Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grand Ole Opry Line Up 11/4 & 11/5

Before I get into this week's schedule, how do you think some of those "younger fans" feel right now, who bought tickets for the Opry coming up in November, specifically to see Keith Urban and nobody else, and then he cancels out on the Opry for those two dates? Probably not so great, but that is what happens when the Opry tries to cater to a group that has no real interest in the Opry and specifically target an individual performer instead of promoting the entire show. Nothing against Keith Urban as I am sure it was a good reason why he had to cancel, but as "real" Opry fans know, you get used to performers who are advertised and not show up and we just accept it as part of the show. At least this time there was some advanced notice. But I am sure it created a lot of unhappy ticket buyers and considering how expensive it is to see the Opry, these same fans might think twice before buying a ticket again. And of course, that hurts the Opry's reputation and bottom line.

Anyways, the Opry is back at the Ryman Auditorium for the winter run and with the move, there is one show on Friday night and one show on Saturday night. Saturday nights show will feature the return of Stonewall Jackson to the Opry and this weekend will mark his 55th year as an Opry member. Congratulations to Stonewall and I am glad he is able to be at the Opry this weekend. Jean Shepard also returns to the Opry on Saturday, along with newcomers Sarah Darling and James Wesley.

The Friday Night Opry will feature a couple of newcomers with JT Hodges and Craig Campbell appearing at the Opry. I am pretty sure that this is JT's first appearance on the show.

Friday November 4:

7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Diamond Rio
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; JT Hodges
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; Craig Campbell
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Rebecca Lynn Howard; Johnny Lee

Saturday November 5:

7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; James Wesley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Sarah Darling
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Stonewall Jackson; Mark Wills; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-Press; Exile

I find it interesting that Jesse McReynolds is no longer listed as Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys, even though his group is with him most nights he appears on the Opry.

For those counting at home, there will be 12 artists on each show, with 8 Opry members each night.

Connie Smith will be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night. She is promoting her new CD and I hope the fans turn out.

Here is the line up for the Tuesday Night Opry, November 8:

7:00: Jimmy C Newman; Sunny Sweeney
7:30: Jimmy Dickens; Danny Gokey
8:15: The Whites; Diamond Rio
8:45: Jim Ed Brown; Darius Rucker


  1. It turns out Keith Urban is having surgery to remove a polyp from his vocal cord--not serious, happily, from all reports. But it doesn't change your very correct point. People do not come to the Opry only to see one performer, and they will be disappointed if that's why they come. That's another reason the Opry telecasts on GAC do more harm than good.

  2. Mike, I know you follow the Opry on facebook, like I do, and some of the comments that people are making are just out of this world. You can tell that they don't understand at all what the Opry is all about. People demanding refunds, which the Opry is not giving, and just making a slew of negative comments about the show.

    They just don't understand that the Opry is a radio program with 10-15 artists per show and Keith was just one of them. And we know, artists cancel out all the time and many times artists show up that are not scheduled. You never know what you are going to get.

    I am sure most of these same fans probably don't even realize that Keith was going to do just 2, and if lucky, 3 songs and that it was not a Keith Urban concert they were going to attend. But it is the Opry that is looking bad and taking the hit.

    Regarding Keith, I wish him well with the surgery. Many others in country music have had the same situation and have recovered nicely.

  3. I'm a great admirer of Keith Urban, not to mention that he married well beyond himself (I did, too!). But seriously, folks ... yes, I hope he's well, and it IS amazing how many people don't get it ... possibly because they have watched the Opry on TV and not listened on radio or seen it in person.

  4. It's clear that most of the people posting over there don't have the first clue what the Opry is all about. You bought a ticket to the Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry has not been cancelled. What part of that don't they understand? Of course, management hasn't helped matters by cutting the show to the bare bones to the point that if a single artist cancels it leaves a huge gap in the lineup. In days past, the Opry didn't even post their lineup until Thursday at the earliest. You never knew who you were going to just knew it was going to be a great show.


  5. This goes back to what seems to be one of their new marketing practices over there and that is to promote appearances by individual artists. And then when that particular artist cancels, they Opry is left holding the bag.

    I do like the fact that they are posting upcoming appearances by artists on their website, but if you watch it on a regular basis, you will notice that many, many of the artists that they put on the advanced schedule either cancel before they appear or the date gets moved. Many times they list an artist and then when the schedule comes out, the artist is missing.

    On other note, George Hamilton IV's wife had open heart surgery yesterday and from what I heard, everything came out ok. Best wishes and prayers to both of them. I believe they have been married for well over 50 years.

  6. Byron, I'm glad to hear things look good for Tinky Hamilton. I just poked around, and they have been married for 53 years. I THINK the Opry record holder right now is Jimmy C. He and Miss Mae have been married, I believe, for over 60 years. Which reminds me that Miss Mona has been putting up with The Potato now for at least 40 years.

  7. Jimmy's marriage is amazing in the fact that he was about 50 when they got married to Mona. Of course, I wonder if she thought that he would live this long!!!!!

