Last night I watched the new GAC show, "Noteworthy at the Opry", which featured the induction of Keith Urban as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. In addition to Keith, the show featured Trace Adkins and Josh Turner, along with Nan Kelly as the host. Let's just say after watching the show that I was not impressed.
As I said, Nan Kelley was the host and they had her up in the balcony in section 22. When they pictured her doing the introductions of the artists, you could see the Opry stage behind her. The show started with Trace Adkins walking behind the Opry stage giving a brief introduction of the show and Keith Urban. Then they went up to Nan and she did the introduction of Keith and the curtain went up and Keith went into his first song. Immediately after that, they cut to Marty Stuart and others giving interviews and comments about the Opry and Keith.
In addition to Marty, the interviews featured Trace Adkins, Nan Kelley, Peter Cooper of the Tennessean, John Mayer, Lee Ann Womack and Kerry Collins, the NFL quarterback. I may have missed one or two others. They also included Keith talking about his life, with a bunch of still pictures and silent videos about his career. As far as the Opry, while talking about the tradition of the Opry, they had pictures of Porter & Dolly, George & Tammy, along with George D. Hay. Finally, they did mention Roy Acuff and had a picture of him in dressing room #1 with Gene Autry and Minnie Pearl. They also showed the video of Vince Gill from the "All for the Hall" show with the surprise announcement of Keith becoming the Opry's newest member.
Trace Adkins came out and did one song, as did Josh Turner. As they were performing, I did notice that they added a bank of lights at the foot of the Opry stage where the old floodlights used to be. They were not there last week, so I assume they were added for the television show.
At about half past the hour, they did the induction of Keith. He was joined on stage by Josh Turner, Trace Adkins and Opry vice-president and general manager Peter Fisher. Josh started off with a short joke about being an Opry member for only 5 years, while Trace was an Opry member much longer, so he handed it off to Trace. It was kind of funny because it was obvious that Josh was reading his line off the telepromter in the back and he had trouble doing that. Anyways, Trace made a short introduction and then Pete Fisher made his usual comments about the significance of the member award he was giving to Keith and then he handed it back to Trace who gave the award to Keith and then Keith went into a pretty long speech that sounded like he was accepting an academy award. There were no special guests who came out, although they did show a video from Brad Paisley, and that was it.
After the induction of Keith, Josh and Keith each did a final song and the show ended. What struck me about the show, besides the length of the commercials, was the fact that there seemed very little music compared to the previous Opry shows that GAC did, if that is possible. I know the artists did more songs for the Opry audience during the commercial breaks, but for the television audience, there wasn't much. Obviously, the focus on this new series will be getting to know the artists in addition to the music.
This was advertised as a sneak preview of the new series on GAC that will debut on the network on Saturday May 26 and will run for 16 weeks. There is no indication whether or not the show will be live or taped at the Tuesday Night Opry, or a combination of both. For those attending the Saturday night shows, I hope for them that they tape this series from the Tuesday Night Opry. While no additional artists were announced for future shows, I see Alan Jackson is scheduled for an upcoming Tuesday Night Opry, so I would not be surprised if he was an upcoming feature.
As usual with a GAC Opry show, there were no legends, not even Jimmy Dickens. I would have liked to have seen one of the legends come out to do the Opry induction, just to give it some significance. And I was actually surprised that nobody else showed up to welcome Keith into the family.
On a final note, I did watch the Marty Stuart show last night as it featured just Marty and his band, along with his new album. It was a very good show. Connie Smith did a lot of the taped introductions and they had interviews with Marty and behind the scenes pictures of Marty and his group. They also talked about the new album and Marty sang several numbers from it. Buck Trent was featured along with the daughter of Anita Carter, who was fantastic singing harmony with Marty. Sorry, I missed her first name. For true country music, Marty's show was much better than the Opry last night.
If you missed the GAC show, it will be shown about a dozen times over the next week.