit Jar Drinkers
9:30: Hank Locklin (host); Marion Worth; Bob Luman; Lonzo & Oscar; Kenny Price
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Norma Jean; Stringbean
10:15: Billy Walker (host); Margie Bowes; Del Wood; Stu Phillips
10:30: Tex Ritter (host); Loretta Lynn; Cousin Jody
10:45: Del Reeves (host); Osborne Brothers; Crook Brothers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; Grandpa Jones; Sam & Kirk McGee
11:30: Hank Locklin (host); Marion Worth; Bob Luman; Lonzo & Oscar; Kenny Price

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!




Thursday, November 9, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 11/10 & 11/11

So, who all watched the Country Music Association Awards last night? I have to admit that I caught only part of the show, but from what I saw, it was definitely better show than the past few years. Among the highlights for me: a very nice tribute to Troy Gentry by Rascal Flatts, joined by Eddie Montgomery; Glen Campbell being honored, and winning an award with Willie Nelson (vocal event of the year), and of course Carrie Underwood. Several tributes were done to those we have lost this past year and each was very well done. I know everyone will not agree, which is ok, but I did think it was an improvement.

Now, as far as the Grand Ole Opry this week, the schedule has been posted for the shows this weekend, the second week of its winter run at the Ryman Auditorium. As with last week, and through the middle of December, there are two shows each night.

Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for both shows on Friday night include Jeannie Seely, The Whites, Mike Snider, Riders In The Sky and Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill. Jeannie and Mike, along with Vince on the 2nd show, will also be appearing on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, joined by Connie Smith, Bill Anderson and Bobby Osborne.

Gary Mule Deer will be guesting on all four shows, joined on Friday night by The Voice's Gwen Sebastian, Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy, Tracy Lawrence, and making his Opry debut, Lucas Hoge. Saturday night, in addition to Gary, will feature Steve Moakler, William Michael Morgan, Exile, and someone with a true country voice, David Ball.

Friday November 10
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Gwen Sebastian; The Whites
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Tracy Lawrence
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Lucas Hoge; Charlie McCoy
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Gary Mule Deer

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Gwen Sebastian; The Whites
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Tracy Lawrence
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Lucas Hoge; Charlie McCoy
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Gary Mule Deer

Saturday November 11
1st show
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Steve Moakler; Mike Snider
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Gary Mule Deer
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); David Ball; Opry Square Dancers; William Michael Morgan; Exile

2nd show
9:30: Connie Smith (host); Steve Moakler; Mike Snider
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Gary Mule Deer
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); David Ball; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); William Michael Morgan; Exile

As mentioned, Lucas Hoge will be making his Opry debut on the Friday Night Opry. In the course of his career, Lucas has been involved with rock, country and Christian music. He was also the host and star of Animal Planet's TV show, "Last Chance Highway," of which he also wrote and performed the show's theme song. Among his awards was the 2006 Country Album of the Year at the Los Angeles Music Awards, the same year that he was award the Christian Contemporary Singer/Songwriter of the Year. In 2011 he was nominated as the ICM's New Artist of the Year.

Lucas released his first CD, "In My Dreams," in 2002. His second album, "Dirt" followed in 2006. In July of this year he released "Dirty South," which debuted at No. 12 on Billboard's Top Country Albums Chart, and reached as high as No. 5. He currently records for Rebel Engine Entertainment.

In addition to tours in the United States, he has traveled to London and the Middle East to perform for American troops, and visited bases in dozens of countries as part of the Armed Forces Entertainment Wrangler National Patriot Tour. He is also the national spokesperson for Guardian Angels for a Soldiers Pet. Rolling Stone magazine has named Lucas one of the Top 10 artists you need to know for 2017. Overall he seems like a fine young man who has been making a name for himself over the past decade and I am sure he will be well received on the Opry this Friday night.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of November 9 & 10, 2007:

Friday November 9
8:00: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Josh Gracin
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Rhonda Vincent
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Chuck Wicks
9:30: Steve Wariner (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band

Saturday November 10
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mel McDaniel
7:00: Lorrie Morgan (host); Lonestar; Josh Gracin; Raul Malo
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; John Conlee; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Josh Gracin
10:00: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Raul Malo
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Lonestar; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; John Conlee

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday November 14, 1992:

1st show
6:30: The 4 Guys (host); The Whites
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jean Shepard
7:00: Jack Greene (host); Jeanne Pruett; Bill Carlisle; McCarters
7:30: John Conlee (host); David Houston; Mike Snider; Jerry Reed
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis; Brother Oswald; Roy Drusky; Charlie Louvin; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Billy Walker; Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Walker

2nd show
9:30: Jack Greene (host); John Conlee; Wilma Lee Cooper; The Whites; Jerry Reed
10:00: The 4 Guys (host); McCarters
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host); Stonewall Jackson
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Mike Snider
10:45: Billy Walker (host); Bill Carlisle; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host): Jean Shepard; Justin Tubb; Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Louvin
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; Johnny Russell

Finally from 50 years ago, Saturday November 11, 1967:

7:30: Willis Brothers (host); Billy Grammer; Del Reeves; Ernie Ashworth; Del Wood
8:00: Bobby Lord (host); George Hamilton IV; Jim & Jesse; Crook Brothers; Harold Weakley
8:30: Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host); Stringbean; Archie Campbell; The 4 Guys; Margie Singleton; Leon Ashley
9:00: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Carlisle; George Morgan; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Norma Jean; Larry McNeely; Charlie Collins
9:30: Hank Snow (host); Willis Brothers; Bill Monroe; Dottie West; Billy Grammer; Bob Luman
10:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Stringbean; Ernie Ashworth
10:15: Jim & Jesse (host); Harold Weakley
10:30: Archie Campbell (host); Bill Carlisle
10:45: Roy Acuff (host); Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper; Crook Brothers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Bobby Lord; Dottie West; The 4 Guys; Sam & Kirk McGee
11:30: Bill Monroe (host); George Morgan; Bob Luman; Norma Jean; Jerry Green

Looking back into Grand Ole Opry history, it was on Saturday November 10, 1962 that the Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 37 birthday. Here is the running order from that night:

6:30: J. L. Perry
Willis Brothers (host): Big Daddy
Sonny James: Young Love
Carl Butler: Honky Tonkitis
Cousin Jody: Television Set
Merle Kilgore: Something Going On
Skeeter Willis: Sally Goodin
Melba Montgomery: Happy You; Lonely Me
Billy Deaton: (?)
Willis Brothers: Everlovin' Dixieland

7:00: Delited
Ray Price (host): Pride
Bill Carlisle: It Takes all Kinds
Billy Walker: Charlie's Shoes
Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule
Ferlin Husky: It Was You
Stringbean: Barnyard Banjo Picking
Texas Ruby: California Blues
Ray Price: Walking Slow

7:30: Pet Milk
Jim Reeves (host): I'm Gonna Change Everything
Glaser Brothers: I'm Losing Again
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Silver Threads & Golden Needles
Jimmy Dean: (?)
Jim Reeves: Pride Goes for A Fall
Jean Shepard: One Less Heartache
George Hamilton IV: If You Don't Know Me
Blue Boys: Wheels
Jim Reeves: Stand at Your Window

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Ballad of Jed Clampett
Cowboy Copas: Alabam
Jimmy Newman: Bayou Talk
Del Wood: China Town
Flatt & Scruggs: Coal Loading Johnny
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Justin Tubb: (?)
Crook Brothers: Lafayette
Flatt & Scruggs: Shucking the Corn

8:30: Bass Homes
Porter Wagoner (host): (?)
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Jordanaires: (?)
Patsy Cline: She's Got You
Leroy Van Dyke: Auctioneer
Porter Wagoner: (?)

