Thursday, May 21, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 5/22 & 5/23

As we get ready to celebrate and honor those this Memorial Day weekend, the Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedule for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. In looking at the line-ups, Friday stands out as the better of the two nights this weekend.

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Connie Smith, Lorrie Morgan, Riders In The Sky, Jeannie Seely, Steve Wariner, Jesse McReynolds and the Oak Ridge Boys. That is ten Opry members all together. The only three guest artists on the line-up are Love and Theft, Sarah Darling and Jamey Johnson, three of the more frequent Opry guests so far this year.

A few of the Opry members scheduled on Friday night will also be part of Saturday's show, a group that includes Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Riders In The Sky and Lorrie Morgan. Other Opry members scheduled are The Whites, Jan Howard and Bobby Osborne. Jamey Johnson will be joining them, along with Greg Bates, Sara Haze, Exile and the ever frequent Chris Janson.

It is really nice to see Lorrie Morgan set for both shows again this weekend. This makes two weekends in a row for Lorrie and she is also set for a few more Opry shows in the coming weeks. Are we seeing a change in Lorrie and more Opry shows for her? It would be nice as she does bring light and talent to the Opry stage. Despite the comments by Mike Snider last weekend, he is back for both shows, including hosting a segment on Saturday night. It would appear that whatever comments he was making were meant to be in good humor, although I still think there was something that brought it on. Jan Howard makes it for a 2nd weekend in a row. It seems like since the first of the year, her appearances have really been cut down, so it is nice to see her back.

A couple of Opry members are still missing. Jean Shepard still has not made an appearance in 2015 and with the note on her facebook page that she was feeling better, it was hoped that she would be back soon. And Jim Ed Brown has been missing for almost a month. Hopefully it is not health related. There was a picture of him on his facebook page at the Hall of Fame with his family and based on the description, I was led to believe that it was taken this past week.

As I said, it looks like Friday is the better night this weekend and I will be listening for sure, sitting out by the campfire with WSM on the air.

Friday May 22
7:00: John Conlee (host); Love and Theft; Mike Snider
7:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Connie Smith
Intermission
8:15: Lorrie Morgan (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely; Jamey Johnson
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Jesse McReynolds; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday May 23
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Greg Bates; The Whites
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Sara Haze; Exile
Intermission

8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jamey Johnson; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chris Janson

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, May 21 & 22, 2010. The Friday Night Opry took place at the Ryman Auditorium while Saturday's Grand Ole Opry was performed at the War Memorial Auditorium.

Friday May 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jason Michael Carroll
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Joey+Rory; Gary Mule Deer
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jack Greene; Mountain Heart

Saturday May 22
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Bowling Family
7:30: John Conlee (host); George Hamilton IV; Laura Bell Bundy
Intermission
8:15: Charley Pride (host); Jan Howard; Riders In The Sky; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Kathy Mattea

And from ten years ago this weekend, May 20 & 21, 2005:

Friday May 20
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Billy Walker; George Canyon
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Calvin Gilmore
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:30: John Conlee (host); Osborne Brothers; Neal McCoy

Saturday May 21
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; Hal Ketchum
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Daniels Band; Andy Griggs; Erika Jo; Mountain Heart
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Walker; Jeannie Seely; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Hal Ketchum; Connie Smith; Andy Griggs
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Billy Walker; Mountain Heart
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Jack Greene; Charlie Daniels Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Erika Jo
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band

For this week's featured line-up, here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from 67 years ago this weekend, Saturday May 22, 1948:

7:30: American Ace Coffee
Roy Acuff (host): We Planted Roses on Our Darling's Grave
Tommy Magness: Cacklin' Hen
Annie Lou and Danny: We're Making Money on the Farm
Jimmy Riddle: Silver Bells
Roy Acuff: Unloved and Unclaimed
Uncle Dave Macon and Dorris: Give Me Back the Money I Paid for a Wife
Jug Band: Polly Wolly Doodle
Roy and Gang: The Great Speckled Bird
Sonny Day: Lost Indian
Annie Lou and Danny: Little Green Valley
Oswald: Behind Those Walls of Grey
Roy and Gang: Were You There

8:00: Purina
Eddy Arnold (host): Texarkana Baby
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Bradley Kincaid: Two Little Orphans
Oklahoma Wranglers: Cool Water
Eddy Arnold: Don't That Moon Look Lonesome
Jamup and Honey: Jokes
Zeke Clements: Little Rock Arkansas
Bill Monroe: I'm Working on a Building
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Eddy Arnold: I'll Hold You in My Heart

8:30: Warren Paint & Color Co.
Ernest Tubb (host): Don't Flirt With Me
Lew Childre: Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet
Paul Howard: Breaking It Off a Little Too Far
String Beans: Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms
Ernest Tubb: Seaman's Blues
Grandpa Jones: Riding on That Train
Robert Lunn: I'm a Man Not a Mouse
Possum Hunters: Take Your Foot Out of the Mud
Ernest Tubb: Daisey Mae

9:00: Royal Crown
Roy Acuff (host): Sweeter Than the Flowers
Jimmy Riddle: My Little Gal
York Brothers: Look Before You Leap
Texas Ruby: Hold on Little Doggie
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Ravins Gap
Lonzo and Oscar: Cornbread and Lasses
Curly Fox: Deck of Cards
Roy Acuff: Life's Railway to Heaven
Oswald: Weary Lonesome Blues
Tommy Magness: Smoky Mountain Rag

