Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Grand Ole Opry July 11

It has been another sad week at the Grand Ole Opry as Opry member Charlie Daniels passed away on Monday morning. Charlie was an Opry member for over 10 years and always said that being an Opry member was part of his dream. He was always appreciated being asked and was proud to acknowledge it.

We are just past the halfway point of 2020 and it has already been a tough year with Jan Howard, Joe Diffie, Jimmy Capps, and now Charlie passing away. Sadly, there are several more members who are not in the best of health. While we mourn those who have left, we are also excited about the new members who have joined and help to keep the Opry vibrant, especially in these trying times.

The Opry continues to roll on and this week three more artists are scheduled to perform on the Opry stage. Grand Ole Opry members Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin are set to make their first appearance since the pandemic has started. They will be joined by guest artists Jimmie Allen and Margo Price for what should be another fine show of great music and variety. As each of these artists will be performing their own hits, I would absolutely expect a Charlie Daniels tribute along the way.

From 25 years ago, Saturday July 8, 1995:

1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeanne Pruett
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Stonewall Jackson; Brother Oswald; The Whites; Billy Walker
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Tracy Byrd; Bill Anderson; Martina McBride
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Johnny Russell; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely; Jack Greene; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; George Hamilton IV: Martina McBride
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host); Mike Snider
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Tracy Byrd
10:45: Jack Greene (host); Roy Drusky; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Stonewall Jackson; Riders In The Sky
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Louvin; Ray Pillow; The Four Guys

50 years ago, Saturday July 11, 1970:

1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Ernie Ashworth; Cousin Jody
6:45: Stu Phillips (host); The Four Guys
7:00: Roy Acuff (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Jim and Jesse
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Dolly Parton; Willis Brothers; Crook Brothers
8:00: Lester Flatt (host); Grandpa Jones; Wilma Burgess; Johnny Darrell
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Johnny Carver; Leroy Van Dyke; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Bill Monroe (host); Willis Brothers; Stu Phillips; Cousin Jody; Ernie Ashworth
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Jim and Jesse
10:15: Porter Wagoner (host); Dolly Parton
10:30: Lester Flatt (host); The Four Guys; Johnny Darrell
10:45: Jimmy C Newman (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Crook Brothers
11:00: George Morgan (host); Grandpa Jones; Leroy Van Dyke; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Bob Luman; Wilma Burgess

And now looking back, it was on Saturday July 10, 1999 that former Grand Ole Opry member June Carter Cash made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, which was also her last appearance on the show.

Valerie June Carter was born on June 23, 1929 in Maces Spring, Virginia. June was introduced to country music, specifically Appalachian folk songs, at a very young age. Her mother, Maybelle Carter, was part of the Carter Family, a popular trio that grew to include June and her sisters.

After the group disbanded in 1943, June began touring with her mother and sisters as the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle. The act was featured on several radio and television programs, eventually becoming a regular at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

 Noted for her comedic skills and her talents with various musical instruments, especially the autoharp, June began a successful solo career while continuing to work with her family; she made her solo debut at the Grand Ole Opry in 1950 and later toured with Elvis Presley. She also pursued an acting career, studying with Lee Strasberg.

In 1961 Carter joined the road show of famed country singer Johnny Cash. Two years later she co-wrote what was perhaps her best-known song, “Ring of Fire,” to describe her feelings about Cash, whose rendition of it became a hit. The two soon began performing together and earned a Grammy Award for their duet “Jackson” (1967). Carter encouraged Cash to seek treatment for his drug addiction, and the couple married in 1968.

June continued to record popular duets with Cash as well as perform as a solo artist—she earned her first Grammy as a solo artist for Press On (1999)—and as a member of the Carter Family, which had re-formed in the 1950s. Her autobiographies, Among My Klediments and From the Heart, were published in 1979 and 1987, respectively. Her relationship with Cash figured prominently in Walk the Line (2005), a film based on Cash’s life.

June Carter Cash passed away on May 15, 2003 due to complications from heart surgery.

Here is the running order from 21 years ago, Saturday July 10, 1999, June Carter's final Opry appearance:

1st show
6:30: Circle Club
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Skeeter Davis: It's Different Now
Jimmy C Newman: Cochon De Lait
Kenny Sears: Orange Blossom Special
Bessyl Duhon: Cajun Stripper

6:45: Ryman
Jeannie Seely (host): Hey, Good Lookin'
Charlie Louvin: Jesus Is Whispering Now/When I Stop Dreaming
Jeannie Seely: It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited Too Long
Matt King: I Wrote the Book on Heartaches
Matt King and Jessie Alexander: From Your Knees
Matt King: Memories, Fiddles and Songs
Porter Wagoner: Cabin in Gloryland

7:30: Standard Candy
Emmylou Harris (host): Hello Stranger
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell: (?)
June Carter Cash: Little Moses/Ring of Fire
Emmylou Harris: (?)
Rodney Crowell: There's a Fool Such As I

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Jan Howard: Together When We Tried
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
T. Bubba Bechtol: Comedy
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Old Joe Clark
Bill Anderson: Still

8:30: Physicians Mutual
Mike Snider (host): If My Nose was Runnin' Money
The Four Guys: When You Got a Good Woman, It Shows
Del Reeves: I Would Like to See You Again
Jack Greene: Love Takes Good Care of Me/Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me
Mike Snider: Look What They've Done to the Dominica Hen

2nd show
9:30: B.G.R. Development
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya
June Carter Cash: Wildwood Flower/I Used to Be Somebody, Tiffany Anastasia Lowe

10:00: Lincoln Mercury
Emmylou Harris (host): IF I Could Only Win Your Love/Everytime You Leave

10:30: Opry Book
Jeannie Seely (host): Burning That Old Memory
Mike Snider: Snuff Dipper
Jeannie Seely: Those Memories

10:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Charlie Walker (host): Who'll Buy the Wine
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sail Away Ladies
Charlie Walker: Smoke; Smoke; Smoke

11:00: Coca Cola
Jack Greene (host): Highway to the Sky
The Four Guys: It's All Right to Have a Good Time
T. Bubba Bechtol: Comedy
Matt King: In Dreams/From Your Knees
Jack Greene: Status of A Fool

11:30: Ray Stevens
Del Reeves (host): Anywhere USA
Stu Phillips: El Tigrae
Ray Pillow: Ain't No Way to Treat My Heart
Coon Creek: This Heart of Mine/Stuck in the Middle
Del Reeves: Hound Dog

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

Monday, July 6, 2020

Charlie Daniels

(From the New York Times):
NASHVILLE — Charlie Daniels, the singer, songwriter and bandleader known for his brash down-home persona and his blazing fiddle work on hits like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” died on Monday in Nashville. He was 83. His publicist announced the death, at Summit Medical Center in the Hermitage section of the city, saying the cause was a hemorrhagic stroke.

A force in country and rock for more than five decades, Mr. Daniels first made his mark as a session musician. In the late 1960s and early ‘1970s he played guitar, bass, fiddle and banjo on Nashville recordings by Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr and Leonard Cohen. He also produced albums for the Youngbloods, including the group’s 1969 folk-rock touchstone, “Elephant Mountain,” during this period.

