Thursday, March 26, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 3/27 &3/28

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend and it is looking like a very nice weekend that will be highlighted by the Opry's two newest members to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Jim Ed Brown w/The Browns and the Oak Ridge Boys.

On the Friday Night Opry, Jim Ed Brown will be joined by his sisters, Maxine and Bonnie and I am sure that the Opry will recognize their Hall of Fame election. During his speech at the announcement, Jim Ed gave special mention to the Grand Ole Opry including Ott Devine, Hal Durham, Bob Whittaker and Pete Fisher. A very nice jesture from someone who has been an Opry member or 52 years.

Jim Ed will also be appearing on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, and hosting the final segment that night will be the other Opry members elected to the Hall of Fame, the Oak Ridge Boys. Like Jim Ed and The Browns, the Oak Ridge Boys were long overdue for induction and it was nice to see that they finally got recognized. Brenda Lee did an excellent job with the introductions and in going over the achievements of those elected. And not to forget Grady Martin, the great guitarist, who also played on the Opry in the 1960s.

As far as other Opry members appearing this weekend, both nights will feature Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, John Conlee, Mike Snider and Riders In The Sky. Joining them on Friday night will be Bill Anderson, Diamond Rio, Bobby Osborne, Jeannie Seely and Trace Adkins. Hopefully Trace makes it this weekend as his previous scheduled appearances for 2015 resulted in Trace cancelling. And on Saturday night, Opry member Terri Clark will be making a visit, along with Connie Smith and The Whites.

As far as guest artists this weekend, there are some very solid names set to appear. Friday night will have Craig Campbell, Deana Carter and EmiSunshine. For EmiSunshine, this will be her 2nd Friday night in a row and she will again be signing her new CD in the Opry gift shop after the show. Saturday night will have Striking Matches, Kathy Mattea and Sturgill Simpson. I have always thought that Kathy would have made a fine Opry member and for those who haven't heard Sturgill before, he is the real thing. A classic voice who has really been making his mark in Americana music.

Friday March 27
7:00: John Conlee (host); Craig Campbell; Mike Snider
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Riders In The Sky; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Deana Carter
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; EmiSunshine
8:45: Trace Adkins (host); Jim Ed Brown w/The Browns; Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers

Saturday March 28
7:00: John Conlee (host); Terri Clark; Mike Snider
7:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Connie Smith; Kathy Mattea
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Striking Matches; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Jim Ed Brown; Sturgill Simpson

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, March 26 & 27, 2010:

Friday March 26
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Dale Ann Bradley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Matt Kennon
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Jamie O'Neal
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; The Quebe Sisters Band

Saturday March 27
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; John Anderson
7:30: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Jordyn Shellhart
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Dale Ann Bradley; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Bar D Wranglers; Charlie Daniels Band

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne; John Anderson
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jordyn Shellhart; Charlie Daniels Band
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; Alison Brown; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Connie Smith; Dale Ann Bradley

And from ten years ago this weekend, March 25 & 26, 2005:

Friday March 25
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Daryle Singletary
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Gene Watson
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith; Joe Diffie
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Riders In The Sky; Craig Morgan
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker; Jack Greene; Darryl Worley

Saturday March 26
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; Jeannie Seely; Hal Ketchum
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Trace Adkins; Craig Morgan; Oak Ridge Boys
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Keni Thomas; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Riders In The Sky; Jimmy Wayne

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; The Whites; Craig Morgan
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; John Conlee; Osborne Brothers; Trace Adkins
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; Hal Ketchum; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy Wayne; Oak Ridge Boys
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Keni Thomas

For this week's featured line-up, it was 44 years ago this Saturday night, March 27, 1971 that Jan Howard became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Many had thought that Jan was already an Opry member, joining in 1959. But that was not true. As Jan said, "I was a guest for years. I started guesting there when Ott Devine was manager and then Bill Anderson and I started working together in '65 and so I was part of the Bill Anderson show on the Opry. In the meantime, Bud Wendell became manager and I saw him at a party one Thursday night. He said, 'Well, I'll see you at the Opry tomorrow night.' And I said, No, I'm not going to be there. He said, 'What do you mean, you're not going to be there?' I said, I'm not a regular member and I just happen to not be booked. And he said, 'Well, you are going to be there!' And the next night, it was a Friday in March, I was made a regular member."

As mentioned, Jan first performed on the Opry in 1959, coming to Nashville from California. Her first solo single, "The One You Slip Around With" was a Top 10 hit and several publications named her their Most Promising Country Vocalist. In 1964, she signed with Decca Records and joined Bill Anderson's syndicated television and road show and sang with him regularly on the Opry. She and Bill had several duet hits including "For Loving You" which went to #1. It was also during this time that her biggest single record, "Evil on Your Mind" went to the Top 5 on the country charts.

In 1987, Jan wrote her autobiography "Sunshine and Shadow," an outstanding book that details her life, including the death of her son Jimmy in Vietnam, and the death of her youngest son David. Jan has received several awards for her work with the armed forces, mental health, the Veterans Administration, Vietnam veterans and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In 2005 she was elected to the Missouri Country Music Hall of Fame.

Here is the running order of the Opry, from Saturday March 27, 1971, the night Jan Howard became an official member of the Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Billy Walker (host): I Taught Her Everything She Knows
Ray Pillow: Grazin' In Greener Pastures
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Billy Walker: How Great Thou Art

6:45: Rudy's
Jack Greene (host): There's A Whole Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know
Jeannie Seely: Please Be My New Love
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely: Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

7:00: Luzianne
Bill Monroe (host): My Little Georgia Rose
Earl Scruggs Revue: Loraderjosp III Breakdown
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You
Ernie Ashworth: Jesus Is A Soul Man
James Monroe: Come With Me Up Happiness Hill
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Earl Scruggs Revue: Foggy Mountain Top
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Legend of the Dogwood Tree

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Grandpa Jones: Mountain Dew
Jan Howard: Evil on Your Mind
George Morgan: For the Good Times
Bill Anderson: Always Remember
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Grandpa Jones: Fair and Tender Ladies
Bill Anderson & Jan Howard: Someday We'll Be Together

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Loretta Lynn: I Wanna Be Free
Tex Ritter: The Men in My Little Girl's Life
Willis Brothers: Women's Liberation
Lonzo and Oscar: Crowded Song

8:30: Stephens
Porter Wagoner (host): The Carroll County Accident
Dolly Parton: Coming For to Carry Me Home
Stringbean: Hot Corn, Cold Corn
Tom T Hall: The Ballad of Forty Dollars
Porter Wagoner: The Last One to Touch Me
Hank Locklin: She's As Close As I Can Get
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking in My Sleep
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Better Move It On Home

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Anderson (host): You Can Change My World By Changing Your Mind
Willis Brothers: For the Good Times
Jan Howard: Were You There
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nobody's Darling But Mine
Ray Pillow: Working Man Blues
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

10:00: Fender
Bill Monroe (host): Little Joe
Earl Scruggs Revue: Bugle Call Rag
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie

10:15: Union 76
Billy Walker (host): When A Man Loves A Woman
Grandpa Jones: Dooley
Ernie Ashworth: Jesus is A Soul Man
Billy Walker: Make the World Go Away

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Jack Greene: There's A Whole Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Porter Wagoner (host): Big Wind
Dolly Parton: Joshua
Stringbean: Lonesome Road Blues
Crook Brothers: Arkansas Traveler
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Better Move It On Home

11:00: Coca-Cola
Tex Ritter (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Tex Ritter: High Noon
Loretta Lynn: I Wanna Be Free
Sam McGee: San Antonio Rose

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Lonzo and Oscar: There's A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Ronnie Robbins: Put Your Hand in the Hand/Today I Started Loving You Again
Marty Robbins: I Walk Alone/Don't Worry/A Heart Full of Love/Long, Gone Lonesome Blues
Marty Robbins & Ronnie Robbins: It Finally Happened.

