Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 7/25 & Wednesday Night Opry 7/26

After the excitement of last week's Tuesday Night Opry, things get back to normal this week with one show on Tuesday night, along with the one show on Wednesday night. While lacking "superstars" both nights feature some nice artists.

Tuesday July 25
7:00: Jeannie Seely; Sundance Head
7:30: Mandy Barnett; LOCASH
8:15: Riders In The Sky; Kristian Bush
8:45: Michael Ray; Del McCoury Band

Wednesday July 26
7:00: Connie Smith; Jackie Lee
7:30: Rhonda Vincent; Aaron Lewis
8:15: The Whites; Henry Cho
8:45: John Berry; Scotty McCreery

There you have it. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 7/21 & 7/22

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. Both nights feature pretty solid line-ups.

Grand Ole Opry members appearing both nights include Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Connie Smith and Ricky Skaggs (all of whom will be hosting segments on both nights), along with The Whites. Friday night, they will be joined by Joe Diffie and Jesse McReynolds, while on Saturday night Bobby Osborne will be joining the group.

As to guest artists this weekend, it is a pretty solid line-up. Exile, Mark Wills and Charlie Worsham are scheduled for both nights, while Johnny Lee, The Secret Sisters join them on Friday night, and Sylvia and LOCASH are on the schedule for Saturday.

Sylvia, by the way, will be on the Opry to mark the occasion of the 35th anniversary of her smash hit "Nobody" being released and going to No. 1 on the country music charts.

Friday July 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Johnny Lee; Exile
7:30: Mike Snider (host); The Secret Sisters; Joe Diffie
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; Mark Wills
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Charlie Worsham

Saturday July 22
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mark Wills; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Sylvia; Charlie Worsham
8:15: Connie Smith (host); LOCASH; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Exile

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of July 20 & 21, 2007:

Friday July 20
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; T. Graham Brown
8:30: Jean Shepard (host); The Whites; Ashley Monroe
9:00: Roy Clark (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jack Greene; Cherryholmes

Saturday July 21
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; The Derailers
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Jeff Bates
7:30: Roy Clark (host); Jean Shepard; Riders In The Sky
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Luke Bryan; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown; Hal Ketchum

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Hal Ketchum
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Jeff Bates
10:30: Roy Clark (host); Jim Ed Brown; Luke Bryan; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; The Derailers

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of July 23 & 24, 1992:

Friday July 23
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jeannie Seely; Roy Drusky; Del Reeves
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; Jack Greene; Dixiana; Jeanne Pruett
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Carlisles; Skeeter Davis; The 4 Guys
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jimmy Dickens; Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Ray Pillow; Jean Shepard; The Whites

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Justin Tubb; Billy Walker; Dixiana
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Osborne Brothers; Jan Howard; Charlie Walker
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Mike Snider; Carlisles; Jeanne Pruett; Bill Anderson
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; The 4 Guys; Jack Greene
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Walker; Johnny Russell
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday July 24
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeannie Seely
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Carlisles; Charlie Walker; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow; The 4 Guys
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy Dickens; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Billy Walker; Del Reeves; Jeanne Pruett; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Roy Drusky; Jeannie Seely; Justin Tubb; Vic Willis Trio
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jan Howard; Charlie Walker
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Carlisles
10:30: Del Reeves (host); Mike Snider
10:45: Jimmy C Newman (host); Skeeter Davis; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; The 4 Guys; The Whites
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeanne Pruett; Jim Ed Brown; Johnny Russell

That was the posted line-up. The only cancellation was Justin Tubb.

Finally it was 44 years ago, Saturday July 21, 1973 that Jeanne Pruett became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

While Jeanne Pruett has enjoyed worldwide success with dozens of singles, the three-week chart-topper "Satin Sheets" earned her 1973 Song, Single, and Album of the Year nominations from the Country Music Association and continues to define her career. One of 10 children born to a full-time Alabama farmer and part-time cotton mill worker, Jeanne moved to Nashville in 1956. Jeanne also worked as a songwriter for Marty Robbins Enterprises. Marty recorded several of Jeanne's songs including the hits "Count Me Out" and "Love Me." Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty and others also covered Jeanne's songs. "It is easier to be accepted in the music business by your peers as a performer after you have proven yourself as a writer," she says. "The acceptance of fans is another thing. You sell them after you have gone into the studio and come up with the best you have." She first won their acceptance in 1971 with the single "Hold to My Unchanging Love." Her own version of "Love Me" reached the Top 40 but those records just set the stage for what was to come.

