Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Grand Ole Opry Schedule 1/6 & 1/7

Before posting and commenting on this week's Grand Ole Opry schedule, I just wanted to follow up on the Carol Lee Cooper item that I had last week. Yesterday I received my electronic copy of the Bill Anderson Fan Club Newsletter. In it, he has a section where he answers letters and questions from fans and one of this months questions had to do with Carol Lee Cooper and asking why she doesn't sing with her group anymore. The response from Bill was that "Carol Lee has had some health issues and has taken a leave of absence from singing and performing. We all hope, as she does, that she will be able to return shortly. We miss her just as you do." So that is the latest and I will say that Bill seems to be the first Opry member to comment on her situation publicly.

As far as the Opry this weekend, the show continues its winter run at the Ryman Auditorium with one show on Friday Night and one show on Saturday night. Looking at the line ups for the shows, there is really nothing special to report. No blockbuster names this weekend, but a good mix of talent. The very talented guitar player Doyle Dykes is scheduled for both shows this weekend. Joining Doyle on Friday night will be Opry members Ralph Stanley and Diamond Rio and non-Opry member, but frequent Opry guest, Danny Gokey. Saturday night's Grand Ole Opry will feature non-members Eden Edge along with newcomer Andy Gibson. He is another in the string of newcomers that Pete Fisher seems to be inviting to perform on the Opry. He is from the west coast and has been featured on GAC.

Friday January 6
7:00: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Danny Gokey
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Doyle Dykes
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Ralph Stanley
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Diamond Rio

Saturday January 7
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Andy Gibson
7:30: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; Connie Smith; Bo Bice
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Edens Edge; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-Press; Doyle Dykes

That comes out to 12 artists on Friday night, with 10 Opry members and 13 artists on Saturday night with 9 Opry members. Also interesting is that the segment hosts are the same 4 that hosted segments last week.

No live Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree this weekend as now through the middle of February they will be running archived shows. This week's show is hosted by Ernest Tubb. I don't know from what year and who the guest artists are, but it will be interesting and fun to listen back and her old Ernest again.


  1. Doyle Dykes is the best guitar picker in the entire world. No question!
    Looks like two really good shows to me.

  2. Nat, Doyle Dykes did something I had never thought possible: he did imitations of other guitarists. He is brilliant.

    Byron, I think inviting newcomers is great. Pete Fisher isn't new in that regard, but he deserves credit--and we know I hate to give him credit for anything--for doing that. The problem is that it used to be a newcomer would get one song among about 25 artists on a show. Now ....

    And I hope to listen Saturday night to ET.

  3. How many years has the Midnight Jamboree gone on hiatus for a few weeks in the winter?

  4. I will defer to Byron, obviously. But I think this is the second year of the ET February hiatus. Very interesting archived shows in 2010.

  5. In 2010 they took February off. I guess the timing is a little different this year.

  6. I am pretty sure it was 2010, when the Opry was down at the Ryman Auditorium and they cut from 2 Saturday night shows to 1, along with the flood, which really decreased the Nashville tourist traffic.

    With the smaller Opry crowds over the winter and the shorter show, it was just tough the midnight jamboree to generate much of a crowd. I do know that they went to a 10:00 taping for a while and that did help, but people complained that they missed having the show live. I do know that since they went back to the live show at midnight, the crowds have been better.

    Some thought given to having the jamboree back at the downtown shop when the Opry was at the Ryman, and they did do a few shows from there, but I heard that it was more expensive to do that, plus the shop cannot hold that many people.

    I will say that I do enjoy listening to the archived shows as they are a piece of history.


  7. Happy New Year Byron,

    I have a question - what is going on with Marty Stuart that he & his Fabulous Superlatives have not been on the Opry lately. I watch the line-up every week, I can't remember the last time they were on. I realize he is busy with his tv show & touring but he always made room for the Opry. Thanks!!!

  8. I have no answer on this one. I know he has been touring a bit but this week is a perfect example. He is in town and was filming new episodes of his TV show. In fact, one of the shows he filmed this week features Freddie Hart.

    But, in 2011, he made only 9 Opry appearances, and that compares with 23 in 2010 and 34 in 2009. So he is definitely down in his numbers. But, I just don't know why. I hope it is not a case of him having a problem with the Opry. Let's just hope that it is because he has been so busy. He is missed on the Opry.


  9. Fred here:

    Marty is missed indeed. He is one who brings real energy and a sense of fun, as well as musicianship, to the stage. Whether he's doing stone country, bluegrass, rockabilly or straight-out rock and roll, the guy knows how to entertain. A throwback, that way.

  10. Thanks for your reply Byron (& yours as well, Fred.) Marty is one guy who loves the Opry & what it stands for, so very few Opry appearances in 2011 have really surprised me. Tomorrow night is the premiere of the 4th season of his show, of which I absolutely love. I refer to Marty's show as my Saturday night Opry since the Opry is no longer televised as we all know. Maybe Marty is that busy. With Connie's recently released album, which he produced; I am on Facebook with Marty & also Paul Martin & both recently posted, separately, that they are in the studio working on a new album; with the taping of the new season - didn't he also sing a song on another album recently of which I can't recall the type of album it was (something like the Civil War) & with touring (didn't he & Connie tour Europe last year?) I suppose it is possible he could be that busy but even that surprises me. Marty reminds me of the Energizer Bunny - he always seems to go forever without tiring He used to say on his show that if anyone wanted to reach him they should write him in care of the Grand Ole Opry - I can't remember the last time he said that - I think Season 2. I don't recall him saying that all of last season - I suppose I could take the time to watch each show as I taped the entire season - I don't recall him saying that all of last year & I remember a Grand Ole Opry sign hanging somewhere on a wall of the set - I don't remember seeing that sign either - starting tomorrow I will be looking for it. Maybe this year will see him on the Opry stage more than last & like you, I hope the lack of Opry performances are not due to any problems with the Opry or more like Pete Fisher.

    Also thank you for whatever news you have been able to provide about Carol Lee Cooper. She is not in the line-up on the Family Country Reunion shows. Tonight was the first night of the Hee-Haw/Kornfield shows they recently taped for RFD-TV (love that cable channel for the country music programming.) The other three members of the "Carol Lee Singers" group were there but not Carol Lee. I saw that same online article where Pete Fisher supposedly fired her around the time her Mom passed away & I found that hard to believe myself. It appears that health issues are the reason she has been off of the Opry, I hope she makes a full recovery & returns soon.

    Thanks again, Byron .... have a good weekend.