Thursday, October 8, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 10/9 & 10/10

How about a Friday Night Opry with only 5 Opry members? Better yet, how about a Grand Ole Opry with just 4 members? Or even better yet, how about an entire half hour Opry segment with just Exile?

That is what we have this weekend at the Grand Ole Opry. While I can live with the Friday Night Opry, which will feature Opry members Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, John Conlee, Mike Snider and Jesse McReynolds, I cannot accept Saturday's Grand Ole Opry with just Mike Snider, The Whites, John Conlee and Bobby Osborne as Opry members performing. And I can't accept an entire half hour of Exile. 

Is this what the Opry has come to? Ok, I have come to accept that on some shows, an entire segment will be devoted to a single act. Acts such as Rascal Flatts, Reba, Little Big Town; or even Brad, Darius or Blake. But not Exile.

Now, this is nothing against Exile in particular. They have actually had a very nice career. The band started in the early 70's as a back-up rock band. Then they began to have some chart success and a few hits. By the late 70's and through the 80's, they migrated into a country act. By the early 1990's, their chart success was basically over. "Kiss You All Over," which went to #1 in 1978, was their first big success. And in the course of their career, they had 10 more #1 records. "Even Now," which in 1991 went to #16, was their last chart success. So, you can say that they have not been very relevant for the last 25 years. 

What bothers me more than anything else is wondering if this is the best the Opry can do on a Saturday night? Besides those Opry members I have listed, the guest artists include Jackie Lee, William Michael Morgan and Craig Wayne Boyd. Add semi-Opry regulars Mark Wills and Elizabeth Cook, who I do enjoy, you have Saturday's entire show. Wow!! You have to wonder where the other 61 Opry members are. 

Now on Friday Night, besides Marty and Connie and the rest of the Opry bunch, Clay Walker, one of the bigger country acts of 1990's will be performing. Add Amber Digby, who is the real country deal, and a return of Flatt Lonesome, and you have the makings of a very nice night. 

Friday October 9
7:00: John Conlee (host); Amber Digby; James Otto
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy Wayne; Darryl Worley
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; Clay Walker
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); Sarah Potenza; Flatt Lonesome

Saturday October 10
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jackie Lee; Elizabeth Cook
7:30: The Whites (host); William Michael Morgan; Mark Wills
8:15: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Craig Wayne Boyd; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Exile

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, October 8 & 9, 2010. This was also the weekend of the Opry's 85th birthday celebration. 

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
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

Now from ten years ago this weekend, October 7 & 8, 2005:

Friday October 7
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; Dale Watson
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Walker; Jeannie Seely; Trent Willmon
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Osborne Brothers; Matt Jenkins
9:00: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jack Ingram
9:30: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; T. Graham Brown

Saturday October 8
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Catherine Britt
7:00: John Conlee (host); Darryl Worley; Carolyn Dawn Johnson; Jamey Johnson; Del McCoury Band
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Osborne Brothers; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); George Hamilton IV; Jimmy C Newman; Hanna-McEuen

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Jamey Johnson
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Hank Locklin; Catherine Britt; Del McCoury Band
10:30: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Carolyn Dawn Johnson; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Jean Shepard; Darryl Worley
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker; Hanna-McEuen

Looking back at some of the older Grand Ole Opry line-ups, it was on Saturday October 10, 1987 that the Grand Ole Opry celebrated it's 62nd anniversary. As with most of the birthday shows of that era, it was a loaded line-up featuring many of the Opry's members. Here is the running order from that night, 28 years ago Saturday. 

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime At At Time/Looking at the World Through a Windshield
4 Guys: Once More
Del Reeves: I Wished That I Had Loved Her That Way

6:45: Rudy's
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Lorrie Morgan: There's No Love In Tennessee
Jimmy C Newman: Pistol Packin' Mama

7:00: Shoney's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Fools
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Charlie Louvin & Jennifer O'Brien: Everytime You Leave
George Hamilton IV: Someday My Ship Will Sail
Jan Howard: Somebody's Always Saying Goodbye
Jim Ed Brown: I Don't Want to Have to Marry You

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Stonewall Jackson: Closer to the Vine
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Glen Campbell: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle/I Remember You
Roy Acuff & Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Roy Acuff & Glen Campbell: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Bill Monroe (host): My Rose of Old Kentucky/Blue Moon of Kentucky
Connie Smith: The Key's in the Mailbox
Riders In The Sky: Faded Love
The Whites: If It Ain't Love
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Lafayette
Bill Monroe: Lord, Let the Gates Swing Wide for Me

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): Between Fire and Water
Skeeter Davis: My Last Date with You/Silver Threads & Golden Needles/The End of the World
Roy Drusky: The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
Bill Carlisle: Worried Man Blues
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Again

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Bill Monroe (host): Uncle Pen
Jeannie Seely: That May Be All I Need to Know
Del Reeves: The Chair That Rocked Us All
The Whites: Swing Down Sweet Chariot
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou
Bill Monroe: The Home Above

10:00: Little Debbie
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
4 Guys: Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Dreamed About Mama Last Night
Roy Acuff & Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

10:30: Pet Milk
George Hamilton IV (host): Break My Mind
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young

10:45: Heil Quaker
Jack Greene (host): Walking on New Grass
Charlie Walker: Deep Water
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Jack Greene; There Goes My Everyting

11:00 Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Why Do You Punish Me
Connie Smith: Once A Day
Charlie Louvin: True Love
Jan Howard: Release Me
Justin Tubb: Thanks, Troubadour, Thanks
Hank Snow: I Care No More

11:30: BC Powder
Roy Drusky (host): Too Old to Die Young
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Riders In The Sky: Back on Those Texas Plains
Roy Drusky & Riders In The Sky: Cool Water
Roy Drusky: Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Even as loaded as this Opry birthday show was, there were still a few big names missing. People such as Bill Anderson, Porter Wagoner, Grandpa Jones, Johnny Russell among others. And it was nice to see Glen Campbell make one of his rare Opry appearances during the birthday celebration. 