Finally, I know there are many of you who like to go way back, so here is the line-up from Saturday March 28, 1953, 62 years ago this weekend:

7:30: Warren Paint
Roy Acuff (host): Coming From The Ball
Eddie Hill: Molasses
Roy Acuff: The Great Shining Light
Howdy Forrester: Ragtime Annie

7:45: American Ace
Roy Acuff (host): No Letter In The Mail
Tommy Sosebee: The Longer We're Together
Jimmy Riddle: Frankie and Johnny
Roy Acuff: It's Alright Now
Oswald: Good Old Mountain Dew

8:00: Martha White
Webb Pierce (host): You Scared The Love Right Out Of Me
Ray Price: Talk To Your Heart
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark
June Carter: Juke Box Blues
Marty Robbins: I Couldn't Keep From Crying
Moon Mullican: Cherokee Boogie
Webb Pierce: That's Me Without You
Carter Family: Sun's Gonna Shine In My Back Door
Ray Price: Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes
Fiddle: Fire On The Mountain

8:30: Prince Albert Show
Red Foley (host): Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Johnny and Jack: Heart Trouble
Square Dancers: Turkey In The Straw
Red Foley: No Tears In Heaven
Old Hickory Singers: When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Johnny and Jack: Three Ways of Knowing
String Bean: Uncle Pen
Red Foley: Forgive Me
Square Dancers: Wake Up Susan

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Pins and Needles
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Texas Quicksand
George Morgan: Whispering Friends
Jenny Jenkins: To Be Selected
Jug Band: Uncle Eps's Got The Coon
Cowboy Copas: If Wishes Were Horses
Roy Acuff: Where Could I Go
Lonzo and Oscar: Kncok Kneed Susie
Oswald: John Hardy
Howdy Forrester: Arkansas Traveller

9:30: Martha White
Carl Smith (host): It's A Lovely, Lovely World
Jimmy Dickens: I'm Little But I'm Loud
Moon Mullican: Pipeliner Blues
Anita Carter: Cool, Cold, Colder
Possum Hunters: Bill Cheatham
Carl Smith: Our Hooneymoon
Jimmy Dickens: Galvanized Wash Tub
Chet Atkins: Fig Leaf Rag
Carl Smith: Are You Teasing Me
Hal Smith: Here and There

10:00: Wallrite
George Morgan (host): Lover's Quarrel
Eddie Hill: Hot Guitar
Kitty Wells: The Crying Steel Guitar
Tommy Sosebee: All Because of My Jealous Heart
Fiddle: Leather Britches

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
George Morgan (host): Rainbow In My Heart
Marty Robbins: Love Me or Leave Me
Johnny and Jack: Humming Bird
Autry Inman: That's All Right
Fiddle Tune: Turkey In The Straw

10:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Jimmy Dickens (host): You Don't Have No Love At All
Ray Price: Please Be Mine
Chet Atkins: Oh By Jingo
Duke Of Paducah: Comedy
June Carter: Kaw Liga
Lonzo and Oscar: Tell Me It Was Worth It
Foggy River Boys: Jesus Changed This Heart of Mine
Gully Jumpers: Soldier's Joy
Jimmy Dickens: My Heart's Bouquet
Fiddle Tune: Bully of The Town

11:00: O-Cello-O
Roy Acuff (host): The Great Speckled Bird
Ken Marvin: Uh Huh Honey
Jenny Jenkins: Matthew 24
Howdy Forrester: Blackberry Blossoms
Roy Acuff: Take My Hand Precious Lord

11:15: Dairimix
Carl Smith (host): The Kind of Love I'm Lookin' For
Johnny and Jack: Lonesome
String Bean: Pretty Polly
Carl Smith: Our Honeymoon
Hal Smith: Sugar In The Gourd

11:30: Hester Battery
Webb Pierce (host): I Haven't Got The Heart
Moon Mullican: Mean Mama
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Webb Pierce: The Last Waltz

11:45: ABC Chicks
Cowboy Copas (host): Doll of Clay
Sam and Kirk: Columbus Stockade Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Going Across The Sea
Cowboy Copas: Feelin Low
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Paddy On The Turnpike

Some great acts on the Opry that night including a few names that you don't hear about anymore.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Random Opry Thoughts/Country Music Hall of Fame

Since I was in Nashville over the weekend, attending the Opry and checking out a few other things, I didn't get the opportunity to respond to the comments that were made regarding the shows this past weekend. I did receive texts and facebook messages from several of my friends and blog readers, asking my thoughts about the Opry and the upcoming Hall of Fame announcement, and also offering comments on the pictures that I posted on my Facebook page (Byron Fay). In no particular order, here are a few of my thoughts and personal observations from this past weekend.

Let's start with Chris Janson. I don't particuarly care for him. I can't put my finger on it, but there is just something about him that I don't like. But that's ok, as there are other members of the Opry, and in country music, that I don't particuarly like either. I have seen him at the Opry several times and I will say that he is talented, has a lot of energy and gets very good crowd reaction, especially from the younger fans. And, based on his new single being #1 on iTunes this past Friday, perhaps he is ready to break out. Yes, he gets a little preachy at times, but so have others. Don't be surprised if he becomes an Opry member some day. Remember Brad Paisley and Josh Turner? When they first came to Nashville, the Opry took great interest in their careers and heavily promoted both of them. Brad and Josh, much like Chris, made dozens and dozens of Opry appearances before they finally hit it big. Once they did, an invitation to become a member followed. Don't be surprised if it happens in this case also.

And then there is Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers. First, it was nice to see all three there. The majority of the time, it is just Larry and Steve, with Norah Lee Allen filling in for Rudy. And yes, Larry has a lot of energy on stage. For those who were not there, when Larry opened on Friday night with "Houston," he was out in the audience dancing with several ladies, including an elderly lady with a handicap. When he and his brothers did the gospel number, they stood with their dad around the piano while their mother played. Considering how old Larry and his brothers are, their parents must be in the mid-80s, or close to it. On Saturday night, when Jim Ed Brown was singing "The Old Lamplighter," Larry was singing along with the Opry singers. Also on Saturday, the bit where he stopped "Houston" after he started and did the Elvis song was pre-planned. The band already had the sheet music and the stool was already out for Larry to sit on. What I really like about Larry is the time he has given the Opry over the past several years. He has been there more than the majority of the members, and that is nice to see.