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb (host): I'm Looking High & Low for My Baby
Wilburn Brothers: Trouble's Back in Town
Bill Monroe: Uncle Pen
Carter Family: The Sun's Gonna Shine In My Back Door Someday
Ernest Tubb: Rainbow at Midnight
Cousin Jody: Don't Make Love in A Buggy 'Cause Horses Carry Tales
Margie Bowes: I Really Don't Want to Know
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Ernest Tubb: (?)

9:30: Stephens
Faron Young (host): Back Track
George Morgan: Macht Nichts
Carl Butler: Don't Let Me Cross Over
Louvin Brothers: Must You Throw Dirt in My Face
Bill Anderson: Mama Sang A Song
Loretta Lynn: Success
George Jones: (?)
Faron Young: Going Steady

10:00: Gates Rubber
Jim Reeves (host): Billy Bayou
Willis Brothers: Goodnight Cincinnati; Good Morning Tennessee
Skeeter Davis: Something Precious
Jim Reeves: Adios Amigo
Blue Boys: Red River Rock

10:15: Corn Products
Ray Price (host): Crazy Arms
Stringbean: Pretty Polly
Bill Carlisle: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
Del Wood: Shiek of Araby
Ray Price: You Done Me Wrong

10:30: Harvey's
Marty Robbins (host): (?)
Flatt & Scruggs: The Ballad of Jed Clampett
Billy Walker: Willie the Weeper
Marty Robbins: (?)

10:45: De Con
Ferlin Husky (host): Wings of A Dove
Hank Locklin: Please Help Me I'm Falling
Glaser Brothers: Let Me Down Easy
Crook Brothers: Soldiers Joy
Simon Crum: (?)

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): Darkness on the Face of the Earth
Porter Wagoner: (?)
Louvin Brothers: (?)
Patsy Cline: Heartaches
Jordanaires: (?)
Jean Shepard: Two Shadows; 2 Voices; 2 Faces
George Hamilton IV: China Doll
Sam & Kirk McGee: Columbus Stockade Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Twenty Miles from Shore

11:30: SSS Tonic
George Morgan (host): Candy Kisses
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Jimmy Newman: I May Fall Again
Wilburn Brothers: Oh, Monah
Roy Drusky: It Worries Me
Margie Bowes: Judge Not
Cowboy Copas: Alabam'
Bill Anderson: Po' Folks
George Morgan: Almost

A pretty impressive show!!!

I hate to finish it up on a sad note, but it was 44 years ago this weekend, Saturday November 10, 1973 that Stringbean performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the final time.

David Akeman was born on June 17, 1915 in Annville, Jackson County, Kentucky. Taught by his father, he got his first real banjo at the age of 12 and began playing at local dances. He gained quite a reputation, but had difficulty making a living as a musician. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, building bridges and planting trees. Eventually, he entered a talent contest judged by singer-guitarist Asa Martin. He won the contest and joined Martin's band.

Originally a musician, he began to work on his comedy skills, eventually appearing on WLAP-AM in Lexington, Kentucky. Though the late 1930s, he was a part of several different groups. He also played semi-professional baseball, which led to a meeting with Bill Monroe, who fielded his own team. From 1943-1945, Stringbean played banjo in Monroe's band (when he left he was replaced by Earl Scruggs).

According to David, Stringbeans was a common vegetable around his house growing up, and one of his favorites, so he picked the moniker as his stage name. (Another version of the story is that when he was performing with Asa Martin, Ash forgot his name and called him "String Beans" because of his tall, thin build). Among the performers that Stringbean played with was Grandpa Jones, who would become his neighbor and one of his closest friends.

The Grand Ole Opry lists Stringbean's induction date as 1942. Other sources give the date as 1945. Not that it matters, as once Stringbean became a part of the Opry, he became a popular and loyal member. In 1969, he was selected for the cast of Hee Haw, where a new generation of fans discovered his talents for the first time.

Stringbean, along with Uncle Dave Macon, Grandpa Jones and Ralph Stanley, is considered one of the greatest old-time style banjo pickers of all time.

Here is the running order from Saturday November 10, 1973, Stringbean's final night:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): Little Red Wagon
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Willis Brothers: God Walks These Hills with Me

6:45: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Forget; Forgive Us #1
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Josie Brown: Precious Memories, Follow Me
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: When My Time Comes to Go

7:00: Rudy's
Tex Ritter (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Stringbean: Hillbilly Fever
Karen Wheeler: The First Time for Us
Tex Ritter: Green Grow the Lilacs
Stringbean: Y'All Come
Karen Wheeler: Listen, Spot
Tex Ritter: Fall Away

7:30: Standard Candy
Bobby Bare (host): Ride Me Down Easy
Jimmy Martin: Just Plain Yellow
Melba Montgomery: Crawdad Song
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore
Jimmy Martin: Tennessee
Melba Montgomery: Wrap Your Love Around Me
Bobby Bare: Detroit City

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Night Train to Memphis
Grandpa Jones: Mountain Dew
Jimmy Driftwood: Run, Johnny Run/Tennessee Stud
Roy Acuff: Wabash Cannonball
Grandpa & Ramona Jones: Orange Blossom Special
Brother Oswald: Roll On, Buddy

8:30: Stephens
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Marion Worth: Paper Roses
Billy Grammer, Jr.: Orange Blossom Special
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
Billy Grammer: I'm Letting You Go
Marion Worth: Me & Bobby McGee
Billy Grammer: Just A Closer Walk with Thee

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Willis Brothers (host): Give Me 40 Acres
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Jimmy Martin: Honey, You Don't Know My Mind
Josie Brown: Precious Memories Follow Me
Skeeter Davis: Maiden's Prayer
Johnny Carver: Tonight Someone's Falling in Love
Jimmy Martin: Who'll Sing for Me When I Am Gone

10:00: Fender
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Little Darling Pal of Mine
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink on Me/No Help Wanted
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Coming Down from God

10:15: Union 76
Tex Ritter (host): There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder
Stringbean: Gonna Make Myself a Name/Hot Corn; Cold Corn
Tex Ritter: Willie, the Wondering Gypsy & Me

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Ball Knob, Arkansas
Grandpa & Ramona Jones: Bright Morning Stars are Rising
Jimmy Driftwood: The Mixed Up Family

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bobby Bare (host): Four Strong Winds
Karen Wheeler: The First Time for Us
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Bobby Bare: Detroit City

11:00: Coca-Cola
Billy Grammer (host): Bonaparte's Retreat
Melba Montgomery: Don't Keep Me Lonely Too Long
Billy Grammer, Jr.: Orange Blossom Special
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love
Melba Montgomery: Let's All Go Down to the River
Sam McGee; Worry, Worry Blues
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): I Walk Alone
Marion Worth: Paper Roses/Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed
Ronnie Robbins: Too Much Love Between Us/Mama Tried
Marty Robbins: Love Me/Big Boss Man/Crawling on My Knees/Don't Worry/El Paso

Stringbean and Estelle were killed after they returned home from the Opry that night. Their killers were waiting for them in their home with the intention of robbing them, as the rumor was that Stringbean, who grew up in the depression, did not believe in banks and kept a large amount of money hidden in their house. A confrontation took place after Stringbean returned home and he was shot. When Estelle tried to run, she was chased down and killed herself.

