Ok, the Opry has made another adjustment on the schedule. The latest is that Jimmy Dickens will indeed be hosting the first segment on Friday night, and that Riders In The Sky will only appear on the second show. I know it is a small thing, but you would hope that they could get it right on the website.
It took a while, but I think I finally got the right line-up for this weekend's Grand Ole Opry shows. When you look at the line-up that is posted on Opry.com, it has changed a few times over the past several days and they have Jimmy Dickens listed twice for the first show on Friday. I called the Opry today and asked them what was the right line-up and why they cannot keep the website updated, as I am sure some people do check it for the line-up before making plans to come to town.
This week, the Opry is taking part in the "Sound & Speed" weekend that is taking place at the convention center in town. There are NASCAR racers scheduled as guest announcers for the Friday night shows, and because of the race fans in town, there are two shows for Friday night, with the second show being the highlighted show for the weekend. That show features Hank Williams Jr., making a rare Opry appearance, along with his daughter Holly, and Vince Gill. Kyle Petty is also featured on both shows, and to be honest, I did not know he could sing. I guess I will find out.
It will be a tough weather weekend for the race fans as there is snow and very cold weather in Nashville. Schools were cancelled on Thursday and are already closed on Friday. The wind chills are supposed to be below zero Friday night and into the day on Saturday. But, in talking to the Opry earlier today, tickets are almost sold out for both Friday night shows.
Now for the line-ups:
Friday January 8
7:00: Jimmy Dickens(host); The Whites, Jason Michael Carroll
7:30: Mike Snider(host); Greg Biffle(Guest Announcer); George Hamilton IV; Jean Shepard, Danny Gokey
8:00: John Conlee(host); Jamie McMurray(Guest Announcer); Jack Greene; Jim Ed Brown; Chris Young
8:30: Bill Anderson(host); Miss Sprint Cup(Guest Announcer); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Kyle Petty
9:30: Mike Snider(host); Jim Ed Brown; Danny Gokey
10:00: Bill Anderson(host); Jeannie Seely; Holly Williams; Kyle Petty
10:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Michael Waltrip(Guest Announcer); Hank Williams, Jr.
11:00: Vince Gill(host); Riders In The Sky; Chris Young
Saturday January 9
7:00: Jimmy Dickens(host); Connie Smith; The Whites
7:30: John Conlee(host); Jean Shepard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Chris Young
8:00: Riders In The Sky(host); Jan Howard; The Grascals; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Jeannie Seely; Rodney Crowell
Just a couple of comments:
>I asked the questions several times, "are you sure Jimmy Dickens isn't hosting a segment during the first show on Friday?", and the reply each time was no, he was scheduled for the first segment with Riders In The Sky hosting. I don't know what is up with that, but I will try to find out and maybe there will be an update on Friday.
>I did notice that Jimmy will be working late on Friday night as he is hosting the 10:30 segment, which for him, is very late. His only guest is Hank Williams, Jr, and perhaps that had something to do with it. Hank is appearing as part of the Sound & Speed weekend, and that is probably when the exhibits and such close at the convention center and that was probably when they could book him into the Opry. We all know that Jimmy and Hank, Jr are friends and fishing buddies, so that could have been a request on their part to appear together. I am also somewhat suprised that Holly Williams is not on that segment with her dad. Lots of times the Opry will do that.
I do have a Hank Williams Jr. story to tell. He appeared on the Opry on Saturday night, February 16, 2002, in a segment hosted by Porter Wagoner and featuring Travis Tritt as a guest. That segment was televised and I was at that show, which was at the Ryman. I remember that the doors were late in opening, because they were still rehearsing the television segment. People were really crowded into the lobby of the Ryman and many standing outside. I was toward the front, by the side entrance for those who know the Ryman. When they opened the doors into the auditorium, I went upstars to the balcony, just to check things out. There is a refreshment stand up there and a door beside it, that has stairs that lead down to the backstage area of the Ryman. As I was standing by that door, it opened and Hank Jr and Merle Kilgore came walking out. I have got to tell you, I don't know how many of you have stood next to Hank Jr., but with those big cowboy boots on and that cowboy hat, he was about the biggest man I have ever seen. I did say hi to him and he was pretty nice in responding. Merle on the other hand, did not say too much, but kept Hank moving towards the upstairs backstage area, where they did the television interview. But, Hank was nice and said hi and shook hands.
There you have it for this coming weekend. Stay warm and enjoy.