Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 8/22 & 8/23

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend. There is the usual one show on Friday and one show on Saturday, along with the Tuesday Night Opry.

The Friday Night Opry will feature another appearance by Vince Gill. This makes 2 weeks in a row for this Opry star and I am glad to see him back on the Opry stage. Joining Vince on Friday night will be Opry members the Oak Ridge Boys. As far as guest artists, we have Carolina Story, Sundy Best and the ever popular Willis Clan. This week's new artist, making his Opry debut, will be Chase Bryant and also scheduled is a name from the past that I haven't heard from in a while and that is Billy Gilman. I remember when he was a teenage star.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature a number of guest artists including Caitlin Rose, James House, Mandy Barnett, Holly Williams, and staying over from Friday night, The Willis Clan.

Friday August 22, 2014
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Carolina Story; Billy Gilman
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Sundy Best; The Willis Clan
Intermission
8:15: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chase Bryant
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jan Howard; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday August 23, 2014
7:00: John Conlee (host); Caitlin Rose
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); James House; Mandy Barnett
Intermission
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Willis Clan

There is a slot available for Jimmy Dickens. I still find it interesting that the Opry does not list Jimmy on the schedule yet expects him to appear unless told otherwise. I really don't remember that happening previously. Back in the early 1990s when Roy Acuff was basically "show-to-show" for many weeks, he was always listed on the schedule and even Hank Snow was listed for many weeks when he wasn't appearing. In the case of Hank in 1996, the Opry in many cases wouldn't know until right before show time that he wasn't coming.

A thought crossed my mind, and others have offered opinions, that it has been almost a year since the Opry has had a new member. Old Crow Medicine Show last fall has been the last. You would expect a new member soon and rumors are starting to heat up on who might potentially be asked. For what it is worth, there has not been a new female Opry member in years, but that doesn't mean much. Something to watch which way the tea leaves are waving.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, August 21 & 22, 2009:

Friday August 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Crystal Gayle
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jesse McReynolds; The Whites
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday August 22
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; Joey+Rory
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Exile

Now, from 10 years ago this weekend, August 20 & 21, 2004:

Friday August 20
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jack Greene; Christy Sutherland
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Cory & Jarrod Walker; The Whites
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; BR549
9:00: Jeannie Seely (host); J.D. Crowe & The New South; Daryle Singletary
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Brad Cotter; Connie Smith

Saturday August 21
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Lane Turner
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); J.D. Crowe & The New South; Jessi Alexander
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Lynn Anderson; Pinmonkey
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Sherrie Austin; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Billy Walker; Cory & Jarrod Walker; T Graham Brown

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Lane Turner
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Lynn Anderson; J.D. Crowe & The New South; Pinmonkey
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stu Phillips; Jessi Alexander; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Billy Walker; Cory & Jarrod Walker; Sherrie Austin
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Mel McDaniel; T Graham Brown

For this week's feature line-up, I go to Saturday August 22, 1981. This was the last show for Don Williams as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Don joined the Opry on April 23, 1976 and let's just be nice and say that he figured out that Opry membership just wasn't for him. Not that he was at the Opry that many times anyways. In 1977, the year after he joined, he appeared just 2 times. He followed that up with 3 appearances in 1978, no appearances in 1979 and 1980, before wrapping it up in 1981 with just 2 appearances. A record like that would be acceptable today, but back when he joined, you were still expected to appear. Don had a great career in country music and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. And, he is still touring today.

Here is the line-up and running order of the Opry from Saturday August 22, 1981, 33 years ago this weekend:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Full Moon; Empty Pockets
Ernie Ashworth: Irene
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): T For Texas
Jan Howard: Six Weeks in the Summer; Christmas Every Other Year
Charlie Walker: Little Old Wine Drinker Me/Waltz Across Texas

7:00: Shoney's
Charlie Louvin (host): What Are Those Things
Billy Grammer: When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
John Conlee: Could You Love Me One More Time/Miss Emily's Picture
Joe Edwards: Black Mountain Rag
Charlie Louvin: Ten Years; Three Kids; Two Loves Too Late

7:30: Standard Candy
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Skeeter Davis: It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels/I'll Fly Away
Roy Drusky: If The Whole World Stopped Loving
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Lost Indian
Archie & Phil Campbell: Hey Waiter

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Vic Willis Trio: Colorado
David Houston: Bandera Waltz
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird/Shake My Mother's Hand For Me

8:30: Acme
4 Guys (host): Loving Up A Storm
Jeannie: When Your House Is Not A Home
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hollow Poplar
Don Williams: Living On Tulsa Time/I Believe In You//Amanda
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
4 Guys (host): Mama Rocked Us to Sleep With Country Music
Ray Pillow: She Never Likes Nothing For Long
Jan Howard: Good Hearted Woman
Don Williams: Living On Tulsa Time/I Believe In You/Amanda
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On

10:00: Little Debbie
Charlie Louvin (host): The Way I Am
John Conlee: Could You Love Me One More Time/Miss Emily's Picture
Charlie Louvin: Is This How It Is When It's Over

10:15: Sunbeam
David Houston (host): Texas Ida Red
Ernie Ashworth: Irene
David Houston: Bandera Waltz

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): I Couldn't Believe It Was True
Charlie Walker: The One Rose That's Left In My Heart
Howdy Forrester: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Roy Acuff: Jesus Will Outshine Them All

10:45: Beech-nut
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Skeeter Davis: The Old Rugged Cross/The King is Coming/I'll Fly Away
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Old Joe Clark
Stonewall Jackson: Me and You and A Dog Named Boo

11:00: Coca-Cola
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
The Pilgrims: When They Call My Name
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Jeannie Seely: I'm Almost Ready
Archie & Phil Campbell: The Interview

11:30: Bama
Roy Drusky (host): Billy Bayou
Billy Grammer: Somebody Loves You
Vic Willis Trio: Shenendoah
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Roy Drusky: There'll Never Be Anyone Else But You For Me/Just A Closer Walk With Thee

And finally, it was 27 years ago this weekend, Saturday August 22, 1987, that Roy Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Here is the line-up from that night:

1st show
6:30: 4 Guys (host); Lorrie Morgan
6:45: Charlie Louvin (host); Del Wood
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow; Jeannie Seely; Ernie Ashworth
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Jan Howard; Roy Clark
8:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Tom T Hall; Wilma Lee Cooper; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; Roy Drusky; Stonewall Jackson; Bill Carlisle

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jeannie Seely; 4 Guys; Tom T Hall
10:00: Charlie Louvin (host); Skeeter Davis
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Roy Clark
10:30: Ray Pillow (host); Lorrie Morgan
10:45: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; Ernie Ashworth; Wilma Lee Cooper; Bill Carlisle
11:30: Stonewall Jackson (host); Roy Drusky; Johnny Russell

On a final note, here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, August 26:

7:00: Frankie Ballard; Bill Anderson
7:30: Darryl Worley; Dailey & Vincent
Intermission
8:15: The Whites; Shovels & Rope
8:45: Josh Thompson; Ricky Skaggs.

