Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Grand Ole Opry Line-Up 3/19 & 3/20

Here are the line-ups for this week's shows at the Grand Ole Opry. Looking at the Friday Night Opry and the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night, all 3 shows have pretty good line-ups. There are also some Opry members on this weekend's shows that we haven't seen much at the Opry recently, including Pam Tillis, Trace Adkins and Vince Gill.

Friday March 19
7:00: Marty Stuart(host); John Conlee; Riders In The Sky; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Ricky Skaggs
8:15: Pam Tillis(host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Mike Snider
8:45: Vince Gill(host); Jaron & The Long Road To Love; Gene Watson

Saturday March 20
First Show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Easton Corbin
7:30: Pam Tillis(host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; John Conlee
8:00: Ricky Skaggs(host); Ray Pillow; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider(host); Jeannie Seely; Jack Greene; Trace Adkins

Second Show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jim Ed Brown; Easton Corbin
10:00: Pam Tillis(host); John Conlee; Mike Snider
10:30: Ricky Skaggs(host); Stu Phillips; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill(host); Jeannie Seely; Trace Adkins

It is nice to see some variety in who is hosting segments. Personally, I think when Pam Tillis is hosting she does a very nice job introducing the acts and keeping the segment moving. It is also nice that they have a good mix of artists on all 3 shows, with some up and coming new talent, some veteran Opry artists, some stars and even some legends, which makes me say that it is nice to see Ray Pillow and Stu Phillips on this weekend. Meanwhile, the Opry is still having an intermission on Fridy night, but nothing during the Saturday night shows. I guess on Saturday management feels that the fans can walk to the concession stands during those show!!!

Here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, March 23
7:00: Jimmy Dickens; Connie Smith
7:30: Jack Greene; Trace Adkins
8:15: Joey + Rory; Luke Bryan; Gloriana
(This last segment is 1 hour).

That's right, only 7 artists on the Tuesday Night Opry. And, that is not all. The last hour of the Tuesday Night Opry is being taped by GAC for a special that will air on Thursday April 1st at 10:00pm. Trace Adkins will host this show and during the taping, the winners in the fan-voted Top New Artist categories at the ACM Awards will receive their trophies. Luke Bryan will receive the Top New Solo Artist award, Gloriana will get the Top New Vocal Group award and Joey + Rory will receive the Top New Duo award. So instead of getting a full Tuesday Night Opry, the fans will basically be getting a one-hour Opry and then a one-hour television taping of an awards show. Maybe I am old-fashioned, but the Opry should be the Opry and about the Opry. And, the taping doesn't even involve any Opry artists!!!! Of course, I hope management doesn't go off and do something stupid like asking one of these newcomers to be an Opry member during this special. That would take the cake!!!

Finally, here is the line-up for this seasons first Opry Country Classics on Thursday March 23:
This show will be "A Salute to the Statler Brothers" and starts at 7:00.
Host: Larry Gatlin
Artists: Daily & Vincent; Jimmy Fortune; The Gatlin Brothers; Eric Heatherly; Jan Howard; Charlie Louvin; Opry Square Dancers; Wilson Fairchild.

A pretty good line-up. It would be great if any of the original Statler Brothers would come in and make a special appearance. But, if the show follows its usual pattern, the artists they are honoring, if still alive, will not be there. At least everyone who is on the show has some connection to the Brothers.

Enjoy the shows this week.


  1. there aren't intermissions for the saturday shows because there wouldn't be enough time for staff to clean up and transition between first and second shows, unless they changed the starting times

  2. You mentioned connections to the artists. Our trivia question: on what recording did Jan Howard sing with the Statler Brothers?

  3. On the original Johnny Cash song, "Daddy Sang Bass", Johnny Cash sang the lead vocals, Jan Howard sang the line, "momma sang tenor", and the Statler Brothers sang the line, "And me and little brother would join right in there".

    And Jan Howard was a frequent member of Johnny Cash's road show for many years, although not during the period that the Statler Brothers were part of the road show.

  4. Well done! As I recall, June was pregnant or had just given birth to John Carter, so they called in Jan. It was fun to hear the Statlers record it themselves, with Harold doing Johnny's part and Lew doing, "Mama sang tenor." Flatt and Scruggs also did it with Paul Warren singing bass and Curly Seckler singing tenor.

