Thursday, August 27, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 8/28 & 8/29

As summer is coming to an end September is just a week away, the Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. In looking at the line-ups, there is a nice mix of Opry legends and new young talent. Let's review this list.

As far as the new young talent this weekend, Friday night will feature Ashley Clark and Rainey Qualley, while Saturday night has Kalisa Ewing, Brett Kissel, LOCASH, Craig Wayne Boyd and Flatt Lonesome listed. For Rainey Qualley and Flatt Lonesome, it will be their Opry debuts. Rainey Qualley will be on the Opry to help promote her new LP, "Turn Me on Like the Radio." She is originally from North Carolina and now works out of Nashville, where she is also gaining a reputation as a talent songwriter. She will be signing copies of her new record in the Opry gift shop after the show. Flatt Lonesome is the 2014 IBMA Emerging Artists of the Year. This bluegrass group has six primary members and they are known for doing the classics along with new, high energy material.

Looking at the Opry legends for this weekend, Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Riders In The Sky, Jesse McReynolds and Steve Wariner are set for both nights, with Jeannie, Riders and Steve all hosting segments. Additionally, Mel Tillis will be hosting on Friday night and John Conlee on Saturday. I will say that it is nice to see Jesse scheduled for both nights, something that we rarely see, while Steve Wariner is always a welcomed addition to the Opry schedule. Rounding out the list will be guest artists The Isaacs, Andy Griggs and Restless Heart on Friday, with Charles Esten of "Nashville" set for Saturday.

Does anyone have any thoughts on Jeannie Seely and her hosting ability? Like or dislike? I know there are differences of opinion on this one.

Now for the line-ups:

Friday August 28
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Ashley Clark; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Mandy Barnett; The Isaacs
Intermission
8:15: Mel Tillis (host); Andy Griggs; Jesse McReynolds
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Rainey Qualley; Restless Heart

Saturday August 29
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Kalisa Ewing; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); Brett Kissel; LOCASH
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Craig Wayne Boyd; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Flatt Lonesome; Charles Esten

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, August 27 & 28, 2010. The Friday Night Opry took place at the Ryman Auditorium, while Saturday's Grand Ole Opry was performed at the War Memorial Auditorium.

Friday August 27
7:00: Diamond Rio (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Riders In The Sky
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Dailey & Vincent
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Martina McBride
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Carrie Underwood

Saturday August 28
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Blaine Larsen
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Johnny Counterfit; Jack Greene
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); George Hamilton IV; Suzy Bogguss; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ronnie Milsap (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of August 26 & 27, 2005:

Friday August 26
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jeannie Seely; Ray Scott
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Kevin Sharp
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jack Greene; Buddy Jewell
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Marty Stuart
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); The Chapmans; Ray Price

Saturday August 27
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; Jeannie Seely
7:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jimmy Wayne; Ray Scott; Alison Brown Band w/Joe Craven; Suzy Bogguss
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; Jean Shepard; John Conlee; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Mel McDaniel; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy Wayne
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Jim Ed Brown; Suzy Bogguss
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Osborne Brothers; Alison Brown Band w/Joe Craven
11:30: John Conlee (host); Ray Scott; Mel McDaniel; Mandy Barnett

This week we remember Marty Robbins, as it was 33 years ago Saturday night, August 28, 1982 that Marty Robbins made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
4 Guys (host): Turn Your Radio On
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot

6:45: Rudy's
Jimmy C Newman (host): (?)
Billy Grammer: Renfro Valley
Jean Shepard: Too Many Rivers
Jimmy C Newman: Colinda

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Skeeter Davis: The Rose
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore Darling
Wilburn Brothers: Release Me
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
Mac Magaha: Rocky Top
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand/Ol' Slewfoot

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Wilma Lee Cooper: Each Season Changes You
Vic Willis Trio: You Were Always On My Mind
Jan Howard: I Wish That I Could Love That Much Again
Lonzo & Oscar: Boogie Grass Band
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Soldier's Joy
Grandpa Jones: I'll Meet You in the Morning

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: Once A Day/When God Dips His Love Into My Heart
Charlie Louvin & Albert Elliott: I Can't Keep You In Love With Me
Jim & Jesse: The Ballad of Thunder Road
Ernie Ashworth: Wichita Woman
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird/I Saw the Light

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): From A Jack to A King
Jeannie Seely: Healing Hands of Time
Roy Drusky: Wayward Wind
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Hank Snow: Once More, You're Mine Again

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
4 Guys: Marie, The Dawn is Breaking
Jean Shepard: I Thought Of You/It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels/You Win Again/A Dear John Letter
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Skeeter Davis: Satisfied
Mac Magaha: Rocky Top
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand

10:00: Little Debbie
Jimmy C Newman (host): Jambalaya
Lonzo & Oscar: I'm My Own Grandpa
Cajun Country: Cajun Stripper

10:15: Sunbeam
Grandpa Jones (host): Little Pink
Vic Willis Trio: Last Cheater's Waltz
Ray Pillow: One Too Many Memories
Grandpa Jones: Fallen Leaves

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Back in the Country
Wilma Lee Cooper: When My Time Comes To Go
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Roy Acuff: Lord, Don't Give Up On Me

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): Fraulein
Connie Smith: Til I Kissed You
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Lafayette
Roy Drusky: Slowly

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Jan Howard: When I Dream
Jim & Jesse: The Magic Little Garden
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sugar Tree Stomp
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Kirk McGee: St. James Infirmary
Hank Snow: My Happiness

11:30: Bama
Marty Robbins (host): Ribbon of Darkness
Jeannie Seely: You Don't Need Me, But You Will/I'm All Through Crying Over You
Charlie Louvin: I Don't Love You Anymore/Think I'll Go Somewhere & Cry Myself to Sleep/See the Big Man Cry
Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink On Me
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Good Hearted Woman/This is the Moment/Some Memories Just Won't Die/Return to Me/Beyond the Reef/That's All Right/To Get to You/Tonight Carmen/Don't Let Me Touch You/Cool Water/18 Yellow Roses/Love Me/El Paso

That comes to 14 songs for Marty in a segment that lasted just over an hour, with the Opry ended at about 10 till 1. After that appearance, Marty was pretty much on the road and working on a new album. He was actually scheduled to do the Opry on the Saturday night following his December heart attack.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!














Monday, August 24, 2015

September Opry Highlights

Hard to believe that summer is already over and we are headed into fall and football season. At the Opry, it is business as usual and as I do each month, here are the important and historical events that have taken place during the month of September involving the Opry and it's members.

September 15, 1903: Country Music Hall of Fame member and the "King of Country Music," Roy Acuff was born in Maynardsville, Tennessee. Roy came to the Grand Ole Opry in 1938 and except for a short period of time, would remain with the Opry until his death in 1992. I think it is safe to say that Roy has been the most influential member in the history of the Opry. Many people point to his death as the start of many of the changes that have taken place at the Opry.

September 13, 1911: The "Father of Bluegrass Music," Bill Monroe was born in Rosine, Kentucky. Bill came to the Opry in October 1939 and he would remain a part of the Opry until his death in 1996.

