Thursday, November 26, 2020

Grand Ole Opry 11/27 & 11/28

The Grand Ole Opry continues this weekend with two shows, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry with what I am sure will be shows dedicated to the memory of Grand Ole Opry member Hal Ketchum, who passed away on Monday evening. 

Having seen Hal numerous times at the Opry, I always thought he was a fine performer and songwriter. After joining the cast in January 1994, Hal appeared at the Opry a couple of times each year. However, beginning in 2001 through 2009, his appearances increased to between 20 and 30 each year, becoming one of the Opry's more popular members. He also did a great job hosting segments. Beginning in 2010, Hal began to experience a number of health issues that limited his performances. His final Opry appearances were in 2017. While there is no guarantee, hopefully we will hear a couple of Hal Ketchum songs on the Opry this weekend. 
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Looking at what has been posted on the Opry's website as of Thursday morning, there is no official line-up and only a limited number of artists have been listed as "scheduled to appear." When I checked in with the Opry on Wednesday evening, they also had no news. My guess is that they are just having a little difficulty filling out the line-up for these post-Thanksgiving shows. 

Looking at what they do have listed, the Friday Night Opry, the only Grand Ole Opry currently on the schedule is Jeannie Seely. She will be joined guests Mandy Barnett, Don Schlitz, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, and Michael Ray. 

As with the Friday show, Saturday's Grand Ole Opry has only one member listed and that is Trace Adkins, who will also be on the Circle TV livestream segment, where he will be joined by Matt Snell and Francesca Battistelli. Also on the schedule, but not on the televised portion, are Dusty Slay and Charlie McCoy. 

Just like last week, Riders In The Sky and John Conlee were both on the original list of artists set to appear this weekend, however they both have cancelled once again. Hopefully both the Riders and John are doing fine and staying safe. 

One the line-ups are posted, I will certainly update. 
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And now from 50 years ago, Saturday November 28, 1970: 

1st show 
6:30: Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host); Bill Carlisle; Del Wood
6:45: Stu Phillips (host); Cousin Jody: Billy Troy
7:00: Jack Greene (host); Jeannie Seely; Stringbean; Jerry Smith; Jimmy Dry
7:30: Osborne Brothers (host); Skeeter Davis: Earl Scruggs Revue; Crook Brothers
8:00: Del Reeves (host); Jean Shepard; Willis Brothers; The 4 Guys
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Lonzo and Oscar; Webb Pierce; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host); Willis Brothers; Bill Carlisle; Cousin Jody
10:00: Stu Phillips (host); Stringbean; Del Wood
10:15: Jack Greene (host); Jeannie Seely; Earl Scruggs Revue
10:30: Osborne Brothers (host); Jerry Smith
10:45: Del Reeves (host); Jean Shepard; Crook Brothers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Webb Pierce; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Lonzo and Oscar; The 4 Guys

Looking back at a couple of dates in Grand Ole Opry history, it was on November 27, 1971 that former Grand Ole Opry member Margie Bowes made her final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. 

Margie Bowes was born in Roxboro, North Carolina in 1941. She began singing in elementary school. By the time she was 13 years old, she was appearing on TV programs including WDVA Virginia Barn Dance in Danville, WRXO-AM in Roxboro and other radio programs in North Carolina. In 1958, Bowes participated in the Pet Milk Company's nationwide talent search. She entered the contest in Nashville, Tennessee and won the competition later that year. 

Margie signed with Hickory Records and released her first single in 1958, "Won'tcha Come Back to Me" backed with "One Broken Heart". The singles gained some attention, but failed to chart. Her next two-sided single, "One Time Too Many"/"Violets and Cheap Perfume" also failed to chart, but she made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry later that year. In 1959, she released her third single, "Poor Old Heartsick Me". The song proved very successful for Bowes, and it just made the country top 10 that year. "Poor Old Heartsick Me" remained her signature tune.

In 1959, she released her follow-up, "My Love and Little Me". The song made the country top 20 and demonstrated she was more than a one-hit wonder. Bowes appeared on ABC-TV's Jubilee USA, and between 1959 and 1960 she released three more singles, though none of them gained any further success.

In 1961, she moved to Mercury Records and released a single that year called "Little Miss Belong to No One". The song just missed the top 20. No other singles with Mercury were successful for Bowes. By 1963, she moved to Decca Records and again started releasing singles that year. She had two singles that made the Top 40 with Decca. By 1969, Bowes left the label and recorded one more time for Stop Records in the early 70s.

After leaving the Opry, Margie did make a couple of guest appearances but she largely retired from performing. 

Margie Bowes passed away this past October. 

Here is the running order from Saturday November 27, 1971, Margie's reported last night on the Opry as a member: 

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
The 4 Guys (host); Let the Sun Keep Shining
Stringbean: Ruby
Margie Bowes: Understand Your Gal/Big City
The 4 Guys: Shenandoah

6:45: Rudy's
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host): This Train
Ernie Ashworth: Sad Face
Del Wood: Raggin' the Keys
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: I Couldn't Care Less

7:00: Luzianne
Charlie Louvin (host): I Don't Love You Anymore/Think I'll Go Somewhere & Cry Myself to Sleep/See The Big Man Cry
Earl Scruggs Revue: Lonesome Ruben
Grandpa Jones: Old Blue
Jack Barlow: Birmingham Blues
Charlie Louvin and Diane McCall: I'm Gonna Leave You
Earl Scruggs Revue: You Ain't Going Nowhere
Grandpa Jones: Eight More Miles to Louisville
Jack Barlow: It Ain't No Big Thing
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sunday's

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: Safe in the Loving Arms of Mine
Merle Kilgore: Ring of Fire
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Brother Oswald: Southern Moon
Jean Shepard: Just As Soon As I Get Over Loving You
Merle Kilgore: Honky Tonk Man
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
George Morgan (host): Easy Lovin'
Skeeter Davis: One Tin Soldier
Archie Campbell: Comedy
George Morgan: The Gentle Rains of Home
Louie Roberts: Sandy
George Morgan: Candy Kisses

8:30: Stephens
Wilburn Brothers (host): Roll Muddy River
Peggy Little: Little Henry Hurt
Jay Lee Webb: She's Looking Better By the Minute
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking in My Sleep
Wilburn Brothers: The War Keeps Dragging On
Peggy Little: Son of A Preacher Man
Jay Lee Webb: The Happiness of Having You
Wilburn Brothers: That She's Leaving Feeling
Ed Hyde: The Grey Eagle

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host): Doin' My Time
Margie Bowes: Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Louie Roberts: Come Back, Salina
Harold Weakley: Almost Persuaded
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Turn Your Radio On
George McCormick: Big Wind
Stoney Cooper: Back Up and Push

10:00: Fender
The 4 Guys (host): Over on the Other Side
Stringbean: Train 45 Heading South
Jack Barlow: Child Bride
The 4 Guys: Let There Be Peace

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Earl Scruggs Revue: Paul & Silas
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Earl Scruggs and Howdy Forrester: Sally Goodin

10:30: Trailblazer
Charlie Louvin (host) and Diane McCall: Something to Brag About
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Klide
Del Wood: Beer Barrel Polka
Charlie Louvin: I Placed a Call to My Conscience

10:45: Beechnut
George Morgan (host): Easy Lovin'
Jean Shepard: Safe in eh Loving Arms of Mine
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
George Morgan: The Last Letter

11:00: Coca Cola
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Skeeter Davis: One Tin Soldier
Merle Kilgore: Wolverton Mountain
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Phil Campbell: A Thing Called Love
Skeeter Davis: Love Takes a Lot of My Time
Sam McGee: Under the Double Eagle
Merle Kilgore: Folsom Prison Blues

11:30: Elm Hill
Wilburn Brothers (host): It Looks Like the Sun's Gonna Shine
Peggy Little: Little Henry Hurt
Jay Lee Webb: The Happiness of Having You
Wilburn Brothers: The War Keeps Dragging On
Peggy Little: My God is Real
Jay Lee Webb: Heart Over Mind

To finish it up for this week, let's remember Joe Diffie, who joined the Opry's cast 27 years ago, November 27, 1993. Sadly, Joe passed away earlier this year from Covid. He left us much too soon. 