It was nice to see Jim Ed Brown again on the Opry. He is looking pretty good and his voice seems to be getting stronger each week. He did make a couple of mistakes when announcing acts, such as saying it was the Nashville Square Dancers and the Nashville Square Dance Band, and his thoughts seemed a little scattered. But he did a nice job hosting the segments.

Holly Williams did an awesome job with the two ballads that she did, especially the second one each night, "June" which was dedicated to her grandparents (on her mother's side of the family). It was just her and her husband and their guitars. Well done.

Gary Morris was tremendous, as was Ray Stevens. Gary has such an outstanding voice, and the second number, "Faith and Freedom," which was done with the high school orchestra from Texas, received a standing ovation. Ray had the audience laughing away and his new song, "Taylor Swift is Stalkin' Me" was well received.

I have a hard time with child acts and on the Opry Friday night was EmiSunshine. All dressed up with make-up at the age of 10. I hope someone is watching out for her and saving her money. I think we all know what happens to most child acts when they grow up.

It was my first time to see Pure Prairie League, one of the pioneers of country-rock, and a group that Vince Gill was part of at one time. They did "Aimee" which you would expect and the audience was singing along. And you know what? While not a country group, they sounded more country than most of what is on the radio today.

Among the others, John Conlee, The Whites, Jeannie Seely and Bobby Osborne all did solid jobs. Mike Snider was funny and kept things clean. His group is very, very talented. Shelley Skidmore is a nice young talent, both as a singer and as a songwriter, while The Henningsens did a nice job also. All in all, a pretty good weekend at the Opry.

Now a few thoughts on the Hall of Fame, which will announce the newest inductees on Wednesday morning. By now, all those who will be elected, or their families if deceased, have been notified. (Each year I am surprised that even with the advanced notice, the word never gets out. It also shows how much the media in Nashville cooperates with the Hall.) I am sure there are people out there checking concert schedules and artist's websites looking for clues. But remember, even if an act is out on tour, Nashville is a short airline flight from most of the United States.

Some have speculated that with Brenda Lee doing the announcement, there might be a connection. I doubt it and I would really be surprised if Brenda even knew at this point. Remember, this is just the announcement and not the actual induction. Brenda has been in this role before, as have Kix Brooks and Bill Anderson over the years. I guess if you wanted to speculate, let's consider the choices. It could be an act who's career began as a child. It could a group of females. It could be the Oak Ridge Boys, who Brenda has worked and recorded with. She made records for RCA, so it could be a member of the "A" team. You get the idea. There are lots of choices and good luck to everyone being considered.

For what it is worth, I did find it interesting that Larry Gatlin made a big deal about Ray Stevens not being in the Hall of Fame when doing the introduction of Ray on Saturday night.

Personally, I am still thinking Oak Ridge Boys, hoping for Jim Ed and the Browns, and as a musician, would like to see Jerry Reed go in.

Like I said, just some random thoughts..............

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 3/20 & 3/21

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. In looking at the line-ups, they certainly are not the strongest shows we have seen so far this year. Regardless, I will be in Nashville this weekend, attending the Opry both nights.

Both weekend shows will feature Opry members Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers. We have seen a lot of Larry around the Opry over the past several years, but not so much the brothers. It will be nice to see them all together. Other Opry members set for both shows are Jeannie Seely and Jim Ed Brown, both of whom will be hosting segments each night, and Mike Snider.

Joining those Opry members both nights will be guest artists Holly Williams, Shelley Skidmore and Steep Canyon Rangers. Holly has been around the Opry quite a few times, so we all know who she is. Shelley Skidmore has visited a few times. Not only is she a talented singer, but she also does a fine job with her songwriting. Steep Canyon Rangers are one of the more talented and popular bluegrass acts around. They are also the group that has backed up and performed with Steve Martin.

Set for Friday night are Opry members John Conlee and Bobby Osborne, along with Pure Prairie League, EmiSunshine and Chris Janson. Pure Prairie League will be a treat to see. This group, that formally had Vince Gill as a member, has one of the more popular sing-a-long songs from the past with "Amie." EmiSunshine has a new CD out that she will be signing at the Opry, and what can I say about Chris Janson. Lot's of energy, just not my style.

In addition to those already mentioned, Saturday night will feature Opry member The Whites, along with guest artists The Henningsens, Gary Morris and Ray Stevens. The Henningsens have been frequent guests at the Opry. It is really nice to see Gary Morris listed. Very popular in the 1980s, and a former Broadway star, Gary is one of the more talented singers of his generation. And what can you say about Ray Stevens. I case can be made for his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Known for his comedy, he has also written one of my favorite songs, "Everything is Beautiful." And he has just written a book, Ray Stevens' Nashville. Ray has recorded all types of music and has been successful in gospel, pop, country and comedy.

Friday March 20
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Shelley Skidmore; Mike Snider
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Holly Williams; Pure Prairie League
Intermission
8:15: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; EmiSunshine
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Chris Janson; Steep Canyon Rangers

Saturday March 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Henningsens; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Shelley Skidmore; Gary Morris
Intermission
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Ray Stevens; Steep Canyon Rangers

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of March 19 & 20, 2010:

Friday March 19
7:00: Marty Stuart (host); John Conlee; Riders In The Sky; Bobby Osborne
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Ricky Skaggs
Intermission
8:15: Pam Tillis (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Mike Snider
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jaron & The Long Road To Love; Gene Watson

Saturday March 20
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Easton Corbin
7:30: Pam Tillis (host); Jesse McReynolds; John Conlee
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Ray Pillow; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Jack Greene; Trace Adkins

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Easton Corbin
10:00: Pam Tillis (host); John Conlee; Mike Snider
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Stu Phillips; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Jeannie Seely; Stu Phillips

And from ten years ago this weekend, March 18 & 19, 2005:

Friday March 18
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Catherine Britt
8:00: Steve Wariner (host); Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Ray Scott
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Chely Wright
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Craig Morgan

Saturday March 19
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Mel McDaniel; Lane Turner
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; The Whites; Hilljack
7:30: Steve Wariner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Suzy Bogguss
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Rebecca Lynn Howard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Jeff Bates

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; The Whites; Lane Turner
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mel McDaniel; Hilljack
10:30: Steve Wariner (host); Charlie Louvin; Suzy Bogguss; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Rebecca Lynn Howard
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Billy Walker; Jeff Bates

Finally, going back 34 years to Saturday March 21, 1981:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
George Hamilton IV (host): Break My Mind
Jeannie Seely & Jan Howard: I'll Be All Smiles Tonight
George Hamilton IV: Abilene