September 17, 1913: Hank Williams was born. Really nothing else needs to be said. While his time at the Opry was short, it was very eventful.

September 26, 1925: One of the most popular members in the history of the Opry, Marty Robbins was born near Glendale, Arizona. Marty came to the Opry in 1953 and shortly after that first appearance, he became a member. Marty would remain an Opry member until his death in December 1982. His 11:30 Opry shows were legendary.

September 26, 1926: Jerry Clower was born near Liberty, Mississippi. Jerry joined the cast of the Opry in 1973 and was the last member to join before the Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the new Grand Ole Opry House. This great comedian would remain with the Opry until his death in 1998. In the history of the Opry, there have been many great comedians and Jerry was right there on that list.

September 1, 1931: Lecil Travis Martin, better known as "Boxcar Willie" was born in Sterratt, Texas. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut in 1980, at the age of 49 and a year later he became an Opry member. Boxcar stayed with the Opry until his death in 1999.

September 12, 1931: The Possum, George Jones, was born in Saratoga, Texas. George originally became an Opry member in 1956, and although he would come and go over the course of his career, he was an Opry member when he passed away in 2013. Although his Opry appearances were few and far between, George was always proud of his Opry membership.

September 5, 1945: Wally Fowler joined the Grand Ole Opry. Wally was the founder of the Oak Ridge Quartet, which eventually became the Oak Ridge Boys, members of the Opry today. After Wally joined the Opry, he was frequently featured on the Prince Albert show and he would generally sing a gospel number. Later in life, Wally had some financial issues that forced him to sell the rights to the Oak Ridge Quartet name. He passed away in 1994.

September 18, 1947: On this night, and the following one, Ernest Tubb, Minnie Pearl, and a host of Opry members played two shows at Carnegie Hall in New York. Here is how Ernest remembered that night, "The radio and newspaper people ignored us the first night we were there, but we turned away six thousand people and the next night, every reporter was there." Billboard Magazine reported that "such screaming and wild applause after each number hasn't been heard in town since Frank Sinatra brought out the bobbysoxers at the Paramount." This would not be the last time that country music was heard at Carnegie Hall.

September 11, 1948: It would appear that this was the last night that Eddy Arnold performed as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. At the time, Eddy was the Opry's biggest star and he left to headline his own CBS network radio show. Eddy did an interview with Ralph Emery in 1991 and talked about leaving the Opry. "I thought I had done as much as I could do there. I had two network radio programs outside the Opry." On his final night as a member, Eddy finished his set and stood on the stage looking over the Ryman Auditorium. He thanked Harry Stone, WSM, and the Opry fans and then turned to walk away from the microphone. Harold Bradley, who backed Eddy on guitar that night, would say, "We went around the curtain and he and Minnie Pearl hugged and both of them cried like babies because he was leaving." Eddy did create some controversy because he was the first "star" to leave the Opry. Irving Waugh of WSM had this to say, "We hated to see Eddy leave. But, as I recall, it didn't make that much difference to the Opry. At that stage, people were lined up all the way around the block to get in. New people, including Hank (Williams) were coming all the time." by the way, after Eddy left the Opry, he never came back.

September 24, 1948: WSM began the Friday Night Frolics, later to become known as the Friday Night Opry. The show took place from Studio C at WSM and continued to be broadcast from that studio until 1964, when it was moved to the Ryman Auditorium. The show was originally started as part of the effort to keep Eddy Arnold at the Opry and on WSM radio.

September 25, 1948: George Morgan became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was brought to the show specifically to replace Eddy Arnold. Like many others, George would leave the Opry for a short period of time, but would later return and remain an Opry member until his death.

September 13, 1952: Webb Pierce made his first appearance on the Opry. He joined the cast a year later to help fill the absence after Hank Williams was fired. Webb remained an Opry member until February 19, 1957, when he left in a dispute with management over the booking fees and commissions that were being charged.

September 26, 1953: Skeeter Davis made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Skeeter became an Opry member in 1959 and except for the short period of time when she was suspended from the show, would remain an Opry member until her death in 2004.

September 10, 1955: Justin Tubb became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. At the time that he joined, Justin was the Opry's youngest member. The son of Opry legend Ernest Tubb, Justin stayed with the Opry until his death in 1998 at the age of 62.

September 24, 1956: WSM radio fired Opry manager Jim Denny. Jim had started with WSM and the Opry back in the early days of the show and was involved behind the scenes in various capacities, including being in charge of the Opry's concession business, where he saw for the first time how much money the Opry was making and how much potential there was for the Opry. Over time, he became not only the Opry's manager, but a very powerful force at WSM, too powerful for some. He was fired from the Opry because he would not give up his ownership of Cedarwood Publishing Company.

September 25, 1956: Dee Kilpatrick was name the Grand Ole Opry's "general director." He was also named manager of the WSM Artists' Service Bureau, which was the Opry's in house booking agency. Dee, a former record company executive, said at the time, " They asked me what I thought was wrong. We'll, back when I was working with Mercury Records, I was at the Opry almost every Saturday night I was in town, and I could look at the audience and see what was wrong. The Opry didn't appeal to the younger audiences that you have to have if you're going to keep growing. All I could see there were older people and little teeny kids. There weren't any teenagers." Kilpatrick would begin to add younger acts to the Opry's cast, including The Every Brothers and Porter Wagoner. What is interesting is that when you read that quote from 1956 about the Opry's aging audience, it sounds almost like what Pete Fisher has been saying since 1999.

September 29, 1956: Rose Maddox joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Rose did not stay at the Opry for very long as many of the Opry's members, including Roy Acuff in particular, did not care for her.

September 13, 1958: Ben Smathers and the Stoney Mountain Cloggers became members of the Grand Ole Opry. For most of their years on the Opry, they would be on an every other week rotation as the featured square dancers. Ben Smathers passed away in 1990, while the Stoney Mountain Cloggers would remain a part of the Opry until 1993.

September 30, 1958: Opry member Marty Stuart was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Before beginning his solo career, Marty was part of Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass and later with the Johnny Cash touring band. While currently in rerun, his RFD-TV show is reportedly the highest rated program on that network. And while no new filming of his show is taking place, rumors are out there that the show will return after the first of the year.

September 25, 1962: Loretta Lynn became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 53rd year as an Opry member.

September 27, 1963: The National Life and Accident Insurance Company purchased the Ryman Auditorium from the city of Nashville for a reported $200,000. WSM, which operated the building, immediately changed the name of the facility to the Grand Ole Opry Housed, even though everyone would still call it the Ryman. By becoming the building's owners, National Life was able to make much needed repairs to the building and bring it up to code.

September 11, 1964: The Friday Night Frolics moved from WSM Studio C to the Ryman Auditorium and was renamed the Friday Night Opry.

September 18, 1965: According to some of the Opry's historical records, this is the date listed for Connie Smith's induction as a new member of the Grand Ole Opry. Other dates have had it listed in either June or July of that year. What I do know is that this is the date that Connie first appeared on the Opry as an Opry member. Last month, Connie was honored for 50 years of Opry membership.

