Saturday, August 1, 2015

August Opry Highlights

As I do each month, here are the important and historical events that have taken place regarding the Grand Ole Opry, or Opry members, during the month of August:

August 22, 1910: Country Music Hall of Fame member and former Opry member Rod Brasfield was born in Smithville, Mississippi. Rod was famous for his comedy routines with such Opry stars as Minnie Pearl and June Carter, and he was featured for many years on the Prince Albert shows. Rod joined the Opry in the late 1940s and remained an Opry member until he passed away on September 15, 1958.

August 30, 1919: Muriel Ellen Deason, better known as Kitty Wells, was born in Nashville. Kitty and her husband Johnny Wright were Opry members from the early 1950s until they left the show in December 1964, after a dispute over booking fees. Although she left the Opry cast, she would continue to make guest appearances and there were some reports that later in her life she expressed an interest in rejoining the Opry, however 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 that he could make more money by being out on the road on Saturday nights. In 2001, after he had passed away, Webb was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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

August 12, 1927: Porter Wagoner was born in West Plains, Missouri, which is also 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.

August 29, 1927: Jimmy C Newman was born in High Point, Louisiana. Jimmy joined the Opry in August 1956 and he would remain an Opry member until his death in June 2014.

August 4, 1931: Former Grand Ole Opry manager Hal Durhan was born in McMinnville, Tennessee. After the Opry moved to Opryland and the new Grand Ole Opry House, Bud Wendell was promoted to general manager of both the Opry and Opryland and to help him out, he asked Hal to take over the management of the Opry. In 1978, he was promoted to general manager of the Opry and held that position for the next 15 years. While many blame Steve Buchanan and Pete Fisher for the fact that many of the Opry's members make very few appearances on the show, it was actually Hal who was responsible for relaxing the membership requirements. 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. He passed away 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, which at the time made him the Opry's youngest member. He remained with the Opry until his sudden death on January 24, 1998.

August 14, 1941: Constance June Meador, known professionally as Connie Smith, was born in Elkhart, Indiana. Connie first joined the Opry in 1965. She briefly left the show a few years later, but returned after an absence of several years. In 2012 she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and later this month she will be honored for 50 years of Opry membership.

August 11, 1946: Grand Ole Opry member John Conlee was born in Versallies, Kentucky. John has  been an Opry member since February 1981, and most weeks you will find him at the Opry.

August 11, 1952: Hank Williams was fired as a member of the Grand Ole 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 come 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 Hank should be reinstated as an Opry member.

August 16, 1952:  Grandpa Jones rejoined the Opry. He first joined the cast in the 1940s, but he left when he moved away from Nashville for a few years.

August 29, 1953: Cousin Jody officially joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry as a solo artist. Jody first came to the Opry in 1938 as part of Roy Acuff's group, and he also performed with Pee Wee King and Eddy Arnold. While appearing as a solo artist, he also appeared many times with Lonzo & Oscar. While noted as a comedian, he was equally famous as a dobro player and it was he who helped to define the Roy Acuff sound. Jody stayed as an Opry member until he left in the early 1970s. He passed away on August 18, 1975.

August 14, 1954: Ernest Tubb took a leave of absence from the Opry. He was gone for several months, coming back to the show in November. Many feel that the reason he left was due to his drinking problems, which caused a number of other health issues. What was strange is that while he was gone from the Opry, he continued to host the Midnight Jamboree.

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 later come back to the Opry and stay until his death in November 1973.

August 4, 1956: Jimmy C Newman became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Except for a very brief period of time when he was absent from the show, Jimmy would remain an active member of the cast until his death in 2014.

August 11, 1956: George Jones first joined the Grand Ole Opry. George and his history with the Opry is very interesting, and sometimes confusing. See if you can follow the dates. First, some list his original induction date as August 4, 1956, 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 that 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 any of it mattered as George rarely made time for the Opry. After what might have been 56 years of Opry membership, George passed away in April 2013.

August 22, 1957: Former 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 cast of the Grand Ole Opry. With the exception of a short period of time when she was suspended from the cast, Skeeter would remain an active member of the Opry, making her last appearance in 2002, after which she was unable to perform due to her declining health. She passed away on September 19, 2004.

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

August 10, 1963: The Browns, Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie, joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. When Maxine and Bonnie retired from the group in 1967, Jim Ed continued as a solo member. Since 1967, Maxine and Bonnie would join Jim Ed at the Opry on many occasions. This past year, they were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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 group's 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 be given that role. During his time at the Opry, he brought dozen 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 company, along with another that he owned with Carl Smith, 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 handle their bookings instead of the Opry's service bureau. In 1966, Jim Denny was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

August 8, 1964: Sonny and Bobby, the Osborne Brothers, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. While Sonny retired in 2005, Bobby has continued as an Opry member and is now in his 51st year as a member. This is also the date that the late Dottie West became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She would stay as an Opry member until her death in September 1991.

August 14, 1965: Bobby Bare became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Bobby would stay as an Opry member until March 1974 when he left the show as it moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. Although no longer a member, Bobby would show up once in a while at 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 became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This former disc jockey from Texas would remain an Opry member until his death in September 2008. 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 country up north.