"Satin Sheets" hit country radio in March 1973, aided by 1,600 pieces of pink satin fabric that Jeanne cut by hand and sent to radio programmers and music executives across the nation. The international hit topped the country charts that May. A few weeks later, Jeanne became an official Opry member, the last vocalist to join the show before it moved from the Ryman to the Grand Ole Opry House. Jeanne's subsequent hits included "I'm Your Woman," "You Don't Need To Move a Mountain," and "Welcome to the Sunshine (Sweet Baby Jane)." In 1983 alone, she had three Top 10 hits: "Back to Back," "Temporarily Yours," and "It's Too Late."

"I can remember the first time that Ott Devine called me and invited me to come on the Opry," Jeanne said. "I think probably Chet Atkins twisted his arm. Anyway, Ott called me and it just surprised me so much. I knew that if I didn't say yes that first time, there might not be a second time. So immediately I said yes and then started scurrying around looking for a suitable attire. That goes back to '64 or '65, around in there."

Jeanne became what she described as "the only semi-regular" who was not a cast member. Jeanne said, "Actually, as it turned out, I had been a member of the Opry for almost a year before I could get inducted. Dolly Parton wanted so badly to introduce me as the new member of the Opry, but he schedule and mine conflicted and we just couldn't seem to find a time to arrange the introduction. Anyway, I finally 'joined' on July 21, 1973. And Dolly did introduce me."

Jeanne Pruett is now retired and her last schedule Opry appearance came on June 9, 2001. In 2013, on the occasion of her 40th anniversary as an Opry member, Jeanne did come out on stage at the invitation of Jeannie Seely.

Here is the running order from Saturday July 21, 1973, the night that Jeanne Pruett joined the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms/Rudy's
Tex Ritter (host): Boll Weevil
4 Guys: Turn Around; Look at Me
Tex Ritter: Fall Away/There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder
Ernie Ashworth: My Love for You
Tex Ritter: High Noon

7:00: Rudy's
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Hank Williams, Jr: Hank/Your Cheating Heart
Sandi Burnette: Stand By Your Man
Hank Williams, Jr: Cajun Baby
Sandi Burnette: Delta Dawn

7:30: Standard Candy
Osborne Brothers (host): Rocky Top
Jean Shepard: Virginia
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Osborne Brothers: You Win Again/Today I Started Loving You Again
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Osborne Brothers: Ruby

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Wake Up, Jacob
Dolly Parton: Traveling Man
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: If Teardrops Were Pennies
Porter Wagoner: Katy Did
Jeanne Pruett: Love Me
Dolly Parton: Joshua

8:30: Stephens
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Arlene Harden: Special Day
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Goodin
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special
Arlene Harden: Walk With Me, Jimmy
Billy Grammer: Peace in the Valley

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Tex Ritter (host): Wayward Wind
Bob Luman: When You Say Love
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Sandi Burnette: Stand By Your Man
Bob Luman: Honky-Tonk Man
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven

10:00: Fender
Osborne Brothers (host): Midnight Flyer
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Osborne Brothers: Nine Pound Hammer

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Stringbean: Hillbilly Fever
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:30: Trailblazer
Porter Wagoner (host): Wake Up, Jacob
Dolly Parton: Traveling Man
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: If Teardrops Were Pennies/Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man

10:45: Beechnut
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special

11:00: Coca-Cola
4 Guys (host): Cottonfields/Maria
Arlene Harden: Special Day
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of a Dove
Arlene Harden: Will You Walk With Me, Jimmy
Sam McGee: When the Wagon Was New
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On

11:30: Elm Hill'
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Louie Roberts: How Great Thou Art/Just A Little Lovin'/Anytime/Bouquet of Roses/Cattle Call
Don Winters: Jambalaya
Marty Robbins: I Walk Alone/They'll Never Take Her Love from Me/Big Boss Man/Love Me/Don't Worry/I'll Step Aside/Letters Have No Arms/Long Gone Lonesome Blue

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 7/18 & Wednesday Night Opry 7/19

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the three mid-week shows. Yes, three shows this week as the Tuesday Night Opry will have two performances, thanks to a stellar line-up. Besides Opry members Darius Rucker, Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Diamond Rio and Bill Anderson on the line-up, it is also very nice to see Vince Gill once again at the Opry. Vince, who usually is one of the Opry's more reliable members, has not been on the Opry since February. Now that he appears to be finished with The Eagles reunion for the rest of the year, perhaps we will see more of Vince on upcoming shows.