September 16, 1967: Jeannie Seely became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 48th year as an Opry member. Jeannie was one of the first females to host a segment on the Opry and now she regularly hosts segments.

September 19, 1968: Former Opry member Red Foley passed away in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Red came to the Opry in 1946 and stayed at the Opry for about a decade, always hosting the Prince Albert portion of the show. After he left Nashville, he went to Springfield, Missouri as a host of the Ozark Jubilee.

September 13, 1969: Earl Scruggs made his first appearance as a solo member of the Opry, after his recent split with Lester Flatt. He performed "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" with his sons Gary and Randy.

September 17, 1977: Reba McEntire made her first guest appearance on the Opry. Several years later, she would become an Opry member.

September 15, 1979: Stevie Wonder makes a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, singing "Behind Close Doors" in a duet with Skeeter Davis.

September 6, 1984: Ernest Tubb passed away in a Nashville hospital after a long illness. He had been in declining health for a number of years, last appearing on the Opry in 1982. He joined the Opry in 1943 and in 1965 was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is considered on of the Opry's greatest legends.

September 9, 1989: Opry member Del Wood made her final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. She passed away a month later at the age of 69 after suffering a stroke.

September 4, 1991: Grand Ole Opry member Dottie West passed away in a Nashville hospital from injuries suffered in an earlier car accident, which took place at Opryland prior to a scheduled appearance on the Friday Night Opry. Dottie had joined the Opry in 1964. Many consider her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame as long overdue.

September 4, 1992: Former Opry member Carl Butler died in Franklin, Tennessee. Carl first appeared on the Opry in 1948 and along with his wife Pearl, would join the cast in 1962. Not only was Carl a great singer, but he was also a fine songwriter. They did not stay at the Opry for very long, and after leaving, they continued to tour until Pearl passed away. After her death, Carl would occasionally perform at the Opry. Dolly Parton has said many times that Carl and Pearl were instrumental in helping her out early in her career and later in her life, she repaid the favor to the Butlers.

September 11, 1993: The Stoney Mountain Cloggers made their final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. After Ben Smather's death in 1990, his widow Margaret continued as the group's leader, before deciding to retire.

September 6, 1996: Opry legend Hank Snow made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Hank was in declining health and made a low-key decision to retire from the Opry. Hank passed away in 1999, just two weeks short of his 50th anniversary as an Opry member.

September 9, 1996: Bill Monroe passed away. He had been in declining health after suffering a stroke earlier in the year. Bill, who joined the Opry in 1939, brought bluegrass to the Opry.

September 20, 1997: During an appearance on the Opry, Johnny Paycheck is asked by Opry general manager Bob Whittaker if he would like to become an Opry member. Of course he said yes, and later in the year he was officially inducted.

September 28, 2002: For the first time in 10 years, Tanya Tucker makes an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. She performed along with The Jordanaires.

September 13, 2003: The United States Postal Service unveiled a stamp featuring Roy Acuff during a ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry House.

September 20, 2004: Grand Ole Opry member Skeeter Davis passed away in Nashville at the age of 72. Skeeter had battled cancer and other health related issues for a number of years. She was always known for her bright outfits and her big smile while at the Opry. Nothing seemed to get her down and she brought a lot of joy to the Opry.

September 23, 2004: It was not a good week at the Opry as Roy Drusky passed away, just days after Skeeter's death. Roy joined the Opry in the late 1950s and had one of the smoothest voices you could ever find.

September 29, 2007: During a guest performance on the Grand Ole Opry, Josh Turner was asked by Roy Clark to become the Opry's newest member.

September 28, 2010: The Grand Ole Opry House reopened after the being renovated following the Nashville flood. Since May, the Opry had been taking place at various sites around Nashville. The show opened with the cast coming out and singing "Will The Circle Be Unbroken," with Brad Paisley and Jimmy Dickens leading the way. Also that night, Blake Shelton was asked by Trace Adkins if he would like to become the Opry's newest member.

September 13, 2011: Grand Ole Opry legend Wilma Lee Cooper passed away. Wilma and her husband Stoney, joined the Opry in 1957, coming to Nashville from the Wheeling Jamboree. After Stoney's death, Wilma Lee continued on as a solo member and performed most weeks on the Opry until suffering a stroke in February 2001, which ended her performing. She did return to the Opry stage in 2007 for her 50th anniversary as an Opry member. Her last appearance at the Opry was in September 2010 at the reopening of the Opry House.

September 13, 2011: George Jones made his final Grand Ole Opry appearance, appearing at a show celebrating his 80th birthday. The show featured Alan Jackson, Joe Diffie, Lee Ann Womack, and the Oak Ridge Boys, among others.

September 27, 2011: Rascal Flatts were invited to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. They were officially inducted as members several weeks later, during the Opry's birthday bash.

September 27, 2011: Johnny Wright passed away in Nashville. He was the husband of Kitty Wells, and a former member of the Opry.

September 17, 2014: 50+ year Opry member George Hamilton IV passed away. George originally joined the Opry in February 1960. He left the show for a brief period of time as he moved back to North Carolina. After relocating back to Nashville, he rejoined the cast. His last Opry appearance was on September 6.













Sunday, August 23, 2015

Upcoming Grand Ole Opry 90th Birthday Bash

Over a year ago, the Grand Ole Opry announced the dates for the Opry's 90th Birthday Bash, which is to take place on Friday October 2nd and Saturday October 3rd. With the announcement of the dates well over a year ahead of time, and being the Opry's 90th year, we were led to believe that it would be a special weekend that would include an effort to have as many of the Opry's members present as possible. This was exciting news considering that the last several birthday weekends have had very poor line-ups and frankly, disappointing shows. In fact, last year might have been the worst of all, with only 4 Opry members performing on Friday night and 5 Opry members on Saturday night.

When the announcement was made, there was mention that the 90th celebration would last all year, but to be honest, it has been very low key. There have been a couple of special shows and dedications but that has been about it. Now we are just five weeks away from the big weekend, and so far the Opry has posted Little Big Town, Joe Diffie, Diamond Rio and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers for Friday night, while Saturday has the Oak Ridge Boys, Trace Adkins, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers and Charles Esten for Saturday night. While a little better than a year ago, it is still nothing to write home about.

So what about the rest of the Opry's members? I did some quick checking and the following members have shows booked either on Friday or Saturday of the birthday weekend, or both nights. That list includes Bill Anderson, John Conlee, Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Loretta Lynn, Martina McBride, Del McCoury, Ronnie Milsap, Old Crow Medicine Show, Brad Paisley, Charley Pride, Rascal Flatts, Ricky Skaggs, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Travis Tritt, Josh Turner and Keith Urban. I have to say that while I did not expect all of those named to have been at the Opry that weekend, I am disappointed to see such names on the list as Bill Anderson, John Conlee, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and Marty Stuart.