But his greatest acclaim came as the leader of the Charlie Daniels Band, a country-rock ensemble that hosted the Volunteer Jam, the freewheeling Southern music festival established in 1974 that featured Roy Acuff, Stevie Ray Vaughn, James Brown and the Marshall Tucker Band.

Modeled after the Allman Brothers, who also were regular performers at the Jam, Mr. Daniels’s band employed dual lead guitarists and drummers in the service of an expansive improvisational sound that included elements of country, blues, bluegrass, rock and Western swing.

Formed in 1971, the group earned a reputation early on for recording material of an outspoken countercultural bent, much of it written by Mr. Daniels. “The South’s Gonna Do It,” a Top 40 pop hit in 1975, sang the praises of his fellow Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top, among others. “Uneasy Rider,” a talking bluegrass number that reached the pop Top 10 in 1973, and “Long Haired Country Boy,” from 1975, unabashedly extolled the virtues of free speech and marijuana.

“I ain’t askin’ nobody for nothin’/If I can’t get it on my own,” Mr. Daniels asserted in a gruff drawl on the chorus of “Long Haired Country Boy.” “If you don’t like the way I’m livin’/You just leave this long haired country boy alone.”

His plucky attitude assumed mythical proportions with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” a No. 1 country single and Top 10 pop hit from 1979 in which Mr. Daniels’s protagonist goes head-to-head with Satan in a fiddle contest and prevails. The recording appeared on the multiplatinum-selling album “Million Mile Reflections” and won a Grammy Award for best country vocal.

Mr. Daniels’s penchant for championing the underdog, coupled with his band’s constant touring, won him a devoted following, including the admiration of President Jimmy Carter, who invited the Charlie Daniels Band to perform at his 1977 Inaugural Ball.

Mr. Daniels’s persona and politics grew more patriotic and strident as the ’70s gave way to the ’80s, beginning with “In America,” a Top 20 pop hit written in response to the Iran hostage crisis of 1980. “Simple Man,” a No. 2 country single in 1990, called for the lynching of drug dealers and sex offenders, while “(What the World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks,” also from 1990, ran counter to the hippie nonconformity of his early hits.

“If I come across an issue, or something I feel strongly about, and I happen to think of a
song that would go in that direction, then I do it,” Mr. Daniels said, discussing how he came to write “Simple Man,” in an online interview. “But that’s not what I start out, necessarily, to do.”

Charlie Daniels became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

It goes without saying that 2020 has already been a tough year for the Grand Ole Opry with Jan Howard, Joe Diffie, Jimmy Capps, and now Charlie Daniels passing away. And we are just past the half way point of the year.

Our prayers and thoughts go to Charlie's family.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Grand Ole Opry Saturday July 4

Happy Independence Day to Everyone. I hope that the fireworks in your neighborhood are safe and spectacular. I know a lot of cities and villages have cancelled, but I am sure there will be more than enough action taking place in the neighborhoods.

Last Saturday night was another in the long line of Saturday night performances that the Opry has been presenting during the current COVID-19 crisis. Brad Paisley made his second Opry appearance, joined this past week by Keb' Mo'. It was another outstanding show. For those who haven't seen it, I hope you will take the time to watch.

For the July 4th holiday, the Grand Ole Opry has come up with, what looks like on paper, another fine line-up. Grand Ole Opry members Oak Ridge Boys and Mark Wills are scheduled to appear, along with Opry favorite Sara Evans.

From 25 years ago, the first Saturday in July 1995:

Saturday July 1
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Bill Carlisle
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jeanne Pruett; George Hamilton IV; Jean Shepard; Brother Oswald
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Chet Atkins; George Jones
8:00: The Whites (host); Jan Howard; Stu Phillips; Lonesome River Band; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Four Guys; Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; George Hamilton IV & V; Charlie Louvin; Ray Pillow
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stonewall Jackson
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard
10:30: Charlie Walker (host); Hank Locklin
10:45: Mike Snider (host); Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith; Stu Phillips; Charles Whitstein;
11:30: The Four Guys (host); Jeannie Seely; Lonesome River Band; Johnny Russell

50 years ago, Saturday July 4, 1970:

1st show
6:30: Stu Phillips (host); Tommy Jones; Del Wood
6:45: Willis Brothers (host); The Four Guys; Cousin Jody
7:00: Roy Acuff (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Webb Pierce; Joe and Rose Lee Maphis; Johnny Bales
7:30: Glaser Brothers (host); John Hartford; Red Sovine; Crook Brothers
8:00: Billy Grammer (host); Merle Kilgore; Jean Shepard; Bobby Wright; Peggy Little
8:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Jack Greene; Diana Trask; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Billy Grammer (host); Willis Brothers; Jean Shepard; Cousin Jody
10:00: Willis Brothers (host); Del Wood; Joe and Rose Lee Maphis
10:15: The Four Guys (host); Bobby Wright; Peggy Little
10:30: Stu Phillips (host); Merle Kilgore; Red Sovine
10:45: Ernest Tubb (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Crook Brothers
11:00: Roy Acuff (host); Webb Pierce; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Johnny Bales
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Diana Trask; Louie Roberts

A little short on Opry members on that 4th of July night but overall, a good line-up.

It was 27 years ago, Saturday July 3, 1993 that Alison Krauss became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

By the time 17-year-old Alison Krauss first played the Grand Ole Opry in 1989 with her band Union Station, she’d already been gracing stages across the country for a decade, winning fiddle contests and impressing audiences with her subtle, captivating singing voice. Since then she has distinguished herself as one of the world’s most respected musicians and an accomplished record producer. She has collaborated with countless other artists, including Robert Plant of the legendary hard rock band Led Zeppelin. The spirit of camaraderie she has shown toward fellow musicians is the same one she says she witnessed early on at the Opry.

“When we first started coming to play, the staff band was always so encouraging to us and would come by and say they were rooting for us,” Alison says. “With all the people that have come through here, that they would take the time to find us and compliment us was really overwhelming.”

At 14, Alison recorded her first album, Too Late to Cry. By age 18, she earned a Grammy nomination for her 1989 release Two Highways. The following year, Alison won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Recording for I’ve Got That Old Feeling. When she joined the Opry at 21, she became the first bluegrass artist in 29 years to be inducted and the youngest cast member at the time.

Since her first win, Alison has become the most awarded female artist in the history of the Grammys, picking up five trophies for the 2008 album Raising Sand, a collaboration with Robert Plant which also led to a successful concert tour for the pair. Alison was also a part of the phenomenally successful old-time/bluegrass soundtrack album for the 2000 film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Collaboration is one of Alison’s great musical loves. In addition to performing on the Opry stage with fellow members including Brad Paisley, Patty Loveless and The Whites, she has also sung and played with guests ranging from bluegrass musicians Tony Rice, Rhonda Vincent and Dale Ann Bradley to rock singer John Waite, whom she joined on his ’80s pop smash “Missing You.”

Alison continues to release albums with Union Station and solo projects from time to time as well as guest on the albums of many other artists in a number of genres. And she still loves watching other Opry performers as often as possible.

“I used to come here and sit in the audience and watch Ricky Skaggs, Porter Wagoner, and John Conlee,” Alison says. “The amount of talent that wanders around backstage is shocking, and it sounds so beautiful out front. I love the way everybody watches everybody else play.”

