Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grand Ole Opry--October 16, 1971

I hope that I am not overdoing it with these line ups that I have been posting. Please let me know if you think I am, but as the Opry is celebrating it's birthday all month, I thought it would be nice to go back and look at some of the great shows from years past. This show, October 16, 1971, took place 40 years ago tonight and what a great line up this show had. As with a couple of the other past line ups I have posted, the annual country music disc jockey's convention was in town and being 1971, this show took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

1st Show:
6:00 Vietti
Tex Ritter (host): Just Beyond the Moon
Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors
Jim Ed Brown: Morning
Stonewall Jackson: Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Roy Drusky: Long, Long Texas Road
Willis Brothers: Women's Liveration
Tex Ritter: Fall Away

6:30 Mrs Grissoms
Bill Anderson (host) & Jan Howard: Dissatisfied
Jan Howard: Hurt All Over
Ray Pillow: Haven't You Heard
Ernie Ashworth: A Bottle of the Blues
Bill Anderson: Quits

6:45 Rudy's
Bill Monroe (host): I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling
Stu Phillips: I'd Rather Be Sorry
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Bill Monroe: Katy Hill

7:00 Luzianne
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Coming Down From God
Tom T Hall: The Year that Clayton Delaney Died
Del Wood: Gloryland March
Howdy Forrester: Sally Goodin
George Morgan: Gentle Rains of Home
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

7:30 Standard Candy
Ernest Tubb (host): Answer the Phone
Loretta Lynn: Put You Hand in the Hand
Charlie Louvin & Melba Montgomery: Something to Brag About
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: All Right, I'll Sign the Papers
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Ernest Tubb: Shenandoah Waltz

8:00 Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Will You be Loving Another Man
Grandpa Jones: Are You From Dixie
Dottie West: Country Girl
Billy Walker: You Gave Me a Mountain
Del Reeves: Philadelphia Fillies
Justin Tubb: Big Fool of the Year
Lester Flatt: Foggy Mountain Breakdown

8:30 Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Sea Shores of Old Mexico
Wilburn Brothers: That She's Leaving Feeling
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Devils Dream
Bob Luman: Today I Started Loving You Again/Honky-Tonk Man
4 Guys: Shenandoah
Hank Snow: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On

2nd Show:
9:30 Kelloggs
Tex Ritter (host): Fall Away
Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors
Jim Ed Brown: She's Leaving
Roy Drusky: I Love the Way that You've Been Loving Me
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jimmy C Newman: Louisiana Dirty Rice
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie

10:00 Fender
Bill Anderson (host): Quits
Bill Anderson & Jan Howard: Dissatisfied
Grandpa Jones: Mountain Dew
Ray Pillow: The Waitress

10:15 Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Stu Phillips: I'd Rather Be Sorry
George Morgan: Gentle Rains of Home
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:30 Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): The Bluebirds Singing For Me
Tom T Hall: The Year Clayton Delaney Died
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Lester Flatt: Orange Blossom Special

10:45 Beech-Nut
Ernest Tubb (host): Letters Have No Arms
Loretta Lynn: Lead Me On
Billy Walker: How Great Thou Art
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January

11:00 Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Snowbird
Earl Scruggs Review: T for Texas
Jack Greene: There's A Whole Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Del Reeves: Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On/Hound Dog
Freddie Hart: Easy Lovin'/My Hang Up is You
Sam McGee: San Antonio Rose

11:30 Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Wilburn Brothers: That She's Leaving Feeling
Connie Smith: Just One Time
4 Guys: Let the Sun Keep Shining
Bob Luman: Getting Back to Norma
Marty Robbins: I Walk Alone
Marty Robbins: Begging to You
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry
Marty Robbins: Big Boss Man
Marty Robbins: They'll Never Take Her Love From Me
Marty Robbins: Singing the Blues
Marty Robbins: El Paso

The only Opry members who were not on the schedule this particular night were Bobby Bare, Margie Bowes, Archie Campbell, Skeeter Davis, Billy Grammer, Hank Locklin, Lonzo & Oscar, Bobby Lord, Osborne Brothers, Jean Shepard, Stringbean, Marion Worth and George Hamilton IV. In addition, Porter Wagoner, Tompall and the Glasers, Jim & Jesse and Cousin Jody were scheduled but cancelled out.

During the Hank Snow segment on the 1st show, he introduced Nudie, who was in from California. And during the Ernest Tubb segment on the 2nd show, he brought out Dennis Weaver.

The first show actually stayed pretty much on time, which is amazing considering the number of artists on some of the segments. I think it was mostly a quick introduction and then the song and on to the next artist. Some of the segments had more artists on then what the Opry now has on for an entire show!!

The 2nd show started at 9:35, just a few minutes late, but as usually happened many times, it fell way behind schedule. The first segment with Tex Ritter was ok, but then the following 15 minute segments all lasted at least 20 minutes. The Hank Snow segment, which had 8 acts scheduled, lasted for 45 minutes, while the last segment with Marty Robbins didn't start until 12:20 (supposed to start at 11:30) and ended at 1:00 am. Marty's last group of songs lasted 20 minutes.

Hope you enjoy that look back. It reminds us of what the Opry once was.


  1. Byron, I don't think it's possible to get enough of these. Keep 'em coming!

  2. These line-ups are amazing! Please post as many as you can!! I do see Minnie Pearl was missing this night.

  3. Fred in Bismarck here:

    I'm with Michael and Anon ... keep 'em coming! Besides the nostalgia value, there's food for thought in every one. For instance, in the very first (6 pm) segment, you've got Stonewall singing "Me & You & a Dog Named Boo."

    According to the notes accompanying my Stonewall collection, this song was one of the reasons for Stonewall's separation from Columbia. Supposedly he hated it ... both for its hippie feel and as typifying the newer material Columbia was foisting on him (vs. the trad country he wanted to do).

    I'm thinking nobody was twisting his arm to sing it on the Opry that night, yet he did. Why?

    Oops ... checking my Cash Box lists, as I did only this minute, I may have answered my own question. The song had been pretty good to him that summer, reaching No. 5 on Cash Box, tho it was off the charts by October. Maybe Stonewall was simply acknowledging the song's popularity with his fans (while holding his nose). That would be like one of our old heroes.

    I always liked the song myself, the possible counter-culture aspects aside.

  4. One thing that I notice when I am looking at the older Opry line ups is what songs are the artists singing. I think there was more variety back then. Of course you had Roy Acuff always singing "Wabash Cannonball" on the first show, but he always varied what he sang on the 2nd show.

    When you listen to the Opry now, it seems like the artists are singing the same song ever week. Can you remember the last time Bobby Osborne was on and did not sing "Rocky Top," or Jack Greene not singing "There Goes My Everything."

    I know they want to sing their hits, which I don't blame them, but a little variety once in a while would be nice.

  5. Byron, I agree, and I remember we discussed how Hank Snow decided to sing every single he ever had. THAT'S variety. But I also wonder how much of it now is the thought, gee, Pete Fisher only lets me come on once a month, as opposed to days of yore.