Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 4/17 & 4/18

My thanks to those who follow the blog in allowing me a week off. I spent the week in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. And I have to confess that I did not listen to any of the Opry last weekend.

While I was in the area last week, I did stop at the Pigeon Forge location of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. While the inventory was about half of what it was in September, there was still more merchandise at that location then at the Nashville shops I visited in March. The two ladies who were working did not have much to say and the shop was slow, which is actually typical for the area. And as others have discovered, the Ernest Tubb website is now down. The last announcement on the site was that the Midnight Jamboree would resume in June. At this point, it might be wishful thinking. The main problem is WSM taking the Midnight Jamboree off the air due to non-payment of broadcast fees. What is ironic about this situation is that back when Justin Tubb ran the shops, it was WSM that had to pay them extra money for taking their air time because of the Opry running past midnight most Saturday nights, causing the Midnight Jamboree to start late. Apparently the air time at midnight was more expensive then later in the early hours of Sunday morning, which meant that the record shop was paying more than they should have been. Hopefully the situation will resolve itself as I do think there is a place in country music for the Midnight Jamboree.

I also want to offer, as have others, my prayers and thoughts to Marty Stuart and his family over the lost of his father the past week. I know that he had been in failing health over the past several years, which is a tough burden on anyone.

Now let's get to this weekend's Opry shows, starting with the Friday Night Opry. Opry member, and Country Music Hall of Famer, Mel Tillis will be appearing and hosting the final segment. He will be joined by Opry members Connie Smith, Mike Snider, Bill Anderson, Jan Howard, Bobby Osborne, Riders In The Sky and Del McCoury Band, with the latter two also appearing on Saturday night. Guest artists for Friday include a return appearance by Milton Sparks. I was at the Opry in December when she made her Opry debut and she did a nice job. She is a comedian and storyteller. It is also nice to see Wade Hayes scheduled, along with Greg Bates and Lindsay Ell, both of whom have appeared on the Opry numerous times. And let's not forget future Opry member Chris Janson. He is also set for Saturday night, and yes, I still believe he will be an Opry member some day.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, in addition to Riders In The Sky, Del McCoury and Chris Janson, will feature Opry members Jeannie Seely, The Whites, Jesse McReynolds and Ray Pillow. It is nice to see Ray on the Opry's schedule and this will be his first Opry appearance of 2015. And as usual when he appears, he will be hosting.

Guest artists on Saturday night include a return visit by Ray Stevens, who appeared at the Opry in March. He is promoting his new book and CD. Someone who I always thought would make a good Opry member, Crystal Gayle is also scheduled. Sarah Darling is listed as is Chris August, who is a contempory Christian singer. And there is another appearance set for EmiSunshine, who seems to have made the Opry a second home since the first of the year.

Friday April 17
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Greg Bates; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Lindsay Ell; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Wade Hayes; Milton Sparks
8:45: Mel Tillis (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chris Janson

Saturday April 18
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Sarah Darling; Del McCoury Band
7:30: The Whites (host); Chris August; Ray Stevens
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Jesse McReynolds; EmiSunshine; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Chris Janson; Crystal Gayle

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, April 16 & 17, 2010:

Friday April 16
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Ralph Stanley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Daryle Singletary
8:15: Diamond Rio (host); Stonewall Jackson; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Dailey & Vincent

Saturday April 17
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Ralph Stanley; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); Jim Ed Brown; Dailey & Vincent; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Ralph Stanley; Daryle Singletary
10:00: Marty Stuart (host); Jean Shepard; Dailey & Vincent
10:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Charlie Louvin; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites

And from ten years ago, the weekend of April 15 & 16, 2005:

Friday April 15
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Trent Willmon
8:00: John Conlee (host); Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard; Hanna-McEuen
8:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jim Ed Brown; IIIrd Tyme Out
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Pinson; The Whites
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Mel McDaniel; Buddy Jewell

Saturday April 16
1st show
6:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Bobby Pinson
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman; Hanna-McEuen
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Billy Walker; Osborne Brothers; The Whites
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Trent Willmon; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Larry Gatlin

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Bobby Pinson
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Larry Gatlin
10:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Billy Walker; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Hanna-McEuen
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Trent Willmon

For this week's featured line-up, it was 17 years ago this Saturday, April 18, 1998 that Diamond Rio became members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Diamond Rio, consisting of Marty Roe, Jimmy Olander, Gene Johnson, Dan Truman, Dana Williams and Brian Prout, made their first Opry appearance in October 1991 and when they joined the Opry, they were the first group to join since The Whites in 1984. During their careers, they have won numerous awards from the Country Music Association and from the Academy of Country Music, and have had more than 20 Top 10 singles.

Diamond Rio were originally known as the Tennessee River Boys, a group that performed on a regular basis in the Opryland theme park. During the late 1980s, membership in the group changed as several members left and others joined. In 1991, their first single, "Meet in the Middle" went to No. 1 on the charts and their career took off from there. Their 2001 hit ballad "One More Day" became a key song of healing after the September 11 terrorist attacks. In 2004, they were awarded the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award for their work on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. While their hit making days are behind them, they remain a popular road band and are always well received at the Opry.

Here is the running order of the Opry from Saturday April 18, 1998, the night that Diamond Rio joined the Opry's cast:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Jimmy C Newman (host): Diggy-Liggy Lo
Bill Carlisle: (?)
Jimmy C Newman: Jole Blon

6:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Jean Shepard (host): Love's Gonna Live Here
Wilma Lee Cooper: I'm Picking Up the Pieces
Jean Shepard: Tennessee Waltz

7:00: Shoney's
Vince Gill (host): The Cold Gray Light of Dawn
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You
Skeeter Davis; I Can't Stay Mad at You
George Hamilton IV: We Will Meet Again
Jack Greene: My World Ain't Turning Yet
Vince Gill: My Pretty Little Adriana/Whenever You Come Around

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy Dickens (host): Me and My Big Loud Mouth
Chonda Pierce: Comedy
Charlie Louvin: When I Stop Dreaming
Diamond Rio: Meet In the Middle/Tennessee
Jimmy Dickens: I'd Rather Sleep In Peace Than Know You're Gone

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Ida Red
Porter Wagoner: A Satisfied Mind
Porter Wagoner & Kristi Lynn: Dooley

