Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Grand Ole Opry Line-Up 11/26 & 11/27

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

First Show
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

Second Show
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.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, and thanks for sharing your thoughts and immense--and I do mean immense!--knowledge with us. It's great to be your internet pal.

  2. I am sure that most of you saw that Jimmy Dickens cancelled out for Friday night. I know he sounded pretty bad on Tuesday, so maybe his voice just has not recovered. Jean Shepard slid over from her slot in the opening segment, to host the 2nd half hour. No one else was added to the line-up.

    Also, Bobby Osborne is nursing a sore throat tonight. Jean asked him to do a second number, "Ruby", but Bobby declined.

  3. The Potato is still on the lineup for tonight, so here's hoping.

    The decision not to have Norma Jean do the Opry makes me wonder if Fisher suffers from the same thought that many "top" businesspeople do: that older people don't spend money. There may actually be longtime Opry fans who won't go to the show because they realize the Opry won't put on performers they remember or know.

  4. Looking at reality, would Norma Jean sell any more tickets to tonights show if she was on the line-up? Probably not, but what would it cost Pete and the Opry to have her on the first show? Maybe a couple of hundred bucks at union scale, which would be the price of about 3 of the gold circle seats.

    And, you are right. A lot of the older people would remember her and probably recognize the song that she would sing, and it would probably make Norma Jean feel pretty good at playing the Opry one more time, and maybe relive some old memories. So what would have been the harm to have her on?

    Of course, just giving Pete the benefit of the doubt, maybe he did ask and she declined or maybe he was, or is not aware that she is doing the midnight jamboree.

    I know that the policy now is not to ask very many of the "old-timers" to be on the Opry, but what would the harm be? After all, there are not many left.

  5. Jimmy Dickens did make it on Saturday night, and sounded just so-so.

  6. I have to say, he has sounded worse, and he sounded all right doing his routine. Brett Eldredge was impressive, I thought.