Monday, October 17, 2011

Grand Ole Opry's 50th Birthday Celebration-October 18, 1975

On Saturday night October 18, 1975, the Grand Ole Opry celebrated it's 50th birthday. Some will say that outside of the opening night of the new Opry House in 1974, that this night produced the greatest line up in the history of the Opry. When you look at the line up, it is hard to argue. If not the 2nd best show history, it certainly is in the top 5.

The birthday celebration took place during the 2nd show. What I have is the line up from the 1st show and the running order and song list from the 2nd show, including the actual times that the segments took place.

When I was in Nashville several weeks back, I was asked how do I get these line ups. As I told the person then, some of these come from my own records and some come from others who I know have kept a record of many of the shows over the years. In this case, I want to give credit where credit is due, and the running order of the 2nd show comes courtesy of a friend of mine, Barry. You will see Barry leaving comments once in a while on the blog and I appreciate him sending me this show line up. Thanks Barry!!

Saturday October 18, 1975

1st Show:
6:00 Vietti
Bill Anderson (host)
Stonewall Jackson
Billy Grammer
Stu Phillips
Justin Tubb

6:30 Mrs Grissoms
Jack Greene (host)
Jeannie Seely
The Carlisles
4 Guys

6:45 Rudy's
Del Reeves (host)
Barbara Mandrell
Charlie Louvin
Jimmy C Newman

7:00 Shoney's
Ernest Tubb (host)
Hank Locklin
Skeeter Davis
Jim & Jesse
The Wilburn Brothers

7:30 Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host)
Jean Shepard
Minnie Pearl
Charlie Walker
Don Gibson
Del Wood
Crook Brothers
Tennessee Travelers

8:00 Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host)
Dolly Parton
David Houston
Dottie West
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper

8:30 Stephens
Hank Snow (host)
Jeanne Pruett
Roy Drusky
Ray Pillow
Marion Worth
Willis Brothers
Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd Show
9:30-10:10 Kellogg's
Ernest Tubb (host): If You Don't Quit Checkin' on Me
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Connie Smith: How Can You Accuse Him Now
Stonewall Jackson: Waterloo
Barbara Mandrell: Johnny B Goode
Stu Phillips: Only You Can Touch the Wind
The Carlisles: Same Old Tale
Jim & Jesse: Paradise

10:10-10:40 Fender
Bill Anderson (host): Country DJ
Jean Shepard: I'm A Believer
George Lindsey: Comedy
Del Reeves: Impressions of Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Walter Brennan, Tex Ritter
Skeeter Davis: On the Way Home
Hank Locklin-Country Hall of Fame
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203

10:40-11:35 Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Cottonfields
Roy Clark & Family: A Sweet Bunch of Daisies/Pain in my Heart/John Hardy
Minnie Pearl: Comedy/Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes
Tammy Wynette: Clap Your Hands
Presentations by Hal Durham, Hal Davis and Mayor Richard Fulton
Birthday Cake
Charlie Louvin: American Trilogy
Billy Grammer: Instrumental
Jimmy C Newman: Alligator Man

11:35-12:05 Trailblazer
Porter Wagoner (host): Indian Creek
Dolly Parton: We Used To
4 Guys: Down by the Lazy River
Jack Greene: Statue of a Fool
Jeannie Seely & Dottie West: Don't Touch Me
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Say Forever You'll Be Mine
Dolly Parton: The Seeker

12:05-12:25 Beech-Nut
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Dottie West & Jeannie Seely: Here Comes My Baby
The Wilburn Brothers: Country Honey
Susan Raye: He Gives Me Something to Forgive Him For
Alcyone Beasley: Special Award
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Cotton Eyed Joe

12:25-12:50 Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Jeanne Pruett (with Dottie West & Jeannie Seely): Satin Sheets
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
The Fruit Jar Drinkers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Bill Cheatam
Del Wood-Keep on the Firing Line
Kirk McGee: Freight Train
Hank Snow: A Fool Such As I

12:50-1:15 Baltz Bros
Roy Drusky (host): Sunrise
David Houston: Sweet Molly
Marion Worth: For the Good Times
Ray Pillow: Roll on Truckers
Roy Drusky: I Really Don't Want to Know/Throwing Rice at Her Now/Four Walls

As you can see, this show was loaded and really ran over. It is amazing that they scheduled 7 acts in a 15 minute segment!! Even with this line up there a few Opry members missing including Marty Robbins, Grandpa Jones and Bill Monroe, among the bigger names.

In addition, here is the artists that were on the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree that night:

1:15-2:15 Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree Part 1
Ernest Tubb
Moe Bandy
Willie Nelson
Jimmie Skinner
Lois Johnson

2:15-3:15 Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree Part 2
Justin Tubb
Brian Collins
Barbara Fairchild
Atlanta James
The Tumbleweeds

Hope you enjoy!!!


  1. Byron and Barry, thank you. I love seeing these lineups and just enjoying them and thinking about how much I would have liked to have been there.

    I also thought of Kirk McGee performing alone, with Sam having died just a couple of months before. Also, was Alcyone Beasley still performing on the Opry then or had she retired and come back for the award?

  2. At the time, Alcyone was still playing piano as part of the the Crook Brothers.


  3. Thanks, Barry. It eventually got to be hard to figure out who was around from the old groups.