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tuesday Night Opry 10/6

The Tuesday Night Opry has scheduled two shows for tonight with special guest artist Miranda Lambert scheduled. Tonight also marks 25 years since Alan Jackson made his first guest appearance on the Opry, and he will be featured on both shows. 

1st show
7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Kristian Bush
7:30: Del McCoury Band; Connie Smith
8:00: Alan Jackson
8:30: Marty Stuart; Miranda Lambert

2nd show
9:30: Alan Jackson
10:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Miranda Lambert
10:30: Kristian Bush; Del McCoury Band
11:00: Connie Smith; Marty Stuart

I don't think there are very many complaints about the quality of the line-up tonight. 

Also, today marks 25 years since Garth Brooks became a member of the Grand Ole Opry as he was inducted into the cast by Johnny Russell. Garth has always said that being a member of the Opry has been the highlight of his career. I really thought Garth would have been willing to come to the Opry to be honored for 25 years of Opry membership as the Opry does a very nice job with these milestone dates. However, as of this moment, nothing has been scheduled. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Opry 90th Birthday Weekend Recap

I have been reading the various comments that have been left regarding the Opry's 90th birthday weekend and instead of responding to each one, I thought I would just start a new post and not only respond to the various comments, but also offer my thoughts on the weekend.

To respond to a couple of items:

On the original schedule, Montgomery Gentry was scheduled to appear on Friday night. Obviously with the tragic situation that took place, they cancelled out. I don't think that the cancellation had much of an effect on the Friday show as most of the artists that appeared as previously been scheduled.

Regarding the Friday Night Opry, which I thought was the stronger of the two nights. Little Big Town and Old Crow Medicine Show were the obvious highlights. Both did 3 songs, with Old Crow doing "Wagon Wheel" on both shows and Little Big Town doing "Girl Crush" on both shows. The audience really responded to both acts. All of the acts did a great job. Lorrie Morgan did "Candy Kisses" on the second show, in a dedication to her father, Hall of Fame member George Morgan. Jan Howard was well received and I have to admit that I did not catch Marty Roe calling her "Jan Brown." It must have come out clearer on the radio then in the Opry House. Bobby Osborne did "Rocky Top" on both shows, while Jeannie Seely did "Don't Touch Me." Riders In The Sky was missing Ranger Doug, who was off with Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers in California. He was back for Saturday night. No complaints about Joe Diffie, or for the only non-Opry member on the schedule, JT Hodges. And I did want to mention that Little Big Town started to sing "Elvira" on the first show, and were joined in a surprise appearance by the Oak Ridge Boys.

Finally, a few words about Larry Gatlin, along with Steve and Rudy. They did the Opry Country Classics show on Thursday night, along with all 4 Opry shows over the weekend. You can say what you want about Larry, but he really adds a lot to the show. When doing "Houston" as the opening number, he goes out into the audience and dances with the ladies, including several grandmothers, takes popcorn from unsuspecting fans, walks up the isle and shakes hands, and will kid those who come in late. All at the same time while singing. I don't know what kind of deal the Opry management made with Larry over the past couple of years, but he has really stepped it up at the Opry, and in some ways, he is becoming the current face of the show. And not only is he doing these Opry appearances but he is also doing a Christmas show at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Like I said, I don't know what kind of deal the Opry made with Larry, but I am glad that they did. He, along with his brothers, will probably end up in the top 5 as far as Opry appearances for the year. All this from a person who was missing from the Opry for a few decades. And on Christmas Day, they will be celebrating 39 years as Opry members.

Now let's talk about Saturday as there has been much discussion about the "Nashville" booking. From what I can tell, this was a planned booking for the birthday weekend and did not replace anyone. A vast majority of the Opry's members were booked out on the road Saturday night, leaving a big hole in the schedule and as a reminder, Ryman Hospitalities, the owners of the Opry and WSM, financially support the "Nashville" show, and Steve Buchanan is one of the producers. For whatever some of us think about "Nashville," the cross promotion of the show with the Opry is drawing new fans to the Opry. As far as the segment, although the Opry program listed no host, Charles Esten filled that role. While some have mentioned the fact of a non-Opry member hosting a segment (and I agree that only Opry members should host), non-members have hosted segments before, including back in the Prince Albert days. And we also know that during the CMT and GAC television runs, there were many times when there was not a segment host.

As far as the actors who were on that segment, at least they didn't ask Charles Esten to become an Opry member, which would not have surprised me. For those who have not seen him, or were not there, he was actually an excellent host and does have a very nice voice. Not so sure about the song selection however. He had a good country band with him. As far as the others, I was not really impressed. I suppose that if more Opry members were available, then this segment would not have taken place. How was it received by those in the audience? I can honestly say that those who are fans of the show liked it, while those who were not were very vocal in their comments.

Also appearing on Saturday night was Carrie Underwood. She looked dazzling and sounded great. For those who did not listen, she sang the Dolly Parton hit, "9-5" on both shows and she had the words to the song on a teleprompter along the back wall. Based on her actions during the song, she really didn't make much eye contact with the teleprompter so I am thinking it was just there as a safety net. I was told that she was practicing the song back stage before she came on. Trace Adkins did a very nice job on both shows, and said he told management that he wanted to host the 100th celebration. And the Oak Ridge Boys were impressive. And that included the Saturday afternoon birthday concert where they did a fulls stage show.

