Monday, May 21, 2018

Tuesday Night Opry 5/22 & Opry Country Classics 5/24

While many of us complain at times about the Opry's management and some of the decisions that they make, there are many good things that take place at the Opry and one of those is the annual "Salute to the Troops" which generally takes place the Tuesday before Memorial Day. The show honors members of the United States Military and always draws a great line-up of Opry talent. This year is no different, with two shows scheduled that night.

Tuesday Night Opry 5/22
1st show
7:00: John Conlee; Craig Morgan
7:30: Kellie Pickler; Lee Greenwood
8:00: Chris Janson; Darius Rucker
8:30: Trace Adkins

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee; Craig Morgan
10:00: Kellie Pickler; Darius Rucker
10:30: Lee Greenwood; Chris Janson
11:00: Trace Adkins

As to Opry Country Classics on Thursday night, Larry Gatlin is back as the host with Charlie Daniels in the spotlight.

Opry Country Classics 5/24
Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Charlie Daniels Band
Also Appearing: The Gatlin Brothers; Brooke Eden; Johnny Lee; Charlie McCoy

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 5/18 & 5/19

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend. Both line-ups look pretty solid was we continue to move through Spring.

Grand Ole Opry members appearing both nights this weekend include John Conlee, Riders In The Sky, Mike Snider, and Ricky Skaggs. For Ricky, this continues his string of Opry appearances that have really increased in the past several months. It almost seems like Ricky is there every weekend for at least one of the shows.

Joining that group on Friday night will be members Diamond Rio and Connie Smith, while on Saturday night it will be Jeannie Seely, Bobby Osborne, The Whites and Larry Gatlin (without the brothers) appearing.

Guesting on Friday night will be Eric Paslay (his 3rd appearance in recent weeks), Tyler Childers, John McEuen (formally of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Parker Milsap, Trent Harmon and The Swon Brothers. Saturday night's guest artists include Jillian Jacqueline, Devin Dawson, Caitlyn Smith, and Charlie Nagatani, who will be making what seems to be his annual appearance on the Opry.

Friday May 18
7:00: John Conlee (host); Eric Paslay; Mike Snider
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Tyler Childers; John McEuen
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Parker Milsap; Trent Harmon
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Swon Brothers; Connie Smith

Saturday May 19
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jillian Jacqueline; Mike Snider
7:30: Larry Gatlin (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Devin Dawson
8:15: John Conlee (host); Charlie Nagatani; Caitlyn Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Ricky Skaggs


And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of May 16 & 17, 2008:

Friday May 16
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Josh Gracin
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Diamond Rio
9:30: Marty Stuart (host); Jack Greene; Connie Smith

Saturday May 17
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Chely Wright
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Rebecca Lynn Howard
7:30: John Conlee (host); Jack Greene; Jamie O'Neal
8:00: Steve Wariner (host); Mel McDaniel; T.G. Sheppard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; The Grascals

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Chely Wright
10:00: John Conlee (host); Jeannie Seely; Jamie O'Neal
10:30: Steve Wariner (host); Rebecca Lynn Howard; T.G.Sheppard; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; The Grascals

From 25 years ago, Saturday May 22, 1993: 

1st show
6:30: The 4 Guys (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
6:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Skeeter Davis
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; Jeanne Pruett; Jim & Jesse; Mike Stephens
7:30: Jerry Clower (host); Stonewall Jackson; Bill Carlisle; Emmylou Harris
8:00: Jack Greene (host); Jimmy C Newman; Brother Oswald; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Roy Drusky; Jan Howard; The Whites

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeanne Pruett; The 4 Guys; Skeeter Davis
10:00: Emmylou Harris (host); The Whites; Barry & Holly Tashian
10:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jim & Jesse
10:30: Jerry Clower (host); Roy Drusky
10:45: Jack Greene (host); Brother Oswald; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Bill Carlisle; Stonewall Jackson; Justin Tubb
11:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jan Howard; Mike Snider


Looking back into the history of the Grand Ole Opry, it was on Saturday May 17, 1969 that Tammy Wynette first joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry, and it was 28 years later,  Saturday May 17, 1997 that Tammy Wynette made her final appearance on the Opry. Of course, she was not a member at the time of her final appearance, in fact, her time at the Opry was fairly short.

Tammy Wynette began developing her natural musical talents at an early age. Urged on by family and friends, she graduated from talent shows and charities to her own local radio show while still a teenager. It was during this time in her life that she began to truly perfect the heart-in-throat song styling that has carried her to the top of the country music world.

Tammy's first trip to Nashville was as a song plugger rather than a singer. She had come to Epic Records to try to interest them in some material a friend had written for one of Epic's top artists. It is not known what became of the songs or the friend, but for Tammy it was the beginning of an entire new life. Within a few weeks she had her first single out "Apartment No. 9" and country music fans, as well as pop fans were proclaiming her a new star. She rose to the top of the charts and polls so quickly that there was no time for her to be proclaimed as best new female vocalist or best upcoming this or that. She was instantly at the top of everyone's list and her unique talent was to know no restrictions. She was a favorite on country, pop and top 40 stations. Tammy Wynette had arrived.

Following her initial hit single, she has been at the top of the charts constantly with singles and albums. Her outstanding singles include, "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad" (Grammy winner, 1967), "I Don't Wanna Play House," "He Loves Me All The Way," "Run, Woman, Run," "Good Lovin'," "Bedtime Story," and her 1969 Grammy winner, "Stand By Your Man."

Not content to be known solely as a singer, Tammy has written or co-written several of her own hits, including "Stand By Your Man," which recently enjoyed an encore success as a rhythm and blues hit. Tammy's voice has been used for the soundtrack recording of two current contemporary films, "Run, Angel Run," and "Five Easy Pieces." Far more than being just another singer, Tammy Wynette has become a very "in" singer with all audiences. As can be expected, her popularity has begun to spread in Europe. Touched by the despair and plaintive sob in her voice, a top French critic was moved to call her "The Edith Piaf of Country America." She is internationally recognized as America's foremost singer of soul songs, country style.

(From the Grand Ole Opry WSM Picture-History Book, 1976, Volume 6, Edition 2).