    By the way, on the Opry Warmup Show, Mike Terry mentioned Vince Gill would be on the second show, and why. In the grand tradition of Marty Robbins coming from the race track, Vince is a Nashville Predators hockey nut, and there's a game tonight. Terry said Vince might just be wearing a Predators jersey. If Vince wants to come in each Saturday night when he's home after the hockey game ... great!

  5. Great memory on June Carter and Jan. Listening to the record so many times, Jan was the perfect voice for it.

    Listening to the Opry tonight and Jimmy Dickens sounded really shaky and at first, just didn't seem to have much enthusiasm in his voice. Also, when he was talking, it seemed at times that he didn't have the microphone up to his mouth. You could hardly here him.

  6. I had the impression that the microphone wasn't working right, but I could be wrong.

    By the way, I am typing this as Earl White and Charlie Collins are playing "Tomahawk." Earl has a website and some CDs, and I'd really like to recommend

  7. I was at the Opry tonight and at the beginning they didn't have him turned up, then they turned him up. He was hoarse though. He was bouncing around like a daisy on stage though, spending a lot of time walking back and forth on the edge of the stage. Seemed to be feeling good, he is just gonna be hit and miss on the voice, depending on what night you see him.

    Other notes: The House was about 80% full for the 1st show. Thought Easton Corbin was pretty good. I could have done without the guest announcers. They wasted a lot of time talking and acting like they were somebody important. I'm just getting less and less tolerable of the time wasted on dedications, guest announcers, etc. John Conlee left his Rose Colored Glasses out in the vehicle but went ahead and did the song anyway. Good to see Ray Pillow get a spot.
    Buck White squaredanced with the Dancers. Trace Adkins rounded out a very nice show tonight.

  8. The show sounded pretty good listening to it last night. I was also glad to hear Ray Pillow, and he still sounds pretty good. The crowd sounded pretty enthusiastic also. I have often thought that they should mic the crowd more, and add more excitment to those listening at home. Many times, you can hardly hear the crowd and it sounds dead in there.

    Glad to hear the good report on Jimmy Dickens.

  9. I remember old-timers saying that WSM management used to remind everyone that there was a show going on in the house and they had to keep everybody interested. So, during the RC segment, Oswald or Oscar Sullivan usually wound up being picked up and dumped in the RC cooler and Mr. Acuff would do yoyo routines. It makes for a better show for everybody. The last real interaction, it seems to me, was when Hairl Hensley would call for the audience to sing, "Go get a goo-goo!" We need more of that.

    Ray Pillow sounded good. Stu Phillips doesn't have as much voice, but he came across all right. Vince likes to joke around with the audience, and of course went over big. I would like to see Pam Tillis there more often. Minnie Pearl once said that Pam Tillis had the best natural comic timing of anyone she had seen in years.

  10. I know now that when they do the commercials there is no interaction at all with the audience except when they give away the Dollar General and Cracker Barrel gift cards, but even then there is no audience participation. About the most you get now is Mike Snider joking with the audience during the commercials and making fun of the commercials. Riders In The Sky do the same thing, with Too Slim putting his cowboy hat on Eddie Stubbs.

  11. I also wanted to post another comment regarding the older Opry stars. It is a tough decision for an artist to make, that maybe he or she is past their prime and needs to retire. I always think to Roy Acuff and how frail he was at the end. To be honest, from a performing standpoint, he really had no business being on the Opry at the end. He was blind and his voice was gone.

    But, after 55 years on the Opry and his love for the Opry, he deserved to make that decision himself and not be forced off the stage. For those of us who were there during his final Saturday night Opry show, and his duet with Bill Anderson, we consider that one of the most special moments in Opry history. My concern is that the younger fans of the Opry see him on stage and that is their opinion and impression of him; that who is this old man and why all the fuss about him being so great.

    I bring this up because in many ways, you see the same thing with Jimmy Dickens. His health is day-to-day and his voice is mostly shot. But, whether or not he performs on the Opry is his decision and not for others. He has earned that. Nobody at the Opry should force him off the stage. But, I would hope that when the time comes, he makes the right decision and does what is best.