Here is the running order from the night Joe joined the Opry; 

Saturday November 27, 1993 
1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Bill Monroe (host): Dear Old Dixie
Wilma Lee Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Brother Oswald: Columbus Stockade Blues
Bill Monroe: Christmas Time's "A Comin'

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Jack Greene (host): Walking on New Grass
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited Too Long
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

7:00: Shoney's
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take an Old Cold Tater
Skeeter Davis: 'T ain't Nice
Congressman Collin Peterson: Make the World Go Away
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream
Mike Snider: Foggy Mountain Breakdown/The Fir Coat
Jimmy Dickens: Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed

7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Joe Diffie: Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox
Jean Shepard: If Teardrops Were Pennies
Alison Krauss: Baby, You Don't Need Me Anymore
Joe Diffie: John Deer Green
Porter Wagoner: Indian Creek

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): I Get the Fever
Billy Walker: A Million and One
Jeannie Seely: Tell Me About It
Charlie Louvin: Think I'll Go Somewhere & Cry Myself to Sleep
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Bill Anderson: Deck of Cards

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Ancient History
Jan Howard: Gold Watch & Chain
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
The Whites: San Antonio Rose
The 4 Guys: In the Middle of the Night
Hank Snow: Just a Faded Petal from a Beautiful Bouquet

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General 
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Jan Howard: Heartaches by the Number
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chunk of Coal
The Whites: Swing Down Chariot
The 4 Guys: Let There Be Peace
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco
Porter Wagoner: Tennessee Sunshine

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Jean Shepard: Wabash Cannonball
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar

10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
Jimmy Dickens (host): John Henry
Jimmy C Newman: Allons A Lafayette
Jimmy Dickens: Another Bridge to Burn

10:30: Piccadilly
Bill Monroe (host): True Life Blues
Alison Krauss: I Don't Know Why But I Do
Michael Cleveland: Orange Blossom Special
Bill Monroe: I'm Working on a Building

10:45: Opry Book
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
Jeannie Seely: Too Far Gone
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Black Mountain Rag
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): From a Jack to a King
Joe Diffie: Together Again/Honky Tonk Attitude
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Mike Snider: T' Was the Night Before Christmas
Hank Snow: Black Diamond

11:30: General Jackson
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
Charlie Louvin: Less & Less
Jack Greene: The Great Speckled Bird
Johnny Russell: In A Mansion Stands My Love/He'll Have to Go
Charlie Walker: Take Me Back to Tulsa

I don't know about anyone else, but I always appreciated Joe as an Opry member. While he didn't appear on a regular basis, when he did, he always received a great reaction and enjoyed being at the Opry. 

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry this weekend. 













Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Hal Ketchum

Beloved country artist Hal Ketchum has died at the age of 67, due to complications of dementia. 

The announcement of his passing was shared by his wife Andrea via Facebook. She wrote, “With great sadness and grief we announce that Hal passed away peacefully last night at home due to complications of Dementia. May his music live on forever in your hearts and bring you peace.”

Through his father, Hal knew the music of country legends Marty Robbins and Patsy Cline. As a youth, he even joined Buck Owens’ fan club. Hal started playing drums at age 15, though he later switched to guitar. Although he enjoyed music, he spent nearly 20 years as a carpenter and furniture builder before getting his break in the music business.

In 1981, Hal left New York for Austin, Texas, and honed his songwriting skills in that town’s clubs. He released 10 of his songs on a 1986 album called Threadbare Alibis. At the same time, he began making trips from Austin to Nashville.

Hal Ketchum sold over five million albums and had half-dozen Top 10 hits – including staples like “Small Town Saturday Night” and “Hearts Are Gonna Roll.” He was also a member of the Grand Ole Opry, joining the cast on January 22, 1994.

The Opry shared on Facebook a quote from Ketchum, “There is an indescribable place on that stage where it feels like you are a part of history, a very fine history, and I really like that a lot. I felt the magic of the Opry the first time, and, so, I came to it in amazement.” – Hal Ketchum

It continued “Thank you, Hal, for your contributions to our Opry family- you’ll forever have a place in our hearts and our home.”

An established painter, Hal’s work has been shown in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s esteemed Pena Gallery, where he had a successful art show opening in 2002. He also was a master carpenter who liked to make toys. He was a true artisan and a musician’s musician. 

Ketchum retired from touring back in 2019 after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 




Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Grand Ole Opry 11/20 & 11/21

As we head into the week before Thanksgiving, the Grand Ole Opry continues on with two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. 

The Friday Night Opry will feature Grand Ole Opry members Bill Anderson, Riders In The Sky, Mark Wills and Dustin Lynch. 

John Conlee and Jeannie Seely are the only two members on the Saturday schedule. 

Guesting on Friday night will be Ashley McBryde, Charles Esten and Gary Mule Deer, who is also scheduled for Saturday night. Joining him on Saturday will be Dom Flemons, Lady A, Russell Dickerson, and Chris Tomlin, with the last trio scheduled for the televised/streaming hour. 

Friday November 20
7:00: Mark Wills; Riders In The Sky
7:30: Bill Anderson; Charles Esten
8:00: Gary Mule Deer; Ashley McBryde
8:30: Dustin Lynch

Saturday November 21
7:00: Opry Square Dancers; Jeannie Seely; Dom Flemons
7:30: John Conlee; Gary Mule Deer
8:00: Russell Dickerson; Chris Tomlin; Lady A

I know all of us appreciate the management of the Opry continuing to put on these shows during this difficult time, especially with the upswing in the Covid numbers. I know they are doing everything humanly possible to keep the shows going and I know the Opry management has our thanks, along with the artists who have been appearing on the show. 
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And now, from 50 years ago, Saturday November 21, 1970:

6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): There Goes the Farm
Ernie Ashworth: Lips, Start Talking
Louie Roberts: Kalua
Willis Brothers: Blue Shadows on the Trail

6:45: Rudy's
Ray Pillow (host): Free Born Man
Norro Wilson: Old Enough to Want To
Patsy Sledd: Bring Your Love Back to Me
Ray Pillow: Tonight I'm Going Out & Burn Some Bridges

7:00: Luzianne
Hank Locklin (host): Jambalaya
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Jerry Smith: Truck Stop
June Stearns: Tying Strings
Hank Locklin: Wild Side of Life
Bill Carlisle: Jack of All Trades
Jerry Smith: Steppin' Out
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy

7:30: Standard Candy
Ernest Tubb (host): Mississippi Gal
Loretta Lynn; Coal Miner's Daughter
Tom T Hall: A Week in a County Jail
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Ernest Tubb: Blue Christmas
Loretta Lynn: You Want to Give Me a Lift
Tom T Hall: One Hundred Children
Ernest Tubb and Loretta Lynn; Who's Gonna Take Your Garbage Out

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): I've Been Walking
Stringbean: Train 45
Bobby Wright: Mystery Train
Billy Troy: Okie from Muskogee
Nashville Grass: White Dove
Stringbean: Hot Corn; Cold Corn
Bobby Wright: Louisiana Man
Lester Flatt: Shuckin' the Corn

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Vanishing Breed
Glaser Brothers: Gone Girl
Charlie Louvin and Diane McCall: Something to Brag About
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking in My Sleep
Hank Snow: Come the Morning
Charlie Louvin: Sitting Bull
Glaser Brothers: Wicked California
Hank Snow: Hula Love

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Willis Brothers (host): Bob
Ernie Ashworth: Lips, Start Talking
Louie Roberts: Kalua
Norro Wilson: Do It to Someone You Love
Willis Brothers: Jambalaya
Ernie Ashworth: I'm Walking the Dog
Norro Wilson: Old Enough to Want To
Willis Brothers: Suppertime

10:00: Fender
Ray Pillow (host): Bubbles in My Beer
Jerry Smith: Drivin' Home
Patsy Sledd: Bring Your Love Back to Me
Ray Pillow: Heart Over Mind

10:15: Union 76
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
June Stearns: Today I Started Loving You Again
Hank Locklin: Jealous Heart