Tammy's time at the Opry was short and mirrored that of George Jones. She originally joined the Opry (according to their records) on May 17, 1969. After that, she left. In fact, going through the Picture-History Books, she is not pictured in the early 1969 edition, or the 1972 edition. But she shows up in the 1976 book. What I can tell you is that she rarely played the Opry, having just a handful of appearances along the way.

Here are a couple of line-ups for you. First, From May 17, 1969, the night the Opry lists Tammy Wynette as joining the cast of the show:

Hank Locklin: (?)
Willis Brothers: (?)
Bill Carlisle: (?)

The 4 Guys: (?)
Bobby Lord (?)

7:00: Luzianne
Bill Anderson (host): I Love You Drops
Charlie Walker: Honky Tonk Season
Stringbean: Ol' Man, Can You Play the Banjo
Del Wood: Ballin' the Jack
Bill Anderson: My Life
Charlie Walker: Jambalaya
Jimmy Gately: Cryin' Don't Pay
Stringbean: Nine Pound Hammer
Bill Anderson: City Lights/I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand/I'll Go Down Swinging/I Don't Love You Anymore/Once a Day/Cold Hard Facts of Life/Cincinnati, Ohio/Think I'll Go Somewhere & Cry Myself to Sleep

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Once More
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jean Shepard: I'm Tied Around Your Finger
Archie Campbell: Scarlet Ribbons
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Justin Tubb: The Great River Road Mystery
Roy Acuff: Filipino Baby

8:00: Martha White
George Jones (host): White Lightening
Tammy Wynette: D-I-V-O-R-C-E
Grandpa Jones: Old Blue
George Jones: I'll Share My World With You
Tammy Wynette: Stand By Your Man
George Jones & Tammy Wynette: Milwaukee, Here I Come
Grandpa Jones: Mountain Laurell
Tammy Wynette: Singing My  Song
Jones Boys: Fire on the Mountain

8:30: Stephens
Bill Monroe (host): Train 45
Glaser Brothers: California Girl
Margie Bowes: Understand Your Gal/Big City
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die
Bill Monroe: I Haven't Seen Mary in Years
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Johnny Cash: Folsom Prison Blues/Orange Blossom Special
Johnny Cash & June Carter: Jackson

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Locklin (host): Geisha Girl
Willis Brothers: Bob
Jean Shepard: Many Happy Hangovers to You
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Willis Brothers: Rambling Boy
The 4 Guys: Daddy Sang Bass
Justin Tubb: Be Glad

10:00: Fender
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Charlie Walker: Little Old Wine Drinker Me
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:15: Pure
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Stringbean: Gonna Make Myself A Name
Jimmy Gately: Heavenly Sunshine
Bill Anderson: My Life

10:30: Buckley's
Stonewall Jackson (host): A Wound Time Can't Erase
Bobby Lord: Yesterday's Letters
Johnny Cash: I Still Miss Someone/Folsom Prison Blues
Johnny Cash &  June Carter: Jackson
Stonewall Jackson: Waterloo

10:45: True
Bill Monroe (host): Blue Moon of Kentucky
Margie Bowes: That Completely Destroys My Plans
Crook Brothers: Sally Ann
Bill Monroe: I'm On My Way Back to the Old Home

11:00: Coca-Cola
George Jones (host): The Race is On
Tammy Wynette: Stand My Your Man
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
George Jones: I'll Be Over You When the Grass Grows Over Me
Tammy Wynette: Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
Sam McGee: Uncle Bud
George Jones: Walk Thru This World with Me

11:30: Lava
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): My Georgia Moon
Grandpa Jones: Raining on the Mountain Now My Love
The 4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Don't Care (if Tomorrow Never Comes)
Grandpa Jones: T for Texas
The 4 Guys: Love of the Common People
L. E. White: I'll Love You More Today (Then He Can From Now On)

What stands out from that first show, besides George, Tammy and Johnny Cash, was Bill Anderson doing a medley of hits that he had written. Wouldn't it be nice to hear Bill do that again on the Opry?

And now from Saturday May 17, 1997, the night of Tammy Wynette's final Grand Ole Opry appearance:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Jimmy Dickens (host): Family Reunion
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her that Way

6:45: Jogging In A Jug
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Bill Carlisle: Gone Home
Grandpa Jones: Any Old Time

7:00: Shoney's
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Jean Shepard: Farewell Party/Second Fiddle
Brother Oswald: Prairie Queen
Grand Ole Opry Staff Band: Buckaroo
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya/Alligator Man

7:30: Standard Candy
Lorrie Morgan (host): I Didn't Know My Own Strength
Anita Cochran: Daddy, Can You See Me
Jan Howard: Take Me As I Am
Tammy Wynette: You Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad/Stand By Your Man/Apartment No. 9
Lorrie Morgan: Good As I Was to You

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Wilma Lee Cooper: I'm Going Home on the Morning Train
Charlie Louvin: Nobody's Darling But Mine
The Whites: Pins & Needles
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Bill Anderson: Still

8:30: Clifty Farm
Mike Snider (host): When You're Smiling
Jack Greene: Follow Me
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby on My Mind
The 4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah
Del Reeves: I Would Like to See You Again

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Lorrie Morgan (host): Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Jan Howard: Oh, Lonesome Me
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Anita Cochran: I Could Love A Man Like You/Will You Be Here in Five Years
Lorrie Morgan: Good As I Was to You

10:00: Massey Ferguson
Jimmy Dickens (host): Country Boy
Jimmy C Newman: Allons, A Lafayette
Jimmy Dickens: I'd Rather Sleep in Peace Than Know You're Gone

10:15: Opry Book
Grandpa Jones (host): Ball-Headed End of the Broom
Jean Shepard: A Phone Call Away
Grandpa Jones: My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

10:30: Purnell's
Bill Anderson (host): Did She Mention My Name
Tammy Graham: A Dozen Red Roses/I Know More about Love
Bill Anderson: Bright Lights & Country Music

Mike Snider (host): Black Jack
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/He Is My Everything
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Rachel

11:00: Coca-Cola
Del Reeves (host): Good Time Charlie's
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco
The 4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Stonewall Jackson: Waterloo
Del Reeves: Dang Me
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young
Del Reeves: This Must be the Bottom

11:30: Loreal
Johnny Russell (host): Folsom Prison Blues
Charlie Walker: Right or Wrong
Connie Smith: Where is My Castle
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
Stu Phillips: Dust in My Eyes
Johnny Russell: There's A Fool Such As I

