Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 4/20 & 4/21--Updated

A couple of updates to the line up for this weekend. Looking at the Friday Night Opry, Mark Wills has been added to the 1st segment and The Secret Sisters moved to the final segment. Jan Howard has cancelled out. For the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night, the comment originally made that both shows featured only Opry members is out the window as Love and Theft has been added for both shows. The Whites have been moved from the 2nd segment to the 1st segment and Love and Theft took over The Whites previous segment. One the 2nd show, Love and Theft have been added to the 3rd segment. The updated line up is featured below.

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedule for the shows this weekend. There is 1 show on Friday night and 2 shows on Saturday night. Of course, the big news this weekend is the formal Opry induction of Keith Urban as the newest member. That will take place during the 1st show on Saturday night and GAC will be televising it live. And, as you will see from the line-up, the Opry and GAC are both up to their old tricks of having only 3 acts scheduled for the hour that is being televised. You would hope that there will be some special appearances by someone that night, as I cannot believe that Trace Adkins would be doing the formal induction.

Before leaving GAC, the show on Saturday night will be the premier show for their new series, "Noteworthy at the Opry." According to GAC, this new series "will feature musical performances and personal, inside stories from the top acts in country music coupled with interviews with artists from multiple musical genres and other celebrities about the artists and music featured in each episode." You will notice that it does not say that the show will feature Opry members. I do not know if it will be a live weekly series or if the show will only be on when the Opry has the "right" artists on.

On another note from the television front, TNN is coming back on the air. That's right!! It is scheduled to come back this coming summer. Jim Owens is behind this effort as he bought the rights to the name and also to a number of the shows that were formally on the network. It will not be a specific cable channel, but they are attempting to have local affiliates that will serve as network carriers. Among the shows that are currently scheduled to air are, "Memories of the Grand Ole Opry", "Crook & Chase", "Celebrity Kitchen", "The Country Vibe", "Music City Tonight", "Larry's Country Diner." Most of these shows will be re-broadcasts from the old TNN shows, but with support, it could be successful.

Getting back to the Opry, one of the highlights for this weekend is the scheduled return of Jean Shepard, who is scheduled for both nights. Jean has been gone from the Opry for a number of weeks and after hearing some of the news that I heard while in Nashville last weekend, I was very surprised to see her on the schedule. I am glad to see her feeling better. Joining Jean on the Friday night Opry will be Opry members Marty Stuart and Diamond Rio, along with guest artists The Secret Sisters and John Anderson.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night, in addition to the induction of Keith Urban, will also feature Opry members Josh Turner and Trace Adkins.

Friday April 20
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jean Shepard; Mark Wills
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; John Anderson
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Diamond Rio
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); The Whites; Connie Smith; The Secret Sisters

Saturday April 21
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; The Whites
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Love and Theft
8:00: Keith Urban; Trace Adkins; Josh Turner

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Josh Turner
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Love and Theft
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); George Hamilton IV; Trace Adkins; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Keith Urban

With only 8 artist on the 1st show on Saturday night, which is shameful by the way, the Opry "loaded" up with 14 artists on Friday night, while the 2nd Saturday show will feature 11 acts. On Friday night, 12 of the 14 are Opry members, while the Saturday shows will feature, at this point, all Opry members. But, I find it sad that with a new member joining, only 8 Opry members will be there for that show.

The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will be hosted by the Stoneman's. I had an opportunity to see them host the Jamboree a couple of years back, and they are outstanding. Of course, they should have been scheduled for the Opry on Saturday night.

Congratulations again go to Keith Urban on his induction as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry and my hope is that after he joins, he remembers where the Opry House is and will come back and visit often.


  1. What spectacular news about Jim Owen. I hope there will be a lot of interest. With the popularity of networks like RFD-TV and rerun channels, you'd think so!

    I appreciate your comments all the time, of course, but especially about this weekend. And I wonder when was the last time an Opry lineup consisted entirely of members?

  2. I am thrilled that Keith Urban is becoming the newest member of the Opry & my congratulations go out to him. I also hope he visits the Opry much more than some of his soon to be co-Opry members. Something tells me he will. I wonder if some members, i.e. Vince, Marty & Ricky have some pull in bringing in new members. I know how much Marty & Vince really like Keith, so maybe they both had something to do with this. All I know is that the Opry "got Keith good" with the invitation coming at the "All for the Hall" benefit. He was so unsuspecting. There is a small video posted on the GAC website of Keith explaining what took place prior to him opening the duffel bag which contained the WSM Grand Ole Opry mic stand in it. It is part of the Noteworthy program. The theme of the benefit was duos & groups in country music, so it was great to see all the Opry members on stage with him & of course if anything is happening in Music City & country music, Eddie Stubbs will be in the thick of it all.

    I love Vince Gill – he has a fabulous voice, he is a great musician, his music is great & he is a fabulous human being but will somebody PLEASE ask him to call it the Grand OLE Opry? He continues to call it the Grand OLD is such a pet peeve of mine & he is not the only one that refers to it as OLD – Jeannie Seely is another one that refers to it as OLD ... okay I'm backing off of my soapbox. Thank you for "listening!"