As far as Opry members that are still "free" the birthday weekend, or that I cannot confirm, that list includes Dierks Bentley, Clint Black, Garth Brooks, Roy Clark, Terri Clark, Jan Howard, Alan Jackson, Stonewall Jackson, Hal Ketchum, Patty Loveless, Reba McEntire, Jesse McReynolds, Montgomery Gentry, Craig Morgan, Lorrie Morgan, Bobby Osborne, Dolly Parton, Stu Phillips, Ray Pillow, Riders In The Sky, Darius Rucker, Jeannie Seely, Blake Shelton, Jean Shepard, Mike Snider, Ralph Stanley, Mel Tillis, Carrie Underwood, Steve Wariner, The Whites and Trisha Yearwood. (I did not include the retired members or those too ill to appear). The hope is that it is still possible that a few of the "bigger" names on this list could still be scheduled, or even perhaps a few on the first list that have only one of the two nights booked.

But, it is getting very close to the weekend and time is getting short. And based on the last couple of years, it would appear that the Opry's Birthday Bash will be more like an ordinary Opry show than a special anniversary celebration. Maybe I will be proven wrong. I hope so.

Just for the sake of argument, I have the line-ups from the past 10 birthday weekends, and you can all judge for yourself what direction these birthday weekends have taken.

89th Birthday Bash, October 10 & 11, 2014:

Friday October 10
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Chris Janson; Josh Abbott Band
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Sara Haze; John & Jacob
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; The Willis Clan
8:30: Lady Antebellum

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Chris Janson; Josh Abbott Band
10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Sara Haze; John & Jacob
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; The Willis Clan
11:00: Lady Antebellum

Saturday October 11
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); JT Hodges; Jimmy Dickens
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); Greg Bates; Clare Bowen
8:00: Stu Phillips; Keb' Mo'; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Trace Adkins

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); JT Hodges; Jimmy Dickens
10:00: Ray Pillow (host); Greg Bates; Clare Bowen
10:30: Stu Phillips; Keb' Mo'; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Trace Adkins

88th Birthday Bash, October 4 & 5, 2013

Friday October 4
7:00: John Conlee (host); Kristen Kelly; Connie Smith
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Steeldrivers; Kathy Mattea
Intermission
8:15: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Secret Sisters
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mark Wills; Crystal Gayle

Saturday October 5
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Sarah Darling; Jean Shepard
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Tate Stevens; Jimmy Dickens
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Sam Palladio; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Steve Wariner (host); Mandy Barnett; Casey James

2nd show
9:30: Steve Wariner (host); Sarah Darling
10:00: Connie Smith (host); Jean Shepard; Tate Stevens
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); George Hamilton IV; Sam Palladio; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); Mandy Barnett; Casey James

87th Birthday Bash, October 5 & 6, 2012:

Friday October 5
7:00: Ricky Skaggs; John Conlee (host); Tyler Farr; Jean Shepard
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jaida Dreyer
Intermission
8:15: Steve Wariner (host); George Hamilton IV; Connie Smith; Kelleigh Bannen
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Rodney Atkins

Saturday October 6
1st show
7:00: Ricky Skaggs; Opry Square Dancers; Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Mallary Hope; Ray Stevens
8:00: Jason Aldean; Casey James; Steve Wariner

2nd show
9:30: Ricky Skaggs; Opry Square Dancers; Jimmy Dickens (host); Mallary Hope
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jason Aldean
10:30: Steve Wariner (host); Ray Stevens; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Casey James

86th Birthday Bash, October 7 & 8, 2011:

Friday October 7
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jason Michael Carroll
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Crystal Bowersox
Intermission
8:15: Charley Pride (host); Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Connie Smith; The Whites

Saturday October 8
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Charley Pride
8:00: Craig Morgan; Ronnie Dunn; Rascal Flatts

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV; Ronnie Dunn; Vince Gill
10:00: Charley Pride (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Rascal Flatts

85th Birthday Bash, October 8 & 9, 2010:

Friday October 8
7:00: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Craig Campbell
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Crystal Gayle
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy Wayne
8:45: Roy Clark (host); Stu Phillips; Joe Diffie

Saturday October 9
1st show
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Sunny Sweeney; Jack Greene; Trace Adkins
8:00: Roy Clark (host); Taylor Swift; Opry Square Dancers;
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Dolly Parton

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Ray Pillow; Del McCoury Band
10:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Jan Howard; T. Bubba Bechtol; Trace Adkins
10:30: Roy Clark (host); Taylor Swift; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Dolly Parton

84th Birthday Bash, October 9 & 10, 2009:

Friday October 9
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jeannie Seely; Riders In The Sky; Ricky Skaggs
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Patty Loveless
8:00: Mike Snider (host); BJ Thomas; Josh Turner
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Jean Shepard; Montgomery Gentry

Saturday October 10
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Kathy Mattea
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jan Howard; George Hamilton IV; Jean Shepard
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Joe Diffie; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mike Snider; Diamond Rio

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Lorrie Morgan; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Ray Pillow; Kathy Mattea
10:30: Diamond Rio (host); Stu Phillips; Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dancers
11:00; Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown; Joe Diffie

83rd Birthday Bash, October 10 & 11, 2008:

Friday October 10:
1st show
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Jamey Johnson
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Ray Pillow; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Phil Stacey; Rhythm-N-Motion
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jack Greene; The Time Jumpers

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Jamey Johnson; Marty Stuart
10:00: Jean Shepard (host); The Whites; Mandy Barnett
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ernie Ashworth; Phil Stacey; Rhythm-N-Motion
11:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Jack Greene; The Time Jumpers

Saturday October 11
1st show
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jim Ed Brown; Helen Cornelius; Jean Shepard
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:00: Darryl Worley; Lorrie Morgan; Hal Ketchum; Kenny Rogers

2nd show
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jeannie Seely
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Stu Phillips; Jean Shepard; Kenny Rogers
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jack Greene; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; Darryl Worley

82nd Birthday Bash, October 19 & 20, 2007:

Friday October 19
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely Jimmy C Newman; Carolina Rain
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Dale Ann Bradley; Neal McCoy
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Charlie Louvin; Jack Greene; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Steve Wariner

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Dale Ann Bradley
10:00: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; Rebecca Lynn Howard
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Carolina Rain
11:00: Steve Wariner (host); Jack Greene; Riders In The Sky

Saturday October 20
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Mike Snider
7:00: Carrie Underwood; Emerson Drive; Travis Tritt; Ronnie Milsap
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jeannie Seely; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites; Vince Gill

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Riders In The Sky; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Ronnie Milsap
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Travis Tritt
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); George Hamilton IV; Carrie Underwood; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band; Emerson Drive

81st Birthday Bash, October 20 & 21, 2006:

Friday October 20
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Walker; Heartland
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Connie Smith; The Whites; Earl Scruggs
8:00: Mike Snider (host); John Conlee; Jean Shepard; Chris Young
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Restless Heart; Charley Pride

2nd show
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Connie Smith; The Whites; Earl Scruggs
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Heartland
10:30: John Conlee (host); Chris Young; Charley Pride
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Restless Heart

Saturday October 21
1st show
6:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Trisha Yearwood; Travis Tritt; LeAnn Rimes; Charley Pride
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Stu Phillips; Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Trisha Yearwood
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Travis Tritt
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jan Howard; LeAnn Rimes; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Charlie Louvin; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band

80th Birthday Bash, October 14 & 15, 2005:

Friday October 14
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Robbie Fulks
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Osborne Brothers; Carolyn Dawn Johnson
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Charlie Walker; John Michael Montgomery
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); George Hamilton IV; Connie Smith; Lee Greenwood
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Alison Krauss

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Carolyn Dawn Johnson
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Grammer; Jack Greene; Alison Krauss
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Osborne Brothers; John Michael Montgomery
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Lee Greenwood
11:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Robbie Fulks

Saturday October 15
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Steve Wariner; Travis Tritt; Garth Brooks; Diamond Rio
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Louvin; Jeannie Seely; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Josh Turner; Ralph Stanley

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Steve Wariner
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Grammer; Travis Tritt
10:30: Diamond Rio (host); Stu Phillips; Ralph Stanley; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Garth Brooks
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Josh Turner

As always, I am interested in comments.





