Tuesday July 18
1st show
7:00: Diamond Rio; Tracy Lawrence; Bill Anderson; Darius Rucker
8:00: Martina McBride; Vince Gill; Dierks Bentley

2nd show
9:30: Diamond Rio; Martina McBride; Tracy Lawrence
10:30: Bill Anderson; Darius Rucker; Vince Gill

As to Wednesday night, just one show and the line-up is not as impressive. The featured attraction will be Opry members the Oak Ridge Boys, joined by Del McCoury and Riders In The Sky. Also scheduled is Levi Hummon, who will be making his Opry debut.

Wednesday July 19
7:00: Jeannie Seely; A Thousand Horses
7:30: Levi Hummon; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Riders In The Sky; Brooke Eden
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys

When the Grand Ole Opry began, it was a single Saturday night show. Then it added the Friday Night Frolics, which was a studio show and considered second class compared to the Saturday night show. By the end of the 1960's, the Opry was running the Friday Night show at the Ryman, and had added a second Saturday night show. Next came the opening of Opryland in the mid-1970's. During the months that Opryland was open, a second Friday night show was added, along with matinee shows pretty much every day of the week. The matinee shows featured a combination of Opry members, such as Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, The 4 Guys and Jack Greene among a host of others, with Hank Snow added to the mix later in the 1980's. Rounding out those line-ups were park performers. Then came the closing of Opryland, and with it, the matinee shows ended. To compensate for that, a Tuesday Night Opry was added, along with a Thursday night classics show. With all these changes and added shows, there was one constant, and that was the fact that the Saturday night Grand Ole Opry was the "big" show, the one that was most important to the members. But it would appear that times have changed.

Back in the day, when member appearances were counted, the only shows that mattered were the Friday and Saturday night shows. The members could appear on as many matinee performances that they wanted, but they were not considered "real" Opry shows. Now, in today's world, any Opry appearance counts, no matter what day or night of the week it is, and with that change, it would appear that the weekend Opry shows have suffered. You need to look no further than the line-ups for the shows this past weekend and compare them to the line-up for Tuesday night. Or almost any recent Tuesday night for that matter. As the Opry has added more week night shows, which have included not only Tuesday night, but also Wednesday, Thursday and now an upcoming Sunday night, many of the Opry's biggest names have forsaken the weekend shows in favor of appearing during the week.

I am not going to name any names, but there are a few of the Opry's members who have made the majority of their appearances on the mid-week shows, ignoring for the most part the weekend. Now, I do appreciate that these members are appearing on the Opry, and I know many have concert appearances on the weekends and other obligations, but by ignoring the weekend shows, it seems to me that the Friday and Saturday shows have become watered down and have less significance than they once did.

While I personally believe that the Opry shows have improved since Pete Fisher left and Sally Williams has taken over, I would like to see Saturday's Grand Ole Opry become the "big" show once again, the one that is important to the members, the ones that the fans want to be at. Mid-week shows are nice, and I am glad they are being supported, but let's remember the roots of the Opry and get a few more of the Opry's bigger names to not only appear mid-week, but also on the weekends.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 7/14 & 7/15

Your trusted Grand Ole Opry reporter will be taking a few days off for a short vacation.  As I write this, the Opry has not posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend. However, based on advance word, there are a few artists that I can mention who will be at the Opry this weekend:

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry member Lorrie Morgan, along with guest artists Jamey Johnson, Country Music Hall of Fame members Bobby Bare and  Jimmy Fortune, Carly Pearce and Walker McGuire.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will again feature Opry member Lorrie Morgan, along with Amber Digby, The Steel Woods and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

I know, kind of a short list but I am sure once it is all filled in, it will be a great night at the Opry.

