It looks like Jimmy Dickens has cancelled for Friday night, but he is still on the schedule for Saturday night. Jim Lauderdale has been added for Friday and they have put the Square Dancers back on the schedule. They are getting a big snowstorm in Eastern Tennessee and Virginia. Hope that Ralph Stanley can make it over the mountain ok. The updated line-up is listed below.
This weekend, the Grand Ole Opry continues its winter run at the Ryman Auditorium with 1 show on Friday night and 1 show on Saturday night. The Saturday night Opry will have just 1 show through the rest of the winter and then WSM will have a classic Opry show following that. A couple of notes about this weekend:
>On Saturday, Jimmy Dickens will celebrate his 89th birthday. God Bless Mr. Dickens and may he have a year of good health. 2009 was a rough one for him. They mentioned his birthday several times during last week's shows, and I am sure they will have something special on Saturday night. If you look at the history of the Opry, you have the 1st generation of Opry stars, that would include Uncle Dave Macon, Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe among others. They have all passed on. Then you have the 2nd generation of Opry stars, and of that generation, Jimmy Dickens and Kitty Wells would just about be the last ones still living. They are the last living link between the original Opry members and today's Opry stars. Kitty is pretty much retired now, but Jimmy continues on. Enjoy him while he is still here, and while his voice may not be as strong as it once was, he is a living legend of the Opry and will always have the respect of all Opry members and fans.
>Ronnie Milsap will be on the Saturday night show and he will be hosting a segment. I cannot really remember if he has ever hosted a segment before, but I think he might have on the night Trace Adkins became a member, but I would really have to research that one and check my records. Amber Digby will be making her first Opry appearance on Saturday night during Ronnie's segment and she has a connection with Ronnie and has recorded one of his songs.
>Emmylou Harris makes her first Opry appearance this year. With her respect for the history of country music and of the Opry, I thought that when she became a member, she would be on the Opry much more frequently than she has been. She lives in Nashville and is involved in lots of activities and causes in the Nashville area, so it is not like she is not around. I know that she prefers to perform at the Opry when it is at the Ryman Auditorium versus the Grand Ole Opry House, as I have read where she has said that the Ryman is where the Opry belongs. Most of the times that she is on the Opry, she hosts her own segment and it usually has on guests that she brings with her, especially for the Opry. This weekend is no exception as she hs Gillian Welch and David Rawlings with her, along with The Whites. Also, when she hosts, she tends to stay on stage during all of the acts and performs with them.
Now for this weekends line-up:
Friday December 18
7:00: Jeannie Seely(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press;
7:30: Jean Shepard(host); Mandy Barnett; Ralph Stanley
8:00: Bill Anderson(host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jim Lauderdale
8:30: Emmylou Harris(host); The Whites; Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
Saturday December 19
7:00: Jimmy Dickens(host); Connie Smith; Emily West
7:30: Bill Anderson(host); Jan Howard; Ralph Stanley
8:00: Emmylou Harris(host); The Whites; Gillian Welch & David Rawlings; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ronnie Milsap(host); George Hamilton IV; Jean Shepard; Amber Digby