August 21, 1975: Opry member Sam McGee died in a tractor accident on his farm in Tennessee. He was 81. 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, after which Opry founder George D. Hay politely told him to put it back in the case, take it home, and not bring it back.

August 11, 1976: After suffering a heart attack in April, Roy Acuff returned to the Opry.

August 11, 1979: Guy Willis of the Willis Brothers, made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Along with brothers Skeeter and Vic, the Willis Brothers joined the Opry in 1946. They left the Opry in 1949 to tour with Eddy Arnold, returning in 1957. Skeeter died in 1975 and after Guy left, Vic formed the Vic Willis Trio and continued on at the Opry.

August 7, 1981: B.J. Thomas became 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 after just a couple of years, he continues to make guest appearances on the show. Opry membership just didn't turn out as what he thought it would be.

August 22, 1981: Don Williams made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Don joined the show in 1976 and much like it did for B.J. Thomas, it just wasn't what Don expected. This was still during the period of time when the Opry expected its members to show up and Don found it was more than he could handle.

August 14, 1982: Ernest Tubb made his final appearance on the Grand Ole 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: Just two weeks after Ernest Tubb's final Opry appearance, Marty Robbins made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Marty had been a fixture as the host of the 11:30 segment for decades. Marty, who suffered from heart issues, passed away in December 1982.

August 24, 1984: Rock artist Neil Young made his Grand Ole Opry debut. Best known for his rock performances, he actually has written a number of country songs over the years.

August 22, 1987: Roy Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 28th year as an Opry member. Since joining the cast, Roy usually has made about a half dozen appearances each year, although that has fallen off lately due to some minor health issues. Roy always receives a great ovation when he is at the Opry.

August 29, 1987: Opry member Archie Campbell passed away in Knoxville, Tennessee after suffering a heart attack. He had been in declining health for a number of years. Archie joined the Opry in 1958 and achieved some of his greatest success as part of the Hee Haw cast, of which he was one of the main writers. Archie was always known for his humor on the Opry, often using one of the Opry's announcers as a straight man. In his late years, Archie would make most of his Opry appearances during the winter months, spending the prime tourist season at his theater in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. A strong case can be made that Archie deserves membership into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

August 10, 1991: Vince Gill joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 24th year as an Opry member. The night he joined, he was introduced by Roy Acuff and over the years, Vince has made known his love for the Opry and has always found time to perform on the show. By the way, Vince turned down his first invitation to guest on the show in order to appear at his daughter's school function. Lucky for Vince, and for us, he was invited back and eventually made a member.

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 her 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 passed away 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 WSM and the Opry.

August 9, 1996: Hank Snow returned to the Opry for the first time in 1996. He had been suffering from respiratory issues. He did 3 songs that night, including the classic, "I Don't Hurt Anymore." He would make a couple of more appearances before calling it quits in September 1996.

August 31, 1996: Hank Snow performed his final Saturday night Grand Ole Opry show. Hank had joined the Opry in January 1950. He would return the following Friday night for a final time.

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

August 26, 2000: Pam Tillis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 15th year as an Opry member.

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. He was joined on the show that night by Steve Wariner, Sonya Isaacs, Jimmy C Newman, Brad Paisley, Elizabeth Cook and Loretta Lynn.

August 10, 2002: During the televised portion of the Opry on CMT, the Dixie Chicks announced that Porter Wagoner and Bill Carlisle had been elected as the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. I always thought that the Hall of Fame did a great injustice to both Porter and Bill by having the Dixie Chicks do the announcement. Nothing against the Dixie Chicks, I just that the announcement should have been a bigger deal then during an Opry show. In Porter's case, the induction was way overdue. Like many others in country music, Porter had 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 ever get a 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 had its 4,000th Saturday night broadcast. The Opry did a tribute to Minnie Pearl which featured Clint Black, Barbara Mandrell, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Steve Wariner.

August 23, 2003: Trace Adkins became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 12th year as an Opry member. On the night of his induction, Ronnie Milsap and Lorrie Morgan did the honors.

August 25, 2010: Brad Paisley and Jimmy Dickens sing "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" after a restored circle of historic wood was returned to the Grand Ole Opry House stage after being repaired after the historic May flood. The Opry would return to the Opry House a month later.

August 6, 2011: The Oak Ridge Boys became members of the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry had wanted the Oaks as members for years, but they always turned down the offer due to their heavy touring scheduled. Finally, things changed 4 years ago and they accepted. On the night they joined, they performed "Bobbi Sue," "Amazing Grace," and of course, "Elvira."

August 13, 2011: Vince Gill celebrated his 20th anniversary as an Opry member. Vince opened the show that night with Billy Grammer's "Gotta Travel On" as a dedication to Billy who had died earlier in the week. Joining Vince that night were Amy Grant, Martina McBride and Emmylou Harris.




















Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 7/31 & 8/1

Summer rolls on not only here in Ohio but also in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry. The schedule and line-ups are set for the two shows this weekend.

The Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature the same four hosts each night, hosting the same segments. Larry Gatlin (without Steve and Rudy), Riders In The Sky, Bill Anderson and Vince Gill are the hosts. And I know I am repeating myself, but it is really nice to have Vince back at the Opry this weekend after missing last week.