As usual, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of July 13 & 14, 2007:

Friday July 13
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Mel McDaniel; Jean Shepard; Chris Young
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Whites; Jimmy Wayne
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Walker; Connie Smith; The Grascals
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Alecia Nugent; Gene Watson

Saturday July 14
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Chuck Mead
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jack Greene; Blue Country
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; Lee Roy Parnell
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Alecia Nugent; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Restless Heart

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites; Lee Roy Parnell
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; Blue Country
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jim Ed Brown; Chuck Mead; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Alecia Nugent; Restless Heart

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of July 17 & 18, 1992:

Friday July 17
1st show
6;30: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown; Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; The 4 Guys
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jeanne Pruett; Charlie Walker; Ray Pillow
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim and Jesse; Connie Smith
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jimmy Dickens; Del Reeves; The Whites
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jan Howard; Justin Tubb; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Carlisles; Charlie Louvin; Billy Walker; Jim and Jesse
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Grandpa Jones; Skeeter Davis; The 4 Guys
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jeanne Pruett; Ray Pillow; Jimmy C Newman; Stonewall Jackson
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Connie Smith; Jim Ed Brown; The Whites
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Del Reeves; Mike Snider
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday July 18
1st show
6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow
7:00: Billy Walker (host); Charlie Louvin; Jeanne Pruett; Carlisles; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Del Reeves; Jeannie Seely; Eddy Raven
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Charlie Walker; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; Stonewall Jackson; the 4 Guys; Mark Brine

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Billy Walker Charlie Louvin; Roy Drusky
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown; Charlie Walker
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Carlisles
10:30: Del Reeves (host); Jeanne Pruett
10:45: Jimmy Dickens (host); Eddy Raven; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Stonewall Jackson; Justin Tubb; The Whites; Mark Brine
11:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); The 4 Guys; Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider

What is also interesting regarding the Opry in 1992, was the number of shows that they were putting on weekly with Opryland open, In addition to the weekend shows, the Opry was running a Saturday and Sunday matinee, along with Tuesday and Thursday matinee shows. Each show started at 3:00 and were two hour shows. For this particular week, each matinee show featured Roy Acuff and Porter Wagoner, among others. What is amazing with Roy Acuff is that he was in the final months of his life and did 8 Opry shows that week!!!

Mark Brine, a name that might not be familiar to some, was featured on both Saturday night shows. Mark grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts and started his musical career at the age of 13. After being a part of several local groups in the New England area, Mark moved to Nashville in 1974, as he became more interested in traditional country music, specifically that of Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. It took a while, but he eventually signed with Door Knob Records and in 1978 he released three singles, "Hello Lady," "Coming Home to Love," and "Words." In 1979, he switched to Society Records, again with limited success and in 1985 he left Nashville and moved to Baltimore. In 1992, Resigned Records released his single, "New Blue Yodel," and when Hank Snow heard it, he invited Mark to appear on the Grand Ole Opry, which he did on this particular night.

Finally, it was Saturday July 14, 1973 that The Glaser Brothers, Tompall, Chuck and Jim, made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Often referred to as Tompall & The Glasers, the group came to Nashville in 1959, from their home state of Nebraska. The brothers were known for their tight harmonies and the perfect blend of their voices. Their big break came in 1957 when they appeared on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Show, and attracted the attention of Marty Robbins. Marty signed them as backup singers on his albums and also as solo artists for his label, with their first single "Five Penny Nickel" released in 1958.

Between 1960 and 1975 the trio recorded ten studio albums and had nine singles on the country charts and was considered one of the most awarded groups in country music. From 1973 to 1978, they went their own separate ways, which each brother pursuing individual interests. They reunited in 1979 and released several singles and two albums, with "Loving Her Was Easier" reaching No. 2 on the Billboard charts. The brothers also had their own publishing company, with John Hartford as one of their songwriters. In 1970, they opened their own studio in Nashville, "Hillbilly Central" which became one of the homes for the outlaw movement that took place in country music.

In 1990, the brothers were asked to reunite for one final show at the Grand Ole Opry, at the personal invitation of Hank Snow, who was being honored for 40 years of Opry membership. Despite the differences between the brothers, they performed to perfection at what turned out to be their final show (you can find it on YouTube, and it is a classic to watch).