Monday, August 17, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 8/21 & 8/22-Updated

Found a computer, and I know this is probably old news to most of you, but here is the line-up posted for this weekend:

Friday August 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Casey James; Bart Crow
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Morgan Evans; Exile
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers; JT Hodges
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Lauren Alaina; The Willis Clan

Saturday August 22
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Keith Anderson; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Sara Haze; Jimmy Wayne
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; Striking Matches; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: John Conlee (host); JT Hodges; Exile

On the surface, not a particularly strong line-up

I will be away on vacation the rest of this week and I am not sure I will have internet access, so I am going to go ahead and post what I know about the Grand Ole Opry shows for this weekend, based on who they have listed as "scheduled to appear."

As far as the Friday Night Opry, they have Lauren Alaina, Exile, JT Hodges, Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers, The Willis Clan and Bart Crow. Saturday night has Keith Anderson, Exile, Sara Haze and JT Hodges. Certainly not what anyone would call the makings of a superstar line-up. In fairness, it is the end of summer and fair season when a lot of the entertainers are out on the road.

For now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, August 20 & 21, 2010. The show both nights took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday August 20
7:00: John Conlee (host); Riders In The Sky; Emily West
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Daryle Singletary
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Kathy Mattea
8:45: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Blake Shelton

Saturday August 21
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rebecca Lynn Howard
7:30: The Whites (host); Jan Howard; Hal Ketchum
Intermission
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Kathy Mattea; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Lee Greenwood

Now from ten years ago this weekend, August 19 & 20, 2005:

Friday August 19
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Walker; David Lee Murphy
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); 3 Fox Drive; T.G. Sheppard
9:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Sherrie Austin
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; Daryle Singletary

Saturday August 20
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; David Lee Murphy
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Osborne Brothers; Catherine Britt
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Lane Turner
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; T. Graham Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Dan Seals; The Crabb Family

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Mike Snider
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Catherine Britt; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Louvin; Lane Turner; Opry Square Dancers.
11:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stu Phillips; Billy Walker; T. Graham Brown
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Dan Seals; The Crabb Family

For this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history, it was 28 years ago Saturday, August 22, 1987 that Roy Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Roy Clark was born in Meherrin, Virginia on April 15, 1933. (Yes, he is 82 years old. Unreal!!). While not joining the Opry until 1987, he actually made his first appearance in 1950 as a reward for winning a national banjo competition. He said of that night, "I stood backstage and looked at Uncle Dave Macon, Hank Williams, Sr., Cowboy Copas-all of the giants of country music-and I just tried to stay out of their way." I think it is safe to say that there are not many artists left alive that played the Opry the same night as Uncle Dave and Hank.

Roy later toured with Opry stars Grandpa Jones, Stringbean, Red Foley and Ernest Tubb. He had no trouble finding work as he was such a versatile musician and played all the string instruments, along with the trumpet, trombone and piano. His guitar work led to an invitation from Wanda Jackson to open for her, which led to a tour that lasted 365 straight nights and included a trip to Las Vegas to headline his own show. His first country solo hit, "Tips of My Fingers" followed.

In the 1960s, he became a cross-over star and became well known for his variety show appearances, which included "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," "The Flip Wilson Show," and "The Mike Douglas Show." His hit records included "Yesterday, When I Was Young," "I Never Picked Cotton," and "Thank God and Greyhound You're Gone." 1969 was the big year for Roy as he was named the Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year and Instrumentalist of the Year. He also won numerous awards from the Academy of Country Music and in 2009 Roy was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Oh, I forgot a couple of things. First, he was the co-host, and then host, of Hee Haw for 23 years, a remarkable achievement in television. And secondly, in 1983 he opened the Roy Clark Celebrity Theater in Branson, Missouri, becoming one of the first country music stars to set up shop in Branson, helping to establish the area as a hotbed for country music.

Roy joined the Opry in 1987 after having been asked several different times to join. He had turned down previous invitations to join the cast because of his heavy touring schedule that left him very little time to perform on the Opry. Even though Hee Haw was filmed in Nashville, the filming was only done two times per year, which was all that Roy was in Nashville. However, after receiving assurances from Opry management, specifically Hal Durham that it was ok to only be on a limited number of times, Roy finally accepted the call to become part of the Opry family.

Over the past several years, Roy has slowed down his touring and personal appearances. His Opry appearances are generally limited to just a couple each year. But it is always a treat when Roy comes to Nashville and makes an appearance.

Here is the running order from Saturday August 22, 1987, the night Roy Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
4 Guys (host): Mama Rocked Us to Sleep With Country Music
Lorrie Morgan: Lone Star State of Mind
4 Guys: God Bless the USA

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Louvin (host): Let Her Go; Let Her Go; God Bless Her
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Charlie Louvin & Jennifer O'Brien: Everytime You Leave

7:00: Shoney's
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Ray Pillow: I'll Break Out Again Tonight
Jeannie Seely: It's My Fault
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory/Talk Back Trembling Lips
Jimmy C Newman: Colinda
Wade B. Landry: Orange Blossom Special

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jan Howard: Wayfaring Stranger/Heartaches by the Number
Roy Clark: Thank God and Greyhound Your Gone/I Remember When Country was Country/Under the Double Eagle

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy Dickens (host): Me & My Big Loud Mouth
Tom T Hall: Ravishing Ruby
Tom T Hall & Lambchop: Old McDonald Had A Farm
Tom T Hall: I Love
Wilma Lee Cooper: Coming Down From God
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Gray Eagle
Jimmy Dickens: Another Bridge to Burn

8:30: Music Valley
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Roy Drusky: Dear Heart
Stonewall Jackson: Smoke Along the Tracks
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Hank Snow: The Prisoner's Song

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Jeannie Seely: It's My Fault
4 Guys: Fox on the Run
Tom T Hall: Faster Horses/Old Dogs & Children & Watermelon Wine
Jimmy C Newman: Diggy Liggy Low

10:00: Little Debbie
Charlie Louvin (host): Kiss Me Again If You're Going Away
Skeeter Davis: My Last Date With You/Silver Threads and Golden Needles/The End of the World
Charlie Louvin: (?)