    Bill Monroe and Grandpa Jones had strokes at the Opry and literally had to be carried off the Opry stage at the end. Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb realized that they were doing the Opry no good and chose to retire on their own, because they both knew that they could not deliver their best performance any longer. It makes me sad that Stu Phillips is another who's voice is leaving him.

    I know that they are the history of the Opry. I just hope that they and others don't continue to the point that they are harming the show and no longer helping the Opry.

  12. The answer for Jimmy is do comedy only when is voice is bad. The Opry needs comedy and he fills that need. Maybe he sings on night one of a 3 show weekend and only does comedy the other shows. He still has a lot to offer, even if it is just personality and jokes.

    Agree on Stu Phillips though.

    BTW just heard Ralph with a commerical on RFD and Jimmy Dickens is on at 7 ET Monday on RFD on Ralph Emery Live 3/22.

  13. I follow what you say about knowing when to quit. To be fair, though, someone who came to the Opry that night and heard Acuff for the first time probably wasn't going to be that impressed any which way--probably would just see him as an old man as opposed to a legend. But it's hard to make a rule. For example, I hate to say it of someone who was a fine singer at one time and is no longer with us, but the first time we heard David Houston on the Opry after a few years, we had to turn down the sound. He just couldn't carry a tune any more, and he was fairly young in comparison.

    By the way, if I am correct, Ernest Tubb was on an oxygen tank and finally his doctors told him he couldn't perform any more. Hank Snow last played the Opry about three years before his death, and there were reports that he suffered from dementia, especially in his last year. How much of their not performing was their decision and how much was doctors and family pushing the issue, I don't know.

    Speaking of which, here's some interesting trivia. Jimmie Rodgers Snow, Hank's minister son, and wife Dottie divorced. His first wife was Carol Lee Cooper. Dottie is the daughter of the old Opry team of Radio Dot and Smokey. She has remarried ... Glenn Douglas Tubb, Ernest's nephew and the writer of "Skip a Rope," among other songs.

  14. Jimmie Rodgers Snow, in my opinion, is one of the true characters left in Nashville. I know he wrote a book early on, and I have a copy of it and it is very interesting, but I would love for him to write another one, or even if someone else would write a biography on him. There is certainly enough material to fill several volumes.

    Back when he had his church, I visited it once when in Nashville. This was during the period when it was considered the church of the "stars", and it was an experience.

    I do wish him luck on this marriage. He has got to be past 70 now. I still think he is living in Hank Snow's old house, but then I also heard that he may have lost that in the divorce from Dottie. If someone knows for sure, please let me know.

  15. There was a documentary that I read about on the Snows and, well, let's just say that Hank didn't come off too well as a father and husband. I remember chuckling to myself when I read his autobiography and he said he had a weakness for pretty women--and Minnie Pearl's great line that she saw a lot of country singers play around on the road and never saw one who had to go out looking for women. I also noticed that Hank Snow made it a point to plug the Carol Lee Singers a lot on the Opry--Carol Lee is the mother of at least one granddaughter of his.

    Jimmie would have just turned 74. Wouldn't that be ironic! Dottie and Glenn Tubb living at Rainbow Ranch!

  16. I remember the documentary. It was called "Hank & Jimmy; A Story of Country". It was a Canadian show that was part of a series called, A View From Here. I have not seen it and actually talked to the producer of the show a year or so ago, and he was trying to locate a print at a reasonable price. Also, I talked to the folks at Canadian Public Television (or whatever it is called), and they remember the program, but do not have a copy of it.

    I had heard the same thing, that it was a real honest loook at Hank, and that the family did interviews for this show, and you are right Michael, Hank does not come off very well in this show.

    You are right about Hank always taking a shine to Carol Lee. I also remember a few years back when Hank was still alive and Carol Lee had a Sunday night interview show on WSM, and Hank was on it for the whole hour. This was after Hank no longer appeared on the Opry and it was taped at his home. I remember listening to it and he sounded pretty good and sharp during the show.

    Like I said in the other post, I would love to have another book written by Jimmie, and one that would give a good honest view of Hank, but also of the Nashville music scene from the 1960's. I think it would be very interesting.