I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 8/15 & 8/16

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedule for the shows this weekend, along with the upcoming Tuesday Night Opry. First, let's cover the shows over the weekend.

Appearing both nights will be Opry member Vince Gill. Vince is usually one of the Opry's more loyal members, and even with all his frequent appearances around Nashville and his touring, he has kept up his appearances. However, I can't help notice that Vince has been at the Opry less this year then he has been in the past. Hopefully the trend will change.

Joining Vince on Friday night will be Opry members Diamond Rio, along with some interesting guest artists. Kix Brooks makes a return to the Opry stage, along with Tracy Lawrence and Sam Bush. On the female side, there is Lindsay Ell and Sunny Sweeney. Also scheduled is frequent Opry guest Chris Janson. Out of the 12 acts scheduled, 6 are Opry members.

On Saturday night, in addition to Vince, will be guest artists Holly Williams, Kim Richey, Aubrey Peoples, from the Nashville show, Exile and Jimmy Wayne. Finally, on the schedule for their first Opry appearances, are Nathan East and Bob James. Nathan is described as a "jazz, R&B, rock bass player and vocalist. He is also said to be the most recorded rock bass player in musical history. He has recorded with Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Phil Collins and Toto, among others. (I don't see any country artists on the list). Bob James is cut from the same cloth and is touring with Nathan as part of "Fourplay."

Nothing against Nathan and Bob, but what can I say? I guess Steve Buchanan and Pete Fisher want to give this week's Opry audience a taste of jazz instead of country. Being on Vince's segment, I also wonder how much he had to do with their booking on the Opry?

Anyways, of the 12 acts booked on Saturday night, they managed to round up 5 members of the Opry.

Friday August 15
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Chris Janson; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); The Whites; Sam Bush
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Lindsay Ell; Tracy Lawrence
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Sunny Sweeney; Kix Brooks

Saturday August 16
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Holly Williams
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Kim Richey; Jimmy Wayne
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Aubrey Peoples; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Nathan East and Bob James; Exile

For the Tuesday Night Opry on August 19, there are 2 shows scheduled as Carrie Underwood returns to the Opry. Joining Carrie will be Opry members Trace Adkins, Del McCoury and Craig Morgan. Also scheduled for the first show is Terri Clark. Again, Carrie is upholding her end of being an Opry member.

Tuesday August 19
1st show
7:00: Terri Clark; Joel Crouse
7:30: Del McCoury Band; Mark Chesnutt
8:00: Sam Hunt; Craig Morgan
8:30: Trace Adkins; Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson; Joel Crouse
10:00: Del McCoury Band; Mark Chesnutt
10:30: Sam Hunt; Craig Morgan
11:00: Trace Adkins; Carrie Underwood

And now here is the Grand Ole Opry posted line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, August 14 & 15, 2009:

Friday August 14
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider; Justin McBride
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Rodney Atkins
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jim Ed Brown; Riders In The Sky; The Whites
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Vince Gill

Saturday August 15
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Infamous Stringdusters
7:30: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jack Greene; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
8:00: Mel Tillis (host); Stonewall Jackson; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Jim Ed Brown; Josh Turner

Now, from 10 years ago this weekend, August 13 & 14, 2004:

Friday August 13
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Andy Griggs
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Louvin; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Bruce Robison
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; John Anderson
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Melonie Cannon; Jack Greene
9:30: John Conlee (host); Craig Morgan; Ray Price

Saturday August 14
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; BR549
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Osborne Brothers; Katrina Elam
7:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jack Greene; Mountain Heart
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Rodney Atkins; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; T Graham Brown

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Katrina Elam
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Connie Smith; T Graham Brown
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stonewall Jackson; Rodney Atkins; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Billy Walker; Mountain Heart
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Ray Pillow; BR549

For this week's featured line-up, I am posting the show from Saturday August 15, 1992. It was 22 years ago this weekend that June Webb made a return visit to the Grand Ole Opry at the request of Roy Acuff.

June Webb was a popular country artist in the 1950s and 1960s. Beginning in the early 1950s, she made appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. She also was on the RCA label and in 1958 she won the award as the "Most Promising Female Artist." Also in the 1950s, she began working with Roy Acuff and joined his road show as the lead female vocalist. She appeared with Roy everywhere including whenever he played on the Opry. In the early 1960s, she went in a different direction and left the music business. As mentioned, in 1992 Roy Acuff asked her to make a final Opry appearance with him, which she did on August 15.

For those interested, she has a very nice website which includes old music, new music and videos. And, she sounds as good as ever.

Here is the line-up from August 15, 1992:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Porter Wagoner (host); Tennessee Saturday Night
Wilma Lee Cooper: There's A Higher Power
Porter Wagoner: Misery Loves Company/Dooley

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Jim Ed Brown (host): Looking Back to See
Jeannie Seely: Houston
Jim Ed Brown: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On/Morning

7:00: Shoney's
Bill Monroe (host): I'm On My Way Back to the Old Home
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Charlie Louvin: The Family Who Prays
Del Reeves: There She Goes
Billy Walker: Smokey Places
Bill Monroe: Tennessee Blues

7:30: Standard Candy
Ricky Skaggs (host): Same Old; Same Old Love
Justin Tubb: Imagine That
The Whites: San Antonio Rose
Alison Krauss: A New Fool/Another Night
Ricky Skaggs & Sharon White: Love Can't Ever Get Better Than This

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come This Far to Say Goodbye/Satisfied
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band/Jole Blon
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar in the Goard
Roy Acuff: That's the Man I'm Looking For

8:30: Opryland
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
4 Guys: Big River
Jean Shepard: Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
George Hamilton IV: Break My Mind
Hank Snow: The Rainbow's End

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Tale that the Crow Told Me
Alison Krauss & The Cox Family: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name/Standing By the Bedside of A Neighbor
Porter Wagoner: I'm Gonna Act Right