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

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tuesday Night Opry 5/15 & Opry Country Classics 5/17

Here you go for the mid-week Opry shows this week:

Tuesday Night Opry May 15
7:00: Jeannie Seely; Joshua Hedley
7:30: Walker McGuire; Terri Clark
8:15: Collin Raye; The Isaacs
8:45: Tracy Lawrence; LOCASH

Opry Country Classics Thursday May 17
Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Lorrie Morgan
Also Appearing: Jimmy Fortune; Michael Ray; Kalie Shorr

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 5/11 & 5/12

The big news this week at the Grand Ole Opry is Carrie Underwood, who on Friday night will be celebrating her 10th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Carrie Underwood was nervous the night she made her Grand Ole Opry debut. Most singers are, but the naturally shy young woman from Oklahoma had won American Idol just two weeks before, the first country singer to finish first on the top-rated TV show, and she wasn't sure how she'd be accepted at the venerated institution. She needn't have worried. "It's kind of magical," she gushed on the side of the Opry stage just after finishing her two-song set. "I don't feel like I deserve this at all." But Carrie absolutely deserved the thunderous applause that night, and that sense of magic has stayed with her throughout her career, one of the most impressive in country music history.

Since that night in June 2005, Carrie has placed more than 20 singles at the top of the country charts, including "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Before He Cheats," "Cowboy Casanova," the appropriately titled "All-American Girl," "Good Girl," and "See You Again." She has sold millions of albums worldwide. Her debut album, "Some Hearts," is the best-selling album from any American Idol contestant. It spent 27 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard magazine's Top Country Albums chart across a three-year period, and Billboard ranked it as the Top Country Album of the last decade.

Carrie has become one of the most honored young singers in country music today, with a trophy tally that includes over 95 major awards including Grammys and awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. She has also co-hosted the CMA Awards with follow Opry star Bard Paisley. Of particular significance is the award she was presented on the night of her Opry induction in 2008. "The induction award they gave me says, 'Hey, you're part of the family,'" Carrie says. "It means a lot to me because it's the heart of country music, the church, the sacred place, the super-elite club that says you love this music."

It was on Saturday March 15, 2008 that Opry member Randy Travis surprised Carrie Underwood, while she was performing as a guest on the Opry, inviting Carrie to become the Opry's newest member. Her formal induction took place on Saturday May 10, 2008 with Opry member Garth Brooks surprising Carrie, and doing the formal induction. While I know there are some who do not appreciate Carrie's brand of country music, (and don't put me on that list as I am a Carrie fan), everyone should appreciate her commitment and dedication to the Opry. Among her contemporaries at the Opry, Carrie has set the standard and has always fulfilled her commitment of 10 appearances each year.

Joining Carrie Underwood for both shows on the Friday Night Opry this week will be Grand Ole Opry members Bill Anderson, Riders In The Sky, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites and Old Crow Medicine Show, while Mike Snider is scheduled for just the first show and Jesse McReynolds is set for the late show.

Bill Anderson, Mike Snider, Ricky Skaggs, and The Whites are also scheduled for Saturday night, where they will be joined by members Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Jeannie Seely and Bobby Osborne.

There are only two guest artists on Friday night, Dom Flemons and Ashley Campbell, who will be signing and meeting fans in the Opry Shop. Saturday night, 11 year old Mason Ramsey will be returning, once again appearing on a segment hosted by Ricky Skaggs. Mason was very impressive during his first Opry appearance and he, along with the Opry, received a lot of positive publicity from his appearance. Joining Mason will be Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy, The Nelons, a very popular gospel group, and making his Grand Ole Opry debut, Jordan Davis.

Friday May 11
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Mike Snider
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Ashley Campbell
8:00: Old Crow Medicine Show (host); Dom Flemons
8:30: Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Jesse McReynolds
10:00: Carrie Underwood
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Ashley Campbell
11:00: Old Crow Medicine Show (host); Dom Flemons

Saturday May 12
7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Mike Snider
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jordan Davis; Charlie McCoy
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Nelons; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Mason Ramsey

While Carrie Underwood will be celebrating her 10th anniversary as an Opry member on Friday night, Jordan Davis will be making his Opry debut on Saturday.

Jordan Davis, who is the brother of country singer Jacob Davis, is from Shreveport, Louisiana. In 2012, after graduating from Louisiana State University, he moved to Nashville. In 2016, Jordan signed a recording and songwriting contract with Universal Music Group Nashville. His debut single, "Singles You Up" was released in mid-2017, while his debut album "Home State" was released this past March. His second single, "Take It from Me" was released this past week.


Here is the Opry line-up from 10 years ago, Saturday May 10, 2008, the night Carrie Underwood became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Del McCoury Band
7:00: Carrie Underwood; Dierks Bentley; Aaron Tippin; Garth Brooks
8:00: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Mel Tillis; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Vince Gill

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown; Dierks Bentley
10:00: Marty Stuart (host); George Hamilton IV; Connie Smith; Aaron Tippin
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Del McCoury Band; Carrie Underwood; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Mel Tillis

Two outstanding Opry shows that Saturday night!!

And from 25 years ago, Saturday May 15, 1993:

1st show
6:30: The 4 Guys (host); Ray Pillow
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard; Hank Locklin
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeanne Pruett; George Hamilton IV: Stu Phillips; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Brother Oswald; Mike Snider
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jack Greene; Roy Drusky; Skeeter Davis; Jimmy C Newman

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Hank Locklin; Wilma Lee Cooper; Rhonda Vincent; Sally Mountain Show
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Stonewall Jackson
10:15: Jimmy Dickens (host); The 4 Guys
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard
10:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bill Carlisle; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Roy Drusky; The Whites; Justin Tubb; George Hamilton IV
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Skeeter Davis; Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider

Looking back at the Opry, it was Saturday May 13, 2006 that Billy Walker performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the final time.

William Marvin Walker was born in Ralls, Texas on January 14, 1929. Billy attended high school in Whiteface, Texas and won a local talent contest which led to a local radio appearance. Billy began his professional career in 1947 at the age of 18 and by 1949 he was performing on the Big D Jamboree in Dallas. It was that same year, thanks to the help of Hank Thompson who worked with Billy in Waco, that he signed with Capital Records. While performing his manager had Billy wear a Lone Ranger style black mask and billed him as The Traveling Texan, the Masked Singer of Country Songs.