Overall, I would say that while the number of artists per show was down, the quality was good, much better than last year, which was probably the historical low point regarding Opry birthday weekends. And except for a brief appearance by Robin Roberts to introduce Carrie Underwood during the first show, there were no other special guests.

On a few other topics:

The Opry has made a few changes and has redesigned their logo for the 90th year. They also changed the style of lettering on the backdrop, making it a little larger and have made a few small changes to the backdrop itself. The Opry has also added some additional signage to the outside area of the Opry Plaza.

The Opry Plaza birthday party, with the free entertainment, was really affected by the cold and wet weather. The temperatures were in the low 50's and there was a steady rain Friday and Saturday. They moved some of the activities from the outdoor stage to under the overhang and I was actually impressed with the size of the crowd considering the weather. And if you have not seen Fiddlin' Carson Peters, you need to. The young man has talent and is pretty funny.

All 4 Opry shows were sold-out. The Oak Ridge Boys birthday concert probably drew around 2,000, while Opry Country Classics was about 2/3 filled. I didn't mention the classics show, which featured Crystal Gayle, Chuck Mead, Mandy Barnett and Ronnie Robbins, along with hosts Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers. It was my first time to see Ronnie and he does sound a lot like Marty. He did "El Paso" and "Don't Worry." On "El Paso." the Gatlin Brothers sang back up.

The video that was shown in the Opry House was mentioned. And yes, it was just the younger members including Little Big Town and Blake Shelton and several of the guest artists including Charles Esten.

The Opry has started giving out a new "award" to its members commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Opry. They have a new wall in back that has slots that list each current Opry member and they are giving replicas to the members to have. Over the weekend. Little Big Town, Oak Ridge Boys, Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin and Jeannie Seely were presented theirs on stage. Last Tuesday night, Dierks Bentley received his. I have a feeling that a few others were presented backstage to other Opry members. The goal is for each member to receive one.

One question that did come up was regarding new members, and no, I have heard no rumors. The Opry has lost 4 members since Little Big Town was added and right now, I have no idea what Pete Fisher is thinking. I really don't think the Opry will let the 90th year go by without adding someone, but who knows in today's world.

The other question had to do with Jean Shepard. I heard that she was at the ROPE Awards on Thursday night. In November, she will be celebrating 60 years as an Opry member, which would put her at either 2 or 3 on the list of Opry members (I would have to look it up to be sure but Herman Crook might be it as far as ahead of her), and I have been told that she will be making every effort to be at the Opry on the night of her 60th.

Finally, on a personal note, my thanks to those who came up to introduce themselves to me. It was nice seeing new faces from those who read and comment on the blog, and it was equally nice to see those who I have seen in past years. In many ways, that is the highlight of the weekend. It is nice to know that I am not alone out in the wilderness and many feel the same way I do about the Opry. I know many of us say each year that this birthday weekend will be the last for us, but I just have a feeling that I will see most of you again next year. And hopefully a few more after that. Let's all make it our goal to make it to the 100th. If Trace Adkins says he will be there, then the rest of us should try to make it too.

Let the comments begin and if I happen to think of anything else of interest, I will surely add it. As for me, it was a long weekend of shows and travel, so with that, I will sign off for now.

Again, my thanks to all.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 10/2 & 10/3-Grand Ole Opry 90th Birthday Bash

This is the big weekend for the Grand Ole Opry as this historic radio show will be celebrating it's 90th anniversary with their annual birthday bash. There will be 2 shows on Friday night and 2 Grand Ole Opry shows on Saturday evening. I will be headed down to Nashville in the morning and will be at all of the events. 

As I write this, the final line-up has not been posted, but what I can tell you is that among those scheduled to appear on Friday night are Opry members Little Big Town, Old Crow Medicine Show, Joe Diffie, Lorrie Morgan Diamond Rio and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, along with guest artist JT Hodges, who will be signing copies of the Opry's new CD, "Opry 9.0: Discoveries from the Circle, Vol 1."

Among those set to appear on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry are Opry members Carrie Underwood, Oak Ridge Boys, Trace Adkins, along with guests Charles Esten and Sam Palladio. In addition to the 2 Opry shows on Saturday, the Oak Ridge Boys will be performing on the Opry's annual birthday concert during the afternoon and stars from "Nashville" will be featured in the Opry Plaza, along with other artists. The weather is looking decent so it should be a great weekend. 

If I have computer access, I will get the entire line-up posted once it is official. But just going on the names that have been listed, it looks like one of the better birthday weekends in recent memory. 

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of October 1 & 2, 2010:

Friday October 1
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; Dierks Bentley
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Charley Pride; Neal McCoy
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); Stonewall Jackson; Sam Bush

Saturday October 2
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Band Perry
8:00: Charley Pride (host); Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Kevin Costner & Modern West

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys
10:00: Charley Pride (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene
10:30: Mike Snider (host); Grand Master Fiddle Champion; Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Kevin Costner & Modern West

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of September 30 and October 1, 2005. What made this weekend so special is that on Saturday, Dierks Bentley became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.  

Friday September 30
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Rhonda Vincent
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Little Big Town
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Shelly Fairchild
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mel McDaniel; Charlie Louvin; Marty Stuart
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Jason McCoy; Buddy Jewell

Saturday October 1
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Billy Walker; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Marty Stuart (host); Chely Wright; Chris Cagle; Dierks Bentley
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); John Conlee; Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Osborne Brothers

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Jeannie Seely; Chely Wright
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; John Conlee; Chris Cagle
10:30: Marty Stuart (host); Stonewall Jackson; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Dierks Bentley
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; T. Bubba Bechtol; Osborne Brothers

For this week's featured line-up, it was on Saturday October 2, 1982 that Doyle Wilburn made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. 1982 was already a rough year at the Opry as in August both Ernest Tubb and Marty Robbins made their final Opry appearances and now, as Doyle Wilburn was in the final stages of cancer that would claim his life several weeks later, he would appear for the final time.