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Monroe (host): Why Did You Wander
Roy Drusky: Blues in My Heart
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
Bill Monroe: A Beautiful Life

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Night Train to Memphis
4 Guys: My Prayer
June Webb: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry/Making Believe

10:30: Pet Milk
Ricky Skaggs (host): I Wouldn't Change You If I Could
The Whites: Pins and Needles
Ricky Skaggs: Country Boy

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Jan Howard: Rock Me Back to Little Rock/Evil On Your Mind
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Lost Indian
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Jean Shepard: Above and Beyond
Charlie Louvin: Charlie Whitstein: Knoxville Girl
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore
Hank Snow: My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Jim Ed Brown (host): The 3 Bells
Connie Smith: Once A Day
Johnny Russell: In A Mansion Stands My Love/He'll Have to Go
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

A final June Webb note. Hank Williams was scheduled for a show in my hometown of Canton, Ohio on January 1, 1953. As everyone knows, he died in route to this show. Included on the schedule that night were the Webb Sisters, which were June and her sister. The buiding they were to perform at is still in use today. That evening, after news of Hank's death was released, the show went on with the performers turning it into a Hank Williams tribute show.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Earl White

There have been many musicians whose careers have encompassed the history of country music, but Earl White may be the only one who has lived the history in reverse. Earl, who was born in Hardin County, Tennessee, on March 1, 1936, passed away earlier today.

Earl began playing the fiddle at an early age and by the time he was eightenn he was playing with Marty Robbins and Hawkshaw Hawkins. In the 1960s he took a step backwards in time when he started playing bluegrass with the Cumberland Mountain Boys. And in the 1970s he found himself at the dawn of modern country music when he joined the Crook Brothers, an old time music act that had first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1926. In 2005, he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his first appearance on the Opry.

In an interview, Earl talked about being at the Opry in the 1950s:

"Yes, it was. I got to meet and play with all my favorite musicians. I became friends with Benny Martin, who, after my father, had the biggest influence on my playing. I was also inspired by Howdy Forrester and Tommy Jackson. The great thing about the Opry back then was that it was all about the music. Roy Acuff's dressing room was always full of fiddlers and pickers and he enjoyed nothing more than sitting back and listening to us play. You got a chance to learn music from people you really respected. When I stated playing there, there were still people from the early days and I got to play with Sam and Kirk McGee, the Crook Brothers, and Dr. Humphrey Bate's daughter Alcyone, people who had been there when the Opry first got started."

As mentioned, in the 1970s, Earl joined the Crook Brothers group. Due to the death and retirement of various members, by the 1980s, the Crook Brothers consisted of Lewis and Herman Crook, along with Earl White. As they had since the start of the Opry, the Crook Brothers performed individually and as back-up for the square dancers. After the passing of Herman and Lewis Crook, it was Earl White and Charlie Collins who backed the dancers, and after the death of Charlie, it was just Earl and the Opry Staff Band. Needless to say, Earl will not be replaced and any link to the Crook Brothers will be forgotten.

I did not know Earl personally. I did shake his hand a few times while at the Opry and said hello. What always struck me was how well liked and respected he was among his fellow artists. I never heard a bad word said about Earl and I never heard him say anything bad about the others. It was true respect and friendship.

While Earl was not an "official" member of the Opry, I hope on Saturday night that the Opry will take a few moments and remember Earl. Perhaps a few words will be said and the square dancers will do a special number.

As the Opry prepares to celebrate it's 89th anniversary in the coming months, another link to the Opry's past has been lost. No, he did not go back with the Opry all the way to 1926, but he played with those who did. And he tried his best to keep that sound alive on the Opry stage. With that, he succeeded.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 8/8 & 8/9


The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend. In looking at the schedule, there are a few interesting names. The Friday Night Opry will feature guest artist Hunter Hayes. Hunter is one of the new young male singers that have been making a name for themselves with not only country hits, but songs that have been crossing over into the pop music world. In other words, he fits the definition of today's country. Joining Hunter will be Opry members Ricky Skaggs, who also is scheduled for Saturday night, and Marty Stuart, who makes a return to the Opry stage.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature an appearance by Opry member Martina McBride. Nice to see Martina back on the Opry where she is always well received. Also guesting will be frequent Opry guests Restless Heart, along with Janelle Arthur.

Friday August 8
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Sara Haze; Jean Shepard
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; Greg Bates
Intermission
8:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Francesca Battistelli
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); Hunter Hayes

Saturday August 9
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Janelle Arthur; Jim Ed Brown
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Restless Heart
Intermission
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Martina McBride

I don't expect the Opry to add another artist for the final segment either night, letting the "big" names do an extra song. They do have a couple of spots to fill on Saturday night, possibly one for Jimmy Dickens, who did not appear last week.

Another note of interest is that as of Wednesday evening, the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree still has not named a host for this week's show. If you remember 2 weeks ago, the record shop did not do a live show, but ran a tape of a previous show. I don't know what the issue is regarding the lack of interest in hosting the Jamboree, or finding a host for the show. I know there have been some tough times recording the show, and I hope things get straightened out as it does have a great history and being free, it is one of the better bargains in Nashville.

Now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, August 7 & 8, 2009:

Friday August 7
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Darryl Worley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Sunny Sweeney
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Helen Cornelius; Stonewall Jackson; George Hamilton IV; Mark Wills
8:30: Charley Pride (host); Connie Smith; Jim Lauderdale

Saturday August 8
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; David Nail
7:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jack Greene; Jean Shepard
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Sunny Sweeney; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Charley Pride (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites

And from 10 years ago, August 6 & 7, 2004:

Friday August 7
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Ronnie Bowman
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Amy Dalley
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; Lane Turner
9:00: Mike Snider (host); Mel McDaniel; Carolyn Dawn Johnson
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Daryle Singletary

Saturday August 8
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Amy Dalley
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Billy Joe Shaver
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Dan Seals
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Lane Turner; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Carolyn Dawn Johnson

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Amy Dalley
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Carolyn Dawn Johnson
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stu Phillips; Dan Seals; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Lane Turner
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker; Billy Joe Shaver

For this week's feature line-up, I want to post the show running order from Saturday August 7, 1993. This was the night of Opry member Teddy Wilburn's final appearance on the televised portion of the Opry.