In 1951, Billy signed with Columbia Records and then joined the Louisiana Hayride. In 1954 he had his first hit, "Thank You for Calling." By the mid-1950's, Billy had become a member of the Ozark Jubilee, where he became friends with Red Foley. He moved to Nashville in 1959, and by January 1960 he was a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was one of the first artists to record a Willie Nelson song, and although his 1961 version of "Funny How Time Slips Away" only reached No. 23 on Billboard's country singles chart, it helped establish his national reputation. In 1962, he had his only No. 1 record, "Charlie's Shoes." Other Top 10 hits included "Willie the Weeper," "Circumstances," "Cross the Brazos at Waco," "Matamoros," "A Million and One," "Bear with Me a Little Longer," "Ramona," "Thinking 'Bout You Babe," "She Goes Walking Through My Mind," "I'm Gonna Keep On Keep On Lovin' You," "Sing Me a Love Song to Baby," "Word Games," and my personal favorite, "When A Man Loves A Woman (The Way That I Love You."

Billy performed at the Kansas City charity concert in March 1963 that included Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, and others. After the show, Billy received an urgent phone call to return to Nashville and Hawkshaw Hawkins gave up his seat on a commercial flight, giving his ticket to Billy. Hawkshaw ended up on the flight with Patsy, Cowboy Copas and Randy Hughes that crash.

Billy left Columbia in 1965, later recording for Monument Records, MGM, RCA, and his own Tall Texan label. In the late 1960s, he hosted his own syndicated television program "Billy Walker's Country Carnival" that recently aired on RFD-TV.

After his hit making days ended, Billy continued touring and appearing on the Grand Ole Opry. On May 21, 2006, he died in a car accident when the van he was driving back to Nashville after a show in Foley, Alabama veered off Interstate 65 and overturned. In addition to Billy, his wife Bettie, and musicians Charles Lilly, Jr., and Daniel Patton also died in the crash.

Here is the running order from Saturday May 13, 2006, the final night that Billy Walker performed on the Grand Ole Opry.

1st show
6:30: Cracker Barrel
Jimmy Dickens (host): May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
Connie Smith: Cincinnati, Ohio
Jimmy C Newman: Diggy-Liggy Lo
Keni Thomas: Not Me/Shreveport to L.A.
Jimmy Dickens: I'm Just Blue Enough to Do Most Anything

7:00: Tootsie's
Jeannie Seely (host): It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels
The Whites: Blue Letters
Jesse McReynolds: I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby
Pinmonkey: Barbed Wire and Roses/That Train Don't Run By Here No More

7:30: Martha White
Riders In The Sky (host): Ghost Herd in the Sky
Jan Howard: Smoky Mountain Jubilee
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
The Wreckers: Leave the Roses When You Go/My, oh, My
Riders In The Sky: Whoop De Doo/Happy Trails to You

Jean Shepard (host): Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Billy Walker: T for Texas
Buddy Jewell: Help Pour out the Rain/If She Were Any Other Woman
Opry Square Dance Band/ Opry Square Dancers: Snow Flake Reel
Jean Shepard: If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again

8:30: Tennessee Pride
Bill Anderson (host): If You Can Live With It
Eddy Raven: Who Do You Know in California/I've Got Mexico
Ricky Skaggs: First Corinthians 118/Sally Jo
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life

2nd show
9:30: Cracker Barrel
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take an Old Cold Tater
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come This Far
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mammou
Keni Thomas: Not Me/From Shreveport to L.A.
Jimmy Dickens: Shopping for Dresses

Jean Shepard (host): Head over Heels in Love with You
The Whites: Swing Down Chariott
Eddy Raven: We Rob Trains/Joe Sure Knows How to Live
Pinmonkey: Barbed Wire and Roses/That Train Don't Run By Here No More
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle

10:30: Johnnie Walker Tours
Jeannie Seely (host): Anytime
Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press: West Virginia, My Home
The Wreckers: Leave the Roses When You Go/My, Oh, My
Opry Square Dance Band/Opry Square Dancers: Here & There

11:00: Gaylord
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
Jack Greene: Highway to the Sky/This One Belongs to Me
Ricky Skaggs: Mothers Only Sleeping/Uncle Pen
Bill Anderson: Mama Sang A Song

11:30: Night At The Opry
Riders In The Sky (host): Woody's Roundup
Charlie Louvin: Mama's Angels
Billy Walker: You Gave Me A Mountain
Buddy Jewell: Help Pour Out the Rain/If She Were Any Other Woman
Riders In The Sky: Mother, The Queen of My Heart/Happy Trails to You

Billy Walker had an amazing career. When you add up the number of hit records and television appearances he had, you can make the case that Billy deserves consideration to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Sadly, it will probably never happen.

Once again, congratulations to Carrie Underwood as she celebrates her 10th year as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and I am sure everyone will enjoy the Opry this weekend. Three very nice shows.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tuesday Night Opry 5/8 & Opry Country Classics 5/10

Let me state that last weekend was a good one for the Opry. They celebrated Charley Pride's 25th anniversary as a member and had a couple of pretty good shows to go along with it.

As far as the mid-week shows, the Tuesday Night Opry will feature Opry members Rascal Flatts, along with one of the newest members, Chris Janson. Opry Country Classics will feature Opry member Marty Stuart as the spotlight artist and the legendary Leroy Van Dyke is also on the schedule.

Tuesday Night Opry May 8
7:00: Bill Anderson; Kalie Shorr
7:30: Easton Corbin; Chris Janson
8:15: Jesse McReynolds; Steven Curtis Chapman
8:45: Rascal Flatts

Opry Country Classics Thursday May 10
Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Marty Stuart
Also Appearing: The Gatlin Brothers; Shelly Fairchild; Lucas Hoge; Leroy Van Dyke

Sunday, May 6, 2018

May Opry Highlights

Welcome to the month of May, the month where many of us see spring at the beginning of the month and summer by the end. As usual, May is a busy month at the Grand Ole Opry and here are the important and historical events that have taken place during the month involving the Opry or its members.

