Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grand Ole Opry Line-Up 8/7 & 8/8

Here is this week's Grand Ole Opry line-up:
Friday August 7th:
7:00: Jeannie Seely(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Darryl Worley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Sunny Sweeney
8:00: Jim Ed Brown(host); w/Helen Cornelius; Stonewall Jackson; George Hamilton IV; Mark Wills
8:30: Charley Pride(host); Connie Smith; Jim Lauderdale

Saturday August 8th:
7:00: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jeannie Seely; David Nail
7:30: Hal Ketchum(host); Stonewall Jackson; Jack Greene; Jean Shepard
8:00: Bill Anderson(host); Jan Howard; Sunny Sweeney; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Charley Pride(host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites

Here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry-August 11th:
7:00: The Whites; Love & Theft
7:30: Dailey & Vincent; Bucky Covington
8:00: Jean Shepard; Jason Michael Carroll
8:30: Jimmy Dickens; Keith Anderson

A couple of notes/comments:
>Darryl Worley returns to the Friday Night Opry. He has been making regular appearances of late and some believe that at some point he will become an Opry member.
>Bill Anderson was in the studio this week working on a new CD that he hopes to have released by the end of the year, along with a new book. He will be on the Opry for just limited shows in August and then hitting the road for some shows.
>Stonewall Jackson is on both the Friday and Saturday shows. Saturday, by the way, is just 1 show, as that will be the case for the month of August.
>The 84th Opry Birthday Celebration will be October 9th and 10th. Usually by this date, some of the artists that will be appearing has been announced, but so far only Larry Gatlin and Diamond Rio have been confirmed. Several of the artists you would expect to appear at what are usually star studded shows, will be on the road and not available for the birthday bash, including Vince Gill, Marty Stuart and Ricky Skaggs. Also, have you noticed that since the Opry has stopped being televised, that the number of "big-name" non-Opry stars guesting on the Opry has gone down? Do you think some of these artists were using the Opry just for the television exposure?


  1. God bless the unknowns who simply love the Opry for what it is, and will perform whenever invited!!

  2. It has been ages since I have seen or heard a performer get all choked up just for being on the Opry stage!!! Not that I like hearing someone get all emotional, but to true country music lovers, the Opry stage is sacred!!!

  3. I remember when the Opry birthday celebration was part of the annual Disc Jockey Convention. It was a week of parties, showcases and what we now call "networking" for the DJ's and radio station personnel. It began with the CMA Awards and culminated with the second Opry show on Saturday was the big show of the weekend when they would cut the cake and bring out the special guests. Over time, there were fewer and fewer DJ's and the event kind of died a quiet death.

    At one time, many country DJ's were stars in their own right in their respective markets. Bill Bailey and Billy Parker were almost as big as the stars whose records they played. And most people know that Charlie Walker and Bill Anderson began their careers as disc jockeys. Anderson even had a hit record in the 70's with a song called "Country Deejay".

    In the mid 80's I was doing some work for TNN and spent a lot of time around the set of Fandango, the game show that Bill Anderson hosted. From time to time, they would have "celebrity week" where the contestants were people like Johnny Russell, Jeannie Seely, Jim Ed Brown and others who would play for charity. They also had "DJ Week" where DJ's from different markets would do the same thing. The whole premise of the show was country music trivia...and these "country" DJ's seemed to be largely ignorant of it. I remember talking with Bill after a long day of taping and he asked if I could understand how people who played country music for a living could know so little about it. I had to admit that it was a mystery to me.

    The birthday show was always a big more so than in 1975 when the Opry celebrated it's 50th Anniversary. I was looking at the lineup from that show for another project I'm working on and was struck not just by the number of big name acts that appeared that night (Ernest Tubb, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Roy Clark, Porter Wagoner, Bill Anderson, Tammy Wynette, Barbara Mandrell, Hank Snow and, of course, Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl) but also by the number of performers on the show who are now members of the Hall of Fame (all of the above, except Dottie West, plus Don Gibson, Bill Carlisle and Charlie Louvin) as well as the number of cast members who were still among the top concert draws at the time (Del Reeves, Jean Shepard, David Houston, Jeanne Pruett & The Wilburn Brothers). There were a total of 46 acts on the show that night and the second show didn't let out until just after 2 a.m. Acuff's 15 minute segment lasted well over an hour that night and included a prolonged standing ovation for Minnie Pearl who had been named to the Hall of Fame earlier that week.

    These days, you won't see that many acts on the Opry stage in an entire week of shows. I feel lucky to have been around for that period of the Opry's history. I'm pretty sure we'll not be seeing anything like it again.

  4. I feel the same way you do Barry: Lucky to have been exposed to the Opry during that time frame. My 1st Opry visit was in 1973 at the Ryman. It was a special visit that will always remain in my mind. At one time, former Gaylord head Bud Wendell made a comment, and while I do not remember the exact words, it was something to the effect of: We operate WSM to make money, but we operate the Opry for fun. We all know that when National Life owned the Opry, it was used as a public relations tool, such as during the DJ convention, which I remember well. Even during the early years of Gaylord's involvment, it was that way. But, once Gaylord issued stock and became a publically traded company, it was all about the bottom line. Sorry to say, that the bottom line is the number one concern of the Opry today: not only to make a profit, but as big of a profit as possible(or as directed to by Colin Reed). And, because of that, we see fewer shows, fewer acts per show, fewer "stars" per show, as it is cheaper to pay a Mandy Barnett,etc: and hirer ticket prices. One final note regarding the DJ convention and the Opry birthday: there is a great DVD out called "The Nashville Sound", which covers the 44th Opry birthday celebration in 1969. Great Opry performances by Lester Flatt, Tex Ritter, Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, Charley Pride, Porter Wagoner, Johnny Cash and many others. I great piece of history.

  5. When I was a kid, I never had a chance to go to the Opry. Today, I don't think I want to go. It isn't what I grew up with. And I don't mean that as a criticism of the current management--I have enough to criticize there. I mean that I grew up watching or listening to or hearing about all of these greats who are gone--and an Opry that was like the type Barry mentioned, where hosts ran over, lots of people were running around. It was a different show in a different time and place.

    But that doesn't mean it can't be more like that. That's part of the problem, and it's both historical and sociological. The Opry was designed and built by and starred rural America. Rural America is far different today, thanks to technological advances. So the Opry is no longer competing with other radio shows or Saturday night barn dances, but with all kinds of TV and internet that didn't come to the places where its core audience lived until not long ago. Many say the Opry is a throwback. If it is, it needs to be more of one.

  6. Listen tonight to the 8 oclock section...there is a gal on there that is a real country "throwback". She is a trip!!!

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