Thursday, May 24, 2012

Grand Ole Opry--May 25, 1991

It has been a while (really much too long), since I have posted an Opry line-up from years past. It's about time for a look back and for this line-up, I went back 21 years ago, to May 25, 1991. There were 2 shows that night and there was nothing special that took place that night. Just a typical Saturday night at the Opry a generation ago. So here is the running order from that night.

Saturday May 25, 1991
1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Danny Davis: My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You
Porter Wagoner: You Gotta Have A License/Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Jim Ed Brown (host): Everyday People
Jan Howard: Heartaches By The Number
Jim Ed Brown: Four Walls

7:00: Shoney's
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Stu Phillips: Castle A Cabin
Jean Shepard: Home In San Antone/Time Changes Everything/Deep Water/Roly Poly
Bill Carlisle: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Tembling Lips
Jimmy C Newman: Colinda/Cajun Stripper

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Monroe (host): Uncle Pen
Charlie Walker: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere
Teddy Wilburn: She Loved You All Over The World
Margo & Holly Smith: Just The Beginning/Chime Bells
Bill Monroe: Cryin' Holy Unto The Lord/Blue Moon Of Kentucky/Watermelon Hangin On The Vine

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
4 Guys: I'm Bound For Higher Ground/How Married Are You, Mary Ann
Roy Drusky: It's My Way Of Loving You/One Day At A Time
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Rachel

8:30: Pops Right
Jimmy Dickens (host): Family Reunion
Skeeter Davis: My Last Date With You/Silver Thread & Golden Needles/The End Of The World
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me On Sundays
The Whites: Doing It By The Book
Jimmy Dickens: I Love Lucy Brown

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Sugarfoot Rag
Jean Shepard: Let's All Go Down To The River/Will The Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/ I Saw The Light
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk Of Coal
Stu Phillips: Here She Comes Again
Bill Carlisle: Rusty Old Halo
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass Of Home/Country Music Has Gone To Town

10:00: Little Debbie
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Jan Howard: Wind Beneath My Wings
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Just A Friend
Brother Oswald: Willy, Don't You Ramble No More
Roy Acuff: The Things I Might Have Been

10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): The Old Tennessee River
Jimmy C Newman: Pistol Packin' Mama
Bill Monroe: Sweetheart, You Done Me Wrong

10:45: B.C. Powder
Charlie Walker (host): A Way To Free Myself
The Whites: What About You
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar In The Goard
Charlie Walker: Take Me Back To Tulsa

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jimmy Dickens (host): Me & My Big Loud Mouth
Teddy Wilburn: Somebody's Back In Town
Roy Drusky: Go Bring My Children Home
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Ray Pillow: If I Didn't Have You In My World
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way

11:30: Creamette
4 Guys (host): We're Only Here For A Little While
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel/Something To Brag About
Skeeter Davis: The End Of The World/Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, Down In My Heart
4 Guys: If I Didn't Care/Tied Up

Compared to the Opry line-up this Saturday night with 12 artists and 9 Opry members, this Saturday night had 21 artists on each show, with all but 2 being Opry members on the 1st show, while the 2nd show had all Opry members, if you consider that Brother Oswald would eventually join the Opry. On the 1st show, Danny Davis was a late addition for Wilma Lee Cooper, who had cancelled out. As you look at the line-up, you can see what 21 years has done to the Opry membership. The majority of the Opry members on this particular night are no longer with us. Enjoy!


  1. I find it kind of interesting that Margo Smith did only the TV portion. Even back then, I think they were trying to inject some different things there.

    I find it interesting, too, that so many more songs could fit into half an hour, and it's very clear that most of the hosts and performers aren't talking much more.

    I also notice Hank Snow wasn't there, and he usually was in those days but was then having some eye problems, if I remember you correctly. But there's another "regular" who wasn't there that night.

  2. Fred in Bismarck here:

    Ah, the next-best thing to being there. Thanks, B.

  3. Well, Grandpa Jones is missing, as is Bill Anderson among others. Also, Johnny Russell is not there. Not sure which one you are talking about, but I am sure I will hit myself on the side of my head when you tell me.

  4. Oh, I didn't say it very well. I meant Hank Snow was the regular who wasn't there. I think of those you mentioned as regulars, but I think mainly of Messrs. Acuff and Snow since they were pretty much off the road by then.