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): Word Games
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Jan Howard: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms/Rocky Top
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Country Music Has Gone to Town/Goin' Down the Road Feeling Good/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
Wilma Lee Cooper: Shackles & Chains
Vic Willis Trio: You Feel Good All Over
Charly McClain: Who's Cheatin' Who/Surround Me With Love
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name/Ole Slewfoot

7:30: Standard Candy
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Ray Pillow: Remember Me
David Houston: After All
Billy Grammer: Kentucky Waltz
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Old Joe Clark
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk of Coal
Connie Smith: Give Them All to Jesus
Roy Acuff: Once More
Connie Smith: Sing, Sing, Sing

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Right or Wrong
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Stu Phillips: I Will
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: Hasn't It Been Good Together

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Country Music Has Gone to Town/Goin' Down the Road Feeling Good/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
4 Guys: (?)
Jeannie Seely: Since I Met Cha Boy
George Hamilton IV: Early Morning Rain
Charly McClain: Who's Cheatin' Who
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name/Ole Slewfoot/On A Highway Headed South

10:00: Little Debbie
Billy Walker (host): Cross the Brazos At Waco
Wilma Lee Cooper: Hallalujah We Shall Rise
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors

10:15: Sunbeam
Jack Greene (host): Your Love Takes Good Care of Me
Vic Willis Trio: Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle to You
Jan Howard: The Story of Hondo Crouch
Jack Greene: Sixty Days

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Connie Smith: When Love Dips His Love Into My Heart
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Roy Acuff: Farther Along

10:45: Beech-Nut
David Houston (host): Texas Ida Red
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Rachel
David Houston: After All

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Billy Grammer: Somebody Loves You
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Ray Pillow: Super Lady
Kirk McGee: While I'm Away
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: I Will

11:30: Bama
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Stu Phillips: Come Sundown/Great El Tigrae
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard/Rough Stuff
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'/Showboat

As I mentioned, I will be at the Opry this weekend and hopefully it will be an enjoyable weekend!!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Grandpa Jones First Opry Appearance/50th Anniversary As An Opry Member

It was 69 years ago this weekend, March 16, 1946 that Grandpa Jones made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry and it was 18 years ago this weekend on March 15, 1997 that Grandpa celebrated 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Louis Marshall Jones was born on October 20, 1913 in Niagra, Henderson County, Kentucky. His family moved to Akron, Ohio where he performed on various radio stations and entered talent contests. In 1935 he hooked up with Bradley Kincaid in Clarksburg, West Virginia and it was then that he started appearing as Grandpa Jones. From there they went to Wheeling, West Virginia. After serving in the Army in World War II, he came to Nashville and appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1946. In 1978 he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Here is the TNN broadcast from March 15, 1997 when Grandpa Jones was honored for 50 years of Opry membership. Johnny Russell is the host, and the show featured Tommy Hunter, Connie Smith and Doyle Dykes.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 3/13 & 3/14

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend. Once again, the Opry has come up with two very nice shows, highlighted by the appearance on Friday night by Opry member Trisha Yearwood, who will be celebrating 16 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. For Trisha, this will be her first Opry appearance since 2010, when she appeared one time. If you look at her total Opry appearances since she became a member in 1999, this will be her 25th appearance. That's 25 shows in 16 years!

Joining Trisha on the Friday Night Opry will be guest artists The Willis Clan and "Nashville" star Charles Esten. As far as Opry members, Steve Wariner, Jeannie Seely, Jesse McReynolds and The Whites are set for just Friday night, while Bill Anderson, Diamond Rio, Mike Snider, Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill are set for both nights. Interesting to see Bill leading off the Opry both nights as traditionally we see Bill during the 2nd half of the show. It is also nice to once again see Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill at the Opry, and as I have mentioned before, both of these folks have really stepped up their Opry appearances so for in 2015. And you will notice that when they have appeared, Ricky usually hosts the segment prior to intermission, while Vince handles the closing segment.

Joining that group on Saturday night will be Opry members Patty Loveless, Connie Smith and Bobby Osborne. It is really nice to see Patty back at the Opry. Joining them will be guest artists Rhett Walker Band and RaeLynn, both of whom have appeared previously. Finally, The Nashville Celts will be making their Opry debut.

Friday March 13
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Diamond Rio; Mike Snider
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; The Willis Clan
Intermission
8:15: Steve Wariner (host); Jeannie Seely; Jesse McReynolds; Charles Esten
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Trisha Yearwood

Saturday March 14
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Rhett Walker Band; Mike Snider
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Connie Smith; The Nashville Cats
Intermission
8:15: Diamond Rio (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; RaeLynn; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Patty Loveless

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, March 12 & 13, 2010:

Friday March 12
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Billy Dean
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; The Grascals
Intermission
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); George Hamilton IV; Jack Greene; Darius Rucker
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jim Ed Brown; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday March 13
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; David Nail
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Steel Magnolia
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jeannie Seely; Danny Gokey; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Joe Diffie

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); David Nail; The Whites
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jack Greene; Steel Magnolia
10:30: John Conlee (host); Charlie Louvin; Danny Gokey; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Joe Diffie

And from ten years ago this weekend, March 11 & 12, 2005:

Friday March 11
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jimmy C Newman; Jon Randall
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Riders In The Sky; Del McCoury Band
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Josh Turner
9:00: Pam Tillis (host); Charlie Walker; The Whites; Ralph Stanley
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Billy Walker; Jeannie Seely; Restless Heart

Saturday March 12
1st show
6:30: Nashville Irish Stepdancers; Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Bobby Pinson
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Del McCoury Band
7:30: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Larry Sparks
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Osborne Brothers; T. Graham Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Pam Tillis (host); Riders In The Sky; Josh Turner

2nd show
9:30: Nashville Irish Stepdancers; Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Bobby Pinson
10:30: Pam Tillis (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); Larry Sparks; Josh Turner
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; Osborne Brothers; T. Graham Brown

For this week's featured line-ups, there are two to feature. The first involves Trisha Yearwood, as it was on Saturday March 13, 1999 that Trisha became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Trisha was on the televised portion of the Opry in January from the Ryman Auditorium when Ricky Skaggs surprised her with an invitation to become a member.

