The Grand Ole Opry finishes up their annual winter run at the Ryman Auditorium this week with one show on Friday night and one show on Saturday night. If you are interested in seeing several of the legends who seldom appear on the Opry, this is your weekend. With many of the Opry stars in Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards on Sunday night and several other Opry members off on the annual Opry Cruise, there were slots available on this week's shows.
Ray Pillow, Stonewall Jackson and Stu Phillips will all be appearing this weekend, along with guests Kathy Mattea, Cherryholmes and Keith Anderson. Colt Ford will be making his first appearance on the Opry.
Next week, the Opry returns to the Grand Ole Opry house with shows featuring Josh Turner, The Oak Ridge Boys, Sandi Patty and many others.
Here is this week's line-up:
Friday January 29
7:00: John Conlee(host); Jimmy C. Newman
7:30: The Whites(host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett
8:00: Jean Shepard(host); Stu Phillips; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Keith Anderson
8:30: Diamond Rio(host); Connie Smith; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
Saturday January 30
7:00: The Whites(host); Connie Smith; Cherryholmes
7:30: Jean Shepard(host); Stonewall Jackson; Jimmy C. Newman; Radney Foster
8:00: John Conlee(host); Ray Pillow; Colt Ford; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson(host); Jack Greene; Kathy Mattea
While the line-up has no real superstars on it, it is still not a bad line-up. I don't know if there is much to appeal to the young "new" country fans of today, but I think that it is a nice traditional line-up that will appeal to many Opry fans. However, when I checked last night and on line this morning, there were plenty of good seats available. I am sure that the lack of superstars and the high price of tickets has something to do with that.
Finally, as all of you have already noticed, no Jimmy Dickens this week. That makes 2 weeks in a row. I have not heard any official word on what his situation is, but at age 89 and the health issues that he has had, we all know he is week to week, at best.