Here is the running order from Saturday July 3, 1993, the night Alison became an Opry member:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime at a Time/Looking at the World Through a Windshield
The Whites: Hangin' Around
Del Reeves: Bad News

6:45: Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Going Down the Country
Billy Walker: You Gave Me a Mountain
Grandpa Jones: Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

7:00: Shoney's
Jack Greene (host): I'll Be There
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Jeanne Pruett: I Oughta Feel Guilty
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chunk of Coal
Charlie Walker: There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/Statue of a Fool

7:30: Standard Candy
The Four Guys (host): If It's From the Country, It's coming From the Heart
George Hamilton IV; Has Anyone Here Seen Hank
Mike Snider: Battle Cry of Freedom/Get Your Hands Off My Knee and Load the Cannon
Alison Krauss: Atlanta, I Hear You Calling/Big Mon
The Four Guys: The Star Spangled Banner

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Jean Shepard: Bouquet of Roses
Brother Oswald: Mountain Dew
Charlie Louvin: See the Big Man Cry
Porter Wagoner: Happy Birthday Margaret Smathers
Opry Square Dance Band and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar in the Goard
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Address Unknown
Skeeter Davis: Lovesick Blues
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You
Jan Howard: You Don't Know Me
Roy Drusky: Son, Go Bring My Children Home
Hank Snow: I've Done at Least One Thing That Was Good in My Life

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'all Come
Del Reeves: There She Goes
Stonewall Jackson: Side-Steppin' the Blues
Alison Krauss: (?)Molly & Tenbrooks
Porter Wagoner: Wabash Cannonball/The Precious Jewel/Fireball Mail/Night Train to Memphis/The Great Speckled Bird/On A Highway Headed South

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Ball Headed End of the Broom
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Gloryland March
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home

10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
The Four Guys (host): We're Only Here for a Little While
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
The Four Guys: Swing Down Chariot

10:30: Piccadilly
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
Jean Shepard: Let's All Go Down to the River/I Saw the Light/Will the Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/Somebody Touched Me
Charlie Walker: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere

10:45: Opry Book
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Opry Square Dance Band and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sail Away Ladies
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Ancient History
Roy Drusky: Mississippi
Justin Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Jack Greene: Walking on New Grass/Statue of a Fool
Hank Snow: The Prisoner's Song/Are You Lonesome Tonight

11:30: General Jackson
George Hamilton IV: This Land is Your Land
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore
Jan Howard: Wayfaring Stranger
Mike Snider: Bells of St. Mary's
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young

When Alison joined the Opry, I really thought we would see more of her on the show. However, she appears just a couple of times each year. And for those who are interested, Garth handled Alison's induction that night.

There you have it for this week. Thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this Saturday night.

Monday, June 29, 2020

July Opry Highlights

Welcome to July and the heart of summer. 4th of July. While things are currently fairly quiet at the Grand Ole Opry, there have been notable events that have taken place during the month. Here are the important events, or milestones that have taken place during the month of July at the Opry, or with the Opry's members:

July 15, 1913: Lloyd Estel was born in Adams County, Ohio. Better known as Cowboy Copas, he joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1946. He would remain an Opry member until his death in 1963.

July 27, 1925: Former Grand Ole Opry member Annie Lou Dill was born, Along with her husband Danny, they were known as "The Sweethearts of Country Music." Annie Lou and Danny were members of the Opry from the late 1940s through the mid 1950s. They remained a popular duo into the 1960s. However Annie Lou and Danny divorced, at which point the act became history. Annie passed away in January 1982.

July 24, 1926: The Crook Brothers, led by Herman Crook, made their first appearance on the WSM Barn Dance. Considered one of the Opry's original members, the Crook Brothers would remain a part of the Opry until the death of Herman in July 1988. That adds up to 62 years at the Opry, usually accompanying the square dancers.

July 7, 1927: The late Charlie Louvin was born in Section, Alabama. Charles Loudermilk was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 50 years. Along with his brother Ira, Charlie was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Charlie passed away on January 26, 2011.

July 9, 1929: Grand Ole Opry member Jesse McReynolds was born in Coeburn, Virginia. One of the true legends in bluegrass music, Jim and Jesse joined the Opry in 1964. Following the death of Jim McReynolds on December 31, 2002, Jesse has continued on at the Opry and at the age of 91 he is the oldest member of the Opry cast. After having some recent health issues, Jesse is now back at the Opry most every week and sounds as good as ever.

July 7, 1930: Doyle Wilburn was born in Hardy, Arkansas. Along with his brother Teddy, the Wilburn Brothers were long time members of the Opry.

July 14, 1932: The great Del Reeves was born in Sparta, North Carolina. Del joined the Grand Ole Opry in October 1966 and was an Opry member until his death in 2007. Del had one of the great personalities in country music and did a variety of impressions, including those of Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash and Hank Snow.

July 4, 1934: Over 8,000 people showed up for an all-day Opry sponsored show in West Tennessee. The show featured Opry stars Uncle Dave Macon, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, the Gully Jumpers and the Crook Brothers. As a result of the success of this show, Opry founder George D. Hay started the Artists Service Bureau, which would become the official booking agency for Opry members. In the future, this organization would cause some issues at the Opry, and eventually would lead to several Opry members, including Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright, leaving the Opry.

July 4, 1937: Ray Pillow was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. Ray came to the Opry in 1966 and has been a member of the Opry since. Now retired, Ray is considered one of the real nice guys in country music.

July 19, 1937: The late George Hamilton IV was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. George was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 54 years before passing away in September 2014.

July 11, 1939: The Grand Ole Opry moved to the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville. They would stay at the War Memorial for just a few years as the type of crowd that came to Opry shows was not the ones that the operators of the building wanted to see. The Opry moved to War Memorial from the Dixie Tabernacle, which held more people but was in deplorable condition. Because of the lower capacity, which was listed as 2,200, the Opry decided to charge an admission fee of 25 cents, which did not stop the crowds from coming to the show. War Memorial Auditorium still stands in Nashville and is used. In 2010, when the Grand Ole Opry House was flooded, several Opry shows were relocated there.

July 6, 1940: Jeannie Seely, known as "Miss Country Soul" was born in Titusville, Pennsylvania. In September, Jeannie will celebrate 53 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. as she joined the cast in September 1967. As far as female Opry members, Jeannie is one of the best and most weekends you can find her at the Opry and hosting a segment.

July 15, 1944: Country Music Hall of Fame member Rod Brasfield became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Rod was hired to replace comedian Whitey Ford, the Duke of Paducah, on the Prince Albert portion of the show, which was broadcast on the NBC radio network. Rod was hired after Whitey got into a contract dispute with R.J. Reynolds and their advertising agency, which sponsored the segment. Rod was very successful, often teaming with fellow comedian Minnie Pearl. Rod was not only a great comedian, but was also an excellent actor. He was featured in the movie, "A Face In the Crowd" which starred Andy Griffith. Rod remained a member of the Opry until passing away in September 1958.

July 24, 1948: Roy Acuff announced that he was running for Governor of Tennessee. He decided to run after the current Governor made some poor comments regarding country music. As a Republican in Tennessee in 1948, Roy really didn't stand much of a chance, and he lost the election by a wide margin. It was said that his campaign rallies drew large crowds that enjoyed the music and special guests, but would leave once the political speeches started.

