Saturday, December 3, 2016

December Opry Highlights

Where did 2016 go? I ask that question because we are now entering December, the final month of the year. In just a matter of weeks, it will be Christmas and the holiday season. As the Grand Ole Opry prepares to close out another year, here are the important dates and events that have taken place regarding the Opry, or Opry members, during the month of December:

December 2, 1989: Herman Crook was born. Herman was one of the Opry's original members, joining the show when it was still called the WSM Barn Dance. Herman's first Opry appearance was on July 24, 1926, and he was with the show until his death in June 1988, just short of 62 years. When he passed away, the Crook Brothers were the last of the originals on the Opry, and they never wavered from the traditional string band sound. As Roy Acuff said, "He loved country music, but he wanted it country. He didn't go for any of this rock n' roll type stuff.

December 14, 1899: DeFord Bailey was born. DeFord was another of the Opry's original members, making his first appearance on June 19, 1926. DeFord was there the night Opry founder George D. Hay changed the name of the show from the WSM Barn Dance to the Grand Ole Opry, and he played the first song on the newly named show. DeFord was with the Opry until he was fired in 1941, in a move that left DeFord very bitter. Despite repeated efforts by Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl and Bill Monroe, among others, DeFord stayed away from the Opry until returning on February 23, 1974, when he appeared for the Opry's first reunion show. DeFord would make several more Opry appearances before passing away in 1982. In 2005 he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

December 11, 1914: James Clell "Tex" Summey was born. Known professionally as Cousin Jody, he first came to the Opry with Roy Acuff in 1937, and he later worked with Pee Wee King and Lonzo & Oscar. He also performed as a solo act, until health issues forced him to retire. He passed away in 1975, and it should be noted that he was the first person to play the dobro and steel guitar on the Opry stage.

December 19, 1920: Jimmy Dickens was born in Bolt, West Virginia. Jimmy first came to the Opry in 1948. While he left the show for a period of time, Jimmy returned to the Opry in 1975 and remained an Opry member until his death in January 2015.

December 26, 1925: The WSM Barn Dance was formally listed for the first time on the WSM program schedule that was printed in the Nashville Tennessean. The listing read, "Because of this recent revival in the popularity of the old familiar tunes, WSM has arranged to have an hour or two every Saturday night starting Saturday December 26. Uncle Dave Macon, the oldest banjo picker in Dixie, and who comes from Readyville, Tennessee, and Uncle Jimmy Thompson of Martha, Tennessee, will answer any requests for old-time melodies."

December 10, 1927: While there seems to be some confusion as to the exact date, it would appear that his was the date that the WSM Barn Dance became known as the Grand Ole Opry. The Barn Dance came on the air at 8:00. In the hour prior to the start of the Barn Dance program, WSM aired a classical musical show on the NBC radio network called "Music Appreciation Hour." At the conclusion of the Music Hour show that particular night, Barn Dance founder George D. Hay announced, "For the past hour we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera; from now on we will present the Grand Ole Opry." While this is the story that was told by George D. Hay, there seem to be no independent verification of this event. In fact, some historians who have looked back at the WSM program schedules,  believe that the date was actually December 8, 1928, a year later, as the "Music Appreciation Hour" did not begin on WSM until that year. However, to back up the 1927 claim, others have pointed out that on December 11, 1927, the Nashville Tennessean used the word "Grand Ole Opry" in their editions of the paper. Either way, the new name stuck.

December 13, 1930: Grand Ole Opry member Buck White was born, Along with his daughters Sharon and Cheryl, The Whites have been Opry members since 1984.

December 7, 1931: Grand Ole Opry member Bobby Osborne was born in Leslie County, Kentucky. Along with his brother Sonny, Bobby became an Opry member in 1964. At the age of 85, Bobby still appears on the Opry weekly and of course, always does "Rocky Top," sounding as good as ever.

December 30, 1944: Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, appearing on the Prince Albert portion of the show that was broadcast on the NBC radio network. Minnie Pearl, who was there that night, remembered that a lady in the balcony was so excited that she fell out of the balcony onto the Ryman stage. And after Roy Acuff heard the electrified fiddles that Bob brought, he made the statement that the Opry would be ruined forever. What is interesting, that while Bob brought electrified fiddles with him, both Pee Wee King and Ernest Tubb had been playing electric instruments on the Opry previous to that night. There is another story from that night, regarding the use of drums and Bob being told to keep his drummer behind the curtain. Much like the electric fiddles, Bob's drummer was not the first to drum on the Opry, as Harold "Sticks" McDonald, a member of Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys, had brought drums to the Opry several years prior. He supposedly used them for a couple of weeks until George D. Hay told Pee Wee to take the drums home and leave them there. While that may be true, within a few years, many of the Opry's acts included drums.

December 8, 1945: Earl Scruggs made his Grand Ole Opry debut as a member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys. He was the final member to join what many consider the greatest of Bill's many renditions of the Blue Grass Boys, and what many feel was the greatest bluegrass band ever. That group included Lester Flatt, Chubby Wise and Harold Watts. This group would only stay together until 1948. After leaving Bill's group, Earl would team up with Lester Flatt, before moving on to play a more progressive sound with his sons.

December 12, 1959: While performing on the Opry, Bill Monroe was served with divorce papers from his wife, Carolyn Brown. She charged that Bill was having an affair with his bass player, Bessie Lee Mauldin. The story goes that Carolyn was waiting for Bill outside the Opry that night and when he came out the Ryman's back door, she really laid into him.