As far as additional Opry members on the schedule, Mike Snider is set for both nights, while Friday night will feature Jeannie Seely, Bobby Osborne, and The Whites. Saturday has Connie Smith, Jesse McReynolds, and one of my favorites, Patty Loveless on the schedule. Most of us are Patty Loveless fans and it would be nice to see her on the Opry more often. And as an added treat, Vince and Patty get the last 30 minutes to themselves on Saturday night.

As far as guest artists this weekend, both nights will feature Striking Matches, while on Friday night they will be joined by The Henningsens, Craig Wayne Boyd and Watkins Family Hour, while on Saturday night Shelly Skidmore and Jimmy Wayne are on.

The name on the guest list this week is Watkins Family Hour. They are led by Sara and Sean Watkins who have been part of Nickel Creek. They are joined by an all-star cast of singers and musicians, with their debut album released last week. They have been featured on numerous shows including "CBS This Morning." They play bluegrass and music by Grateful Dead and Fleetwood Mac among others. But actually their style fits right in at the Opry.

Friday July 31
7:00: Larry Gatlin (host); The Henningens; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jeannie Seely; Striking Matches
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Craig Wayne Boyd
8:45: Vince Gill (host); The Whites; Watkins Family Hour

Saturday August 1
7:00: Larry Gatlin (host); Shelly Skidmore; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy Wayne; Connie Smith
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Striking Matches; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Patty Loveless

The host of this week's Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will be T. Graham Brown. Just my opinion, but I thought that T. Graham would have made a nice addition to the Opry line-up this week.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, July 30 & 31, 2010. The shows both nights were held at the Ryman Auditorium as the renovation of the Grand Ole Opry House continued.

Friday July 30
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Cowan; Jan Howard
Intermission
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds; Restless Heart
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; The Isaacs

Saturday July 31
7:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Tim O'Brien
Intermission
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Ray Stevens; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Whites

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of July 29 & 30, 2005:

Friday July 29
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Billy Walker; Susan Haynes
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Claire Lynch
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; The Wrights
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; The Vanderbilt Kennedy Music Camp Performers; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:30: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Patty Loveless

Saturday July 30
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Pam Tillis (host); Blake Shelton; Alan Jackson; The Wrights
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; T. Graham Brown

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Wrights
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jack Greene; Alan Jackson
10:30: Pam Tillis (host); Charlie Louvin; Jim Ed Brown; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Blake Shelton
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Osborne Brothers; T. Graham Brown

An interesting name that shows up on this line-up and a few others from this time period is Susan Haynes, who seems to have disappeared. Susan was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972. She came to Nashville in 2005 and was signed to Epic Records. She released two singles with her best being, "Drinkin' In My Sunday Best" which went to just #51 on the country charts. By May 2006, her record deal was done and she has not appeared on the charts since. The Opry spotlighted her a few times but her career went nowhere.

For this week's featured line-up, it was 39 years ago this weekend, Saturday July 31, 1976 that former Grand Ole Opry member Don Williams performed on the Opry's Saturday night show for the first time since he became an Opry member. Don joined the Opry on April 23, 1976, which was a Friday night. His stay at the Opry was very short, with his final appearance coming on August 22, 1981. During his 5 years as an Opry member, he appeared just 9 times. And this was during the period of time when the Opry actually expected you to appear if you were a member.

Here is the running order from Saturday July 31, 1976, the first Saturday night performance for new Opry member Don Williams.

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 Dickerson: Did You Ever
Billy Grammer: Detroit City
Justin Tubb: Cold Brown Bottle
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Charlie Louvin: Let's Put Our World Back Together/A Toast to Mama/Love Has to Die All By Itself/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 Lights 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/The 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: Stephens
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: It 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/What Are Those Things
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Where is America Going
Bill Carlisle: Business Man
Charlie Louvin: Poison 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)
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

Again, some interesting names on the Opry that night including Ronnie Milsap and Melba Montgomery. Those are two names that everyone should be familiar with. But what about Jim Mundy and O.B. McClinton?

Jim Mundy was born James White on February 8, 1934. His recording career, much of it with ABC Records, lasted from 1973 to 1979. He ended up with 10 singles that hit the charts, with the best being "The River's Too Wide," which was his first release and went to #13. He also was a commercial jingle singer and did work for Pillsbury, Union 76, Coca Cola and Miller Brewing. As far as I know, he is still alive, although I cannot confirm it as he kind of disappeared 1980.

O.B. McClinton is a name that should be familiar to many country music fans. He was born on April 25, 1940 and grew up in the Memphis, Tennessee area. His first love was R&B music but he was unable to get a record contract. He then tried country and was one of the first entertainers to market their album on television. His first chart success was in 1964 and he stayed on the charts until he died in 1987. "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You" was his biggest success, coming in at #37 on the carts. He nicknamed himself the "Chocolate Cowboy" which was also the title of one of his later albums. O.B. passed away from cancer on September 23, 1987.

Next weekend will be a big one at the Opry as on Saturday night, Connie Smith will be honored for 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. To mark the occasion, there will be two shows on Saturday night that will feature, in addition to Connie, Marty Stuart, Alison Krauss, The Cox Family, Mel Tillis and many more. It should be a great night at the Opry.