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Sunny Side of the Mountain
Stringbean: Nine Pound Hammer
Billy Troy: The Fighting Side of Me
Lester Flatt: Before I Met You

10:45: Beechnut
Ernest Tubb (host): Another Story; Another Time; Another Place
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
Crook Brothers: Gray Eagle
Ernest Tubb and Loretta Lynn: Sweet Thang

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Movin' On
Glaser Brothers: Release Me/Just A Girl I Used to Know/Today I Started Loving You Again/The I Turned & Walked Out Slowly/Many Tears Ago/You Win Again/Bouquet of Roses
Tompall Glaser: Sunday Morning Coming Down
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Hank Snow: Mary Ann Regrets
Sam McGee: Wheels

11:30: Lava
Charlie Louvin (host): A 'Come & Get It Mama
Tom T Hall: One Hundred Children
Bobby Wright: The Games People Play
Diane McCall: You'll Not Take Nothing Out
Charlie Louvin: I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby/Don't Laugh/My Baby's Gone/When I Stop Dreaming
Tom T Hall: Ballad of 40 Dollars
Bobby Wright: Long Tall Texan
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
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Finally, going way back, 66 years, to Saturday November 20, 1954. The Prince Albert portion, which was nationally broadcast on NBC, featured an appearance by Gene Autry. And, as you will see, the show that night was really loaded and outstanding. 

7:30: Warren Pain
Roy Acuff: Streamlined Heart Breaker
Howdy Forrester: Liberty
Lew Childre: Hang Out the Front Door Key
Eddie Hill: I Did I Daze and I Do
Fiddle Tune: Arkansas Traveler

7:45: American Ace
Roy Acuff: Just A Friend
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Oswald: Why Not Confess
Roy Acuff: Precious Memories
Jimmy Riddle: Red Wing

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb: Jealous Lovin' Heart
Johnny and Jack: Kiss Crazy Baby
Marty Robbins: Time Goes By
Kitty Wells: One by One
Possum Hunters: Billy in the Low Ground
Faron Young: If You Ain't Lovin'
Ernest Tubb: Two Glasses Joe
Goldie Hill: Treat Me Kind
Johnny and Jack: Before of It
Ernest Tubb: Daisy May

8:30: Prince Albert
Carl Smith: Loose Talk
Carlisles: No Help Wanted
Gene Autry: Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
Dale Potter: Blackout Rag
Hank Snow: I Don't Hurt Anymore
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Minnie and Rod: Gags
Gene Autry: Tweedle O Twill
Grandpa Jones: Good Old Mountain Dew
Webb Pierce: More and More
Fiddle Tune: Sally Goodin'

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Roy Acuff: You All Come
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
George Morgan: Candy Kisses
Jug Band: Jesse Polka
Martha Carson: I Bowed Down
Lonzo and Oscar: Hole in the Bottom
Roy Acuff: Won't It Be Wonderful There
Oswald: Roll Along Jordan
Jimmy Riddle: Bill Bailey
Howdy Forrester: Wake Up Susan

9:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Carl Smith: Go Boy Go
Jimmy Dickens: Black Eyed Joe
Ray Price: I Could Love You More
June Carter: He's Been Around
Ferlin Husky: Feel Better All Over
Crook Brothers: 8th of January
Cowboy Copas: Filipino Baby
Jordanaires: This Ole House
Chet Atkins: San Antonio Rose
Jimmy Dickens: Take Me As I Am
Fiddle Tune: Katy Hill

10:00: Wall-Rite
George Morgan: A Shot in the Dark
Bill Monroe: Close By
Minnie Pearl and Grandpa Jones: Papa Loves Mambo
Blue Grass Boys: Monroe Horn Pipe
George Morgan: Cry Baby Heart

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
Faron Young: Place For Girls Like You
Carlisles: Honey Love
Marty Robbins: I'll Go Alone
Fiddle Tune: Devil's Dream
Faron Young: If That's The Fashion

10:30: Hester Battery
Ernest Tubb: You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Jimmy Dickens: Cold Tater
Gully Jumpers: Girl I Left Behind Me
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Del Wood: Columbus Stockade
Martha Carson: Satisfied
Ernest Tubb: Dear Judge
Jordanaires: Be Prepared
Jimmy Dickens: You'd Better Not Do That
Fiddle Tune: Leather Britches

11:00: W. E. Stephens
Webb Pierce: Even Tho
Carl Smith: More Than Anything Else in the World
Ferlin Husky: Little Tom
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Webb Pierce: You're Not Mine Anymore
Lonzo and Oscar: Dear John
Cowboy Copas: Carbon Copy
Carl Smith: Back up Buddy
Fiddle Tune: Bile Them Cabbage
Webb Pierce: There Stands the Glass

11:30: Delited
Hank Snow: I'm Moving On
Ray Price: Yes Darling
Grandpa Jones: Old Dan Tucker
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Lew Childre: My Little Girl
Hank Snow: A Fool Such As I
Goldie Hill: Don't Betray Me
Sam and Kirk: Waiting for a Letter
Ray Price: I'll Be There
Hank Snow: Golden Rocket

here you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry this weekend.






Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Grand Ole Opry 11/13 & 11/14

So how did everyone feel about having the Friday Night Opry back? I thought last week was a very nice show and this week's show looks even better. Six Grand Ole Opry members, and one future member are on the schedule for this Friday and while the number of artists might be low, the quality is outstanding. 

Friday November 13
7:00: Connie Smith; Carly Pearce
7:30: Oak Ridge Boys
8:00: Crystal Gayle; Steve Wariner
8:30: Old Crow Medicine Show

Saturday night's Grand Ole Opry also looks like another fine show with good variety. As with the Friday show, there are just 7 acts listed on the schedule of which 3 are Opry members. Following the pattern from last Saturday, the televised segment will feature one Opry member and two guest artists. 

Saturday November 14
7:00: Opry Square Dancers; Kathy Mattea; John Conlee
7:30: Bill Anderson; Charlie Worsham
8:00: Jon Pardi; Cam; Oak Ridge Boys
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And now from 50 years ago, Saturday November 14, 1970:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Stu Phillips (host); Juanita Jones
Wilma Burgess: Snowbird
Merle Kilgore: Ring of Fire
Stu Phillips: For the Good Times

6:45: Rudy's
Willis Brothers (host); Why Don't You Haul Off & Love Me
Del Wood: Pony Boy
Norro Wilson: I'm Old Enough to Want To
Willis Brothers: Anytime/Just a Little Lovin'

7:00: Luzianne
Jimmy C Newman (host): Jambalaya
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: I Couldn't Care Less
Stringbean: Goodbye, Sweet Thang
Johnny Carver: If You See My Baby
Jimmy C Newman: I'm Holding Your Memories
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: This Train
Stringbean: Pretty Polly
Johnny Carver: Proud Mary
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou

7:30: Standard Candy
Charlie Louvin (host): Little Reasons/Will You Visit Me on Sundays/What Are Those Things
Earl Scruggs Revue: Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Dottie West: Country Girl
Crook Brothers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Diane McCall: You'll Not Take Nothing Out
Earl Scruggs Revue: Nine Pound Hammer
Dottie West: Willie's Winter Love
Charlie Louvin and Diane McCall: Something to Brag About

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Wonder If You're Lonesome Too
Loretta Lynn; Coal Miner's Daughter
Justin Tubb: As Long as There's a Sunday
Duke of Paducah: If You Knew Susie
Lester Flatt: The Sunny Side of the Mountain
Loretta Lynn; You Wanna Give Me a Lift
Victor Jordan: Cumberland Gab

8:30: Stephens
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
The 4 Guys: Love of the Common People
Ernie Ashworth: Lips; Start Talking
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
The 4 Guys: Don't It Make You Want to Go Home
Ernie Ashworth: Oh, Lonesome Me
Hank Locklin: Flying South

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Charlie Louvin (host) and Diane McCall: Something to Brag About
Willis Brothers: There Goes the Farm
Wilma Burgess: For the Good Times
Merle Kilgore: If You've Got the Money
Charlie Louvin: Come & Get It Mama
Willis Brothers: Just Because
Wilma Burgess: Snowbird
Merle Kilgore: I Love You Because