December 24, 1960: The final Prince Albert Grand Ole Opry show was broadcast on the NBC network. The decline of radio and the rise of television led to the decision to end the Opry's broadcasts. Hank Snow was the host for that final broadcast, and I am happy to say that I have a recording of that show.

December 3, 1961: "Doctor" Lew Childre passed away. Lew, who was born in 1901, became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1945. He remained with the Opry through most of the 1950's.

December 6, 1964: The Grand Ole Opry fired 12 of its members for failing to meet the required number of yearly appearances on the show. The Nashville Tennessean wrote, "Twelve top country and western stars will not appear on the Grand Ole Opry in 1965, and have been prohibited from using the Opry name in their outside billings, it was learned yesterday. Another entertainer, long-time favorite Minnie Pearl, has been given a leave of absence from the show for the coming year, but will continue to use the Opry billing in her present contracts," a WSM spokesman said. Those who were dismissed from the Opry were George Morgan, Don Gibson, Billy Grammer, Johnny Wright, Kitty Wells, the Jordanaires, Faron Young, Ferlin Husky, Chet Atkins, Justin Tubb, Stonewall Jackson and Ray Price. It was later found that Chet Atkins was not an actual Opry member, which led to some comments concerning if the Opry's management really knew what was going on at the show. At the time, Opry members were required to appear 26 times per year. Many of those fired would later return to the show as members, including George Morgan, Don Gibson, Billy Grammer, Justin Tubb and Stonewall Jackson, while Minnie Pearl would return after her leave of absence. While never rejoining the cast, the remaining ones would appear on the show as guest artists.

December 23, 1967: Jack Greene became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jack started as a member of Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours before going on to a very successful solo career. Jack would remain an Opry member until his death in 2013.

December 14, 1973: Lorrie Morgan, age 14, made her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Lorrie was brought on stage by her father, Opry member George Morgan. She sang "Paper Roses." A decade later, Lorrie would become an Opry member.

December 15, 1973: Grand Ole Opry member Skeeter Davis was suspended by the Opry's management for comments she had made the previous Saturday night while performing on the Opry. As Skeeter said, "Hank Williams got kicked off the Opry for drinkin' too much old wine. Me? I got kicked off for singing about the new wine." What actually happened was that Skeeter was on her way to the Ryman Auditorium for an Opry appearance when she witnessed the arrest of what were known as "Jesus Freaks," which was another name for the young people who were protesting not only in Nashville, but around the country. The arrests enraged Skeeter and on the Opry, she expressed her rage by talking about it, singing about it, and weeping about it. When she came off the stage after performing, she faced an angry Opry management. She was told that she was no longer considered an Opry member. Happily for all, and especially for Skeeter, she was invited back to the Opry 18 months later.

December 29, 1973: Opry member Tex Ritter made his final Grand Ole Opry appearance. Tex, who had joined the Opry in 1965, would pass away after suffering a heart attack, the following week.

December 25, 1976: Larry, Steve and Rudy, The Gatlin Brothers, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be their 40th year as Opry members, and according to my records, the only members to join the cast on Christmas day.

December 27, 1978: Grand Ole Opry member Bob Luman passed away at the age of 41. Bob joined the Opry in 1965 and was known for his rockabilly sound that was very popular with many of the Opry's younger fans. While some on the Opry felt Bob's music had too much rock in it, he was a popular member of the cast and enjoyed great support. His last Grand Ole Opry appearance was on Saturday December 2, 1978, while Friday December 15 was his final Friday Night Opry appearance.

December 8, 1982: Marty Robbins passed away in a Nashville hospital at the age of 57. Probably the Opry's most popular member, he was famous for hosting the 11:30 segment when he was in town, and making the last half hour of the Opry his own, often performing well past the traditional midnight sign off time. Just that previous October, Marty had been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

December 20, 1986: Randy Travis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Randy's 30th year as an Opry member. Randy had a string of hits in the 1980s and 1990s, and helped to bring back a more traditional sound to country music. Sadly, Randy has suffered a serious of health setbacks and will probably never perform on the Opry again. However, he has visited the show several times in the past couple of years, and he always receives a great audience response when introduced on stage. Just this past year, Randy was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

December 17, 1993: Herman Harper, the famous and very popular bass singer for the Carol Lee Singers, passed away. Herman had been a member of the Oak Ridge Boys back in the day when they were considered one of the country's top gospel acts.

December 24, 1994: Vic Willis was scheduled to perform on the Grand Ole Opry for the final time. The Willis Brothers, originally known as the Oklahoma Wranglers, came to the Opry in 1946. After leaving in 1949 to tour with Eddy Arnold, they returned in 1957. In addition to Vic, the group included brothers Guy and Skeeter. Skeeter had passed away in 1976, while Guy retired in 1979 due to health issues. Vic continued on, forming the Vic Willis Trio, until he passed away early in 1995 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident.

December 30, 1994: Grand Ole Gospel Time, which followed the Friday Night Opry and hosted by Reverend Jimmie Snow, Hank's son, was broadcast for the final time. The show was taped on Friday night and broadcast on WSM Sunday mornings. Airing for 23 years, the show would feature a number of Grand Ole Opry performers including Connie Smith, Billy Walker and Roy Acuff, and feature such guests as Johnny Cash and Dennis Weaver.

December 19, 1999: Former Grand Ole Opry member Marion Worth passed away at the age of 69. Marion joined the Opry in 1963, and while never a superstar, she was very entertaining and a fan favorite. She left the Opry cast in 1980, when she went into semi-retirement.

December 20, 1999: The legendary Hank Snow passed away at his Rainbow Ranch in Madison, Tennessee after a period of declining health. Hank joined the Opry in January 1950 and was just weeks shy of 50 years of Opry membership. Hank last appeared on the Opry in September 1996, and is considered one of the all-time Opry greats.