After the death of Stringbean, many of the Opry stars were in a panic. Roy Acuff was especially concerned and it would eventually lead to him living in a house at Opryland, although that was a few years in the future. Grandpa Jones, who discovered Stringbean's body, left Nashville and moved to Arkansas, where he and Ramona operated and performed in a dinner theater. In a sense, the innocence of Nashville was broken that night.

One last thought regarding Stringbean: There are many, myself included, who think that if Stringbean had lived and continued to make a name for himself on the Opry and Hee Haw, he would have eventually been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Stringbean was such a great musician and comedian and it is too bad that so many people have forgotten that aspect of his life and career.

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!





Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 11/7

For many parts of the country, today is election day. I know here in Canton we vote on some local and state issues. If you are looking for a diversion later this evening, listening to the Tuesday Night Opry might be in order. The line-up is looking pretty good.

7:00: Jeannie Seely; Terri Clark; Suzy Bogguss; Pam Tillis
Intermission
8:15: Flatt Lonesome; Chonda Pierce; Charlie Daniels Band

For those who may not know, Terri Clark, Suzy Bogguss and Pam Tillis are currently doing a short tour together so I would imagine that we will see the three of them on stage together tonight.

Should be a nice show.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

November Opry Highlights

Hard to believe but November is upon us. Many consider the months of November, December, January and February the "winter" months, as the cold wind from the North starts blowing. As far as the Grand Ole Opry is concerned, November is the start of the "winter run" as the Opry moves from the Grand Ole Opry House downtown to it's most famous former home, the Ryman Auditorium. Doing what I do at the start of each month, here are the important and historical events that have taken place at the Grand Ole Opry, or in relation to members of the Opry, during the month of November:

November 28, 1912: Early Grand Ole Opry member Robert Lunn was born in Franklin, Tennessee. He was nicknamed the "Original Talking Blues Man." Robert first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry on March 31, 1934, and he stayed with the Opry until he retired in 1958. What is interesting is that he was known for his "Talking Blues" yes he never recorded the song until 1947. He was very popular and did many early Opry tent shows, often appearing with Roy Acuff.

November 6, 1925: Uncle Dave Macon, Sid Harkreader and Dr. Humphrey Bate performed a show at the Ryman Auditorium that was broadcast on WSM radio. This is considered the first country music concert to have been broadcast on WSM.

November 9, 1925: George D. Hay began working at WSM radio in Nashville, with the title of "Radio Director." Later in the month, he would put Uncle Jimmy Thompson in front of a WSM microphone on a Saturday night, which was the beginning of the WSM Barn Dance, later renamed the Grand Ole Opry.

November 28, 1925: At 8:00 p.m., and originating from the fifth-floor studio at the National Life and Accident Insurance Company's headquarters in downtown Nashville, George D. Hay stepped up to a microphone and introduced Uncle Jimmy Thompson on WSM radio. This is considered as the birth of the Grand Ole Opry. The first tune played by Uncle Jimmy was "Tennessee Wagoner."

November 2, 1926: Former Grand Ole Opry member Charlie Walker was born in Texas. This former disc jockey joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1967 and would remain a member of the Opry until his death in 2008.

November 30, 1931: Teddy Wilburn was born. Teddy, along with his brother Doyle, were longtime members of the Grand Ole Opry. After Doyle's death, Teddy remained as a solo artist on the Opry, until his death in 2003.

November 1, 1937: Grand Ole Opry member Bill Anderson was born. Bill became an Opry member in 1961 and is still an active member today. Not only has the Country Music Hall of Fame member have numerous hit records to his credit, but he is also considered one of the great songwriters in the history of country music. Hard to believe that Bill will be 80 this year.

November 30, 1940: Minnie Pearl made her Grand Ole Opry debut. Minnie would become one of the most beloved members in the history of the Grand Ole Opry and would be an Opry member for over 50 years.

November 2, 1948: Roy Acuff was defeated in his campaign to become the Governor of Tennessee. While Roy would remain a big supporter of Republican candidates, Roy himself would never run for public office again. Roy's campaign mixed country music and politics, but it was not enough to overcome the Democratic majority in Tennessee.

November 6, 1948: While official records are many times hard to come by, it would appear that this was the date that Jimmy Dickens first became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jimmy was an Opry member until leaving in 1957, however he returned to the cast in 1975. Jimmy then stayed with the Opry until his death in January 2015.

November 13, 1949: The Grand Ole Opry sponsored its first overseas tour, as a group of Opry performers traveled to England, Germany and the Azores as part of a USO sponsored tour. Among the Opry stars making the trip were Roy Acuff, Rod Brasfield, Jimmy Dickens, Red Foley, Minnie Pearl and Hank Williams.

November 13, 1953: Del Wood became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Del was known for her ragtime piano playing, and her #1 record, "Down Yonder." Del would remain as a member until her death in October 1989.

November 14, 1953: Bill Carlisle joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Bill was an Opry member for just over 49 years, until passing away on March 17, 2003, the same year that he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

November 20, 1954: Western singer and television star Gene Autry made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

November 21, 1955: Jean Shepard became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jean, who passed away in 2016, was an Opry member for over 60 years, the only female to achieve that number. Not only was November 21 the date that Jean joined the Opry, but it was also her birthday and wedding anniversary. It should be noted that after Jean joined the Opry in 1955, she never left.

November 3, 1956: The great Stonewall Jackson originally joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. This year will mark his 61st anniversary from when he first joined the show. While it is now over 60 years since Stonewall originally joined, it should be noted that Stonewall was fired from the Opry in 1964 for failing to make the required number of annual appearances. He rejoined the cast in 1969. Stonewall's last appearance on the Opry was a year ago, when he was recognized upon his 60th anniversary of joining the Opry. It will be interesting to see if Stonewall will appear on his anniversary this year or not.

November 10, 1956: The Wilburn Brothers, Teddy and Doyle, became official members of the Grand Ole Opry. Teddy and Doyle, along with other family members, originally came to the Opry in the 1940s, however due to child labor laws, they were sent packing. Thankfully, with the help of Roy Acuff, the brothers returned and became one of the most successful brother acts in the history of country music.

November 9, 1960; Hank Locklin accepted an invitation to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Hank had made his first Opry guest appearance on November 28, 1953. Over the years, he would continue to guest until finally becoming an Opry member. Hank would remain an Opry member until his death in March 2009, 6 month short of 50 years as an Opry member.

