As we enter the holiday season, things seem pretty quiet at the Opry. Not much is making news and normally it stays that way through the holiday season. This weekend, the Opry continues its winter run at the Ryman Auditorium with 1 show on Friday night and 2 shows on Saturday night.
This weekend's line-up features many of the Opry's veterans including Jack Greene, Ray Pillow, Stu Phillips, Jimmy C. Newman, Jan Howard and Jean Shepard. Several groups who had hits in the 1980's, Highway 101 and Restless Heart will be on, along with veteran country stars Crystal Gayle and T. Graham Brown.
Friday November 26
7:00: John Conlee(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Jean Shepard; Thompson Square
7:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-Press; Highway 101
8:15: Riders In The Sky(host); Stu Phillips; Jim Ed Brown; Holly Williams
8:45: Mike Snider(host); Connie Smith; T. Graham Brown
Saturday November 27
7:00: Jimmy Dickens(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Mike Snider(host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; Brett Eldredge
8:00: John Conlee(host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Crystal Gayle; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky(host); The Whites; Jim Ed Brown
9:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band
10:00: Mike Snider(host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Brett Eldredge
10:30: John Conlee(host); Ray Pillow; Crystal Gayle; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Riders In The Sky(host); The Whites; Restless Heart
Interesting that the same 4 performers (Dickens, Snider, Conlee, Riders), are hosting the segments on all 3 shows. Also, it would appear that the veterans are being limited to just 2 of the 3 shows over the weekend. Those would include Brown, Newman, Shepard, Greene, Smith and Whites. The 2 veteran bluegrass groups (Osborne, McReynolds) each get one slot, as do the senior Opry members (Phillips, Howard and Pillow). Interesting booking pattern.
I listened to the Opry shows last weekend and Jimmy Dickens sounded in pretty good voice and actually had sounded pretty good over the past several weeks. Then I listened on Tuesday night and he sounded pretty bad. Maybe this many shows in a week is catching up to him again.
The host of this week's Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree taping will be Norma Jean. That should be just a great show to see this veteran country music star who really gave up a promising career. It is too bad that she was not invited to do the Opry, as she performed on the show so many times with Porter Wagoner, and as a solo act. The Midnight Jamboree that will be on WSM was taped last Saturday and will be hosted by Jean Shepard.
Finally, a very happy Thanksgiving to all my readers. I hope all of you have something to be thankful for and are able to enjoy the day with family and friends.