Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grand Ole Opry Line-Up 7/17 & 7/18

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:
First Show
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

Second Show
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.


  1. Thanks for posting--I was away for a bit and look forward to commenting. I also have some old lineups but had trouble posting them here, so I will try again.

    Sorry to hear about Mel McDaniel and Wilma Lee Cooper. It was good to read that Ferlin Husky is home from the hospital.

    I would like to join you in saluting Marty Stuart. Vince Gill has been active, but Marty really appears to have been making an extra effort, and it's welcome and, in my opinion, necessary.

    I also want to echo your comments about Rhonda Vincent and T. Bubba Bechtol. Rhonda needs to be a member (and I wouldn't mind seeing Martha White come back as a full-fledged sponsor when she does--I wonder if her connection with Martha White has anything to do with her situation). And the Opry needs more comedy. It is a key part of Mike Snider's act, and several of the old-timers joke with the audience, but we have been without a true comic on the Opry since Jerry Clower died.

  2. Mike:
    I always look forward to your comments and I look forward to seeing your old line-ups. It is always fun to look back at the past. I will be posting another on later this week. Sometimes you wonder what really motivates someone, but something has really motivated Marty Stuart in the past year. It could very well have been his association with Porter Wagoner, in the producing of Porter's final CD and then his death. Marty has always been a student of the history of country music and has worked with 2 of the true legends: Johnny Cash and Lester Flatt. But now, he has his television show, books, and he has increased his Opry appearances greatly. He went from 14 appearances in 2007 to 39 last year and so far this year, has appeared 27 times. He seems to be involved when a new member is invited or inducted. It is hard to believe that he is 51, and that Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs are over 50 also. It seems just a couple of years ago that they were the future of country music. Finally, I will try to find out some more definite answers on Rhonda Vincent and the Opry. I would hope that it is not her association with Martha White that is holding things up. If you remember in Opry history, it was Martha White that insisted that Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs become members, despite the objections of Bill Monroe, or they would leave the Opry as sponsors. It shows the influence that Martha White had on the show back then.