November 3, 1961: The Country Music Association announced the first class of inductees to the new Country Music Hall of Fame. In that first class were Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose and Hank Williams. Roy Acuff would join that group the following year to become the first living inductee into the Hall.

November 25, 1961: Grand Ole Opry announcer, and WSM air personality, Eddie Stubbs was born in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Before joining WSM, Eddie was a fiddle player with the Johnson Mountain Boys, and then later he was a part of Kitty Wells' band.

November 29, 1961: A group of Opry members, which included Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins, Bill Monroe, Patsy Cline and Grandpa Jones, performed before a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall in New York.

November 28, 1964: Willie Nelson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Willie was an Opry member for just several years, as Nashville was tough on him and he eventually left Music City, returning to his native Texas and reinventing his career. While at the Opry, Willie would constantly complain about the low pay and having to give up every Saturday night to be there.

November 20, 1968: While not specific to the Grand Ole Opry, the first televised Country Music Association Awards show was televised on NBC. While the awards started in 1966, it took several years to find a network interested in airing it. The show was televised from the Ryman Auditorium with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans as the hosts.

November 12, 1971: Construction officially started on the new Grand Ole Opry House at Opryland USA. It was a massive project, taking until March 1974 to complete. While there were initial worries about the Opry leaving downtown and the Ryman Auditorium, the Opry has done just fine in its new home.

November 10, 1973: David Akeman, known professionally as Stringbean, made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Later that night, when he and his wife Estelle returned home, they were ambushed and murdered by two men who were waiting in their home to rob them. The bodies were found the following morning by their neighbor and good friend, Grandpa Jones, who had come to pick up Stringbean for a fishing trip. Nashville, and the Opry, was shaken by the murders, with many Opry members, led by Roy Acuff, calling for the death penalty. Grandpa Jones left Nashville for a number of years, moving to Arkansas and opening his own dinner theater. The killers were quickly caught and convicted. One died in prison and the other is out on parole.

November 24, 1975: One of the Opry's early members, Asher Sizemore, passed away at the age of 69. Asher appeared on the Opry with his son, known as "Little Jimmie." While there is some confusion as to when they started on the Opry, the date appears to be September 24, 1932. They were on the Opry for most of the 1930s, leaving the Opry in 1942. Years after they left the Opry, the pair would continue to perform on various radio stations, primarily in the Midwest.

November 5, 1983: Glen Campbell made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. He performed a melody of his hits.

November 21, 1985: Reba McEntire made her first appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Reba had actually joined the show earlier when she was asked to join during a taping of the Opry's 60th anniversary show. Since the show was taped for later broadcast, news of her Opry membership was kept under wraps.

November 3, 1990: Minnie Pearl was honored as an Opry member for 50 years. She joined the cast in 1940. As a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, this comedian is considered one of the great stars in the history of the Grand Ole Opry.

November 15, 1992: The Grand Ole Opry radio program was inducted into the Museum of Broadcast Communication's Hall of Fame.

November 23, 1992: Grand Ole Opry member Roy Acuff passed away in Nashville, just one month after his final appearance on the Opry. His influence at the Opry, and with country music in general, cannot be overstated. Thanks in large part to Acuff-Rose Publishing, Nashville became the home of country music. Roy was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 50 years, and for many years he was the Opry's most popular member. There are many who feel that his death was the first nail in the coffin that had led to the many changes that have taken place at the Opry over the past several decades.

November 28, 1992: Marty Stuart became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Marty's 25th year as an Opry member and he is set to appear on December 1st, when he will officially be recognized.

November 27, 1993: Joe Diffie became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. For Joe, this will be year number 24 at the Opry.

November 30, 1993: Grand Ole Opry member David Houston passed away at the age of 57. David, who came to Nashville and the Opry from the Louisiana Hayride, had one of the biggest hits in the history of country music with "Almost Persuaded." David had joined the Opry in 1972.

November 30, 1995: Martina McBride became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Martina joined during a CBS television special that celebrated the Opry's 70th anniversary. This will be her 22nd year as an Opry member. Loretta Lynn, who Martina said was a big influence to her while she was learning the business, did the formal induction. Regarding Martina, I love this story that I have repeated several times: She actually appeared on the Opry as part of the 70th anniversary birthday bash that was televised by TNN. She was the last performer on the televised segment before the cake was to be brought out, along with the cast singing "Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry" which always concluded the televised segment. During her portion, she sang two ballads that ran long, causing the cake and singing to be delayed until the next segment, which was not televised. There were many unhappy viewers at home who missed this Opry tradition, and many unhappy Opry members, who missed the chance to be onstage during the televised segment. Martina was very upset afterwards, believing that her mistake on the timing of her songs, cost her a chance of becoming an Opry member, something she always dreamed of. She apologized to everyone she could fine that night, and dreams do come true as the following month, she became an Opry member.

November 23, 1996: Trace Adkins made his first appearance as a guest on the Opry. 7 years later, in August 2003, he would become an Opry member. Trace has told the story several times that on the night of his first appearance, Grandpa Jones, who was hosting the segment, forgot his name. Not unusual for Grandpa.

November 8, 1997: Johnny Paycheck became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. For Johnny, this came pretty late in his life, and after several years of trying to rebuild his image and career after some series legal issues that included prison. Johnny Russell did a lot of work behind the scenes to help Johnny become a member, convincing Opry management that Johnny had cleaned up his act. Sadly, Johnny became ill a few years after joining the show.

November 7, 1998: Jimmy Dickens was honored for 50 years of Opry membership. Jimmy, who originally joined the Opry in 1948, was joined that night by Waylon Jennings, Bill Anderson, Carl Smith and Bobby Bare.

November 23, 2000: Dolly Parton and Vince Gill hosted a CBS televised special celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry.

November 8, 2002: The Grand Ole Opry is broadcast for the first time on Sirius satellite radio. For many, it was the first time that they were able to listen to an entire Opry show, while for others, it was the first time to enjoy the show without static.

November 23, 2002: Jim & Jesse McReynolds performed on the Opry for the final time. Jim McReynolds, who was in the final stages of an illness that would lead to his death on December 31, sang and played his guitar while sitting. The brothers had been Opry members since 1964, with Jesse still actively performing on the Opry.

November 30, 2002: Tim McGraw made his first guest appearance on the Opry. While never becoming an Opry member, Tim would appear on the Opry stage a few more times.

November 17, 2003: Grand Ole Opry member Don Gibson passed away in Nashville. Don was one of the greatest songwriters in the history of country music and in 2001 he had been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Don joined the Opry on May 20, 1958, but was fired in December 1964 for failing to meet the required number of Opry appearances. He rejoined the show several years later, but even after coming back, his appearances were few. His last Opry show was on March 16, 1996.

November 15, 2005: The Grand Ole Opry returned to Carnegie Hall in New York for just the 3rd time in its history, this time to promote the Opry's 80th anniversary. The show included performances by Trace Adkins, Bill Anderson, Jimmy Dickens, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Charley Pride, Ricky Skaggs and Trisha Yearwood.

