Thursday, July 7, 2011

Grand Ole Opry 7/8 & 7/9

The Grand Ole Opry has posted their line-ups for this weekend's shows. With July now upon us, the Opry is back to 2 shows on Saturday nights. I have mixed feelings about this. While I am very happy that there are 2 shows on Saturday, and the shows are somewhat different, I have also enjoyed the single shows, especially with the fact that most Friday and Saturdays, they have been running over by up to a half hour each show. There has been a bit more music, and the shows seem to be more laid back.

My big concern is the attendance. When I was down in Nashville in April and the Opry had 2 shows on Saturday night, the 2nd show that I attended couldn't of had more than 500 people there. They Opry House was virtually empty. That does not give you a great deal of confidence in the future of the show. For there to be 2 shows on Saturday, you have to have a real strong line up and a demand for tickets. In October, with Taylor Swift and Dolly Parton there, both Saturday shows sold out. Carrie Underwood has sold out 2 shows a night. But, looking at the line up for Saturday, I just don't see that. The line up is nice, but not for 2 sellouts. Until the mall gets back open and the convention center is finished, which will draw more tourists to Nashville, it will take some real special shows to sell out 2 shows on a Saturday night.

As far as this weekend, Friday night will feature opry members Pam Tillis and Larry Gatlin making appearances. They will be joined by non-members The Grascals, Edens Edge and the Oak Ridge Boys. Saturday night will feature the return of guest artists Dailey & Vincent, Joey+Rory, and Kip Moore.

Friday July 8
7:00 Pam Tillis(host); Jim Ed Brown; Jean Shepard; Mike Snider
7:30 Jimmy Dickens(host); Jeannie Seely; The Grascals
8:15 Bill Anderson(host); The Whites; Edens Edge
8:45 Larry Gatlin(host); John Conlee; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday July 9
1st Show
7:00 Jimmy Dickens(host); Jimmy C Newman; Joey+Rory
7:30 Mike Snider(host); Jim Ed Brown; John Conlee; Kip Moore
8:00 Pam Tillis(host); Jean Shepard; Riders In The Sky; Opry Square Dancers
8:30 Bill Anderson(host); Connie Smith; Dailey & Vincent

2nd Show
9:30 Jimmy Dickens(host); Jeannie Seely; Joey+Rory
10:00 John Conlee(host); Jack Greene; The Whites; Kip Moore
10:30 Pam Tillis(host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Opry Square Dancers
11:00 Bill Anderson(host); Connie Smith; Dailey & Vincent

Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy will be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, with Elizabeth Cook and Laney Hicks as special guests.

Finally, next Saturday night will be a very special night at the Grand Ole Opry. Bill Anderson will be celebrating his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. It will be a big weekend for Bill with lots of activities planned. The line up should be a good one and I hope that lots of Bill's friends are there for the special night. I know that Bill has been planning it for the last 6 months.


  1. Great Friday Night Opry tonight...lots of REAL pros on the stage. The Grascals, The Whites and Mike Snider were all in top form. Larry Gatlin makes a great Opry host and Jimmy Dickens had the folks eating out of his hand. And nobody is better than the Oak Ridge Boys at working the house. Glad to see them become an official part of the cast. I'm thinking the Hall of Fame should be the next stop for those guys.

    Barry P. (NOT Anonymous but Google is being a PITA tonight)

  2. Thanks Barry!! Agree with everything you mentioned. It was a great Friday Night Opry, and I have to tell you I really think that the new Bill Anderson song is fantastic. I have heard that it gets a standing ovation each time he has performed it at the Opry.

    And, you are so right, Larry Gatlin has such a great personality to host an Opry segment. I am glad that over the past few years, he has reconnected himself with the Opry.

  3. It was also interesting that on Friday night, Larry thanked the Opry Staff Band and the "Opry Singers". No mention of Carol Lee Cooper, who I know has been missing lately. I would assume that since Larry mentioned the Opry Singers, that Carol Lee is still not back.

  4. Larry does a great job as host. I'm sure Carol Lee isn't back, but we have to be careful. I never cease to be amazed at how those who don't host regularly often bumble around, not knowing what to do or when to do it.

  5. I did confirm that Carol Lee was not back this weekend. I also know that whenever Larry Gatlin hosts, he is very, very good at recognizing the Carol Lee Singers and the Opry Staff Band, especially, like this past weekend, when his brothers are not with him and he uses the Carol Lee Singers as his harmony group for his songs.

    You are so right about some of the hosts. I am continued to be amazed at the number of hosts who mispronounce names of guest artists, or just forget. Jim Ed Brown did it a couple of weeks back with Sarah Jarosz. Don't they ask or practice ahead of time the name? Jack Greene was famous for butchering names when hosting.

    I understand getting a mental block on stage and you just forget, but you have the program schedule right behind you on the piano. Or in the case of Jimmy Dickens, he writes it down on a sheet of paper!! When you think about it, maybe that is why Hank Snow did most of his announcing of guests from behind the podium, that way he was sure to get it right!!!