Tompall passed away in 2013, Chuck is now retired, and Jim continues to perform on occasion.

Here is the running order from their final night as Opry members, July 14, 1973:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Charlie Walker: Soft Lips & Hard Liquor
Joe Edwards: Old Joe Clark

6:45: Rudy's
Justin Tubb (host): Lodi
Del Wood: Standing Room Only
Judy Bryte: Wabash Cannonball
Justin Tubb: Texas Dance Hall Girl

7:00: Rudy's
George Jones (host): White Lightening
Tammy Wynette: Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria
Harold Morrison: Dueling Banjo
Patsy Sledd: Noting Can Stop My Loving You
George Jones: A Picture of Me Without You
Tammy Wynette: Stand By Your Man
4 Guys: Sing Me Back Home/I'll Fly Away/Jambalaya/She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain/You Are My Sunshine/Shutters & Boards
George Jones & Tammy Wynette: We Go Together

7:30: Standard Candy
Tex Ritter (host): Fall Away
Stringbean: Cripple Creek
Willis Brothers: Cimarron
Crook Brothers: Liberty
Tex Ritter: Green Grow the Lilacs
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Charlie Louvin: Funny Man
Jimmy C Newman: Back Pocket Money
Penny DeHaven: This Time
Lester Flatt: The Girl I Love Don't Pay Me No Mind
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: Did You Ever
Jimmy C Newman: Diggy Liggy Lo
Marty Stuart: Roanoke

8:30: Stephens
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
Mary Lou Turner: I Am Woman
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life
Mary Lou Turner: Take Me Home, Country Roads
Johnny Carver: You Really Haven't Changed
Bill Anderson: All the Lonely Women in the World

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Tex Ritter (host): Boll Weevil
Willis Brothers: There Goes the Farm
Charlie Walker: The Lord Knows I'm Drinking
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Tex Ritter: The Streets of Laredo
Judy Bryte: The Wreck of the Old 97
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Tex Ritter: High Noon

10:00: Fender
Charlie Louvin (host): Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink on Me/Rusty Old Halo
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: American Trilogy

10:15: Union 76
George Jones (host): She Thinks I Still Care
Tammy Wynette: Kids Say the Darndest Things
Harold Morrison: Dueling Banjo
Pasty Sledd: Pass Me By
George Jones/Tammy Wynette/Harold Morrison/Pasty Sled: Let's All Go Down to the River

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Country Boy
Stringbean: Pretty Polly
Del Wood: Gloryland March
Lester Flatt & Marty Stuart: The Bluebirds are Singing for Me

10:45: Beechnut
Bill Anderson (host): If You Can Live With It
Mary Lou Turner: The Shelter of Your Eyes
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Bill Anderson: The Corner of Your Life

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jimmy C Newman (host): Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of A Dove
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Take Me Back to Tulsa
Jimmy C Newman: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
Jimmy C Newman: Jole Blon

11:30: Elm Hill
Glaser Brothers (host): Release Me/Then I Turned and Walked Away Slowly/Many Tears Ago/You Win Again/Bouquet of Roses/There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Penny DeHaven: Down in the Boondocks
Glaser Brothers: Rings
Johnny Carver: You Really Haven't Changed
Penny DeHaven: The Love of Your Life
Glaser Brothers: Faded Love/Rose of Old Pawnee/Just A Girl I Used to Know/I'll Hold You in My Heart/More & More

As you can see, the Glaser Brothers finished strong as they left the Opry and went their separate ways.

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

Kayton Roberts

I just wanted to pass along the news that the legendary Kayton Roberts, who was a part of Hank Snow's Rainbow Ranch Boys for a number of years, suffered a serious stroke and is in the hospital. I know that the family would appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 7/11 & Wednesday Night Opry 7/12

The line-ups have been posted for this week's mid-week Opry shows. Both nights are pretty solid, with Tuesday night highlighted by a guest appearance by Chris Young, and Wednesday night featuring another Opry appearance by Chris Janson.

