Sunday, August 7, 2011

Observations From Listening To The Opry Last Night

Last night, the Oak Ridge Boys became the Opry's newest members as they had their official induction. Jeannie Seely hosted the segment and Jimmy Dickens, along with Pete Fisher, did the official honors. I thought it went pretty well. The Oak Ridge Boys seemed very moved by becoming Opry members and they each spoke, giving some heartfelt comments. I think it was Duane Allen that mentioned the Oak Ridge Quartet, and the all night gospel sings that took place at the Ryman Auditorium in 1948. The Opry had a very nice video message from George H. W. Bush, and I know that was appreciated. The audience, and I understand it was pretty much a full house, gave them an outstanding ovation and the Oak's responded in kind. It is great to have them a part of the Opry.

As far as the rest of the show, despite my earlier reservations, I thought it was a good one. Jimmy Dickens hosted the first segment and it was typical Jimmy. He sounded pretty good. Connie Smith was her usual outstanding self and then Jacob Lyda made his Opry debut. He did 2 songs, and I have to tell you he sounds very country. But, I also have to comment that he sounds so much like many of the other male country singers out there today. You could play 10 songs by 10 different new male singers and they would all sound about the same. Of course, that is nothing new in country music as the same was said for all the country male performers who wore hats back in the late 1980's. But I will say that Jacob did sound good and the audience really responded to him.

Jean Shepard hosted the next segment and her guests were Jimmy C Newman and Sam Bush. Jimmy C did 2 great songs including Jean's favorite, "Cajun Stripper." The only thing missing was that this past week, Jimmy celebrated 55 years as an Opry member, joining the show on August 4, 1956. At least from what I heard, nothing was mentioned, which is a shame. 55 years deserves something said. Sam Bush did the great Grandpa Jones song, "8 More Miles To Louisville", and he did a very nice job with it. For his 2nd song, Sam did "The Ballad Of Stringbean." If you have not heard the song, it is a real haunting song that hits you, especially if you knew or remember Stringbean. The one thing I can say about bluegrass songs is that some of them written over the years have a real message to them and so many of them, like this one, are based on true stories.

After the intermission, Jim Ed Brown hosted the 3rd segment, with Jan Howard as his first guest. Good job by both Jim Ed and Jan. He then introduced Troy Cassar-Daley from Australia, who is a big country star in that country. He almost sounded like Merle Haggard, and did one of his songs. I forget what his 2nd song was, and it may have been another Merle number, but he sounded really country. Nice job.

The show then finished up with the Jeannie Seely and Oak Ridge Boys segment.

All in all, it was not a bad show on Saturday night. I just wished they had more artists on.

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