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 www.metromarks.com 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!!