Tuesday July 11
7:00: Connie Smith; Sundance Head
7:30: Bill Anderson; Town Mountain
8:15: TG Sheppard; Brandy Clark
8:45: Chris Young

Wednesday July 12
7:00: John Conlee; Runaway June
7:30: Collin Raye; Jason Crabb
8:15: The Whites; Emily West
8:45: The Grascals; Chris Janson

Saturday, July 8, 2017

July Opry Highlights

Welcome to July and the heart of summer. 4th of July, picnics and family vacations are all on the menu, with some of those vacations taking place in Nashville and at the Grand Ole Opry. Here are the historical and interesting notes regarding the Grand Ole Opry, or with Opry members, that have taken place during the month of July:

July 15, 1913: Lloyd Estel was born in Adams County, Ohio. Better known as Cowboy Copas, he joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1946. He would remain an Opry member until his death in 1963.

July 27, 1925: Former Grand Ole Opry member Annie Lou Dill was born, Along with her husband Danny, they were known as "The Sweethearts of Country Music." Annie Lou and Danny were members of the Opry from the late 1940s through the mid 1950s. They remained a popular duo into the 1960s. However Annie Lou and Danny divorced, at which point the act became history. Annie passed away in January 1982.

July 24, 1926: The Crook Brothers, led by Herman Crook, made their first appearance on the WSM Barn Dance. Considered one of the Opry's original members, the Crook Brothers would remain a part of the Opry until the death of Herman in July 1988. That adds up to 62 years at the Opry, usually accompanying the square dancers.

July 7, 1927: The late Charlie Louvin was born in Section, Alabama. Charles Loudermilk was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 50 years. Along with his brother Ira, Charlie was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Charlie passed away on January 26, 2011.

July 9, 1929: Grand Ole Opry member Jesse McReynolds was born in Coeburn, Virginia. One of the true legends in bluegrass music, Jim and Jesse joined the Opry in 1964. Following the death of Jim McReynolds on December 31, 2002, Jesse has continued on at the Opry and at the age of 88 sounds as good as ever.

July 7, 1930: Doyle Wilburn was born in Hardy, Arkansas. Along with his brother Teddy, the Wilburn Brothers were long time members of the Opry.

July 14, 1932: The great Del Reeves was born in Sparta, North Carolina. Del joined the Grand Ole Opry in October 1966 and was an Opry member until his death in 2007. Del had one of the great personalities in country music and did a variety of impressions, including those of Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash and Hank Snow.

July 4, 1934: Over 8,000 people showed up for an all-day Opry sponsored show in West Tennessee. The show featured Opry stars Uncle Dave Macon, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, the Gully Jumpers and the Crook Brothers. As a result of the success of this show, Opry founder George D. Hay started the Artists Service Bureau, which would become the official booking agency for Opry members. In the future, this organization would cause some issues at the Opry, and eventually would lead to several Opry members, including Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright, leaving the Opry.

July 4, 1937: Ray Pillow was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. Ray came to the Opry in 1966 and has been a member of the Opry since. Ray is considered one of the real nice guys in country music.

July 19, 1937: The late George Hamilton IV was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. George was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 54 years before passing away in September 2014.

July 11, 1939: The Grand Ole Opry moved to the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville. They would stay at the War Memorial for just a few years as the type of crowd that came to Opry shows was not the ones that the operators of the building wanted to see. The Opry moved to War Memorial from the Dixie Tabernacle, which held more people but was in deplorable condition. Because of the lower capacity, which was listed as 2,200, the Opry decided to charge an admission fee of 25 cents, which did not stop the crowds from coming to the show. War Memorial Auditorium still stands in Nashville and is used. In 2010, when the Grand Ole Opry House was flooded, several Opry shows were relocated there.

July 6, 1940: Jeannie Seely, known as "Miss Country Soul" was born in Titusville, Pennsylvania. In September, Jeannie will celebrate 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. as she joined the cast in September 1967.

July 15, 1944: Country Music Hall of Fame member Rod Brasfield became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Rod was hired to replace comedian Whitey Ford, the Duke of Paducah, on the Prince Albert portion of the show, which was broadcast on the NBC radio network. Rod was hired after Whitey got into a contract dispute with R.J. Reynolds and their advertising agency, which sponsored the segment. Rod was very successful, often teaming with fellow comedian Minnie Pearl. Rod was not only a great comedian, but was also an excellent actor. He was featured in the movie, "A Face In the Crowd" which starred Andy Griffith. Rod remained a member of the Opry until passing away in September 1958.