Doyle Wilburn, along with his brother Teddy, first came to the Grand Ole Opry in 1940 after they won a talent contest in Arkansas and were brought to the attention of Roy Acuff. They were there for six months before child labor laws forced them to quit and return back home. They continued to perform and travel and in 1948 they became a part of the Louisiana Hayride. They were there until 1951 when the act disbanded and Doyle and Teddy joined the Army. While in the service, they performed with Webb Pierce and Faron Young. In 1953, after leaving the service and returning to Nashville, they became members of the Opry. In May 1954, they signed with Decca Records. In addition to their own careers, they were instrumental in the careers of Loretta Lynn and Patty Loveless. They also hosted the highly successful syndicated show, "The Wilburn Brothers Show" that was on the air from 1963-1974 and can still be seen on RFD-TV. After Doyle died in 1982, Teddy continued as a solo artist and Opry member until his death in 2003.

It is hard to believe that as successful as they were, the Wilburn Brothers did not have any #1 hits. Their highest chart success was "Trouble's Back in Town," "Roll Muddy River," "Which One Is to Blame," and "Sparkling Brown Eyes," each of which went to #4 on the country charts.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from Saturday October 2, 1982, the final appearance of Doyle Wilburn:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
4 Guys (host): I Don't Want Your Love Forever
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
4 Guys: Catfish John

6:45: Rudy's
Jack Greene (host): I've Still Got Room for One More Heartache
Lonzo & Oscar: Country Roads
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/Statue of A Fool

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Howdy Neighbor, Howdy
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Charlie Louvin: Mama's Angels
Jeannie Seely: You Don't Need Me, But You Will
R.E. Hardaway: New York City Song
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand/Ol' Slewfoot

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): Eight More Miles to Louisville
Charlie Walker: T For Texas
Jean Shepard: Alabama Jubilee
Ray Pillow: She's Doing It to Me Again
Billy Grammer: Homestead on the Farm
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Joe Carroll: Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jan Howard: You Don't Know Me
David Houston: Almost Persuaded
Stonewall Jackson: Life to Go
Wilburn Brothers: The Light House
Roy Acuff: Jesus Will Outshine Them All

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Right or Wrong
Vic Willis Trio: Old Flames
Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink on Me
Roy Drusky: What About You
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Howdy Neighbor, Howdy
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Jeannie Seely: I'm All Through Crying Over You
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Lonzo & Oscar: I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me
R.E. Hardaway: New York City Song
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Banjo Sam
Skeeter Davis: I'll Fly Away
Charlie Louvin: Northwind
Grandpa Jones: It's Raining Here This Morning

10:15: Sunbeam
Charlie Walker (host): San Antonio Rose
Jean Shepard: Too Many Rivers
Ray Pillow: One Too Many Memories
Charlie Walker: Waltz Across Texas

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Low & Lonely
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Roy Acuff: Farther Along

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
Billy Grammer: I'm Letting You Go
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Billy In the Low Ground
Roy Drusky: Blues In My Heart

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Down the Trail of Aching Hearts
Jan Howard: Where No One Stands Alone
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
David Houston: I'm Gonna Hire A Wino
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Hank Snow: Old Doc Brown

11:30: Hardee's
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Vic Willis Trio: Last Cheater's Waltz/Let It Be Me
Bill Carlisle: Same Ole Tale That the Crow Told Me
Bill/Sheila/Bill Carlisle, Jr: In the Pines
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk of Coal/Waterloo

Big congratulations to the Grand Ole Opry on it's 90th birthday weekend. I hope to see a few of you in Nashville this weekend.

Enjoy the Opry!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

October Opry Highlights

October has traditionally been one of the more active months in the history of the Grand Ole Opry. Lots of important and historical events have taken place during the month involving the Opry or its members. So here are those events that have taken place during the month of October.

October 25, 1912: Sarah Ophelia Colley, known to the world as Minnie Pearl, was born. Minnie first appeared on the Opry in November 1940 and she was an Opry member for over 50 years, until her death in March 1996. She was an active Opry member until she suffered a stroke in June 1991. Comedy has become a lost art at the Opry, but in her time at the Opry, Minnie Pearl was one of the best.

October 20, 1913: Louis Marshall Jones was born in Henderson County, Kentucky. Louis was an Opry member for over 50 years and was known for his comedy and banjo playing. He was also nationally known for his work on Hee Haw. If the name Louis Marshall Jones doesn't ring a bell, perhaps his stage name will: Grandpa Jones.

October 5, 1925: WSM radio went on the air. Edwin Craig was given the honor of starting off that first broadcast, and he did with a few simple words: "This is WSM. We Shield Millions. The National Life and Accident Company." National Life President C.A. Craig dedicated the station to public service. Among the guests that night was George D. Hay, who would later be hired at WSM as the program director and would go on a few months later to begin the WSM Barn Dance.

October 27, 1934: The Grand Ole Opry moved from Studio C at the National Life Building, home of WSM, to the Hillsboro Theater. The move was made because of the larger crowds that wanted to see the Opry in person. The Hillsboro Theater sat 2,400 and also offered the performers dressing rooms. Because the Opry was now being performed before a live audience, the artists were told to dress for their performances. That meant they were to wear rural clothes that reflected the image of a down home country show. That night also marked the beginning of Vito Pellettiere as the Opry's stage manager. He would hold that position until his death in 1977. Vito is the one who helped move the Opry into a more organized show with segments, sponsors and specific times for each performer to be on. There are some who have felt that Vito is the most important person in the history of the Opry.