While the Wilburn Brothers came to the Opry many years earlier, they officially joined in 1953. Doyle Wiburn died in 1982, after which Teddy continued as a solo member. By 1993, his Opry appearances had really dropped as he battled health issues and spending less time performing. In fact, his 6 Opry appearances in 1993 would be his last until 1998, when he appeared just 4 times.

Here is the line-up from Saturday August 7, 1993:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Jack Greene (host): I Don't Believe I'll Fall in Love Today
Skeeter Davis: Lovesick Blues
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/He Is My Everything

6:45: Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Pliny Jane
Jeannie Seely: Tell Me About It
Charlie Walker: A Way to Free Myself
Grandpa Jones: Four Stoned Walls and A Ceiling

7:00: Shoney's
Bill Monroe (host): I'm on My Way Back to the Old Home
4 Guys: My Special Angel
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
Jean Shepard: Slippin's Around
Bill Monroe: It's Me Again Lord/Fair Play

7:30: Standard Candy
Del Reeves (host): A Dozen Pair of Boots
Teddy Wilburn: Because He Lives
Oswald: Dobro Chimes
Dude Mowrey: Hold On, Elroy/View From the Bottom
Del Reeves: The Race is On

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Riders In The Sky: How Does the Yodel
Charlie Louvin: I Don't Love You Anymore
The Whites: It's Not What You Know, It's Who You Know
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Forked Deer
Porter Wagoner: Trouble in Amen Corner

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Vanishing Breed
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Ray Pillow: Congratulations, You're Absolutely Right
Roy Drusky: Molly Darling
Mike Snider: Dueling Banjos
Hank Snow: Bluebird Island

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Charlie Louvin: Mama's Angels
Jan Howard: Wayfaring Stranger
Wilma Lee Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Dude Mowrey: View from the Bottom
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Free Little Bird
Bill Carlisle: I'll Fly Away
Jean Shepard: If Teardrops Were Pennies
Grandpa Jones: Rosalee

10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
Bill Monroe (host): Roll On Buddy, Roll On
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me
Bill Monroe: True Life Blues/Blue Moon of Kentucky

10:30: Picadilly
Jim Ed Brown (host): Looking Back to See
Mike Snider: Battle Cry of Freedom/Get Your Hand Off Me Knee and Load the Cannon
Jim Ed Brown: The Chapel

10:45: Opry Book
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
4 Guys: Shut the Door; Keep Out the Devil
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
The Whites: San Antonio Rose
Justin Tubb: Tears in Heaven
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chunk of Coal
Riders In The Sky: Blue Bonnet Lady
Hank Snow: Roll Along Kentucky Moon

11:30: General Jackson
Jack Greene (host): Looking Back is Easier
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Roy Drusky: Homesick
Johnny Russell: You Just Better Not Do That
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool

2 very nice shows that night. And I have to ask, what ever happened to Dude Mowrey? Nice try but he just never made it.

Finally, for those keeping track, here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, August 12th:

7:00: Aaron Tippin; The Whites
7:30: Rhett Walker Band; Connie Smith
Intermission
8:15: Tyler Farr; John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band
8:45: Little Big Town

The following week, August 19th, the Tuesday Night Opry will have 2 shows as Carrie Underwood will be returning to the Opry.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August Opry Highlights

Here are the important dates and historical events that have taken place in the history of the Grand Ole Opry, or with Opry members, during the month of August.

August 22, 1910: Country Music Hall of Fame member and former Grand Ole Opry member Rod Brasfield was born in Smithville, Mississippi. Rod was famous for his comedy routines with Minnie Pearl that were featured on the Prince Albert Opry shows for many years. Rod came to the Prince Albert show in 1948 and remained an Opry member until he passed away on September 15, 1958, after suffering a heart attack.

August 30, 1919: Muriel Ellen Deason, better known as Kitty Wells, was born in Nashville. Kitty, along with her husband Johnny Wright, were Opry members from the early 1950s until they left the show in December 1964 in a dispute over booking fees. Even though she left the Opry cast, she continued to make guest appearances and there were some reports that she expressed an interest in rejoining the Opry later in her life, but she was turned down. Kitty passed away in July 2012.

August 8, 1921: Former Opry member Webb Pierce was born in West Monroe, Louisiana. He first appeared on the Opry in 1952, but he quickly figured out he could make more money by not being an Opry member. He left the show and proceeded to have a Hall of Fame career. As to the reasons for leaving the Opry so soon, he said, "You had to be there every Saturday night, and that was too much, because, you see, most of our money, we made it on Saturday night. Of course, we'd be on a tour and then we'd have to turn around at the end of the week and be back at the Opry. I don't care if you was in Podunk, Canada!" Of all the great country stars in the 1950s, Webb had the greatest chart success, but he made some enemies along the way. Because of that, many of the Hall of Fame voters said that they would never vote for Webb as along as he was alive. It wasn't until 2001, after he had passed away, that he was finally elected. Webb was also famous for his guitar shaped swiming pool and his feud with Ray Stevens, his neighbor. Webb's former home, with the pool, is now owned by Colin Reed, the chief executive officer of Ryman Hospitality.

August 28, 1925: Billy Grammer was born in Benton, Illinois. Billy joined the Opry in 1959 and remained an Opry member until his death in August 2011.

August 12, 1927: Porter Wagoner was born in West Plains, Misssouri, the same hometown of Jan Howard. Porter came to the Opry from the Ozark Jubilee in 1957 and would remain an Opry member until his death on October 28, 2007. During his career he had over 80 singles on the country charts and had a number of others with duet partners Norma Jean and Dolly Parton.

August 29, 1927: Jimmy C Newman was born in High Point, Louisiana. Jimmy joined the Opry on August 4, 1956 was an Opry member for 58 years. He passed away last month.

August 4, 1931: Former Grand Ole Opry manager Hal Durham was born in McMinnville, Tennessee, which is also the hometown of Dottie West. After the Opry moved to Opryland and the new Opry House, Bud Wendall was promoted to general manager of both the Opry and Opryland. To help him out, he asked Hal to take over the Opry management. In 1978 he was promoted to the position of general manager of the Opry, a post he held for 15 years. While many people blame Steve Buchanan and Pete Fisher for the fact that many of the Opry's members make few appearances on the show, it was actually Hal who was responsible for relaxing the membership requirements and allowing individuals to join the cast with no commitment to the show. Among the artists that he brought aboard as members were Ricky Skaggs, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, The Whites and Riders In The Sky. Hal left the Opry in 1993 and was President of the Opry Group until 1996, when he retired. He died in March 2009.