May 1, 1894: One of the Opry's original members, Sam McGee was born. Sam first appeared on the WSM Barn Dance in 1926. Over the years, Sam would appear with his brother Kirk, and as part of the Dixieliners and Fruit Jar Drinkers. Sam passed away in August 1975, following a tractor accident on his farm near Nashville.

May 12, 1901: The Duke of Paducah, Benjamin Francis Ford, was born in DeSoto, Missouri. This fine comedian joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1942, and remained a member of the Opry until 1959. Even though he gave up his Opry membership to move on to other opportunities, the Duke would continue to return for guest appearances, especially during the Opry's annual reunion shows. Benjamin Ford passed away in 1986, the same year that he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

May 30, 1909: Lewis Crook, a member of the Crook Brothers, was born, While not an original member of the group, he performed with Herman Crook and the others, primarily backing up the square dancers. After Herman passed away, Lewis continued on at the Opry as part of the newly named Opry Square Dance Band. Lewis, who was a part of the Opry for over 50 years, passed away in 1997.

May 17, 1912: Grand Ole Opry and WSM announcer Grant Turner was born. Grant joined the staff of WSM on D-Day, June 6, 1944. While the Opry has had many legendary announcers over the years, Grant is considered the Opry's best, so much so that he was called "The Dean of the Opry's Announcers." Grant remained an Opry announcer until his death on October 19, 1991, just hours after finishing his work on the Friday Night Opry. Grant, who is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, was with WSM for 47 years.

May 30, 1912: Alcyone Bate Beasley was born. Alcyone was there when it all started in November 1925, performing with her father's group, Dr. Humphrey Bate and His Possum Hunters. After his death in 1936, Alcyone worked to keep the Possum Hunters together, but it was a struggle as the Opry moved to a more professional and modern sound. By the 1960s, the Possum Hunters had been merged with the Crook Brothers. In the 1970s, after over 45 years on the Opry, Alcyone went into semi-retirement, after which she became a fixture at the Opry's annual reunion shows. She passed away in October 1982.

May 9, 1914: The legendary Singing Ranger, Hank Snow was born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Hank joined the Grand Ole Opry in January 1950 and would remain one of the Opry's biggest stars until his death in December 1999, just weeks short of his 50th anniversary as an Opry member. In 1979, Hank was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

May 1, 1926: Uncle Dave Macon joined the cast of the WSM Barn Dance. Uncle Dave was considered the first professional musician to join the cast of the Barn Dance, and he would remain with the show until his death in March 1952. Uncle Dave was a popular Opry member, who always considered himself just a plain old country boy. In 1966, he was one of the early members to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

May 1, 1928: Former Grand Ole Opry member, James Hugh Loden was born. Better known as Sonny James, the Southern Gentleman, he was an Opry member for a few years in the 1960s. A true country legend, Sonny is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

May 25, 1936: Grand Ole Opry member Tom T Hall was born. Much like Abe Lincoln. Tom T was born in a log cabin in Kentucky. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Tom T originally joined the Opry on January 1, 1971. He left the Opry in March 1974, when the show moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House at Opryland. In 1980, he returned as an Opry member. At the age of 82, Tom T is now retired.

May 31, 1938: Donald Lytle was born in Greenfield, Ohio. Early in his career, he decided upon the name Johnny Paycheck and spent the early part of his career as a band member for Ray Price, Porter Wagoner, George Jones and Faron Young. Once he became a star in his own right, Johnny became one of the first to be considered a country "outlaw." He experienced some pretty serious issues in his life and spent some time in prison. However in 1997, thanks to some help from his friend Johnny Russell, he was asked to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Sadly, just a few years after becoming an Opry member, his health declined and his performing career ended. Johnny passed away in February 2003.

May 2, 1948: Grand Ole Opry member Larry Gatlin was born. Along with his brothers Steve and Rudy, Larry joined the cast of the Opry on Christmas Day 1976. In recent years, Larry has been performing pretty regularly at the Opry and has become the primary host of Opry Country Classics, which takes place at the Ryman Auditorium during the Spring and Fall months.

May 29, 1950: Mother Maybelle Carter and the Carter Sisters, which consisted of Anita, Helen and June, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. When the Carters joined the cast, they also brought along Chet Atkins as their guitar player. For Chet, it was a return to the show as he had originally appeared on the show in the 1940s with Red Foley. While the Carter Sisters would come and go, Mother Maybelle remained with the Opry until the late 1960s. Later in her career, and similar to the experience of other veteran Opry members such as Sam and Kirk McGee, she would complain to the Opry's management about her poorly timed spots and a general lack of respect. When she finally did decide to leave the Opry, it was to become a permanent member of Johnny Cash's road show.

May 16, 1953: Jimmy Dean made his Grand Ole Opry debut, introduced that night by Opry member Carl Smith. While never becoming an Opry member, Jimmy would make occasional Opry appearances throughout his career, including on the night that Jimmy Dickens was honored on his 50th anniversary as an Opry member.

May 23, 1953: Singing "Mexican Joe" future Grand Ole Opry member Jim Reeves made his Opry debut.

May 21, 1955: While several dates are listed, it would appear that this was the date that Opry member Webb Pierce quit the Opry. He was an Opry member for just three years, but over that time he realized  pretty fast how much money he was losing by not being out on the road on Saturday nights. In addition to his Hall of Fame career, Webb was also involved in the music publishing business.

May 11, 1957: Don and Phil, the Everly Brothers, made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. They, along with a few others, were brought in as part of a youth movement in an attempt to capture the younger crowd who were not coming to the Opry. They were with the Opry for only a year before moving on. In 2001, they were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

May 18, 1957: Just weeks after the Everly Brothers, Rusty and Doug Kershaw made their Opry debut.

May 20, 1958: Don Gibson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. A fantastic songwriter, Don was an Opry member until December 1964, when he was fired from the cast for not making the required number of Opry appearances. Several years later, Don rejoined the Opry after the attendance requirements were lowered. Elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, Don remained an Opry member until his death in 2003 after a period of declining health.

May 1, 1960: The WLS National Barn Dance, one of the Opry's early competitors, came to an end as WLS in Chicago changed formats. The Barn Dance originally started on April 19, 1924, a year prior to the start of the Opry.

May 13, 1967: Merle Haggard made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Merle came to the Opry a few times, the last being in October 2015, when he made a surprise appearance on the show.