July 21, 1951: Left Frizzell made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Lefty would later become an Opry member, but he was gone pretty quickly. Lefty would later say that it just didn't work out and that the Opry wasn't the dream that he thought it would be.

July 5, 1952: Ralph Sloan and The Tennessee Travelers became members of the Grand Ole Opry. The group was formed in 1949 and they were originally called the Cedar Hill Square Dancers. Ralph passed away in 1980 after which his brother Melvin Sloan took over the group, changing the name to the Melvin Sloan Dancers. Melvin has since retired himself and the group is now simply called the Opry Square Dancers.

July 9, 1952: Grand Ole Opry members Carl Smith and June Carter were married. The marriage only lasted a few years as Carl expected June to give up her career to become a full time wife and mother. While the marriage was short, it did produce a daughter, Rebecca Carlene Smith, better known as Carlene Carter. After the marriage ended, June would go on to remarry two more times, with her final marriage being to Johnny Cash, while Carl would have a very successful marriage with Goldie Hill, who did retire from performing after being married to Carl.

July 18, 1954: Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Skaggs was born in Cordell, Kentucky. Ricky joined the Opry cast in May 1982. For many of us, it is hard to believe that Ricky will be 66.

July 2, 1955: According to various reports, Patsy Cline made her first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Continuing to guest on the Opry, Patsy would eventually become an Opry member in 1960, after asking if she could join.

July 7, 1956: Johnny Cash made his first guest appearance on the Opry.

July 28, 1956: Just three weeks after making his Grand Ole Opry debut, Johnny Cash became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Johnny would remain an Opry member until 1958, when he left Nashville and moved to California. Even though he gave it up, Johnny was always welcomed as a guest artist whenever he was in Nashville, and he would especially appear if June Carter was around. It was during one such performance in 1965, while under the influence of drugs, that Johnny kicked out the Opry stage lights and was told not to come back. He stayed away for a few years, but by the late 1960s, he was back. Toward the end of his life, Roy Acuff reportedly asked Johnny to once again become an Opry member, but Johnny declined.

July 24, 1957: Grand Ole Opry member Pam Tillis was born in Plant City, Florida.

July 12, 1961: Bill Anderson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 59th year as an Opry member. Bill made his first Opry appearance in 1958 and would guest several times before being asked by Opry manager Ott Devine to become a member. Currently the longest active member of the Opry's cast, and over the age of 80, Bill is still actively touring and making Opry appearances. He is always well received and sounds as good as ever. An argument can be made that this Hall of Fame member is one of the greatest all-around talents in the history of country music, as he has been successful as a solo artist, duet artist, songwriter, author, game show host and television personality. Bill has done it all.

July 18, 1964: Connie Smith made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Connie joined the cast the following year and this will be her 55th year as an Opry member. And she sounds as good as ever.

July 31, 1964: Jim Reeves, along with Dean Manual, died in a plane crash just outside of Nashville. Jim was just 39. While he was not an Opry member at the time of his death, giving it up a few years earlier, Jim was very successful while an Opry member. However, as the focus of his career changed, he felt that the Opry was no longer for him.

July 10, 1965: Roy Acuff was seriously injured in a car accident near Sparta, Tennessee. Roy suffered two pelvic fractures, a broken collarbone and several broken ribs. Also injured in the crash were Shot Jackson and June Stearns. Roy would be out of action for about a month, returning to the Opry in August.

July 26, 1966: Opry member Martina McBride was born in Sharon, Kansas.

July 1, 1967: Dave Hooten replaced Johnny "Lonzo" Sullivan as part of Lonzo and Oscar. Johnny had recently passed away and it was agreed before his death that Roland "Oscar" Sullivan would continue with the act. David was generally considered a good replacement for Johnny.

July 8, 1967: Mother Maybelle and The Carter Sisters (June, Anita and Helen), made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry. The group originally joined the Opry in May 1950 and left in order to tour full time with Johnny Cash. As with many other veteran Opry members, Maybelle Carter complained many times to management in regards to the slots they were scheduled on the show.

July 24, 1971: Country and Western music legend Patsy Montana made her first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

July 8, 1972: Barbara Mandrell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. While some accounts, including the Grand Ole Opry, list her induction date as July 29, this was actually the night that Barbara was announced as a member. Celebrating her 48th year as an Opry member, Barbara is now retired from performing. When she made the decision to retire, he asked Opry management if she would remain a member of the Opry, of which they agreed. Without knowing it at the time, Barbara started a trend where retired members would retain their Opry membership, reversing a policy where members had to give up their Opry membership if they were no longer active.

July 14, 1973: Tompall, Chuck, and Jim, the Glaser Brothers, made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry. The brothers, who often had creative differences, decided to go their separate ways, They would reunite several years later, but then broke up for good. But, at the personal invitation of  Hank Snow, the brothers appeared on the Opry one final time, in January 1990 at a show honoring Hank for 40 years of Opry membership. The brothers were awesome that night and you can see the video of the performance on YouTube. That night was the final night that they would appear together.

July 21, 1973: Just over a year after Barbara Mandrell joined the Opry cast, Jeanne Pruett became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Like Barbara, Jeanne is now retired. This will be her 47th year as an Opry member. Jeanne was the last singing member of the cast to join the show before it left the Ryman Auditorium (of course, Jerry Clower joined after Jeanne but he was known as a comedian). On the night of her induction, Dolly Parton handled the honors. Now retired, Jeanne has recently written an autobiography and has been known to visit the Opry now and then.

July 7, 1975: Grand Ole Opry member George Morgan passed away in a Nashville hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was just 51. George joined the Opry in 1948 as the replacement for Eddy Arnold. He left the Opry in 1956 to star on a television show, but returned in 1959. George's daughter Lorrie followed in his footsteps as an Opry member.

July 24, 1976: Bobby Lord made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Bobby came to the Opry in 1960 from the Ozark Jubilee. After leaving the Opry, Bobby went into semi-retirement, living in Florida and working in real estate. He later hosted a sportsman show on TNN. Although he gave up his Opry membership, Bobby would continue to make occasional Opry appearances when he was up in the Nashville area. Bobby, who also had his own television show, passed away in 2008

July 24, 1976: On the same day as Bobby Lord's final appearance as an Opry member, a fire broke out backstage at the Opry House that morning. The fire was discovered at 6:00 a.m. on the lighting dimmer board and was quickly put out. Damage was estimated at nearly a quarter million dollars.

July 31, 1976: Former Grand Ole Opry member made his first Saturday night appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

July 4, 1980: Future Diamond Rio member Dana Williams made his first Opry appearance as a bass player for Jimmy C Newman.

July 5, 1980: John Conlee made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry.

July 2, 1982: Former Grand Ole Opry member DeFord Bailey died in Nashville at the age of 82. DeFord was one of the first members of the WSM Barn Dance, but was fired in 1941 by Opry founder George D. Hay. Various reasons were given for the firing, but it would appear that race was the major reason. While he did come back to make guest appearances in the 1940s, DeFord was very bitter about being fired by the Opry and went to great lengths to avoid the opportunity to make guest appearances. However in February 1974 he returned for the annual reunion show. He was well received and would make a few more reunion shows before passing away. DeFord is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

July 1, 1983: Gaylord Broadcasting Company purchased the Grand Ole Opry, WSM radio and the entire Opryland complex from American General Corporation. Even though it was called Gaylord Broadcasting, it was actually Edward Gaylord and his wife Thelma who were the actual owners. At the time, Gaylord owned "Hee Haw" and other major media outlets. The price was rumored to have been between $250 and $350 million. The Opry was for sale at the time because of the purchase of National Life and Accident Company and the new owners, American General, had no interest in owning the Opry or Opryland. It was Roy Acuff who convinced Edward Gaylord that the Opryland properties were perfect for him to buy and add to his company. Over time, Gaylord Broadcasting would become Gaylord Entertainment and is now known as Ryman Hospitality.