Trisha has had a varied career as she has not only made her mark as a very successful singer, but she has appeared in several movies and television shows, and has been the author of several cooking books. She was the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1997 and 1998 and has won three Grammy Awards. Her debut single in 1991 "She's in Love with the Boy" went to #1 on the country charts. Over the coarse of she career, she has released ten albums and has had 43 singles, seven of which went to #1. Much like many of the Opry members who joined the cast in the 1990s, her Opry appearances have been few.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry 16 years ago this Saturday, March 13, 1999, the night Trisha Yearwood became an Opry member.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Skeeter Davis: I'll Fly Away
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya/Cajun Stripper

6:45: National Corvette Museum
Jim Ed Brown (host): Looking Back to See/Morning/Pop A Top/ The Three Bells

7:00: Shoney's/Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited Too Long
Janie Fricke: Bouncing Back/Don't Worry 'Bout Me Baby
Porter Wagoner: Fireball Mail/Night Train to Memphis/ Cabin In Gloryland
Rick Wayne: On the Line
Randy Scruggs: Black Mountain Rag
Steve Wariner: Holes in the Floor of Heaven
Trisha Yearwood: Living on the Wrong Side of Memphis/She's In Love With the Boy/Sweet Dreams

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): No Fair Falling in Love
Marty Stuart: Southern Accent
John Prine: Paradise
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail Me Ship Alone
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Rachel
Bill Anderson: Still

8:30: Physicians Mutual
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Ricky Skaggs: Little Maggie
The Whites: I Hear the Wind A' Blowing
Vince Gill: Pretty Little Adrianna/When I Call Your Name

2nd show
9:30: Bluegreen Vacation Resort Development
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jimmy C Newman: A Good Deal, Lucille
Trisha Yearwood: A Perfect Love/How Do I Live/She's In Love With the Boy
Porter Wagoner: I'll Fly Away

10:00: Lincoln-Mercury
Vince Gill (host): Don't Come Crying To Me
Randy Scruggs: Soldiers Joy
Vince Gill: Whenever You Come Around

10:15: Ray Stevens Show
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Mike Snider & Marty Stuart: Rawhide
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her that Way

10:30:
Marty Stuart (host): Doin' My Time
John Prine: Grandpa Was A Carpenter
John Prine & Marty Stuart: Angel From Montgomery

10:45: Jogging In A Jug
Ricky Skaggs (host): I'm Lost and I'll Never Find the Way
Jean Shepard: Tennessee Waltz
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durang's Hornpipe
Ricky Skaggs: Connemara

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): Po' Folks
Holly Dunn: Daddy's Hands
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues
Jeannie Seely: Make the World Go Away
Billy Walker: Come A Little Bit Closer
Bill Anderson: The Paper

11:30: Opry Book
Johnny Russell (host): Folsom Prison Blues
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Del Reeves: Splish; Splash/Answer the Phone/Hound Dog
Stonewall Jackson: A Wound Time Can't Erase
Johnny Russell: Wabash Cannonball

A very nice Opry show that night!!

For the second line-up, it was on Saturday March 14, 1981 that the Grand Ole Opry was televised for a final time on PBS. PBS first televised an Opry show in 1978 as a fundraiser and it was such a success that they came back to the Opry for the next four years. After the 1981 show, PBS decided to go in a different direction. The final show in 1981 started at 6:00 and the first show ended at 9:08. The second show started at 9:38 but did not end until 1:20, well after PBS ended that night's broadcast. Why did it last so late? Well, let's just say it was thanks to Marty Robbins. The final segment, hosted by Marty, started at 12:09 and did not end until 1:20. As you will be able to see by the songs that Marty sang, he pretty much turned it into a concert at the end of the night.

Here is the running order 35 years ago, Saturday March 14, 1981, the final Opry show televised by PBS.

1st show
6:00: Vietti
Tom T Hall (host): The Year That Clayton Delaney Died
Skeeter Davis: The Rose
Jack Greene: She's the Rock I'm Leaning On
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/Orange Blossom Special/Wabash Cannonball/Night Train to Memphis
Lonzo & Oscar: Whatever Happened to Saturday Night
Tom T Hall: Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine

6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Del Reeves (host): Be Glad
Billy Grammer: Somebody Loves You
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Del Reeves: A Dozen Pair of Boots

6:45: Rudy's
Ernest Tubb (host): Walking the Floor Over You
Jeannie Seely: Roarin' and Runnin'
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Ernest Tubb: Answer the Phone

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'all Come
Jan Howard: The Story of Hondo Crouch
Jimmy C Newman & Wade Landrey: Orange Blossom Special
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Legend of the Dogwood Tree
Charlie Louvin Will You Visit Me On Sundays
Porter Wagoner: Trouble In Amen Corner

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): Are You From Dixie
Jean Shepard: Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Osborne Brothers: I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Liberty
Grandpa Jones: Fair and Tender Ladies

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Minnie Pearl: Careless Love
Don Gibson: I Can't Stop Loving You/Oh, Lonesome Me
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Paper Roses
Jerry Clower: Nugene Ledbetter Tells A Lie
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: Before the Next Teardrop Falls
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbin Ridge

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Ernest Tubb (host): Let's Say Goodbye Like We Said Hello
Tom T Hall: They All Knew Me
4 Guys: Mama Rocked Us to Sleep With Country Music
Jack Greene: I'll Be There
Connie Smith: Give Them All to Jesus
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

10:00: Little Debbie
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Del Reeves: I Would Like to See You Again
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Porter Wagoner: Everything I've Always Wanted

10:15: Sunbeam
Grandpa Jones (host): Baptism of Jesse Taylor
Jean Shepard: Chime Bells
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
Grandpa Jones: Neighbors

10:30
Roy Acuff (host): Down in Union County
Minnie Pearl: Jealous Hearted Me
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chuck of Coal
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Martha White
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Osborne Brothers: Strangers
Vic Willis Trio: American Trilogy
Crrok Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Cried A Mile
Billy Walker: You Gave Me A Mountain
Jerry Clower: Uncle Versie's Trial
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
David Houston: Texas Ida Red
Kirk McGee: Milk 'em In the Evening Blue
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: Check

11:30: Bama
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Charlie Louvin: Ten Years; Three Kids, Tow Loves To Late
Stu Phillips: I Will
Marty Robbins: Tonight Carmen/Don't Worry/That's All Right/I Don't Know Why
Marty Robbins & Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Marty Robbins: Completely Out of Love/Love Me/Among My Souvenirs/El Paso City/Jumper Cable Man/Beyond the Reef/An Evening Prayer/Devil Woman/El Paso

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Final Ryman Shows/First New Opry House Shows

It was on Saturday March 9, 1974 that the Grand Ole Opry held it's final Saturday night show at the Ryman Auditorium. The following week, the Grand Ole Opry had the grand opening of the new Opry House. To have a look back, I have posted the line-ups from the final Saturday night at the Ryman Auditorium (March 9), the final Friday Night Opry at the Ryman (March 15), the first Grand Ole Opry show at the new Opry House (March 16), the first Friday Night Opry from the new Opry House (March 22) and the 2nd Saturday Grand Ole Opry show (March 23) from the new Opry House.

When the new Opry House was finished, a schedule had to be set up for the move. As mentioned, Saturday March 9, 1974 was the final Saturday night show at the Ryman. Then, because tradition dictated that the new house ought to open on a Saturday, the final broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry from the Ryman was set for Friday March 15, with "Grand Ole Gospel Time" to follow.

Jeanne Pruett has said that her most moving moment at the Grand Ole Opry was that last Saturday night at the Ryman. "Marty Robbins and I did the last show, the 11:30 segment. I can remember when the curtain came down, well, we were going from what we knew and loved and held dear, to the unknown. And I just wondered to myself if it was the end of the Opry, or was it the beginning."