November 19, 2007: During Charlie Daniel's 11th annual Christmas For Kids benefit at the Ryman Auditorium, Opry member Martina McBride surprised Charlie on stage with an invitation to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

November 8, 2008: Actor Kevin Costner and his country and western band, Modern West, performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time.

November 14, 2009: The Grand Ole Opry streamed part of its show on MySpace. The segment featured Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Jake Owen and Rodney Atkins. This was the first time that the Opry attempted a broadcast like this and despite numerous technical issues, the Opry considered it a success.

November 9, 2010: Grand Ole Opry member Charlie Louvin made his final Opry appearance, in a show that took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

November 21, 2015: Jean Shepard celebrated her 60th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She appeared in a segment hosted by Bill Anderson, her first Opry appearance in a year. During the show, she announced her retirement and this was Jean's final appearance on the Opry.

November 5, 2016: Grand Ole Opry member Stonewall Jackson was recognized and honored upon his 60th anniversary of when he first joined the Grand Ole Opry. 

November 15, 2016: During a guest appearance on the Tuesday Night Opry, Carrie Underwood surprised Crystal Gayle during a guest appearance, with an invitation to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Crystal's official induction took place the following January. 

November 24, 2016: Former Grand Ole Opry member Holly Dunn passed away in New Mexico from ovarian cancer. Holly joined the Opry's cast in October 1989 and was a member of the Opry until she was fired in the 2000's, after leaving Nashville and moving to New Mexico. In addition to her Opry duties, Holly also was a regular host of the Opry Backstage show.

There you have it for this month. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 11/3 & 11/4

This weekend starts the winter run for the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium, which the show will call home for the next three months, through January. Through November, there will be 2 shows each Friday and Saturday night, along with a Tuesday matinee the last week of the month.

As far as this weekend, there are a few Grand Ole Opry members who will be appearing on all 4 shows: Connie Smith, Mike Snider, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. They will be joined on Friday night by Bobby Osborne, while on Saturday Bill Anderson and Riders In The Sky will join the group. That comes out to just 5 Opry members for both shows on Friday night and 6 for the two shows on Saturday evening.

The group of guest artists on Friday night include Chuck Wicks, William Michael Morgan, LOCASH, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Bradley Walker. For Saturday night, "Nashville" star Charles Esten is again scheduled, along with Shelly Fairchild, comedian Henry Cho, and a name that some might have not heard for a few years, Jo-El Sonier.

Jo-El Sonier, who is probably best known for his hit "Tear-Stained Letter" back in 1988, has had quite a career. While that song, which reached No. 9 on the country charts, and "No More One More Time," which reached No. 7 that same year are his only Top 10 singles, he has recorded more than 30 albums in a career that began in the late 1960s and is still going on today.

He was born in Rayne, Louisiana in 1946 and began to play the accordion at the age of three. By age six, he had performed on radio and by age eleven had made his first recordings. By the 1970s he was signed to Mercury Nashville Records, but had limited success on the country charts. He then briefly left country music in order to record Cajun music for Rounder Records. While his Cajun album had limited success, it led to a Grammy nomination. After being signed as Merle Haggard's opening act, he returned to country music, signing with RCA Records in the 1980s, where he had his two biggest hits. In the 1990's Jo-El moved to Capital Records, but his solo career faltered soon afterwards. By the late 1990s he had returned to Rounder Records and was once more recording Cajun music. In 2009, he was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Since the death of Jimmy C Newman, Cajun music seems to have become a lost art at the Grand Ole Opry and it is nice to see Jo-El booked for the show and I am very certain that we will once again hear the sound of the accordion on the Ryman stage on Saturday night.

Friday November 3
1st show
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Chuck Wicks; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Mike Snider (host); William Michael Morgan; LOCASH
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; Bradley Walker

2nd show
9:30: Connie Smith (host); Chuck Wicks; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: Mike Snider (host); William Michael Morgan; LOCASH
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; Bradley Walker

Saturday November 4
1st show
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Shelly Fairchild; Mike Snider
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jo-EL Sonier; Henry Cho
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Charles Esten

2nd show
9:30: Connie Smith (host); Shelly Fairchild; Mike Snider
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jo-EL Sonier; Henry Cho
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Charles Esten

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of November 2 & 3, 2007:

Friday November 2
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Rhonda Vincent
8:30: The Whites (host); Ray Pillow; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Lady Antebellum
9:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Ralph Stanley; Danielle Peck
9:30: Vince Gill (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band

Saturday November 3
1st show
6:30:  Mike Snider (host); Mel McDaniel; Sunny Sweeney
7:00: The Whites (host); Jack Greene; Jason Crabb
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Ralph Stanley; Sawyer Brown
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Andy Griggs; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Patty Loveless

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Mel McDaniel; The Whites; Sunny Sweeney
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Ralph Stanley; Sawyer Brown
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Jason Crabb; Patty Loveless; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Andy Griggs

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday November 7, 1992:

1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Riders In The Sky
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeanne Pruett; Ray Pillow
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Del Reeves; Jean Shepard; The 4 Guys; Charlie Walker
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Eddy Raven
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jim & Jesse; Brother Oswald; Skeeter Davis; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Roy Drusky; Mike Snider; Teddy Wilburn

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; The Whites; Del Reeves; Jean Shepard; Stonewall Jackson
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Eddy Raven
10:15: Bill Monroe (host); Mike Snider
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); The 4 Guys; Bill Carlisle
10:45: Riders In The Sky (host); David Houston; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jim & Jesse; Roy Drusky; Skeeter Davis; Justin Tubb
11:30: Charlie Walker (host); Jeannie Seely; Teddy Wilburn; Johnny Russell

Finally, from 50 years ago, Saturday November 4, 1967:

7:30: Bill Monroe (host); Willis Brothers; Harold Weakley; Cousin Jody; Rita Faye
8:00: Osborne Brothers (host); Kenny Roberts; Crook Brothers; June Stearns; Fred Carter
8:30: Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host); The 4 Guys; Del Wood; Jerry Green; Godsden Brothers
9:00: Bobby Lord (host); Johnny Tillotson; Merle Travis; Fruit Jar Drinkers
9:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Willis Brothers; Pete Sayers; Lorene Mann; Carl Belew
10:00: Osborne Brothers (host): Harold Weakley
10:15: Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host); Del Wood
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Cousin Jody; Fred Carter
10:45: Bobby Lord (host); Johnny Tillotson; Crook Brothers
11:00: George Hamilton IV (host); The 4 Guys; Merle Travis; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Bill Monroe (host); Kenny Roberts; Godsden Brothers; Jerry Green; Pete Sayers

Considering it was 1967, it was a pretty skinny line-up of Opry members that night.