10:00: Fender
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host): Nine Pound Hammer
Stringbean: Eight More Miles to Louisville
Norro Wilson: Do It to Someone You Love
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: The Gloryland March

10:15: Union 76
Jimmy C Newman (host): Diggy Liggy Lo
Earl Scruggs Revue: Nine Pound Hammer
Duke of Paducah: Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas
Jimmy C Newman: I'm Holding Your Memories

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): I've Been Walking
Del Wood: Bill Bailey
Dottie West: Forever Yours
Lester Flatt: Little Maggie

10:45: Beechnut
Justin Tubb (host): Blackjack County Chain
The 4 Guys: Ruby, Don't Take Your Guns to Town
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Justin Tubb: Looking Out My Backdoor

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Locklin (host): Country Hall of Fame
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy
Loretta Lynn: You Ain't Woman Enough
Sam McGee: Where the Roses Never Fade
Hank Locklin: Today I Started Loving You Again

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): I'll Go Alone
Ernie Ashworth: Lips, Start Talking/Heartbreak Avenue
Johnny Carver: Your Lily White Hands
Don Winters: Cattle Call
Marty Robbins: I Walk Alone/Mama Tried
Ronnie Robbins: Love of the Common People
Marty Robbins: They'll Never Take Her Love From Me/Big Boss Man/El Paso/Singing the Blues
_______________________________________________________________________

Finally, here is a show from 68 years ago, Saturday November 15, 1952: 

7:30: Warren Paint
Roy Acuff: Low and Lonely
Lew Childre: Hang Out the Front Door Key
Roy Acuff: Eye From on High
Howdy Forrester: Blackberry Blossom

7:45: American Ace
Roy Acuff: They Can Only Fill One Grave
Webb Pierce: That Heart Belongs to Me
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away
Oswald: Surely Is A Train
Jimmy Riddle: Bill Bailey

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb: Fortunes In Memories
Hank Snow: The Girl Who Invented Kissin'
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin'
Carter Family: Willow Will You Weep for Me
Bill Monroe: Footprints in the Snow
Moon Mullican: Mean Mama Blues
Ernest Tubb: Driftwood on the River
June Carter: Comedy-Walkin' To Missouri
Chet Atkins: Guitar Polka
Hank Snow: Such A Fool as I
Bill Monroe: Tall Timber

8:30: Prince Albert Show
Red Foley: Birmingham Bounce
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Martha Carson: Crying Hold to the Lord
Square Dancers: Mississippi Sawyer
Red Foley: My God Is Real
Old Hickory Singers: Kentucky Babe
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Martha Carson: Swing Down A Chariot
String Bean: Old Joe Clark
Red Foley: Somebody's Crying
Square Dancers: Devil's Dream

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Roy Acuff: Don't Make Me Go To Bed
Fruit Jar Drinkers: McCloud's Reel
George Morgan: Yesterday's Roses
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Jug Band: Uncle Noah's Ark
Grandpa Jones: Are You From Dixie
Roy Acuff: Thank God
Homer Harris: To Be Selected
Oswald: Roll On Buddy
Howdy Forrester: Sally Goodin'

9:30: Fortune Feed
Carl Smith: Our Honeymoon
Jimmy Dickens: You Don't Love Me
Ray Price: I Cant' Escape From You
Anita Carter: Foggy Mountain Top
Lonzo and Oscar: Let's Live A Little No. 2
Possum Hunters: Bill Cheatham
Carl Smith: Sing Her A Love Song
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
Faron Young: Going Steady
Carl Smith: This Side of Heaven
Hal Smith: Sally Goodin'

10:00: Wall Rite
George Morgan: I Love Everything About You
Bill Monroe: When the Cactus Are in Bloom
Johnny and Jack: Don't Let The Stars Get in Your Eyes
Tommy Sosebee: I'd Trade All My Tomorrows
Don Slayman: Turkey in the Straw

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
George Morgan: Honky Tonk Street
Cowboy Copas: Some Fine Morning
Bill Monroe: Boat of Love
Webb Pierce: I'll Always Take Care of You
Charlie Cline: Arkansas Traveler

10:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb: Somebody's Stolen my Honey
Jimmy Dickens: Asleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Gully Jumpers: Soldiers Joy
Faron Young: My Open Arms
June Carter: Beautiful Morning Glory
Ernest Tubb: I'm With A Crowd But So Alone
Ray Price: Please Be Mine
Chet Atkins: Mary Lou
Jimmy Dickens: Hot Diggety Dog
Ernest Tubb: Daisy May

11:00: Soltice
Roy Acuff: The Streamlined Cannon Ball
Lonzo and Oscar: Goodby Little Darlin'
Roy and The Gang: Gethscme
Howdy Forrester: Cripple Creek

11:15: O-Cello
Carl Smith: There's Nothin' As Sweet As My Baby
Johnny and Jack: The Only One I Ever Loved I Lost
String Bean: Roll On Buddy, Roll On
Carl Smith: I Overlooked An Orchid
Fiddle: Rickett's Hornpipe

11:30: Darimix
Hank Snow: I Went to Your Wedding
Lew Childre: Sister Lucy
Moon Mullican: Pipeliner Blues
Crook Brothers: New Five Cents
Hank Snow: Boogie Woogie Flying Cloud

11:45: Hester Battery Co. 
Cowboy Copas: Boomerang
Sam & Kirk: Sugar Moon
Grandpa Jones: Frog Hair
Fruit Far Drinkers: Sweet Jenny Lee
Cowboy Copas: Copy Cat

I thought some would enjoy that line-up from back in the day. Notice all of the eventual Hall of Fame members who were part of the Opry then. 

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry this weekend.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Grand Ole Opry 11/6 & 11/7

Welcome to the first weekend in November and what should be a good weekend at the Grand Ole Opry House as the Friday Night Opry returns. Also, on Saturday night, the Grand Ole Opry expands back to a two hour show, with the final hour televised on Circle TV and their various social media outlets. The shows both nights will start at 7:00, which means that the televised portion will be pushed back one hour. 

Sadly, at least looking at the schedule for this week, the Circle TV portion is going to be scripted much like GAC was, with a limited number of artists, bigger names, and slanted toward non-members. This week the televised hour will feature Opry member Craig Morgan and guest artists Justin Moore and Brantley Gilbert. 

As to who else is listed on the schedule for this weekend, the Friday Night Opry, Grand Ole Opry members Bill Anderson, Connie Smith, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers and Dailey & Vincent are listed. Guest artists Jimmie Allen, Henry Cho and Jordan Davis are also scheduled. 

Saturday night, in addition to Craig Morgan, Opry members Jeannie Seely and John Conlee are scheduled to appear. Along with Justin Moore and Brantley Gilbert, Henry Cho is back for a 2nd night, along with Suzy Bogguss. 

At this point, the Opry has not posted the actual schedule and I will update as it becomes available. 
______________________________________________________________________

And now from 50 years ago, Saturday November 7, 1970:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Sammi Smith: He's Everywhere
The 4 Guys: Don't It Make You Want to Go Home
Billy Grammer: There's Power In the Blood

6:45: Rudy's
Roy Drusky (host): All My Hard Times
Ray Pillow: I'm Going Out & Burn Some Bridges
The 4 Guys: My Special Angel
Roy Drusky: Alone With You

7:00: Luzianne
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Earl Scruggs Revue: Flint Hill Special
Willis Brothers: San Antonio Rose
John Potter: Bright Lights & Country Music
Jim Ed Brown: Morning
Earl Scruggs Revue: Paul & Silas
Willis Brothers: Bob
Jim Ed Brown: Mexican Joe

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
George Morgan: I Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way
Ernie Ashworth: Lips, Start Talking
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Roy Acuff: The Last Letter
George Morgan: For the Good Times

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): John Henry
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Stu Phillips: Juanita Jones
Lester Flatt: Nine Pound Hammer
Hank Locklin: Before the Next Teardrop Falls
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Stu Phillips: Green, Green Grass of Home