July 24, 1948: Roy Acuff announced that he was running for Governor of Tennessee. He decided to run after the current Governor made some poor comments regarding country music. As a Republican in Tennessee in 1948, Roy really didn't stand much of a chance, and he lost the election by a wide margin. It was said that his campaign rallies drew large crowds that enjoyed the music and special guests, but would leave once the political speeches started.

July 21, 1951: Left Frizzell made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Lefty would later become an Opry member, but he was gone pretty quickly. Lefty would later say that it just didn't work out and that the Opry wasn't the dream that he thought it would be.

July 5, 1952: Ralph Sloan and The Tennessee Travelers became members of the Grand Ole Opry. The group was formed in 1949 and they were originally called the Cedar Hill Square Dancers. Ralph passed away in 1980 after which his brother Melvin Sloan took over the group, changing the name to the Melvin Sloan Dancers. Melvin has since retired himself and the group is now simply called the Opry Square Dancers.

July 9, 1952: Grand Ole Opry members Carl Smith and June Carter were married. The marriage only lasted a few years as Carl expected June to give up her career to become a full time wife and mother. While the marriage was short, it did produce a daughter, Rebecca Carlene Smith, better known as Carlene Carter. After the marriage ended, June would go on to remarry two more times, with her final marriage being to Johnny Cash, while Carl would have a very successful marriage with Goldie Hill, who did retire from performing after being married to Carl.

July 18, 1954: Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Skaggs was born in Cordell, Kentucky. Ricky joined the Opry cast in May 1982.

July 2, 1955: According to various reports, Patsy Cline made her first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. She would later become an Opry member.

July 7, 1956: Johnny Cash made his first guest appearance on the Opry.

July 28, 1956: Just three weeks after making his Grand Ole Opry debut, Johnny Cash became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Johnny would remain an Opry member until 1958, when he left Nashville and moved to California. Even though he gave it up, Johnny was always welcomed as a guest artist whenever he was in Nashville, and he would especially appear if June Carter was around. It was during one such performance in 1965, while under the influence of drugs, that Johnny kicked out the Opry stage lights and was told not to come back. He stayed away for a few years, but by the late 1960s, he was back. Toward the end of his life, Roy Acuff reportedly asked Johnny to once again become an Opry member, but Johnny declined.

July 24, 1957: Grand Ole Opry member Pam Tillis was born in Plant City, Florida.

July 12, 1961: Bill Anderson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 56th year as an Opry member. Bill made his first Opry appearance in 1958 and would guest several times before being asked by Opry manager Ott Devine to become a member. Now approaching the age of 80, Bill still appears regularly on the Opry and always receives a great response from the audience.

July 18, 1964: Connie Smith made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Connie joined the cast the following year and this will be her 52nd year as an Opry member.

July 31, 1964: Jim Reeves, along with Dean Manual, died in a plane crash just outside of Nashville. Jim was just 39. While he was not an Opry member at the time of his death, giving it up a few years earlier, Jim was very successful while an Opry member. However, as the focus of his career changed, he felt that the Opry was no longer for him.

July 10, 1965: Roy Acuff was seriously injured in a car accident near Sparta, Tennessee. Roy suffered two pelvic fractures, a broken collarbone and several broken ribs. Also injured in the crash were Shot Jackson and June Stearns. Roy would be out of action for about a month, returning to the Opry in August.

July 26, 1966: Opry member Martina McBride was born in Sharon, Kansas.

July 1, 1967: Dave Hooten replaced Johnny "Lonzo" Sullivan as part of Lonzo and Oscar. Johnny had recently passed away and it was agreed before his death that Roland "Oscar" Sullivan would continue with the act.

July 24, 1971: Country and Western music legend Patsy Montana made her first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

July 8, 1972: Barbara Mandrell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. While some accounts, including the Grand Ole Opry, list her induction date as July 29, this was actually the night that Barbara was announced as a member. Now retired, Barbara is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

July 14, 1973: Tompall, Chuck, and Jim, the Glaser Brothers, made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry. The brothers, who often had creative differences, decided to go their separate ways, They would reunite several years later, but then broke up for good. But, at the personal invitation of  Hank Snow, the brothers appeared on the Opry one final time, in January 1990 at a show honoring Hank for 40 years of Opry membership. The brothers were awesome that night and you can see the video of the performance on YouTube. That night was the final night that they would appear together.