August 20, 1935: Justin Tubb was born in San Antonio, Texas. Justin would follow in his father's footsteps and become a successful country music singer and songwriter. He joined the Opry in 1955 at the age of 20, and at the time he was the Opry's youngest member. He passed away from a sudden illness on January 24, 1998.

August 14, 1941: Constance June Meador, otherwise known as Connie Smith, was born in Elkhart, Indiana. Connie first joined the Opry in 1965, the same night that Bob Luman became a member. She left the show for a short period of time while raising her children, but returned. In 2012 she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and next year will be celebrating 50 years as an Opry member.

August 11, 1946: Grand Ole Opry member John Conlee was born in Versallies, Kentucky. John came to Nashville and joined the Opry in February 1981.

August 11, 1952: Hank Williams was fired as a member of the Opry. Jim Denny, the Opry's manager, made the call to Hank. He had Ernest Tubb in the room as a witness when he made the call. Hank always hoped to make it back to the Opry, but it never happened. Even though Hank has been dead for over 50 years, there are many people who feel that he should be reinstated as a member.

August 16, 1952: Grandpa Jones rejoined the Opry. He had moved away from Nashville a few years back and had left the cast.

August 29, 1953: Cousin Jody joined the cast of the Opry. He would often appear with Lonzo & Oscar, along with his solo performances. He would remain an Opry member into the 1970s, passing away on August 18, 1975. Jody first came to the Opry in 1938 and was part of Roy Acuff's group, and also performed with Eddy Arnold and Pee Wee King.

August 14, 1954: Ernest Tubb took a leave of absence from the Opry. He was gone several months, coming back in November. Many feel that the reason he left the Opry was due to his drinking problems, which caused some health issues. While absent from the Opry, Ernest continued to host his Midnight Jamboree and it was during this period that he had Elvis Presley as a guest.

August 28, 1954: Grand Ole Opry member Stringbean, or "String Beans", as he was referred to during this period, left the cast of the Opry to join the Ramblin' Tommy Scott Show. Stringbean would rejoin the Opry and remain an Opry member until his tragic death in November 1973.

August 11, 1956: George Jones first joined the Opry. George and his history with the Opry is very interesting. See if you can follow the dates. First, some list his original induction date as August 4, the same night that Jimmy C Newman joined the cast. But the August 11 date is the one listed in the last Opry History Picture Book which featured George. Prior to that edition, his Opry induction date was listed as January 4, 1969, as he had left the show for a while. In the 1979 edition of the book, he is listed as having returned to the Opry in 1973 after a short absence. In the 1972 book, he is not mentioned at all. Not that all of it mattered as George rarely appeared on the Opry. After what might have been 56 years of Opry membership, George passed away last year.

August 22, 1957: Former Grand Ole Opry member Holly Dunn was born in San Antonio, Texas. Holly retired from the music business and left Nashville in 2003. After leaving Nashville, the Opry dropped her as a member.

August 4, 1959: Skeeter Davis joined the Grand Ole Opry. With the exception of a short period of time when she was suspended from the show, Skeeter would remain an Opry member until her death on September 19, 2004. She last appeared on the Opry in 2002. Skeeter was known for her colorful skirts and bursts of energy while doing the Opry. Her final years were difficult as she battled various health issues.

August 26, 1961: Ray Pillow made his Opry debut. He made a great impression and was invited back, eventually joining the cast in April 1966.

August 12, 1963: The Browns joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. While Maxine and Bonnie retired from the group in 1967, Jim Ed Brown has continued as an Opry member and last year he celebrated 50 years as an Opry member. Maxine and Bonnie joined him that night.

August 23, 1963: Former Opry member Milton Estes died at the age of 49. Milton was part of Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys and acted as the groups announcer.

August 27, 1963: Former Opry manager Jim Denny died from cancer at the age of 52. When he became the Opry's manager, he was the first WSM employee to specifically given that role. During his time at the Opry, he brought dozens of acts to the show including Webb Pierce. It was with Webb that Jim started Cedarwood Music Publishing and it was the success of this business that caused Jim to leave the Opry. When he left the Opry, many of the Opry's members joined him and his new artist bureau, electing to have Jim handling their bookings instead of the Opry's service bureau. This would case some issues between those members and the Opry's management. In 1966, Jim was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. On a final note, and if you believe the story, it was Jim who told Elvis Presley, after his only Opry appearance, that he should go back to driving a truck.

August 8, 1964: Bobby and Sonny, the Osborne Brothers, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. While Sonny retired in 2005, Bobby has continued and this year will be his 50th year as an Opry member. (In some places, the date is listed as August 1st, which is what I have in my files).

August 14, 1965: Bobby Bare became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Bobby would remain and Opry member until 1974, leaving the show when the Opry moved to the new Opry House. Although no longer an Opry member, Bobby will still show up once in a while and do the Opry.

August 28, 1965: Seven weeks after a near-fatal car accident, Roy Acuff returned to the Opry stage. He had a cane with him and told the audience not to make a big deal out of the accident.

August 17, 1967: Charlie Walker joined the Opry. Charlie would remain an active Opry member until his death in September 2008. I had the opportunity to meet Charlie back in the 1990s, and I can tell you what a fine gentleman he was and a pleasure to spend some time with. Charlie started out as a DJ in Texas and he never forgot his roots. In 1981, he was elected to the Country Music Radio DJ Hall of Fame. In addition to being a fine singer, Charlie was also a pretty good golfer.

August 5, 1968: Grand Ole Opry member Terri Clark was born in Montreal, Canada. As a Canadian, she would join Hank Snow and Stu Phillips as Opry members from the northern land.

August 21, 1975: Opry member Sam McGee died in a tractor accident on his farm in Tennessee. He was 81 and still was working the farm. Along with his brother Kirk, he first performed on the WSM Barn Dance in 1926. During his time on the Opry, he would appear with several different groups, including the Dixieliners. Sam was also the first Opry member to use an electric guitar on the Opry, after which George D. Hay politely told him to put it back in the case and not to bring it back.

August 11, 1976: Roy Acuff returned to the Opry stage for the first time since April after suffering a heart attack.

August 7, 1981: B.J. Thomas becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry. However, as many know, he did not remain an Opry member for very long. Even though he left, he continues to make guest appearances at the Opry.

August 22, 1981: Don Williams made his final appearance as a member of the Opry. Don had joined the show in 1976 and it just didn't work out for him. This was still the period in Opry history when they expected their members to show up and Don found it more then he could handle.