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Roy Clark: Come Live With Me/(?)/If I Had to Do it All Over Again

10:30: Pet Milk
Ray Pillow (host): You're One Memory That I'd Like to Make Again
Lorrie Morgan: Silver Wings and Golden Rings
Ray Pillow: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget

10:45: Heil-Quaker
Jimmy Dickens (host): Out Behind the Barn
Jan Howard: Take Me As I Am, Or Let Me Go
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Soldier's Joy
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Forever and 1; Forever and 2
Jean Shepard: The Old Rugged Cross
Ernie Ashworth: The DJ Cried
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Dreamed About Mama Last Night
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Hank Snow: The Rainbow's End

11:30: B.C. Powder
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Roy Drusky: As Long As I Live/It Is No Secret
Johnny Russell: No One Will Every Know
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk of Coal

Congratulations to Roy Clark and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!





















Thursday, August 13, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 8/14 & 8/15

Before posting and making any comments on the Opry shows for this week, I just want again to mention how wonderful the Grand Ole Opry was last Saturday night. The first segment of the first show featured only Opry members, which included Marty Stuart, Jeannie Seely, The Whites, Mel Tillis, Del McCoury and the guest of honor, Connie Smith. There were many highlights but I wanted to mention the job that Marty and Del did on Orange Blossom Special, and Connie with Once A Day. Mel did several numbers and was in fine voice. And Pete Fisher presented Connie with a bracelet and said some very nice words about Connie. Later in the show, Alison Krauss and The Cox Family sang some wonderful gospel music and let's not forget Bill Anderson and the return of his Grammer Guitar. Last Saturday was an example of what the Opry could be each week and it was a please to listen.

As far as this week at the Opry, both nights will feature the same four Opry members hosting segments as Jeannie Seely, Ricky Skaggs, Riders In The Sky and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers are scheduled. As far as other Opry members, The Whites and Connie Smith are scheduled for both nights, while Bobby Osborne and Josh Turner are on Friday's line-up and Jan Howard is on for Saturday.

Guest artists this weekend include Billy Dean, Billy Ray Cyrus and Dailey & Vincent on Friday night and Mark Wills, Fiddlin' Carson Peters Band, Elizabeth Cook and Daryle Singletary are scheduled for Saturday night. Each show has one slot in the first segment still open.

Friday August 14
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Dean
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Billy Ray Cyrus
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; Dailey & Vincent
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Josh Turner

Saturday August 15
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mark Wills
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Fiddlin' Carson Peters Band
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Elizabeth Cook; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Daryle Singletary; Connie Smith

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, August 13 & 14, 2010. The shows both nights took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday August 13
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Jimmy C Newman; Chuck Wicks
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); The Grascals; Vince Gill
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); Riders In The Sky; Connie Smith

Saturday August 14
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Amber Digby
7:30: The Whites (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Wills
Intermission
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Crystal Gayle; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Ray Pillow; Jim Ed Brown; Dailey & Vincent

Now from ten years ago this weekend, August 12 & 13, 2005:

Friday August 12
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jim Lauderdale; Daryle Singletary
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Jean Shepard; Karen Peck & New River
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:00: Jean Shepard (host); Elizabeth Cook; Ralph Stanley
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; John Conlee

Saturday August 13
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Chuck Mead
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Billy Walker; Jimmy C Newman; Shelly Fairchild
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Connie Smith; J.D. Crowe & The New South
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Luke Stricklin; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Lorrie Morgan

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Shelly Fairchild
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; J.D. Crowe & The New South
10:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Billy Walker; Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Luke Stricklin
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys

For this week's featured Opry line-up, I go to Saturday August 15, 1992 as it was on that night that June Webb made a return appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. June, who was a popular country music singer in the 1950s and into the 1960s, spent time with Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys and spent many a Saturday night at the Grand Ole Opry. And I also wanted to give special recognition to June as she has recently released a brand new CD, "Reminiscing with Miss June Webb."

Briefly, June Webb is from L'Anse, Michigan, but like many in the entertainment business, she moved around quite a bit. Born into a musical family, the most influential shaping of her life was at an early age in Miami, Florida when her parents got her brother Ford, sister Shirley and her involved in singing, dancing and playing various music instruments. Shirley and June, backed by the family band, became known as the Harmony Sweethearts. They performed with many of country music's top stars including Hank Williams. In fact, the Webb Sisters were scheduled to perform with Hank the night he died, January 1, 1953, in my home town of Canton, Ohio. Not long after, June's path took her on a solo career with many memorable appearances, including the Grand Ole Opry. In the mid 1950s, after a brief stint at RCA, she signed with Roy Acuff's show as the group's lead female singer. It was during this time that June, embarking on a solo career in addition to singing with Roy's group, received the "Most Promising Female" award. In the early 1960s, after many years of performing both as a solo artist and as part of Roy's group, June made the decision that it was time for a change and due to family matters and life in general, she decided to leave the day-to-day grind of a high profile country music career. She basically disappeared from a public life and started to lead a very private one, outside of country music and performing.

After that, though her life to some degree included singing and playing guitar, in general like most everyone else, the years included good times and bad, immeasurable joy and nearly unbearable sorrow while raising a family, putting food on the table and doing everyday stuff. All the while, there was always this faint but ever present tugging at her heart, a yearning, a just below the surface feelings of missing her beloved country music. Unexpectedly, in 2008, June received an email from an interesting character, via a family friend. This gentleman told June a story about his mom and dad gathering the children, a cup of Sealtest Ice Cream and a little wooden spoon in hand, around their black and white TV on Saturday nights to watch June sing country music. That little blast from the past made it all come rushing back, the music, the Opry, and the fans. June wrote the gentleman back and over time, he sent June clips of her on various shows, recordings of her 45s on personal CDs he had made, and wonderful photos of her and her family. One thing led to another, one of which is her website, www.junewebbmusic.com.

Even though she left the music business in the 1960s, her friends in the business did not forget her, especially Roy Acuff. In the last year of Roy's life, he specifically got in touch with June and asked her if she would come up to Nashville and appear with him on the Grand Ole Opry for a final time before he passed away. And of course, June did. The night of that performance was 23 years ago this weekend, Saturday August 15, 1992. There were two shows that night and June was featured on the 2nd show. In celebration of June's new CD, here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry, Saturday August 15, 1992:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Wilma Lee Cooper: There's A Higher Power
Porter Wagoner: Misery Loves Company

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Jim Ed Brown (host): Looking Back to See
Jeannie Seely: Houston
Jim Ed Brown: Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On/Morning

7:00: Shoney's
Bill Monroe (host): I'm On My Way Back to the Old Home
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Charlie Louvin: The Family That Prays
Del Reeves: There She Goes
Billy Walker: Smokey Places
Bill Monroe: Tennessee Blues

7:30: Standard Candy
Ricky Skaggs (host): Same Old, Same Old Love
Justin Tubb: Imagine That
The Whites: San Antonio Rose
Alison Krauss: A New Fool/Another Night
Ricky Skaggs & Sharon Skaggs: Love Can't Ever Get Better Than This

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come This Far to Say Goodbye/Satisfied
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band/Jole Blon
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar in the Gourd
Roy Acuff: That's The Man I'm Looking For