Going back a few more years, it was on Saturday November 4, 1961 that the Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 36th anniversary. As mentioned a few times, not all of the Opry's birthday celebrations took place in the month of October, as was the case this particular year. Here is the running order from the Opry that night:

7:30: Pet Milk
Faron Young (host): Back Track
Porter Wagoner: Your Old Love Letters
Roy Drusky: I Went Out of My Way
Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink on Me
Jimmy Newman: Alligator Man
Skeeter Davis: Optimistic
Glaser Brothers: Let Me Down Easy
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Faron Young: I Haven't Got the Time

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): My Long Journey Home
Billy Grammer: Save Our Tears
Patsy Cline: I Fall to Pieces
Grandpa Jones: (?)
Cowboy Copas: Alabam'
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Bill Anderson: Po' Folks
Crook Brothers: Liberty
Flatt & Scruggs: Where Will I Shelter My Sheep
Earl Scruggs: Earl's Breakdown

8:30: Faultless Starch
Jim Reeves (host): How Can I Write on Paper, What I Feel in My Heart
Hawkshaw Hawkins: I Wake Up With A Big Old Heartache
Willis Brothers: Everlovin' Dixie Land
Hank Locklin: This Song is Just For You
Jean Shepard: I've Got to Talk to Mary
Stringbean: 20 Cent Cotton & 90 Cent Meat
Carl Butler: Honky Tonkitis
Jordanaires: Satisfied
Jim Reeves: Melody

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb (host): Girl From Abilene
Wilburn Brothers: The Legend of the Big River Train
Ray Price: (?)
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Margie Bowes: Lonely Pillow
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Ernest Tubb: Thru That Door

9:30: Stephens
Marty Robbins (host): Don't Worry
Johnny & Jack: Let My Heart be Broken
Ferlin Husky: The Waltz You Saved for Me
George Morgan: Everyday of My Life
Kitty Wells: Our Mansion is A Prison Now
George Hamilton IV: (?)
Marty Robbins: El Paso

10:00: Standard Oil/Sustaining
Porter Wagoner (host): Sugarfoot Rag
Roy Drusky: Anymore
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Carl Butler: For the First Time
Skeeter Davis: I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know
Grandpa Jones: (?)
Del Wood: Creole Fan Dango
Billy Walker: Faded Lights & Lonesome People
Porter Wagoner: Everything She Touches Gets the Blues

10:30: Jasper Engine & Transmission
Ernest Tubb (host): Don't Just Stand There
Jimmy Newman: Alligator Man
Stringbean: Herding Cattle
Patsy Cline: Crazy
Ernest Tubb: Thoughts of A Fool

10:45: De Con
Faron Young (host): Hello Walls
Jan Howard: (?)
Cowboy Copas: Signed, Sealed & Delivered
Crook Brothers: Lost Indian
Faron Young: Going Steady

11:00: Coca-Cola
Ray Price (host): (?)
Willis Brothers: Pretty Diamonds
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Lonzo & Oscar: I Can't Pitch Woo in An Igloo
Billy Grammer: Save Your Tears
Jordanaires: House of Gold
Sam & Kirk McGee: Lonely River
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking in My Sleep
Ray Price: (?)

11:30: Black Draught
Ferlin Husky (host): Wings of A Dove
Bill Monroe: On & On
George Morgan: You're the Only Good Thing
Wilburn Brothers: No Legal Right
Cousin Jody: Comedy
Loretta Lynn: I Walked Away from the Wreck
Glaser Brothers: Tired of Crying Over You
George Hamilton IV: (?)
Simon Crum: (?)

I would say that was a pretty solid line-up for that show. If my notes are right, the only non-Opry member on the show that night was Jan Howard, who a decade later would become a member.

To conclude this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history, it was Saturday November 3, 1990 that Minnie Pearl was honored upon her 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Minnie Pearl was the undisputed queen of country comedy, known for her hopelessly styleless knee-length country dresses, her straw hat decorated with colorful plastic flowers and $1.98 price tag, and her cheerful shout of "Howdy! I'm just so proud to be here!" For fifty years she performed as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

She was born Sarah Ophelia Colley on October 25, 1912, the youngest of five daughters. Aspiring to become an actress, she settled for a job as an itinerant community theater director for the Wayne P. Sewell Producing Company, traveling to rural southern cities and stages plays owned by the firm. While on the road in North Alabama she met an elderly woman whose amusing country talk and mannerisms inspired Ophelia Colley to create a comic character that eventually became known a Minnie Pearl.

In April 1939, she made her first professional appearance as the Minnie Pearl character at a women's club function in Aiken, South Carolina. In the fall of 1940 a chance opportunity to perform at a banker's convention in Centerville brought her to the attention of executives at WSM in Nashville. On November 30, 1940, she made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Less than a week later, more than 300 cards, telegrams, and letters addressed to Minnie Pearl flooded the offices of WSM. On December 7, 1940, the name Minnie Pearl appeared among the Opry cast listing for the first time in the weekly radio guide of the Nashville Tennessean, slotted in the 8:45 p.m. segment.

With the help of her sister Virginia and coaching from George D. Hay, Ophelia Colley gradually developed a fully-fledged comedic character and jokes to go with it. Minnie Pearl became the quintessential small-town spinster, preoccupied with chasing men and gossiping about her family and neighbors in the mythical town of Grinder's Switch. In the spring of 1942 she graduated into the elite cast of the Opry when she joined the Prince Albert Show, the half hour of the Opry broadcast over the NBC radio network.

On February 23, 1947, she married Henry Cannon, a charter airline pilot. He would set up his own charter service specializing in the country music business, flying a host of stars including Eddy Arnold, Tom Parker, Hank Williams, Carl Smith, Webb Pierce and others to their show dates.

From 1948 to 1958 Minnie worked at the Grand Ole Opry with veteran comedian Rod Brasfield. They did what was called double comedy, meaning that neither one always played the straight man. Their partnership ended with Rod's death in 1958. In addition to the Opry, Minnie would appear on numerous network television shows, and in 1969 she joined the cast of Hee Haw. All the while, she continued to perform on the Opry, frequently teaming with her friend and fellow Opry member Roy Acuff.

Minnie performed her final show in Joliet, Illinois on June 15, 1991, Two days later she suffered a serious stroke that left her virtually bedridden in a Nashville nursing home for close to five years. She passed away on March 4, 1996 following a final series of strokes.

Here is the running order from 27 years ago, Saturday November 3, 1990, the night of Minnie Pearl's 50th anniversary as an Opry member:

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Del Reeves (host): Bells of Southern Bell
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Del Reeves: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Bill Anderson: A World of Make Believe

7:00: Shoney's
(A Tribute to Minnie Pearl, featuring Minnie Pearl)
Gary Morris: The Love She Found In Me
Jimmy Dickens: Family Reunion
Connie Smith: One A Day
Hank Snow: Forever & 1; Forever & 2
Grandpa Jones: Nashville on My Mind

7:30: Standard Candy
(Tribute to Minnie Pearl continuing)
Roy Acuff: Wabash Cannonball
Chet Atkins: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/Birth of the Blues/Freight Train/Yakety Axe/Wildwood Flower
Roy Acuff & Minnie Pearl: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Jack Greene (host): Oh, Lonesome Me
The 4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot
Skeeter Davis: T Ain't Nice
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Snow Flake Reel
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

8:30: Pops Rite
Jim Ed Brown (host): Lyin' In Love With You
Charlie Louvin: Thank God for My Christian Home
Jan Howard: Take Me As I Am or Let Me Go
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Mike Snider: Satellite TV Dish
Jim Ed Brown: I Heard the Bluebird Sing