As far as the weekend, enjoy the Opry!!















Monday, July 27, 2015

Mid-Week Opry Shows 7/28 & 7/29

Here are the line-ups for this week's mid-week Opry shows:

Tuesday July 28
7:00: Terri Clark; Riders In The Sky
7:30: Mandy Barnett; David Nail
Intermission
8:15: The Whites; Chris Janson
8:45: Love and Theft; Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers

Wednesday July 29
7:00: John Conlee; Sarah Darling
7:30: Craig Campbell; Restless Heart
Intermission
8:15: Jeannie Seely; Tracy Lawrence
8:45: Love and Theft; Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers

Two nice shows this week.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 7/24 & 7/25

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the four shows this weekend. Yes, there will be two shows each on Friday and Saturday night. Why you ask? Because Grand Ole Opry member Carrie Underwood will be appearing both nights. I, along with others, have mentioned before how Carrie supports the Opry and has always found the time to fulfill her commitment to the show. She sets an example for a few of the other newer Opry members.

Joining Carrie both nights will be Opry members Jeannie Seely, The Whites, Connie Smith and Ricky Skaggs. In fact, these four will be the only segment hosts for this weekend. Joining them on Friday night will be Mike Snider and Jesse McReynolds, while Bobby Osborne will join them on Saturday night. Those are the only Opry members scheduled this weekend.

As far as guest artists, Friday night will feature Carly Pearce, Kristian Bush, Jackie Lee and Point of Grace. All have appeared on the Opry previously. Saturday night will have Ashley Clark, Logan Brill, Exile and Charlie Worsham guesting. Charlie is one of the great young talents in country music. Logan Brill is one of the new young females trying to make her mark in country music and Ashley Clark is described as a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

What it all adds up to is 11 artists for Friday night and just 10 for Saturday night, with the same artists performing on both shows each of the individual nights.

Friday July 24
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Carly Pearce; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Kristian Bush
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jackie Lee; Point of Grace
8:30: Connie Smith (host); Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Carly Pearce; Mike Snider
10:00: Connie Smith (host); Carrie Underwood
10:30: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Kristian Bush
11:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jackie Lee; Point of Grace

Saturday July 25
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Ashley Clark; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: The Whites (host); Logan Brill; Exile
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Charlie Worsham; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Connie Smith (host); Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Ashley Clark; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: Connie Smith (host); Carrie Underwood
10:30: The Whites (host); Charlie Worsham; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Logan Brill; Exile

Do you notice who is missing this weekend? Yes, that is right. Vince Gill is not at the Opry this weekend. I guess he is allowed time off from the Opry after all the time he has put in. But Vince fans should not worry. He will be back.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of July 23 & 24, 2010. Both nights were held at the Ryman Auditorium as the renovation continued at the Grand Ole Opry House.

Friday July 23
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jeannie Seely; Randy Montana
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Cherryholmes
Intermission
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Chuck Mead
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Connie Smith

Saturday July 24
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; Chuck Mead
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Heidi Newfield
Intermission
8:15: Marty Stuart (host); Stonewall Jackson; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jean Shepard; Patty Loveless

And from ten years ago, the weekend of July 22 & 23, 2005

Friday July 22
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Blue Highway; Lorrie Morgan
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Ryan Shupe & The Rubber Band
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; The Whites; Susan Haynes
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; John Conlee; George Canyon
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jim Ed Brown; Joe Diffie

Saturday July 23
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; The Whites; BeauSoleil
7:00: Lorrie Morgan (host); Asleep At The Wheel; Susan Haynes; Lee Greenwood
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; John Conlee; Sam Bush

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Susan Haynes
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Asleep At The Wheel
10:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Osborne Brothers; Mel McDaniel; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); John Conlee; Jean Shepard; Lee Greenwood
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); BeauSoleil; Sam Bush

For this week's look back into Opry history, I have two line-ups to offer. The first is from Saturday July 24, 1971 when future Country Music Hall of Fame member Patsy Montana made her first ever appearance on the Opry.

Ruby Rose Blevins, who became known as Patsy Montana, was born on October 30, 1908. She was known as a singer, songwriter and actress, with her signature song being, "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart." The song was released in 1935 became the first million selling song by a country female artist. In the 1930s, Patsy, along with the group called The Prairie Ramblers, were regulars in the WLS National Barn Dance. She remained with the show into the 1950s after which she went into semi-retirement. She attempted a comeback in the early 1960s with limited success. Patsy passed away on May 3, 1996, the same year that she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from Saturday July 24, 1971, the night 44 years ago that Patsy Montana made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Stu Phillips (host): That's A Chance I'll Have to Take
Merle Kilgore: Wolverton Mountain
Connie Eaton: Who's Sorry Now
Stu Phillips: Me and Bobby McGee
Merle Kilgore: Honky Tonk Man

6:45: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Poor Ellen Smith
Murry Kellum: Joy to the World
Wilma Lee Cooper: Coming Down From God
Murry Kellum: Long Tall Texan

