Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some Thoughts On The Opry House Reopening

I early posted the information regarding the reopening of the Grand Ole Opry House and the return of the Opry on Tuesday September 28. Now for some opinions and thoughts:

I really had hoped that the Opry would have reopened the Opry House on a Saturday night, which is the traditional night for the Opry. Tuesday just doesn't seem right. But, I also know that the Opry wanted to, and needed to get back to the Opry House as soon as they could. And, with the Opry only at the Opry House through October, I know they wanted to get as many dates in as they could.

While I am impressed with the names of those mentioned to appear for the first show, I was somewhat disappointed that some of the Opry's biggest names were not on the list. With the excitement and historical importance of returning to the Opry's home, I really thought there would have been a more impressive list. It's great that Charlie Daniels, Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Josh Turner, Mel Tillis, Brad Paisley and Diamond Rio are all going to be there, but where are some of the others? Artists such as Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks and Reba? Also, I noticed that Vince Gill, Marty Stuart and Ricky Skaggs are among the missing. I know some of them are on tour and with short notice, perhaps schedules could not be changed. But, as true Opry members, I just thought everyone would, and should, be there. Maybe some more will be added.

I did notice that very few of the Opry's long time, veteran members were listed for opening night. No Jim Ed Brown, Jan Howard, Jean Shepard, Jeannie Seely, Stonewall and others. Like I mentioned, more artists will be added and let's hope that they do not leave out the legends.

It was nice to see Jimmy Dickens at the announcement today. And, he looked pretty good. But then again, he always has. It has been his voice that has been the issue. I do hope he is the first one out on September 28.

I know GAC is televising that night. I don't know if it will be the whole show or just a portion of it. And, I am sure the televised portion will feature the "big" artists such as Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins and Blake Shelton.

And speaking of Blake Shelton, I would not be suprised if on that show he is asked to become the Opry's newest member. To me it just figures that the Opry would use the occasion of it's return to make even more news, and adding a new member is pretty big. And, there have been plenty of hints going around lately that Blake would like to join the Opry and the Opry would like to have him.

When the Opry returns in October, the area around the Opry House is still going to look like a ghost town. The Opryland Hotel is still closed and will not reopen until the middle of November, the mall is still shut down, the Acuff Theater is gone and who knows what is going to happen to the Opry Museum. They will really have to work to create some excitment in the Opry Plaza area. At least parking will not be a problem.

Finally, I hope that management really ramps up the rest of October. The first weekend in October is still looking pretty slim on artists announced so far and the Opry's birthday weekend is looking like it might not be one of the stronger ones in recent memory. Hopefully now that they know the Opry House will be open for sure, they can attract some stronger line-ups. For the weekend following the birthday bash, The Judds will be there for the Friday Night Opry and with the Opry going "Pink" that night for breast cancer awareness, that should draw a good crowd.

Just my thoughts!!!


  1. I think many members are coming back for the various Opry b-day celebration events this fall. Not everyone can come to every event. I think it is a good line up, but I hope that they add a few female acts to the opening night!

  2. I see Marty has a gig in Kansas that night. But I was surprised like you that the majority of the regular cast members were not included (like Connie Smith).

  3. I wonder how much of the lineup has to do with it being a Tuesday night, where there usually are only two performers per half hour. I would hope that they might do something like what they did on opening night in 1974--have the leader (Mr. Acuff then, The Potato now) lead everybody out, so to speak. Then they aren't going to go in order, as they did in 1974, but at least everyone would be there. And I bet some of the younger artists would invite legends to join them.

  4. I know it was short notice for many of the performers and I am sure they did try to get everyone involved, especially with the show on GAC. Of course, I wonder with Marty Stuart having a show on RFD, if GAC would even have Marty on if they televised his portion.

    And, I agree with you that I hope many of the legends are involved, but I just am afraid that this will turn into one of those "made for tv" events.

  5. Oops! I was looking at this weekend - 9/28 Marty has nothing on his schedule that I could see. You may be right about the RFD/GAC thing, although he was on Suzanne Alexander's show this week's 'On the Streets' to promote his new record and perform.
    A 'dream team' opening night at the Opry would be to have every member appear. No guests needed. The average country music fan of today doesn't know what they are missing since radio won't play the great classic performers. This would give them that chance.