9:30: Prince Albert
Red Foley (host): Television
Old Hickory Singers: Bicycle Built for Two
Cowboy Copas: Tennessee Waltz
Minnie Pearl: Jokes
Red Foley: I Love to Tell the Story
Cowboy Copas: Signed Sealed and Delivered
Rod Brasfield: Jokes
Wally Fowler: Keep on the Firing Line
Red Foley: Picking Up Pierces of a Broken Heart
Square Dancers: Blackberry Blossom

10:00: Wallrite
Bill Monroe (host) and Don: Molly and Ten Brooks
Bradley Kincaid: Blue Tail Fly
Bill and Doyle: Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong
Quartet: Remember the Cross
Benny Martin: Down Yonder

10:15: Weather House
Roy Acuff (host): Not a Word from Home
Uncle Dave Macon and Dorris: When You and I Were Young Maggie
Roy Acuff: Poem
Gang: There's a Beautiful House
Jug Band: Lazy Day

10:30: Fletcher Wilson
Texas Ruby: It's Over Forever
Curly Fox (host): Down Yonder
York Brothers: Bothered by the Blues
Curly and Ruby: Someone More Lonesome Than You

10:45: Martha White
Milton Estes (host): New Filipino Baby
Lew and String Beans: Foggy Mountain Top
Jimmy Selph: That Old Moon
Milton Estes: I'll Fly Away

11:00: Eddy Arnold Songbook
Eddy Arnold (host): Teardrops in My Heart
Grandpa Jones: Rosa Lee
Gully Jumpers: Ricketts Hornpipe
Eddy Arnold: You Only Want Me When You Are Lonesome
Eddy Arnold: Molly Darling

11:15: Gaylock Seat Covers
Ernest Tubb (host): Our Last Goodbye
Dot and Smokey: Golden River
Drake Brothers: My Best to You
Ernest Tubb: Yesterday's Tears

11:30
Lonzo and Oscar (host): Old Mother Nature
Cowboy Copas: Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me
Wally Fowler: I'm on My Way
Lonzo and Oscar: Poppin' Bubble Gum

11:45
Paul Howard (host): San Antonio Rose

Zeke Clements: Blue Mexico Skies
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Just Because
Robert Lunn: New River Train
Paul Howard: Please Don't Leave

What a show!!! And Roy Acuff on three different segments!!! And, even with all the artists and music, they got done on time. Back in those days, there was very little talk between the acts. They were quickly introduced and came out, did their song, and were gone. A lot different than today's Opry.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend and may everyone have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

Remembering Billy Walker

It's hard to believe that it has been that long ago, but it was on May 21, 2006 that Billy Walker, his wife Bettie, bass player Charlie Lilly and guitarist Danny Patten died in a car accident on their way back from a show in Alabama. Billy joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1960 and was nicknamed "The Tall Texan."

During his career that lasted more than 60 years, he had over 30 songs on the country charts. It's hard to believe but his only #1 was "Charlie's Shoes" in 1962. "Funny How Time Slips Away", which is often associated with Billy didn't even make it into the top 20. "Cross the Brazos at Waco" another classic made it to #2.

In addition to his recording, he also hosted an early country syndicated country music show on television, "Country Carnival." Once in a while, RFD-TV will show it in rotation with episodes hosted by Del Reeves.

I always thought Billy did a great job while at the Opry but like many other veterans, he saw his appearances cut back over his final decade at the Opry. Too bad as even at the age of 77, he still had that great voice and personality that shined on the Opry stage.

To remember Billy Walker, here is a performance from Billy at the Grand Ole Opry.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 5/15 & 5/16

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedule for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Also posted is next week's Tuesday Night Opry line-up.

Looking at the shows this weekend, Opry member Lorrie Morgan is scheduled for both nights, and she will be hosting the final segment on both shows. As usual, it is nice to see Lorrie back on the Opry stage. In what I find as an interesting segment, on Friday night Lorrie will be hosting with Opry members Pam Tillis, Jan Howard and Jeannie Seely as her guests. I would not be surprised if there was some sort of group singing taking place. They are all friends and legends at the Opry.

Also scheduled for both nights, and hosting segments, are Opry members John Conlee, Connie Smith and Riders In The Sky, with Opry member Mike Snider also set. Joining those members on Friday night will be Opry members Bobby Osborne and Terri Clark. What is interesting with Terri, and I am not sure if anyone else has noticed, is that on each of her appearances this year she has been scheduled for the first segment, each time hosted by John Conlee. And each time, she has done her wonderful John Conlee impression of "Rose Colored Glasses." Rounding out the Friday night line-up are guest artists Ashley Clark, Aaron Tippin and "Nashville" star Charles Esten. With the news that "Nashville" has been renewed on ABC for another season, we can expect a continued stream of actors from the show performing on the Opry.

Joining those already mentioned on Saturday night will be Opry member Jesse McReynolds, along with guest artists Jackie Lee, Logan Brill, Charlie Nagatani, Love and Theft and Dailey & Vincent. What I find interesting in that group is Dailey & Vincent is listed as the only guests scheduled for the final segment with Lorrie. Love and Theft and Jackie Lee have made several Opry appearances this year, while Logan Brill will be making her Opry debut. For those interested, she is listed as a contemporary country artist.