7:00: Luzianne
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
4 Guys: Let the Sun Keep Shining
Stan Hitchcock: Free Born Men
Barbara Mandrell: Break My Mind
Billy Grammer: Jesus Is A Soul Man
4 Guys: You Can Tell the World About This
Stan Hitchcock: You Gave Me a Mountain
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Willis Brothers: Women's Liberation
Patsy Montana: A Cowboy's Sweetheart
Crook Brothers: 8th of January
Roy Acuff: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
Willis Brothers: High Cost of Living
Patsy Montana: Little Rag Doll

8:00: Martha White
Tex Ritter (host): Wayward Wind
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Stoney Edwards: A $2 Toy
Wilma Burgess: Snowbird
Tex Ritter: Fall Away
Stringbean: Y' All Come
Stoney Edwards: Po Folks Stick Together
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of A Hillbilly Heaven

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): In the Misty Moonlight
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hollow Poplar
Johnny Cash: A Boy Named Sue
Johnny Cash: Sunday Morning Coming Down
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash: No Need to Worry
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash: Jackson
Hank Snow: That's When The Hurting Sets In

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Stu Phillips (host): Let the Guitars Play
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Merle Kilgore: All For the Love Of A Girl
Patsy Montana: Sixteen Pounds
Stu Phillips: For the Good Times
Murry Kellum: Joy to the World
Merle Kilgore: Tiger Woman

10:00: Fender
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Johnny Cash: Man In Black
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash: If I Were A Carpenter
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash: Help Me Make It Through the Night
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash: No Need to Worry
Johnny Cash: Folsom Prison Blues

10:15: Union 76
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Big Midnight Special
Stan Hitchcock: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Orange Blossom Special

10:30: Trailblazer
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Stringbean: Ruby
Billy Grammer: Beautiful Isle of Somewhere

10:45: Beech-Nut
4 Guys (host): Cottonfields/Maria
Connie Eaton: Who's Sorry Now
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
4 Guys: One Pair of Hands

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Barbara Mandrell: Treat Him Right
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Hank Snow: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Barbara Mandrell: Rocky Top
Sam McGee: Victory Rag
Hank Snow: So Goes My Heart

11:30: Elm Hill
Tex Ritter (host): Wayward Wind
Wilma Burgess: Misty Blue
Stoney Edwards: Today I Started Loving You Again
Tex Ritter: Fall Away
Wilma Burgess: Tennessee Waltz

There were several interesting names that appeared on the Opry that night with Patsy, the most famous being Johnny Cash, along with his wife June Carter Cash. At the time, Johnny was at the peak of his popularity, which was evident by the number of songs that he performed and by being the only guest on Hank Snow's segment on the first show and Roy Acuff's on the second show.

Other interesting names that might not be as well known included Wilma Burgess, Stoney Edwards, Connie Eaton, Murry Kellum and Barbara Mandrell, not yet an Opry member. We know about Barbara, but what about the others.

Wilma Burgess was born on June 11, 1939 and passed away on August 26, 2003. Between 1965 and 1975, she had fifteen singles on the country charts, the most successful being "Misty Blue" which in 1966 went to #4. She was produced for most of her career by Owen Bradley, where she recorded for his Decca label until 1975. Her last recordings were made in 1982 after which she opened and performed at a bar in Nashville and helped in running the Jim Reeves Museum. She died at the age of 64 after suffering a heart attack. One interesting note is in 1965 she purchased the Nashville home that belonged to Patsy Cline and also Jim Reeves' touring bus, "Big Blue."

Connie Eaton was born in March 1950 and passed away from cancer on September 30, 1999. She was born in Nashville and recorded for Chart Records, which was owned by Lynn Anderson, and many in the press referred to her as the "next" Anderson. During her career, she released three albums and her biggest hit was "Lonely Men, Lonely Women" which went to #23 in 1975. By the late 1970s, she was out of the music business.

Murry Kellum had one hit record during his career, "Long Tall Texan", which was a hit for him in 1963. He also co-wrote the Alabama hit, "If You're Gonna Play in Texas You've Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band." He was also known as a very good guitarist. He passed away at the age of 47 in 1990, dying as the result of a plane crash.

Stoney Edwards was born December 24, 1929 under the name of Frenchie Edwards. He was one of seven children and while growing up he dreamed of performing on the Grand Ole Opry. In 1968, while working as a forklift operator in California, he was involved in an industrial accident that resulted in him spending the next several years in either a coma or near-coma. As he recovered, he started to devote himself to country music. In 1970, while performing in Oakland, California, he was spotted by a local attorney, Ray Sweeney, who knew in the wake of the success of Charley Pride that other labels were looking for black country singers. As a result of his efforts, Stoney was signed by Capital Records. Stoney released five albums for Capital, which included two Top 20 singles, "She's My Rock" and "Mississippi You're On My Mind." "She's My Rock' would later be recorded by Brenda Lee and George Jones. By the early 1980s, his health was declining and he would pass away from cancer in 1997.

The second line-up is from five years later, Saturday July 24, 1976. It was on this night that Grand Ole Opry member Bobby Lord made his final appearance as a member of the Opry.