8:30: Stephens
Tex Ritter (host): Take Him Fishin'
Glaser Brothers: Tennessee Girl & The Tennessee Square
Bill Carlisle: Worried Man Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Old Joe Clark
Tex Ritter: The Streets of Laredo
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Glaser Brothers: All That Keeps You Going
Tex Ritter: Have I Stayed Away Too Long

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Willis Brothers: Pretty Diamonds
Jim Ed Brown: Morning
Ray Pillow: Free Born Man
Billy Grammer: Jesus Is a Soul Man
Jim Ed Brown: Baby, I Tried
Ray Pillow: I'm Going Out & Burn Some Bridges

10:00: Fender
Roy Drusky (host): Long, Long Texas Road
Earl Scruggs Revue: Blue Ridge Mountains
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Earl Scruggs Revue: Instrumental

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Little Pal
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
The 4 Guys: Get Together/Let the Sun Shine In
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): I've Been Walking
Stringbean: Lonesome Road Blues
Sammi Smith: He's Everywhere
Lester Flatt: The Sunny Side of the Mountain

10:45: Beechnut
Tex Ritter (host): Wayward Wind
George Morgan: I Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Tex Ritter: High Noon

11:00: Coca Cola
Glaser Brothers (host): The Last Thing on My Mind
Stu Phillips: For the Good Times
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen
Stu Phillips: You Win Again/Release Me
Sam McGee: Victory Rag
Stu Phillips: Me & Bobby McGee

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane/Rainbow at Midnight
Don Winters: Chime Bells
Marty Robbins: Bouquet of Roses/I Could Never Be Ashamed of You/Lovesick Blues/Don't Worry/Big Boss Man/What Is Life Without Love/El Paso
_____________________________________________________________________

Looking back at a couple of different dates, it was on Saturday November 6, 1993 that Grand Ole Opry member David Houston made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

Born and raised in Bossier City, Louisiana, David Houston, whose lineage included Sam Houston and General Robert E. Lee, became a regular on The Louisiana Hayride as a teenager.

David was one of the earliest artists with National Recording Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1963, he rose to national stardom with "Mountain of Love"; the song, which was different from the tune made famous by composer Harold Dorman, Johnny Rivers, and Charley Pride, rose to number two on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart. Another song, "Livin' in a House Full of Love" (1965), did just as well.

In 1966, Houston recorded his breakthrough secular smash, "Almost Persuaded." This song, which is unrelated to the Philip Paul Bliss hymn of the same title, is the tale of a married man managing to resist a temptress he meets in a tavern. Houston's recording of it quickly rocketed to number one that August, eventually spending nine weeks atop Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart. For 46 years, no song equaled or bettered Houston's feat until Taylor Swift matched the nine-week record of "Almost Persuaded" on December 15, 2012, with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

David was awarded 2 Grammy Awards for Best Country & Western Recording and Best Country & Western Performance, Male in 1967 for "Almost Persuaded".

"Almost Persuaded" began a string of top five Houston singles through 1973, including six more number ones: "With One Exception" and "You Mean the World to Me" (1967); "Have a Little Faith" and "Already It's Heaven" (1968); "Baby, Baby (I Know You're a Lady)" (1970); and 1967's "My Elusive Dreams" duet with Tammy Wynette. In later years, Houston dueted with Barbara Mandrell on several of her early hits, most notably 1970's "After Closing Time" and 1972's "I Love You, I Love You". His last Top 10 country hit came in 1974 with "Can't You Feel It", though he continued making records until 1989.

As mentioned, David made his last appearance on the Grand Ole Opry on November 6, 1993; later in the month he suffered a ruptured brain aneurism and remained in a coma for five days until his death on November 30, at the age of 57.

Here is the running order from Saturday November 6, 1993:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Del Reeves (host); Bells of Southern Bell
The Whites: Pins & Needles
Del Reeves: A Dozen Pair of Boots

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): What'll I Do with the Baby-O
The 4 Guys: How Married Are You Mary Ann
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
Grandpa Jones: Little Old Log Cabin By the Stream

7:00: Shoney's
Jimmy C Newman (host): Diggy Liggy Lo
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Jean Shepard: Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me/Second Fiddle
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
Jimmy C Newman; Cajun's Dream/Alligator Man

7:30: Standard Candy
Billy Monroe (host): Why Did You Wander
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Hank Locklin: Please Help Me I'm Falling
Brother Phelps: Let Go, Baby/Playing House
Bill Monroe: Walk Softly on My Hear/Bluegrass Breakdown

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host); Southern Fried
Brother Oswald: Mountain Dew
Jack Greene: Statue of a Fool
Connie Smith: Once a Day
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Golden Slippers
Bill Anderson: Still

8:30: Kraft
Jim Ed Brown (host); Looking Back to See
Charlie Louvin: Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep
Jan Howard: Oh, Lonesome Me
Mike Snider: Soldier's Joy/Angeline the Baker/Old Molly Hare
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells

2nd show
Dollar General
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chunk of Coal
Wilma Lee Cooper: Wreck on the Highway
Billy Walker: A Million and One
The Whites: Doing It By the Book
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You
Grandpa Jones: My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Monroe (host): Love, Come Home
Roy Drusky: Homesick
Bill Monroe: Just a Little Talk with Jesus/Old Dangerfield

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Bill Anderson (host): Family Reunion
Mike Snider: Snuff Dipper
Bill Anderson: Deck of Cards

10:30: Piccadilly
Jim Ed Brown (host): Morning Comes Too Early
Jean Shepard: Bouquet of Roses
Jim Ed Brown: A Child is Born

10:45: Opry Book
The 4 Guys (host): In the Middle of the Night
Jimmy C Newman: Thibodeaux & His Cajun Band
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Liberty
The 4 Guys: May You Find Yourself in Heaven

11:00: Coca Cola
Charlie  Walker (host): A Way to Free Myself
Connie Smith: The Deepening Snow
David Houston: Living In a House Full of Love
Nashville Bluegrass Band: On Again; Off Again/I've Got a Newborn Soul
Charlie Walker: Smoke; Smoke; Smoke

11:30: General Jackson
Jack Greene (host): You Love Takes Good Care of Me
Jan Howard: Rock Me Back to Little Rock/Evil on Your Mind
Charlie Louvin: I Don't Love You Anymore
Johnny Russell: Got No Reason Now for Going Home
Martha Carson and Jack Greene: Satisfied
_________________________________________________________________________

The final line-up is from Saturday November 7, 1998, which was the night that Jimmy Dickens was recognized upon his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. While it was celebrated as his 50th anniversary as a member of the Opry, Jimmy actually left for 17 years, so he was actually shy of that mark. Regardless, it was a great night of celebration for Jimmy.

Here is the running order from that night:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Skeeter Davis: Silver Threads & Golden Needles
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

6:45: Kodak
Jack Greene (host): Highway to the Sky
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Porter Wagoner and Brother Oswald: Mansion on the Hill
The Whites: If It Ain't Love
Billy Grammer: Legend in My Time
Leroy Van Dyke: Walk on By
Christie Lynn: Chains/The Last Thing on My Mind

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy Dickens (host): Out Behind the Barn
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Bobby Bare: Detroit City
Jimmy Dean: Drinking From My Saucer

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): No Fair Falling in Love
Charlie Louvin: In the Cross
Del Reeves: The Bells of Southern Bell
Sweet Adelines: Who Will Buy
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Singers: Cherokee Shuffle
Bill Anderson: Po Folks

8:30: Physician's Mutual
Johnny Russell (host): Truck Driving Man
Charlie Walker: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere
The 4 Guys: In My Tennessee Mountain Home
Lari White: You Can't Go Home Again
Stu Phillips: Only God
Johnny Russell: Act Naturally

2nd show
9:30: Opry Book
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Jan Howard: Oh, Lonesome Me
Billy Grammer: Unknown Soldier
Leroy Van Dyke: Auctioneer
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home
Porter Wagoner and Christie Lynn: Milwaukee, Here I Come

10:00: Lincoln Mercury
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Skeeter Davis: I Can Call Jesus Anytime
Jimmy C Newman: Cochon De Lait/Texa-Cajun

10:15: Banquet
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take an Old Cold Tater
Bobby Bare: Marie Laveau
Jimmy Dickens: Another Bridge to Burn

10:30: Epiphone Guitar
Bill Anderson (host): Did She Mention My Name
Sweet Adelines: Who Will Buy
Bill Anderson: The Paper

10:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Charlie Walker (host): San Antonio Rose
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durang's Hornpipe
Charlie Walker: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere

11:00: Coca Cola
The 4 Guys (host): Walking With My Baby by the San Francisco Bay
Lari White: Take Me/You Can't Go Home Again
Jack Greene: Over There
Stu Phillips: The Great El Tigre
The 4 Guys: Amazing Grace

11:30: Opry Book
Johnny Russell (host): Folsom Prison Blues
Del Reeves: You Comb Her Hair/Hound Dog
The Whites: Doing It By the Book

It was a big night for Jimmy as he was featured on the televised portion that night. Bobby Bare appeared on both shows, at Jimmy's invitation, while his good friend Jimmy Dean appeared on the first show. Backstage that night were Waylon Jennings, Carl Smith and Garth Brooks.

