Thursday, June 14, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 6/15 & 6/16-Updated

An update to the schedule for this weekend. Holly Williams has been added to Friday and Saturday night. And Jim Ed Brown has cancelled for Saturday night and George Hamilton IV will now be hosting that segment.

With the CMA Music Fest over, things get back to normal this week at the Grand Ole Opry. What that means is that we get 1 show on Friday night and 1 show on Saturday night. The Friday Night Opry this week will feature Crystal Gayle making a guest appearance. Why she is not being considered for Opry membership I do not know. To me, she would make a fine member and with the shortage of female singers on many of the Opry's shows, she would be a good choice. Also making another return appearance on Friday night will be The Farm. I was there when they made their Opry debut several months back, and they were "ok". Nothing special. And the Little General Cloggers will be making their annual Opry appearance, which usually happens the Friday before Father's Day. They are a nice outfit and I am glad the Opry has allowed that tradition continue. As far as Opry members on Friday night, Craig Morgan will be there along with Ray Pillow, who will be hosting a segment.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will feature veteran country star T.G. Sheppard. T.G.'s opinion about the Opry has changed over the years. Early in his career he gave an interview and was quoted as saying, "I played the Opry only once. I guess we could play it more, but we just don't, because we're what they call the 'new breed.' And a lot of the 'new breed' doesn't play the Opry."

When he did appear at the Opry, he offered this observation. "Well, it was very strange. I don't know, I think every performer experiences that whenever you go to the Opry for the first time. You know, you're standing in the middle of history. I guess it's pretty much like if you're a politician and you get into the Oval Office and sit behind the President's desk for two or three seconds. You know that you're sitting where all the greats have set."

Well, ok T.G. But now that is career is not as "hot" as it used to be and now that he is no longer considered part of the "new breed" (whatever that was), T.G. seems to have no problems playing the Opry. Actually, I do enjoy T.G. and he did have a string of hits in his career. Also appearing on Saturday night will be this week's Opry newcomer Gwen Sebastian.

Appearing both nights this weekend will be Opry member Del McCoury and his band, along with non-Opry member Jimmy Wayne. While Jimmy may not be a member, he is at the Opry more times than most of those who are members.

A final special mention this week goes to Opry veteran Stu Phillips, who will be appearing on Saturday night. We know Stu has had a rough go of it lately and his voice has really suffered, but this month he is celebrating 45 years as an Opry member. (In the Opry history book, the date is given as June 1, but in my files I have June 17 as his first date as a member appearing on the show). Either way, I am glad they are having Stu on this weekend and I hope when he is introduced by Jim Ed Brown, he is given special mention.

Friday June 15
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Little General Cloggers; Holly Williams
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Craig Morgan
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); The Farm; Crystal Gayle
8:45: John Conlee (host); Jimmy Wayne; Del McCoury Band

Saturday June 16
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Gwen Sebastian
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy Wayne
8:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Stu Phillips; Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); T.G. Sheppard; Del McCoury Band

9 Opry members for each night.

I want to finish by giving my thanks and special mention to the folks at Metromarks. If you go to their website and go to Nashville as the city of your choice, they are now featuring my blog. I do appreciate the mention and as always, I thank everyone for being a part of this. I enjoy the comments and the opinions. Keep them coming!!


  1. Byron,

    Here is where I hope Eddie Stubbs steps up. This is the kind of thing I was mentioning in reply to the comment about the announcers being boring. Looking at Stu's health, one might wonder if he will be able to appear on his 50th. Management might make some kind of gesture now but I don't expect it. That leaves Eddie to present to the audience Stu's accomplishments and Jim Ed to say some nice words.

    We'll see what happens. Thanks for remembering Stu, he is a nice man.

    Knightsville. IN

  2. You are right, Stu is a very nice man. I still find it somewhat funny that as a minister he owns a winery.

  3. Country Music exec.Frances Williams Preston passed away June 13th.age 83.Inducted in the country music hall of fame in 1992.

  4. Thanks for mentioning us on your blog Byron. We are proud to link to your blog as one of the BEST in Nashville! Visitors to Nashville will be able to know everything they need to about the Old Opry! Many thanks!

  5. Fred in Bismarck here:

    Byron, re. Stu and his winery: Remember what Jesus did with water!

  6. I have been to Stu's winery, Long Hollow Winery & Vineyard. It is a very pretty place in Goodlettsville. His wife works the store or did - it's been about 5 years since I was there. I have a very pretty wine glass with their business card tucked inside on display & I bought a bottle of wine - it was very good!!

    I would be very surprised if Eddie Stubbs does not mention Stu's 45th anniversary of Opry membership. He is pretty good at all of that stuff. There aren't many times when Eddie drops the ball. I hope Stu is doing better. He has always had such a smooth voice.

    Gwen Sebastian is from this season of "The Voice." I never watched this show so I can't comment on her music, which is supposedly country, well, they ALL say that ... it's all in the ears of the beholder. I like much of what I hear on today's "country" radio but I wouldn't consider much of what I hear, country .... no way. Alan Jackson's current single is country to the bone - does anyone think that the Chicago country station is playing it?

    I have always loved TG's music - met him once at Fan Fair, received an autograph & a picture of us was taken. He seemed personable. I could tell when artists wanted to be there & then there were others that well, not so much. TG seemed to enjoy himself with his fans.

    The Farm has a cool song out - lots of great fiddle work in it - I heard on the radio that the fiddle player in this trio, used to play in Kenny Chesney's band. Looking forward to hearing Craig Morgan & Del McCoury.

    Congrats on your blog being featured on Metromarks' website, Byron. You do an excellent job on it.


  7. I love the new song by the Farm. I think it's going to be a #1 hit one day.

  8. Like I mentioned, The Farm was at the Opry when I was there in February and did a nice job. They seemed thrilled to be there.

    I have noticed that the Opry has been tying in with various television shows in having new young talent on the show. In the past, it has been American Idol performers. I do think it is a good thing to bring to voices to the show, just keep it country

    Jeanene, my wife and I had the same experience when we visited Stu's winery. A very nice place and a nice little display regarding Stu's career. Stu was not there the day we visited. As far as the wine, I have to say that I do not drink so I have no opinion, but my wife, who does, did not personally care for it.

  9. We'll, so much for Stu Phillips this weekend. He has cancelled out. Too bad and I hope he is doing ok. I would have liked him to have received some recognition from the Opry.

  10. Is there a place to get a set list? I heard Holly Williams on the Opry Sirrius Radio broadcast and really liked one of the songs she performed. I would love to find out the name of it! I believe it was the Friday night, 6/15/12, performance.