Update-A couple of changes to the Friday Night line up. Mandy Barnett, who seems to always be on call as a last minute replacement, has been added and Sarah Darling has been switched to a later segment.
In an additional note, missing Opry member Clint Black is on the schedule for Friday April 15. That would be his first Opry appearance since the 2 he made in 2007.
Things have been pretty quiet around the Grand Ole Opry for the past week. Nothing really new to report as we move into Spring. Regarding a couple of the Opry's members, there is really nothing new to report on Mel McDaniel. He continues to rest comfortably at home. And Jimmy Dickens, who missed all the Opry shows last weekend, is not on the schedule again for this coming Friday and Saturday nights. He is listed on the schedule for the upcoming Tuesday Night Opry.
Looking at Friday's schedule, a couple of newcomers will be making return visits to the Opry. Craig Campbell, who I had the pleasure of seeing on one of my earlier trips to Nashville, and Sarah Darling on listed on the line up. Sarah was on several weeks back and did a duet with Vince Gill. Bluegrass singer Dale Ann Bradley will also be guesting and Pam Tillis will be making her first Opry appearance of 2011.
Saturday night is interesting. First, Carrie Underwood will be on both shows. I commented in an earlier posting that I am impressed that Carrie has continued making Opry appearances even as her career has progressed. As is normal when she has appeared lately, she will be the only guest in her segments, giving her the opportunity to sing 3 or 4 songs. Also on Saturday night, one segment on each show will be devoted to Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis. Lorrie and Pam have plans to do tour dates together this year, so I am guessing that this could be a preview of that.
Also making his Opry debut on Saturday night will be Tommy Shaw. Who is Tommy Shaw you ask? We'll, if you remember the rock group, Styx, which had great success in the late 70's and 80's, then you will remember Tommy Shaw as the guitarist for that group. Tommy later formed the rock band, The Damn Yankees. From what I read, he has rejoined Styx and is touring with them this summer. What brings him to the Opry? On March 22, he released a bluegrass album titled, "The Great Divide", and he will be appearing on the Opry to promote the album. I have not heard it, so I don't know how bluegrass it is, but I will be interested to see what he performs on the Opry. I have seen Styx in concert, back in their heyday, and they were very good, as is Tommy Shaw on the guitar. I just can't picture him doing bluegrass. And of course, with him appearing on the Opry, it takes a slot away from one of the Opry's members.
Other interesting notes in looking at the weekend is that a number of the Opry's veterans are down to just one show out of the three. Those include Jimmy C. Newman, The Whites and Opry favorite Mike Snider.
Here are the line ups:
Friday March 25
7:00: Jeannie Seely(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Craig Campbell
7:30: Jim Ed Brown(host); Ray Pillow; Mandy Barnett
8:15: Pam Tillis(host); The Whites; Dale Ann Bradley
8:45: Riders In The Sky(host); Sarah Darling; Diamond Rio
Saturday March 26
7:00: Jim Ed Brown(host); Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider
7:30: Pam Tillis(host); Lorrie Morgan
8:00: Riders In The Sky(host); Jan Howard; Tommy Shaw; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson(host); Carrie Underwood
9:30: Jeannie Seely(host); Jim Ed Brown; Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: Lorrie Morgan(host); Pam Tillis
10:30: Riders In The Sky(host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Tommy Shaw; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson(host); Carrie Underwood
Some good line ups this weekend.
Finally on Saturday night, Jan Howard will be the host of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree and she will be celebrating 40 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. I would not be surprised if a couple of guests stopped by to honor Jan and hopefully at the Opry, Pete Fisher will come out and say a few nice words about Jan and her career. After all, he made a big production of Brad Paisley's 10th anniversary a couple of weeks back and I would think a 40th anniversary would rate even more special mention.
Have a great weekend at the Opry.