Bobby Lord was born on January 6, 1934 in Sanford, Florida. As a teenage, he entered various talent contests in the Tampa area, where his family had moved. After graduating from Plant High School, he was offered the chance to host a television show, "The Bobby Lord Homefolks Show." In 1952 he won a nationwide talent contest sponsored by TV Guide. In 1953, upon the recommendation of Boudleaux Bryant who had heard one of Bobby's demo tapes, he was signed by Columbia Records. At the age of 19, he was their youngest recording artist. In 1955 he joined the Ozark Jubilee and when that show was cancelled in 1960, he moved to Nashville and was immediately offered membership to the Grand Ole Opry. During his time on the Opry, he also hosted "Opry Almanac" on WSM-TV and he also had a weekly syndicated show which included Jerry Whitehurst and Spider Wilson as band members. Bobby left Nashville in 1969 and went into semi-retirement from the music business. In the 1980s he hosted TNN's Country Sportsman. Bobby died on February 16, 2008 in Stuart, Florida. Although he gave up his Opry membership in 1976, he would continue to make a few appearances on the Opry, when ever he was up in the Nashville area.

From 39 years ago this weekend, here is the line-up from Bobby Lord's final show as an Opry member, July 24, 1976:

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): Lucille
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: (?)
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Del Wood: Stars & Stripes/Caissons/Anchor's Away/U.S. Marines/America the Beautiful
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nobody's Darling But Min
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/US Marines/America the Beautiful
Johnny Carver: Afternoon Delight
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Bill Carlisle: Business Man

10:00: Fender
Jerry Clower (host): Marcel 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 & 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: Soldier's Joy
Hank Snow: That's When He Dropped the World in My Hands
Jeanne Pruett: It's Doesn't Hurt to Ask
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Hank Snow: My Little Old Home 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 Laredo
Bobby Lord: Y'All Come

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!














Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 7/17 & 7/18

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-up for the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry and there are some interesting names that are set to appear this weekend.

First, Opry member and Hall of Famer Jean Shepard is scheduled for Saturday night. She has not appeared on the Opry in 2015 and it is nice to see her again on the schedule. The hope is that she is well enough to appear, not only this weekend, but in the future. They scheduled her in a segment with Jesse McReynolds, who has also missed the last couple of weeks. Jesse said that he wasn't feeling well but that he is much better and was able to celebrate his 86th birthday last week. I think by putting both of these artists together, the Opry is covering itself in case one cancels.

As far as other Opry members this weekend, Ray Pillow and Mike Snider are set to host segments both nights. Mike has kind of fallen out of the rotation of hosting a segment, so it is nice to see him back in that role. And it is always a treat to see Ray back on the Opry. Obviously, if they are having Ray and Mike hosting segments both nights, the pool of possible hosts is slim and many are out on the road this weekend. Other Opry members set for this weekend are Larry Gatlin and Bobby Osborne on Friday night and Jeannie Seely and Jan Howard on Saturday night. Oh no, I did not miss his name!! Vince Gill is set again for both shows this weekend. Outstanding!!

With such few Opry members scheduled this weekend, the guest artists will dominate. Set for both nights is Darryl Worley, while Greg Bates, T. Graham Brown, Home Free, Elizabeth Cook and The Steeldrivers are set for Friday night. Home Free is the newcomer on this list. They were the winner of season 4 of "The Sing Off" on NBC. They did not start out as a country group, but as members have changed, their musical direction has shifted into that style. T. Graham Brown used to be on the Opry a lot, but his recent appearances have been few and far. It is nice to see him back. The Steeldrivers are an exciting group that tends to go toward bluegrass and Elizabeth Cook is a very talented songwriter and singer.

Saturday night will feature Keith Anderson, Amber Digby, TG Sheppard and his wife Kelly Lang, Clare Bowen from "Nashville," and Sara Haze. That totals out to 14 on Saturday night. The artist I am looking most forward to is Amber Digby. Out of Texas, she always has done a great job and I was at the Opry for her last appearance. She is very talented and usually has her husband with her playing guitar.

Friday July 17
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Darryl Worley
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); Greg Bates; T. Graham Brown
Intermission
8:15: Larry Gatlin (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Home Free
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Elizabeth Cook; The Steeldrivers

Saturday July 18
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Keith Anderson; Amber Digby
7:30: Mike Snider (host); TG Sheppard with Kelly Lang; Clare Bowen
Intermission
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Jan Howard; Sara Haze; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jean Shepard; Jesse McReynolds; Darryl Worley

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of July 16 & 17, 2010. Both the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry were held at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday July 16
7:00: Marty Stuart (host); Rebecca Lynn Howard; Mary Chapin Carpenter
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mark Wills
Intermission
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Jesse McReynolds; Jim Ed Brown; Jan Howard
8:45: Mel Tillis (host); Riders In The Sky; Kenyon Lockry

Saturday July 17
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Rebecca Lynn Howard; Mel Tillis
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Point Of Grace
Intermission
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Stonewall Jackson; Lee Brice; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Jim Ed Brown; Rodney Crowell

As far as the Friday Night Opry, Mary Chapin Carpenter was not on the schedule and made a surprise appearance before heading to another venue in Nashville. That accounted for the five artists in the 8:15 segment as the line-up was shuffled around.