    On a touching note, I am sure you have heard the story on how they met, at least how Jimmy has told the story, which I assume is really how it happened. Very nice how they came together.

  8. First, I'm surprised the Opry didn't fill Urban's spots immediately with another name performer. You would think they could have got another name to fill those slots this time of year before they made the cancellation announcement. Maybe they still will. I know recently Randy Travis cancelled and Josh Turner was announced almost immediately as a replacement. And the same thing happened with Loretta Lynn a couple of years back when Martina McBride filled in. That might have helped the situation.

    The other thing I don't understand is why Urban just still didn't play the Opry dates and sing one song like he apparently announced he is doing during November at the CMAs and other committments and then maybe just do an instrumental number or two to fill the rest of his Opry spots. He is a great guitar player. That would have been the best thing. Who knows, maybe the Opry tried for this but were unsuccessful with Urban's people.

    However, the fact is, most sports/entertainment events are non-refundable unless they are cancelled.

    Kudos though to the Opry for at least allowing the fans to exchange their tickets to another date because a lot of us buy tickets a year or more in advance and things do come up closer to the date that cause you to have to exchange dates. Thanks to the Opry for doing this. This has been the policy for as long as I can remember.

    Again, as was stated above and the people that call themselves Opry fans on on Facebook don't seem to get is that the Grand Ole Opry is not cancelled. It goes on with or without Keith Urban. It is not the same as an artist cancelling his concert date and refunds are given. The Opry goes on with or without Urban.

    But, unfortunately when you promote individual artists instead of the Opry as has been done agressively the past few years, you live by the sword and die by the sword. When you promote a Keith Urban you sell lots of extra tickets. However, when he cancels, you have, well, what you have on Facebook. If you advertise that way, you probably should be willing to refund money when it backfires. But again, I can't critize the Opry all that much on this one. The current policy has been in place as long as I can remember, probably back to its beginning and they are more understanding with their policy than a lot of venues are.

    Another thing that has people ticked is that some of those people bought their tickets at inflated prices from scalpers or e-bay. Boy, that is something we didn't see a few years ago! Anyway, you kind of get what you deserve when you purchase tickets in that way at such ridiculous prices.

  9. From what I have read on Facebook, the Opry appears to be keeping a list of the people who had tickets for the shows that Keith was scheduled for and they will get the first opportunity to purchase tickets for the rescheduled dates. But, depending on the advanced sales for those shows, the same seats may not be available. Of course, I will add that the Opry kept a "list" of Opry fan club members and that seems to have gotten lost in the flood last year. They also had been taking advance ticket requests for the Opry's 100th anniversary show and that list got lost also. I hope the Keith Urban fans have better luck. Of course, it makes you wonder what kind of lists they keep. It sounds like they write a bunch of names down on a sheet of notebook paper!!!

    I know that the Opry has always allowed you to exchange tickets for one date to another date. I have had to do that before and they are always super nice about it, never a problem. And, like was just mentioned, they are about the only ones who still do that. When was the last time that any venue refunded or exchanged a ticket purchase? I know sporting events will not do it, so kudos to the Opry for continuing that policy.

    Finally, regarding buying Opry tickets on e-bay and paying inflated prices, I have this little story. I remember when Garth Brooks appeared for the Opry's 80th birthday show and of course, both shows that Saturday night were sold out. I had a couple of extra tickets as I thought my wife and daughter would be coming with me, but they were unable to. When I got to the Opry House that night, there were many, many fans outside the Opry's doors trying to buy tickets. 3 high school girls came up to me and asked if I had any to sell, and because they were so polite and nice, I said I had 3. When they asked how much, I asked them what they were willing to pay. They talked among themselves for a minute and you could tell they were trying to see how much money they had and if they had enough to get home after show. Finally, one girl said that all they could pay me was $75.00 a ticket!!!. Of course, this was well over the ticket price. When I repeated it back to her and questioned her about that, she told me most of the other sellers wanted $100 and more for a ticket. That was just not right!!! I told them that I have children at home and I understood how bad they wanted to see Garth and I would sell them the tickets, but only a face value and if they actually promised to use them. They had such a look of surprise on their face. And, when I went to my seat, there were 3 very happy girls sitting next to me and totally enjoying the show. As much as I could have, I could not see asking anyone to pay higher than the face value of the ticket. It just didn't seem right then and it doesn't seem right now.

  10. opry should get someone else in Urban's place. I do understand and like the opry but I do pick the shows with the new artist that I prefer to hear and see sing. EVERYONE DOES! If you say you don't you are not human. I have young children that doesn't care for the older performers. If we were all senior citizens maybe this wouldd be okay, unfortunatly, we're not.

  11. As it has been pointed out on here, the Opry is a radio program, not a concert and was intended to give the audience only a sampling of various artists' wares. If somebody wants to see only one artist or group then they should attend a show where it's guaranteed that specific talent will perform. Real Opry fans understand and accept that.