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend. It will be good to have two nights of shows back. 













Sunday, November 1, 2020

November Opry Highlights

 Hard to believe but November is upon us. Many consider the months of November, December, January and February the "winter" months, as the cold wind from the North starts blowing. In past years, November was the start of the Opry's winter run at the Ryman Auditorium, however this year that will not take place. The Opry plans to stay at the Grand Ole Opry House for the remainder of the year and will spend just the month of January at the Ryman. 

Here are the historical and important moments that took place during the month of November in relation to the Grand Ole Opry, or with its members.

November 9, 1895: The man who started it all, George D. Hay was born on this date in Attica, Indiana. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, he came to Nashville and WSM in 1925 and in November of that year started the WSM Barn Dance, later to be named the Grand Ole Opry. As his influence at WSM and the Opry declined as the years went on, he would eventually leave Nashville and move to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he passed away in 1968.

November 11, 1899: Kirk McGee, one of the Opry's original performers, was born in Franklin, Tennessee. Kirk, along with his brother Sam, would perform on the Opry with a variety of performers and often backed up the square dancers. Kirk would remain with the Opry until his death in 1983.

November 28, 1912: Early Grand Ole Opry member Robert Lunn was born in Franklin, Tennessee. He was nicknamed the "Original Talking Blues Man." Robert first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry on March 31, 1934, and he stayed with the Opry until he retired in 1958. What is interesting is that he was known for his "Talking Blues" yes he never recorded the song until 1947. He was very popular and did many early Opry tent shows, often appearing with Roy Acuff.

November 6, 1925: Uncle Dave Macon, Sid Harkreader and Dr. Humphrey Bate performed a show at the Ryman Auditorium that was broadcast on WSM radio. This is considered the first country music concert to have been broadcast on WSM.

November 9, 1925: George D. Hay began working at WSM radio in Nashville, with the title of "Radio Director." Later in the month, he would put Uncle Jimmy Thompson in front of a WSM microphone on a Saturday night, which was the beginning of the WSM Barn Dance, later renamed the Grand Ole Opry.

November 28, 1925: At 8:00 p.m., and originating from the fifth-floor studio at the National Life and Accident Insurance Company's headquarters in downtown Nashville, George D. Hay stepped up to a microphone and introduced Uncle Jimmy Thompson on WSM radio. This is considered as the birth of the Grand Ole Opry. The first tune played by Uncle Jimmy was "Tennessee Wagoner."

November 2, 1926: Former Grand Ole Opry member Charlie Walker was born in Texas. This former disc jockey joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1967 and would remain a member of the Opry until his death in 2008. Each of the occasions that I had the opportunity to speak to Charlie, I always found him friendly and interesting.

November 30, 1931: Teddy Wilburn was born. Teddy, along with his brother Doyle, were longtime members of the Grand Ole Opry. After Doyle's death, Teddy remained as a solo artist on the Opry, until his death in 2003.

November 1, 1937: Grand Ole Opry member Bill Anderson was born. Bill became an Opry member in 1961 and is still an active member today. Not only has the Country Music Hall of Fame member have numerous hit records to his credit, but he is also considered one of the great songwriters in the history of country music and this past year he was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  Hard to believe that Bill will be 83 this year and next year will be celebrating his 60th year as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. 

November 30, 1940: Minnie Pearl made her Grand Ole Opry debut. Minnie would become one of the most beloved members in the history of the Grand Ole Opry and would be an Opry member for over 50 years.

November 2, 1948: Roy Acuff was defeated in his campaign to become the Governor of Tennessee. While Roy would remain a big supporter of Republican candidates, Roy himself would never run for public office again. Roy's campaign mixed country music and politics. He would usually start off his appearances with music, then get into the political speeches. By then, most of the crowd would begin to filter out. 

November 6, 1948: While official records are many times hard to come by, it would appear that this was the date that Jimmy Dickens first became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jimmy was an Opry member until leaving in 1957, however he returned to the cast in 1975. Jimmy then stayed with the Opry until his death in January 2015.

November 13, 1949: The Grand Ole Opry sponsored its first overseas tour, as a group of Opry performers traveled to England, Germany and the Azores as part of a USO sponsored tour. Among the Opry stars making the trip were Roy Acuff, Rod Brasfield, Jimmy Dickens, Red Foley, Minnie Pearl and Hank Williams.

November 22, 1952: The first Country Music Disc Jockey convention took place in Nashville. Among the activities that took place was the Grand Ole Opry birthday celebration, the first time a formal event was held to recognize the Opry's anniversary. The DJ convention would continue to grow, eventually growing into such events as Country Music Month and Fan Fair. While the DJ meetings would move to February, the Opry still celebrates his birthday/anniversary each fall, now usually taking place the first or second weekend in October.

November 13, 1953: Del Wood became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Del was known for her ragtime piano playing, and her #1 record, "Down Yonder." Del would remain as a member until her death in October 1989.

November 14, 1953: Bill Carlisle joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Bill was an Opry member for just over 49 years, until passing away on March 17, 2003, the same year that he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. At times, Bill, along with his daughter Sheila and son Bill, Jr., would be listed on the Opry program as The Carlisles. 

November 28, 1953: Future Grand Ole Opry member Hank Locklin made his first guest appearance on the show. 

November 20, 1954: Western singer and television star Gene Autry made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Gene, who was one of the early members elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, was based out west and didn't venture to Nashville very often. 

November 21, 1955: Jean Shepard became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jean, who passed away in 2016, was an Opry member for over 60 years, the only female to achieve that number. Not only was November 21 the date that Jean joined the Opry, but it was also her birthday and wedding anniversary. It should be noted that after Jean joined the Opry in 1955, she never left.

November 3, 1956: The great Stonewall Jackson originally joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. This year will mark his 64th anniversary from when he first joined the show. While it is now over 60 years since Stonewall originally joined, it should be noted that Stonewall was fired from the Opry in 1964 for failing to make the required number of annual appearances. He rejoined the cast in 1969. Stonewall's last appearance on the Opry was several years ago when he was recognized upon his 60th anniversary of joining the Opry. Sadly, Stonewall is battling some serious health issues and we have probably seen the last of him on the Opry. 

November 10, 1956: The Wilburn Brothers, Teddy and Doyle, became official members of the Grand Ole Opry. Teddy and Doyle, along with other family members, originally came to the Opry in the 1940s, however due to child labor laws, they were sent packing. Thankfully, with the help of Roy Acuff and Webb Pierce, the brothers returned and became one of the most successful brother acts in the history of country music.

November 9, 1960; Hank Locklin accepted an invitation to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Hank had made his first Opry guest appearance on November 28, 1953. Over the years, he would continue to guest until finally becoming an Opry member. Hank would remain an Opry member until his death in March 2009, 6 month short of 50 years as an Opry member.

November 3, 1961: The Country Music Association announced the first class of inductees to the new Country Music Hall of Fame. In that first class were Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose and Hank Williams. Roy Acuff would join that group the following year to become the first living inductee into the Hall.