October 14, 1939: The NBC Radio Network began to carry a half-hour segment which was sponsored by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to promote it's Prince Albert brand. Roy Acuff was the host. The story behind this is that the William Esty Agency of New York had been employed by WSM to sell advertising time on the Opry. The station had worked with NBC in the past by providing live network feeds from Nashville to New York. In the fall of 1938, Esty added R.J. Reynolds as an Opry sponsor and since Prince Albert was a big brand in the South, it was decided that R.J. Reynolds would promote that brand. It was Dick Marvin, an account executive, that got the idea of trying to sell the tobacco company on sponsoring part of the Opry on the NBC network. Marvin went to the Esty Agency who thought it was not a good idea. After a lot of convincing, he was able to notify George D. Hay and Harry Stone that 26 network stations would broadcast the Opry. On that first show, David Stone announced the open and introduced Roy Acuff and his group, who played the theme song, "Have A Big Time Tonight." Along with George D. Hay, that first show included Uncle Dave Macon, George Wilkerson and his Fruit Jar Drinkers, DeFord Bailey, Brother Oswald and the rest of Roy's group. Over time, the Prince Albert portion would become the most famous Opry segment and would be extended to the entire NBC radio network.

October 28, 1939: Bill Monroe became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. On his first night, Bill performed "Muleskinner Blues." Opry founder George D. Hay was so impressed with Bill and his new sound that he told Bill that if he ever wanted to leave the Opry, he would have to fire himself. Thankfully, he never did and would remain as an Opry member until his death in September 1996.

October 17, 1953: Carl Butler made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Later with his wife Pearl, he would join the Opry cast.

October 2, 1954: Elvis Presley made his first and only appearance as a guest on the Opry. He sang Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky." Reports have said that Elvis received only modest applause after his performance, which was not that unusual at the Opry. Legend has it that after he finished, Jim Denny told Elvis that he should go back to driving a truck. While Elvis never did go back to truck driving, over the years there has been some doubt if Jim Denny actually made those comments or if they have just become another Opry story. What did happen after that night was that Jim Denny, nor anyone else, ever invited Elvis back to perform on the Opry. One person who was impressed by Elvis was Bill Monroe, especially after seeing the sizeable royalty checks that he began to receive after Elvis recorded his song.

October 22, 1955: Jim Reeves became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Over time, he would become one of the Opry's biggest stars but like so many others, he came to the realization of the limitations of being and Opry member, and would move on. His last Opry appearance was on June 29, 1963. (Some sources give his Opry membership date October 30).

October 29, 1955: For what would be a very short run, Slim Whitman became a member of the Opry.

October 19, 1956: Stonewall Jackson auditioned to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He would become an official member several weeks later, on November 3.

October 15, 1960: Loretta Lynn made her first Opry appearance. The Wilburn Brothers were instrumental in getting her a guest slot and she appeared that night on a segment hosted by Ernest Tubb. At the time, Loretta did not have a band so Leslie Wilburn played base and Lester Wilburn played rhythm guitar. Just like in the movie, she sang "I'm A Honky-Tonk Girl." The Opry was impressed and she would later be asked to become an Opry member.

October 20, 1962: Leroy Van Dyke became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Like many others, Leroy would remain an Opry member for a few years and then he moved on. Even after he left, he has continued to make guest appearances on the Opry.

October 27, 1962: Sonny James became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Sorry to say, but like others, Sonny's stay at the Opry would be fairly short.

October 23, 1965: Roy Acuff, Jr. made his first appearance on the Opry. With his father watching off to the side, Roy Jr. sang "Baby Just Said Goodbye." His recording and performing work showed the promise of a career in country music, however he preferred to work behind the scenes and his public performing soon ended.

October 14, 1966: Del Reeves is introduced as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was introduced on a segment hosted by Porter Wagoner. It was a very emotional night for Del as his parents were in the audience and Del was unable to make it through his song before breaking down. Del would remain a popular Opry member until his death in January 2007.

October 21, 1967: The Browns, Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie, gave their final performance as members of the Grand Ole Opry. While Bonnie and Maxine would retire in order to raise families, Jim Ed would continue as an Opry member, which he was until his death earlier this year. The sisters would come back many times to perform with Jim Ed on the Opry, and at other venues. The Browns made a huge impact in country music and finally this year, after a long wait, Jim Ed and The Browns were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

October 6, 1968: Former WSM executive Harry Stone passed away at the age of 70. The influence that Harry Stone had at the Opry was great, perhaps even greater than George D. Hay himself. While George D. Hay wanted to keep the Opry simple and down to earth featuring local and regional musicians, Harry wanted to move the show forward by hiring established and professional stars. While Hay was away from the Opry due to personal issues, Harry moved ahead with his plan and as a result, there was great conflict between the two. In 1932, Harry became the general manager of WSM and became the boss. Among the first acts that he brought to the Opry were Pee Wee King and Roy Acuff, followed by Eddy Arnold. He saw what the Opry could do for National Life and WSM on a national level and thanks to his leadership, the Opry survived while other country barn dance shows failed.

