Thursday, July 19, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 7/20 & 7/21

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedule for the 2 shows this weekend. It looks like the Friday Night Opry is the better of the 2 shows this weekend as Opry members Marty Stuart and Joe Diffie will be making appearances, along with guest artists Darius Rucker and J.T. Hodges. Darius has made a few Opry appearances over the past year and as been very well received as his country music career moves forward.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will feature Charley Pride, who also is appearing on the Friday Night Opry, along with a group of non-members including Greg Bates, Andy Griggs and Radney Foster.

Friday July 20
7:00: Mike Snider (host); John Conlee; J.T. Hodges
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV; Joe Diffie
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-Press; Darius Rucker
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Charley Pride

Saturday July 21
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Greg Bates
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites; Andy Griggs
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Radney Foster; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Kristen Kelly; Charley Pride

That comes out to 12 acts on Friday nigh, of whom 10 are Opry members, and 13 on Saturday night, of whom 9 are Opry members.

My friend Teea Goans will be the host of the Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Teea has a brand new country album out "That's Just Me" that I have heard and it is just a great. I recommend it.

Finally, it was July 21, 1973, 39 years ago this Saturday, that Jeanne Pruett became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jeanne was the last 'singing' member to join the Opry before it moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the new Grand Ole Opry House (of course, Jerry Clower was the last member to join before the move). Jeanne was a fine writer and was also recording hit country records, which led to her Opry membership. Jeanne is now retired, making her last Opry appearance in 2001. I have heard that she does visit backstage at the Opry once in a while to visit with her friends.

I thought it would be nice to look back and revisit the line-up from July 21, 1973, the night Jeanne Pruett joined the Opry.

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Tex Ritter (host): Boll Weevil
4 Guys: Turn Around; Look At Us
Tex Ritter: Fall Away

Tex Ritter (host): There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder
Ernie Ashworth: My Love For You
Tex Ritter: High Noon

7:00: Rudy's
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Hank Williams Jr: Hank/You're Cheating Heart
Sandi Burnette: Stand By Your Man
Hank Williams Jr: Cajun Baby
Sandi Burnette: Delta Dawn

7:30: Standard Candy
Osborne Brothers (host): Rocky Top
Jean Shepard: Virginia
Stringbean: Mt. Dew
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Osborne Brothers: You Win Again/Today I Started Loving You Again
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Osborne Brothers: Ruby

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Wake Up, Jacob
Dolly Parton: Traveling Man
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: If Teardrops Were Pennies
Porter Wagoner: Katy Did
Dolly Parton: Joshua

8:30: Stephens
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Arlene Harden: Special Day
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Goodin
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special
Arlene Harden: Walk With Me, Jimmy
Billy Grammer: Peace In The Valley

2nd show
9:30: Kelloggs
Tex Ritter (host): Wayward Wind
Bob Luman: When You Say Love
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Sandi Burnette: Stand By Your Man
Bob Luman: Honky Tonk Man
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven

10:00: Fender
Osborne Brothers (host): Midnight Flyer
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Osborne Brothers: Nine Pound Hammer

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Stringbean: Hillbilly Fever
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:30: Trailblazer
Porter Wagoner (host): Wake Up, Jacob
Dolly Parton: Traveling Man
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: If Teardrops Were Pennies/Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man

10:45: Beechnut
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special

11:00: Coca-Cola
4 Guys (host): Cottonfields/Maria
Arlene Harden: Special Day
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of A Dove
Arlene Harden: Will You Walk With Me, Jimmy
Sam McGee: When The Wagon Was New
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host); Singing The Blues
Louie Roberts: How Great Thou Art/Just A Little Lovin/Anytime/Bouquet of Roses/Cattle Call
Don Winters: Jambalaya
Marty Robbins: I Walk Alone/They'll Never Take Her Love From Me/Big Boss Man/Love Me/Don't Worry/I'll Step Aside/Letters Have No Arms/Long Gone Lonesome Blues

When I look back on the Opry's line-ups from years gone by and compare them, this is not one of the stronger ones. Lot's of filler acts and a few who never made it big on this night. But you did have Marty Robbins, Porter & Dolly and Tex Ritter, so it wasn't all bad.

Congratulations to Jeanne Pruett on her Opry anniversary.


  1. Mike Snider getting the host spot over Jim Ed Brown?

  2. David, Fisher seems to have trouble deciding how he feels about Jim Ed.

    As for the lineup the night Jeanne Pruett joined, I remember reading that they delayed the induction until Porter and Dolly were off the road because she and Dolly were close, and they wanted Dolly to induct her. I'd also mention that Louie Roberts is the son of Kayton, Hank Snow's steel guitar player forever and ever.