8:30: Fan Fair
Johnny Russell (host): Folsom Prison Blues
Charlie Walker: Smoke, Smoke, Smoke
Jeannie Seely: Making Believe
The Whites: Doing it By the Book
Johnny Russell: Wabash Cannonball

2nd show
9:30: Opry Book
Porter Wagoner (host): Freight Train Boogie
Oswald: Mansion on the Hill
Jack Greene: Satisfaction
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'
Jeanne Pruett: A Poor Man's Woman
Porter Wagoner & Kristi Lynn: If Teardrops Were Pennies/Head on Over to the Twist and Shout

10:00: Opry Book
Jimmy C Newman (host): Good Deal, Lucille
Jan Howard: I Wish I Could Love that Much Again
Kenny Sears: Orange Blossom Special
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

10:15: Banquet
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Vince Gill: Two Worlds Apart
Jimmy Dickens: I Love Lucy Brown

10:30: Purnell's
4 Guys (host): The Grundy County Auction
Jean Shepard: When Two Worlds Collide
4 Guys: Shendandoah

10:45: Opry Book/Opry Cruise
Billy Walker (host): Don't Stop In My World
Roy Drusky: Waltz of the Angels
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durang's Hornpipe
Billy Walker: Blue Suede Shoes

11:00: Coca-Cola
Johnny Russell: Good Heated Woman
Ray Pillow: Cinderella
Stu Phillips: Only God
Diamond Rio: Dig A Little Deeper/Walking in Jerusalem Just Like John

11:30: Turbo Nutrition
Jeannie Seely (host): Speaking of the Devil
Charlie Walker: Right or Wrong/Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
The Whites: Swing Down, Chariot
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me

Finally, I want to mention a line-up featuring Connie Smith. Connie joined the Opry in 1965 and in September she will be celebrating 50 years as an Opry member. However, like several others, she has not been an Opry member that entire time. In the late 1960s, she left the Opry. Depending on the source of the information, she was either fired for not making the required number of appearances, or she stepped away for a while to raise her young children. Regardless, she was gone for about four years and it was on Saturday April 17, 1971 that she returned to the Opry.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria/Sweet Caroline
Jim Ed Brown: Morning

6:45: Rudy's
Ray Pillow (host): She Learned to Be A Waitress(From Sitting Home Waiting On Me)
Del Wood: Psychadelic Mockingbird
Bobby Lewis: He Gives Us All His Love
Ray Pillow: You Don't Care What Happens To Me

7:00: Luzianne
Billy Grammer (host): Mountain Dew
Earl Scruggs Revue: Fireball Mail
Justin Tubb: I'm Going Back to Louisiana
Joe and Rose Lee Maphis: If I've Gotta Have Your Lovin'
Billy Grammer: Just A Close Walk With Thee
Earl Scruggs Revue: The Girl From the North Country
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's a Sunday
Joe and Rose Lee Maphis: Alabama Jubilee

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Skeeter Davis: Bus Fare to Kentucky
Stringbean: Eight More Miles to Louisville
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Roy Acuff: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Skeeter Davis: Amazing Grace
Stringbean: Hot Corn, Cold Corn

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): In the Jailhouse Now
Hank Locklin: She's As Close As I Can Get
Connie Smith: Louisiana Man
Floyd Tillman: Slipping Around
Ernest Tubb: One Sweet Hello
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Connie Smith: Once A Day

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Vanishing Breed
Bob Luman: Mona Lisa
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Lost Indian
Hank Snow: So Goes My Heart
Harold Weakley: Crazy Arms
Bob Luman: Sing the Blues To Daddy
Hank Snow: Tammy

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Looking Back to See
4 Guys: One Pair of Hands
Justin Tubb: Free Born Man
Del Wood: Wesley's Tune
Jim Ed Brown: Angel's Sunday
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Jim Ed Brown: Morning

10:00: Fender
Hank Locklin (host): Please Help Me I'm Falling
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Bobby Lewis: He Gives Us All His Lov
Hank Locklin: She's As Close As I Can Get

10:15: Union 76
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Skeeter Davis: Bus Fare to Kentucky
Joe and Rose Lee Maphis: Honey, Be My Honey Bee
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): I Saw the Light
Ray Pillow: The Waitress
Floyd Tillman: Daisy May
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Ernest Tubb (host): You Don't Have to Be A Baby to Cry
Leon Boulanger: San Antonio Rose
Crook Brothers: Sally Ann
Ernest Tubb: Another Story

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Im Moving On
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Take me Back to Tulsa
Hank Snow: Tangled Mind
Connie Smith: I Never Once Stopped Loving You
Sam McGee: Wheels
Hank Snow: Mississippi River Blues

11:30: Elm Hill
Charlie Louvin (host): Will You Visit Me On Sundays
Bob Luman: Sing the Blues to Daddy
Diane McCall: Help Me Make it Through the Night
Charlie Louvin: Love Has to Die All By Itself
Bob Luman: I Got A Woman
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: Did You Ever/Something to Brag About

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 4/10 & 4/11

Usually I start off with the sentence that the Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend and then I list the line-ups. However this week, I am taking some vacation time and I think for the first time since I started the blog, I probably will be unable to post the line-ups since I am not sure I will have computer access. Hopefully everyone will understand that even an Opry fan needs a week off!!

Anyways, what I can tell you is that based on the Opry website, the Friday Night Opry will include an appearance by Opry members Marty Stuart, John Conlee and Joe Diffie, with guest appearances by Mark Wills and Darryl Worley. Mark will also be signing copies of his new CD at the Opry shop downtown during the afternoon, while John Conlee will be signing at the Opry after the show.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature Opry members Charlie Daniels and Craig Morgan. It is nice to see Charlie at the Opry on a Saturday night as most of his recent appearances seem to be taking place on the Tuesday night show. Guest artists listed include Striking Matches and Kristian Bush, along with a return appearance by Mark Wills. This time it will be Kristian doing the signing as he will be at the downtown shop during the afternoon and signing at the Opry after the show on Saturday.

Hopefully the rest of the line-ups for the two nights are filled out with some good entertainment.

On another note, the news continues to change regarding the Ernest Tubb Record Shop and the Midnight Jamboree. Originally set to resume on Saturday May 2, the website is now listing June 6 as the new date. I think one of the things that needs to happen before it gets back on the air, at least on WSM, is that they need to clear up how the ETRS is going to get caught up on the payments they owe WSM. Obviously with WSM pulling the show off the air due to non-payment, it is not going to get back on unless that is settled. And while rumors have been out there that the show could resume back downtown at the Broadway shop, there has still been no mention of a location, if and when it does come back. This will be something to watch over the next several weeks.

