Nashville is basically closed down with a major snow storm. However, the Friday Night Opry is underway, as it is everyweek. The crowd sounds enthusiastic, but you can tell by the echo in the building and the applause level, that it is a small crowd.
So far, during the first segment, Jimmy C. Newman was a no-show. John Conlee was on hosting, and his guests were Billy Yates and Buddy Jewell.
All 3 performers have made reference to the weather and how dangerous it is outside. I know from looking at the Tennessean website, that the malls are closed and the police are warning people to stay off the roads. Also, the Exit-In and the Bluebird Cafe have cancelled their shows for the night.
The second segment is now underway and the scheduled hosts, The Whites are on. Jan Howard was on and did 2 songs and then a suprise appearance by Ricky Skaggs who did a solo song and then a couple with The Whites. Jack Greene and Mandy Barnett were not on.
The third segment is under way and Jean Shepard is on hosting. Isn't it interesting that Jean and Jan Howard, two of the grand ladies of the Opry made it on. Jean just introduced a female by the name Tia Goins (I think that it is how it is spelled. I have never heard of her before). She sang the Bill Anderson song, "Walk Out Backwards", and did a great job. She did say it is her first time on the Opry and she thanked the snow storm for making it happen. Jean just introduced Jack Greene, so either he was late or they are doing "on the run" line-up changes. It looks like no Stu Phillips or Jesse McReynolds. I know for Jesse from Gallatin, that is a very long drive. It also looks like no Keith Anderson.
The final segment is underway, sponsored by Martha White, and Diamond Rio made it in to host. They just introduced Elizabeth Cook, so it looks like no Connie Smith, who lives out in Hendersonville, which would be close to an impossible drive in a storm, and no Bobby Osborne. In fact, after Elizabeth sang her 2 songs, it was back to Diamond Rio to finish it out. They let Diamond Rio go over, which was nice for those who braved the weather to show up and see the Opry.
I have got to say it was a pretty good and entertaining show. (I have to admit that I love Elizabeth Cook and hope that she eventually has success in country music, but I think she just sounds too country for today's radio). All the artists were very enthusiastic and were really spirited in their singing. Overall, a much better show than I expected.
So, to sum it up, the acutal line-up for Friday night was:
7:00: John Conlee(host); Billy Yates; Buddy Jewell
7:30: The Whites(host); Jan Howard; Ricky Skaggs
8:00: Jean Shepard(host); Tia Goins(?); Jack Greene
8:30: Diamond Rio(host); Elizabeth Cook
The artists who did not show were Jimmy C. Newman, Mandy Barnett, Stu Phillips, Jesse McReynolds, Keith Anderson, Connie Smith and Bobby Osborne.
The add-ons were Billy Yates, Buddy Jewell, Ricky Skaggs, Tia Goins and Elizabeth Cook.
Saturday should be another interesting night.....