Update: Jim Ed Brown has replaced John Conlee as the host of the opening segment on Friday night.
Before getting to the Grand Ole Opry schedule for this coming weekend, there are a couple of pieces of sad news that I need to pass along.
First, George "Pee-Wee" Rogers, the longtime steel guitar player for Jimmy Dickens passed away on Tuesday. He was a part of the Opry for over 40 years, and played with Jimmy for about the past 30. He was 76 and had cancer. I did not realize that he was ill, but I did notice that he was not playing with Jimmy on the Opry this past weekend. He was there the last time I went in the summer, but he became ill shortly after that. His signature playing was instantly recognized, especially on the introduction to, "Live Turned Her That Way."
And then just a few moments ago, the word came down on the death of another veteran musician, Taz Digregorio, who was the longtime keyboard player and vocalist with the Charlie Daniels Band. He died last night after being involved in a car accident on the way to meat the Charlie Daniels tour bus, as they were preparing to do a few road dates, which have since been cancelled. Taz was an original member of the band and was with Charlie for over 40 years. He was also the co-writer of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia."
Now, as far as this week's Opry shows, with the October schedule in effect, there are 2 shows Saturday night at the Opry House. And, as you would expect, the line ups are pretty good, but not great and as a result, the Opry is selling discount tickets to the shows. The Saturday shows will feature new Opry members the Oak Ridge Boys, along with Elizabeth Cook, The Secret Sisters and Joey+Rory. I saw The Secret Sisters when I was in Nashville earlier this year, and they are an interesting duo. They have great voices and I know they have been featured on various shows. Also on Saturday, Jean Shepard is scheduled for both shows. She was on the original schedule for last weekend, but was taken off. Glad to see her on for this week.
On Friday night, Larry Gatlin will be returning to the Opry stage, along with his brothers. Larry has almost become a real Opry regular, as this will be his 16th appearance this year. I am glad to see that as the Opry needs the Larry Gatlins of the world to appear on a regular basis. Also appearing will be Opry member Josh Turner, along with frequent Opry guests Darryl Worley, Mark Wills and Mandy Barnett, who again will be doing some signings in the Opry shop before the show.
Friday October 14
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Darryl Worley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Josh Turner
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); The Black Lillies; Mark Wills
Saturday October 15
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Joey+Rory
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Elizabeth Cook
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Secret Sisters; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Lauderdale; Oak Ridge Boys
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Joey+Rory
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Elizabeth Cook
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jan Howard; The Secret Sisters; Opry Square Dancers
11:00; Bill Anderson (host); Jim Lauderdale; Oak Ridge Boys
2 pretty similar shows for Saturday night. In fact, just 1 difference between both shows. All 3 shows this weekend have 12 artists scheduled, which seems to now be the magic number. Of those 12 on each of the 3 shows, each night has 8 Opry members.
This week's Opry Country Classics show on Thursday October 13 will take place at the Grand Ole Opry House, as the Ryman Auditorium is booked for other activities. The spotlight artist will be Lorrie Morgan. A real treat will be former Opry member from years gone by, Jim Glaser being scheduled on the show. I always thought that he, along with his brothers, were just great. I know Hank Snow really liked them and if memory serves me right, Hank hosted the televised portion of the Opry when he celebrated his 40th year as an Opry member and he insisted that the Glaser Brothers be a part of the show. The Glasers thought so much of Hank that they put aside their differences and got back together for that one night.
Here is the line up for Opry Country Classics:
Host: Bill Cody
Spotlight Artist: Lorrie Morgan
Also Appearing: John Conlee; Dailey & Vincent; Jim Glaser; Daryle Singletary; Rhonda Vincent
Finally, here is the line up for the Tuesday Night Opry on October 18. This will feature the return of Opry members Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood to the Opry. Also being featured will be country music Hall of Famer's, Alabama.
Here is the line up for the Tuesday Night Opry, October 18:
7:00: Bill Anderson; Josh Thompson
7:30: Jimmy Dickens; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Carrie Underwood; Alabama; Brad Paisley
I am not sure if GAC is doing a tv taping of that last hour or not, but it would not surprise me at all.