Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tuesday Night Opry 5/11 & Opry Country Classics 5/13

Here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, May11. The show will take place at the Ryman Auditorium and as we saw this weekend, it would appear that some of the Opry's biggest stars are going to be making appearances at the Opry. Over this weekend, we had Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson and on Tuesday we have Martina McBride and George Jones. I will be listening to see how George sounds. From the reports that I read from a friend of mine who saw George in concert recently, his voice was not good at all. I hope that is not the case.

7:00: John Conlee; Joe Diffie
7:30: Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Carolina Chocolate Drops
8:15: Jean Shepard; Martina McBride
8:45: Jimmy Dickens; George Jones

Here is the line-up for Opry Country Classics, Thursday May 13
Host: T. G. Sheppard
Spotlight Artist: Blake Shelton
Also Appearing: Wade Hayes; Gene Watson; Opry Square Dancers; The Whites; Holly Williams.

What is wrong with this line-up? Outside of the square dancers, there is only one act on the show, The Whites, that are members of the Opry. And, this is an Opry sponsored show!!! Also, it is called Opry Country Classics. I can't say that Blake Shelton would fall into the "country classic" definition, but he is the spotlight artist. Originally, I thought this show would feature not only classic country songs, but also classic country artists. This show does have Gene Watson and T. G. Sheppard, but I think it is missing the mark.

On a final note, the Opry has announced the locations of some of its future shows:

Next weekend, May 14 & 15, and next Tuesday May 18, the shows will be at Two Rivers Baptist Church, which is located basically across the parkway from the Opry House. My first thought was that the Opry must really be scrambling to find a location to put on the show on such short notice, but as was pointed out to me, this church seats over 3,000 people and looks very impressive inside based on the picture that was sent to me. (Thanks!!)

The shows on May 22 and June 1 will be at the War Memorial Auditorium.

The rest of the shows through June 3 will be at the Ryman Auditorium.

On a final note, I have noticed that none of the press releases about upcoming shows have mentioned the Wednesday night shows that were planned for this summer. I wonder if those were put on the back burner.


  1. It initially surprised me when I read that the Opry was going to be held at Two Rivers Baptist this weekend, just because this venue hadn't been mentioned as a possibility. However, the more I think about it the more sense it makes. It's in the same area as the Opry House, has more seating capacity than the Ryman, and the Opry after all was famously held in a former church for many years. This may prove to be a nice temporary home for the Opry.

    In the article you posted from the Tennessean, they mentioned rehabilitating or rebuilding the Opry House. Do you think this refers to a total rebuild of the whole building, or localized rebuilding? I would think it would take quiet a bit of damage to justify a total rebuild. I would really hate to see them have to tear down that beautiful building. We tend to focus a lot on the history at the Ryman, but the new Opry House has quiet a bit of history of its own. I am so glad the Grand Circle came out of the flood salvageable. This is a miracle in itself.

    Like you hit on earlier, if anything good can come out of this horrible event in relation to the Opry, maybe it will remind everyone just how much the Opry means to them...both performers and fans. I know I will be buying tickets to come see it real soon after sitting out a couple of years.

  2. I am glad to you considering coming back to see the Opry again. I know that the Opry has undergone lots of changes, and not all for the good, but overall, I think it is still a good show.

    From what I have heard, I don't think they are going to do a total rebuild. Especially considering that they are talking about being back in the Opry House by fall. From what I know about water damage (from my own experience), and what I have heard regarding the damage in the Opry House, a lot of the work that needs done is basically cleaning and sanitizing.

    In the seating area, I would expect that new carpet will have to be laid and I am hearing that they will soon be taking about and starting to clean and restore the pew seats.

    We know that the stage needs a new floor, but backstage is where the real work will need to be done, cleaning and repairing dressing rooms, lockers and floors.

    A lot of the Opry House electrical and sound system wiring was in the ceilings, but I know that lots of it was in the stage area and at ground level. That will probably all have to be replaced.

    Finally, I know that the backdrop was partially underwater as you can tell from the pictures. I would think that might have to be redone.

    Outside, I think you are looking at cleaning and fixing the landscape. I have not heard what was damaged in the Acuff Theater and have not heard what the damage is to the Opry Museum. I think that their first priority is to get the Opry House back up and running.

  3. I do think we have seen in Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson in particular that they have suddenly remembered the place, and good for them. I posted words to that effect on the Opry page on Facebook and someone emailed me off the list to say that wasn't really fair to them. Granted, they were better in their early years than, say, Clint Black ever was. But still, I am disappointed in them, and remain so, notwithstanding my pleasure at seeing them get back in the game.

  4. A couple of notes and observations:

    There are some more photos of the damage inside the Opry House and the Opryland area here:

    Second, I've been a little disappointed in the quality of the Opry Country Classics shows. It's a great concept for a show and there have been some great lineups...but there are some that have been equally as mediocre. Blake Shelton and Aaron Tippin have put out some good records...but "classics" they are not. I sincerely hope they haven't run out of ideas already!

    I was also wondering what had happened to the Wednesday night show...although it never seemed like a good idea to me. If you're having trouble filling the auditorium on Friday and Saturday, what sense does it make to further dilute the product even more by offering additional shows in the middle of the week?

    Finally, if you're a fan of traditional country music, head over to The Record Shop web site is now featuring radio broadcasts from the 50's and 60's that were produced by the U.S. Army and Navy featuring classic country artists. The first one features T. Texas Tyler and is emceed by Ernest Tubb.

  5. Barry: I just got home tonight and saw the pictures. Thanks so much for posting them as they really were impressive. Anytime, please feel free to add more.

    I agree with you on the quality of the Opry Country Classics shows. Recently, they just don't seem to be spotlighting classic performers or their songs. Again, nothing against Blake Shelton, but he is not up to what I would consider a spotlight artist.

    I have listened to the Tubb website and the radio show. I thank them for putting it up.

  6. If they want to have Blake Shelton sing the classic hits that inspired him, that's fine. Two problems:

    1. It's a wonderful opportunity to bring back people like Leroy Van Dyke, as they did a couple of weeks back, and other former and current legendary members to promote what Pete Fisher claims the Opry stands for, which is the combination of old and new.

    2. I have a problem with T.G. Sheppard hosting. Yes, the old Prince Albert shows used to have guest hosts who weren't Opry members. But I would have objected to it then and object to it now.

  7. Agree!! An Opry member should be hosting an Opry show. There are enough Opry members who do an excellent job hosting that this should not be an issue. Larry Gatlin does an excellent job, as have Marty Stuart, Vince Gill, Lorrie Morgan, Steve Wariner and Opry legends Jeannie Seely, Jim Ed Brown and even Mike Snider. My guess is that they are going after a "name" performer.

    Finally, I listened to the Tuesday Night Opry last night, particularly George Jones. He did three songs, and while his voice sounded hoarse, it sounded better than the last time he was on the Opry. He also seemed to be pretty motivated last night and sounded like he had lots of energy.