Friday May 15
7:00: John Conlee (host); Terri Clark; Mike Snider
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Ashley Clark; Aaron Tippin
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charles Esten
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); Pam Tillis; Jan Howard; Jeannie Seely

Saturday May 16
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Jackie Lee; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); Logan Brill; Jesse McReynolds
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Nagatani; Love and Theft; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); Dailey & Vincent

All in all, it looks like a very nice weekend, with Friday looking the better of the two nights.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of May 14 & 15, 2010. The shows both nights took place at Two Rivers Baptist Church, across Briley Parkway from the Grand Ole Opry House.

Friday May 14
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Andy Griggs
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jack Greene; Matt Kennon
Intermission
8:15: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Holly Williams
8:45: Jean Shepard (host); Jan Howard; Charlie Daniels Band

Saturday May 15
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Matt Kennon
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Holly Williams
Intermission
8:15: Steve Wariner (host); Jack Greene; Riders In The Sky
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Charlie Louvin; The Whites

And from ten years ago, the weekend of May 13 & 14, 2005:

Friday May 13
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Bobby Pinson
8:00: John Conlee (host); Stu Phillips; Jean Shepard; Jason Aldean
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Elizabeth Cook
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Joni Harms
9:30: Diamond Rio (host); Connie Smith; Osborne Brothers

Saturday May 14
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Osborne Brothers; Dan Seals
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Lane Turner
7:30: John Conlee (host); Jim Ed Brown & The Browns; Trent Willmon
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Joni Harms; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Alison Brown Quartet w/Joe Craven

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Dan Seals
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; Billy Walker; Lane Turner
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Charlie Louvin; Trent Willmon; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); Jim Ed Brown & The Browns; Alison Brown Quartet w/Joe Craven
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; Jack Greene; Joni Harms

Finally, for this week's featured line-up, it was 33 years ago this weekend, May 15, 1982 that Ricky Skaggs became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Ricky, of course, has kept the bluegrass sound alive at the Opry and since he joined and particuarly for the past decade, has been a very loyal member of the Opry and the Opry is certainly better off with him as a member.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from Saturday May 15, 1982, the night that Ricky Skaggs became a member:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jack Greene (host): I Need Somebody Bad Tonight
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/Orange Blossom Special/Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms/Night Train to Memphis
Jack Greene: You Are My Treasure

6:45: Rudy's
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Jeannie Seely: I'm Almost Ready
Stonewall Jackson: Me & You & A Dog Named Boo

7:00: Shoney's
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Jim & Jesse: Then I'll Stop Going For You
Charlie Louvin: The House on the Hill
Connie Smith: I Just Had You On My Mind
Justin Tubb: Texas Dance Hall Girl
Archie Campbell: Comedy

7:30: Standard Candy
Ernest Tubb (host): Driving Nails in My Coffin
Jean Shepard: America, Tighten Up Your Belt
Billy Walker: Welcome Back to My Heart
Ricky Skaggs: Cryin' My Heart Out Over You/Blue Moon of Kentucky
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Lafayette
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jimmy C Newman: (?)
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Tennessee Ernie Ford: Get A Little Dirt On Your Hands/Sixteen Tons
Roy Acuff & Tennessee Ernie Ford: I'll Fly Away

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Paper Roses
4 Guys: It's High Time to Get Back on My Feet
Roy Drusky: Blues In My Heart
Wilburn Brothers: What You Think Is Fair
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sugar Tree Stomp
Hank Snow: I Keep Dreaming Of You All the Time

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Ernest Tubb (host): The Women Make A Fool Out of Me
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk of Coal
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Ricky Skaggs: Cryin' My Heart Out Over You
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Boxcar Willie: Train Melody
Ernest Tubb: Journey's End

10:00: Little Debbie
Billy Walker (host): Welcome Back to My Heart
Ray Pillow: My Love Belongs to You
Vic Willis Trio: Faded Love
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors

10:15: Sunbeam
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Jeannie Seely: You Don't Need Me, But You Will
Archie Campbell: Comedy

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Billy Grammer: The Prisoner's Song
Connie Smith: Once A Day/Sing, Sing, Sing

10:45: Beech-Nut
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Jean Shepard: America, Tighten Up Your Belt
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Arkansas Traveler
Cajun Country: Cajun Stripper

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): From A Jack to A King
Charlie Walker: T For Texas
Justin Tubb: Travelin Singing Man
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cracklin Hen
Jan Howard: Beneath Still Waters
Kirk McGee: Victory Rag/Freight Train
Hank Snow: I'm Moving On

11:30: Bama
Marty Robbins (host): Ribbon of Darkness
4 Guys: Marie, The Dawn is Breaking
Roy Drusky: There'll Never Be Anyone Else But You For Me
Wilburn Brothers: What You Think Is Fair
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Cool Water/That's All Right/18 Yellow Roses/I Don't Know Why/Devil Woman/Begging to You/Jumper Cable Man/Return to Me/Beyond the Reef/Good-Hearted Woman/El Paso

The show lasted until 12:45, thanks to the final Marty Robbins segment. I am pretty sure there were no complaints about this show.