August 14, 1982: Ernest Tubb made his final appearance on the Opry. He was suffering from emphysema, which made breathing and singing very difficult. He also gave up hosting the Midnight Jamboree, turning those duties over to his son Justin. He would spend his final years at home, passing away on September 6, 1984.

August 28, 1982: Marty Robbins made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Marty had been a fixure in the 11:30 slot for decades at the Opry. Marty, who suffered from heart issues, passed away in December 1982.

August 24, 1984: Neil Young makes his Grand Ole Opry debut. Best known for rock songs and performances, he actually wrote a few country songs over the years.

August 22, 1987: Roy Clark joined the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 27th year as an Opry member. Since joining the Opry, Roy will usually make about a half dozen appearances each year, although that has fallen off lately as Roy has had a few health issues. When Roy was asked to join by Hal Durham, he told Hal that he wouldn't be able to be at the Opry as much as he would like due to his schedule, but Hal was ok with it.

August 29, 1987: Opry member Archie Campbell passed away in Knoxville, Tennessee. He passed away after suffering a heart attack, but he had been in declining health for a couple of years. Archie joined the Opry in 1958 and acheived some of his great success when he joined Hee Haw. He was one of the main joke writers for the show, but then it came out later that Archie had actually used jokes that came from Whitey Ford, the Duke of Paducah. In his later years, Archie would make most of his Opry appearances in the winter months, spending the prime tourist season at his own theater in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. A strong case can be made that Archie deserves consideration for the Country Music Hall of Fame.

August 10, 1991: Vince Gill joined the cast of the Opry. This will be his 23rd year as an Opry member. The night he joined the Opry, he was introduced by Roy Acuff and over the years, Vince has made known his love of the Opry and as much as anyone from his time period, has supported the show. Vince turned down his first invitation to guest on the Opry in order to appear at his daughter's school function. Luckily, he was invited back and the rest is history.

August 30, 1991: On her way to the Friday Night Opry, Dottie West was involved in a serious car accident at the entrance to Opryland. She would not recover from the injuries and passed away on September 4. Even to this day, if my wife is riding with me to the Opry, she always makes a comment to slow down on that curve.

August 31, 1995: Former WSM and Grand Ole Opry announcer David Stone died at the age of 93. Along with his brother Harry, David was responsible for changing the face of the Opry from a rural part-time performers show, to one that featured professional artists. He helped to bring Pee Wee King, Roy Acuff and Eddy Arnold to the show. By 1940, he had left the Opry and WSM.

August 9, 1996: Hank Snow returns to the Grand Ole Opry for the first time in 1996. He did 3 songs that night, including "I Don't Hurt Anymore." He would make a few more appearances before calling it quits in September 1996.

August 24, 1998: Opry member Jerry Clower died in a Jackson, Mississippi hospital after undergoing open heart surgery. He was 71. He joined the cast in November 1973, and was the last member of the cast to join the show before it moved to the new Opry House.

August 26, 2000: Pam Tillis became a member of the Opry. This will be her 14th year as an Opry member. Nice to see that Pam has been making a few more appearances at the Opry.

August 18, 2001: The Grand Ole Opry moved their televised portion of the show from TNN to CMT. The first show on CMT was highlighted by Vince Gill celebrating his 10th year as an Opry member. Also on the show that night were Steve Wariner, Sonya Isaacs, Jimmy C Newman, Brad Paisley, Elizabeth Cook and Loretta Lynn. Nice to know that in 2001 they were still letting the veterans on the televised segments.

August 10, 2002: During the televised portion of the Grand Ole Opry on CMT, the Dixie Chicks announced that Porter Wagoner and Bill Carlisle had been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. I always thought that the Hall of Fame did a great injustice to Porter and Bill by having the Dixie Chicks do the announcement. Nothing against the Dixie Chicks, I just thought that the announcement could have been a bigger deal then during and Opry show. In Porter's case, the induction was way overdue. Like many others in country music, Porter made an enemy or two over the years and many felt that was one of the reasons he was kept out for so long. If you get the chance to watch a video from that night, watch the expression on Porter's face. You just knew what he was thinking, and what he wanted to say, but I think he also knew that it was not the time or place to do it. He was formally inducted in October with Dolly Parton doing the honors.

August 31, 2002: The Grand Ole Opry has it's 4,000th Saturday night show. The Opry does a tribute to Minnie Pearl and on the Opry that night were Clint Black, Barbara Mandrell, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Steve Wariner.

August 23, 2003: Trace Adkins joined the Grand Ole Opry. Ronnie Milsap did the honors. This will be his 11th year as an Opry member.

August 6, 2011: The Oak Ridge Boys became members of the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry wanted the Oaks as members for many years, but they always turned down the invitation due to their heavy touring schedule. But things changed 3 years ago and the Oaks accepted.

And finally, it was in August 1948 that Jimmy Dickens first became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The exact date seems to be in dispute, but this year will mark 66 years since Jimmy first became an Opry member. In 1957 Jimmy left the Opry to head up a major road show sponsored by the Phillip Morris company. This was in violation of Opry rules as R.J. Reynolds was a major Opry sponsor and would not accept Jimmy working for a rival company. On February 8, 1975, Jimmy rejoined the Opry, being introduced that night by Hank Snow. So even though many will say that it has been 66 years since Jimmy joined the Opry, this will actually be his 48th year as an active Opry member.

There you have it for August.













Thursday, July 31, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 8/1 & 8/2


The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend. Of course, the big news is that Saturday night, Bobby Osborne will be honored for 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The Osborne Brothers, Bobby and Sonny, joined the Opry on August 8, 1964. While Sonny retired in 2005, Bobby has continued on and sounds as great as ever. It was a real treat on Monday night to listen to Eddie Stubbs on WSM, who had both Bobby and Sonny on as his guests. It will be interesting to see, and I hope it does happen, if Sonny will join Bobby at the Opry on Saturday. While I wouldn't expect Sonny to perform, it would be nice to have him there, much like last year when Jim Ed Brown had his sisters with him for his 50th Opry anniversary.

Along with Bobby Osborne on Saturday night, Crystal Gayle is scheduled for a guest appearance, along with Sturgill Simpson. And there is the usual spot saved for Jimmy Dickens.

The news for the Friday Night Opry is that it looks like they have gone back to the usual format with segment hosts. The last 2 weeks, the Friday show has looked much like the Tuesday and Wednesday night Opry. Among those scheduled for Friday are Opry member Lorrie Morgan, along with Dale Ann Bradley, Elizabeth Cook and the ever present Sarah Darling.