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jimmy Dickens (host): Me & My Big Loud Mouth
Wilma Lee Cooper: A Hero's Death
Roy Drusky: Take Good Care of Her
Gary Morris: Working Man Blues/100% Chance of Rain
Jimmy Dickens: When Your House is Not a Home

10:00: Little Debbie
Jack Greene (host): My Cherokee Rose
Del Reeves: Be Glad
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Jeanne Pruett: I Oughta Feel Guilty
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Take that the Crow Told Me

10:30: Pet Milk
Grandpa Jones (host): Piney Jane
Jean Shepard: Half a Mind
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
George McCormick: Wait A Little Longer, Please Jesus

10:45: B. C. Powder
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Charlie Walker: A Way to Free Myself
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Chatham
Bill Anderson: 8 X 10

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): There's A Fool Such as I
Jimmy C Newman: (?)
Justin Tubb: Take A Letter Miss Gray
The Whites: Blue Letters
Mike Snider: Lonesome Road Bluees
Hank Snow: The 3rd Man

11:30: Creamette
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
The 4 Guys: Tennessee
Charlie Louvin: My Baby's Gone
Johnny Russell: You Just Better Not Do That
Jim Ed Brown: Pop A Top

There you have it for this week. As always, I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!






Thursday, October 26, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 10/27 & 10/28

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the three shows this weekend, which will be the final weekend shows for this year at the Grand Ole Opry House. Beginning next weekend, the Opry moves downtown to the Ryman Auditorium and will return to the Opry House beginning in February.

The big news this weekend is that the Opry is going to honor Bill Anderson on Saturday night with a birthday salute in honor of Bill's 80th birthday, which will take place on November 1st. Personally, I am very happy that the Opry is doing this. I think we can all remember that when Jimmy Dickens was alive, they seemed to honor Jimmy every year on his birthday and Opry anniversary date and I can also remember when the Opry had the 80th birthday show for George Jones. It is nice that they are recognizing other Opry members also and I hope it is the start of a trend. And let's not forget that Bill has been an Opry member for 56 years and the argument can be made that he is one of the greatest all-around country artists of all time; when you consider his recording, songwriting, book writing, and television show hosting career. He has really done it all.

Saturday night is the only night for Bill at the Opry this weekend, however there are a number of Grand Ole Opry members who will be appearing both nights: John Conlee, Mike Snider, Riders In The Sky, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. Joining that group on Friday night will be members Diamond Rio and Bobby Osborne, while in addition to Bill on Saturday night, Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith and Steve Wariner will be appearing.

Guest artists this weekend include the iconic Sons of the Pioneers on Friday night, joining Mark Wills (scheduled for both nights), Jeanne Robertson and Point of Grace. On Saturday night, in addition to Mark, Mo Pitney and newly inducted Hall of Fame member Don Schlitz will be performing. For Don, this will be his Grand Ole Opry debut.

Friday October 27
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Mark Wills; Sons of the Pioneers
Intermission
8:15: Diamond Rio (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jeanne Robertson
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Point of Grace

Saturday October 28
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mo Pitney; Mike Snider
7:30: Steve Wariner (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mark Wills; Don Schlitz

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Mo Pitney; Mike Snider
10:00: Steve Wariner (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mark Wills; Don Schlitz

As mentioned, Don Schlitz is one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, having been formally inducted last Sunday night along with Alan Jackson and Jerry Reed. Don, who is 65, is from Durham, North Carolina and has won two Grammys and four ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year awards. He also has won several Song of the Year awards from the Country Music Association. In addition to the Country Music Hall of Fame, he is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

His first big hit as a songwriter was Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler." Among other songs written by Don have been "Forever and Ever, Amen" recorded by Randy Travis and "When You Say Nothing at All," a hit for Keith Whitley. Many will also recognize these song titles, all written by Don Schlitz: "40 Hour Week (For A Livin')," "Crazy from the Heart," "Daddy's Come Around,' "The Greatest," "He Thinks He'll Keep Her," "I Feel Lucky." "I Watched It All (On My Radio)," and "On the Other Hand." Those are just a few of the dozens and dozens he has written.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of October 26 & 27, 2007:

Friday October 26
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; George Hamilton IV; Little Texas
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Del McCoury Band
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Craig Morgan
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Walker; Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Daniels Band

Saturday October 27
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
7:00: Vince Gill (host); Josh Turner; Rissi Palmer; Del McCoury Band
8:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Mandy Barnett; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Daryle Singletary

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jeannie Seely; Rissi Palmer
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Mel McDaniel; Mandy Barnett; Del McCoury Band
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Daryle Singletary; Josh Turner

The Saturday night show was special as it was the night that Josh Turner became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Combining respect for country music's traditions with a contemporary edge has made Josh Turner one of the industry's most successful young artists. He burst on the scene with "Long Black Train," also the title of his 2003 platinum-selling debut album, and has since scored such chart-topping hits as "Your Man," "Would You Go With Me," and "All Over Me."

A graduate of Nashville's Belmont University, it was Josh's songwriting that first caught the attention of Music Row and led to a publishing deal then to a record deal, as well. His debut album sold more than a million copies and his second effort, "Your Man" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard magazine's Top Country Albums chart. His third album, 2007's "Everything Is Fine," yielded the hit "Firecracker," and his fourth studio album "Haywire," released in 2010, spawned the chart-topping tune "Why Don't We Just Dance." His 2012 album "Punching Bag" produced the hit "Time Is Love."

Inducted into the Opry in 2007, Josh says the camaraderie between artists backstage is something he treasures. "At the Opry, you just have to do a song or two and everything is already set up so it leaves time to mingle and get to know people," he says. "There's always so many artists here, it's like a reunion every weekend. You get to come here and see people you've known for a long time or you get to meet new people. It's a really cool way to network and get to know your fellow artists." He also appreciates the way the Opry helps him connect with fans. "The Opry draws in a lot of people from all over the country," he says." "That's the coolest thing about the Opry. Many different artists, old and new, can come and showcase their talent to a new crowd every weekend. That's been a great avenue of promotion and way to stay out there in front of the people and debut new music."