Finally, the Tuesday Night Opry on May 19 will feature the Opry's annual "Salute the Troops" show. This is a part of the Opry's month long celebration of our nation's troops and their families, which helps benefit the USO and MusiCorps. Highlighting the night will be the MusicCorps Wounded Warrior Band, who will be making their 2nd Opry appearance and they, along with others, will be greated with a red carpet arrival.

7:00: John Conlee; Craig Morgan
7:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Trace Adkins
Intermission
8:15: MusicCorps Wounded Warrior Band; Vince Gill
8:45: Kellie Pickler; Lee Greenwood

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hank Snow

No, I did not forget. One of the legendary members of the Grand Ole Opry, and my personal favorite (which some people cannot understand), Hank Snow was born on this date 101 years ago today. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in January 1950 and passed away in December 1999, just two weeks before his 50th anniversary as an Opry member.

During his career, he had 88 singles on the country charts and recorded 45 studio albums. 7 of those singles reached #1. He had an amazing career and actually, a pretty amazing life. His autobiography is one of the best out there.

One of Hank's best friends was Marty Robbins. Here is a classic clip that I have posted in honor of Clarence Eugene Snow, the Singing Ranger Hank Snow.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 5/8 & 5/9

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry.

As far as Opry members this weekend, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers are back for both nights. Larry continues his strong run of Opry appearances in 2015 and one again, Steve and Rudy are with him. It is certainly nice to have all three there and in a bit of unusual scheduling, they are leading off on Friday night. Joining them both nights are Opry members John Conlee and Mike Snider. On Friday night, Riders In The Sky, Del McCoury Band, Jesse McReynolds, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites on on board, while on Saturday night Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith and Bobby Osborne are listed.

As far as guest artists, making her Opry debut will be Jessie James Decker. She has been around Nashville since 2009 and along with her husband, stars in an E! network reality series. Her husband, Eric Decker, is an NFL wide receiver. Joining her on Friday will be Mark Wills, Drake White and Point Of Grace. Besides appearing on the Opry on Friday night, Mark Wills will also be signing copies of his new CD in the Opry gift shop.

On Saturday night, the big attraction is another guest appearance by Hunter Hayes. He is John Conlee's only guest in the final segment. Obviously, Hunter will have the appeal of the younger audience members. Also guesting on Saturday night will be Mickey Guyton, Kristian Bush and a repeat performance by Mark Wills. And yes, Saturday is looking a little thin with only 10 artists scheduled and I would expect that is the way it will end up.

Friday May 8
7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Mark Wills; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Drake White; Del McCoury Band
Intermission
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jessie James Decker
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Point Of Grace

Saturday May 9
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mickey Guyton; Mike Snider
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Wills
Intermission
8:15: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Kristian Bush; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: John Conlee (host); Hunter Hayes

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, May 7 & 8, 2010. Both of these shows were held at the Ryman Auditorium as it was the week after the flood in Nashville that seriously damaged the Grand Ole Opry House. The Opry would not return to the Opry House until the end of September. And with it being the first weekend shows after the flood, a couple of the bigger names, Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson came by that weekend to do the Opry.

Friday May 7
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Janie Fricke
Intermission
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Dailey & Vincent
8:45: Diamond Rio (host); Jan Howard; Mike Snider; Brad Paisley

Saturday May 8
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Emily West
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Connie Smith
Intermission
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stonewall Jackson; Lee Greenwood; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Alan Jackson

And from 10 years ago this weekend, May 6 & 7, 2005:

Friday May 6
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); John Conlee; Billy Walker; Jean Shepard
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Jack Greene; Buddy Jewell
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Big Al Downing; Connie Smith
9:00: Alison Krauss (host) & Union Station; Jerry Douglas; Sierra & Cody Hull; Tony Rice; Larry Sparks
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jan Howard; Ryan Holliday; The Whites

Saturday May 7
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; Connie Smith; John Anderson
7:00: Alison Krauss (host); & Union Station; Jerry Douglas; The Whites; Sierra & Cody Hull; Larry Sparks; Ralph Stanley; Tony Rice; Patty Loveless
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); George Hamilton IV; Jean Shepard; Osborne Brothers; Jim Ed Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Radney Foster; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Vince Gill

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; Connie Smith; John Anderson
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Sierra & Cody Hull; Alison Krauss & Union Station; Jerry Douglas
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Jean Shepard; Tony Rice; Larry Sparks; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); George Hamilton IV; Osborne Brothers; Patty Loveless
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Radney Foster

Even in 2005, the Opry was still putting on some good shows with full line-ups.