July 30, 1983: Former Grand Ole Opry members The Glaser Brothers returned for a guest appearance on the Opry. The brothers were having some chart success at the time with "Lovin' Her Was Easier" and had briefly reunited.

July 6, 1985: Johnny Russell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Johnny would remain a very popular and loyal member of the Opry until passing away on July 3, 2001 after a period of declining health. One of the most talented performers in country music, Johnny was a singer, songwriter and comedian. After joining the Opry, Johnny would normally appear on the 11:30 segment, telling funny stories and singing serious songs. I was privileged one day to have met Johnny at Opryland and to spend a little bit of time with him.

July 3, 1993: Alison Krauss became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 27th year as an Opry member. At the time she joined, she was the Opry's youngest member. Alison has won more Grammy Awards then any other female country music, or bluegrass singer.

July 10, 1999: June Carter Cash made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, in what would be her final appearance on the Opry stage. June was an Opry member in the 1950s and was known for singing with her family and for her comic skills.

July 6, 2002: Melvin Sloan, leader of the Melvin Sloan Dancers, retired. Melvin began dancing on the Opry following the death of his brother Ralph Sloan in 1980. After Melvin's retirement, the Opry took over management of the square dancers and they are now called the Opry Square Dancers. Melvin has been doing well in retirement and occasionally will be seen backstage at the Opry.

July 2, 2004: Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Van Shelton made his final Grand Ole Opry appearance. Now retired, Ricky joined the Opry in June 1988. Sadly, he was another one from that era that did not appear on the Opry very often.

July 5, 2008: Ending a long standing tradition, the start time of Saturday's early Grand Ole Opry show was changed from 6:30 to 7:00, resulting in a two hour show. This followed the change of the late Saturday show being cut to two hours the previous January. There was no reason given for the change, and no, there was no price reduction on account of the shorter show.

July 15, 2008: Future Grand Ole Opry member Darius Rucker made his first guest appearance on the Opry, singing "Don't Think I Don't Think About It."

July 8, 2011: Jimmy Dickens made a surprise appearance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry to ask the Oak Ridge Boys if they would like to become the Opry's newest members. Of course, the Oak Ridge Boys said yes, and later this year they will celebrate their 7th year as Opry members. The Oak Ridge Boys had been asked previously if they were interested in becoming Opry members, however they had declined due to their heavy touring schedule. While they are still actively touring, the group has found the time to appear on the Opry and fulfill their membership obligations.

July 16, 2011: Grand Ole Opry member Bill Anderson was honored upon his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Alison Krauss joined the celebration that evening.

July 13, 2012: Grand Ole Opry member Randy Travis made his final scheduled performing appearance on the Opry. Randy would later suffer a serious stroke that would end his performing career.

July 3, 2013: Alison Krauss celebrated 20 years of Opry membership. As part of the show that night, she does a duet with Jamey Johnson on "Make the World Go Away."

July 1, 2017: Montgomery Gentry performs "Where I Come From" on the Grand Ole Opry. It would be the final Opry appearance for Troy Gentry, who would pass away in September as the result of a helicopter crash. Since his passing, Eddie Montgomery has continued on as an Opry member.

July 19, 2019: Luke Combs was formally inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. While somewhat of a surprise, so far it has worked out pretty well as in his first year as a member, Luke has shown that he will be supporting the show.

July 22, 2019: Sally Williams, general manager of the Grand Ole Opry, announced her resignation from Ryman Hospitality. While she was at the company for over 20 years, she had only been in charge of the Opry since 2017, following the resignation of Pete Fisher.

There you have it for this month. Another busy one at the Opry.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Grand Ole Opry Saturday June 27

A few quick hits:

There were a couple of comments that I saw that it was one of the best shows, if not the best, that the Opry has done since the COVID-19 shows have been taking place. Clint Black and Darius Rucker were a fantastic pairing and it was enjoyable to see and hear a full band behind them. I know some have questioned Darius' commitment to country music, however I think by now we know he is the real deal and an asset to the Opry. As far as Clint Black, he makes so few Opry appearances that we forget how good he is, and he has aged well. I know he lives in California and doesn't get to Nashville very often, but when he does, it is a treat. Great singer and guitar player. I saw one comment that he is Hall of Fame worthy and I agree. Hopefully he doesn't have to wait too long.

While the Opry will not have a live audience show until July 18 at earliest, they are going to be resuming the backstage tours at both the Grand Old Opry House and the Ryman Auditorium beginning this week. A quick look at the calendar shows just morning tours being conducted. Getting the Opry House back opened is a good start and I think is a good sign that live shows could be resuming soon. We all are waiting for the word.

Now, looking at the show for this Saturday night, I am sure that Opry management was in a tough spot after the cancellation of Jimmy Buffett and Mac McAnally. That left Brad Paisley, in a show that was being advertised as "Brad Paisley and Friends." The only other addition for Saturday has been Keb' Mo'. That should be an interesting pairing. On a personal note, I have seen Keb' Mo' on the Opry previously and he is very talented. I'm looking forward to hearing him again. How he fits in with Brad will be interesting to see.

From 25 years ago, Saturday June 24, 1995:

1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
6:45: Jean Shepard (host); Bill Carlisle
7:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jan Howard; Charlie Louvin; Brother Oswald; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Jack Greene (host); Jeanne Pruett; Ray Pillow; Roy Clark
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeannie Seely; The Four Guys; Charlie Walker; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Roy Drusky; Mike Snider; Riders In The Sky

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
10:00: Marty Stuart (host);
10:15: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Jack Greene
10:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Stu Phillips; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Th Four Guys Ray Pillow; Joe Stampley
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Roy Drusky; Charlie Walker

And 50 years ago, Saturday June 27, 1970:

1st show
6:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Ernie Ashworth; Joe and Rose Lee Maphis
6:45: Billy Grammer (host); Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Cousin Jody
7:00: Bill Monroe (host); James William Monroe; Earl Scruggs Revue; The Four Guys; Bill Carlisle
7:30: Bobby Lord (host); Grandpa Jones; Willis Brothers; Crook Brothers; Warner Mack
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Mel Tillis; Hank Williams, Jr., Diane Trask
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Bob Luman; Charlie Louvin; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Billy Grammer (host); Willis Brothers; Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Joe and Rose Lee Maphis
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); The Four Guys; Ernie Ashworth
10:15: Bill Monroe (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Diana Trask
10:30: Roy Acuff (host); Hank Williams, Jr.
10:45: Bobby Lord (host); Grandpa Jones; Crook Brothers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Mel Tillis; Bill Carlisle; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Charlie Louvin (host); Bob Luman; Warner Mack; Dianne McCall

This week's look back takes us back to June 27, 1981 as this would appear to be the date that Buck White and The White Sisters, later to be known as The Whites, made their debut on the Grand Ole Opry.