December 16, 2000: Brad Paisley was surprised on stage by Jimmy Dickens and Jeannie Seely, in a segment hosted by Bill Anderson. Jimmy & Jeannie were dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, and the reason for the surprise visit was the delivery of an invitation for Brad to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Brad tearfully accepted and the following February he would officially join the cast.

December 30, 2000: Grand Ole Opry member Skeeter Davis made her final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Skeeter, who had been battling various illnesses, would enter a period of declining health that made it difficult for her to continue performing. Skeeter passed away in December 2004.

December 31, 2002: Grand Ole Opry member Jim McReynolds, one half of Jim & Jesse, passed away in Gallatin, Tennessee after a long illness. Jim & Jesse, along with the Virginia Boys, became Opry members in March 1964, and are considered one of the greatest acts in bluegrass music history.

December 30, 2006: The Grand Ole Opry's 2nd Saturday night show concluded at midnight for the final time. The following week, both Saturday Grand Ole Opry shows were cut to 2 hours, with the late show ending at 11:30.

December 13, 2013: Grand Ole Opry member Joe Diffie was honored for 20 years of Opry membership. Joining Joe on the Opry that evening were Opry members Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley.

December 20, 2014: Grand Ole Opry member Jimmy Dickens made his final Grand Ole Opry appearance. On Christmas Day, Jimmy was admitted to a Nashville hospital and would pass away shortly after the first of the year. Jimmy's final song? "Out Behind the Barn."







Thursday, December 1, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 12/2 & 12/3

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the first weekend of December, with all three shows taking place at the Ryman Auditorium. Highlighting this weekend will be an appearance by Grand Ole Opry member Alison Krauss. Alison will be appearing on the closing segment on both Saturday shows, joined by Jamey Johnson. With no "host" for that final segment, I am going to assume that we will be getting a lot of Alison and Jamey, which is fine with me.

Also appearing on Saturday night will be Opry guest Kathy Mattea. I have always enjoyed Kathy over the years, especially her Opry appearances. She is another one who I have thought would have made a good Opry member. Like Alison and Jamey, she is scheduled for both shows. Joining those three will be Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider, Bill Anderson, Connie Smith, and on the first show, Jesse McReynolds. Guest artists scheduled on Saturday include Eric Paslay, Sleepy Man (formally known as the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys) and Jason Crabb. That adds up to 11 acts on the first show, 6 of whom are Opry members, and 10 acts on the second show, 5 of which belong to the Opry.

Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider and Connie Smith are also scheduled for the Friday Night Opry, where they will be joined by members Bobby Osborne and Riders In The Sky. That makes 5 members appearing. The non-members scheduled include Carly Pearce, Wade Hayes, Brent Cobb, Shenandoah, Sarah Potenza, Mountain Faith and Kristian Bush, for a total of 12 acts.

Hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night will be the Tennessee River Boys, with the taping taking place back at the Texas Troubadour Theater.

Friday December 2
7:00: John Conlee (host); Carly Pearce; Wade Hayes
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Brent Cobb; Shenandoah
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Sarah Potenza
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Mountain Faith; Kristian Bush

Saturday December 3
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); Eric Paslay; Mike Snider
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Sleepy Man; Jason Crabb
8:00: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; Kathy Mattea; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jamey Johnson; Alison Krauss

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Eric Paslay; Mike Snider
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Sleepy Man; Jason Crabb
10:30: Connie Smith (host); Kathy Mattea; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jamey Johnson; Alison Krauss


And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of December 2 & 3, 2011. The shows both nights took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday December 2
7:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Collin Raye
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Montgomery Gentry
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Mandy Barnett; Alison Krauss & Dan Tyminski
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Gillian Welch & David Rawlings; Dierks Bentley

Saturday December 3
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Terri Clark
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Brent Anderson
8:00: Mel Tillis (host); Jim Ed Brown; Suzy Bogguss; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mindy Smith; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Terri Clark
10:00: Mel Tillis (host); Jack Greene; Brent Anderson
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds; Suzy Bogguss; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mindy Smith; Connie Smith

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of December 1 & 2, 2006. The shows both nights took place at the Ryman Auditorium and there were two shows each night. The 7:00 segment on Saturday night was televised, thus there was no host. And in looking at the line-ups, the Grand Ole Opry Band was given a slot on each of the four shows.

Friday December 1
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Mel McDaniel; Sarah Buxton
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Doyle Dykes
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Grand Ole Opry Band; Danielle Peck
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; The Grascals

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Doyle Dykes
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Mel McDaniel; Sarah Buxton
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Grand Ole Opry Band; Danielle Peck
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; The Grascals

Saturday December 2
1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Craig Morgan; Kellie Pickler; Joe Diffie; Ray Price
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Grand Ole Opry Band; The Grascals; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Doyle Dykes

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Mel McDaniel; Kellie Pickler
10:00: Jean Shepard (host); Ray Price
10:30: Ray Pillow (host); Joni Harms; The Grascals; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Grand Ole Opry Band; Craig Morgan
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Doyle Dykes

And finally, from 25 years ago, the weekend of November 29 & 30, 1991:

Friday November 29
7:30: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis; Justin Tubb; Ernie Ashworth; Stu Phillips
8:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; George Hamilton IV
8:30: Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard; Stonewall Jackson
9:00: Four Guys (host); Charlie Louvin; Jan Howard
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; Hal Ketchum
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Charlie Walker; Bill Carlisle; Vic Willis Trio; Jeannie Seely
10:30: Jack Greene (host); Billy Walker; Connie Smith; Alan Jackson