8:30: Opryland
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
4 Guys: Big River
Jean Shepard: Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
George Hamilton IV: Break My Mind
Hank Snow: The Rainbows End

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'
Bill Carlisle: Same Old Tale That the Crow Told Me
Alison Krauss: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name
Alison Krauss & The Cox Family: Standing By the Bedside of A Neighbor
Porter Wagoner: I'm Gonna Get Act Right

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Monroe (host): Why Did You Wander
Roy Drusky: Blues In My Heart
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
Bill Monroe: A Beautiful Life

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Night Train to Memphis
4 Guys: My Prayer
June Webb: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry/Making Believe

10:30: Pet Milk
Ricky Skaggs (host): I Wouldn't Change You If I Could
The Whites: Pins & Needles
Ricky Skaggs: Country Boy

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Jan Howard: Rock Me Back to Little Rock/Evil On Your Mind
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Lost Indian
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Jean Shepard: Above and Beyond
Charlie Louvin & Charlie Whitstein: Knoxville Girl
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore
Hank Snow: My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
Connie Smith: Once A Day
Johnny Russell: In A Mansion Stands My Love/He'll Have to Go
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

Since that Opry appearance, June has been back in the spotlight and has been on the receiving end of much deserved honors including her recent induction into "America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame."

One of the reasons that I posted this line-up is that there is exciting news from June. She has released a brand new CD, "Reminiscing with Miss June Webb." The CD is available on her website, www.junewebbmusic.com. I have listened to the preview and it is outstanding and I highly recommend it if you enjoy traditional country music. What has impressed me is the quality of the CD, the song choice and how June sounds. After all these years, she still has maintained that great voice. The CD is already creating news and it has been awarded the National Traditional Country Music Associations "Pure Country Of The Year Award." She will be heading up to Nebraska in October to accept the award and to do a show.

I realize that there are a lot of younger country music fans who read the blog who might not be familiar with June Webb. There are numerous YouTube videos of her that highlight her days in what many call the "Golden Era of Country Music" and her website is full of great information and clips.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend and thanks for the trip back on memory lane with June Webb!!














Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mid-Week Opry Shows 8/11 & 8/12

Here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, August 12:

7:00: Terri Clark; Greg Bates & Shelley Skidmore
7:30: Sierra Hull; Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers
Intermission
8:15: John Conlee; Pam Tillis
8:45: The Milk Carton Kids; Craig Morgan

Here is the line-up for Wednesday August 13:

7:00: James Otto; Bill Anderson
7:30: Jimmy Wayne; The Secret Sisters
Intermission
8:15: John Berry; Point of Grace
8:45: Chris Janson; Crystal Gayle

For those who read the comment section, the name Michael will ring a bell. He comments regularly and I consider Mike a friend. Mike would be very disappointed in me if I did not give special mention to The Milk Carton Kids, who are making their Opry debut on Tuesday night.

The Milk Carton Kids have been around since 2011 and are considered an American indie folk duo. The "Kids" consist of singers and guitarists Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan and they are from Eagle Rock, California. They have made a name for themselves in the folk movement and National Public Radio has described them as "gorgeous contemporary folk" and "Gillian Welch & David Rawlings-meets-Simon & Garfunkel with a splash of The Everly Brothers."

The Milk Carton Kids have appeared on "A Prairie Home Companion" several times, "Austin City Limits," have received a Grammy Nomination for Best Folk Album of 2013, and were nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2013 Americana Music Honors & Awards.

If my addition is correct, they have released five albums, all of which are available on their website. I have listened to this duo and I like what I hear and they have a refreshing sound. Hopefully, they will be well received on the Opry.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 8/7 & 8/8

The line-ups have been posted and the big news this weekend is Connie Smith being honored on Saturday night on her 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. And to help Connie celebrate, the Opry has scheduled two shows for Saturday and the line-up is very, very solid, including a few Opry members that we don't see at the Opry often enough.

One of those is Connie's own husband, Marty Stuart. He will be hosting segments on both shows Saturday night, and Connie is scheduled for both. Another "lost" Opry member, Alison Krauss is also set for both shows on Saturday. Alison will be joined by her friends Larry Sparks and The Cox Family. Much like Emmylou Harris, the Opry seems to let Alison pick and choose who she would like with her when she appears on the Opry.

Back to Marty and Connie, and joining them on the first segment Saturday, when Connie will be officially recognized will be Opry members Jeannie Seely, The Whites, Mel Tillis and Del McCoury. Yes, the first segment is an hour and will feature all Opry members, each of whom Connie has ties to.

The final Opry member scheduled on Saturday is Bill Anderson who wrote in his recent newsletter that he will be "sharing a very surprising and thrilling even in my life" on that Opry stage during both shows on Saturday. He is giving no clues other then it is not related to Connie's Opry anniversary. I have no clues either so I guess we will just have to listen and find out together.

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry members Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Pam Tillis, The Whites, Bill Anderson, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers and Mel Tillis. It is nice to see Pam back on the Opry and no, she is not scheduled in the same segment as Mel. What is interesting is that Pam will actually be hosting a segment while Mel will finish out the show.

Finally, as far as guest artists this weekend, Friday night has Mickey Guyton, RaeLynn and Mark Wills scheduled. Mark will be back for both shows on Saturday, and what is interesting is that on all three shows, he is slotted with Bill Anderson. The final guest on Saturday is "Nashville" actor Sam Palladio.

Friday August 7
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mickey Guyton; Mike Snider
7:30: Pam Tillis (host); The Whites
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Mark Wills
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); RaeLynn; Mel Tillis

Saturday August 8
1st show
7:00: Opry Square Dancers; Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Jeannie Seely; The Whites; Mel Tillis; Del McCoury
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mark Wills; Sam Palladio
8:30: Alison Krauss (host); Larry Sparks; The Cox Family

2nd show
9:30: Opry Square Dancers; Bill Anderson (host); Mark Wills; The Whites
10:00: Alison Krauss (host); Larry Sparks; The Cox Family
10:30: Mel Tillis (host); Jeannie Seely; Sam Palladio
11:00: Marty Stuart (host); Del McCoury; Connie Smith

Constance June Meador was born on August 14, 1941 in Elkhart, Indiana. At an early age, her family moved to West Virginia and eventually to Ohio. Growing up she listened to the Grand Ole Opry and while recovering from a serious leg injury, was given her first guitar. The story on how she was discovered by Bill Anderson is pretty well known, but for those who do not know the story, in August 1963 she entered a talent contest at Frontier Ranch in Ohio. She won the contest, performing the Jean Shepard hit, "I Thought of You." Bill Anderson was performing at the park that day, heard Connie and was impressed enough by her voice that he remembered her when she ran into Bill at a country music package show in January 1964. Bill invited Connie to Nashville to perform with him on the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, where she was well received and which eventually led to a recording contract with RCA Records. Her very first single, "Once A Day" was released on August 1, 1964 and went to #1 on the country charts, where it stayed for 8 weeks. Her debut album also went to #1 on the album charts, where it stayed for 7 weeks. Connie's association with Bill Anderson would continue through much of Connie's career as she would go on to record numerous Bill Anderson songs.