October 19, 1968: In an interview with the Nashville Tennessean, WSM President Irving Waugh said that the Opry's days at the Ryman Auditorium were numbered. The article stated, "The initiation of plans for the relocation of the Opry, possibly as the center of a multi-million dollar hotel and amusement complex, was announced at a breakfast at Municipal Auditorium sponsored by WSM." Irving Waugh said, "Our feeling is that the Grand Ole Opry needs a new, modern facility. It is estimated the center, which would be called Opryland USA, would require between one hundred fifty and two hundred acres of land. The location would not be in the Music Row area." Over time, details would be announced and the Opry would leave downtown Nashville for a rural location at Opryland USA.

October 27, 1973: Comedian Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was the last member to join the Opry cast before the Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the new Grand Ole Opry House. When he joined the Opry, comedy was a huge part of the show and he joined a cast that included Minnie Pearl, Archie Campbell, Grandpa Jones and Lonzo & Oscar.

October 18, 1975: The Grand Ole Opry celebrated it's 50th anniversary with a star studded weekend. In fact, the 50th anniversary show is considered one of the biggest in the history of the Opry.

October 16, 1982: Opry member Doyle Wilburn passed away in Nashville at the age of 52. The Wilburn Brothers, Teddy and Doyle, first came to the Opry as children in the 1940s. However, they were forced to leave due to child labor laws. They later came back, becoming members in 1953. They are considered one of the great duos in country music history. After Doyle passed, Teddy continued at the Opry as a solo member.

October 29, 1982: Alabama made their first appearance as a guest artist on the Opry.

October 24, 1983: Opry member, and one of the originals, Kirk McGee passed away. Along with his brother Sam, Kirk made his first Opry appearance in 1926, back when the show was called the WSM Barn Dance. Over the years, he would be part of the Dixieliners and the Fruit Jar Drinkers.

October 19, 1985: Lonzo & Oscar made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry. Rollin Sullivan, who was Oscar, originally came to the Opry in 1942, while Johnny Sullivan, who was actually the second Lonzo after Ken Marvin, came two years later. After Johnny died in a car accident in 1967, Dave Hooten took over in the role of Lonzo.

October 3, 1989: Opry member Del Wood passed away in Nashville after suffering a stroke several weeks earlier. Del, whose real name was Adelaide Hazelwood, joined the Opry in 1953. She was famous for her ragtime piano and her great #1 record, "Down Yonder." In looking at my past Opry line-ups, it is hard to find a weekend that she was not at the Opry. In an interesting note, the Opry Picture History Book wrote that, "She was famous for her canning and jams."

October 4, 1989: Holly Dunn became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She would remain an Opry member until retiring from performing and leaving the music business to move to New Mexico as an artist. If it were up to Holly, she would still be an Opry member, however after she retired she was dismissed from the Opry's cast.

October 6, 1990: Garth Brooks became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This is his 25th year as an Opry member and there have been rumors that Garth will made an appearance to commemorate the event. However at this writing, nothing has been confirmed. Garth did surprise the Opry audience earlier this year by making his first singing appearance since appearing on the Opry's 80th anniversary show back in 2005. Also, on the same night that Garth Brooks became a member, Alan Jackson made his first guest appearance on the Opry.

October 4, 1991: Diamond Rio made their first guest appearance on the Opry. 7 years later, in 1998, they would become Opry members.

October 19, 1991: Grand Ole Opry announcer Grant Turner passed away hours after announcing the Friday Night Opry. He was the "dean" of Opry announcers and had been at WSM since 1944. He also hosted the Opry's warm-up show and was an announcer for the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. Grant was also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

October 24, 1991: Gaylord Entertainment Company, owners of WSM and the Grand Ole Opry, listed its stock on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time. Many say that this was the event that started the downfall of the Opry as the company became publically owned versus private and became more focused on the bottom line profit performance.

October 23, 1992: Roy Acuff made his final Grand Ole Opry appearance. It was a Friday night show and he did his segment sitting in a directors chair. He had appeared on his final Saturday night the previous weekend as part of the Opry's birthday celebration. The Saturday after this Friday night show, Roy was scheduled to appear, but he took an afternoon nap and his family decided not to wake him to go to the Opry. He was hospitalized days later and would pass away the following month.

October 15, 2000: The Grand Ole Opry celebrated it's 75th birthday with 4 shows that weekend, including two on Saturday night that featured the majority of the Opry's members including Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton. On a personal note, I would say that the shows that weekend had probably the strongest and best line-ups of any Opry show that I have attended.

October 4, 2003: The Grand Ole Opry is televised for the first time on Great American Country (GAC). The Opry moved to this network after spending several years on Country Music Television (CMT).

October 25, 2003: Del McCoury became a member of the Opry. This will be his 12th year as an Opry member and on the night he joined, Patty Loveless did the induction.

October 1, 2005: Dierks Bentley became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 10th year as an Opry member. He made his Opry debut in April 2003 and was a former employee of the Nashville network. On the night he joined, Marty Stuart did his induction.

October 15, 2005: The Opry celebrated its 80th birthday. Garth Brooks marked the occasion by coming out of retirement to perform on the Opry for the first time in five years. He was joined on stage by Hall of Fame members Bill Anderson, Jimmy Dickens and Porter Wagoner, along with good friend Steve Wariner.

October 27, 2007: Josh Turner became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 8th year as an Opry member. Josh had made many guest appearances before being asked to join the cast by Opry member Roy Clark.

October 28, 2007: Grand Ole Opry member Porter Wagoner passed away in Nashville after a short illness. He was 80. One of the most popular members in the history of the Opry, Porter had celebrated his 50th anniversary as an Opry member just a few months earlier. Not only was he a great solo artist, but he was also known for his work with Dolly Parton.

October 25, 2008: Craig Morgan became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Inducted by John Conlee, Craig is celebrating his 7th year as an Opry member.