The Whites have been a part of the Grand Ole Opry family more than 30 years and have been showcasing their own family harmony as a professional stage act for nearly 40 years. Daddy Buck and daughters Cheryl, Sharon, and Rosie are all top-level singers and musicians individually.

Buck’s skills on the piano landed him early gigs with the Opry’s Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb and others. He married Pat Goza in 1951, and in 1962 they moved from Texas to Arkansas, where they began performing with another couple as the Down Home Folks. Their children performed as the Down Home Kids.

By the mid-’60s, the family was well known in bluegrass circles, and when the younger Whites decided they wanted to sing professionally, the family moved to Nashville in 1971. During their first years in Nashville, they performed as the Down Home Folks and recorded several bluegrass albums.

In 1973, mother Pat retired from the group, and in 1975, The Whites played a Washington, D.C. show with Emmylou Harris. That association led to Sharon and Cheryl providing background vocals on Harris’ 1978 Blue Kentucky Girl album.

“She just opened so many doors for us and put us in front of people who had never seen us before,” Sharon told interviewer Paul Edward Joyce. “We just had a great relationship and will forever be grateful to her for how she helped us.”

In 1982, Sharon White married Ricky Skaggs, a one-time member of Emmylou’s Hot Band who also co-produced The Whites’ major-label debut, Old Familiar Feeling. The album yielded four Top 10 hits, including “You Put the Blue in Me,” and “Hangin’ Around.” The album also featured the distinctive dobro work of Jerry Douglas, now a member of Opry star Alison Krauss’ band, Union Station. Other albums by The Whites, which blend country, folk, bluegrass, and gospel sounds include Forever You, Ain’t No Binds, and Doin’ It by the Book.

In 2000, The Whites appeared in the film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, performing the Carter Family classic, “Keep on the Sunny Side.” Also in 2000, they released the album, A Lifetime in the Making. The Whites were inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008, the same year their collaboration with Skaggs called Salt of the Earth won a Grammy award.

And while these “down home folks” have graced stages all over the world, they continue to perform regularly on the Grand Ole Opry.

Here is the running order from 39 years ago, June 27, 1981:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Full Moon; Empty Pockets
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Stonewall Jackson: Waterloo

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): Word Games
Jeannie Seely: You Don't Need Me, But You Will
Billy Walker: You Don't Know Me

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Charlie Louvin: Ten Years; Three Kids; Two Loves Too Late/Red, Red Wine
Jimmy Dickens: Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Wilma Lee Cooper: I'm Going Home on the Morning Train
Porter Wagoner: Everything I've Always Wanted/Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green, Green Grass of Home/On A Highway Headed South

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): Banjo Sam
Jean Shepard: Chime Bells
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
Crook Brothers and The Tennessee Travelers: Lafayette
George McCormick: Y'all Come
Grandpa Jones: Fallen Leaves

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: Satisfied/Sing; Sing; Sing
Vic Willis Trio: Colorado
Roy Drusky: If the Whole World Stopped Loving
Brother Oswald: Mountain Dew
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Gonna Find Me a Bluebird
The Four Guys: Cottonfields/Maria
David Houston: Texas Ida Red
Buck White and The White Sisters: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire on the Mountain
Hank Snow and Kelly Foxton: Things

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
The Four Guys: I'm Almost Ready
Jeannie Seely: Make the World Go Away
Wilma Lee Cooper: The White Rose
Ernie Ashworth: You Can't Pick a Rose in December
Porter Wagoner: Ol' Slewfoot/Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green, Green Grass of Home

10:00: Little Debbie
Charlie Louvin (host): Faded Love
Jean Shepard: Too Many Rivers
Charlie Louvin: She Is

10:15: Sunbeam
Grandpa Jones (host): Kitty Klide
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Jimmy Dickens: Out Behind the Barn
Grandpa Jones: Nashville on My Mind

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Stonewall Jackson: Full Moon; Empty Pockets/Life to Go
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beechnut
Roy Drusky (host): Strangers
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby on My Mind
Crook Brothers and The Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle
Roy Drusky: Remember Me, I'm the One Who Loves You

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): The First Hurt is the Worst Hurt of All
Bill Carlisle: I'm Movin'
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Ray Pillow: Even the Bad Times are Good
Kirk McGee: St. James Infirmary
Hank Snow and Kelly Foxton: Check

11:30: Bama
David Houston (host): Texas Ida Red
Vic Willis Trio: American Trilogy
Buck White and The White Sisters: Follow the Leader/Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
David Houston: After All

The Whites became Grand Ole Opry members on March 2, 1984 and have been very loyal and popular members since joining. It is always a pleasure to see them on the Opry stage.

That takes care of it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this Saturday night.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Grand Ole Opry Saturday June 20

First, the latest from the Grand Ole Opry website:

"We continue to work to resume Grand Ole Opry shows with live audiences as soon as we can do so aligning with the re-opening guidelines of Nashville. When shows with a live ticketed audience do return, we plan to start slowly, having shows one night per week on Saturdays. Assuming all goes well, we would expand to additional nights. 
While we are unsure when ticketed shows will return, presently tickets are on sale for Saturdays throughout July. Shows on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday during the month of July have been canceled and tickets for these events will be automatically refunded to the credit card used to place the order. It may take up to 14 days for the refund to reflect on your credit card account. There is no need to call or email our Customer Service team – they have already begun to process these refunds. No decision has been made about shows beyond July. Right now, we hope to proceed as planned."
Even as that notice was posted last week, Bobby Bones again on Saturday's show said that no final decisions had been made. Obviously still a lot in play.

Coming off another fine show this past Saturday night, one that featured no Grand Ole Opry members, there are two on the schedule for this week as Darius Rucker and Clint Black are scheduled to perform. It is really nice to see Clint on the schedule as he rarely comes to Nashville to do the Opry. I know he has been promoting new music so it will be nice to hear what he has to offer. _______________________________________________________________________
From 25 years ago, Saturday June 17, 1995
1st show
6:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: Jeanne Pruett (host); Brother Oswald
7:00: The Four Guys (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Charlie Louvin; Jean Shepard
7:30: Opry Square Dance Band; Mike Snider (host); Billy Dean; The Whites
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Hank Locklin; Carolee Singers; Charlie Walker
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Stu Phillips; Tim Watson and Black Creek; Jeannie Seely

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Hank Locklin; Jeanne Pruett; The Whites
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
10:15: Jean Shepard (host); Roy Drusky
10:30: Mike Snider (host); Charlie Louvin; Bob Clark
10:45: The Four Guys (host); Brother Oswald; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Stu Phillips; Charlie Walker; Billy Dean
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Carolee Singers; Charlie Nagatani; Tim Watson and Black Creek

This was also the night that Eddie Stubbs became the Grand Ole Opry's newest announcer.