Saturday November 30
1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Johnny Russell
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Riders In The Sky; Charlie Walker; Jan Howard
7:30: Jack Greene (host); Billy Walker; Connie Smith; Tracy Lawrence
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Jeannie Seely; Four Guys; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; David Houston; Jean Shepard; Bill Carlisle

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Stonewall Jackson; Skeeter Davis; Justin Tubb; Charlie Walker
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Roy Drusky; Jan Howard
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Ray Pillow
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman
10:45: Jack Greene (host); Tracy Lawrence; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: The Whites (host); Billy Walker; Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; Four Guys; Johnny Russell

For this weeks featured line-up, it was on Saturday December 2, 1978 that Grand Ole Opry member Bob Luman made his final Saturday night appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Bob Luman had been an Opry member since 1965. Born and raised in Texas, Bob's musical interests were influenced by his father, who was a musician. He received his first guitar at the age of 13 and by the time he was in high school, he had formed his first band. While in high school, he also was a fine baseball player who had a tryout with the Pittsburgh Pirates, however when that did not pan out, he decided to concentrate on music. In 1956, he won a talent contest that included an appearance on the Louisiana Hayride. In the late 1950s, he recorded on Imperial and Capital Records, where he had a number of minor hits. In 1960 he entered the Army and after being discharged in 1962, he moved to Nashville.

While Bob never had a #1 record, he had a very successful recording career throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Among his Top 10 hits were  "Let's Think About Living," which went to #9 in 1960, "When You Say Love," which went to #6, and "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers," which went to #4, both in 1972, and "Neither One of Us," and "Still Loving You," both of which reached #7 in 1973. His final Top 20 single was "The Pay Phone," which went to #13 in 1977. In addition to his recording career, Bob was a very popular touring act, who was very popular in Las Vegas. Sadly, Bob became ill in December 1978 and passed away from pneumonia on December 27. In addition to having been a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Bob Luman is also a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.

As mentioned, while Saturday December 2, 1978 was Bob's last Saturday night appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, his final Opry appearance was two weeks later, on Friday Night Opry, December 15.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from Saturday December 2, 1978, the final Grand Ole Opry show for Opry star Bob Luman:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
David Houston: Best Friends Make the Worst Enemies
Charlie Walker: Lucille

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Monroe (host): A Used to Be
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Vic Willis: Cimarron
Bill Monroe: The Old Cross Road is Waiting

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Wilma Lee Cooper: Big Midnight Special
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Wilburn Brothers: Mama's Shoe Box
Charlie Louvin: Hey Daddy
Tonya: You Make Everyday Feel Like Sunday/Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Porter Wagoner: I'm Gonna Feed You Now/Big Wind

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball/Tennessee Central No. 9/Sunshine Special
Jan Howard: I'll Remember the Good
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle
Herman Crook: Amazing Grace
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Are You From Dixie
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong With the Way that We're Doing it Now
Bob Luman: Let Me Make the Bright Lights Shine for You/The Pay Phone
Jim & Jesse: Ashes of Love
Bill Carlisle: Business Man
Grandpa & Ramona Jones: Mt. Laurel

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Ray Pillow: Texas
Stonewall Jackson: My Favorite Sin
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cracklin' Hen
Hank Snow: Ramblin' Rose

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Monroe (host): My Sweet Blue Eyed Darling
Charlie Walker: T for Texas
David Houston: Best Friends Make the Worst Enemies
Wilma Lee Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Vic Willis: Shenandoah
Stu Phillips: Come Sundown
Bill Monroe: Cryin' Holy Unto the Lord

10:00: Fender
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Wilburn Brothers: What A Way to Go
Charlie Louvin: When I Was Your Man
Porter Wagoner: Ol' Slewfoot

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Ball Knob, Arkansas
Billy Grammer: Faded Love
Jan Howard: It's A Heartache
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Roy Acuff: Jesus Will Outshine them All

10:30: Trailblazer
Grandpa Jones (host): Old Dan Tucker
Roy Drusky: Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong With the Way That We're Doing it Now
Grandpa Jones: Falling Leaves

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bob Luman (host): Good Hearted Woman
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: (?)
Bob Luman: A Satisfied Mind

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Rumba Boogie
Ray Pillow: Dreams of A Dreamer/Another Day; Another Dollar
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Jim & Jesse: The Voice of My Darling
Kirk McGee: Chitlin Cooking time in Cheatham County
Hank Snow: Hobo Bill's Last Ride

11:30: Acme
Stonewall Jackson (host): A Wound That Time Can't Erase
4 Guys: Let Your Love Flow/Catfish John
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane/I Was on My Way to the Show
Stonewall Jackson: My Favorite Sin/Waterloo

An interesting item from that night. It was Herman Crook's 80th birthday and when he sang "Amazing Grace" on the first show, it was the first time that Herman had ever sung on the Opry.

That will do it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!














Monday, November 28, 2016

Happy "Official" Birthday Grand Ole Opry

It was 91 years ago tonight, Saturday November 28, 1925 that George D. Hay walked up to a microphone at WSM and introduced Uncle Jimmy Thompson. While there has been questions raised over the years, this is the date that has been proclaimed as the start of the WSM Barn Dance, later to be renamed the Grand Ole Opry.