Here is the running order of the final Grand Ole Opry show at the Ryman Auditorium Saturday March 9, 1974:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): Give Me 40 Acres
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Willis Brothers: Cool Water

6:45: Rudy's
Bobby Bare (host): Detroit City
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Ernie Ashworth: Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
Bobby Bare: The Mermaids

7:00: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Under the Double Eagle/Black Mountain Rag/Wildwood Flower
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nine Pound Hammer
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: To My Mansion in the Sky
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeanne Pruett: You Don't Need to Move A Mountain
Lonzo & Oscar: Charming Betsy
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Ida Red
Roy Acuff: Back in the Country
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets

8:00: Martha White
Wilburn Brothers (host): Roll, Muddy River
Justin Tubb; Rambling Man
Jody Miller: Good News
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Wilburn Brothers: Knoxville Girl
Justin Tubb: Texas Dance Hall Girl
Jody Miller: Let's All Go Down to the River

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Jan Howard: My Kind of People
4 Guys: Let Me Be There
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Hank Snow: Brand On My Heart
Jan Howard: Sunshine On My Shoulders
4 Guys: Top of the World
Hank Snow: Hello Love

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bobby Bare (host): Come Sundown
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Wilma Lee Cooper: Philadelphia Lawyer
Bobby Bare: Blowing in the Wind/Worried Man Blues/Gotta Travel On
Skeeter Willis: Maiden's Prayer
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Shall Not Be Moved
Bobby Bare & Bobby Bare, Jr: Daddy, What If

10:00: Fender
Stu Phillips (host): Pride
Jody Miller: Darling, You Can Always Come Back Home
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): When I Lay My Burdens Down
Minnie Pearl: Jealous Loving Heart

10:30: Beech-Nut
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Jerry Clower: The Coon Hunt
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Liberty
Billy Grammer: How Great Thou Art

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): In the Misty Moonlight
Jan Howard: Where No One Stands Alone
4 Guys: Streaking With My Baby on a Bright and Sunny Afternoon
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbin Ridge
Tanya Tucker: Delta Dawn
Sam McGee: Freight Train/Victor Rag/I Don't Love Nobody
Hank Snow: I Don't Hurt Anymore

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): I Walk Alone
Jeanne Pruett: You Don't Need to Move a Mountain/Satin Sheets
Justin Tubb: Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Big Boss Man/I'm Wanting To/Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms/Love Me/Now Is the Hour

As far as the final Friday night, it was a very emotional evening. Minnie Pearl said, "The night we left, the last night we played at the Ryman. I was crying. I was so sentimental about the old building. I never felt that way about the War Memorial, and that's where I started on the Opry. But we had thirty years or more at the Ryman and it has so much ambiance. The church pews, the haze of hair spray in that ladies' room." And Jan Howard said, "That last night was a very sacred moment."

Roy Acuff had said, "Certainly there are memories of this old house that will go with us forever. Not all of them good. Not all of them. Many of them are, but some of them are punishment. Punishment in the way that we ask you to come to visit with us and then we sit you out in this audience here and in the hot summer we sell you a fan for a dollar. You do your own air-conditioning. And some of you, we sell you a cushion to sit on because the seats are not just the most comfortable they can be. But out in Opryland, when you come to see us, we'll furnish the air conditioner. We'll furnish the cushion seats. You just don't know how much we do appreciate you people. It's you who have made the Grand Ole Opry so successful. Will  you not forget us when we move into our new building? You'll love us for being out there and we'll love you for coming to see us. Thank you. God bless you all, good night."

Here is the running order for that final Friday Night Opry at the Ryman Auditorium March 15, 1974:

7:00: Cracker Barrel
Roy Drusky (host): Alone With You
Del Reeves: Lay A Little Lovin' On Me
Jan Howard: The One You Slip Around With
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Roy Drusky: Satisfied Mind
Del Reeves: Girl on the Billboard
Jan Howard: Rock Me Back to Little Rock
Charlie Walker: Wanting My Woman Again
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose

7:30: Varallo
Bill Anderson (host): If You Can Live With It
Bob Luman: Lonely Women Make Good Lovers
Jim & Jesse: Diesel On My Tail
Mary Lou Turner: Poor Sweet Baby
Bill Anderson: A World Of Make Believe
Bob Luman: When You Say Love
Jim & Jesse: Paradise
Bill Anderson: Po' Folks

8:00: Tennessee Pride/Borox
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Bobby Bare: Ride Me Down Easy
Dottie West: Country Sunshine
Justin Tubb: Rambling Man
Phil Campbell: Valley of the Never Do No Good
Bobby Bare & Bobby Bare, Jr: Daddy, What If
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Justin Tubb: Traveling Singing Man

8:30: Kroger
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Stonewall Jackson: Me and You and A Dog Named Boo
Minnie Pearl: Careless Love
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: There's A Big Wheel
Roy Acuff: Back in the Country
Jean Shepard: At the Time
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Roy Acuff: Cabin In Gloryland

9:00: Baltz Bros./Schlitz
Wilburn Brothers (host): It's Another World
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Jeanne Pruett: You Dont' Need to Move A Mountain
Del Wood: There's A Big Wheel
Wilburn Brothers: I'm Gonna Tie One On Tonight
Osborne Brothers: Ruby
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Del Wood: Down Yonder

9:30: Acme Boots/Beech-Nut
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Hank Locklin: Goodbye Dear Old Ryman
Grandpa Jones: Dooley
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Cates Sisters: Devil's Dream
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Grandpa Jones: Heading South With Nashville on My Mind
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Jim Ed Brown: Sometimes Sunshine

10:00: Cee Bee/Schlitz
Billy Walker (host): Sing Me A Love Song to Baby
Charlie Louvin: You're My Wife; She's My Woman
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Billy Walker: You Gave Me A Mountain
Charlie Louvin: Little Reasons/Will You Visit Me On Sundays/What Are Those Things
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Billy Walker: Charlie's Shoes

10:30: Shoney's
George Morgan (host): Red Rose From the Blue Side of Town
4 Guys: Let Me Be There
Ray Pillow: Excuse Me
Lonzo & Oscar: A King Size Cola and A Moon Pie
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings Of A Dove
Ray Pillow: Countryfried
Ernie Ashworth: Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
George Morgan: Candy Kisses

After George Morgan finished Candy Kisses, Jimmie Snow began "Grand Ole Gospel Time," the weekly show that followed the Friday Night Opry. At the conclusion of that show, Johnny Cash, June Carter, The Carter Family and Hank Snow led in the singing of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." (interesting that none of those acts was on that final Opry show.) When they were done, the building emptied out and the signs came down.

Hal Durham said that at that final show people were grabbing up souvenirs and whatever they could find to remember the building. The thought then was that it would be torn down. We got to the new building on Saturday and realized that we knew nothing about it. We didn't know where the restrooms were or the backstage was, and we had the President coming in.