While I don't have this week's line-ups to post, I do have others and now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, April 11 & 12, 2010:

Friday April 9
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Infamous Stringdusters
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Ashton Shepherd
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; T. Graham Brown
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Gene Watson

Saturday April 10
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Emerson Drive
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Jack Greene; Jerrod Niemann
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Steve Wariner (host); John Conlee; Connie Smith; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Emerson Drive; Mandy Barnett
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jerrod Niemann
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); John Conlee; Connie Smith

And from ten years ago, the weekend of April 8 & 9, 2005:

Friday April 8
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Keith Anderson
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; T. Graham Brown
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Charlie Louvin; Billy Walker; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Craig Morgan
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Shelly Fairchild; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Saturday April 9
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
7:00: Vince Gill (host); Joe Nichols; Rebecca Lynn Howard; Loretta Lynn
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; Jean Shepard; Malibu Storm; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Jeannie Seely; Craig Morgan

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Loretta Lynn
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Rebecca Lynn Howard
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Jean Shepard; Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Joe Nichols
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; Malibu Storm

Finally, from 33 years ago this weekend, April 9 & 10, 1982:

Friday April 9
7:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jeannie Seely; Stonewall Jackson
8:00: Billy Walker (host); Skeeter Davis; Ernie Ashworth
8:30: Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; Four Guys
9:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Billy Grammer; Wilma Lee Cooper
9:30: Del Reeves (host); Charlie Louvin; Bill Carlisle; Justin Tubb
10:00: Charlie Walker (host); David Houston; Riders In The Sky
10:30: Jerry Clower (host); Stu Phillips; Vic Willis Trio

Saturday April 10
1st show
6:30: Billy Walker (host); Connie Smith
6:45: David Houston (host); Jeannie Seely; Ernie Ashworth
7:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Skeeter Davis; Billy Grammer; Wilma Lee Cooper; Bill Carlisle
7:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Charlie Louvin; Stu Phillips; Stonewall Jackson; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Minnie Pearl; Don Gibson
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeanne Pruett; Four Guys; Justin Tubb; Reba McEntire; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Four Guys; Jean Shepard; Billy Walker; Skeeter Davis
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Connie Smith; David Houston
10:15: Charlie Walker (host); Jeannie Seely
10:30: Roy Acuff (host); Vic Willis Trio
10:45: Stonewall Jackson (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jeanne Pruett; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Justin Tubb; Kirk McGee
11:30: Charlie Louvin (host); Reba McEntire; Bill Carlisle

I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend. I probably will not be in an area where I will be able to listen so I am sure my fellow Opry fans will let me know if anything takes place that I need to know. Have a great week and thanks again for letting me take a little time off. I'll be back next week.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 4/3 & 4/4

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.

As far as Opry members this weekend, Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers are again set for both shows this weekend. This will make three weekends in a row that Larry and the brothers have performed on the Opry, and that is great to see. You can say what you want about Larry, but he brings a lot of energy to the show. And speaking of energy, Chris Janson is also set for both shows this weekend. Larry and Chris are both in the closing segments each night and they could bring down the house. I will say that it is nice to see that Chris is finally acheiving some success after years in the business.

Also set for both nights are Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider, Bill Anderson and Riders In The Sky. On Friday night, they will be joined by Connie Smith and Jesse McReynolds. Jesse has missed the last couple of weeks, so it will be good to see him back at the Opry. Also joining that group will be recent Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Ed Brown. Saturday night, Opry members Jeannie Seely and The Whites are on the schedule.

As far as guest artists this weekend, in addition to Chris Janson, Friday night will feature Will Hoge and Lauren Alaina. Will Hoge will be signing copies of his new CD after the show. I know when Sunny Sweeney was on a few weeks ago, she had Will as her special guest. Maybe she will return the favor this weekend. Saturday night will feature Casey James, Mo Pitney, Rhiannon Giddens and Charles Esten, from the "Nashville" show. Rhiannon, who is one of the founding members of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is appearing in support of her new solo CD and will be signing copies after the Opry. And it is nice to see Mo Pitney back on the Opry.

Friday April 3
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Lauren Alaina; Jim Ed Brown
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Will Hoge
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Connie Smith; Chris Janson

Saturday April 4
7:00: John Conlee (host); Casey James; Mike Snider
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Mo Pitney
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Rhiannon Giddens; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Chris Janson; Charles Esten

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, April 2 & 3, 2010:

Friday April 2
7:00: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Lee Brice
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Holly Williams
8:45: Vince Gill (host); The Whites; The Time Jumpers

Saturday April 3
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Lee Brice
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Restless Heart
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Stonewall Jackson; Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); The Whites; Connie Smith

And from ten years ago, the weekend of April 1 & 2, 2005:

Friday April 1
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Billy Walker; Trent Willmon
8:00: John Conlee (host); Blue Country; Charley Pride
8:30: Jean Shepard (host); Osborne Brothers; Emerson Drive
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Mark Wills
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Mountain Heart

Saturday April 2
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Mark Wills
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jack Greene; David Lee Murphy
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jimmy C Newman; Emerson Drive
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard; Josh Turner; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Charley Pride

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; David Lee Murphy
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Mark Wills
10:30: John Conlee (host); Stu Phillips; Charley Pride; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Emerson Drive
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; Josh Turner

For this week's featured line-up, it was on Saturday April 5, 1975 that Skeeter Davis returned as an Opry member after being suspended from the show in December 1973 for comments she made while performing on the Opry that evening.

In her book, "Bus Fare To Kentucky, Skeeter wrote, "I would call the Opry each week to ask if I was scheduled, but Bud Wendell would tell me not to come in. I asked if they had fired me. He said they would just call it a suspension. I didn't really know what taht meant but I found out. Suspended means you just hang in space and wait."

She further wrote, "Perhaps the unkindest cut of all came from the many Opry artists who used my misfortune to further their own media coverage through their interviews with the papers. Many of them said that I should know the Opry stage isn't for religion or politics. That I should know better. That I shouldn't speak for all of them. Anyone who heard me that night or listened to the tape of that night's performance would know that I was only speaking for myself. Teddy Wilburn knew what I said. When he heard the tape, he found it hard to believe that this one incident had been blown so far out of proportion. I've tried to forgive and forget, that's for sure. I love Teddy so much because he did come and talk with me about it; he was not one of the people who relied on hearsay about the doings of others."

