Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grand Ole Opry Line-Up 4/16 & 4/17--Updated

A couple of changes already and we are only at Thursday. Jan Howard and Daryle Singletary have been added on to Friday night and Jesse McReynolds is out. Also, Daryle Singletary has also been added to the 1st show on Saturday night. There is still a slot to fill on the 2nd Saturday show.

Before I post this weekend's Grand Ole Opry line-ups, just a couple of notes regarding the Tuesday Night Opry and Opry Country Classics. Jesse McReynolds was originally scheduled for Tuesday night but cancelled out and Stu Phillips was originally scheduled for Opry Country Classics on Thursday night but has cancelled. Jesse is scheduled for this weekend's Friday Night Opry so he would appear to be fine, but I know that the last time Stu was on the Opry, his voice was pretty bad. I don't know if that is why he cancelled or if something else was up.

Regarding this weekend's Opry shows, there is definitely a strong pressence of bluegrass music with Ralph Stanley, Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne and Daily & Vincent scheduled. You also have Marty Stuart, who has been known to play a bluegrass number now and then. Also this weekend, Diamond Rio will be celebrating 12 years as Opry members, as they officially joined the Opry on April 18, 1998.

A couple of other items about this weekend's shows have caught my eye. For the 2nd show on Saturday night, Jimmy Dickens is on a later time slot. Also, you will notice that Connie Smith is not on the same segments as Marty Stuart. Since their marriage, just about every time both have been on the Opry, it has been during the same segments. And, they have done a pretty good job at mixing up the line-ups on Saturday night. Finally, there are still a couple of slots to fill, with 1 on Friday night and 1 for each of the Saturday shows.

With that, here are this weekend's line-ups:

Friday April 16
7:00: Jeannie Seely(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Ralph Stanley
730: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jan Howard; Daryle Singletary
8:15: Diamond Rio(host); Stonewall Jackson; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:45: Bill Anderson(host); Jack Greene; Dailey & Vincent

Saturday April 17
First Show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Ricky Skaggs(host) The Whites; Connie Smith
8:00: John Conlee(host); Jean Shepard; Ralph Stanley; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Marty Stuart(host); Jim Ed Brown; Dailey & Vincent

Second Show
9:30: John Conlee(host); Ralph Stanley; Daryle Singletary
10:00: Marty Stuart(host); Jean Shepard; Dailey & Vincent
10:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Ray Pillow; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ricky Skaggs(host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites

Finally, one more observation from my visit last week to the Opry. Martha White is no longer sponsoring a segment, even with the 2 shows on Saturday night. For a while, they were sponsoring one of the last two segments on the Friday night show. Also, if you notice during the broadcast, they are no longer doing a Martha White commercial during segments, like they were doing previously when Martha White was not sponsoring. The Martha White display is still up in the lobby of the Opry House. It makes me wonder if they only use Martha White as a sponsor if they do not have a full complement of "sustaining" sponsors, or if something else again is going on.


  1. This will sound weird, but here goes. I had the feeling that the Opry tried to drive out sponsors so they could go to the "presenting" and "partner" sponsors, and that the cost was beyond what Martha White wanted to pay (since it's part of Pillsbury, I believe, it isn't as if there is no money to work with). But I was amazed at the number of longtime sponsors pushed out. Coke had been sponsoring a segment for 48 years when it went away. I know that the line was, this is a different approach to marketing. Frankly, I had the feeling that the management didn't want to go to the trouble of dealing with that many sponsors and segments. It's sad because the commercials are themselves an important part of the Opry. And it's especially interesting in Martha White's case because Rhonda Vincent should be a member.

  2. As far as you comments Mike, I agree with what you are saying. I think that the Opry presented these sponsors with an "all or nothing" proposal: either become a presenting sponsor or not a sponsor at all. And not only did they lose Martha White and Coke, but also Shoney's, Standard Candy, and Tennessee Pride. In the case of Martha White, I would come to the conclusion that they agreed to come back on a short-term basis until another presenting sponsor was found. That would have been Dollar General.

    Also, all the advertisers they have now are tied in to different promotions with the Opry. Dollar General and Cracker Barrel give away gift cards during the show and have Opry related contests, or contests related to Opry members, such as Dollar General did with Trace Adkins. And, I think Bass Pro Shops is involved with Mike Snider's show. In the case of Martha White, they have always been one of the big sponsors of the Opry's birthday celebration, so it will be interesting to see if they are still a part of it this year.

    Right now between Opry segments, WSM and in the Opry House, they are playing commercials for the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Williams Family Exhibit.

    I always enjoyed the show having both 15 and 30 minute segments as I think it added some variety to the show, with the different hosts, etc. But, I also think some of the issues were that many of the sponsors were regional based and not nationally based (Coke being an exception.) i think that the Opry is still trying to get that national appeal and with national sponsors, when they promote with them, they are getting the word out about the Opry to those who may not be able to listen to it each week.

    Finally, as a FYI, Smuckers now owns Martha White. At their Smuckers Shop in Orrville, Ohio, they have a big Martha White bluegrass exhibit, featuring among others, Rhonda Vincent, who as much as I would love to see an Opry member, at this point I just don't see it happening. I hope that I am wrong.

  3. Agree that they pushed out longtime advertisers to get to this point where they only have all or nothing presenting sponsers. Standard Candy was the one that I hated to see go. It was always a fun half hour. I will always remember the Goo Goo Twins, Hairl and Harold a few years back reading the commercials. You would have thought they could have made some room for the more localized sponsers like Standard Candy, but it all is in the money, isn't it?

    In regards to Martha White, they tried to hang in as a all or nothing associate sponser for a year or two, I believe, before they bit the dust for several months before coming back on a irregular basis the last year or so.

  4. Thanks for the comments, and sorry I screwed up on who owns dear old Martha!