Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Random Opry Thoughts

Good Evening, and sorry for the lack of posts this week. I am taking some vacation time and hopefully will be headed to the Carter Fold this weekend for the Saturday night show. I will post the weekly Opry line-up tomorrow, along with my thoughts, but I wanted to take a few minutes and just give my opinion on a couple of Opry items that have been on my mind:

Is is just me, or has everyone else noticed that since they had the Tuesday Night Opry with Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and Steve Wariner to kick of the Opry's 85th birthday celebration, there has been basically nothing else said? Also, as of today, still no artists announced for the Opry's birthday weekend in October.

Also, the birthday concert this year will feature Mike Snider and T. Bubba Bechtol. After having artists such as Ronnie Milsap, Lorrie Morgan and The Gatlins the past several years, this is a comedown. This used to be one of the best bargins of the weekend, but know, I don't know.

I am becoming more and more concerned with the health of Jimmy Dickens. We all know that he is week-to-week, but his voice has been pretty bad the past several weeks. I just remember how it ended for Roy Acuff and would hate to see it happen the same way for Jimmy.

The Opry is still saying that they will return to the Opry House on October 1, but I am starting to wonder. I know they don't want to make definite plans until they know for sure, but at some point, they have to announce something. I still hope that somehow it gets pushed back to the birthday weekend.

And, speaking again of the birthday weekend, it looks like it could be a weak line-up unless they pull something out of their hat. From looking at various websites, many of the Opry's big guns have scheduled tour dates for that weekend, including of all people, Jimmy Dickens. I guess that the birthday weekend doesn't hold the attention like it used to.

It looks like to me that the Opry is going to have just one show on Saturday night from this point on, except for some special weekends. I have to admit that I do enjoy hearing the archive shows on WSM after the live Opry. Last week, the segment featured Ernest Tubb as the host.

But, it just doesn't seem right on Saturday night to have the Opry ending at 9:00.

I am concerned with the lower attendance for the Opry shows at the Ryman. I know that the tourist and convention business in Nashville is way down, but I would have expected the Opry to do a bit more marketing than it has been doing. They can't survive for long with only 1,000 people for each show.

And, speaking of the Opry House, it looks like that if the Opry House opens in October as planned, the Opry will only be there for one month, and then it will be back to the Ryman for its winter run. I am sure they will work hard to cash in that month.

Best of wishes to Charlie Louvin on his surgery. It will be rough, but he is committed to returning to the stage in August. Hopefully, they caught it in time. And, speaking of Charlie, it is still shameful that he only did one song during his last Opry appearance.

I am encouraged that Carrie Underwood continues to make regular Opry appearances. Also, it's nice to see more of Joe Diffie and Emmylou Harris at the Opry this year. But, it is still missing in action for Clint Black, Garth Brooks, Tom T. Hall, Alison Krauss, Reba and Dolly, all who haven't found the Opry yet this year.

As much as I hate the change, I kind of enjoyed the Midnight Jamboree being taped at 10pm. I watched the live webcast as it was being taped last Saturday, with Bill Anderson as the host and I have got to say that the quality of the broadcast was pretty good. And, Bill looked and sounded great. I really enjoy his new CD, Songwriter.

I saw that Hal Ketchum is scheduled for an upcoming Opry show. He had announced that he was taking the year off, but I am glad he is coming back for the Opry. He has really supported the show over the past several years.

Oh, and have you noticed that Carrie Underwood gets a full half hour again on Tuesday night? That almost is a given anymore.

Have you noticed that since Craig Morgan became an Opry member, his appearances have really dropped?

Also, is it just me, or are there others who are getting tired of Mike Snider hosting segments on almost every Opry show he is on? I like Mike and he is funny, but I would love to see some other Opry members as a host. Ray Pillow did a fine job several weeks ago. And, have you noticed that Jimmy C. Newman seems to have been dropped out of the rotation of hosts?

Don't you think it is time for a new Opry member? I think Rhonda Vincent, Gene Watson or the Oak Ridge Boys would make great additions. But, why do I think Pete Fisher will choose Darius Rucker or Chris Young as the next member?

And, don't you just hate it when the Opry and their website go out of the way to promote a new CD or product by a non-Opry member, such as Darius Rucker this week, while ignoring great new CD's by current Opry members, such as Charlie Louvin's new project that is getting great reviews by everyone?

It just seems like Opry membership is not as important as it once was to be on the Opry. Many non-members seem to be on many more times as current members. Can we say Chris Young or Mandy Barnett?

I am glad to see Vince Gill and Patty Loveless back on the Opry this weekend. I have to admit that Vince is one of my favorite male singers. I don't think anyone does a ballad better than Vince. And, Patty is just awesome. What a voice she has. I wish she would do the Opry more.

Until next time...........


  1. Wonderful post, wonderful comments. A cent or two myself:

    --I think one of the motivations for having Mike Snider host is that he is less likely to run over than, say, Jimmy Dickens. If The Potato comes to the 28:30 mark and is in the midst of a song, he usually keeps singing. Snider can cut off the string band, etc. But I resent that Newman is not in the host rotation, and it's typical of the Opry management's mistreatment of the show's longtime stars.

    --We have to make an allowance for attendance: both the economy and the flood. Not that Gaylord will.

    --I don't mind newer, younger members. But they need people with a commitment to the Opry, and it is beginning to seem that the minute someone has the membership, showing up becomes less important. Not true of all, but true of too many.

  2. You are probably right in your comments about Mike Snider. I know many times he has been cut short as the time has run out on the segment. It's funny that even though Gaylord owns the Opry, from what I understand, they still have to pay for the radio time if the Opry lasts longer than it should. Also, Mike doesn't seem to have an ego, and seems to have no problem with an artist doing an extra song instead of him.

  3. Thanks. Any word on how Charlie Louvin's surgery went?

    I got to hear the opening of the Opry last night and, I have to agree, The Potato was sounding under the weather.

  4. From what I heard and read, he came out of the surgery ok, is out of intensive care, and I think he is home.