Monday, May 4, 2009

Grand Ole Opry Line-up-Weekend of August 14, 1976

Here is another in our series of classic Grand Ole Opry line-ups from the past. This week we go back to the weekend of August 14, 1976, when the Opry had shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This would have been during the middle of the peak tourist season at Opryland. Enjoy!!!

Friday August 13-Matinee
5:00: Lonzo & Oscar; Bob Luman
5:30: Jimmy C. Newman; Charlie Louvin
6:00: George Hamilton IV; The Carlisles
6:30: David Houston; The Wilburn Brothers

Friday August 13
8:00: Jack Greene(host); Jeannie Seely; The Four Guys; The Promenadors
8:30: Roy Acuff(host); The Wilburn Brothers; Del Wood
9:00: David Houston(host); Bob Luman; The Willis Brothers; The Promenadors
9:30: Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper(host); Skeeter Davis; The Carlisles
10:00: Charlie Louvin(host); Lonzo & Oscar; George Hamilton IV
10:30: Jimmy C. Newman(host); Marion Worth; Jim & Jesse
11:05: Grand Ole Gospel: Rev. Jimmy R. Snow; Evangel Temple Choir; Special Guest

Saturday August 14-Matinee
3:00: Skeeter Davis; The Four Guys
3:30: Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper; George Hamilton IV
4:00: The Carlisles; Bob Luman
4:30: Charlie Louvin; Roy Drusky

Saturday August 14-First Show
6:30: The Wilburn Brothers(host); Bob Luman
6:45: Roy Drusky(host); Skeeter Davis
7:00: Jack Greene(host); Jeannie Seely; The Willis Brothers; The Carlisles
7:30: Roy Acuff(host); Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper; Jimmy C. Newman; The Crook Brothers; The Tennessee Travelers
8:00: Porter Wagoner(host); Dottie West; The Four Guys; Del Wood
8:30: Charlie Louvin(host); George Hamilton IV; Stuart Hamblen; The Fruit Jar Drinkers; Marion Worth

Saturday August 14-Second Show
9:30: Jack Greene(host); Jeannie Seely; Bob Luman; Roy Drusky
10:00: Porter Wagoner(host); The Wilburn Brothers; Skeeter Davis
10:15: Roy Acuff(host); The Willis Brothers; Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper
10:30: Jimmy C. Newman(host); Dottie West; Del Wood
10:45: The Four Guys(host); Debbie Brown; The Crook Brothers; The Tennessee Travelers
11:00: George Hamilton IV(host); Marion Worth; The Fruit Jar Drinkers; Kirk McGee
11:30: Charlie Louvin(host); The Carlisles: Ronny Robbins

Sunday August 15-Matinee
2:00: The Wilburn Brothers; Skeeter Davis
2:30: Charlie Louvin; The Willis Brothers
3:00: Bob Luman; The Carlisles
3:30: Stu Phillips; The Four Guys

Wow!! Lot's of entertainment. A couple of interesting items: Several of the acts did all the shows over the weekend. Also, Roy Acuff did not do any of the matinee shows. In his later years, he would do everyshow over a weekend. Also, on the matinee shows, they used the 2 performers per half hour format that is used today on the Tuesday Night Opry shows. Like today, quite a few of the stars were missing on the shows-Hank Snow, Bill Anderson, Ernest Tubb, Marty Robbins, Jim Ed Brown to name a few. On a final note, you see Kirk McGee in his usual spot, being the last performer on the 11:00 segment, dispite his asking to get on an earlier spot.


  1. I think I've mentioned this somewhere before...but while summertime crowds were always bigger, Opry lineups were often quite thin this time of years. The state and county fair season was in full swing and at the time (1976) acts like Bill Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, Jack Greene and Marty Robbins were still top draws on that circuit. Of course, Ernest Tubb toured constantly right up until his health began to fail and even Hank Snow still maintained a heavy touring schedule for a few more years. Mr. Roy still lived across the river from Opryland and Porter Wagoner had just announced that he was cutting back on his touring schedule so his Opry appearances were becoming more frequent. Still, the quality and variety of the Opry shows from this time are quite amazing. And, more often than not, you could find a familiar "name from the past" on the show, in this case Stuart Hamblen. I also find it interesting to see the Willis Brothers on the 10:30. I had always remembered them doing the 9:30 Kellogg's Corn Flakes show during this time and singing the commercial jingles live but they may have stopped doing that by this time...I had started having ball games on Saturday nights and didn't listen to the whole show as often as I did in previous years.