May 8, 1968: Grand Ole Opry founder George D. Hay passed away at his home in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He started the WSM Barn Dance in November 1925, several months after joining WSM as the Radio Director. After he started the show, he would frequently clash with WSM management, particularly Harry and David Stone, over the direction of the show. He wanted to keep the Opry "close to the ground" while the Stone's saw the value of the Opry to National Life and WSM and wanted the show to take a more professional approach. Over the years, Hay would suffer periods of ill health and by the time he retired from WSM, he was primarily an announcer with little creative control regarding the show. On Saturday May 11, the  first Opry show following his death, Grant Turner paid tribute to him, saying, "He called himself the Solemn Old Judge. If he was solemn, it was only in the face of those who thought to change or corrupt the purity of the barn dance ballads he sought to preserve. We, the performers and friends of the Grand Ole Opry, salute the memory of one whose influence is felt on the stage of the Opry tonight-the Solemn Old Judge, George D. Hay."

May 10, 1969: Stonewall Jackson rejoined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Stonewall was another of the ones who were fired in December 1964 for failing to fulfill the Opry's attendance requirements. Stonewall originally joined the cast in November 1956. His last Opry appearance was in November 2016 when he was recognized upon his 60th anniversary as an Opry member.

May 1, 1971: Tex Summey, known professionally as Cousin Jody, made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He originally came to the Opry in 1937 with Roy Acuff and later performed with Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys. Later in his career, he appeared with Lonzo & Oscar, in addition to his solo performances. While not always remember, Cousin Jody was Roy Acuff's original dobro player, replaced by Brother Oswald when he left Roy's group. He left the Opry due to his declining health.

May 13, 1972: Gene Watson made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. While never becoming an Opry member, Gene has actually appeared on the Opry more times than many of the Opry's members. I have been asked many times why Gene never became an Opry member, and it is a question that I have no answer for.

May 22, 1977: In honor of Victoria Day, a national holiday in Canada, the Opry held a special matinee show dedicated to the fans of the Opry from the country up North.

May 11, 1979: Lester Flatt passed away in Nashville at the age of 64. Lester had been in declining health for a number of years. Lester first came to the Opry as a member of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, later joining with Earl Scruggs to form Flatt & Scruggs. After splitting with Earl, Lester continued as an Opry member, sticking to traditional bluegrass and traditionally hosting the segment hosted by Martha White.

May 15, 1982: Ricky Skaggs became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 36th year as an Opry member. Ricky always dreamed of becoming an Opry member and he has always taken his Opry membership seriously. As Ricky said, "I don't ever, ever want to get to the point where I don't come and play the Opry, while I feel like I'm too good to play the Opry. Mr. Acuff said that I would do that. He said you'll get so big you'll do like all the rest of them. And I said, you don't know me. You just watch and see, I'm not made that way. I didn't join the Opry for that." After that, whenever Ricky played the Opry, he would always make it a point to find Roy and tell him that he was indeed there. And yes, there have been a few bumps in the road, but overall, Ricky has been good for the Opry.

May 26, 1984: Onie Wheeler, a member of Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys, died of a heart attack while performing on the Grand Ole Gospel radio program that followed the Friday Night Opry.

May 3, 1986: Barbara Mandrell returned to the Opry for the first time following her near fatal car accident.

May 4, 1991: Travis Tritt made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Less than a year later, in February 1992, Travis would become an Opry member.

May 1, 1993: Charley Pride became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Charley's 25th year as an Opry member. Charley first appeared as a guest on the Opry in the late 1960s. Over the following years, Charley was asked numerous times if he was interested in becoming a member of the Opry, but he always declined due to his heavy touring schedule and the fact that he seldom came to Nashville. In 1993, he finally felt that the time was right and he joined the cast.

May 11, 1996: Steve Wariner became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Steve first came to the Opry as a member of Dottie West's band, before branching out with his own career. This will be Steve's 22nd year as a member of the Opry's cast.

May 3, 1997: The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree celebrated it's 50th anniversary with a show that took place on Broadway Avenue in Nashville.

May 17, 1997: Former Grand Ole Opry member Tammy Wynette made her final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Tammy had been a member of the Opry in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when she was married to George Jones.

May 31, 1997: Lee Ann Womack made her first guest appearance on the Opry. While never becoming an Opry member, Lee Ann would make guest appearances on the show.

May 9, 1998: Grand Ole Opry member Teddy Wilburn made his final appearance on the Opry. Teddy and his brother Doyle, along with other family members, had first appeared on the Opry in 1940 before being forced to leave the show due to child labor laws. In the 1950s, they returned to the Opry as members, with Teddy and Doyle performing as a duo until Doyle's death from cancer in 1982. Teddy continued as a solo member of the Opry, although over time he would reduce his appearances. Health issues forced Teddy to retire from performing and he passed away in November 2003.

May 15, 1998: Grand Ole Opry member Johnny Paycheck made his final appearance on the Opry. Health issues forced Johnny to retire from performing.

May 29, 1999: Future Grand Ole Opry member Brad Paisley made his Opry debut. Brad came to Nashville and the Opry via the Wheeling Jamboree. After numerous guest appearances, Brad would eventually become an Opry member.

May 5, 2001: Blake Shelton made his debut as a guest artist on the Grand Ole Opry. Over the next decade, Blake would continue to appear once in a while on the Opry, eventually joining the cast in the fall of 2010.

May 21, 2006: Grand Ole Opry member Billy Walker, along with his wife Bettie and two members of his band, were killed in a traffic accident on their way back to Nashville after an appearance in Alabama. Billy had joined the Opry in 1960.

May 19, 2007: Porter Wagoner celebrated his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was joined that night by Dolly Parton, Patty Loveless, Marty Stuart and Buck Trent. Marty hosted the televised segment and it marked the final time that Porter and Dolly shared the stage together. Dolly sang a very emotional "I Will Always Love You," which she wrote dedicated to Porter and on that night, it brought tears to Porter's eyes. Porter, who was already in declining health, would pass away in October. And yes, 10 years after his death, Porter is still missed at the Opry.

May 10, 2008: Carrie Underwood became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 10th year as an Opry member. On the night of her induction, Garth Brooks surprised Carrie and the Opry crowd by making a special appearance to induct Carrie. I know I have said it before, but Carrie takes her Opry membership seriously and even with her busy schedule, she has always managed to get in the 10 appearances each year asked of her.

