Good Afternoon All:
Before posting and making comments regarding this week's Grand Ole Opry line-up, I know that I have not posted comments as frequently has I have had in the past. No excuse, except that it has been a busy summer. Things are back to normal now, so expect me to get back to regular news and comments. I was down South last week and took in the Tuesday night Opry. It was a fine show with a very nice crowd. I will say that one of the real suprises on Tuesday was Jimmy Wayne. He has been appearing on the Opry lately and I think he has a fantastic voice and has a keen eye for picking out some great songs. He received a standing ovation from the crowd. Jean Shepard, Jimmy Dickens and Craig Morgan, among others were also on and each did a fine job. It is enjoyable to see the Tuesday night Opry. Although I really like the regular Friday and Saturday Opry shows, the change of pace on Tuesday with 8 performers each doing 15 minute segments is nice. You get to enjoy 3-4 songs from each artist and there is time for some bantering with the audience. You get enough of the artist to make them enjoyable, but not too much that you wish they would finish.
Now, for this week's Grand Ole Opry line-ups:
Friday July 17th:
7:00: John Conlee(host); Riders In The Sky; Jack Greene; Rhonda Vincent
7:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Daryle Singletary
8:00: Bill Anderson(host); The Whites; Hal Ketchum
8:30: Mike Snider(host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; Roy Clark
Saturday July 18th:
7:00: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jim Ed Brown; The Lovell Sisters
7:30: Roy Clark(host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C. Newman; Riders In The Sky
8:00: Mike Snider(host); Jack Greene; Hal Ketchum; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson(host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Connie Smith
9:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); The Whites; The Lovell Sisters
10:00: Mike Snider(host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C. Newman; Hal Ketchum
10:30: Roy Clark(host); Jan Howard; Riders In The Sky; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson(host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Connie Smith
>It is nice to see the newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Roy Clark, back on the Opry. He usually makes it to the Opry a couple of times each year. When he was asked to join back in 1987, he was very upfront with Opry management that he would love to be a member, but that he could not make the required number of appearances due to HeeHaw and his concert appearances. The Opry still offered him membership with that understanding. Roy Acuff remarked before he died that he hoped Roy Clark would kind of take over as the face of the Opry after he died. Obviously that did not happen. After Mr. Acuff passed away, the face of the Opry became Porter Wagoner. After his death, I think the person who has stepped forward the most to keep the tradition going has been Marty Stuart. In the past year, he has made a real committment to the show. Before I leave Roy Clark, I will be interested in how he looks and sounds. I know in his last appearance, he looked a little frail and his voice was not what it once was. But, that guitar playing was still outstanding. I know he is over 70, but you always hate to see the legends lose a step.
>Rhonda Vincent makes another Opry appearance on Friday night. I think she has made more Opry appearances over the last several years than any non-member. I know the question I get asked the most is when will she finally become an Opry member. I was told by someone who knows these things, that she will be asked to join at some point. I do not know what the hold-up is: whether it is that she is on the road so much or because of late, it has been mostly male artists asked to join. If you look at the number of Opry members who have died recently, I think all have been male.
>Mike Snider is going to be a busy boy this coming week. He will be doing all 3 Opry shows this weekend(hosting all 3 times), his own show 4 times and then he is on the Tuesday Night Opry next week. I hope that he doesn't make so many appearances that he burns himself out. I have not heard how his Pickin' & Grinnin' show is doing. Hopefully well.
>Comedy has always been a part of the Opry with Minnie Pearl, Archie Campbell, Jerry Clower, Stringbean; Rod Bradfield, and current member Mike Snider. This weekend, T. Bubba Bechtol is on both shows on Saturday night. I have seen him on the Opry before and he is funny.
Overall a real solid Opry line-up for Friday and Saturday night. Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers is the host of the Mid-Night Jamboree. He has worked hard a establishing a solo career, but so far with limited success.
Finally, no new update on Mel McDaniel. His condition is the same as was reported earlier last week. Prayers and thoughts continue to be with him and his family. The same for Wilma Lee Cooper, who is said to be bed-ridden at this time.