July 21, 1973: Just over a year after Barbara Mandrell joined the Opry cast, Jeanne Pruett became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Like Barbara, Jeanne is now retired. This will be her 44th year as an Opry member. Jeanne was the last singing member of the cast to join the show before it left the Ryman Auditorium (of course, Jerry Clower joined after Jeanne but he was known as a comedian). On the night of her induction, Dolly Parton handled the honors.

July 7, 1975: Grand Ole Opry member George Morgan passed away in a Nashville hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was just 51. George joined the Opry in 1948 as the replacement for Eddy Arnold. He left the Opry in 1956 to star on a television show, but returned in 1959. George's daughter Lorrie followed in his footsteps as an Opry member.

July 24, 1976: Bobby Lord made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Bobby came to the Opry in 1960 from the Ozark Jubilee. After leaving the Opry, Bobby went into semi-retirement, living in Florida and working in real estate. He later hosted a sportsman show on TNN. Although he gave up his Opry membership, Bobby would continue to make occasional Opry appearances when he was up in the Nashville area.

July 4, 1980: Future Diamond Rio member Dana Williams made his first Opry appearance as a bass player for Jimmy C Newman.

July 5, 1980: John Conlee made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry.

July 2, 1982: Former Grand Ole Opry member DeFord Bailey died in Nashville at the age of 82. DeFord was one of the first members of the WSM Barn Dance, but was fired in 1941 by Opry founder George D. Hay. Various reasons were given for the firing, but it would appear that race was the major reason. For years he refused invitations to return to the Opry, however in February 1974 he returned for the annual reunion show. He was well received and would make a few more reunion shows before passing away. DeFord is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

July 1, 1983: Gaylord Broadcasting Company purchased the Grand Ole Opry, WSM radio and the entire Opryland complex from American General Corporation. Even though it was called Gaylord Broadcasting, it was actually Edward Gaylord and his wife Thelma who were the actual owners. At the time, Gaylord owned "Hee Haw" and other major media outlets. The price was rumored to have been between $250 and $350 million. The Opry was for sale at the time because of the purchase of National Life and Accident Company and the new owners, American General, had no interest in owning the Opry or Opryland. It was Roy Acuff who convinced Edward Gaylord that the Opryland properties were perfect for him to buy and add to his company. Over time, Gaylord Broadcasting would become Gaylord Entertainment and is now known as Ryman Hospitalities.

July 6, 1985: Johnny Russell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Johnny would remain a very popular and loyal member of the Opry until passing away on July 3, 2001 after a period of declining health. One of the most talented performers in country music, Johnny was a singer, songwriter and comedian. After joining the Opry, Johnny would normally appear on the 11:30 segment, telling funny stories and singing serious songs. I was privileged one day to have met Johnny at Opryland and to spend a little bit of time with him.

July 3, 1996: Alison Krauss became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 21st year as an Opry member. At the time she joined, she was the Opry's youngest member. Alison has won more Grammy Awards then any other female country music, or bluegrass singer.

July 6, 2002: Melvin Sloan, leader of the Melvin Sloan Dancers, retired.

July 5, 2008: Ending a long standing tradition, the start time of Saturday's early Grand Ole Opry show was changed from 6:30 to 7:00, resulting in a two hour show. This followed the change of the late Saturday show being cut to two hours the previous January. There was no reason given for the change, and no, there was no price reduction on account of the shorter show.

July 15, 2008: Future Grand Ole Opry member Darius Rucker made his first guest appearance on the Opry, singing "Don't Think I Don't Think About It."

July 8, 2011: Jimmy Dickens made a surprise appearance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry to ask the Oak Ridge Boys if they would like to become the Opry's newest members. Of course, the Oak Ridge Boys said yes, and later this year they will celebrate their 6th year as Opry members.

July 3, 2013: Alison Krauss celebrates 20 years of Opry membership. As part of the show that night, she does a duet with Jamey Johnson on "Make the World Go Away."