And from 50 years ago, Saturday June 20, 1970:

1st show
6:45: Billy Walker (host)
7:00: Stu Phillips (host); Bill Carlisle; Stringbean; Ernie Ashworth
8:00: Billy Grammer (host); Bob Luman; Joe and Rose Lee Maphis; Margie Bowes
8:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Loretta Lynn; Cousin Jody; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Billy Walker (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Wilma Burgess; Del Wood
10:00: Ray Pillow (host); LaWanda Lindsey; Bill Carlisle
10:15: Stu Phillips (host); Stringbean; Norro Wilson
10:30: George Morgan (host); Ernie Ashworth; Joe and Rose Lee Maphis
10:45: Ernest Tubb (host); Billy Parker; Crook Brothers
11:00: Billy Grammer (host); Loretta Lynn; Darrell McCall; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Bob Luman (host); Margie Bowes; Cousin Jody; Tommy Jones

Who remembers LaWanda Lindsey?

LaWanda Lindsey was born on January 12, 1953 in Tampa, Florida. She began her career at age 14 and had her first nationally charted record at age 16 with "Partly Bill". She was one of several quite young artists recording country music for Chart Records during this period and was paired with country singer-songwriter Kenny Vernon, to record a number of duets. She got her start singing on WEAS-AM radio station in Savannah, GA, where her father, Norman H. "Lefty" Lindsey, was the General Manager and on-air personality. In 1973 she became a protégé of Buck Owens and began recording for Capitol Records, later in 1977-1978 she was on Mercury Records.

From 1969 to 1978, LaWanda Lindsey placed 14 songs on the Billboard country charts but only two of her songs ("Pickin' Wild Mountain Berries" in 1970 and "Hello Out There" in 1973) placed in the top 30. She nevertheless had a nice mid-level career in the industry before retiring in 1979.

Now let's go back to Saturday June 19, 1982 as it was on this night 38 years ago that Riders In The Sky became members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Here is the running order from that night:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry

6:45: Rudy's
Jack Greene (host); Walking on New Grass
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

7:00: Shoney's
Ernest Tubb (host): Letters Have No Arms
Del Wood: Are You from Dixie
Bobby Lord: Fall Away
Riders In The Sky: How the Yodel Was Born/Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Jack Leonard: Back on My Mind Again
Ernest Tubb: Rainbow at Midnight

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Jean Shepard: Cryin' My Heart Out Over You/Slippin' Away
Wilburn Brothers: Making Plans
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Rachel
Grandpa Jones: Four Stoned Walls & A Ceiling/What'll I Do with the Baby-O

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Lonzo and Oscar: All the Gold in California
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Connie Smith: I Just Had You on My Mind/Once a Day
Roy Acuff: Stream Line Cannonball

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Storms Never Last
The Four Guys: I Think About Your Loving All the Time
Ray Pillow: She's Doing it to Me Again
Roy Drusky: Have I Stayed Away Too Long
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Hank Snow: I Have You & That's Enough For Me

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Ernest Tubb (host): Have You Ever Been Lonely
Del Wood: Just Because/Bill Bailey/Beer Barrel Polka
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'/Ol' Chunk of Coal
Jack Leonard: Lone Star Beer & Bob Wills Music
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): The Banjo is the Instrument for Me
Jeanne Pruett: It's Too Late/Temporarily Yours
Grandpa Jones: There's a Grave in the Wave of the Ocean

10:15: Sunbeam
Jack Greene (host): Try a Little Kindness
Justin Tubb: Take a Letter Miss Gray
Jack Greene: Your's for the Taking/There Goes My Everything

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Down in Union County
Riders In The Sky: (?)/Turkey in the Straw/Chicken Reel/Devil's Dream
Roy Acuff: In the Center of the Grand Ole Opry Stage/I Saw the Light

10:45: Beechnut
Roy Drusky (host): Second Hand Rose
Connie Smith: Lovin' You Baby
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Mississippi Sawyer
Roy Drusky: Blues in My Heart

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Right or Wrong
Jean Shepard: Alabama Jubilee
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Wilburn Brothers: Release Me
Lonzo and Oscar: Little Cabin Home on the Hill
Kirk McGee: While I'm Away
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me

11:30: Bama
The Four Guys (host): I Think About Your Loving All the Time
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink of Me
Sheila and Bill Carlisle, Jr.: In the Pines
Ray Pillow: All You Have to Do is Come Back Home/Remember Me
The Four Guys: Swing Down Chariot

Riders In The Sky have been great Opry members over the years and have kept Western music alive on the Opry. Congratulations on another year of Opry membership.

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

Oh, and not to forget, Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Grand Ole Opry Saturday June 13

Update: Two more acts have been added for Saturday night: Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum will be doing double duty on Saturday as The Scott Family has been added. In addition, frequent Opry guest Charlie Worsham has also been added. Two good choices to round out the schedule.

Before getting to this weeks show, the Grand Ole Opry broke the news yesterday that on Saturday June 27, the legendary Jimmy Buffett will be making his Opry debut. Joining Jimmy will be Opry member Brad Paisley along with Mac McAnally. That's a big score for the Opry and I am sure that there will be a lot of publicity and new viewers to the Opry. That's the good news.

As we look ahead, Nashville is still in Phase 2 as to reopening. What that means is that the Opry still cannot conduct shows with a live audience at the Grand Ole Opry House. They will be unable to do so until Nashville moves into Phase 3. Sometime in July has been the target date for a return to live audiences at the Opry House, however, with Phase 2 extended it could be tough for the Opry to meet that goal. That's the bad news.

Finally, last week's show was fine. Steve Wariner was his usual good self and acted as host for the hour. There was a lot of young talent on the stage with Carly Pearce, Lee Brice and Michael Ray, each of whom has appeared on the Opry numerous times. In fact, Saturday was Carly's 75th guest appearance and Michael isn't that far behind. It is always good to see young artists, who understand what the Opry is all about, supporting the show. Who knows? Someday, they may be members.

Now moving ahead to this week and as Bobby Bones announced last Saturday night, Lady Antebellum will be on the Opry this week. Unfortunately, as I type this out, the trio is the only act announced for this weeks show. Kind of disappointing that there apparently will be no Opry member present. It has happened before and I am sure it will happen again, Just sad to see that with almost 70 members, one couldn't have been scheduled.

From 25 years ago, Saturday June 10, 1995:

1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Clinton Gregory
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Osborne Brothers
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bill Carlisle; Charlie Louvin; The Whites
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Billy Walker; Rhonda Vincent
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeannie Seely; Charlie Walker; Johnny Russell; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Four Guys; Skeeter Davis; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Brother Oswald; The Whites; Clinton Gregory
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Charlie Louvin
10:15: Jimmy C Newman (host); Osborne Brothers
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Mike Snider
10:45: Bill Anderson (host); Stu Phillips; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The Four Guys; Billy Walker; George Hamilton IV; Stonewall Jackson
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Johnny Russell; Charlie Walker; Jeannie Seely

Clinton Gregory was on the schedule for that night. In the 1990s,  he was on the Opry quite a few times, but in recent years has somewhat faded away.

A singer, fiddler, and guitarist who became a star in both country and bluegrass, Clinton Gregory was born in Martinville, Virginia on March 1, 1966. He grew up surrounded by music; his father, Willie Gregory, was a gifted fiddler who came from a long line of musicians and encouraged his son to follow in his footsteps. Clinton began playing the violin when he was five years old, and a year later he was good enough to perform at bluegrass festivals.

When Clinton was 12, his family relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where Willie had landed a gig at the Grand Ole Opry. As Clinton continued to focus on his music, he developed a reputation of his own in the Music City, and began working steadily as a sideman and session player with some of the leading country acts of the day. In 1990, Gregory stepped into the spotlight by releasing his first solo album, Music 'n Me, for the independent country label Step One Records. The album was well-received, but it was Clinton's second long-player, 1991's If It Weren't for Country Music I'd Go Crazy, that proved to be his commercial breakthrough. The title tune became a hit, peaking at 26 on the country singles charts, and three other tunes from the LP earned airplay as singles.

Freeborn ManReleased in 1992, Freeborn Man spawned Gregory's biggest hit, the single "Play, Ruby, Play," which rose to 25 on the country singles chart and another tune from the album, "Who Needs It," fared nearly as well, topping out at 29. By this time, Clinton was appearing frequently at the Grand Ole Opry. (In February 1992, Clinton performed on the Opry stage alongside his father, who died only two months later.) However, after the 1993 album Master of Illusion failed to live up to commercial expectations, Clinton left Step One for a major-label, Polydor. His first album for Polydor, 1995's Clinton Gregory, sold modestly, and a variety of professional and personal setbacks soon followed.

For the better part of the next ten years, Gregory was off the music industry's radar, but in 2005 he returned to music thanks to Neil Young. Young invited Gregory to play on his album Prairie Wind, and to join his band for the concerts that were filmed for the documentary Neil Young: Heart of Gold.

In the wake of his work with Young, Gregory made his way back into performing and songwriting, and in 2012 he completed his first album in 17 years, Too Much Ain't Enough. Released by the independent Melody Roundup label, Too Much Ain't Enough was well received by critics and fans, and a second album, the bluegrass-oriented The Roots of My Raising, appeared in 2013. That album was his last one to have made the charts.

Now from 50 years ago, Saturday June 13, 1970:

1st show
6:30: Willis Brothers (host); Jack Barlow; Louie Roberts
6:45: Stu Phillips (host); Liz Anderson; Hager Twins
7:00: Bill Monroe (host); Hank Locklin; Stringbean; Jeanne Pruett; Johnny Carver
7:30: Billy Grammer (host); Susan Raye; Leroy Van Dyke; Crook Brothers
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Martha Carson; Bill Carlisle; Lorene Mann
8:30: Billy Walker (host); Marion Worth; Billy Troy; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Willis Brothers (host); Susan Raye; Hager Twins; Jack Barlow
10:00: Stu Phillips (host); Stringbean; Liz Anderson
10:15: Hank Locklin (host); Jeanne Pruett; Louie Roberts
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Bill Carlisle; Lorene Mann
10:45: Roy Acuff (host); Martha Carson; Crook Brothers
11:00: Billy Walker (host); Billy Grammer; Leroy Van Dyke; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Marion Worth; Johnny Carver; Billy Troy; Ronnie Robbins

Looking back to a special night, June 12, 2004 , the night Terri Clark became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Terri Clark grew up on country music — not only hearing records by contemporary artists including Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs, and The Judds, but learning from family members, including her grandparents.

By the time she finished high school, she was already making local appearances. Shortly after that came a trip to Nashville, where she honed her craft playing for tips at clubs. Signing with Mercury Records in 1994, she hit the charts in short order with four Top 10 hits (“Better Things to Do,” “When Boy Meets Girl,” “If I Were You,” and “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me”) as Billboard named her its Top New Female Country Artist in 1995. The following year, she picked up her first Canadian Country Music Award, underlining what would turn out to be enduring home country appeal.

For the remainder of the decade, Terri continued to score well at country radio with hits including “Now That I Found You,” “You’re Easy on the Eyes” (her first No. 1), and “Every Time I Cry.” But even as her popularity continued, she began to reach more deeply in her songwriting and performance. In 2000 she released the introspective Fearless, which earned critical acclaim for its artistry and a Top 20 single in “A Little Gasoline.” Two years later, she returned with Pain to Kill, an album that balanced the depth of its predecessor with more radio-friendly production and generated hits including “I Just Wanna Be Mad,” which was the first No. 1 country hit by a female artist in more than two years. In 2004 Mercury released her Greatest Hits collection (which included a new No. 1 hit, “Girls Lie Too”) and Terri joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry.

“Just to be on the Opry is an honor,” Terri says today. “I never thought I’d get to be a member. It’s a tremendous responsibility, too. I feel like a lot of us who are younger members of the Opry really need to make sure that we pass down the tradition of it, and make sure that younger people who are getting into country music know what it means.”

Here is the running order from 16 years ago, Saturday June 12, 2004, the night Terri Clark joined the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Tennessee Pride
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Jeannie Seely: Anytime/When He Leaves You
Osborne Brothers: Rock of Ages/Rocky Top
Jimmy Dickens: Mountain Dew

7:00: Tootsie's/Standard Candy
Marty Stuart (host): Rock Island Line
Terri Clark: Girls Lie Too
Mel Tillis: It's A Love Revival/Southern Rains
Mel and Pam Tillis: Waiting on the Wind
Billy Dean: Billy the Kid
Terri Clark: Walkin' After Midnight/I Wanna Do It All
Marty Stuart: Hillbilly Rock

8:00: Martha White
Mike Snider (host): Instrumental
Jean Shepard: Tennessee Waltz
Billy Walker: Don't Stop in My World
Connie Smith: IF It Ain't Love
Opry Square Dance Band; Bile Them Cabbage Down
Mike Snider: Puttin' on the Dog (The Fur Coat)/Fire on the Mountain

8:30: Caribbean Cruise
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
George Hamilton IV & V We Will Meet Again
Jimmy C Newman; La Cajun Band
Pam Tillis: Deep Down/Mi Vida Loca
Bill Anderson: Deck of Cards

2nd show
9:30: Coca-Cola
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Jim Ed Brown: Looking Back to See/The 3 Bells
Billy Dean: Thank God I'm A Country Boy/Billy the Kid
Jimmy Dickens: I'd Rather Sleep in Peace

10:00: Resort Quest
Pam Tillis (host): Band in the Window
Jean Shepard: Virginia; Second Fiddle
Mel Tillis: Good Woman Blues/I Got the Horse; You've Got the Saddle
The Stutteretes: Once A Day/I Fall to Pieces/ You Ain't Woman Enough/Stand By Your Man
Pam and Mel Tillis: Detroit City

10:30: Caribbean Cruise
Marty Stuart (host): The Whiskey Ain't working Anymore
Hank Locklin: Please Help Me I'm Falling
Connie Smith: How Long; How Long/You & Your Sweet Love
Opry Square Dance Band: Cherokee Shuffle
Marty Stuart: In the Pines

Bill Anderson (host): I Love You Drops
George Hamilton IV & V: We Will Meet Again
Jimmy C Newman: Sugar Bee
Terri Clark: Girls Lie Too/Walkin' After Midnight
Bill Anderson: Too Country

11:30: Opry Visa Card
Mike Snider (host): Angeline the Baker/Soldier's Joy/Old Molly Hare
Billy Walker: I'm Back on the Mountain Again
Jack Greene: Walking on New Grass
Julie Roberts: It Ain't Down Home/Break Down Here
Mike Snider: Fire on the Mountain

For those wondering, the Stutteretes were Mel's backup group.

Congratulations again to Terri Clark upon her 16th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this Saturday night.