George D. Hay gave the following account: "Because the Grand Ole Opry is a very simple program, it started in a very simple way. Your reporter, who was the first director of WSM, had considerable experience in the field of folk music when the station opened in October 1925. Realizing the wealth of folk music material and performers in the Tennessee Hills, he welcomed the appearance of Uncle Jimmy Thompson and his blue ribbon fiddle who went on the air at eight o'clock, Saturday night, November 28, 1925. Uncle Jimmy told us that he had a thousand tunes. Past eighty years of age, he was given a comfortable chair in front of an old carbon microphone. While his niece, Mrs. Eva Thompson Jones, played his piano accompaniment your reporter presented Uncle Jimmy and announced that he would be glad to answer requests for old time tunes. Immediately telegrams started to pour into WSM. One hour later at nine o'clock we asked Uncle Jimmy if he hadn't done enough fiddling to which he replied, 'Why shucks, a man don't get warmed up in an hour. I just won an eight-day fiddling contest down in Dallas, Texas, and here's my blue ribbon to prove it.' Uncle Jimmy Thompson, Mrs. Jones and The Solemn Old Judge carried on for several weeks for an hour each Saturday night."

This, of course, is George D. Hay's version. Some, specifically Mrs. Alcyone Bate Beasley, the daughter of Dr. Humphrey Bate, has claimed that it was her father that should get credit for being the originator of the Grand Ole Opry. Mrs. Beasley's has said that it was her father's group, of which she was a part of , that did the first Saturday night "barn dance" on WSM at the end of October 1925. Mrs. Beasley said in an interview, "I remember that night after it was over, and we drove back home in the old Ford car and Daddy, who always called me 'Booger,' said, 'Booger, we might've started something down there tonight, you just don't know.' We played there for about four or five weeks before Mr. Hay came. We would drive into Nashville and perform on WDAD in the afternoon, then we would walk up the hill and play on WSM later in the evening. I remember we would give Jack Keefe, who was the WSM announcer then, a list of the numbers we were going to play during the hour we would be on the air. And within just two weeks or so, bands from everywhere began to come up to be put on the air. One of the first of them was Mr. Ed Poplin's band from Lewisburg, Tennessee. I never felt badly about it toward Mr. Hay, because he wasn't well, but the fact remains that nothing was ever said about Uncle Jimmy Thompson being the first one on the show until long after my Daddy died in 1936."

Over the years, various researchers have found credence Mrs. Beasley's version of events. One piece of evidence is that on Sunday October 18, 1925, the Nashville Tennessean under the heading: "WSM Announces Weeks' Program": Saturday, 10-11 (p.m.) Studio program featuring Dr. Humphrey Bate and his string quartet of old-time musicians." That would have meant that they appeared on Saturday October 24, exactly as Mrs. Beasley stated. Further, Uncle Jimmy Thompson was never mentioned in the weekly radio program listing in the Tennessean until the December 20 issue, which listed his appearance for Saturday December 26 at 8:00 p.m.

At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter as back before any of us were around, WSM and the Opry decided that November 28, 1925 was the start of it all. So, on the occasion of the 91st anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry, congratulations are in order for the management and staff, along with all of the performers and members, past and present, on this historical milestone.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 11/25 & 11/26

With the Thanksgiving weekend upon us, the Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedules for the 3 shows this weekend; the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry.

Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill is returning to the Opry on Saturday night. Vince has been gone from the Opry for a little while as he has been touring. But now that he is back in town and performing his Christmas shows with Amy Grant, Vince is back on the Opry schedule. He will be joined by another Hall of Fame member, Connie Smith, who is also scheduled for the Friday Night Opry. Joining Connie for all 3 of the shows are Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider, and Jeannie Seely. Friday night will see 2 additional Opry members as Riders In The Sky and Jesse McReynolds are scheduled, while Bobby Osborne is on the list for Saturday night.

As to the guest artists this weekend, the name that stands out is John Oates, who is half of the duo of Hall & Oates. John will be making a solo appearance on the Opry this weekend as Pete Fisher and the Opry's management continue to reach out to a variety of artists. While John is not known for his country music, he has completed work on a Christmas project with The Time Jumpers. That could very well explain why he is a guest on Vince's segment. Joining John Oates on Saturday night will be Love and Theft, Jimmy Wayne, Suzy Bogguss and Flatt Lonesome.

The Friday Night Opry has guests artists Jaida Dreyer, Johnny Lee, Will Hoge, Mary Sarah, T. Graham Brown and the Annie Moses Band listed.

Friday November 25
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jaida Dreyer; Mike Snider
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Johnny Lee; Will Hoge
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Mary Sarah
8:45: Connie Smith (host); T. Graham Brown; Annie Moses Band

Saturday November 26
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Love and Theft; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jimmy Wayne
8:00: Connie Smith (host); Suzy Bogguss; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); John Oates; Flatt Lonesome

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Love and Theft; Mike Snider
10:00: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jimmy Wayne
10:30: Connie Smith (host); Suzy Bogguss; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); John Oates; Flatt Lonesome

That comes out to 12 artists on Friday night, 6 of whom are Opry members, while there are 11 acts for each show on Saturday night, again with 6 Opry members per show.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of November 25 & 26, 2011:

Friday November 25
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; James Wesley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Sherrie Austin
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett
8:45: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Del McCoury Band

Saturday November 26
1st show
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jimmy C Newman; Hunter Hayes
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Elizabeth Cook
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Daniels Band

2nd show
9:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Hunter Hayes
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); George Hamilton IV; Elizabeth Cook
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Daniels Band

From ten years ago, the weekend of November 24 & 25, 2006:

Friday November 24
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mandy Barnett
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Mountain Heart
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; T. Graham Brown
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Grand Ole Opry Band; Cherryholmes

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Mountain Heart
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Stu Phillips; Jimmy C Newman; Mandy Barnett
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Grand Ole Opry Band; Cherryholmes
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; T. Graham Brown