Now from ten years ago this weekend, July 15 & 16, 2005:

Friday July 15
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Walker; Maura O'Connell
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Mel McDaniel; Susan Haynes
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Kenny & Amanda Smith; Janie Fricke
9:00: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; Restless Heart
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Osborne Brothers; Mark Chesnutt

Saturday July 16
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Carlene Carter
7:00: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; The Wrights
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Mel McDaniel; The Isaacs
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Raul Malo; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker; Shawn King; T. Graham Brown

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Raul Malo
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Shawn King; The Isaacs
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stu Phillips; T. Graham Brown; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Billy Walker; Carlene Carter
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; The Wrights

Going back into the history of the Opry, it was on Saturday July 18, 1964 that Connie Smith made her first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Connie would continue to make guest appearances over the next year, and on August 8, she will be honored on her 50th anniversary as an Opry member.

Here is the running order from 51 years ago, July 18, 1964:

7:30: Luzianne
Bill Anderson (host): Po Folks
The Browns: The Wayward Wind
Gordon Terry: Wild Honey
Del Wood: Mocking Bird
Bill Anderson: Five Little Fingers
Connie Smith: I Can Stand It
Jimmy Gateley: (?)
The Browns: Then I'll Stop Loving You
Bill Anderson: Still

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy Newman (host): Alligator Man
Jean Shepard: Two Little Boys
Carl Butler: I'm Hanging Up the Phone
Crazy Elmer: Comedy
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Jimmy Newman: Summer Skies and Golden Sands
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Carl Butler: Don't Let Me Cross Over
Jimmy Newman: A Fallen Star

8:30: Stephens
Leroy Van Dyke (host): Your Money
Marion Worth: You Took Him Off My Hands
Sonny James: Ask Marie
Bill Carlisle: Shanghai Rooster
Leroy Van Dyke: Auctioneer
Stan Hitchcock: Looking Through A Teardrop
Marion Worth: Crazy Arms
Sonny James: The Minute Your Gone
Leroy Van Dyke: Walk On By

9:00: Pet Milk
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Billy Grammer: Detroit City
George Hamilton IV: Abilene
Oswald: Roll On, Buddy, Roll On
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
June Stearn: (?)
Billy Grammer: Beautiful Isle of Somewhere
George Hamilton IV: (?)
Roy Acuff: Glorybound Train


9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): Ninety Miles an Hour, Down A Dead End Street
Carter Family: Wildwood Flower
Roy Drusky: Pick of the Week
Willis Brothers: Gonna Buy Me A Jukebox
June Carter: Comedy
Hank Snow: Why Do You Punish Me
Carter Family: (?)
Roy Drusky: Yesterday
Hank Snow: Caribbean

10:00: Schick
Jimmy Newman (host): Bayou Talk
The Browns: Yesterday's Gone
Jean Shepard: Hillbilly Fever
Jimmy Newman: The Mover

10:15: SSS Tonic
Sonny James (host): Jenny Lou
Marion Worth: The Hands You're Holding Now
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Sonny James: Ask Marie

10:30: Harvey's
Leroy Van Dyke (host): All the Boys Are Talking
Del Wood: Pony Boy
George Hamilton IV: Three Steps to the Phone
Leroy Van Dyke: Dim Dark Corner

10:45: Newport
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Crook Brothers: New Five Cents
Carl Butler: (?)
Roy Acuff: Lights in the Valley

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
The Browns: The 3 Bells
Billy Grammer: (?)
June Carter: Comedy
Hank Snow: (?)
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Carter Family: Foggy Mountain Top
Billy Grammer: (?)
Hank Snow: (?)


11:30: Lava
Roy Drusky (host): Peel Me A Nanner
Willis Brothers: Private Lee
George Hamilton IV: (?)
Crazy Elmer: Comedy
Roy Drusky: Another
Connie Smith: (?)
Willis Brothers: Big Daddy
George Hamilton IV: (?)
Roy Drusky: (?)

Interesting that on her first night, Connie was on the opening segment and the closing segment. And of course, it was Bill Anderson who first introduced her on the Opry.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!




Monday, July 13, 2015

Mid-Week Opry Shows 7/14 & 7/15

A couple of very solid mid-week Opry shows coming up on Tuesday and Wednesday night:

Tuesday July 14
7:00: John Conlee; Terri Clark
7:30: Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chris Janson
Intermission
8:15: Jeannie Seely; Chase Bryant
8:45: Nathan Chapman; Vince Gill

Nice to see that 5 of the 8 acts are Opry members, and nice to see Vince continue his string of Opry appearances.

Wednesday July 15
7:00: Frankie Ballard; Bill Anderson
7:30: Mickey Guyton; The Isaacs
Intermission
8:15: The Secret Sisters; The Bellamy Brothers
8:45: Sarah Darling; Larry Gatlin

For those not familiar with The Secret Sisters, they are outstanding and worth checking out.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 7/10 & 7/11

The line-ups have been posted for the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry as summer continues in Nashville. Overall, some good shows this weekend, with Saturday looking the better of the two nights.