"As the battle was being fought, my personal situation was still generating ill will at the Opry and with the police department. Lieutenant Ezell (a Nashville police officer and Opry security member) insisted that I apologize to the police department-publicly. The day I had scheduled my public apology, the papers carried it as a footnote on the front page beneath the caption, 'Jesus on the Front Page,' complete with a wallet-sized photo of me at the Opry microphone. The headlines of the paper that day read, 'Five Nashville Police Indicted on Vice Charges.' With this new development exposed, I found it impossible to apologize. I found that I did not owe an apology to anyone. I just held up the headline of the paper, believing that it spoke for itself. My action was not done with malice or bad intent. I was paying the price for not giving in to the demands of those who would control me."

After the suspension, Skeeter went on a trip to Africa. When she returned to America and Nashville, she found the situation unchanged. She still wasn't scheduled for the Opry and when she called she was told they would call her. Attorneys contacted her, suggesting that she should sue the Opry for violation of her right to free speech, but she declined those offers.

Finally, she was told she could come back to the Opry. Again from Skeeter, "My return to the Opry stage demonstrated my forgiveness of the Opry management and theirs for me. Mr. Hal Durham was the manager of the Opry now, Bud Wendell having been promoted to another position. After my first song that first evening back, many of the artists made gestures of welcoming me back. I confessed to them that their negative comments had injured me personally, especially when they spoke without knowledge of what I had really said that night. I heard of the positive efforts made to redress the situation by my friends Jean Shepard, Kirk McGee, George Hamilton IV and Teddy Wilburn. To them I am truly grateful, as I am to others who many have supported me during those long months of loss."

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry, Saturday April 5, 1975, the night Skeeter Davis made her return:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Louvin (host): Freight Train Boogie
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Charlie Louvin: When You Have to Fly Alone/See The Big Man Cry

6:45: Rudy's
Ray Pillow (host): Countryfied
Stu Phillips: She Thinks I Still Care
Del Wood: The Entertainer
Ray Pillow: The Simple Things In Life

7:00: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Lonesome Road Blues
Skeeter Davis: I Can't Help It
Lonzo & Oscar: When I Stop Dreaming
Ernie Ashworth: The High Cost of Living
Skeeter Davis: Bus Fare to Kentucky
Becky Gallion: Green Back Dollar
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

7:30: Standard Candy
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Jimmy C Newman: Thibodeaux Cajun Band
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Jim & Jesse: Ashes of Love
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Old Joe Clark
Jimmy C Newman: Before the Last Teardrop Falls
Charlie Walker: Lucille

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Justin Tubb: Sunshine Lady
Roy Acuff: Carry Me Back to the Mountains
Jeanne Pruett: Hold To My Unchanging Love/Love Me/You Don't Need to Move A Mountain/Satin Sheets
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: There's A Big Wheel

8:30: Stephens
Jack Greene (host) & Jeannie Seely: If You're Going Down
Jeannie Seely: Catfish John
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
4 Guys: Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: He Can Be Mine

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
4 Guys (host): What About Me
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Bill Carlisle: Rough Stuff
Marion Worth: The Hands You're Holding Now
Ray Pillow: She's Doing It To Me Again
Del Wood: Alabama Jubilee
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria

10:00: Fender
Charlie Walker (host): Stay A Little Longer
Skeeter Davis: I Believe In Music
Lonzo & Oscar: Mountain Dew
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper

10:15: Union 76
Stu Phillips (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Rosemary Clooney: Half As Much

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Back in the Country
Jim & Jesse: Paradise
Billy Grammer: Peace In The Valley
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Big Midnight Special
Justin Tubb: Loving Arms
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jack Greene (host) & Jeannie Seely: Take Me Home Country Roads
Jeannie Seely: The First Time
Jimmy C Newman: Potato Song
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: Delta Dirt
Sam McGee: Victor Rag

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Don't Worry
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy/Welcome to the Sunshine
Ronnie Robbins: Mama Tried/If You Love Me Let Me Know
Marty Robbins: Love Me/I'm Wanting To/Devil Woman/El Paso/Ka-Lu-A

Interesting that the artists that Skeeter named specifically for helping her get back on the Opry, Jean Shepard, Kirk McGee, Teddy Wilburn and George Hamilton IV, none were scheduled on the Opry that night. This was also the first night that Skeeter performed in the new Opry House.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend and a very Happy Easter to All!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

ETRS Closes Music Valley Drive Location/Midnight Jamboree Suspended

It has been announced that the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree has been suspended and the Ernest Tubb Record Shop Music Valley location has been closed.

If I did the link right, you can read the entire sad story at the site I have refererence above.

April Opry Highlights

Here are the important and historical events that have taken place regarding the Grand Ole Opry, or its members, during the month of April:

April 19, 1924: The WLS "National Barn Dance" was aired in Chicago for the first time. It was the first of the many weekly barn dance programs that would spring up across the country. Lulu Belle & Scotty, Bradley Kincaid and Gene Autry were among the successful performers who were part of that show. "The National Barn Dance" lasted until 1960 when WLS changed formats. By the way, WLS stood for "World's Largest Store" as Sears was the initial owner of that station.

April 17, 1926: Uncle Dave Macon becomes a regular member of the WSM Barn Dance, which would later be known as the Grand Ole Opry. At the age of 55, he was the first performer who would come to the show with a national reputation. In a way, his hiring would start the show on the path of becoming a group of professional entertainers instead of those who "came down from the hills for the weekend." Uncle Dave would remain an Opry member until his death on March 1, 1952 at the age of 81. He was one of the early members elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

April 30, 1932: The Dixieliners, which consisted of Kirk and Sam McGee, along with Arthur Smith, made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Arthur Smith had been performing on the Opry for several years, as had Sam and Kirk, when they decided to team up. They had a good reputatioin and within a short amount of time they had two ten-minute segments on the show. Arthur, however, had a drinking problem and in 1938 he was suspended from the Opry after missing several appearances. The Dixieliners made their final Opry appearance on January 14, 1939, after which Arthur Smith left. Sam and Kirk would continue on with the Opry for many more decades.

