Traditionally during the former Fan Fair, the Grand Ole Opry offered some of the strongest line-ups of the year as most of the stars were in town to meet and greet their fans. But now with the festival being called the CMT Music Fest and with most of the major shows on the weekend, the Opry doesn't get the star power like it used to do. Back in the Fan Fair days, there would be 2 Friday night shows, a Saturday matinee, 2 Saturday night shows and a Sunday matinee. Now we are left with 1 show on Friday and Saturday night and a Saturday matinee show at the Ryman Auditorium.
In looking at the schedule for this weekend, Friday night seems the stronger of the 2 nights with veteran Opry members Mel Tillis, Charley Pride and Larry Gatlin heading the show. The only non-Opry member scheduled is Lauren Alaina. The Saturday matinee show features Wynonna, along with Kellie Pickler and Larry Gatlin, while the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will again feature veterans Mel Tillis and Charley Pride, along with non-member Sarah Darling, who seems to be making a lot of appearances on the Opry of late. Also scheduled on Saturday night is Jan Howard, who has just returned from doing a series of concerts in Norway. The still love the traditional country music over there.
Friday June 8
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; George Hamilton IV
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Mel Tillis
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Lauren Alaina
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); John Conlee; Charley Pride
Saturday June 9-Matinee
3:00: Jimmy Dickens; Wade Bowen
3:30: Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
4:00: Jim Ed Brown; Kellie Pickler
4:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Wynonna
Saturday June 9
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Sarah Darling
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Mel Tillis
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Charley Pride
Sometimes I wonder about the booking and show line-ups at the Opry. (I think we all do at time). With Mel Tillis, Charley Pride and John Conlee on the Friday show, why is Mike Snider hosting a segment? I know Mike usually does, but there is some star power and Hall of Famers on the show who have experience hosting segments. Same on Saturday night. Mike again is hosting, and you have Mel and Charley again that could have hosted. One the good side this weekend, it is nice to see that the majority of those performing on Friday and Saturday night are actually Opry members. Good to see.
Speaking of Mel, he will be pretty busy over the weekend as in addition to the Opry shows, he will be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night/Sunday morning. That should be a great show.
Finally, here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry on June 12:
7:00: Jim Ed Brown; Aaron Tippin
7:30: Jimmy Dickens; Craig Morgan
8:15: Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charlie Daniels Band; Luke Bryan
That is the 2nd week in a row with just 7 artists on the show. Wonder if this is the way they are going to go with the Tuesday night show. With Gaylord always looking at the bottom line, they might figure that 7 pays less than 8 and they can make a few more dollars on the show. The future will tell.
It should be a great weekend in Nashville and at the Opry and let's hope in the festivities and shows downtown that the fans do not forget about the Opry and head out to support the show and have a great experience.