For this week's featured line-up, it was on Saturday May 11, 1996 that Steve Wariner became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. It has been nice having Steve as a member of the Opry. He had been playing on the Opry for a number of years and first came to the Opry as a member of Dottie West's band. Since joining, Steve has generally appeared between 10-12 times each year. I can also tell you after meeting Steve, that he is one of the nicest guys around. Here is the running order for that show 19 years ago this weekend:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Grandpa Jones (host): Ball Headed End of the Broom
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Klyde

6:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Mike Snider (host): Short Little Lulu/Clinch Mountain Backstip/Mississippi Sawyer
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Mike Snider: Battle Cry of Freedom/Get Your Hand Off My Knee & Load the Cannon

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Jean Shepard: Bouquet of Roses
Billy Walker: Jesus Walks In
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Ray Pillow: Darling, Take Pity on Me
Porter Wagoner: A Satisfied Mind/Big Wind

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): But You Know I Love You
Chet Atkins: (?)/Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Steve Wariner: Why Goodbye/Heart Trouble/Midnight Fire/What I Didn't Do/Lonely Women Make Good Lovers
Bill Anderson & Steve Wariner: The Tips of My Fingers

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy Dickens (host): May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
Sweethearts Of The Rodeo: One More Night/Since I Found You
Riders In The Sky: Lonely River
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durang's Hornpipe
Jimmy Dickens: A Death in the Family

8:30: Kraft
Jim Ed Brown (host): Fools
Jeannie Seely: Here Comes My Baby
Del Reeves: Wild Blood
The Whites: Pins & Needles/Swing Down Chariot
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter/Looking Back to See

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Oswald: What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Steve Wariner: (?)/A Woman Loves
Steve Wariner & Rick Wayne: (?)

10:00: Massy Ferguson
Grandpa Jones (host): The New Vitamine
Jan Howard: Take Me As I Am Or Let Me Go
Grandpa Jones: My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

10:15: Red Foot Bath
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Sweethearts Of The Rodeo: Mule Skinner Blues
Jimmy Dickens: We Could

10:30: Purnell's Sausage
Mike Snider (host): (?)
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Mike Snider: The Fur Coat

10:45: Fairfield
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Acorn Hill
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jeannie Seely (host): Speaking of the Devil
Jim Ed Brown: The Family Bible
Billy Walker: When A Man Loves A Woman/Smokey Places
Riders In The Sky: Miss Molly/Always Drink Upstream From the Herd
Jeannie Seely: Here Comes My Baby

11:30: Loreal
Johnny Russell (host): Good Hearted Woman

Stu Phillips: Heart Over Mind
Jean Shepard: Farewell Party
The Whites: San Antonio Rose/Keep on the Sunny Side
Johnny Russell: Act Naturally

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May Opry Highlights

Welcome to May!! As I do each month, here are the important and historical events that have taken place in the history of the Grand Ole Opry, or involving Opry members during the month of May.

May 1, 1894: Sam McGee was born. Sam first appeared on the WSM Barn Dance in 1926. Over the years, he would appear with his brother Kirk and as part of the Fruit Jar Drinkers and Dixieliners. Kirk would remain with the Opry until he passed away in 1983.

May 12, 1901: Benjamin Francis Ford was born in DeSoto, Missouri. Known professionally as Whitey Ford, the Duke of Paducah, this comedian joined the Opry in 1942. He remained an Opry member until 1959, when he left the show. During his time as a member, he usually appeared on the Prince Albert portion of the show. Although he left as a member, he would continue to appear on the show, especially during the annual Old-Timer's Night. He passed away in 1986, the same year that he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

May 30, 1909: Lewis Crook of the Crook Brothers was born. In addition to performing as part of the Crook Brothers, in his later years he played as part of the band backing up the square dancers. Lewis passed away in 1997.

May 1, 1910: One time Grand Ole Opry manager Ott Devine was born.

May 17, 1912: Grand Ole Opry announcer and WSM staff member Grant Turner was born. He joined the staff at WSM on D-Day, June 6, 1944. In addition to his duties at WSM, Grant became an announcer at the Opry. He would remain the Opry's primary announcer until his death on October 19, 1991, just hours after finishing his work on the Friday Night Opry. He was with the Opry for 47 years and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

May 30, 1912: Alcyone Bate Beasley was born. She was there when it all started in 1925, performing with her father's group, Dr. Humphrey Bate and His Possum Hunters. After Dr. Bate's death in 1936, Alcyone worked to keep the Possum Hunters together, but it was a struggle as the Opry moved to a more modern sound. By the 1960s, the Possum Hunters had been merged with the Crook Brothers. In the 1970s, she went into semi-retirement after over 40 years of performing on the Opry. After that, she became a fixture at the Opry's annual reunion shows. She passed away in October 1982.

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

May 1, 1926: Uncle Dave Macon joins the cast of the WSM Barn Dance. He would remain a part of the Opry for the next quarter century, making his final Grand Ole Opry appearance on March 1, 1952. When he joined the Barn Dance, he was considered the first professional performer to join that had a national reputation. He always considered himself just an old country boy. In 1966 he was one of the early inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

May 25, 1936: Grand Ole Opry member Tom T Hall was born in Kentucky. Much like Abe Lincoln, also born in Kentucky, Tom T was born in a log cabin. The Country Music Hall of Fame member originally joined the Opry on January 1, 1971. In March 1974 he left the cast when it moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House, however he rejoined the Opry in 1980. As many of you know, Tom T has not appeared on the Opry in decades.

May 31, 1938: Donald Lytle was born in Greenfield, Ohio. Better known by his stage name of Johnny Paycheck, in the early part of his career, he was a band member for Ray Price, Porter Wagoner, George Jones and Faron Young. In 1997, thanks to some help by his friend Johnny Russell, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. However, just a few years after joining, his health went into a period of decline and his performing ended. He passed away in February 2003.

May 2, 1948: Grand Ole Opry member Larry Gatlin was born. Along with his brothers Steve and Rudy, he joined the Opry on Christmas Day 1976. In recent years, Larry has become a regular performer on the Opry, and is a regular host of the Opry Country Classics Show that takes place in the Spring and Fall.