October 22, 2010: Blake Shelton joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 5th year as an Opry member. He had been asked to join the Opry the previous month by Trace Adkins.

October 8, 2011: During the Opry's 86th birthday celebration, Rascal Flatts became members of the Grand Ole Opry. Among those on hand that night to welcome the group was Vince Gill, who performed on the 2nd show.

October 16, 2012: Darius Rucker became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He had been invited to join the cast earlier by Brad Paisley, who made a surprise appearance and was sitting in the audience.

October 23, 2012: The Grand Ole Opry honored the memory of Minnie Pearl, on what would have marked her 100th birthday. Among those included in the tribute that night were Vince Gill, Amy Grant, along with Mel and Pam Tillis.

October 3, 2014: During a guest appearance on the Friday Night Opry, Little Big Town is surprised by Reba McEntire, who invites the group to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry.

There you have it for this month!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 9/25 & 9/26

Before getting into the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this week, there is some sad news to pass along. I found out today that Ruth Grammer, the widow of Grand Ole Opry member Billy Grammer, passed away on September 6. Ruth and Billy were married in 1944, and were married until Billy's death in August 2011. From what I have heard, Ruth was as well liked and admired as Billy was. Though not active in the music community, I still wanted to pass that news along. 

As far as the Opry this weekend, the Opry management managed to round up 5 Opry members for the Friday Night Opry, while Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will have 6 members performing. Friday night will feature Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Terri Clark, Riders In The Sky and Mel Tillis. Jeannie, Mel and The Riders will stay over for Saturday night, and they will be joined by Bobby Osborne, Ray Pillow and Jesse McReynolds. What is interesting and somewhat stands out for me is that Terri Clark will be hosting a segment on Friday night, making Mike Snider, who you would expect to host, the only Opry member performing on Friday night who will not be hosting. 

As far as guest artists this weekend, Friday night will feature a rare Opry appearance by Tanya Tucker. EmiSunshine will also be performing, as will somewhat regular Opry guests Greg Bates, Chuck Wicks, Wade Hayes and Kristian Bush. Of that group, I always enjoy hearing Wade. Kristian will stay around for Saturday night and will be joined by the legendary Ray Stevens, along with Sara Haze, Point of Grace and Charlie Worsham, who will also be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. And not to forget, but Saturday will also mark the annual Opry appearance of the winner of the Grandmaster Fiddle competition.  

Friday September 25
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Greg Bates; Mike Snider
7:30: Terri Clark (host); Chuck Wicks
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Wade Hayes; Kristian Bush
8:45: Mel Tillis (host); EmiSunshine; Tanya Tucker

Saturday September 26
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Sara Haze; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Grandmaster Fiddle Champion; Kristian Bush
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Jesse McReynolds; Point of Grace; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Mel Tillis (host); Charlie Worsham; Ray Stevens

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, September 24 & 25, 2010. Both shows were held at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday September 24
7:00: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Mandy Barnett
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Isaacs
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy Wayne
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jeannie Seely; Gene Watson

Saturday September 25
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Randy Kohrs
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Janie Fricke
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jimmy Wayne; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Jo Dee Messina

The following Tuesday night, September 28, 2010, the newly renovated Grand Ole Opry House reopened. Bill Anderson was the first artist to perform, which had special meaning as he was the last artist to sing on the Opry stage the night prior to the flood. It was an impressive line-up of Opry members and it was also the night that Trace Adkins asked Blake Shelton if he would like to become an Opry member, which was no surprise as it had been hinted for weeks that it might happen. Blake's official induction would take place later in October.

Now here is the posted line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of September 23 & 24, 2005:

Friday September 23
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; The Whites; Bobby Pinson
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Trick Pony
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Mark Wills
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Gene Watson
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Mel McDaniel; T Graham Brown

Saturday September 24
1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Susan Haynes
7:00: Vince Gill (host); Mark Wills; Kathy Mattea; Gretchen Wilson; J.D. Crowe & The New South
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Billy Walker; Bobby Pinson; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Gene Watson

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Jack Greene; Kathy Mattea
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Susan Haynes; Mark Wills
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Billy Walker; J.D. Crowe & The New South; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Connie Smith; Gene Watson
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; Bobby Pinson

Finally, it was on Saturday September 26, 1953 that future Grand Ole Opry member Skeeter Davis made her Opry debut.

Skeeter Davis, born Mary Frances Penick, came to Nashville from Dry Ridge, Kentucky. In the late 1940s, she teamed with Betty Jack Davis to form the Davis Sisters. They were signed to RCA Records in 1951. In 1953, they recorded "I Forget More Than You'll Ever Know" which spent eight weeks at the #1 spot on the country charts. On August 1, 1953, while the song was still climbing the charts, the Davis Sisters were involved in a car accident that killed Betty Jack. It was after this accident and her Opry appearance that Skeeter made the decision to retire from the music business. However, in 1958 Skeeter decided to make a comeback and she began touring with Ernest Tubb, performing as his featured female vocalist. She was soon back in the recording studio and starting in 1960, had numerous Top 10 hits, the biggest being "The End of the World."

Skeeter joined the Grand Ole Opry on August 4, 1959 and except for her suspension in 1973, she would remain an Opry member until her death on September 19, 2004. Her last Opry appearance was on December 20, 2000, after which ill health forced her into retirement.