Through the course of her career, Connie has usually stayed close to home with traditional country music, along with her gospel recordings. During her career, she has had 20 singles reach the Top 10 on the country charts, with "One A Day" being her only #1 single. "Ain't Had No Lovin" and "Just One Time" would each reach #2, while "Then and Only Then," "If I Talk to Him," "Nobody But A Fool," "The Hurtin's All Over," "Cincinnati, Ohio," "Burning A Hole in My Mind," "I Never Once Stopped Loving You" and "Just For What I Am" all reached the Top 5. Her last charted single was in 1985.

After Connie joined the Opry in 1965, there was a time when she did leave the show. Depending on the source, she was either fired in the mid 1960s for failing to appear the required number of times, or she left the show on her own to take a step back from the pressures of  her career and spend time with her young children. However, after a short amount of time she was back, rejoining the cast on April 17, 1971. She has also been very vocal about her religious beliefs, which also caused some issues with her at the Opry. For a time, she appeared regularly on "Grand Ole Gospel Time" which followed the Friday Night Opry. Some have said that she did not have the drive as others such as Loretta Lynn or Dolly Parton have had, which caused her not to reach the same superstar status as those entertainers. Regardless, in 2012 she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, becoming just the 12th solo female artist to be elected. In 1997 she married Marty Stuart and has gained additional exposure as a featured cast member on his television show.

While Saturday night is the night Connie is being recognized, as with a lot of dates in the history of the Opry, this are a few differences as to when the date actually is. In most editions of the Grand Ole Opry Picture History Book, her induction date is listed as June 13, 1965. Then the date changed to September 18, 1965, which I can confirm is the first night that Connie appeared on the Opry as a member. Now what is interesting in 1965 is that June 13 was a Sunday and not a Saturday and on Saturday June 12, Tex Ritter actually became an Opry member. And just checking the following Saturday night, June 19, neither Connie nor Bob Luman were on the Opry that night. Connie has always said that Bob joined the Opry the same night she did, yet he is not on the September 18 date.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from Saturday September 18, 1965, the first time Connie Smith performed as a member on the Grand Ole Opry:

7:30: Luzianne
Leroy Van Dyke (host): Auctioneer
Bill Carlisle: Business Man
Connie Smith: Then and Only Then
The Auctioneers: Remington Ride
Leroy Van Dyke: Just A State of Mind
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Tale That the Crow Told Me
Connie Smith: The Hinges on the Door
The Auctioneers: Old Joe Clark
Leroy Van Dyke: It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

8:00: Martha White
Roy Drusky (host): Strangers
Jim & Jesse: Memphis
Merle Kilgore: Tiger Woman
Alan Shelton: Bending the Strings
Roy Drusky: Peel Me A Nanner
Crook Brothers: (?)
Jim & Jesse: I Wish You Knew
Merle Kilgore: Ring of Fire
Jerry Whitehurst: Java
Roy Drusky: White Lightening Express

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Gathering Flowers From the Hillside/Freight Train Blues
Howdy Forrester: (?)
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Onie Wheeler: Hang My Britches Up
Oswald: Worry, Worry Blues
Roy Acuff: The Great Judgment Morning
Jimmy Riddle & Howdy Forrester: Jessup Polka

9:00: Pet Milk
Ernest Tubb (host): Lots of Luck
Wilburn Brothers: It's Another World
Loretta Lynn & Teddy Wilburn: The Race Is On
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire on the Mountain
Ernest Tubb: A Memory (That's All You'll Ever Be)
Wilburn Brothers: I'm Gonna Tie One on Tonight
Jack Greene: Every Since My Baby Went Away
Loretta Lynn: The Home You're Tearing Down
Loretta Lynn & Ernest Tubb: Our Hearts Are Holding Hands

9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Willis Brothers: Pinball Anonymous
Hank Locklin: Wild Side of Life
Marion Worth: (?)
Hank Snow: Tears in the Trade Winds
The Blue Boys: I Hear Little Rock Calling
Willis Brothers: A Satisfied Mind
Hank Snow: My Memories of You

10:00: Schick
Leroy Van Dyke (host): Walk on By
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
The Auctioneers: Sweet Georgia Brown
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Leroy Van Dyke: It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

10:15: Mary Carter
Roy Acuff (host): Tennessee Central No 9
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Harold Weekly: Where No One Stands Alone
Jimmy Riddle & Onie Wheeler: Fox Chase

10:30: Harvey's
Jim & Jesse (host): I Like the Old Time Working of the Lord
Connie Smith: If I Talk to Him
Jim & Jesse: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Alan Shelton: Cripple Creek

10:45: Newport
Ernest Tubb (host): Filipino Baby
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Cal Smith: Oklahoma Hills
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Wilburn Brothers: Making Plans
Harold Morrison: I'm A Bluebird
Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl
Hank Snow: The Queen of Draw Poker Town
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
Wilburn Brothers: It's Another World
Loretta Lynn: When Lonely Hits Your Heart
Chubby Wise: Lee Highways Blues

11:30: Lava
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Willis Brothers: A 6ft 2 by 4
Marion Worth: I'm Picking Up the Pieces of Your Heart
Archie Campbell: Most Richly Blessed
Hank Locklin: Flying South
Merle Kilgore: Wolverton Mountain
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Marion Worth: Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy

Regardless of the exact date, congratulations to Connie Smith on her 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, August 6 & 7, 2010. The Friday Night Opry took place at the War Memorial Auditorium, while Saturday's Grand Ole Opry was performed at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday August 6
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jeannie Seely; Elizabeth Cook
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Chris Scruggs
Intermission
8:15: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; Andy Griggs
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Connie Smith; The Whites

Saturday August 7
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Teea Goans
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Steep Canyon Rangers
Intermission
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Radney Foster; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of August 5 & 6, 2005:

Friday August 5
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; George Hamilton IV; John Cowan
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Charlie Walker; Jimmy  C Newman; Steve Azar
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Lauren Lucas
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Riders In The Sky; Jimmy Wayne
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Billy  Walker; Jack Greene; Mark Wills

Saturday August 6
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Junior Brown
7:00: Steve Wariner (host); Josh Turner; Rodney Crowell; T. Graham Brown; Gene Watson
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; George Hamilton IV; Riders In The Sky; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; T. Graham Brown
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; The Whites; Rodney Crowell
10:30: Steve Wariner (host); Stu Phillips; Gene Watson; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Josh Turner
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Junior Brown

Nice to know that even ten years ago, the Opry was still turning in some very solid shows.

The name that may not ring a bell from that weekend is Lauren Lucas. She was from South Carolina and was signed to her first record deal in 2003. In 2005, Warner Bros. Records released "What You Ain't Gonna Get." It only went to #52 on the country charts and was considered such a failure that no further single or album was ever released by the label. Several years later she did make an independent recording that also went nowhere. As far as recognition, in 2003 she was nominated for a Tony Award as a composer for "Urban Cowboy on Broadway." As of 2014, she was still out touring as an opening act for major label artists, or playing in small venues, however her website has not been updated in over a year.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend and congratulations again to Connie Smith!!