Friday August 1
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Sarah Darling; Jim Ed Brown
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Dale Ann Bradley
Intermission
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Elizabeth Cook
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); JT Hodges; Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys

Saturday August 2
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Emily West
7:30: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
Intermission
8:15: The Whites (host); Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Sturgill Simpson; Crystal Gayle

Still a couple of spots to fill. And, Bobby Osborne will be the host of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. That comes after last week's Midnight Jamboree was cancelled.

Before getting into the past Opry line-ups that I post, here is the line-up from Saturday August 8, 1964, the night that the Osborne Brothers became members of the Grand Ole Opry

7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Don Gibson; Glaser Brothers
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Charlie Louvin
8:30: Faron Young (host); Carter Family; Billy Grammer; Archie Campbell; Del Wood
9:00: Jimmy Newman (host); Bill Monroe; George Hamilton IV
9:30: George Morgan (host); The Browns; Sonny James; Bill Carlisle; Marion Worth
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Carter Family; Del Wood
10:15: Don Gibson (host); Bill Monroe; Glaser Brothers
10:30: Faron Young (host); Charlie Louvin
10:45: Billy Grammer (host); Skeeter Davis
11:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Sonny James; Bill Carlisle; Archie Campbell
11:30: George Morgan (host); The Browns; Jimmy Newman; Marion Worth; George Hamilton IV

And now here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago, the weekend of July 31 & August 1, 2009:

Friday July 31
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jonathan Singleton & The Grove
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Ray Pillow; Buddy Jewell
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Chris Young
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper; Jamie O'Neal

Saturday August 1
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Trent Tomlinson
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Ashton Shepherd
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Jason Crabb; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Louvin; George Hamilton IV; Live Issue; Restless Heart

And from 10 years ago this weekend, July 30 & 31, 2004:

Friday July 30
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Alecia Nugent
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); The Whites; T.G. Sheppard
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Charlie Walker; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Sherrie Austin
9:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Osborne Brothers; Jimmy Wayne
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Rebecca Lynn Howard; Mel McDaniel

Saturday July 31
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; The Derailers
7:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Jimmy C Newman; Anita Cochran
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Osborne Brothers; Ryan Tyler
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Louvin; Billy Walker; Rodney Atkins; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Alecia Nugent; Eddy Raven

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Rodney Atkins
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Osborne Brothers; Anita Cochran
10:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Stonewall Jackson; Alecia Nugent; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Ryan Tyler; Eddy Raven
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Ray Pillow; The Derailers

For this week's featured line-up, I go to Saturday July 31, 1976. This was the 1st Saturday night appearance by new member Don Williams. Don actually joined the Opry on April 23, 1976, which was a Friday night. As many of you know, Don was not an Opry member for very long. In fact, his last Opry appearance was on August 22, 1981. That gave him a little over 5 years as an Opry member. In those 5 years, Don only made 10 Opry appearances which would meet the 2014 requirements, but in the late 1970s, that was not what was expected from Opry members.

Here is the line-up and show running order from Saturday July 31, 1976:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Big Midnight Special
Willis Brothers: Home on the Range
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nobody's Darling But Mine

6:45: Rudy's
George Hamilton IV (host): Country Music In My Soul
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
O.B. McClinton: Blanket on the Ground
George Hamilton IV: Early Morning Rain

7:00: Shoney's
Charlie Louvin (host) w/Pam Dickinson: Did You Ever
Billy Grammer: Detroit City
JustinTubb: Cold Brown Bottle
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Charlie Louvin: Let's Put Our World Back Together/A Toast to Mama/Love Has to Die/I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow/I Want A Happy Life
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Justin Tubb: Keep me From Blowing Away

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Drusky (host): Second Hand Rose
Bob Luman: Neither One of Us
Don Williams: You're My Best Friend/Turn Out the Light and Love Me Tonight
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Soldier's Joy
Bob Luman: A Satisfied Mind
Roy Drusky: I Really Don't Want to Know

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host) w/Nashville Grass: Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone
4 Guys: Top of the World
Melba Montgomery: Lonely Street
Jim Mundy: Never Met A Girl I Didn't Like
Paul Warren: Orange Blossom Special
4 Guys: The Morning Sun
Melba Montgomery: Don't Let the Good Times Fool You
Lester Flatt: Great Big Woman and A Little Biddy Bottle of Wine

8:30: Stephen's
Hank Snow (host): Miller's Cave
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Ronnie Milsap: I'm A Stand By My Woman Man/Day Dreams About Night Things
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Jeanne Pruett: I Doesn't Hurt to Ask
Hank Snow: That's When He Dropped the World in My Hands

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Charlie Louvin (host): Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Where is America Going
Bill Carlisle: Business Man
Charlie Louvin: Poisen Red Berries
O.B. McClinton: I'm the Other One
Oswald: Dobro Chimes
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith

10:00: Fender
Roy Drusky (host): Fraulein
Willis Brothers: Ghost Riders in the Sky
Don Williams: I Recall A Gypsy Woman
Roy Drusky: Alone With You

10:15: Union 76
Billy Grammer (host): Under the Double Eagle
Melba Montgomery: Don't Keep Me Lonely Too Long
George Hamilton IV: Break My Mind
Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host) w/Paul Warren: Black-Eyed Susie
Justin Tubb: Sweetwater Texas
Bob Luman: A Satisfied Mind
Lester Flatt: Mama Don't Allow It

10:45: Beech-Nut
4 Guys (host): Turn Your Radio On
Ronnie Milsap: What Goes on When the Sun Goes Down
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle
4 Guys: The Morning Sun

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Hello, Love
Jim Mundy: Never Met A Girl I Didn't Like
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Hank Snow: Old Doc Brown
Jim Mundy: The River's Too Wide
Kirk McGee: The End of Forever
Hank Snow: Traveling Blues

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): El Paso City
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets/Break my Mind
Ronnie Robbins: Good Hearted Woman/The Bitter They Are
Marty Robbins: Cool Water/Love Me/Don't Worry/El Paso