April 29, 1933: The Delmore Brothers, Rabon and Alton, made their first appearance on the Opry. They stayed as members until 1938 when they left for what they thought was a better opportunity. Alton would later write a book called "Truth is Stranger" that details their stay at the Opry and the issues between themselves and George D Hay and Harry Stone. After leaving the Opry, the Delmore Brothers moved around the country, appearing on various radio programs and making personal appearances. The eventually ended up at WLW in Cincinnati, where they got together with Merle Travis and Grandpa Jones to record under the name, "Browns Ferry Four." All four of these individuals would eventually be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, with The Delmore Brothers being elected in 2001. Their final Opry show was September 11, 1938, with their last song being "What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul."

April 15, 1933: Grand Ole Opry member Roy Clark was born in Meherrin, Virginia.

April 1, 1934: Grand Ole Opry member and the newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Jim Ed Brown was born in Sparkman, Arkansas.

April 15, 1937: Bob Luman was born in Texas. He gained fame as a member of the Louisiana Hayride and then came to Nashville, joining the Opry in 1965. When Bob was on the Hayride, his guitarist was James Burton, who would later join up with Ricky Nelson. When Bob joined the Opry, the younger fans loved him as he had a bit of rock n' roll to him. Bob passed away in 1978.

April 26, 1941: Ernest Tubb recorded "Walking the Floor Over You.' The recording took place in Dallas, Texas and was one of the first country recordings to feature an electric guitar. The success of the record would lead to Ernest to Nashville and the Opry, which he joined in 1943.

April 14, 1945: Upon the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a performance of "Taps" was played from the stage of the Opry. This marked the first time that a trumpet was played during an Opry performance. Buddy Harroll, part of Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys was the performer. While it was the right thing to do, it has been written that George D Hay was not thrilled.

April 6, 1946: Roy Acuff quit the Grand Ole Opry in a salary dispute. At the time, he was the host of "The Prince Albert Show" segment of the Opry that was broadcast on the NBC radio network. He was making $15.00 per night and asked for a raise to $100 a night. When WSM refused his demands, he left the show and went out to California for an extended tour. Roy never really talked about this episode in his Opry career. At the time, he was the Opry's biggest star and he knew that if he was out on the road he could make more money and have the time to film some movies. He wanted that recognized by both the Opry and the sponsor. Roy would eventually return to the Opry and when he did, was paid more than the union scale.

April 13, 1946: A week after Roy Acuff left the Opry, Red Foley became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and debuted as the host of "The Prince Albert Show" segment of the Opry. After Roy quit, William Esty and Company, which was the advertising agency that represented R.J. Reynolds Tabacco Company, which made Prince Albert chewing tabacco, undertook a broadly based survey to determine how best to replace Roy as the host of the show. Most listeners wanted the Opry to continue without changes but it was clear after all the questioning was done that a large portion of Opry fans wanted more music on the show, suggesting the need to replace Roy with a singer. Esty checked all the available data, which included record sales, jukebox plays and radio favorites, and it all pointed to Red Foley. Red would later say, "I guess I was never more scared than that night I replaced Roy Acuff. The people thought I was a Chicago slicker who had come to pass himself off as a country boy and bump Roy out of his job." Red, of course, was from Kentucky and he had a solid career as a country singer. Minnie Pearl would call Red, "the best looking thing I have ever seen." It is interesting to note that Red only hosted the Prince Albert portion of the Opry and did not do two segments as most of the Opry's performers did. Also when Roy returned to the Opry a year later, Red remained the Prince Albert host while Roy was given another segment. It should also be said that while Roy and Red got along, they were never the best of friends.

April 13, 1946: The same night that Red Foley came to the Opry, so did Chet Atkins, who was introduced on the Opry that night by Red. Chet later told the story, "I ran into Red in his manager's office. Actually, I had gone to Chicago to try to meet Foley. Anyway, I played a tune for him and sure enough he said, 'How'd you like to go to Nashville with me, Ches?' Dreams do come true sometimes." Chet stayed with Red for about six months, then he quit in his own dispute with Esty. Whne Chet was on the Opry a lot, he was never a member.

April 26, 1947: After leaving the Opry the previous year, Roy Acuff returned as the host of the "Royal Crown Cola Show." There is a story that Ernest Tubb and Harry Stone went to Roy, who was in a Nashville hospital, and told him the Opry might go under if he didn't come back. While there is no evidence to support that the Opry was in any kind of trouble, the words worked and Roy did come back, never to leave again.

April 3, 1948: The Louisiana Hayride started on KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana. Over the next decade, a large number of the Opry's new members came from the Hayride, earning it the reputation as a farm club for the Opry. The stars that come to Nashville from the show included David Houston, Billy Walker, Webb Pierce, Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. The Hayride also helped Elvis Presley start his career.

April 26, 1952: Martha Carson, the great gospel singer, joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. She came to the Opry on the strength of her hit, "Satisfied." She remained with the Opry until her first child was born in 1957 and then took a sabbatical, which included a year working in New York City. According to Martha, "I got a leave of absence from the Opry. I didn't quit and I wasn't fired. When I came back to Nashville, Opry manager Ott Devine said they had no openings. I never did go back. I never even got to be a guest." What a poor decision by Ott and the Opry management at that time.

April 18, 1953: Red Foley made his last Grand Ole Opry appearance as the host of "The Prince Albert Show." He would leave Nashville to work in television, eventually hosting the Ozark Jubilee. Red had numerous personal issues and when he decided to leave the Opry, management did not object. While many wondered about Red when he joined the Opry, he was one of the Opry's biggest stars and one of the more popular members. Nobody sang "Peace In the Valley" better than Red. After he left, the Prince Albert segment used rotating hosts instead of hiring a new permanent one.

April 4, 1959: Bill Anderson performs on the Opry for the first time. In July 1961 he would become an Opry member.

April 30, 1960: The WLS "National Barn Dance" aired its final show. At one time, this was a major competitor of the Opry and like the Opry, it was broadcast on a national basis. But like many other barn dance shows, it failed to survive as musical tastes changed.

April 30, 1966: Ray Pillow became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Ray's 49th year as a member. Ernest Tubb did the honors on the night that Ray was added to the cast. Though he is now on senior status and his Opry appearances have been reduced, he still does a great job hosting a segment and his voice is still smooth and solid.