Saturday November 25
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Trent Tomlinson
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; David Ball
7:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mel McDaniel
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jan Howard; Mandy Barnett; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Grand Ole Opry Band; Mountain Heart

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Trent Tomlinson
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; David Ball
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Grand Ole Opry Band; Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett
11:30: Ray Pillow (host); Mel McDaniel; Mountain Heart

Looking back 25 years ago to Saturday November 23, 1991:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Porter Wagoner (host): Sugarfoot Rag
Skeeter Davis: If I Don't Have You
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green, Grass of Home/'Ol Slewfoot

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Ricky Skaggs (host): Life's Too Long to Live Like This
Jeannie Seely: Too Far Gone
Ricky Skaggs: There's An Old Kind of Love Goin' Around

7:00: Shoney's
Bill Monroe (host): Why Did You Wander
Jean Shepard: Bouquet of Roses
Del Reeves: Lay A Little Lovin' On Me
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter
Billy Walker: Peace in the Valley
Bill Monroe: The Little Community Church House

7:30: Standard Candy
John Conlee (host): Lady, Lay Down
Davis Daniel: For Crying Out Loud/But Love Me
Forester Sisters: That Makes One of Us/Men
John Conlee: Rose Colored Glasses

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: The Deepening Snow/Satisfied/How Great Thou Art
Grandpa Jones: Banjo Sam
Ramona Jones: Sail Away Ladies
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Rachel

8:30: Opryland
Hank Snow (host): Vanishing Breed
Jimmy C Newman: Diggy Liggy Lo
Roy Drusky: All For the Love of A Girl
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Charlie Louvin: Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross
Hank Snow: It's Over Over Nothing at All

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
David Houston: I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
Jan Howard: Love's Gonna Live Here
David Daniel: Picture Me Holding Pictures of You/Love Me
Ray Pillow: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget
Porter Wagoner: What Ain't To Be Just Might Happen

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Monroe (host): White House Blues/Blue Moon of Kentucky
Ricky Skaggs: Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line
Bill Monroe: Christmas Time's 'A Comin'

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Just A Friend
4 Guys: Tennessee/We're Only Here For A Little While
Roy Acuff: Freight Train Blues

10:30: Pet Milk
Grandpa Jones (host): Fifteen Cents is All I Got
Jean Shepard: The Days of Wine and Roses
Grandpa & Ramona Jones: Arkansas Traveler

10:45: B.C. Powder
John Conlee (host): Common Man
Forester Sisters: Sincerely
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar in the Goard
John Conlee: The Dog House

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Colorado Country Morning
Jim Ed Brown: When A Child Is Born
Justin Tubb: Sing Blue-Eyed Elaine Again
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby on My Mind
Bill Carlisle: Rusty Old Halo
Hank Snow: That Lucky Old Sun

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Big Mamou
Roy Drusky: As Long As I Live
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Charlie Louvin: This Darn Pen
Johnny Russell: Ain't 'Cha Ever Gonna Cry
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

While the official Grand Ole Opry induction date for Jean Shepard was November 21, 1955 (which was actually a Monday), the first date that Jean appeared on the Opry as a member was the following Saturday, November 26, 1955. Here is the line-up from 61 years ago this Saturday, the night that Country Music Hall of Fame member Jean Shepard made her first appearance on the Opry as a member.

7:30: Federal Fertilizer Co.
Marty Robbins: Maybelline
Fiddle Tune: Old Joe Clark
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Don and Rita: Lonely Heart
Fiddle Tune: Grey Eagle

7:45: American Ace
George Morgan: Ever So Often
Goldie Hill: Ain't Gonna Wash My Face
Eddie Hill: Smack Dab In The Middle
George Morgan: Jesus, Saviour Pilot Me
Fiddle Tune: Devil's Dream

8:00: Martha White
Flatt and Scruggs: Theme Song
Jim Reeves: Looking For A Sucker
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Standing at the End of the World
Flatt and Scruggs: Flint Hill Special
Jean Shepard: Satisfied Mind
Moon Mullican: Mean Mama
Possum Hunters: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Jim Reeves: I've Lived A Lot in my Lifetime
Maybelle Carter: Wildwood Flower
Flatt and Scruggs: Bubbling In My Soul
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Car-Hoppin' Mama
Fiddle Tune: Blackeyed Susan

8:30: Prince Albert
Ferlin Huskey: I'll Baby Sit With You
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Louvin Brothers: I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby
Fiddle Tune: Soldier's Joy
Ferlin Huskey: Sayeth The Lord
Del Wood: Smoky Mountain Polka
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Louvin Brothers: In The Middle of Nowhere
Ferlin Huskey: Walking and Humming
Fiddle Tune: Katy Hill

9:00: Roy Crown Cola
Hank Snow: Music Making Mama
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Tennessee Wagoner
Lonzo and Oscar: The Cow Jumped the Moon
Bill Monroe: I Used To Be
Carlisles: Knot-Hole
Marty Robbins: Pretty Mama
Hank Snow: I Can See The Love in Your Heart
Lonzo and Oscar: Snow Deer
Carlisles: Lil Liza Jane
Fiddle Tune: Back Up and Push

9:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Jordanaires: Theme Song
Ray Price: I Don't Want You On My Conscience
Slim Whitman: Tell Me
Anita Carter: Mask On My Heart
Cousin Jody: Dear John
Crook Brothers: Girl I Left Behind
Louvin Brothers: Just Rehearsing
Grandpa Jones: Night Train to Memphis
Chet Atkins: Five Foot Two
Jordanaires: Shaking Bridges
Ray Price: Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes

10:00: Wall-Rite
George Morgan: Almost
Bill Monroe: Close By
Moon Mullican: Cherokee Boogie
George Morgan: The Best Mistake I Ever Made
Fiddle Tune: Buffalo Gal

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
Marty Robbins: That's Alright
Carlisles: I Was On My Way To The Show
Goldie Hill: Why Don't You Leave Me Alone
Marty Robbins: Don't Let Me Hang Around
Fiddle Tune: Devil's Dream

10:30: Hester Battery
Jim Reeves: Looking For A Sucker
R.D. Heardon: To Be Announced
Jean Shepard: Beautiful Lies
Jim Reeves: I'm Hurting Inside
Fiddle Tune: Mississippi Sawyer

10:45: D Con
Hank Snow: Just Keep on Moving
Jimmy Snow: Go Back You Fool
Gully Jumpers: Bully of the Town
Hank Snow: Within This Broken Heart
Fiddle Tune: Bill Cheatham

11:00: W. E. Stephens
Lonzo and Oscar: Theme Song
Ferlin Huskey: I Feel Better All Over
Hawkshaw Hawkins: The Love You Steal
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Lonzo and Oscar: Who Put That Brick Wall In My Way
Slim Whitman: Indian Love Call
Grandpa Jones: Call Old Rattler
Maybelle Carter: Gold Watch and Chain
Crook Brothers: Arkansas Traveler
Ferlin Huskey: Cuz You're So Sweet
Fiddle Tune: Old Joe Clark

11:30: Delited
Ray Price: Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes
Louvin Brothers: When I Stop Dreaming
Eddie Hill: Someday You'll Call My Name
Sam and Kirk: While I'm Away
Cousin Jody: Oh, Wonderful World
Ray Price: Release Me
Dot and Smokey: Contact
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking In My Sleep
Louvin Brothers: Just Rehearsing
Ray Price: I'll Be There
Fiddle Tune: Sleepy Lou

One more item of note: The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree announced that the show this weekend, to be hosted by Leona Williams, will take place at the downtown Broadway shop. The taping will still take place at 10:00. At this point, it is a one time deal, but I really think this is the right move, especially with the Opry downtown at the Ryman. For those who have not noticed, the Ernest Tubb Record Shop downtown has been hosting several live events recently, including one last weekend with Mark Collie and Charles Esten, among others. Of further note, the past several years has seen the Midnight Jamboree suspend broadcasts during the winter months, instead going with previously aired shows. This winter, the Jamboree will be going live each weekend, with the exception of Christmas Eve. In my opinion, these shows need to take place at the downtown shop, as with the Opry at the Ryman and the crowds that are downtown for the bars and other events, it just makes sense. And to be honest, the Texas Troubadour theater area is a ghost town on Saturday night.

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend and a very Happy Birthday to Glen Thompson, founder of the Grand Ole Opry Fan Club, and a true friend.

Enjoy!!















Thursday, November 17, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 11/18 & 11/19

It has been an exciting week at the Grand Ole Opry with the news that Crystal Gayle has accepted the Opry's invitation to become the newest member of the cast. The actual induction will take place on Saturday January 21, with Crystal's sister, Opry member Loretta Lynn handling the formal induction. As I wrote briefly, I think this is a good move for the Opry, adding a veteran act who has shown a history of supporting the Opry through her guest appearances. Congratulations to Crystal and I am sure all of us look forward to seeing more of Crystal on the Opry stage. 

As to the 3 Opry shows this weekend, there are a few Grand Ole Opry members who will be appearing both nights, as The Whites, Connie Smith, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson and Mike Snider will be featured. On Friday night, they will be joined by member Bobby Osborne, while on Saturday Jesse McReynolds will be performing. 

As to guest appearances this weekend, the Friday Night Opry will feature Chase Bryant, Post Monroe, Ty Herndon, Anita Cochran, EmiSunshine and Chris Janson. For Chris, this will be another in his string of Opry appearances. As to Saturday night, Brett Kissel is back for another night of shows, along with Gary Mule Deer, who will be making what seems like his once a year annual appearance, Opry newcomer Brooke Eden, Restless Heart and future Hall of Fame member Ray Stevens. 

As mentioned, this will be the Opry debut for Brooke Eden. Brooke is another of the up and coming female artists who is featured on CMT's Next Women of Country. She records for RED BOW Records and has spent the last several years opening for such artists as Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Sugarland and Florida Georgia Line. Originally from Florida, she is appearing in support of her debut EP release, and single, "Diamonds." 

Friday November 18
7:00: The Whites (host); Chase Bryant; Mike Snider
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Post Monroe; Ty Herndon; Anita Cochran
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Kiefer Sutherland
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); EmiSunshine; Chris Janson

Saturday November 19
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Brett Kissel; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Gary Mule Deer
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Brooke Eden; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Connie Smith (host); Restless Heart; Ray Stevens

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Brett Kissel; Mike Snider
10:00; The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Gary Mule Deer
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Brooke Eden; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Connie Smith (host); Restless Heart; Ray Stevens

That comes out to 13 acts on Friday night, 6 of whom are members of the Grand Ole Opry, and 11 acts for each show on Saturday night, with 6 Opry members. 