Finally, on Friday August 1, the Opry will begin selling tickets to the 2015 shows, which will include the 90th Opry birthday celebration the weekend of October 3. Of interest will be the 50th anniversary of Connie Smith as an Opry member, the 60th for Jean Shepard, along with the one that will probably bring the most attention, the 25th anniversary of for Garth Brooks as an Opry member. The date is October 6, and don't be surprised if Garth is not at the Opry, either for the birthday bash or the following Tuesday night. Just rumors, but they seem to be out there. Oh, and when buying your tickets for next year, keep your wallet open. The prices are going up and for a tier 1 seat it will be $72 in 2015, while the next level will cost you $60. And people like many of us, keep buying those tickets.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend and congratulations again to Bobby Osborne for 50 years of Opry membership.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 7/25 & 7/26

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 3 shows this weekend. Yes, that is right as the Opry has scheduled Carrie Underwood for the Friday Night Opry and as a result of her appearance and strong ticket sales, a 2nd show has been added. That is the good news. The bad news is that for the 2nd week in a row, we have a Friday Night Opry that looks pretty similar to a Tuesday or Wednesday night show. There are only 7 acts booked, but after only 1 Opry member last Friday, we are up to 3 this weekend. No segment hosts and the same running order for both shows.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry has guest artists Casey James, Jonathan Jackson, along with T. Bubba Bechtol. We also have a return performance by Fiddlin' Carson Peters and his band. 11 acts booked of whom 6 are Opry members. And there is a slot being saved for Jimmy Dickens.

Friday July 25
1st show
7:00: John Conlee; The Gibson Brothers
7:30: Lennon & Maisy; The Whites
8:00: Henry Cho; The Band Perry
8:30: Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee; Greg Bates
10:00: Lennon & Maisy; The Whites
10:30: Henry Cho; The Band Perry
11:00: Carrie Underwood

Saturday July 26
7:00: John Conlee (host); Greg Bates
7:30: The Whites (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Fiddlin' Carson Peters Band
Intermission
8:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Jean Shepard; Jonathan Jackson; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; Casey James

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, July 24 & 25, 2009:

Friday July 24
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Mark Wills
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Point Of Grace
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; T. Graham Brown
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; Mike Snider

Saturday July 25
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Mandy Barnett
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Cherryholmes
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Clay Walker; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Mandy Barnett
10:00: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Clay Walker
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stu Phillips; Cherryholmes; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Carrie Underwood

And from 10 years ago this weekend, July 23 & 24, 2004:

Friday July 23
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Mel McDaniel; Doyle Dykes
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jimmy C Newman; Waylon Payne; Sammi Smith
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Craig Morgan
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Charley Pride
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stu Phillips; Osborne Brothers; Bering Stait

Saturday July 24
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Darrell Scott
7:00: Hal Ketchum (host); SHeDAISY; Joe Nichols; Charley Pride
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Billy Walker; Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jessi Alexander; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Jimmy C Newman; Jessi Alexander
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; The Whites; SHeDAISY
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jean Shepard; Charley Pride; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Connie Smith; Joe Nichols
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker Darrell Scott

For this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history, I have Saturday July 24, 1976, which was the last night that Bobby Lord performed on the Opry as a member.

Bobby Lord began his career on television and he was one of the most effective artists to use the media throughout the fifties and sixties. He was given his own television show at the age of 19 while attending the University of Tampa. In 1955, he joined the Ozark Jubilee, where he spent five years as a regular cast member and occcasional host. He came to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry in 1960 and stayed the the show until 1976, although he would continue to make guest appearances after leaving the show. He also hosted "The Bobby Lord Show", which was syndicated by WSM-TV. He had records on the charts from the late 1950s, into the early 1970s. After leaving the Opry, Bobby moved back to Florida where he owned an insurance agency. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 74.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry, July 24, 1976 as we remember Bobby Lord.

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Life to Go
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Stonewall Jackson: Washed My Hands in Muddy Water/Waterloo

6:45: Rudy's
Willis Brothers (host): Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
Lorrie Morgan: Merry-Go-Round of Love
Johnny Carver: Afternoon Delight
Willis Brothers: For the Good Times

7:00: Shoney's
Jimmy C Newman (host): Good Deal Lucille
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: (?)
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Del Wood: Stars & Stripes/Caissons/Anchors Away/U.S. Marines/America the Beautiful
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nobody's Darling But Mine
Jimmy C Newman: A Fallen Star/Diggy Liggy Lo

7:30: Standard Candy
Bobby Lord (host): Live Your Life Out Loud
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Billy Grammer: Family Man
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Cumberland Gap
Bobby Lord: Fall Away
Skeeter Davis: The Old Rugged Cross/The King is Coming
Billy Grammer: Under the Double Eagle
Bobby Lord: Hawkeye

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Life of Riley
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Justin Tubb: Sweetwater, Texas
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Lester Flatt: Father's Table Grace
Jeanne Pruett: Break My Mind
Justin Tubb: Yesterday Just Passed My Way Again

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Jean Shepard: Wabash Cannonball
Larry Gatlin: Broken Lady/Take Back, It's Over
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Jean Shepard: Ain't Love Good
Hank Snow: Paper Roses

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Jimmy C Newman (host): Louisiana Saturday Night
Willis Brothers: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
Del Wood: Stars & Stripes/Caissons/Anchors Away/U.S. Marines/America the Beautiful
Johnny Carver: Afternoon Delight
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Bill Carlisle: Business Man

10:00: Fender
Jerry Clower (host): Marcelle Stops the Train
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Curly Headed Baby
Jerry Clower: Comedy

10:15: Union 76
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Skeeter Davis: Come on Over
Oswald: Sailing On
Stonewall Jackson: Waterloo

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host):
Paul Warren: Black-Eyed Susie
Lorrie Morgan: Stand By Your Man
Justin Tubb: Looking Back to See
Lester Flatt: Great Big Woman and A Little Biddy Bottle of Wine
Kenny Ingram: Flint Hill Special

10:45: Beech-Nut
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Larry Gatlin: Broken Lady
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Liberty
Billy Grammer: Peace in the Valley

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Hello, Love
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
Hank Snow: That's When He Dropped the World in my Hands
Jeanne Pruett: It Doesn't Hurt to Ask
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Hank Snow: My Little Old Town Down in New Orleans

11:30: Elm Hill
Bobby Lord (host): Rainbow Girl
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away/Ain't Love Good
Rex Allen: Green, Green Grass of Home/The Streets of Larado
Bobby Lord: Y'all Come

What was interesting is that this night featured two future Opry members, Larry Gatlin and Lorrie Morgan. Lorrie was scheduled in place of Marion Worth who cancelled out. Also, Johnny Carver was a replacement for Charlie Louvin, who also cancelled.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!