  2. Thanks for the comments Barry. I checked on the Kelloggs deal and they were still the sponsor on the 9:30 Saturday show during this time. The segments that the Willis Brothers were on were sponsored by Shoney's and Union 76 on Saturday night and Baltz Brothers/Schlitz on Friday night.

  3. There's a possibility that Stuart Hamblen was the host that night of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. It seems to me that the Opry used to have the guest hosts there on the regular Opry show too, or at least it happened more often than it does now.

    It's also interesting that Ronny Robbins did the 11:30 segment. He was on quite a bit in those days, especially with his dad. Also note that Jeannie Seely appeared on Jack Greene's segment, as they were touring together then, weren't they? And Porter Wagoner being on at 8:00 and 10:00 might seem a bit unusual--usually, the 8:00 host would do a later segment on the second show--but I remember him saying he was an early riser and didn't like to be on too late if he could help it.

    Fayfare, it would be fun for you to include the sponsor of each segment, too, if you could.

  4. Mike: Thanks for the suggestion and I will do it. Regarding Jack Greene and Jeannie Seely, here is an interesting note. On last week's Opry Country Classics show, they sang a duet together, "Waltz Across Texas". They mentioned that it was the first time that they had sang a duet together on the Opry in 28 years!! Amazing, considering they were one of the more popular duets at the time.

    As far as the sponsors during the shows above:
    On the Friday show:
    8:00: Odom Sausage/Jack Spence
    8:30: Kroger/Sunbeam
    9:00: Baltz Brothers/Schlitz
    9:30: Acme Boot/Beechnut Tobacco
    10:00: Cee Bee/Tony Lama
    10:30: Rudy's
    Amazing that they had so many sponsors that on Friday night on some segments you could sponsor a quarter of an hour. I have to admit, there are a few I do not know: Cee Bee is one of those.

    Saturday night
    6:30: Mrs. Grissom's
    6:45: Rudy's
    7:00: Shoney's
    7:30: Standard Candy
    8:00: Martha White
    8:30: Stephens Work Clothes

    9:30: Kellogg's
    10:00: Fender Guitar
    10:15: Union 76
    10:30: Trailblazer
    10:45: Beechnut Tobacco
    11:00: Coca-Cola
    11:30: Baltz Brothers

    If my memory was right, Hank Snow usually did the Coca-Cola portion when he was on; Ernest Tubb usually did Beechnut Tobacco, and before he passed away, Lester Flatt usually did Martha White and Trailblazer

  5. I love the lists of sponsors!

    Cee Bee was a store of some kind. Not sure exactly WHAT.

    On nights with two shows, Hank Snow usually did the 8:30 and 11:00 segments, which were traditionally Stephens and Coke. I think Tubb liked the 10:45 segment because then he could go straight to his record shop for the Midnight Jamboree.

    Funny story. The first time I was able to listen to an entire Opry broadcast was 1992. At the time, Randy Travis had a souvenir shop and sponsored a 15-minute segment on Friday nights that Hank Snow hosted. Snow just couldn't bring himself to identify the sponsor. It was too cute.

  6. It says something that outside of Martha White, not one of those sponsors are on the Opry today and several of those companies are out of business. Also, I remember when Randy Travis had hsi souvenir shop across from Shoney's and the Barbara Mandrell gift shop over by the old Country Music Hall of Fame location. Back in the day, that was one of the major tourist areas in Nashville. Once the Hall of Fame left, so did everything else except for a couple of hotels. I think the record companies along music row are happier without the tourists hanging around there. Finally, we all know that Randy followed in the footsteps of people such as Roy Acuff, Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb in sponsoring their own Opry segment.

  7. Cee Bee was a chain of grocery stores (the jingle went, "Right around the corner from your front door you will find your friendly, friendly Cee Bee Store"). Seems as though the Friday Opry had a few motifs going among it's sponsors: 3 sausage makers (Odom, Baltz and Rudy's), 2 grocery stores (Kroger and Cee Bee) and 2 boot makers (Acme and Tony Lama)!

  8. Were the stores based in Nashville? I just cannot seem to remember the stores.

  9. As far as I can remember, it was a small chain headquartered in Nashville with locations in Tennessee and Kentucky. I can remember their jingle and for some reason I seem to recall the opening announcement going "Your friendly neighborhood Cee Bee Food Stores of Tennessee and Kentucky bring you this portion of the Friday Night Opry"...but that's going back at least 30 years now.