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
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
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.