Friday, April 16, 2010

Grand Ole Opry-December 21, 1968

I am posting one of my classic Grand Ole Opry line-ups. This one is from Saturday night December 21, 1968. At that time, the Opry still only had one show on Saturday night, and the Opry was still at the Ryman Auditorium. This show was also the last show before Christmas, so many of the Opry artists were in town and in fact, many of those artists did Christmas numbers, including Ernest Tubb who did "Blue Christmas." Hank Snow also sang, "Christmas Roses."

The usual pattern for the Opry was for each artist to appear once before 10 and then once after 10. You will notice on this schedule that Marty Robbins was one of the notable exceptions, as he did only the final segment, as was his usual pattern.

And, finally as a special treat, I did some research and came up with the actual song titles that each artist sang that night. (Hopefully I got the spelling right!!). I have a few more of these line-ups, including songs, that I will post in the future. Hope all of you enjoy:

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff(host) "Wabash Cannonball" "Branded Wherever I Go"
Grandpa Jones "Old Towzer" "Think A Little More Of Others & A Lot Less Of Me"
Margie Bowes "Jambalaya"
Ernie Ashworth "You Can't Pick A Rose In December"
Del Wood "Piano Roll Blues"
4 Guys "Delilah"

8:00: Martha White
Tex Ritter(host) "Texas" "Working Man's Prayer"
Jack Greene "Until My Dreams Come True"
Wilburn Brother "We Need Lots More Happiness"
Osborne Brothers "Rocky Top"
Archie Campbell "That Little Boy Of Mine"
Crook Brothers "Black Mountain Rag"

8:30: Stephens
Charlie Louvin(host) "Will You Visit Me On Sundays" "What Are Those Things"
Del Reeves "Girl On The Billboard" "If I Lived Here, I'd Be Home Now"
Jeannie Seely "Little Things" "Welcome Home To Nothing"
George Morgan "Silent Night"
Lonzo & Oscar "Columbus Stockade Blues"

9:00: Luzianne
Ernest Tubb(host) "In The Jailhouse Now" "Blue Christmas"
Bill Monroe "Christmas Time's A Comin"
Stu Phillips "Bring Love Back Into Our World"
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper "I'm Going Home On The Morning Train" "Big Midnight Special"
Charlie Walker "Don't Squeeze My Charmin"
Fruit Jar Drinkers "Old Hen Crackle"
Stringbean "Gonna Make Myself A Name"

9:30: Kelloggs
Hank Snow(host) "I'm Movin On" "Christmas Roses"
Willis Brothers "I'll Be Home For Christmas"
Marion Worth "Shake Me, I Rattle"
Ernie Ashworth "Talk Back Trembling Lips"
Bob Luman "Guitar Man"
Jim & Jesse "Yonder Comes The Freight Train"
Del Wood "12th Street Rag"

10:00: Fender
Tex Ritter(host) "Boll Weevil"
Grandpa Jones "Raining On The Mountain" Now My Love"
Stu Phillips "Juanita Jones"
Margie Bowes "Break My Mind"

10:15: Pure
Roy Acuff(host) "Ball Knob Arkansas"
Wilburn Brothers "Someone Before Me"
Osborne Brothers "Roll On Muddy River"
Archie Campbell "Most Richly Blessed"

10:30: Buckley's
Bill Monroe(host) "Molly Tenbrooks"
Del Reeves "Looking At The World Through A Windshield"
Willis Brothers "Give Me 40 Acres"
Lonzo & Oscar "Movin On #2"

10:45: Kent
Ernest Tubb(host) "Waltz Across Texas"
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely "Love Is No Excuse"
Crook Brothers "Cotton Eyed Joe"
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper "Each Season Changes You"

11:00: Coke
Hank Snow(host); "There's A Fool Such As I" "Christmas Wants"
Jim & Jesse "When The Snow Is On The Roses"
Bob Luman "Memphis"
Fruit Jar Drinkers "Sally Goodin"
Stringbean "Banjo Convention"
Sam McGee "How Great Thou Art"

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins(host) "Devil Woman"
Marion Worth "Almost Persuaded" "Today I Started Loving You Again"
Charlie Walker "White Christmas" "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down"
Bob Bishop "Roses To Reno"

On the final segment, Marty ended it by singing 4 songs: "Ribbon of Darkness" "Begging to You" "Don't Worry" and "El Paso."


  1. What a wonderful bit of history! Thank you!

    As I recall, the Willis Brothers always did the 9:30 segment because they sang the Kellogg's commercials. Also, isn't it strange that George Morgan did only one segment?

  2. By the way, if I counted correctly, 31 members. Granted, it was near Christmas, which is when there usually are a lot of members in. But if that many Opry members showed up on one night now, or if Pete Fisher let that many perform, I think I would faint.

  3. Good point. If that many showed up on one night, he probably wouldn't know how to schedule them!!! It would blow his budget for the night, that is for sure.

    Seriously, I think that the last time a majority of the Opry members were on a single show was the weekend of the Opry's 75th anniversary. I know I was there that weekend, and those were the finest Opry shows I have attended.

    The other comment about the line-up I posted from 1968 was not only the number of artists on the show, but the amount of music being played. Up to 8 songs in a half hour segment and 4 in a 15 minute segment, which didn't leave much time for talking and commercials. Now, if we are lucky, we get 5 to 6 songs during a half hour.