Happy Birthday greetings today go to 2 Grand Ole Opry stars. Brad Paisley was born 38 years ago today on October 28, 1972. Brad came to Nashville out of West Virginia, where he performed at the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree. After making many, many appearances as a guest of the Opry, Brad became an official member on February 17, 2001. Sorry to say that since Brad became an Opry member, he has actually appeared less on the show than he did prior to becoming a member.
In 2001, his first year as a member, Brad appeared on the Opry a total of 28 times. In 2002, he appeared 13 times, and it was 12 times in 2003. Since then, his appearances have steadily declined. In 2004, it was 9 appearances, 7 in 2005, 5 in 2006, 4 each in 2007 and 2008, 3 in 2009, and so far in 2010, 3 times, all taking place after the Nashville flood.
When Brad became an Opry member, I really thought that he "got it", and would become one of the Opry's youngest, active members, much like Marty Stuart, Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs, and that he would help lead the Opry to a new generation of stars and fans. While he is proud of his association with the Opry, like I said, he just has not appeared on the show as much as I would have hoped.
Here is the line-up from the 1st Saturday show on February 17, 2001, when Brad became an Opry member.
6:30: Porter Wagoner(host); Connie Smith; Bill Carlisle; Don Edwards
7:00: Steve Wariner(host); BR5-49; Mel McDaniel; The Whites; Elizabeth Cook; Trisha Yearwood; Brad Paisley
8:00: Jeannie Seely(host); Ernie Ashworth; Del Reeves; Billy Walker; Opry Squaredance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: John Conlee(host); Lee Ann Womack; Vince Gill
The 7:00 hour was televised on TNN. The other suprise when looking at the line-up from that night was the fact that 2 of Brad's closest friends on the Opry, Bill Anderson and Jimmy Dickens were both missing from the show that night.
The other Opry artist celebrating a birthday today is country music legend Charlie Daniels. Charlie was born on October 28, 1936, making him 74 years old today. Charlie is one of the greatest artists in country music history and will be a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame some day. He had a small health setback earlier this year and has bounced back well.
Charlie became an Opry member on January 19, 2008, at the age of 72. For Charlie, it was a fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Charlie appeared on the Opry many times over the years, often with Roy Acuff, when they would fiddle together. Since joining the Opry, Charlie has been an active member. In 2008, he was on the Opry 15 times and in 2009, he appeared 13 times. So far in 2010, he has been on the Opry 10 times, and that was after missing most of the early part of the year. And, Charlie takes the show seriously.
Here is the line-up from the first show on Saturday January 19, 2008, when Marty Stuart and Connie Smith had the honors of inducting Charlie Daniels as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The 7:00 hour was televised on GAC.
6:30: Jeannie Seely(host); The Whites; Jimmy C. Newman; Del McCoury Band
7:00: Marty Stuart(host); Montgomery Gentry; Connie Smith; Charlie Daniels Band
8:00: Charley Pride(host); Jan Howard; Trace Adkins; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown(host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mel Tillis
Happy Birthday to both Brad and Charlie!!!!