November 25, 1961: Former Grand Ole Opry announcer, and WSM air personality, Eddie Stubbs was born in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Before joining WSM, Eddie was a fiddle player with the Johnson Mountain Boys, and then later he was a part of Kitty Wells' band. Eddie retired from WSM earlier this year, thus ending his tenure as an Opry announcer. 

November 29, 1961: A group of Opry members, which included Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins, Bill Monroe, Patsy Cline and Grandpa Jones, performed before a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall in New York.

November 7, 1964: Minnie Pearl performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the final time before taking a leave of absence from the show. If not for taking the leave, Minnie would have been dismissed from the Opry the following month as part of the Purge of 1964. Minnie was just so busy traveling and doing television shows that she wasn't around Nashville all that often. Minnie would return to the Opry on February 12, 1966.

November 28, 1964: Willie Nelson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Willie was an Opry member for just several years, as Nashville was tough on him and he eventually left Music City, returning to his native Texas and reinventing his career. While at the Opry, Willie would constantly complain about the low pay and having to give up every Saturday night to be there.

November 25, 1965: Leroy Van Dyke was fired/suspended as a member of the Grand Ole Opry for failing to meet the Opry's attendance requirements. Leroy had joined the Opry's cast a few years earlier. While Leroy never returned as an Opry member, he has made many guest appearances on the show.

November 25, 1967: Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time. Dolly's first Opry appearance since 1959 was the previous month, however on that show, Porter and Dolly did not do a duet. The song they performed that night was "The Last Thing on My Mind." While not an Opry member at the time, Dolly would join the cast in January 1969.

November 20, 1968: While not specific to the Grand Ole Opry, the first televised Country Music Association Awards show was televised on NBC. While the awards started in 1966, it took several years to find a network interested in airing it. The show was televised from the Ryman Auditorium with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans as the hosts.

November 12, 1971: Construction officially started on the new Grand Ole Opry House at Opryland USA. It was a massive project, taking until March 1974 to complete. While there were initial worries about the Opry leaving downtown and the Ryman Auditorium, the Opry has done just fine in its new home.

November 10, 1973: David Akeman, known professionally as Stringbean, made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Later that night, when he and his wife Estelle returned home, they were ambushed and murdered by two men who were waiting in their home to rob them. The bodies were found the following morning by their neighbor and good friend, Grandpa Jones, who had come to pick up Stringbean for a fishing trip. Nashville, and the Opry, was shaken by the murders, with many Opry members, led by Roy Acuff, calling for the death penalty. Grandpa Jones left Nashville for a number of years, moving to Arkansas and opening his own dinner theater. The killers were quickly caught and convicted. One died in prison and the other is out on parole.

November 24, 1975: One of the Opry's early members, Asher Sizemore, passed away at the age of 69. Asher appeared on the Opry with his son, known as "Little Jimmie." While there is some confusion as to when they started on the Opry, the date appears to be September 24, 1932. They were on the Opry for most of the 1930s, leaving the Opry in 1942. Years after they left the Opry, the pair would continue to perform on various radio stations, primarily in the Midwest.

November 18, 1978: Grand Ole Opry member Del Wood was recognized upon her 25th anniversary as a member of the Opry's cast. Del, known as the "Queen of the 88's" was one of the few instrumentalists to have recorded a No. 1 record. 

November 5, 1983: Glen Campbell made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. He performed a melody of his hits.

November 21, 1985: Reba McEntire made her first appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Reba had actually joined the show earlier when she was asked to join during a taping of the Opry's 60th anniversary show. Since the show was taped for later broadcast, news of her Opry membership was kept under wraps. Reba, whose Opry appearances have become few and far between, has been an Opry member for 35 years.

November 3, 1990: Minnie Pearl was honored as an Opry member for 50 years. She joined the cast in 1940. As a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, this comedian is considered one of the great stars in the history of the Grand Ole Opry.

November 15, 1992: The Grand Ole Opry radio program was inducted into the Museum of Broadcast Communication's Hall of Fame.

November 23, 1992: Grand Ole Opry member Roy Acuff passed away in Nashville, just one month after his final appearance on the Opry. His influence at the Opry, and with country music in general, cannot be overstated. Thanks in large part to Acuff-Rose Publishing, Nashville became the home of country music. Roy was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 50 years, and for many years he was the Opry's most popular member. There are many who feel that his death was the first nail in the coffin that had led to the many changes that have taken place at the Opry over the past several decades.

November 28, 1992: Marty Stuart became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Marty's 28th year as an Opry member. Marty joined the Opry's cast the week after Roy Acuff passed away and I thought Marty would be great addition to the Opry. Sadly, Marty seems to have gone in a different direction and he seldom appears on the show. On a happier note, it was announced earlier this year that Marty has been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

November 27, 1993: Joe Diffie became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Sadly, Joe passed away earlier this year from Covid. 

November 6, 1993: Grand Ole Opry member David Houston made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. 

November 30, 1993: Just weeks after his final Opry appearance, David Houston passed away at the age of 57. David, who came to Nashville and the Opry from the Louisiana Hayride, had one of the biggest hits in the history of country music with "Almost Persuaded." David had joined the Opry in 1972.

November 30, 1995: Martina McBride became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Martina joined during a CBS television special that celebrated the Opry's 70th anniversary. This will be her 25th year as an Opry member. Loretta Lynn, who Martina said was a big influence to her while she was learning the business, did the formal induction. Regarding Martina, I love this story that I have repeated several times: She actually appeared on the Opry as part of the 70th anniversary birthday bash that was televised by TNN. She was the last performer on the televised segment before the cake was to be brought out, along with the cast singing "Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry" which always concluded the televised segment. During her portion, she sang two ballads that ran long, causing the cake and singing to be delayed until the next segment, which was not televised. There were many unhappy viewers at home who missed this Opry tradition, and many unhappy Opry members, who missed the chance to be onstage during the televised segment. Martina was very upset afterwards, believing that her mistake on the timing of her songs, cost her a chance of becoming an Opry member, something she always dreamed of. She apologized to everyone she could fine that night, and dreams do come true as the following month, she became an Opry member.

November 23, 1996: Trace Adkins made his first appearance as a guest on the Opry. 7 years later, in August 2003, he would become an Opry member. Trace has told the story several times that on the night of his first appearance, Grandpa Jones, who was hosting the segment, forgot his name. Not unusual for Grandpa.

November 8, 1997: Johnny Paycheck became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. For Johnny, this came pretty late in his life, and after several years of trying to rebuild his image and career after some series legal issues that included prison. Johnny Russell did a lot of work behind the scenes to help Johnny become a member, convincing Opry management that Johnny had cleaned up his act. Sadly, Johnny became ill a few years after joining the show.

November 7, 1998: Jimmy Dickens was honored for 50 years of Opry membership. Jimmy, who originally joined the Opry in 1948, was joined that night by Waylon Jennings, Bill Anderson, Carl Smith and Bobby Bare.

November 5, 1999: In a stunning move, Opry General Manager Pete Fisher announced a reorganization of the Opry Staff Band, which resulted a several of the band members being dismissed. Included in that list were Buddy Harman, Leon Rhodes, Joe Edwards, Ralph Davis and Ray Johnston. According to Pete Fisher, "After several months of observing what was going on with the staff band I made a decision to restructure it, not only to achieve efficiency, but also to upgrade the quality so that we're providing the best service we can." Personally, I did not think there was any issue with the quality of the staff band and neither did Vince Gill, who was quoted as saying, "Leon Rhodes can play circles around most guitar players, and Buddy Harman can play circles around most drummers. The sad thing is, younger ain't better." It sure didn't take Pete Fisher long to begin making changes at the Opry. 

November 23, 2000: Dolly Parton and Vince Gill hosted a CBS televised special celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry.

November 24, 2000: Grand Ole Opry member Johnny Russell made his final appearance on the Friday Night Opry, thus ending his performing career as ill health forced his retirement. Johnny's final Saturday night appearance had taken place the previous week, on Saturday November 18. Johnny passed away several years later after a period of declining health.