May 13, 1950: Mother Maybelle Carter and the Carter Sisters, Helen, June and Anita, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. When the Carters joined, they also brought along their guitar player, Chet Atkins, who would continue on with a Hall of Fame career as a musician and as a record company executive. Over the years, as the Carter Sisters moved on, Mother Maybelle would remain with the Opry. Later in her Opry career, and much like other veterans such as Kirk and Sam McGee, she would complain to the Opry management about her poorly timed spots, limited appearances and a general lack of respect. She stayed with the Opry until later in the 1960s, when she left to became a part of Johnny Cash's road show.

May 16, 1953: Jimmy Dean makes his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. He was introduced by Opry member Carl Smith. Although Jimmy would never become an Opry member, he would continue to make Opry appearances throughout his career, including appearing the night Jimmy Dickens was honored for 50 years of Opry membership.

May 23, 1953: Future Opry member Jim Reeves appears on the Opry for the first time. He sang "Mexican Joe."

May 21, 1955: Opry member Webb Pierce quit the Opry. He was an Opry member for just three years, but in that time he quickly realized that he could make more money on the road, rather than being in Nashville every Saturday night.

May 11, 1957: The Everly Brothers, Don and Phil, make their first appearance on the Opry. They, along with a few others, were brought in as members in an attempt to capture the younger crowd that was turning to rock n' roll. They were only with the Opry a year before moving on. In 2001, they were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

May 18, 1957: A week after the Everly Brothers appeared, the Kershaw Brothers, Rusty and Doug, made their debut appearance on the Opry.

May 20, 1958: Don Gibson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Don was with the Opry until December 1964 when he, along with others, was fired from the cast for not making the required number of yearly appearances. Don would eventually rejoin the Opry, however even after he came back, his appearances were limited. In 2001 he became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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

May 13, 1967: Merle Haggard makes his first appearance on the Opry. Former Opry manager Hal Durham would later say that the girls were crazy about Merle. While never joining the cast, Merle would make a few more Opry appearances over the years.

May 8, 1968: Grand Ole Opry founder, George D. Hay passed away at his home in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He had started the WSM Barn Dance in November 1925 and it grew into the Grand Ole Opry. After he started the show, he would clash with WSM management, specifically Harry and David Stone over the direction and management of the show. He had always wanted to keep the Opry "close to the ground" while the Stone's wanted a more professional show. We know who won that battle!! Over the years, he would suffer from various health issues and would see his influence and role at the Opry and WSM greatly reduced. By the time he retired from WSM, he was basically just an Opry announcer. On Saturday May 11, which was the next Opry show following his death, Grant Turner paid tribute to him, saying, "He called himself the Solemn Old Judge. If he was solemn, it was only in the face of those who thought to change or corrupt the purity of the barn-dance ballads he sought to preserve. We, the performers and friends of the Grand Ole Opry, salute the memory of one whose influence is felt on the stage of the Opry tonight-the Solemn Old Judge, George D. Hay."

May 10, 1969: Stonewall Jackson rejoined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Stonewall had been fired in December 1964 for failing to make the required number of Opry appearances. Stonewall remains an Opry member to this day, however he rarely appears on the show. A few years ago, Stonewall sued the Opry management for age discrimination, a case that was eventually settled out of court.

May 1, 1971: Grand Ole Opry member Cousin Jody made his final appearance on the Opry. Performing for many years as Tex Summey, he came to the Opry in 1937 with Roy Acuff. He later performed with Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys and with Lonzo and Oscar.

May 13, 1972: Gene Watson made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. While never becoming an Opry member, Gene has made regular appearances over the years, so many in fact that many ask why he isn't a member.

May 22, 1977: The Grand Ole Opry held a special Sunday matinee show that was dedicated to their Canadian fans. The following day was Victoria Day, a national holiday in Canada.

May 11, 1979: Lester Flatt passed away in Nashville at the age of 64. He had been in declining health for a number of years. After he split with Earl Scruggs, Lester stayed with a more traditional bluegrass sound and formed the Nashville Grass. As Lester moved forward with his solo career, he would reach legendary status among bluegrass fans, who considered Lester second only to Bill Monroe. While on the Opry, he would always host the Martha White segment, who was a long time sponsor for Flatt & Scruggs.

May 15, 1982: Ricky Skaggs joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 33rd year as a member. It was always Ricky's dream to become a member of the Opry and he has taken his Opry membership seriously. As Ricky said, "I don't ever, ever want to get to the point where I don't come and play the Opry, where I feel like I'm too good to play the Opry. Mr. Acuff said that I would do that. He said, 'You'll get so big you'll do like all the rest of them.' And I said, you don't know me. You just watch me and see, I'm not made that way. I didn't join the Opry for that." Yes, there have been a few bumps in the road but overall, Ricky has done a great job at the Opry. And since the death of Bill Monroe, Ricky has worked hard to keep the sound of bluegrass music alive at the Opry.

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

May 3, 1986: Opry member Barbara Mandrell returned to the Opry for the first time since being involved in a near-fatal traffic accident.

May 4, 1991: Travis Tritt made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. He would eventually join the cast in February 1992. Sorry to say, but Travis seems to have lost his way to the Opry House as the last time he performed on the Opry was in 2007.