May 30, 2009: Comedian, actor and banjo player Steve Martin made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry, leading an all-star band performing "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." If you have never seen or heard Steve play the banjo, he is fantastic and takes it very seriously.

May 1, 2010: The Grand Ole Opry House sustained major damage when the Cumberland River flooded during heavy rains that hit the Nashville area. The Opry House, Acuff Theater, Opry Museum and Opry Mills Mall all were closed due to the damage. The Acuff Theater was torn down, the Museum has never reopened and it took the Mall years to get repaired. In the case of the Opry House, it took until September for the auditorium to be reopened. When it did, it was a star-studded Tuesday Night Opry with Bill Anderson hosting the opening segment. This was fitting as it was Bill that had hosted the final Saturday night segment the night prior to the flood. And even though the Opry House was closed due to the flood, the Opry did not miss one performance as the show relocated to various buildings around Nashville.

May 3, 2011: Alabama made a guest appearance on the Opry, 29 years after they first appeared on the Opry. They were joined on stage that night by Opry member Brad Paisley, and together they sang, "Old Alabama" and "Tennessee River."

May 18, 2013: Retired Grand Ole Opry member Barbara Mandrell made a surprise appearance at the Opry. She did not sing, but came out on stage and waved to the audience.

May 4, 2018: Grand Ole Opry member Charley Pride was honored at the Opry upon his 25th anniversary as a member of the Opry.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 5/4 & 5/5

It will be a big weekend at the Grand Ole Opry as Charley Pride will be in town for both nights and he will be celebrating 25 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

With 36 No.1 hits and more than 25 million albums sold, Charley Pride is a true country music legend. The journey, however, was not without its share of challenges. Born to poor Mississippi sharecroppers, Charley was one of 11 children. At 14, he bought a guitar and taught himself to play. Unofficially starting his music career while playing baseball in the Negro American League with the Memphis Red Sox. Charley sang on the team bus between ballparks. Following a tryout with the New York Mets, Charley returned home, but not before making a trip to Nashville. Manager Jack Johnson heard Charley and promised that a recording contract would follow.

A year later, Charley returned to Nashville and was introduced to producer Cowboy Jack Clement, who asked him to cut a couple of new songs, including one that became his debut hit, "The Snakes Crawl at Night." From 1966 to 1984, the overwhelming majority of his more than 50 singles reached the Top 10, with more than half hitting No.1, including "Kiss an Angel Good Morning," (a pop-country crossover million-seller), "Mountain of Love" and "Is Anybody Going to San Antone?" In 1971, the Country Music Association named him Entertainer of the Year.

"I'm a very fortunate entertainer because a lot of artists don't have but maybe on signature song," Charley says, "I'm fortunate enough to have about four or five. If I leave one or two out of my show, I'm going to hear something about it before the night's over."

In 1993, 26 years after he first played the show as a guest, Charley joined the Grand Ole Opry. Remembering his initial dream of baseball stardom, Charley said, "It's as if I had made it in baseball and they came up to me and took me to Cooperstown and said, 'This is where your plaque is going to be, beside Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron.'"

Charley Pride made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry on January 7, 1967. At the time, he was the first black solo singer to appear on the show (early Opry member DeFord Bailey was in instrumentalist). After that successful first appearance, he was invited back several times and soon was asked to become a member of the Opry's cast. However, citing a heavy touring schedule, Charley declined, as he would on several other occasions. Finally, in 1993 the time felt right for Charley and he joined the Opry.

Joining Charley for both shows this weekend will be Grand Ole Opry members Mike Snider and John Conlee. Joining that duo on Friday night will be members The Whites, Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press, Jeannie Seely and Dailey & Vincent. Opry members scheduled for Saturday night besides Charley, Mike and John include Bill Anderson, Crystal Gayle, Riders In The Sky and Connie Smith. That comes out to seven members on each show.

Listed as guest artists on Friday night are Deana Carter, Eric Paslay, Aaron Tippin and Jimmie Allen, while on Saturday night Shelly Fairchild, William Michael Morgan and Shane Owens are listed.

Friday May 4
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Deana Carter; The Whites
7:30: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Eric Paslay
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Aaron Tippin; Jimmie Allen
8:45: Dailey & Vincent (host); Charley Pride

Saturday May 5
7:00: John Conlee (host); Shelly Fairchild; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); William Michael Morgan; Crystal Gayle
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Shane Owens; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Charley Pride

While Charley Pride will be celebrating his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Jimmie Allen will be making his Opry debut on this week's Friday Night Opry.

A native of Southern Delaware, Jimmie Allen has been making his presence known in Nashville, and in the country music community. He has performed at the Bluebird Cafe, toured with Toby Keith, wrote a song that was featured in a Super Bowl commercial, appeared in a Diet Coke ad with Taylor Swift, and in October 2017 released his self-titled EP through the BBR Music Group.

Allen's EP is described as "a cutting-edge mix of country, rock, R&B, and pop," produced by Ash Bowers and Eric Torres. Among the songs, "Underdogs" and "Best Shot" reveal his true story of laying it all on the line, while "Back Home to You," "Back of Your Mind," and "Blue Jean Baby" find the singer-songwriter reflecting on his journey to the spotlight, with all the love he left behind and romantic hopes included.

In January, Rolling Stone magazine listed Jimmie Allen as one of the 10 new country artists you need to know.


As mentioned, Charley Pride is celebrating his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry this weekend and here is a look back at the running order from Saturday May 1, 1993, the night Charley became an official Opry member.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
The 4 Guys (host): If It's From the Country, It's Coming From the Heart
Wilma Lee Cooper: Sweeter Than the Flowers
The 4 Guys: (?)

