Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Opry Notes

Just a couple of notes in looking at the various news stories:

Gaylord Entertainment announced today that it will hold a conference call on Friday May 7, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. to update shareholders and other constituents on the impact of the flood damage experienced at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and the Company's other Nashville-based facilities earlier this week.

As a shareholder, I will watch this webcast, as I am sure they will be discussing their plans on reopening the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and also regarding the Grand Ole Opry House. I also know that they still are going to have their annual stockholders meeting, so I am sure more information will come out of that.

In looking at the Opry website, they are still listing future shows at the Opry House. Obviously, they are still trying to figure out where future shows are going to be held. Also, they are entering a period where only one show was scheduled on Saturday night, and I am sure they will also be looking at that, to see if it is feasible to go to two shows every Saturday night or even on some Friday nights. With the Ryman significantly smaller than the Opry House, they may do that to maximize the attendance. Looking at who as committed for future shows, you have folks such as Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner and of course the big 85th anniversary kick-off show.

The last word that I have heard is that everything backstage at the Opry House is pretty much ruined. That would include all the dressing rooms, musical instruments, the stage costumes that various Opry stars had stored in their lockers, along with the sound equipment and the backdrop. Water filled the entire lower level up to the last four rows.

Finally, I look for the Opry and Pete Fisher to try to commit to a date to return to the Opry House as soon as they can. I would also expect the Opry to fully use the return to the Opry House as a very special event, maybe even calling it a homecoming, or a grand reopening of the Opry House, with many Opry stars returning for the opening night's show in a show of support for the Opry. Maybe they can get GAC involved since it would be such a special event. I know that I am going to make every effort to be there that night when they do return.

I also look for them to use this as a reason to maybe do some more updates inside the Opry House and to improve and update some of the interior of the Opry House. Items such as new carpeting, some new pews, and maybe even update the backdrop again. I am sure they are formulating their plans.

Those are just some of my thoughts.


  1. Agreed, it will be time for a celebration when they get back into their digs.

    I think it's a travesty that so much has been lost. Bill Anderson had the great line that there was a flood in 1975 and everybody said, it will never happen again. Well .... Why don't we all learn?

  2. Not regarding the Opry, but have you heard anything about Marty Stuart's collection in storage - was it damaged as well?

  3. That is a great question. I have not heard anything about Marty's collection and to be honest, I don't know where he keeps it. I do know that Brad Paisley lost a lot of his equipment and instruments in the flood. I do know that Marty's collection is the largest of any private collector.

  4. I'm still in shock over the picture I saw of the front row (center) seats that we enjoyed Friday night under water! We left Nashville just in time late Sunday morning via what appeared to be one of the last roads out of the downtown area to the North.

  5. Jim: I am glad you had great seats and enjoyed the show on Friday night. I am curious, what was the crowd like on Friday night and were there any of the performers that stood out to you. I know you said that you were a big Sarah Buxton fan.

    I always enjoy the eyewitness reports, to fill in what we cannot see when listening to it on the radio.

  6. Well, I was surprised at the relatively large size of the crowd. Approx 90% of the floor seats were full, 50% of the first balcony, and about 0% of the 2nd balcony. Strange thing happened when we arrived 5 minutes before the show started... Somebody was sitting in our seats and I walked by flashing my tickets saying "Section 4, Row DD, seats 5&6?". No response. I handed my tickets to a nearby usher and she vacated our seats for us. Whoever took them started walking towards the back of the floor (obviously not a mistake on their part). That is the 2nd time that has happened to us. Last time it was 1st Row balcony seats at the Ryman. Anyway, we enjoyed the view of the stage much more than 1st row floor at the Ryman where you are looking almost strait up(when they take out the 1/2 circle steps and add 2 more rows only 2 feet from the edge of stage).

    Of course Sarah Buxton and her partner Jedd Hughes will always be our best memory of the night. They were signing Sarah's new CD and taking pictures in the gift shop before the show. Sarah's record label shut down right after she got her first CD released and she now seems to be promoting herself and Jedd as a duo. Inviting Jedd along to the Opry, they sang 2 duets, one "Big Blue Sky" off the CD, the other a new one "Endless Summer" that the two of them just wrote.

    It was our first time seeing Jim Ed Brown and we were struck by how personable he was (still sounds great by the way). He would come to the very edge of the stage during commercials to pose for photographs.

    Mike Snider is just as funny to "watch" as he is to listen too. He walks around the stage with a constant grin on his face. He seemed to be struck by last minute fill-in guest Mandy Barnett (of “Always … Patsy Cline” show fame)during his segment. He never took his eyes off her (from his vantage point on the piano bench)the whole time she sang. She is very pretty and was wearing a nice red dress.

  7. There was one other thing I forgot to mention that made the show special for us. After the first couple of performances, I recalled that I had an announcement that I had written down to give to an usher in the hopes that Eddie Stubbs would read it. I handed it to a younger gal asking "is it to late to get an announcement request turned in?" She seemed VERY happy to take it from me... I wondered if it meant that she got to go backstage during the show to turn it in? Anyway, we were thrilled when Eddie said "Jim & Jacqie of Cedar Rapids, Iowa are with us tonight celebrating their 5th Wedding Anniversary"... To which Jim Ed said, "Speaking of Iowa...." can't wait to get the recording of the show when it gets uploaded to WSM-Online.

  8. Thanks so much for the report. Sounds like a great time. I agree with what you said about Jim Ed Brown and Mike Snider. I think people who do not go to the Opry don't realize how funny he is during the commercial segments and even when other artists are on stage. And, to me it is amazing how great Jim Ed sounds at his age. He has really taken care of his voice.

    Mandy Barnett is one of my favorites. Everytime I have seen her on the Opry, she has always looked stunning. And, she has such a great voice. I have never understood why she has not made it in this business. At least she will always have steady work as Patsy Cline.

    And you are right about the view from the front row of the Ryman. You are really looking up. My only complaint at sitting down front is that sometimes the music is so loud that you cannot hear the announcements and some of the talking.

    So glad you had a good time and what a great thing that Eddie read your announcement.