April 22, 1967: The 4 Guys became members of the Opry. They came to the Opry from the Wheeling area and spent 33 years as Opry members before being fired by Pete Fisher in April 2000. The reason given for their termination was the fact that all of the original members of the group were no longer performing. For a number of years, the 4 Guys operated and performed at a very successful dinner theater in Nashville.

April 6, 1968: Following the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the city of Nashville imposed a curfew that forced the Opry to cancel that nights live show for the first and only time in their history (so claims WSM and the Opry). A previously taped show was aired. After being notified that the show was being cancelled, Roy Acuff, Sam and Kirk McGee, along with a few others, put on a makeshift show at a nearby square dance hall that afternoon for Opry fans who had come from out of town for the show.

April 6, 1968: On the same day as the Opry's cancelled show, Bud Wendall became the new General Manager of the Opry. He replaced Ott Devine, who had been the Opry's manager since 1959.

April 21, 1971: After taking a break to raise her childen, Connie Smith returned as a member of the Opry. Since the Opry considers Connie's Opry induction date as her original date in 1965, this will be her 50th year as an Opry member.

April 12, 1972: The first "Fan Fair" was held in Nashville. It was so successful that it would become an annual event where the fans could meet their favorite country music stars. It still takes place, although now it is called the "CMA Music Fest" and takes place in June.

April 27, 1972: Opryland opens for the 1st time. The park was an immediate hit and three years later the Opry House would be completed and the Grand Ole Opry would move to the park. Opryland shut down at the end of 1997, to be replaced by Opry Mills.

April 5, 1975: After having been suspended by the Opry in December 1973, Skeeter Davis returned to the Opry as an active member. Several Opry members had gone to Bud Wendall asking that she be allowed back.

April 23, 1976: Don Williams is introduced as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jeanne Pruett did the honors. As everyone knows, Don and the Opry experience didn't really work out and he left a few years later.

April 2, 1977: Vito Pellettieri worked his final show as the Opry's stage manager. He suffered a stroke several days later and on April 14 he passed away at the age of 87. While very few many have heard of Vito, he was probably one of the most influential people in the history of the Opry, so much so that he was never really replaced after he died. Years after his death, one veteran Opry member was quoted as saying, "I miss Vito. You know, we don't have a marshall anymore. What we have out there is a piece of paper in a box, with a list of the acts and when they're supposed to go on. But we don't have anybody encouraging us, goading us, giving us advice on how to do better. Nobody to jack us up." One of Vito's closest friends was Hank Snow and Hank writes about Vito extensively in his autobiography. For those who do not know, Vito was WSM's librarian and started as the Opry's stage manager in 1934. Vito was the one who set the Opry up on a schedule and assigned times and slots to the performers. He broke the show into segments with individual sponsors. Before that, it was a free-for-all, with the artists coming and going as they pleased. To show what the Opry members thought of Vito, in 1959 when it was announced that he faced mandatory retirement from both his positions at WSM (music librarian and stage manager), every one of the Opry's members signed a petition demanding that he be allowed to continue at the Opry. That November, during the annual disc jockey convention hosted by WSM, Opry performers staged a surprise program in Vito's honor. Roy Acuff made a lengthy speech which included the words, "He is one of the men who made the Opry what it is today." That was followed by a five minute standing ovation. By the way, Vito never owned a car or learned how to drive. In all his year's at the Opry and WSM, he took the bus.

April 13, 1981: Guy Willis of the Willis Brothers, died at the age of 65. The Willis Brothers consisted of Guy, Skeeter and Vic. They originally joined the Opry in June 1946, but left in 1948 to go on the road with Eddy Arnold. In 1960 they rejoined the Opry. Skeeter Willis died prior to Vic in 1976. After Skeeter died, Vic and Guy continued as a duo until Guy had to retire from performing in 1979 due to illness. After Guy retired, Vic formed the Vic Willis Trio and they were Opry members starting in 1979. They continued on the Opry until Vic died in a car accident in January 1995.

April 3, 1982: DeFord Bailey makes his final Grand Ole Opry appearance. He had been appearing during the annual Old-Timer's Nights over the past several years.

Apri 13, 1985: The Grand Ole Opry begins regular television broadcasts on The Nashville Network. The original shows were a half-hour, before eventually expanding to an hour. In 2001, the broadcast moved to Country Music Television and in 2003, moved to Great American Country. The first televised show was a special one hour edition and featured Roy Acuff as the host for the first half hour, with Connie Smith, Minnie Pearl and the 4 Guys as guests. The second half hour was hosted by Porter Wagoner and featured Dottie West, Jack Greene, the Crook Brothers and the Melvin Sloan Dancers. The original TNN shows were not scripted for television and were nothing more than the radio show with a camera. As a result, any times the timing was not right and the show ended on television either too early, in the middle of songs, or before there could be a sign-off.

April 22, 1989: Clint Black makes his first appearance on the Opry. In 1991, he would become a member.

April 20, 1991: Emmylou Harris begins a three night run at the Ryman Auditorium during which her recording of her "At The Ryman" album would take place. It marked one of the first uses of the Ryman for a performance since the Opry moved out in 1974. Due to the condition of the building, they were only able to use a portion of the seating. Those performances helped to spark the idea of renovating and reopening the Ryman.

April 2, 1994: On TNN's telecast of the Grand Ole Opry that night, an all-star bluegrass jam took place that featured Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Roy Husky, Jr., Marty Stuart, Alison Krauss and Earl Scruggs. Vince said that night, "That's what this place is all about. Nights that are like that."

April 12, 1997: Lewis Crook passed away in Nashville at the age of 87. The Crook Brothers joined the Opry on July 24, 1926. You could say they were original members. They remained at the Opry until 1988, a total of 62 years. Lewis was not with the Crook Brothers when they originally joined the WSM Barn Dance. He came along in 1928. After Herman Crook passed away, Lewis could continue for a few more years to make appearances with the Opry's Square Dance Band. Doing the math, that could have put Lewis at the Opry on and off for almost 69 years.

April 6, 1998: Former Opry member Tammy Wynette passed away in Nashville at the age of 55, after several years of declining health.

April 18, 1998: Diamond Rio became members of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be their 17th year as Opry members. Since they joined the cast, they have generally done a good job keeping up with their Opry appearances.

April 12, 1999: Lecil Martin, known as Boxcar Willie, passed away in Branson, Missouri at the age of 67. Boxcar joined the Opry in 1981 at the personal invitation of Roy Acuff.

