Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grand Ole Opry Line-Up 1/29 & 1/30

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.


  1. I noticed that on both nights, there is room on the first segment for The Potato to come in and host, so I have the feeling whatever it is, he could well be fine by the weekend. We hope! But in honor of your comment, I will mention a legend and an idol of mine in a different field, Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, who once noted that an injured player was listed as day-to-day and said, "Aren't we all?"

  2. Love that comment about one of my favorite broadcasters. But, Mike, I have to admit that living in Ohio and growing up a Tiger's fan, Ernie Harwell is my favorite. But I will say that I think that the baseball announcers of years past were much better than most of the ones out there today.

  3. We agree on a lot besides the Opry! Harwell is one of my favorites, too, and as great a broadcaster as he was, he is also teaching a lot about how to live as he is dying. Now for the trivia: Harwell did Brooklyn Dodger games in 1948 and 1949 and left for the New York Giants--more air time. Red Barber needed a new partner for himself and Connie Desmond and chose as the #3 announcer a recent Fordham graduate. That's how Vin came to the Dodgers.

  4. I don't know if you have read the new book that is out about Vin Scully. I just read it from the library and it is written by Curt Smith, who has written other great baseball broadcasting books. If you haven't read it, try to get it. I found it a great book. And, yes, I will tell you that outside of the Opry and classic country music, baseball is my next hobby, especially following the history of the game up until about the late 70's.

  5. Now, back to the Opry. Nashville is supposed to get up to 5 inches of snow today and more tonight, maybe even up to 10 inches. With that kind of weather, I would expect a lot of empty seats at the Ryman this weekend and also some no-shows among some of the artists scheduled. I know some, like Jimmy C. Newman, live in the outlining areas of town. Having been in Nashville while it has been snowing, it is not a fun place to be. I will be listening tonight as it could be an interesting show.

  6. Yes, I think it will be interesting tonight too and I will be listening too. The snow has apparently already started there. And, with the decreased numbers of entertainers on the shows nowadays, a thin 13 acts tonight, they might really be scratching for someone to fill the time. I remember in the past, it has been a while, they had to use the Staff Band to entertain, the Carol Lee Singers to sing and whatever they could find to fill spots. . .and those were the days when 25-30 acts were scheduled!

  7. First, the Opry. I remember a Nashville Now on which Ralph talked about how snowy it was, and he said to prove it, before the show, he was listening to Hairl Hensley do the Friday Night Opry Warmup and on the air he got calls from Dottie West and Stonewall Jackson saying they couldn't get in to the Opry--and Ralph said if Stonewall couldn't get there, it was snowing badly.

    On to baseball. The biography of Vin was a Christmas present, and I loved it while at the same time I wished for a better book, which may not have been possible--Vin is very private and didn't talk with the author about anything personal. I also got Colin Escott's book on the Opry, which I enjoyed, and Bruce Weber's As They See Them, about umpires--I recommend that one, too.