Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Charlie Daniels and Brad Paisley

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!!!!


  1. It's interesting that I am a fan of Brad's and not so much of Charlie's, and yet I admire Charlie a lot for his dedication to the Opry. I also wonder: why has Ricky Skaggs been so much scarcer in the last couple of years?

  2. Hey Michael, you mention Ricky Skaggs and it did get me curious, so I did some checking and looked at his Opry appearances for the past 10 years. These are his Opry appearances:


    So you are right, there has been a cutback. I know that he is not in the same category as Stu Phillips and Ray Pillow, and that he can basically do the Opry whenever he wants. I think it was in 2002 that he hit it real big in bluegrass and had Kentucky Thunder up and running strong and was doing a lot of appearances at the bluegrass festivals. Since then his career has been pretty busy.

    It was nice to see his appearances bounce back last year, but it would appear that in 2010 he will be back down to the lower levels that we have seen in recent years.

  3. I know you keep track, but I'm not sure of how you calculate it, so is it also possible that the decline in the number of Opry shows has had an effect? By which I mean, yes, there are the Tuesday and Thursday night shows, but there used to be two shows every Saturday night, sometimes two on Friday, and often a Saturday matinee.

    Ricky is still fulfilling his obligations, but I also find it interesting that The Whites are there almost every show now.

  4. What I count as an appearance on the Opry is how many times that performer performs at an Opry show, whether it be Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. (or Wednesday night when they try that again this year.)

    You raise an interesting question regarding the number of Opry shows each year. Later today I think I will do a count from at least the last 10 years, as those records are right on my desk, and report back. With the addition of Tuesday night and Thursday night shows, and the elimination of most 2nd Saturday night shows, it might even out. We shall see.

  5. For what it is worth, I did a "quick" count on the number of Opry shows each year since 2000. This includes the Tuesday Night Opry, Opry Country Classics, as well as the Friday Night Opry and Saturday Grand Ole Opry.


    Like I said, these were very quick counts and might be off by a couple.

    Also, just for a quick comparison, in 2009, the Opry had 135 shows on either Friday or Saturday night, while in 2001, the Opry did 160 shows on either Friday or Saturday night.

    I think at some point in the future, I will do some research and do a post on the blog regarding the number of Opry shows thorugh the years. It might make for some interesting reading.