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Don't 'Cha Cry, Melinda
Jim Ed Brown: Lyin' In Love With You/The 3 Bells
Grandpa Jones: Four Stone Walls and a Ceiling

7:00: Shoney's
Del Reeves (host): Lay A Little Lovin' On Me
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Jean Shepard: Many Happy Hangovers to You
Osborne Brothers: Rock of Ages
Eddy Raven: Who Do You Know in California/Bayou Boys Sleep All Day; Run All Night
Del Reeves: The Race is On

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Jan Howard: Crazy Arms
Riders In The Sky: Lonely Yukon Stars
Charley Pride: Kiss an Angel Good Morning/Wings of a Dove/Kaw-Liga
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): 'Ol Slewfoot
Charlie Walker: Who Will Buy the Wine
Brother Oswald: Columbus Stockade Blues
Porter Wagoner: Happy Birthday Dear Tony
Charlie Cushman: Sally Goodin
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Breakfast With the Blues
Billy Walker: A Million and One
Roy Drusky: Mississippi
Ray Pillow: Invitation to the Blues
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby on My Mind
Hank Snow: I'm Not All that Sorry for You

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Del Reeves: There She Goes
Stonewall Jackson: Side-Steppin' the Blues
Charley Pride: Every Heart Should Have One/Mountain of Love/Kiss An Angel Good Morning/Kaw-Liga
Porter Wagoner: On A Highway Headed South

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Banjo Sam
The 4 Guys: My Special Angel
Jean Shepard: Wabash Cannonball
Grandpa Jones: Old Camp Meeting Time

10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
Jim Ed Brown (host): Everyday People
Bill Carlisle: Rusty Old Halo
Jim Ed Brown: Will the Circle Be Unbroken/I Saw the Light/Gone at Last

10:30: Picadilly
Billy Walker (host): Charlie's Shoes
Lost & Found: Left-Over Biscuits
Billy Walker: You Gave Me A Mountain

10:45: Opry Book
Osborne Brothers (host): Midnight Flyer
Charlie Louvin: See the Big Man Cry
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Liberty
Osborne Brothers: High on a Hilltop
David Crowe: Sally Goodin

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Ramblin' Rose
Riders In The Sky: Son of the Western Soil
Justin Tubb: You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Eddy Raven: Sometimes A Lady/I've Got Mexico
Hank Snow: Old Shep

11:30: General Jackson
Jimmy C Newman (host): Pistol Packin' Mama
Connie Smith: Then & Only Then
Roy Drusky: All for the Love of a Girl
Mike Snider: Squirrel Hide
Jimmy C Newman: Colinda

While May 1, 1993 is the date that Charley Pride joined the Opry, it was May 1, 1971 that another Opry member, James Clell Summey, better known as Cousin Jody, performed on the Opry for the final time.

James Clell Summey was born on December 11, 1919 near Sevierville, Tennessee. While he was young, his family moved to Knoxville. Both of his parents were musicians and other musicians stayed on a regular basis at their home. As Jody grew up, he learned several different instruments, starting with a guitar before moving on to the dobro, on which he became an accomplished musician. By 1933, he was playing in local clubs with a group known as the Tennessee Crackerjacks, where they were joined by another local fellow, Roy Acuff. Several years later, Roy and the band moved to Nashville where they appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. Performing with Roy on the Opry, Jody became the first musician to play a dobro on the show.

While many people associate Brother Oswald with helping to create the Roy Acuff sound, it was actually Jody who provided the dobro on such classic Acuff recordings as "The Great Speckled Bird" and "Wabash Cannonball." In January 1931, after having a difference of opinion with Roy over material,  Jody left the group and returned to Knoxville. However, he soon moved back to Nashville, this time working for Pee Wee King. He later worked with Lonzo and Oscar, and many of those classic performances can be seen on YouTube. He then performed as a solo member of the Opry, dressing up as a baggy-panted and toothless hayseed. With his comedy and musicianship, he was a popular member of the cast. His comedy dominated his later appearances which caused many fans to forget just how good a dobro player he really was.

Declining health caused Jody to retire from the Opry in 1971 and he passed away at the age of 55 on August 18, 1975.

Here is the running order from Saturday May 1, 1971, Cousin Jody's final night on the Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Stu Phillips (host): Let the Guitars Play
Peggy Little: I've Got to Have You
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Stu Phillips: El Tigrae

6:45: Rudy's
Willis Brothers (host): Bob
Justin Tubb: Big Fool of the Year
Willis Brothers: For the Good Times
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey

7:00: Luzianne
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven/Boll Weevil
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nine Pound Hammer
Howdy Forrester: Billy in the Low Ground
Connie Eaton: Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Brother Oswald: Columbus Stockade Blues
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Big Midnight Special
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Monroe (host): Molly & Tenbrooks
Stonemans Family:  Looking Out My Back Door
Joe & Rose Lee Maphis: If I'm Gonna Have Your Lovin'
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Bill Monroe: Wicked Path of Sin
Stoneman Family: Orange Blossom Special
Joe & Rose Lee Maphis: If I've Gotta Have Your Lovin'

8:00: Martha White
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Bill Carlisle: Shanghai Rooster
The 4 Guys: My Special Angel
Bobby Lewis: He Gives Us All His Love
Archie Campbell: Hey Waiter
Del Wood: Kentucky Turnpike
The 4 Guys: Ruby, Don't Take Your Guns to Town

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Marion Worth: How Great Thou Art
Charlie Walker: My Baby Used to Be That Way
Louie Roberts: Sandy/Cattle Call
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Devil's Dream
Marion Worth: Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Justin Tubb (host): Be Glad
Willis Brothers: Women's Liberation
Peggy Little: Son of a Preacher Man
Stringbean: Ruby
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Peggy Little: I've Got to Have You
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203

10:00: Fender
Stu Phillips (host): Me & Bobby McGee
Connie Eaton: Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey
Stu Phillips: For the Good Times

10:15: Union 76
Bill Monroe (host): I Haven't Seen Mary in Years
Tex Ritter: Wayward Wind
Joe & Rose Lee Maphis: Run That By Me One More Time
Bill Monroe: I'll Never Love No One Else But My Darling

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nobody's Darling But Mine
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark
Archie & Phil Campbell: Release Me

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Charlie Walker: My Baby Used to Be That Way
Stoneman Family: White Lightening #2
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
Hank Snow: Bluebird Island
Charlie Walker: Tell Her Lies and Feed Her Candy
Sam McGee: Where the Roses Never Fade
Hank Snow: My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

11:30: Elm Hill
The 4 Guys (host): Cottonfields/Mariah
Marion Worth: Okie from Muskogee/How Great Thou Art
Louie Roberts: Sandy
Bobby Lewis: From Heaven to Heartache/He Gives Us all His Love
The 4 Guys: Sweet Caroline/One Pair of Hands

Once again, congratulations to Charley Pride upon his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. And as always, I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend.