Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grand Ole Opry LIne-Up 4/17 & 4/18

Here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up for this weekend, April 17th and 18th.
Friday April 17:
7:00: Mike Snider(host); Jeannie Seely; Dean Brody
7:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Darius Rucker
8:00: Riders In The Sky(host); Jessie McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Sons Of The Pioneers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs(host); Jimmy C. Newman; The Whites

Looks like an ok line-up. You have the legends, several groups featuring western music; some bluegrass; and new talent. Darius Rucker is starting out strong with his solo career in country music and he has appeared on the Opry several times. Also, I have heard that Jesse McReynolds is working on a new CD featuring music by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter. That should be interesting. And, its nice to see the Sons Of The Pioneers making a visit to the Opry.

Saturday April 18:
First Show:
7:00: Jimmy Dickens; Connie Smith
7:30: Mike Snider; Jeannie Seely
8:00: Ricky Skaggs(host); Jimmy C. Newman; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Steve Warnier; Rascal Flatts

Second Show:
9:30: Jimmy Dickens; Connie Smith
10:00: Mike Snider; Jack Greene
10:30: Ricky Skaggs(host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Steve Warnier; Rascal Flatts

After I received the email with the line-up on Tuesday evening, I kept checking and waiting for an email updating the line-up, as the Opry has recently become famous for putting out a line-up early in the week and then adding to it. Apparently, this is it. 9 artists for each show. I cannot believe that they could not fine more talent, either with Opry members or guests, to fill out and make this a traditional line-up. I would guess, except for the segment with Ricky Skaggs, that they are going to follow the Tuesday night format and give each artist 15 minutes. They did this on the Saturday night 2nd show over Valentine's Day weekend, so I don't know if they are experimenting with this or if they are thinking about going to this format. Regarding the shows on Saturday night, Rascal Flatts is definitely the headliner and should draw some fans into the house. Nice to see Steve Warnier making an appearance. He is working on a new album featuring Chet Atkins music. One final thought: this is the chance that you take when you buy a ticket to the Opry. Last weekend, they had Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Martina McBride, Rhonda Vincent, Jo Dee Messina, among others, with 15 artists per show. This weekend, a much smaller line-up, and while it does have star power, not nearly as much as last week. That is one of the gambles that you take when you buy an advance ticket to the Opry. The one good thing with the 2 artists per segment format is that you get more music from each performer.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I think they have Danielle Peck listed now for Saturday night, so they will probably fill it out a little more. Opry management does not need to be experimenting with Saturday night. Please leave Saturday alone. There is a reason why the format of it is so successful and has been so, going back before many of us were even born. Don't cut it or water it down anymore than has already been done. The reduction of length in the show last year from 2 1/2 to 2 hours was major. Don't cut the length anymore, please, because remember, at least another 20 minutes of the Opry is commercials, so the musical part of the show is actually closer to an hour and a half already. Cutting the number of performers on average from 5 or 6 a half hour a few years ago down to 3 or 4 a half hour is enough trimming and probably is a nice number of performers to have in a half hour and enables most of the performers to get at least 2 songs and still have the variety and fast paced movement that the Opry is famous for!!!

    Maybe I'm stupid, I don't believe you can continue to squeeze blood from a turnip and continue to think people will continue to pay $50+ a show, buy tickets in advance, and drive great distances to see a show that would be a shell of what it once was. In other words, don't mess with a good thing.

  3. It is interesting that you mention the musical length of the show after figuring in the commercial time. On Sirus/XM, they have the Opry on Friday and Saturday night, but it is on a one week delay. When they replay it, they cut all the commericals out and any reference to the sponsors. With that, when they replay the 2-hour Friday night show, it only takes about an hour and a half and when they replay the 2 Saturday night shows, the 4 hours is done in done in less than 3 hours.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hi Fayfare

    Back in the days when the commercials were really fun (when the Willis Bro did the jingles live, the Coke machine was rolled out on stage at 11 o'clock, the giant colorful advertiser backdrops adorned the stage and Grant Turner was the lead announcer), the shows were 2 1/2 hours each (or as much as 3 1/2 hours on Fridays), and the shows cost a fraction of what they do now to see, you didn't think as much about how much musical content you were actually getting for your money.

    I appreciate the fact that the Opry is a radio show, and has commercials. That is what makes it truly unique from other musical shows. However, (and, I have attended hundreds of shows at the Opry for 30+ years) with the increasing prices, shorter shows and repetitive nature of the commercials, I find myself more concerned about what musical content I am actually getting for my money.

    I would say that a 2 hour show with an hour and a half of musical content is probably at fair value. I think, though, any less would not be. I probably would not continue to see the 8-10 shows a year I do, book tickets in advance a year or more, and drive round trip 400 miles to see an Opry show that was any shorter in length than it currently is.

    In regards to the numbers of acts per segment, again 3 or 4 acts normally per half hour is to me ideal if the acts are ones who make regular Opry appearances and are not of superstar level. The show moves at a fast pace. The bigger names get 2 or maybe 3 songs. The second-tier artists get 1 song. No one in the audience gets too unsatisfied (keep in mind many people buy tickets months/years in advance with no knowledge of who is even going to be there. . .if they don't like someone and there are 3 or 4 acts a segment, the act only sings one or two songs and they are gone. . . It is called variety. . .

    I think 2 acts per half hour only really works at the Opry for me rather it is Tuesday, Friday or Saturday night, when the two acts are superstars or big-name people that may rarely appear at the Opry or that really appeal to the masses.

    For example, if the lineup Saturday April the 18th stays as is, 2 artists like Steve Wariner and Rascal Flatts probably works in a segment since they are not at the Opry as much and they are name people that have broader appeal. Have Wariner sing 3 songs and Flatts 4 songs. . .

    However, the Mike Snider and Jeannie Seely segment needs a third or 4th name to fill that half hour because they are not huge names, and they are at the Opry regularly.

    I know times are tough and the Opry is part of a for-profit corporation and Gaylord has profit margins the Opry must attain, but they have to be really careful that they don't water the brand, the format, the length down to a point where the value is no longer there.