Opening Night of the new Grand Ole Opry House was on Saturday March 16, 1974. The new Grand Ole Opry House was packed to the very last row of the balcony. There were hundreds of specially invited guests in the audience. One suspected that a lot of them had never been to a Grand Ole Opry broadcast before. But this was a special occasion, one deemed worthy of Nashville's and Tennessee's business, political, and cultural leaders. And the President of the United States was in attendance to help inaugurate the new Opry House.

It all began with the sounds of the Fruit Jar Drinkers, who had been on the Opry since the earliest days, along with the voice of Grant Turner, who had been an Opry announcer for over thirty years. Formal proceedings began with Opry member Billy Grammer giving the invocation and WSM president Irving Waugh pointing out that in 1976 the United States of America would celebrate its bicentennial. "By then," he said, "for more than one-fourth of the nation's years there will have been a Grand Ole Opry."

Much earlier, when construction had just begun on the new Opry House, Roy Acuff had said, "I've made my request that if I'm still here when the Opry House opens, they let me be the first one to go on the stage. I just want to open the curtain and sing two songs. Then they can have it."

When the speeches were ended and the show was about to start, a democratic decision had been made. The Opry acts would appear in more or less alphabetical order, thus assuring Roy his opening spot. The house lights dimmed, the curtain rose, and there was a huge white scrim. Projecting on it was the picture of George D. Hay from the 1940 movie 'Grand Ole Opry.' "First we're gonna hear from Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys," the movie voice of The Solemn Old Judge intoned, "Smoke it up, Roy!" And there was Acuff. A young Acuff of thirty four years earlier. And that Roy Acuff began to sing "Wabash Cannonball." Then the scrim began to rise slowly and throught it the audience could see the 1974 Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys, making a perfect musical segue from the film to the live performance on the new Opry stage. The effect was electric. There was a standing ovation, prolonged through most of the song. And there were some tears. But not from Acuff: he was in his element. This was his moment. Stage lights came on full and behind him came the other roster acts of the Grand Ole Opry. Nearly sixty in number. All singing and all nonrehearsed. Roy followed with "You Are My Sunshine" then brought on Ralph Sloan and the Tennessee Travelers and the Opry was underway. That first show started at 6:30 and ran until 10:15. Here is the running order:

Roy Acuff: You Are My Sunshine
Howdy Forrester/Tennessee Travelers
Bill Anderson: Po' Folks
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Jim Ed Brown: Morning
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Big Midnight Special
Roy Drusky: Satisfied Mind
Jerry Clower: Marcel's Talking Chain Saw
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely: Wish I Didn't Have To Miss You
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Richard Nixon and Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Mrs. Nixon
Richard Nixon: My Wild Irish Rose
Roy Acuff and Opry Cast: Stay A Little Longer
Richard Nixon and Opry Cast: God Bless America
Jan Howard: My Kind of People
Fruit Jar Drinkers/Tennessee Travelers: Sally Goodin
Jim & Jesse: Freight Train
Grandpa Jones: Are You From Dixie
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy
Lonzo & Oscar; Traces of Life
Bobby Lord: Live Your Life Out Loud
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: American Trilogy
George Morgan: You Turn Me On
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Ray Pillow: Countryfried
Del Reeves: Lay A Little Lovin' On Me
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Hank Snow: I'm Moving On
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria
Ernest Tubb: Walking the Floor Over You
Minnie Pearl: Jealous Hearted Me
Justin Tubb: Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Dottie West: Country Sunshine
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Sam McGee: San Antonio Rose
Porter Wagoner: I've Never Seen So Many Happy Faces
Dolly Parton: Jolene
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: The Right Combination

The Presidential party arrived at the Opry House a few minutes past seven. President Nixon watched the show for about half an hour before Roy Acuff appeared on the stage again and said, "Tonight we're honored by the very first President to visit us at the Grand Ole Opry and you can know that we boys and girls, we're just delighted that this has happened while we are here at the Grand Ole Opry. I just couldn't say the words that would really let you people know how delighted I am that I can be here and take the microphone and ask the President and Mrs. Nixon, with their troupe, if they would mind honoring us and coming down and be on the stage here this evening. We would be delighted to have you." (This was considered vintage Acuff. Totally sincere and understanding that the President was to have the center spotlight: the "troupe" he mentioned included a governor and two U.S. senators. They were never introduced to the audience.) While Roy was speaking, the Nixon party came down to the wings of the stage accompanied by National Life board chairman Bill Weaver and Mrs. Dorothy Ritter, the widow of Tex. The Opry band played "Hail to the Chief" and the Grand Ole Orpy cast crowded together on center stage, applauded wildly, as did the audience.

There was a presentation of a handmade dulcimer to Mrs. Nixon by Dorothy Ritter and then Acuff suggested everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to the First Lady, adding a further suggestion that the President play the piano. Before going to the piano, the President pulled a yellow yo-yo out of his pocket that Bill Weaver had given him before going on stage, which completely surprised Roy Acuff. The President played "Happy Birthday" and "My Wild Irish Rose." President Nixon was completely annimated on the Opry stage, so much so that Roy said to Grant Turner, "He's got me stunned." Then it was time for the formal program.

Roy introduced the President, with the words, "So I'd like to say to the world that is listening in, from our new home here in Opryland, USA: Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States, Richard Nixon." The President praised the character of the Opry's music and or country music. After finishing his remarks, he brought back out the yo-yo and made an attempt to get it to work, with Roy offering some lessons with the President making that famous remark, "I'll stay here and try to learn how to use the yo-yo, and you go and be President, Roy." The cast then sang, "Stay All Night, Stay A Little Longer." Roy asked the President if he belonged to the musicians union, saying that some talk would be said if he wasn't, with the President responding that he was an honorary member of the union in New York City. Nixon then played the piano one more time, leading the cast in singing "God Bless America" and then left. The entire Presidential visit lasted about an hour.

Finally, from Bill Anderson: I was standing onstage when Mr. Acuff and the president were out there playing with the yo-yos. I was next to Ernest Tubb and thought, Well, here's a man who's been at the Grand Ole Opry since 1943, and I turned to him and said, "Ernest, did you ever think you'd live to see the day when the president of the United States would come to the Grand Ole Opry?" He looked at me and said, "No, but I wish it had been another president."