  5. How could I forget Hank!!! Thanks Mike.

    1. I have to ask a question about Danny Davis. When I looked at my notes I did not have anything for show one up until the TV portion. WSM must not have been coming in or we had storms in the area. Was this the Danny Davis of the Nashville Brass and did he have the band with him? I ask because there is a younger Danny Davis who works with Jeannie Seely. I don't know how far back he goes but he was around in 1999.

      Also, nice to see the songs listed. I never kept track of songs except for Roy Acuff and Hank Snow or if someone did something unusual.


  6. No,that was not Danny Davis with the Nashville Brass. Wilma Lee Cooper was scheduled for this segment but cancelled. I assume it was the same Danny Davis that Jeannie Seely featured at different times with some duet numbers and who played guitar for her.

  7. I believe he was a member of Porter's band at this time.

  8. Fred again:

    My second time thru the lineup, Roy Acuff's singing of "Just a Friend" jumped out at me. I don't have this number in my generous collection of Roy's music; in fact, never was acquainted with it at all until I caught up with it in the latest Tennessee Mafia Jug Band collection.

    Mafia's music is very Acuff-influenced in both style and repertoire, and I said to myself the first time I heard it, "That's gotta be by Roy."

    So, my question to Byron and Michael and any other big Acuff followers on here: Can you help me out with Roy's history with this song and where it might be found in a contemporary CD collection? Thank you, Fayfarers.

  9. Fred, I was asking myself the same question, so I did look on the internet and see that he apparently recorded it in 1951, and only on a 78. On one of the sites, I also discovered that one of the songs he and Bashful Brother had a lot of fun doing, Baldknob Arkansas, was written by the Louvin Brothers before they came to the Opry. That must have been a thrill for them since they worshiped Mr. Acuff in their younger days.

  10. "Just A Friend" was recorded at Roy's final session for Columbia records in September 1951, with Benny Martin on fiddle. The song was written by Johnnie Wright and Jack Anglin of the "Johnnie and Jack" team, and Jack's brother Jim Anglin, who wrote a good many other songs for Roy in the 1940s and 50s. Although it was evidently not a very big seller, it must have been a favorite of Roy's as he kept it in his regular repertoire for the rest of his life. It was one of the most common songs he used to open his 2nd Opry sets with. As far I know, the original recording has been out of print since the original 78 rpm issue. There is a Bear Family box set in the works right now that I have been helping out with some, that will include all 200 some-odd songs that Roy recorded from 1936-1951, and "Just A Friend" will be included there transferred from the original master tape.

  11. Robert, thank you so much! That is great information. It's Byron's blog, not mine, but I hope you'll come by here more often!

  12. I always appreciate Robert's comments. He is a true Grand Ole Opry historian and fan, like many of us. He has answered more than one question for me in the past. Thanks again for the imput.

  13. Fred here:

    Thank you very much, Michael and Robert. I love to think of a definitive Bear box on Roy's Columbia work. With it, Bear will have everything in print that Roy did pre-Hickory!

    Where would we American country fans be without the Germans, Brits and Aussies?

    Yours in admiration of the King of Country Music ... and of this wonderful blog of Byron's that lets us find answers to burning questions such as the above!

  14. Fred again:

    Robert's post reminds us that Columbia lost or ran off a lot of talent in the late 1940s-early 1950s ... Bob Wills, Bill Monroe & Roy Acuff, most notably. Of course their new stable of hitmakers was not too shabby ... Jimmy Dickens, Carl Smith, Marty Robbins, Ray Price & others. These are all greats and deserve their place in the Hall ... but are NOT seminal talents, in my opinion, like Wills, Monroe & Acuff.

    I know Wills left for what he thought was greener pastures, the new MGM label. And Monroe is supposed to have quit C. in a snit over its signing of either the Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs or both.

    Why Roy left I don't know. Was he pushed out the door? (Maybe I just need to review Elizabeth Schlappi.) I climbed on the C&W bandwagon in 1954, in time for Roy's c. 1955 Decca sides "I Like Mountain Music" and "Goodbye, Mr. Brown" (w/ Kitty Wells). I've been a fan of the King ever since.

    Nice to share memories with y'all!

  15. July 3, 2013

    I have a Hickory Record of Roy Acuff, stero H3G 4517. The song "Just A Friend" is on Side 2.This is titled "Smoky Mountain Memories featuring Roof Top Lullaby - Roy Acuff.

    Best Regards,

    Dean Murphy
    Wichita, Ks