    Normally, I would be sitting in front of my TV watching Keith’s induction but I will be sitting in a front row seat enjoying Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives in concert. It's been at least five years since I've seen Marty in concert, the last time, Brian Glenn was Marty’s the bass player, not Paul Martin. So for me, what is better than hearing Marty on the Friday Night Opry? Seeing him the next night live ... :-) And I agree I don't see Trace Adkins inducting Keith, though he could - the only one I see inducting him is Little Jimmy Dickens – he recently inducted The Oaks & Rascal Flatts. Of course, while not on the roster, Vince Gill could make a surprise appearance to do the honors. I find the whole invitation/induction process fascinating. Does Opry management send out ballots to the existing members for a vote – does Opry management just inform members of a new member to be inducted? I don’t know, maybe I’ll get an answer. I am in agreement in bringing in Gene Watson & Mandy Barnett & especially John Anderson as some of the next members? I think that whoever nailed the roof on the House is more than deserving of being a member under it! I think the Opry needs a couple more bluegrass acts as members. Inviting Rhonda Vincent would be a great move for starters. She is so good.

    As far as TNN: The Nashville Network is concerned, I'm thrilled it is coming back even if it is with old shows. I hope Jim Owen is able to secure Ralph Emery’s “Nashville Now” shows – he had the best show anywhere. He brought in legends, established & new artists together & did it very well. It will be interesting to see if it is brought to the Chicago market.

    The Twist, the Hop & the Stroll - Bobby Sox & Poodle skirts – every day after school my sisters & I would watch as he brought in black & white his show American Bandstand. He gave us the best talent & the best rock & roll had to offer.

    No one will ever replace him … no one ~

    RIP Dick Clark …

  3. I can tell you that there is no voting done by Opry members to decide who the next member should be. Opry membership has always been decided by Opry management, in this case Steve Buchanan and Pete Fisher.

    Yes, there are Opry members who do have some influence, and as I stated in an earlier post, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Vince Gill did mention to Pete that he thought Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban would make good Opry members.

    As far as deciding Opry members, the management of the Opry likes to keep the cast balanced. By that I mean a good distribution of membership between males and females, modern and legends, bluegrass and traditional, and groups. If you look at the current group of Opry members, they seem to have that mix.

    The Opry usually will have someone who they might want as a member on the show as a guest to see what kind of reaction they receive from the crowd and from their fellow artists backstage. While most new members act surprised when asked, and most are, the Opry will have discussions with the act and their management to see if there is an interest in becoming an Opry member at some point.

    I know years back, the Opry did want the Oak Ridge Boys and Lee Greenwood as members, but at the time, they both declined. Of course, the Oaks later joined. George Strait's name comes up once in a while, but he will not do the Opry at all due to a situation with a previous Opry manager regarding appearing on the Opry.

    There is a committment to join and Pete Fisher tries to get the new members to appear 10 times per year.

    Hope that helps you out and have fun seeing Marty Stuart on Saturday night. As you said, he puts on a great show. And I agree, RIP Dick Clark.

  4. Since I don't have RFD-TV anymore,I'm thrilled to hear the TNN is comng back. ALLLLL RIGHTTTT.''Nashville Now '' and ''Crook & Chase''.It's about time.

  5. Thanks for all of the Opry information, Byron. It's too bad one bad situation ruined it for George Strait to ever appear. Time will tell on many of the new Opry members - Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton & now Keith Urban & how often they appear. It seems that they appear quite a few times in the first 6 months or so & all of a sudden they slack off.

    Thanks, yes, I will enjoy seeing Marty .... always very professional & ever the showman.

    I'm sorry, I thought I had typed my name on my original post above.

    Have a good weekend


  6. There have been a couple of comments on who might be doing the actual induction of Keith Urban as an Opry member. Many times the Opry will pull a special surprise and with the show being televised, I do expect that. Vince Gill, who invited Keith to be a member, is available and could show up.

    If there is no special guest star, perhaps Jeannie Seely. I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but lately Jeannie has become somewhat the face of the Opry at special events, either at the Opry or around town. She recently represented the Opry at the opening of the alley behind the Ryman and most weeks when there are guest announcers at the Opry, it is usually on Jeannie's segment. Just an observation.

  7. Fred here:

    What do folks on here think of the Secret Sisters? I have been reluctant to get carried away and start buying music until I hear more. But based on two songs, "Tennessee Me" and "Tomorrow Will Be Kinder," I gotta say they sound more down-to-Earth country than anybody else I have heard on contemporary-country radio in a very long time.

    Is the rest of their catalog consistent with these? Thanks for your thoughts.

  8. Fred, when I was in Nashville last year, they were part of a program at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and I have to tell you I was impressed by them. I have not heard all their music or even listened to their CD, but the several songs that they did at that performance showed good harmonies and some good, simple music.

  9. Listening to the Friday Night Opry last night, it was good to hear Jean Shepard back on the Opry. She talked a bit about her illness and the fact that Connie Smith, Jan Howard and a few others visited and called. She sounded good. Jimmy Dickens started off ok, but his final song was tough to listen to.

  10. I was watching ''Who Do You Think You Are?'' on TV and found Reba McEntire looking for her family tree on mother's side [BRASFIELD]Reba ended up in England to find her 8th great-grandfather Thomas Brasfield [d.1720]So I done a little family checking and found Reba and Rod Brasfield are 4th cousins.

  11. Just a final thought on Keith Urban becoming a new Opry member tonight. Isn't it interesting that Keith Urban was asked to be the Opry's newest member the week that the new Opry show on GAC is starting?

    Makes you wonder if someone from GAC called Steve or Pete and asked for something big for the first show and this is what they came up with.

    Like I said, just some interesting timing on this one.

  12. I didn't get to listen, but I hope Jean is indeed feeling better.

  13. Fred here:

    Thank you, Byron, for your reaction to the Secret Sisters. I will keep my antennae out and share with the readership any findings that may be of interest.