November 8, 2002: The Grand Ole Opry was broadcast for the first time on Sirius satellite radio. For many, it was the first time that they were able to listen to an entire Opry show, while for others, it was the first time to enjoy the show without static.

November 23, 2002: Jim & Jesse McReynolds performed on the Opry for the final time. Jim McReynolds, who was in the final stages of an illness that would lead to his death on December 31, sang and played his guitar while sitting. The brothers had been Opry members since 1964, with Jesse still actively performing on the Opry.

November 30, 2002: Tim McGraw made his first guest appearance on the Opry. While never becoming an Opry member, Tim would appear on the Opry stage a few more times.

November 1, 2003: Grand Ole Opry member Holly Dunn made her final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Holly made the decision to give up her musical career and moved to New Mexico to pursue her passion as an artist. Sadly, and unlike a few other Opry members who retired from performing, Holly was fired as an Opry member several years later. 

November 17, 2003: Grand Ole Opry member Don Gibson passed away in Nashville. Don was one of the greatest songwriters in the history of country music and in 2001 he had been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Don joined the Opry on May 20, 1958, but was fired in December 1964 for failing to meet the required number of Opry appearances. He rejoined the show several years later, but even after coming back, his appearances were few. His last Opry show was on March 16, 1996.

November 24, 2003: Grand Ole Opry member Teddy Wilburn passed away. Teddy had been in declining health and had not performed on the Opry in several years. He, along with his brother Doyle, joined the Opry's cast in the 1950s and were instrumental in the early career of Loretta Lynn. 

November 15, 2005: The Grand Ole Opry returned to Carnegie Hall in New York for just the 3rd time in its history, this time to promote the Opry's 80th anniversary. The show included performances by Trace Adkins, Bill Anderson, Jimmy Dickens, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Charley Pride, Ricky Skaggs and Trisha Yearwood.

November 26, 2005: Grand Ole Opry member Jean Shepard was honored upon her 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jean had joined the Opry's cast in November 1955. Sadly, Jean's recognition did not take place during the televised segment that evening.

November 19, 2007: During Charlie Daniel's 11th annual Christmas For Kids benefit at the Ryman Auditorium, Opry member Martina McBride surprised Charlie on stage with an invitation to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Charlie, who passed away earlier this year, always said that being an Opry member was one of the highest honors he had achieved in his life. 

November 8, 2008: Actor Kevin Costner and his country and western band, Modern West, performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time.

November 14, 2009: The Grand Ole Opry streamed part of its show on MySpace. The segment featured Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Jake Owen and Rodney Atkins. This was the first time that the Opry attempted a broadcast like this and despite numerous technical issues, the Opry considered it a success.

November 9, 2010: Grand Ole Opry member Charlie Louvin made his final Opry appearance, in a show that took place at the Ryman Auditorium. Charlie was an Opry member for over 50 years. 

November 21, 2015: Jean Shepard celebrated her 60th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She appeared in a segment hosted by Bill Anderson, her first Opry appearance in a year. During the show, she announced her retirement and this was Jean's final appearance on the Opry.

November 5, 2016: Grand Ole Opry member Stonewall Jackson was recognized and honored upon his 60th anniversary of when he first joined the Grand Ole Opry. This was also Stonewall's last appearance on the show.

November 15, 2016: During a guest appearance on the Tuesday Night Opry, Carrie Underwood surprised Crystal Gayle during a guest appearance, with an invitation to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Crystal's official induction took place the following January.

November 24, 2016: Former Grand Ole Opry member Holly Dunn passed away in New Mexico from ovarian cancer. Holly joined the Opry's cast in October 1989 and was a member of the Opry until she was fired in the 2000's, after leaving Nashville and moving to New Mexico. In addition to her Opry duties, Holly also was a regular host of the Opry Backstage show.

November 19, 2017: Grand Ole Opry member, and Country Music Hall of Fame member, Mel Tillis passed away in Florida after an extended illness. Mel had joined the Opry in June 2007 after a very successful career as a singer, songwriter and actor.

November 15, 2018: Grand Ole Opry member Roy Clark passed away. The Country Music Hall of Fame member had joined the Opry's cast in 1987.

There you have it for this month. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Grand Ole Opry Saturday October 31

The Grand Ole Opry finishes up the month of October with what is scheduled to be the final one hour  Opry show. Beginning next weekend, the Opry will be returning to a two hour show on Friday and Saturday night, with the final hour on Saturday televised on Circle TV. 

As I look at the upcoming Opry schedule, they seem to be keeping it pretty close to the vest, as there are only two upcoming dates in November that have artists listed. November 7 has Opry member Craig Morgan on the schedule along with Justin Moore and Brantley Gilbert, while Lady A and Chris Tomlin are listed for November 21. As the Opry moves to the two hour shows, it will be interesting to see what the format will be and how many artists will be performing each week. Hopefully, it will be a well-rounded lineup and we will once again see some of our Opry favorites. And let's not forget, we are still awaiting the formal Opry induction of Rhonda Vincent. 

For the final October show only two acts are currently listed, Steve Wariner and Clint Black. This is a banner year for Clint at the Opry as this will be his 2nd appearance of 2020, which is the most he has appeared on the Opry since 2014. 
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And now from 50 years ago, Saturday October 31, 1970:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Billy Walker (host): Curtains on the Windows
Jim and Jesse: I'm Hoping That You're Hoping
Del Wood: Cattle Call
Billy Walker: She Goes Walking Through My Mind

6:45: Rudy's
Hank Locklin (host): Flying South
George Morgan: I Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way
Willis Brothers: Sioux City Sue
Hank Locklin: Bless Her Heart; I Love Her

7:00: Luzianne
Bill Monroe (host)
James William Monroe: Sweet Mary
Earl Scruggs Revue: Nashville Skyline Rag
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
Bill Monroe: Live and Let Live
Earl Scruggs Revue: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Justin Tubb: Love is No Excuse
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited too Long

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Tex Ritter: Wayward Wind
The Stonemans: Doin' My Time
Crook Brothers: Old Hen Cackle
Roy Acuff: Each Season Changes You
Tex Ritter: Boll Weevil

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): My Sara Jane
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
Ray Pillow: Heart Over Mind
Victor Jordan and Roland White: Mocking Banjo
Lester Flatt: Before I Met You
Loretta Lynn: You Wanna Give Me a Lift
Ray Pillow: Do It to Someone You Love
Lester Flatt: Folsom Prison Blues

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Vanishing Breed
Marion Worth: Okie from Muskogee
Stu Phillips: For the Good Times
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Greenback Dollar
Hank Snow: With This Ring I Thee Wed
Marion Worth: Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed
Stu Phillips: A Castle; A Cabin
Hank Snow: Zeb Turney's Gal

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Tex Ritter (host): Jealous Heart
Willis Brothers: Buying Popcorn
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
George Morgan: I Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way
Tex Ritter: Just Beyond the Moon
Willis Brothers: A 6 Ft 2 By 4
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy
George Morgan: For the Good Times

10:00: Fender
Billy Walker (host): When A Man Loves A Woman
Jim and Jesse: I've Got a Freight Train on My Mind
Billy Walker: She Goes Walking Through My Mind
Jim and Jesse: When I Stop Dreaming

10:15: Union 76
Bill Monroe (host): John Henry
Earl Scruggs Revue: Loradero Josp III Breakdown
Justin Tubb: Looking at My Back Door
Bill Monroe: In Despair

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Del Wood: Raggin' the Keys
Lester Flatt: Sunny Side of the Mountain

10:45: Beechnut
Roy Acuff (host): Little Pal
The Stonemans: Orange Blossom Special
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Rumba Boogie
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
Stu Phillips: Crystal Chandeliers
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Hank Snow: I've Cried a Mile
Loretta Lynn: You Ain't Woman Enough
Sam McGee: Wheels
Hank Snow: These Tears Are Not for You

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Marion Worth: Okie from Muskogee
Ray Pillow: Working Man Blues/Grazin' in Greener Pastures
Don Winters: Jambalaya
Marty Robbins: I'm So Afraid of Losing You Again/Don't Worry/Big Boss Man/Begging to You/Devil Woman

A wonderful show to close out the month of October 1970.

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night.