May 1, 1993: Charley Pride became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 22nd year as an Opry member. Charley has appeared on the Opry since the late 1960s and he had been asked several times to become a member prior to him finally accepting the invitation. He always said that living in the Dallas area and having a heavy touring schedule made it difficult to be on the Opry on a regular basis. In 1993 he finally felt that the time was right and on the night he joined, he was very emotional.

May 11, 1996: Steve Wariner became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 19th year as an Opry member.

May 31, 1997: Lee Ann Womack made her first appearance on the Opry. While never becoming an Opry member, Lee Ann has continued to make Opry guest appearances over the years.

May 9, 1998: Grand Ole Opry member Teddy Wilburn made his final appearance on the Opry. Teddy and his brother Doyle had first appeared on the Opry in 1940 before being forced to leave the show due to child labor laws. They would return and join the cast, performing as a duo until Doyle died in 1982. After that, Teddy would continue as a solo act, although his Opry appearances would reduce over time. Health issues forced Teddy to retire from the Opry and he passed away in November 2003.

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

May 28, 1999: Future Opry member Brad Paisley made his Opry debut. Brad would make numerous guest appearances until finally becoming an Opry member on February 17, 2001.

May 5, 2001: Blake Shelton made his debut as a guest on the Opry. In the fall of 2010, Blake would join the cast.

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

May 19, 2007: Porter Wagoner celebrated his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was joined on that night by Dolly Parton, Patty Loveless, Buck Trent and Marty Stuart, who hosted the televised segment. Sadly, Porter was already in declining health and he would pass away in October of that year. This was also the last time Porter and Dolly would share the stage together.

May 10, 2008: Carrie Underwood joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 7th year as an Opry member. Even with her career as big as it has become, she has always found time for the Opry and usually can be counted on to fulfill her 10 appearances each year. While 10 may not seem like a lot, it is more than many of fellow Opry members make. On the night that Carrie joined the cast, Garth Brooks flew in and did the honors.

May 30, 2009: Comedian, actor and banjo player Steve Martin made his debut on the Opry. He led an all-star band in playing, "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." If you have never heard or seen Steve playing the banjo, he is outstanding and takes it very seriously.

May 1, 2010: The Grand Ole Opry House sustained major damage when the Cumberland River flooded after heavy rains hit the Nashville area. The Opry House, Acuff Theater, Opry Museum and Opry Mills Mall were all closed due to the damage. It was not until September that the Opry was able to return to the Opry House and the Acuff Theater was torn down. The Museum has ever reopened and it took years for the Mall to be repaired. When the Opry returned to the Opry House, Bill Anderson was the first one to be back on the stage. That was fitting as he was the last to perform on the final Saturday night prior to the flood.

May 3, 2011: Alabama made a guest appearance on the Opry, 29 years after they last performed on the show. They were joined on stage by Brad Paisley and sang, "Old Alabama" and "Tennessee River." They have been back several times since.

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 5/1 & 5/2

The big weekend is upon us as Reba McEntire is returning to perform on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time since 2009, and for only the 2nd time since 1996. (no, I don't count her "walk-on" to invite Little Big Town to become Opry members). And as expected, Reba has been given the entire final segment to promote her new CD.

Since Reba last performed on the Opry, there have been a lot of changes that she might not be aware of. First, the entire Grand Ole Opry House backstage area as been remodeled as there was a flood in 2010 that seriously damaged that part of the Opry House. Next, she might notice a few more fans backstage as the Opry heavily promotes backstage tours now. And finally, since she last appeared, 7 new members have joined the Opry while 9 members have passed away. Not that it matters to Reba as I am sure she will be ushered into the Opry House right before she is set to perform and then quickly leaving. Now with all that said, as an Opry member, I am glad to see Reba back on the Opry. I know she is not one of the more loyal members, but she draws excitement when she comes and there will be a sold-out Opry House waiting for her. In her last appearance in 2009, she was also given a segment to herself, in fact the Opry that night added an extra segment to the show just for Reba, and she did 3 songs. I would expect about the same on Saturday night.

Joining Reba on Saturday night will be Opry members Larry Gatlin, Bobby Osborne, along with John Conlee, Mike Snider, Connie Smith and Jim Ed Brown, with all of that group also performing on the Friday Night Opry. Guest artists on Saturday night include Ray Scott, Lauren Alaina and Canaan Smith, all of whom have done the Opry previously.

The Friday Night Opry, in addition to those already mentioned, will include Opry members Ricky Skaggs, Riders In The Sky and The Whites. There is another appearance by Chris Janson, who within the past week was signed to a major record deal, along with EmiSunshine, who adds another Opry appearance to her resume. Other guest artists include Josh Thompson, Jenn Bostic and Jason Crabb.

Friday May 1
7:00: John Conlee (host); Josh Thompson; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jenn Bostic; Jason Crabb
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Jim Ed Brown; EmiSunshine
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Chris Janson

Saturday May 2
7:00: John Conlee (host); Ray Scott; Mike Snider
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Jim Ed Brown; Lauren Alaina
Intermission
8:15: Larry Gatlin (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Canaan Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Reba McEntire

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, April 30 & May 1, 2010. The Saturday night show was the final show that took place at the Opry House prior to the flood that forced the Opry out of the Opry house until September.