April 17, 2004: The Judds made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

April 30, 2004: The Grand Ole Opry took to the road and sponsored the "Grand Ole Opry American Road Show," which took place in York, Pennsylvania. Those who took part in the show included Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Del McCoury Band and Rebecca Lynn Howard.

April 21, 2012: Keith Urban became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 3rd year as an Opry member. As with several other modern Opry members, Keith has made very few Opry visits since becoming a member.

April 26, 2013: The Grand Ole Opry dedicated the shows that weekend to Opry member George Jones, who had passed away. The guests included Montgomery Gentry, Brad Paisley and John Conlee.

Enjoy the Opry this month!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 3/27 &3/28

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend and it is looking like a very nice weekend that will be highlighted by the Opry's two newest members to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Jim Ed Brown w/The Browns and the Oak Ridge Boys.

On the Friday Night Opry, Jim Ed Brown will be joined by his sisters, Maxine and Bonnie and I am sure that the Opry will recognize their Hall of Fame election. During his speech at the announcement, Jim Ed gave special mention to the Grand Ole Opry including Ott Devine, Hal Durham, Bob Whittaker and Pete Fisher. A very nice jesture from someone who has been an Opry member or 52 years.

Jim Ed will also be appearing on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, and hosting the final segment that night will be the other Opry members elected to the Hall of Fame, the Oak Ridge Boys. Like Jim Ed and The Browns, the Oak Ridge Boys were long overdue for induction and it was nice to see that they finally got recognized. Brenda Lee did an excellent job with the introductions and in going over the achievements of those elected. And not to forget Grady Martin, the great guitarist, who also played on the Opry in the 1960s.

As far as other Opry members appearing this weekend, both nights will feature Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, John Conlee, Mike Snider and Riders In The Sky. Joining them on Friday night will be Bill Anderson, Diamond Rio, Bobby Osborne, Jeannie Seely and Trace Adkins. Hopefully Trace makes it this weekend as his previous scheduled appearances for 2015 resulted in Trace cancelling. And on Saturday night, Opry member Terri Clark will be making a visit, along with Connie Smith and The Whites.

As far as guest artists this weekend, there are some very solid names set to appear. Friday night will have Craig Campbell, Deana Carter and EmiSunshine. For EmiSunshine, this will be her 2nd Friday night in a row and she will again be signing her new CD in the Opry gift shop after the show. Saturday night will have Striking Matches, Kathy Mattea and Sturgill Simpson. I have always thought that Kathy would have made a fine Opry member and for those who haven't heard Sturgill before, he is the real thing. A classic voice who has really been making his mark in Americana music.

Friday March 27
7:00: John Conlee (host); Craig Campbell; Mike Snider
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Riders In The Sky; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Deana Carter
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; EmiSunshine
8:45: Trace Adkins (host); Jim Ed Brown w/The Browns; Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers

Saturday March 28
7:00: John Conlee (host); Terri Clark; Mike Snider
7:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Connie Smith; Kathy Mattea
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Striking Matches; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Jim Ed Brown; Sturgill Simpson

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, March 26 & 27, 2010:

Friday March 26
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Dale Ann Bradley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Matt Kennon
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Jamie O'Neal
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; The Quebe Sisters Band

Saturday March 27
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; John Anderson
7:30: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Jordyn Shellhart
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Dale Ann Bradley; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Bar D Wranglers; Charlie Daniels Band

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne; John Anderson
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jordyn Shellhart; Charlie Daniels Band
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; Alison Brown; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Connie Smith; Dale Ann Bradley

And from ten years ago this weekend, March 25 & 26, 2005:

Friday March 25
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Daryle Singletary
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Gene Watson
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith; Joe Diffie
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Riders In The Sky; Craig Morgan
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker; Jack Greene; Darryl Worley

Saturday March 26
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; Jeannie Seely; Hal Ketchum
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Trace Adkins; Craig Morgan; Oak Ridge Boys
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Keni Thomas; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Riders In The Sky; Jimmy Wayne

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; The Whites; Craig Morgan
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; John Conlee; Osborne Brothers; Trace Adkins
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; Hal Ketchum; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy Wayne; Oak Ridge Boys
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Keni Thomas

For this week's featured line-up, it was 44 years ago this Saturday night, March 27, 1971 that Jan Howard became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Many had thought that Jan was already an Opry member, joining in 1959. But that was not true. As Jan said, "I was a guest for years. I started guesting there when Ott Devine was manager and then Bill Anderson and I started working together in '65 and so I was part of the Bill Anderson show on the Opry. In the meantime, Bud Wendell became manager and I saw him at a party one Thursday night. He said, 'Well, I'll see you at the Opry tomorrow night.' And I said, No, I'm not going to be there. He said, 'What do you mean, you're not going to be there?' I said, I'm not a regular member and I just happen to not be booked. And he said, 'Well, you are going to be there!' And the next night, it was a Friday in March, I was made a regular member."

As mentioned, Jan first performed on the Opry in 1959, coming to Nashville from California. Her first solo single, "The One You Slip Around With" was a Top 10 hit and several publications named her their Most Promising Country Vocalist. In 1964, she signed with Decca Records and joined Bill Anderson's syndicated television and road show and sang with him regularly on the Opry. She and Bill had several duet hits including "For Loving You" which went to #1. It was also during this time that her biggest single record, "Evil on Your Mind" went to the Top 5 on the country charts.

In 1987, Jan wrote her autobiography "Sunshine and Shadow," an outstanding book that details her life, including the death of her son Jimmy in Vietnam, and the death of her youngest son David. Jan has received several awards for her work with the armed forces, mental health, the Veterans Administration, Vietnam veterans and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In 2005 she was elected to the Missouri Country Music Hall of Fame.