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of October 30 & 31, 1992:

Friday October 30
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Del Reeves; Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow; Billy Walker
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jeannie Seely; The 4 Guys; Stonewall Jackson
7:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; George Hamilton IV; Brother Oswald & The Smoky Mountain Boys
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Bill Carlisle
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy Dickens; Jack Greene; Osborne Brothers

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); George Hamilton IV: Bill Carlisle; The 4 Guys
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Del Reeves; Riders In The Sky; Billy Walker; Brother Oswald & The Smokey Mountain Boys
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Bill Anderson; Jean Shepard; Charlie Walker; Connie Smith
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jack Greene; Osborne Brothers; Justin Tubb; The Whites
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Jimmy C Newman; Johnny Russell

Saturday October 31
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeanne Pruett
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown; Ray Pillow
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Louvin; Jimmy Dickens; Osborne Brothers
7:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Riders In The Sky; Johnny Russell; Wilma Lee Cooper; Alison Krauss & Union Station
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard; Gerry Ford; George Hamilton IV; Roy Drusky; Brother Oswald & The Smoky Mountain Boys; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Del Reeves; The Whites; The 4 Guys; Jack Greene

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; Billy Walker; Alison Krauss & Union Station
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Mike Snider
10:15: Stonewall Jackson (host); George Hamilton IV
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Charlie Louvin; Bill Carlisle
10:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Justin Tubb; Osborne Brothers; Riders In The Sky
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; The Whites; Johnny Russell

Finally from 50 years ago, Saturday October 28, 1967:

1st show
6:30: Willis Brothers (host); Harold Weakly; Cousin Jody
6:45: Ernie Ashworth (host); Jan Howard; Hugh X Lewis
7:00: Del Reeves (host); Lonzo & Oscar; Charlie Walker; Rita Faye; Fred Carter
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; Jimmy Gately; Stringbean; Jerry Green
8:00: Ernest Tubb (host); Del Wood; Jeannie Seely; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers; Cal Smith
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Glaser Brothers; Marion Worth; Pete Sayers; Spider Wilson

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Willis Brothers; Jan Howard; Stringbean; Fruit Jar Drinkers
10:00: Ernest Tubb (host); Cousin Jody; Cal Smith
10:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Skeeter Davis;
10:30: Charlie Walker (host); Del Wood; Hugh X Lewis
10:45: Del Reeves (host); Lonzo & Oscar; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Glaser Brothers (host); Jeannie Seely; Fred Carter; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam & Kirk McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Marion Worth; Jerry Green; Pete Sayers; Don Winters

To finish it up for this week, it was 44 years ago, Saturday October 27, 1973 that Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Howard Gerald "Jerry" Clower was born in Liberty, Mississippi on September 28, 1926. After high school, he entered the Navy and was discharged in 1946. He studied agriculture at Mississippi State University, where he played on the college football team. After finishing school in 1951, he worked as a county agent and later as a seed salesman. In 1954, he began work at Mississippi Chemical as a fertilizer salesman. By that time, he had gained a reputation for telling stories to boost his sales. Tapes of his speaking engagements would up in the hands of Edwin Wilkes and Bud Andrews in Lubbock, Texas, who had him make a better quality recording which they promoted.

For a number of years, Jerry would sell copies of his record at his speaking engagements. However, Wilkes sent a copy of Jerry's recordings to Grant Tuner at WSM and it was played on the air. After that, MCA Records offered Jerry a contract. Once MCA began distribution in 1971, "Jerry Clower from Yazoo City, Mississippi Talkin'" retailed more than a million dollars over 10 months and stayed in the top 20 on the country charts for 30 weeks, and "The Coon Hunt" was awarded a platinum record for sales in excess of $1 million. During the coarse of his career, Jerry made 27 albums, all with MCA with the exception of one, "Ain't God Good" that was recorded during a worship service and released, with MCA's blessing, on another label.

By the early 1970s, Jerry was doing stage shows and was being hired as a motivational speaker. He co-hosted a radio show called Country Crossroads with Bill Mack and Leroy Van Dyke, that aired in syndication for 40 years. A television version of the show was later produced, also staring Jerry,.

Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry on October 27, 1973 and remained an Opry member until his death on August 24, 1998 at the age of 71 following heart bypass surgery. When Jerry joined the Opry cast, he was the last member to join prior to the Opry's move to the new Grand Ole Opry House.

Here is the running order from Saturday October 27, 1973, the night Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Osborne Brothers (host): Fireball Mail
Bill Carlisle: What Kinda Deal is This
Sonny Osborne: Earl's Breakdown

6:45: Rudy's
Willis Brothers (host): Chant of the Plains
Louie Roberts: Singing the Blues/Lovesick Blues
Willis Brothers: Cool Water

7:00: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die
Jim & Jesse: A Bird with Broken Wing's Can't Fly
Hank Wada: Columbus Stockade Blues
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Don't Care (If Tomorrow Never Comes)
Jim & Jesse: Ashes of Love
Hank Wada: Jambalaya
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Shall Not be Moved

7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host); Wake Up, Jacob
Dolly Parton: Joshua
Crook Brothers: Cray Eagle
Harold Weakley: Is Anyone Going to San Antone
Dolly Parton: My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Daddy was an Old Time Preacher Man
Mack McGaha: Mockingbird/Orange Blossom Special
Porter Wagoner: What Ain't to Be Just Might Happen

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Klide
Del Wood: There's a Big Wheel
Jerry Clower: I'm That Country
Grandpa Jones: Any Old Time
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Miller's Cave
Bobby Bare: Ride Me Down Easy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me
Bobby Bare: Come Sundown
Ray Pillow: I Wish Somebody Loved Me That Much
Hank Snow: Tammy

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Osborne Brothers (host): Rocky Top
Willis Brothers: Pretty Diamonds
Louie Roberts: Way Out There
Del Wood: There's a Big Wheel
Osborne Brothers: You Win Again/Today I Started Loving You Again
Willis Brothers: Bob
Osborne Brothers: Ruby

10:00: Fender
Jim & Jesse (host): I've Been Everywhere
Bill Carlisle: Jack of All Trades
Jim & Jesse: Johnny B Goode

10:15: Union 76
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Dolly Parton: My Tennessee Mountain Home
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: We Found It/If Teardrops Were Pennies

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Cottonfields/Night Train to Memphis
Grandpa Jones: Banjo Sam
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Little Darling Pal of Mine
Larry McNeely: Breakaway

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bobby Bare (host): Detroit City
Jerry Clower: The Coon Hunt
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): The Wreck of the Old 97/One More Ride
Ray Pillow: She's Doing it to Me Again
Hank Wada: Columbus Stockade Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Old hen Cackle
Hank Snow: Black Diamond
Sam McGee: Worry, Worry Blues
Hank Snow: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Mary Lou Turner: Slipping Away/Poor Sweet Baby
Marty Mitchell: Washed My Hands in Muddy Water/You Gave Me a Mountain
Marty Robbins: Love Me/Big Boss Man/Don't Worry/It's Not Love/El Paso

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend and Happy Birthday to Bill Anderson!!!




Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 10/24 & Opry Country Classics 10/26

The Grand Ole Opry does many special shows though out the year with one of those special nights taking place on a Tuesday night in October when the "Opry Goes Pink" to honor and recognize breast cancer awareness. The Opry backdrop goes pink at the turn of the switch and this year Kelsea Ballerini will do the honors. Also scheduled will be the first Opry appearance this year of Trisha Yearwood. Could Garth make a surprise appearance? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Tuesday October 24

7:00: Easton Corbin; Runaway June; LANCO; Connie smith
Intermission
8:15: Charles Esten; Trisha Yearwood; Kelsea Ballerini

Opry Country Classics this week will feature Crystal Gayle as the spotlight artist, with another very solid line-up

Host: Bill Cody
Spotlight Artist: Crystal Gayle
Also Appearing: T. Graham Brown; Gatlin Brothers; Wade Hayes; Rebecca Lynn Howard; T.G. Sheppard w/Kelly Lang

Enjoy!!