The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedules for the shows this weekend. The Opry continues its winter run at the Ryman Auditorium and there is one show on Friday night and two shows on Saturday night.
In looking at the shows for this weekend, I have to tell you that I think they have 3 pretty good shows scheduled. The highlight will be the first Opry appearance ever by The Marshall Tucker Band, who is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. I know that they have created a lot of buzz and the ticket sales for both Saturday shows has been pretty strong. You can make the argument that The Marshall Tucker Band is not country, and never has been, but I will say that while I agree with that statement, they are much more country than some of the acts that have been playing the Opry lately. Also on Saturday night, Opry member Joe Diffie is scheduled, along with Diamond Rio and the Del McCoury Band, both of whom are scheduled for all three shows this weekend.
The Friday Night Opry will feature a return appearance by the great Wanda Jackson. Her new album has been doing well and when she appeared on the Opry earlier this year she received a good reaction. Also appearing on Friday night will be Brandi Carlile. She is another of the younger female singers and I checked out some of her songs on her website. Although I wouldn't call her country, she has an interesting voice and sounded very talented.
Friday November 18
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Diamond Rio
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Steve Wariner; Wanda Jackson
8:45: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Brandi Carlile
Saturday November 19
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Joe Diffie
8:00: Diamond Rio (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; The Marshall Tucker Band
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Del McCoury Band
10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Joe Diffie
10:30: Diamond Rio (host); Jim Ed Brown; Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-Press; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; The Marshall Tucker Band
That comes out to 12 artists for each of the 3 shows, with 10 Opry members on Friday night and 11 on each of the shows on Saturday night, with The Marshall Tucker Band being the only non-Opry members.
Like I said, I think all 3 shows have good solid line ups and I know that if I didn't have commitments this weekend, I would be in the car heading down South for the shows.
Finally, the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will feature a special show this weekend. Rockie Lynne will be the host and his special guest will be Jan Howard. The show is dedicated to Tom Davis, who was declared by President Lyndon Johnson as the first American to be killed in the Vietnam War. Bill Rains was commissioned by the Ernest Tubb Record Shops and the Davis Family to create a bronze statue that will be revealed on Saturday night. This statue will be on permanent display at the record shop. David McCormick, the record shop owner, was a neighbor and friend of the Davis Family, while Jan Howard had a son killed in the Vietnam War. Vietnam veterans will have priority seating and a limited number of tickets are available for this show, which is free. In my memory, this might be the first Midnight Jamboree that a ticket is required. This should be a very emotional night and I congratulate the Ernest Tubb folks for doing this.
All in all, it looks like a great weekend in Nashville.