Here is the running order of the Opry, from Saturday March 27, 1971, the night Jan Howard became an official member of the Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Billy Walker (host): I Taught Her Everything She Knows
Ray Pillow: Grazin' In Greener Pastures
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Billy Walker: How Great Thou Art

6:45: Rudy's
Jack Greene (host): There's A Whole Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know
Jeannie Seely: Please Be My New Love
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely: Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

7:00: Luzianne
Bill Monroe (host): My Little Georgia Rose
Earl Scruggs Revue: Loraderjosp III Breakdown
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You
Ernie Ashworth: Jesus Is A Soul Man
James Monroe: Come With Me Up Happiness Hill
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Earl Scruggs Revue: Foggy Mountain Top
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Legend of the Dogwood Tree

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Grandpa Jones: Mountain Dew
Jan Howard: Evil on Your Mind
George Morgan: For the Good Times
Bill Anderson: Always Remember
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Grandpa Jones: Fair and Tender Ladies
Bill Anderson & Jan Howard: Someday We'll Be Together

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Loretta Lynn: I Wanna Be Free
Tex Ritter: The Men in My Little Girl's Life
Willis Brothers: Women's Liberation
Lonzo and Oscar: Crowded Song

8:30: Stephens
Porter Wagoner (host): The Carroll County Accident
Dolly Parton: Coming For to Carry Me Home
Stringbean: Hot Corn, Cold Corn
Tom T Hall: The Ballad of Forty Dollars
Porter Wagoner: The Last One to Touch Me
Hank Locklin: She's As Close As I Can Get
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking in My Sleep
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Better Move It On Home

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Anderson (host): You Can Change My World By Changing Your Mind
Willis Brothers: For the Good Times
Jan Howard: Were You There
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nobody's Darling But Mine
Ray Pillow: Working Man Blues
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

10:00: Fender
Bill Monroe (host): Little Joe
Earl Scruggs Revue: Bugle Call Rag
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie

10:15: Union 76
Billy Walker (host): When A Man Loves A Woman
Grandpa Jones: Dooley
Ernie Ashworth: Jesus is A Soul Man
Billy Walker: Make the World Go Away

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Jack Greene: There's A Whole Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Porter Wagoner (host): Big Wind
Dolly Parton: Joshua
Stringbean: Lonesome Road Blues
Crook Brothers: Arkansas Traveler
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Better Move It On Home

11:00: Coca-Cola
Tex Ritter (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Tex Ritter: High Noon
Loretta Lynn: I Wanna Be Free
Sam McGee: San Antonio Rose

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Lonzo and Oscar: There's A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Ronnie Robbins: Put Your Hand in the Hand/Today I Started Loving You Again
Marty Robbins: I Walk Alone/Don't Worry/A Heart Full of Love/Long, Gone Lonesome Blues
Marty Robbins & Ronnie Robbins: It Finally Happened.

Finally, I know there are many of you who like to go way back, so here is the line-up from Saturday March 28, 1953, 62 years ago this weekend:

7:30: Warren Paint
Roy Acuff (host): Coming From The Ball
Eddie Hill: Molasses
Roy Acuff: The Great Shining Light
Howdy Forrester: Ragtime Annie

7:45: American Ace
Roy Acuff (host): No Letter In The Mail
Tommy Sosebee: The Longer We're Together
Jimmy Riddle: Frankie and Johnny
Roy Acuff: It's Alright Now
Oswald: Good Old Mountain Dew

8:00: Martha White
Webb Pierce (host): You Scared The Love Right Out Of Me
Ray Price: Talk To Your Heart
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark
June Carter: Juke Box Blues
Marty Robbins: I Couldn't Keep From Crying
Moon Mullican: Cherokee Boogie
Webb Pierce: That's Me Without You
Carter Family: Sun's Gonna Shine In My Back Door
Ray Price: Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes
Fiddle: Fire On The Mountain

8:30: Prince Albert Show
Red Foley (host): Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Johnny and Jack: Heart Trouble
Square Dancers: Turkey In The Straw
Red Foley: No Tears In Heaven
Old Hickory Singers: When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Johnny and Jack: Three Ways of Knowing
String Bean: Uncle Pen
Red Foley: Forgive Me
Square Dancers: Wake Up Susan

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Pins and Needles
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Texas Quicksand
George Morgan: Whispering Friends
Jenny Jenkins: To Be Selected
Jug Band: Uncle Eps's Got The Coon
Cowboy Copas: If Wishes Were Horses
Roy Acuff: Where Could I Go
Lonzo and Oscar: Kncok Kneed Susie
Oswald: John Hardy
Howdy Forrester: Arkansas Traveller

9:30: Martha White
Carl Smith (host): It's A Lovely, Lovely World
Jimmy Dickens: I'm Little But I'm Loud
Moon Mullican: Pipeliner Blues
Anita Carter: Cool, Cold, Colder
Possum Hunters: Bill Cheatham
Carl Smith: Our Hooneymoon
Jimmy Dickens: Galvanized Wash Tub
Chet Atkins: Fig Leaf Rag
Carl Smith: Are You Teasing Me
Hal Smith: Here and There

10:00: Wallrite
George Morgan (host): Lover's Quarrel
Eddie Hill: Hot Guitar
Kitty Wells: The Crying Steel Guitar
Tommy Sosebee: All Because of My Jealous Heart
Fiddle: Leather Britches

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
George Morgan (host): Rainbow In My Heart
Marty Robbins: Love Me or Leave Me
Johnny and Jack: Humming Bird
Autry Inman: That's All Right
Fiddle Tune: Turkey In The Straw

10:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Jimmy Dickens (host): You Don't Have No Love At All
Ray Price: Please Be Mine
Chet Atkins: Oh By Jingo
Duke Of Paducah: Comedy
June Carter: Kaw Liga
Lonzo and Oscar: Tell Me It Was Worth It
Foggy River Boys: Jesus Changed This Heart of Mine
Gully Jumpers: Soldier's Joy
Jimmy Dickens: My Heart's Bouquet
Fiddle Tune: Bully of The Town

11:00: O-Cello-O
Roy Acuff (host): The Great Speckled Bird
Ken Marvin: Uh Huh Honey
Jenny Jenkins: Matthew 24
Howdy Forrester: Blackberry Blossoms
Roy Acuff: Take My Hand Precious Lord

11:15: Dairimix
Carl Smith (host): The Kind of Love I'm Lookin' For
Johnny and Jack: Lonesome
String Bean: Pretty Polly
Carl Smith: Our Honeymoon
Hal Smith: Sugar In The Gourd

11:30: Hester Battery
Webb Pierce (host): I Haven't Got The Heart
Moon Mullican: Mean Mama
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Webb Pierce: The Last Waltz

11:45: ABC Chicks
Cowboy Copas (host): Doll of Clay
Sam and Kirk: Columbus Stockade Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Going Across The Sea
Cowboy Copas: Feelin Low
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Paddy On The Turnpike

Some great acts on the Opry that night including a few names that you don't hear about anymore.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!