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of November 18 & 19, 2011:

Friday November 18
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Diamond Rio
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Steve Wariner; Wanda Jackson
8:45: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Brandi Carlile

Saturday November 19
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Joe Diffie
8:00: Diamond Rio (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; The Marshall Tucker Band

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Del McCoury Band
10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jean Shepard; Joe Diffie
10:30: Diamond Rio (host); Jim Ed Brown; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; The Marshall Tucker Band

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of November 17 & 18, 2006:

Friday November 17
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Riders In The Sky
8:30: Emmylou Harris (host); Jon Randall; Kennedy-Rose
9:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Charlie Louvin; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Restless Heart

Saturday November 18
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Hal Ketchum
7:00: Pam Tillis (host); Carolina Rain; Nanci Griffith; Ray Scott; Del McCoury Band
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); George Hamilton IV; Radney Foster; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Emmylou Harris (host); Jon Randall; Kennedy-Rose

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Carolina Rain; Nanci Griffith
10:00: Pam Tillis (host); George Hamilton IV; Jim Ed Brown; Ray Scott
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jean Shepard; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Emmylou Harris (host); Jon Randall; Kennedy-Rose
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Radney Foster

Finally, from 25 years ago, Saturday November 16, 1991. It is nice to see a show with only Opry members scheduled and performing. 

1st show
6:30: Johnny Russell (host); Jean Shepard
6:45: Bill Anderson (host); Mike Snider
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Charlie Louvin; The Whites; Charlie Walker; Skeeter Davis
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Justin Tubb; Jeanne Pruett; Riders In The Sky; David Houston
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Jack Greene; Roy Drusky; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30; Hank Snow (host); Jimmy Dickens; Connie Smith; 4 Guys; Jeannie Seely

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Louvin; Wilma Lee Cooper; Mike Snider
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Jim Ed Brown
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites
10:45: 4 Guys (host); Riders In The Sky; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jack Greene; Connie Smith; Bill Carlisle; David Houston
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Roy Drusky; Johnny Russell

To finish it up for this week, here is the Opry running order from 50 years ago, Saturday November 19, 1966: 

7:30: Luzianne
Bill Anderson (host): Bright Lights & Country Music
Jim & Jesse: Don't Let Nobody Tie You Down
Del Wood: Cajun Stripper
Minnie Pearl: I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes
Bill Anderson: I Get the Fever
Ray Pillow: Don't Know Why I Keep Loving You
Bill Anderson: Used To

8:00: Martha White
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die
Billy Grammer: The Real Thing
Ernie Ashworth: Sad Face
Cousin Jody: Jody's Chimes
Wilma Lee Cooper: Hero's Death
Crook Brothers: Bill Cheatham
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: When My Times Comes to Go

8:30: Stephens
Billy Walker (host): Cross the Brazos at Waco
Skeeter Davis: Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
Glaser Brothers: Gone on the Other Hand'
Archie Campbell: Rindercella
Billy Walker: Bare With Me A Little Longer
Stringbean: Goodbye Sweet Thing
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jim Glaser: Thanks A Lot for Trying Anyway
Billy Walker: Cattle Call

9:00: Pet Milk
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Tex Ritter: High Noon
Wilburn Brothers: Hurt Her Once for Me
Loretta Lynn: Don't Come Home A Drinkin'
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)

9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Osborne Brothers: Up This Hill & Down
George Morgan; Speak Well of Me
Dottie West: What's Come Over My Baby
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile
Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule
Osborne Brothers: The Kind of Woman I've Got
Hank Snow: My Memories of You

10:00: Schick
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Three Windows
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops
Del Wood: Down at Papa Joe's
Ray Pillow: Volkswagen

10:15: Pure
Tex Ritter (host): There's a New Moon Over My Shoulder
Archie Campbell: Life Gets Tee-Jus, Don't It
Stringbean: Cumberland Gap
Tex Ritter: Take Him Fishin

10:30: Harvey's
Billy Walker (host): A Million & One
Jim & Jesse: Memphis
Ernie Ashworth: Sad Face
Billy Walker: Lonely Street

10:45: Newport
Wilburn Brothers (host): I'm Gonna Tie One on Tonight
Loretta Lynn: You Ain't Woman Enough
Crook Brothers: Liberty

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Golden Rocket
Glaser Brothers: The Last Thing on My Mind
Skeeter Davis: These Boots are Made for Walking
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Johnson
Hank Snow: Beggar to A King
George Morgan: Please Don't Let Me Love You
Sam McGee: Wheels
Hank Snow: Traveling Blues

11:30: Lava
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Dottie West: What's Come Over My Baby
Billy Grammer: Jessup Polka
Curly Fox: 50 Years Ago
Osborne Brothers: What Kind of Woman I've Got
Cousin Jody: Run, Pete, Run

Not often that you see Roy Acuff closing out the Opry and hosting the last segment. 

Enjoy the weekend and the Opry!!







Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Crystal Gayle-Newest Member of the Grand Ole Opry

During the Tuesday Night Opry, Carrie Underwood made a surprise appearance and asked Crystal Gayle if she would like to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. In my opinion, an outstanding move by Pete Fisher and the Opry management. Well deserved honor for Crystal that I don't believe anyone can complain about. And it adds a veteran act who I am sure will support the show.

The induction will take place on Saturday January 21st.

More to come.

Holly Dunn

The news broke overnight that former Grand Ole Opry member Holly Dunn has passed away at the age of 59. She passed away from ovarian cancer.

Holly joined the Grand Ole Opry on October 14, 1989, during the Opry's 64th birthday bash. She left Nashville in 2003, moving to New Mexico, as she retired from the music business to fulfill her dreams of being an artist. Several years after she moved, the Opry dropped her membership.

Personally, Holly was one of my favorites. I always enjoyed seeing her on the Opry and in my opinion, she did a nice job hosting segments and in hosting the backstage show. Her huge hit, "Daddy's Hands" launched a career that saw a number of her singles hitting the charts.

Our prayers and thoughts go to Holly's family and friends.