Friday April 30
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Grascals
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV; Sarah Buxton
Intermission
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; The Band Perry
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Mandy Barnett

Saturday May 1
7:00: The Whites (host); Connie Smith; The Grascals
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Ray Pillow; Blaine Larsen
Intermission
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Chris Scruggs; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett

And from ten years ago, the weekend of April 29 & 30, 2010:

Friday April 29
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Alecia Nugent
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Jimmy Wayne
8:30: Pam Tillis (host); Hank Locklin; Osborne Brothers; Keni Thomas
9:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; George Canyon
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Lauren Lucas; Eddy Raven

Saturday April 30
1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Lane Turner
7:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jack Greene; Sherrie Austin
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Billy Walker; Stevens Sisters
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; George Canyon; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Pam Tillis (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Lane Turner
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Sherrie Austin
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Charlie Walker; Stevens Sisters; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Pam Tillis (host); Jimmy C Newman; George Canyon
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mandy Barnett

For this week's featured line-ups, there are two that I would like to share. The first is from 44 years ago, Saturday May 1, 1971 as this was the final night that Cousin Jody appeared on the Opry.

James Clell Summey was born on December 11, 1914 near Sevierville, Tennessee. It was said that he had a face that could only belong to a funny man, yet he was one of the greatest pioneers of the Dobro.

His career began playing dance music, but in 1933 , under the name of Tex Summey, he joined the Tennessee Crackerjacks, the group formed by Roy Acuff and he gave the group its distinctive sound. In October 1936, he traveled with the band to Chicago to record sides for the American Recording Company. Among the songs recorded were "The Old Speckled Bird" and "Wabash Cannonball." He was with the group when Roy made his Grand Ole Opry debut in October 1937 at the Dixie Tabernacle and was the first person to play the dobro on the Opry stage. When Roy made his first appearance as a member of the Opry in February 1938, he was with him. The following week, the name of the group was changed to the Smoky Mountain Boys.

In 1939, Summey along with bass player Red Jones felt that the band should play more Pop material, but Roy felt differently so they left the group. Summey began to play the steel guitar and became a member of Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys. It was then that his comedy skills surfaced. He joined up with Oral Rhodes as Odie and Jody. He then joined up with Lonzo and Oscar and was with them for many years, after which he performed as a solo act. Ill health forced him to retire from the Opry and he died of cancer in 1975.

Cousin Jody was a part of the Opry for 34 years and to remember Cousin Jody, here is the Opry line-up from May 1, 1971, his final night to perform on the Opry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, with Reba McEntire scheduled to appear on the Opry on Saturday night, I thought I would posted the line-up from the night that Reba made her first guest appearance on the Opry. She appeared only on the 2nd show. What is also of interest from this 1977 show is Dolly Parton hosting a segment on that 2nd show. So here it is, from Saturday September 17, 1977.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Bob Luman (host): Lonely Women Make Good Lovers
Dottsy: After Sweet Memories, Play Born to Lose
Bob Luman: A Satisfied Mind

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): Don't Stop In My World
Wilburn Brothers: Trouble's Back In Town
Billy Grammer: (?)/Tennessee Waltz
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Wilma Lee Cooper: Where Is America Going/No One Now
Del Wood: Wood-Cutter
Bill Carlisle: Elvira/I Was On My Way to the Show
Porter Wagoner: Tennessee Sunshine/Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green, Green Grass of Home

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jim & Jesse: Don't Ever Take Your Love From Me/Last Train to Clarksville
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Lafayette
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Roy Acuff: Where the Soul of Man Never Dies

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): Answer the Phone
Dolly Parton: Apple Jack/Me & Little Andy
Ernest Tubb: Half A Mind
Jimmy C Newman: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget/Diggy Liggy Lo

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
4 Guys: The Morning Sun/Don't It Make You Want to Go Home
Marion Worth: Just A Little Lovin'/Just An Old Love Turned Memory
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Hank Snow: Indian Love Call/I'm Moving On

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Big Wind
Billy Walker: Word Games/You Gave Me A Mountain
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Dottsy: Storms Never Last/I'll Be Your San Antone Rose
Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green Green Grass of Home/On A Highway Headed South

10:00: Fender
Ernest Tubb (host): Two Glasses Joe
Wilburn Brothers: Country Kind of Feelings/Because He Lives
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): I Couldn't Believe It Was True
Wilma Lee Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Roy Acuff: That's the Man I'm Looking For/Farther Along

10:30 Trailblazer
Dolly Parton (host): Joshua
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Tale That the Crow Told Me
Dolly Parton: Love Is Like A Butterfly

10:45: Beech-Nut
4 Guys (host): Mother Country Music
Reba McEntire: Invitation to the Blues
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Gray Eagle
4 Guys: Mariah

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): There's A Fool Such As I
Jim & Jesse: Just One of A Kind/Paradise
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Kirk McGee: Victory Rag/Freight Train
Hank Snow: Just A Faded Petal From A Beautiful Bouquet

11:30: Elm Hill
Jimmy C Newman (host): Jambalaya
Marion Worth: Fool #1/Mockingbird Hill
Johnny Carver: Living Next Door to Alice/Afternoon Delight
Jimmy C Newman: Diggy Liggy Lo

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!