With the 2nd show starting at 10:47 and ending at 1:54am, here is the running order for that show:

Roy Acuff: Back in the Country
Howdy Forrester: Eighth of January
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Bill Anderson: A World of Make Believe
Ernie Ashworth: Honky-Tonk Hardwood Floor
Jim Ed Brown: The Three Bells
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Little Darling Pal of Mine
Crook Brothers: Liberty
Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
Jeannie Seely: Can I Sleep In Your Arms Tonight, Mister
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely: What In the World Has Gone Wrong With Our Love
Porter Wagoner: I've Never Seen So Many Happy Faces
Dolly Parton: Jolene
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: The Right Combination
Jan Howard: Sunshine on My Shoulders
Stonewall Jackson: Me and You and A Dog Named Boo
Jim & Jesse: Paradise
Grandpa Jones: Heading South With Nashville on My Mind
Connie Smith: Dallas
Bobby Lord: Mississippi
Charlie Louvin: You're My Wife' She's My Woman
Jerry Clower: The Last Piece of Chicken
George Morgan: Red Rose From the Blue Side of Town
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jimmy C Newman: Potato Song
Osborne Brothers: Ruby
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Ray Pillow: Countryfried
Sam and Kirk McGee: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Hank Snow: There's A Fool Such As I
4 Guys: Let Me Be There
Justin Jubb: Rambling Man
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmin
Dottie West: Country Sunshine
Wilburn Brothers: Knoxville Girl
Del Wood: There's A Big Wheel
Marion Worth: Me and Bobby McGee
Marty Robbins: Devil Woman
Ronnie Robbins: Mama Tried
Marty Robbins: I'm Wanting To/Big Boss Man/Singing the Blues

The Opry members who did not appear that first night at the new Opry House were Bobby Bare, Archie Campbell, Bill Carlilse, Lester Flatt, Tom T. Hall, David Houston, George Jones, Bob Luman, Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Billy Walker and Tammy Wynette. Of those listed, Tom T. Hall was the only one actually scheduled but he did not appear. It would come out shortly after that both Tom T. Hall and Bobby Bare decided to quit as Opry cast members instead of following the Opry to the new home. Tom. T. would rejoin the Opry in 1980 while Bobby Bare would not rejoin. He would, however, return for guest appearances. Also, Richard Nixon, Hank Locklin, Lonzo & Oscar, Jean Shepard and The Willis Brothers were scheduled for the 1st show only. And not to forget Skeeter Davis: she was still suspended from the Opry so she was not invited.

There were no defined segments or segment hosts that night. The commericals were still done and most of the acts were introduced by the announcers. The first show went pretty much in alphabetical order, while the second show tried to but since some artists needed to get out of town for Sunday appearances, the order did get changed up in a few cases.

To finish up the look at the line-ups from the last Ryman shows and the first Opry House shows, here are the line-ups for the 1st Friday Night Opry and the 2nd Saturday Grand Ole Opry shows at the new Opry House As you can see, it was pretty much back to normal at the Opry. You will also notice that on both nights Jimmy Dickens made a guest appearance. He was not an Opry member at this time.

Friday Night Opry, March 22:

8:00: Tennessee Pride/Borox
Charlie Walker (host): Stay A Little Longer
Penny DeHaven: I'll Be A Doggone
Mel Street: Borrowed Angel
Joe Edwards: Old Joe Clark
Charlie Walker: Wanting My Woman Again
Penny DeHaven: Down in the Boondocks
Mel Street: You Make Me Feel More Like A Man
Charlie Walker: Wild Side of Life

8:30: Kroger
Roy Acuff (host): Back in the Country
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Jimmy C Newman: Diggy Liggy Lo
Howdy Forrester: Sally Goodin
Roy Acuff: Wabash Cannonball
Stu Phillips: Pride
Jimmy C Newman: Louisiana Saturday Night
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

9:00: Elm Hill/Schlitz
Roy Drusky (host): Don't It Make You Want to Go Home
Dottie West: Country Sunshine
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Roy Drusky: Satisfied Mind
Dottie West: Last Time I Saw Him
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Roy Drusky: Anymore

9:30: Acme/Beech-Nut
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Forgive; Forget Us #1
Connie Smith: Dallas
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Wilma Lee Cooper: Legend of the Dogwood Tree
Connie Smith: Down in the Valley
Justin Tubb: Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
Carol Lee Cooper: North to Chicago

10:00: Cee Bee/Schlitz
4 Guys (host): Turn Your Radio On
Del Wood: There's A Big Wheel
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
4 Guys: Top of the World
Del Wood: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Jimmy Dickens: One in A Million
4 Guys: Catfish John/Let Me Be There

10:30: Shoney's
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Barbara Mandrell: Midnight Oil
Jerry Clower: Rat Killing
Billy Grammer: Double Eagle/Black Mountain Rag
Barbara Mandrell & Ronnie Shaw: I Love You
Jerry Clower: Comedy

And finally, Saturday March 23, 1974, the 2nd Saturday night in the new Opry House:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): Truck Stop
Merle Kilgore: Wolverton Mountain
Willis Brothers: Cool Water

6:45: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Poor Ellen Smith
Justin Tubb: Rambling Man
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Coming Down from God

7:00: Rudy's
Roy Acuff (host): When I Lay My Burdens Down
Jean Shepard: At the Time
Jimmy Dickens: Take An Old Cold Tater
Minnie Pearl: Maple on the Hill
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Jimmy Dickens: We Could

7:30: Standard Candy
Stu Phillips (host): Pride
Dottie West: Country Sunshine
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Soldier's Joy
Stu Phillips: I'd Rather Be Sorry
Dottie West: Last Time I Saw Him
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye

8:00: Martha White
Roy Drusky (host): Second Hand Rose
Connie Smith: Dallas
Ernie Ashworth: Honky-Tonk Hardwood Floor
Louie Roberts: Don't Worry/Tonight Carmen
Roy Drusky: One Day at A Time
Connie Smith: He Touched Me
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Tembling Lips
Roy Drusky: Alone With You

8:30: Stephens
Jim Ed Brown (host): Stay A Little Longer
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of A Dove
Stan Hitchcock: The Same Old Way
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Jim Ed Brown: Sometimes Sunshine
4 Guys: Down by the Lazy River
Stan Hitchcock: You Gave Me A Mountain
Cates Sisters: Uncle Pen

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Big Midnight Special
Willis Brothers: Bob
Ernie Ashworth: Honky-Tonk Hardwood Floor
Merle Kilgore: Ring of Fire
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Dreamed About Mama Last Night
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Stoney Cooper: Golden Slippers

10:00: Fender
Roy Drusky (host): Strangers
Dottie West: Country Sunshine/Last Time I Saw Him
Roy Drusky: Don't It Make You Want to Go Home

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Del Wood: There's A Big Wheel
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:30: Trailblazer
Justin Tubb (host): Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
Jean Shepard: At the Time
Justin Tubb: Traveling Singing Man

10:45: Beech-Nut
Stu Phillips (host): Crystal Chandeliers
Connie Smith: Dallas
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Stu Phillips: Castle; A Cabin

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
Jimmy Dickens: Out Behind the Barn
Cates Sisters: Uncle Pen
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen
Jim Ed Brown: Why Me Lord
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
Jim Ed Brown: Pop A Top

11:30: Elm Hill
4 Guys (host): Cottonfields/Maria
Stan Hitchcock: I'm Back in Baby's Arms
Louie Roberts: Just A Little Lovin'/Anytime/Bouquet of Roses/Cattle Call
4 Guys: Fall Away
Stan Hitchcock: Just Call me Lonesome
4 Guys: Let Me Be There

As you can see, that 2nd Saturday at the new Opry House was business as usual, compared to the first opening weekend. And the show ended on time at midnight.

How successful was the move? In 1974 the Opry drew 482,178 people. In 1975, attendance reached 751,546.

Hope everyone enjoyed the look back