Here is the Opry running order from Saturday September 26, 1953, the night Skeeter Davis made her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

7:30: Prince Albert
Ray Price (host): Who Stole That Train
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Darrell Glenn: Crying In The Chapel
Square Dancers: Katy Hill
Ray Price: In The Garden
Old Hickory Singers: Floating Down To Cotton Town
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Darrell Glenn: Hang Up That Telephone
String Beans: Uncle Pen
Ray Price: The Wrong Side of Town

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): When The World Has Turned You Down
Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin: Cabin Of Love
Hank Snow: Golden Rocket
June Carter: Rub A Dub Dub
Possum Hunters: Sleepy Lou
Ernest Tubb: The Long Way
Carter Family: Red River Blues
Bill Monroe: Rocky Road Blues
Hank Snow: Message From The Trade Winds
Ernest Tubb: Daisy May
Fiddle Tune: Old Hen Cackled

8:30: Royal Crown Cola
Webb Pierce (host): I'm Walking The Dog
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Martha Carson: Satisfied
Lonzo and Oscar: I'm Moving On #2
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Skeeter Davis: I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know
Webb Pierce: It's Been So Long
Lonzo and Oscar: Hole In the Bottom of the Sea
Fiddle Tune: Down Yonder

9:00: Martha White
Carl Smith (host): Hey Joe
Jimmy Dickens: Thick and Thin
Marty Robbins: Sing Me Something Sentimental
Anita Carter: I'm Fading Fast With The Time
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Crook Brothers: Bile Dem Cabbage Down
Carl Smith: Darling I'm I the One
Chet Atkins: Dill Pickle Rag
Jimmy Dickens: Side Meat and Cabbage
Fiddle Tune: Arkansas Traveler

9:30: Warren Paint
Johnny and Jack (host): Private Property
Lew Childre: Hang Out The Front Doorkey
Kitty Wells: I Don't Claim to Be An Angel
Johnny and Jack: Don't Say Goodbye If You Love Me
Paul Warren: Turkey In The Straw

9:45: American Ace
Cowboy Copas (host): Tennessee Senorita
Ray Price: Talk to Your Heart
String Beans: Take Me Back to Tulsa
Cowboy Copas: Feelin' Low
Dale Potter: Cattle Call

10:00: Wallrite
Webb Pierce (host): That's Me Without You
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Martha Carson: I'm Walking and Talking With My Lord
Webb Pierce: Wondering
Don Slayman: Fisher's Horn Pipe

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
Hank Snow (host): Ladies Man
Annie Lou and Danny: I'd Rather Die Young Than Grow Old Without You
Bill Monroe: Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Hank Snow: A Fool Such As I
Tommy Vaden: Rickett's Hornpipe

10:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb (host): I'm With The Crowd But So Alone
Jimmy Dickens: I'll Dance at Your Wedding
Jordanaires: My Rock
Duke Of Paducah: Comedy
June Carter: Juke Box Blues
Marty Robbins: Every Precious Memory
Ernest Tubb: Somebody Loves You
Chet Atkins: Sweet Georgia Brown
Jimmy Dickens: Making Love To A Stranger

11:00: O-Cell-O
Ray Price (host): Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes
Johnny and Jack: South In New Orleans
Paul Warren: Black Mountain Song
Kitty Wells: Hey Joe
Ray Price: Weary Blues

11:15 Hester Battery
Carl Smith (host): My Trademark
String Beans: John Henry
Gully Jumpers: Old Joe
Carl Smith: This Side of Heaven

11:30: W.E. Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Music Making Mama
Lew Childre: Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
Lonzo and Oscar: Pretty Little Indian Maid
Crook Brothers: Fire On The Mountain
Hank Snow: Golden River

11:45: Grand Ole Opry
Cowboy Copas (host): Gone and Left Me Blues
Sam and Kirk McGee: Riding Old Paint
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire On The Mountain
Cowboy Copas: Will You Forget
Dale Potter: Fiddle Sticks

Another interesting name who appeared on the Opry that night was Darrell Glenn, a name that I am sure many are not familiar with.

Darrell was born in December 1935. He began his musical career in Knoxville, Tennessee and did his early recording in Ft. Worth, Texas. His most famous hit was "Crying In The Chapel" which he recorded in 1953. If the title sounds familiar it is because Elvis Presley covered the song a decade later and had a monster hit with it. That song would be Darrell's only real success and soon after his Opry appearance he faded from the scene. He passed away in 1990.

On a final note, next week will be the Grand Ole Opry's 90th birthday celebration. What started off as a pretty thin line-up has turned out much better as Little Big Town, Oak Ridge Boys, Diamond Rio, Montgomery Gentry, Carrie Underwood, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Trace Adkins and Joe Diffie are some of the Opry members who will be performing next weekend. There is the Opry Country Classics show on Thursday night with Spotlight Artist Crystal Gayle, and there will be the usual Opry Plaza Party featuring member of the cast of "Nashville." The Opry Birthday Concert on Saturday will feature the Oak Ridge Boys. 

As usual, I will be in Nashville next week attending the Classics show on Thursday and all 4 Opry shows, 2 on Friday night and 2 on Saturday. It should be a great weekend and I am looking forward to seeing many of those who read the blog. 

Until then, enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tuesday Night Opry 9/22

The Grand Ole Opry will have two shows this week for it's Tuesday Night Opry. Opry member Blake Shelton is set for both shows. He is in Nashville not only for the Opry, but is involved in a few other activities. Also scheduled for the first show only is Rascal Flatts.

1st show
7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; David Nail
7:30: John Conlee; Scotty McCreery
8:00: Rascal Flatts
8:30: Blake Shelton

2nd show
9:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; David Nail
10:00: John Conlee; The Willis Clan
10:30: Jeannie Seely; Scotty McCreery
11:00: Blake Shelton

I have always said that if you are going to give an artist an entire half hour segment, the mid-week Opry shows, whether on Tuesday or Wednesday night, if the perfect place to do that. And whether you like Blake or not, it is nice to see him back at the Opry.