I know it is starting to sound like a broken record, but once again, we have Vince Gill scheduled for both nights, hosting the final segment. I know many of us wondered with the deaths of Jimmy C Newman, George Hamilton IV, Jimmy Dickens, and most recently, Jim Ed Brown, what Opry members would step up and respond with increased Opry appearances. I think it is safe to say that Vince, along with Larry Gatlin, have stepped up to the plate. Vince has always supported the Opry, no complaints here. But it is very nice to see increasing his appearances even more and supporting the show. Once again, he is setting an example for others of his generation.

He will be joined both nights by Opry members Bill Anderson, Connie Smith and Mike Snider. Friday night Joe Diffie gets another opportunity to host a segment. He did a nice job earlier this year in filling that role. Orpy member Bobby Osborne is also set for Friday night, while on Saturday, John Conlee, the Oak Ridge Boys and the great Ralph Stanley are set to appear.

As far as guest artists, one of my favorites, Suzy Bogguss is set for Saturday night, along with Austin Webb, Casey James, and "Nashville's" Jonathan Jackson. Friday night will be highlighted by Neal McCoy, along with Josh Thompson, Wade Hayes, JT Hodges, Cam, and the lovely Crystal Gayle, who would certainly make a great Opry member.

Friday July 10
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Josh Thompson; Mike Snider
7:30: Joe Diffie (host); Wade Hayes; Crystal Gayle
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Cam; JT Hodges
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Neal McCoy

Saturday July 11
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Austin Webb; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); Suzy Bogguss; Ralph Stanley
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Casey James; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jonathan Jackson; Oak Ridge Boys

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, July 9 & 10, 2010. Both shows took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday July 9
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Rebecca Lynn Howard
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett
Intermission
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Terri Clark
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Joe Diffie

Saturday July 10
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Andy Griggs
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Sam Bush
Intermission
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jason & The long Road To Love; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Charlie Louvin; Connie Smith

And from ten years ago this weekend, July 8 & 9, 2005:

Friday July 8
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jean Shepard; Dale Watson
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jack Greene; Daryle Singletary
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Larry Sparks
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Louvin; Connie Smith; Josh Turner
9:30: John Conlee (host); Hank Locklin; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Terri Clark

Saturday July 9
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Elizabeth Cook
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman; Jason Aldean
7:30: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Carlene Carter
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Osborne Brothers; Marty Stuart; Vince Gill

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Jim Ed Brown; Jason Aldean
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; The Whites; Carlene Carter
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Jean Shepard; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Vince Gill
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Osborne Brothers; Mel McDaniel; Elizabeth Cook

For this week's look back in Opry history, here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from 51 years ago, Saturday July 11, 1964:

7:30: Luzianne
Porter Wagoner (host): Sorrow on the Rocks
Roy Drusky: Peel Me A Nanner
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Porter Wagoner: Life of the Party
Stringbean: Moonshine in Them Old Kentucky Hills
Margie Bowes: Overnight
Roy Drusky: Pick of the Week
Fiddle Tune: Ragtime Annie
Porter Wagoner: Howdy Neighbor, Howdy

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): (?)
Bill Anderson: (?)
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Crook Brothers: 8th of January
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)
Jean Shepard: (?)
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Low & Lonely
Lonzo & Oscar: There's A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Leroy Van Dyke: (?)
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Roy Acuff: The Precious Jewel
Bill Carlisle: Shanghai Rooster
Stonewall Jackson: (?)
Oswald: Black Smoke's A'Rollin

Roy Acuff: How Beautiful Heaven Must Be

9:00: Pet Milk
Faron Young (host):(?)
Jim & Jesse: (?)
Jimmy Newman: (?)
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill

Faron Young: (?)
Billy Grammer: (?)

Cates Sisters: (?)
Jim & Jesse: (?)
Faron Young: (?)


9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): Breakfast With the Blues
Glaser Brothers: Girl of Mine
Bill Monroe: (?)
Willis Brothers: Private Lee
Hank Snow: (?)
Sonny James: (?)
Cousin Jody: Lady Cop

Bill Monroe: (?)
Hank Snow: There's A Fool Such As I


10:00: Schick
Porter Wagoner (host): Misery Loves Company
Stringbean: String's A'Fishing
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand
Wagonmasters: Soldier's Joy

10:15: SSS Tonic
Billy Grammer (host): (?)
Roy Drusky: (?)
Margie Bowes: Understand Your Gal

Justin Tubb: Take A Letter Miss Gray
Billy Grammer: (?)

10:30: Harvey's
Flatt & Scruggs (host): (?)
Stonewall Jackson: (?)
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)

10:45: Newport
Roy Acuff (host): Little Pal
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Roy Acuff: Glorybound Train

Howdy & Jimmy: Cowbell Polka

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Glaser Brothers: (?)
Lonzo & Oscar: (?)
Leroy Van Dyke: (?)
Hank Snow: Muy Filipino Rose

Jean Shepard: (?)
Bill Anderson: (?)

Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Hank Snow: South Bound

11:30: Lava
Faron Young (host): (?)
Bill Monroe: (?)
Jimmy Newman: Summer Skies & Golden Sand

Willis Brothers: (?)
Faron Young: (?)
Sonny James: (?)
Cousin Jody: (?)
Jim & Jesse: (?)
Faron Young: (?)


Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!