Friday, February 12, 2010

Grand Ole Opry Line-up 2/12/1993 & 2/13/1993

Here is another in our series of classic Grand Ole Opry line-ups from the past. This line-up is from the weekend of February 12 & 13, 1993, which are the same dates as this upcoming weekend. 17 years ago this weekend, there was one show on Friday night, from 7:30-11:00 and two shows on Saturday, 6:30-9:00 and 9:30-12:00. If you are adding up at home, that is eight and a half hours of music over the two days compared to four hours that is taking place this weekend. To put it another way, tonight's Friday Night Opry has 14 artists compared to 29 in 1993. Saturday's Grand Ole Opry also has 14 artists compared to 30 different artists then. Finally, the ticket price for the 1993 show was $16.24 for a prime seat, compared to a ticket cost of $54.00 for a prime seat this weekend!!!! Let's see if this makes sense: a significant higher ticket price and less acts. To me, not a way to run a business!!!

Friday February 12, 1993
7:30 Cracker Barrel: Porter Wagoner(host); Jeanne Pruett, Charlie Walker Mel McDaniel
8:00 Bush Beans/Rudys: Bill Anderson(host); Skeeter Davis; Stonewall Jackson; Jean Shepard
8:30 Opry Tours/Hamburger Helper: Bill Monroe(host); Del Reeves; Connie Smith; Mike Snider
9:00 TNNR/Nabisco: Hank Snow(host); Billy Walker; Jan Howard; The Whites
9:30 Dollar General Stores: Grandpa Jones(host); The 4 Guys; The Carlisles; Ray Pillow; Holly Dunn
10:00 TNN: Jimmy C. Newman(host); Justin Tubb; Smoky Mountain Boys; Boxcar Willie
10:30 Opry Book: Jack Greene(host); Jeannie Seely; George Hamilton IV; Johnny Russell
11:05 Grand Ole Gospel Time: Rev. Jimmy Snow

Saturday February 13, 1993
First Show
6:30 GHS Strings: Boxcar Willie(host); Billy Walker
6;45 Country Music Hall of Fame: Grandpa Jones(host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown
7:00 Shoney's: Bill Monore(host); Ray Pillow; Skeeter Davis; The 4 Guys; Mel McDaniel
7:30 Standard Candy: Jack Greene(host); Riders In The Sky; George Hamilton IV; Holly Dunn
8:00 Martha White: Porter Wagoner(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Smoky Mountain Boys; Connie Smith; Opry Squaredance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30 Kraft: Hank Snow(host); The Whites; Roy Drusky; Jeanne Pruett; Mike Snider

Second Show
9:30 Dollar General Stores: Porter Wagoner(host); Jack Greene; Charlie Walker; Stonewall Jackson; Jan Howard
10:00 Little Debbie Snack Cakes: Grandpa Jones(host); Holly Dunn
10:15 Sunbeam Bread/Tennessee Pride: Bill Monroe(host); Jim Ed Brown
10:30 Grand Ole Opry Tours: Boxcar Willie(host); Jeannie Seely
10:45 B.C. Powder: The 4 Guys(host); The Carlisles; Opry Squaredance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00 Coke: Hank Snow(host); The Whites; Justin Tubb; Riders In The Sky
11:30 TNN: Jimmy C. Newman(host); Roy Drusky; Connie Smith; Johnny Russell

>If you are counting at home, both shows featured all Opry members (if you count the Smoky Mountain Boys).
>The 7:30 portion was televised live by TNN.
>Even though it was only 17 years ago, of the 29 artists on the Friday night show in 1993, only 5 of those artists are on the show tonight. And, of those 29 artists, 5 were members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, compared with 1 Hall of Famer on tonight's show. Finally, on a sad note, of the 29 artists from 1993, 12 of them have passed away.

Life comes at you pretty quick, so take the time to enjoy the legends that are left today.


  1. Great lineup as always. Thanks. I noticed a couple of things that you might like to comment on.

    First, there were some "house" sponsors, such as Opry Tours and TNN. I wonder if we were beginning to see some sponsors backing off.

    Second, that brings me to an important difference. These shows consisted entirely of members, but of course many of the members hadn't had a hit in a long time. So, that got me to thinking about how having a lot more performers meant that if you didn't like, say, Jeanne Pruett, Roy Drusky was coming right up. Today, when there usually are two guests in a 30-minute segment, it means that if there is somebody on who doesn't interest me--and given the number of guest artists, that's common--I know I can get up and leave for about eight minutes. It's a different listening experience in addition to the experience for those in attendance.

    This also would have been one of the last appearances of The Smoky Mountain Boys, since it would have been not long after this that management allowed Oswald and Charlie to continue, with Dan Kelly and Larry McNeely departing.

  2. Thanks Michael for the comments. Just a couple of follow-ups to what you said:

    I was looking back at some of my older Opry programs, and I noticed that even in the 1950's, there were a couple of segments at times that did not have sponsors. Also, if you remember, even into the 1980's, there were still a lot of local Nashville companies that were sponsoring segments. Now, all of the sponsors are national companies, although they still run local spots between segments on WSM. My guess, and you hit on it in your comments, was that this was the period that they really started to go away from the local sponsors to those with national appeal. If I had to guess, I would say that WSM raised the advertising rates high enough that the local companies could not afford to sponsor a segment any longer, and being an Opry sponsor did not mean as much as it once did.

    I also agree with your comments regarding the number of acts per segment. If you remember, when they did the Opry line-up each week, priority was always given to Opry members and they did not schedule any guest artists unless there were slots available after checking with all of the Opry members. Doesn't happen that way any longer.

    And, with The Smoky Mountain Boys, if I have the date right, Brother Oswald became an offical member of the Opry on Saturday January 21, 1995. I know that I was at the Opry that night and they did it during the TNN segment, with Marty Stuart hosting and Porter Wagoner as one of his guests. Boxcar Willie also took part in it. But I know that for a long time before he became an offical member that Brother Oswald and Charlie were guesting on the Opry pretty much each week. Even after he became a member, for a while it he was still listed in the Opry programs as Brother Oswald and Charlie, then over time it became just Bashful Brother Oswald, with Charlie always performing with him.

  3. I remember watching the night he was inducted, and I think Marty was the one who went to Hal Durham and Bob Whittaker to push for him. It was about time! I was nearly in tears. And I'm glad Charlie is still working with Earl White and the Square Dancers.

    It's also a reminder of how the sidemen used to get slots on the Opry--I have seen 1940s programs listing "Bill and Lester," or in Hank Snow's segment Chubby Wise would be listed. I think part of the difference today is that the sidemen aren't so well known or closely associated with one performer, with some exceptions.

  4. The other thing that I remember that night was that during the part of the show where Marty and Porter were doing the offical honors of making Brother Oswald a member, the crowd was sitting and applauding, but nothing special. Boxcar Willie was standing off to the side and started to make hand motions for the audience to stand up which they did, and which they should have done to start with.

    My other comment regarding the various band members having segments, and this would be my first thought, is that even back then the Opry was having some problems filling all of the slots, and instead of asking guests to be on the Opry, which they rarely did in those days, they allowed the artists to feature their band members, and gave them mention in the program.