    1. I don't know about this Fisher Cat !

  3. I hate to but sometimes I can't help having negative thoughts. If Jim Ed hosts, he gets two songs. If Mike hosts, he can open, play a little music as he says goodnight and he is gone. More time for Andy Griggs or whoever might be on when Mike hosts. I will say that in the past month or so he has done a closing song most of the way through a few times. I can't think of another reason why Jim Ed would not host unless it was his choice. It appears he loves to sing anytime anywhere so I can't see him passing up a chance to sing two songs!

    Thanks for confirming Louie Roberts as Kayton's son. We saw him on Billy Walkers show on RFD recently and I told my brother I bet he was Kayton's son. Anyone know how far he went in the business?

    I did not know Billy Grammer had a son and he played music. You learn all kinds of things here!

  4. Louie did some recordings, including with his dad, and made quite a few guest appearances on the Opry, as did Billy Grammar's son. Neither of them did so well as the children of Marty Robbins and George Morgan, who appeared on there, too--Ronny as "Marty Robbins, Jr.," for a while.

    If genes matter, Billy's son was a heck of an instrumentalist!

  5. I checked on YouTube and there are a couple of video clips of Louie Roberts. I assume it is the same one. Also, with the discussion of Mike Snider getting the host spot instead of Jim Ed, notice that on Friday night, he is getting the host spot over John Conlee.

    A couple of other quick Opry notes from today:

    Former Opry announcer Tony Lyons has passed away and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees is going to be on the Friday Night Opry next week. They have room for Barry but not for some of the Opry legends.

  6. I have nothing against Mike Snider. He is a great entertainer. I just think that Jim Ed, being the senior member (AND A SHOULD BE HALL OF FAMER!!) should have the host spot.

    I thought Little Jimmy Dickens sounded extra good tonight (Friday). Better than the last few weeks.

  7. Did Tony Lyons pass this week? I remember him doing the last portions on Saturday night when Marty would be on and sometimes he would be mixed up in Marty's jokes and routine about running over and keeping ET or Justin from getting the Midnite Jamboree started.

    Mike Snider got to do a long closing tonight which defies my grumblings about hosts!

    I agree that that Jimmy Dickens sounded pretty strong last night. I must also admit that Darius Rucker didn't sound to bad compared to some of the newer acts that have been appearing.
    It was also nice to hear Charley Pride do three songs.

    As for Barry Gibb being on the Opry I have learned that a lot of folks outside country music have appeared on the Opry over the years, I just saw a picture of the Pointer Sisters at the new house shortly after it opened. I also read that when Paul McCartney was there in the 70's he was introduced by Mr. Acuff which surprised me. It just seems particularly insulting these days when it seems obvious that folks like these are more welcome than the legends or veterans of country. My brother works in radio and one of his friends who has been in the business since the 60's told him many years ago that one day it would all be one music. The Opry management seems to be trying to do their part to make this come true. One music, one world, we are loosing our identity and heritage!


  8. Over the years, many entertainers that we would not consider country have appeared at the Opry. Those would include Perry Como, James Brown, The Pointer Sisters, Paul McCartney (who visited backstage), Richard Nixon, Elvis Presley (who many did not consider country), Jack Black, Sissy Spacek, Andy Warhol (who visited backstage), Jamie Wyeth, among others. I also remember there was an Opera singer that Jimmy Dickens (I think), introduced years ago that was booed off the Opry stage. And of course, this list does not include many in the current group of country singers that we do not really consider country.

  9. I don't mind non-country acts appearing on the Opry. That's fine. The problem is when it becomes the rule rather than the exception. I posted to the Opry's Facebook page in response to the excitement about Barry Gibb, "How many members were told they couldn't appear so there would be time for him?" That's my objection--it was fine when members actually got to appear.

  10. I don't mind non-country visitors either. I think for the most part it let's us know what entertainers out there are "Country Fans". In a way, to me, it is a honor that some other entertainers would want to play on the Opry.

    I could be wrong, but I think one of the Gibbs brothers had a hit that made it into the Country top 40 in the late 70's or early 80's. Conway Twitty recorded one of their songs, "Rest Your Love On Me", which was a BIG No. 1 hit for him in 1981.

    But yes, why go looking for the "guests", when you have Stonewall Jackson, Stu Phillips, Ray Pillow all sitting at home; with Jesse McReynolds, Jean Shepard, Jimmy C. Newman, Jan Howard & others waiting on a phone call to see if they will appear this week or not.

    I really miss the old Opry. When you heard 20 or much more artists a weekend. You know there are entertainers that would die to get a chance to perform. I'm in Branson this weekend on a little family get away. There are Billboards everywhere; Barbara Fairchild, Neal McCoy, Buck Trent, Johnny Lee, Mickey Gilley, The Sons Of The Pioneers & others. You don't think one of these would play the Opry if asked? There are also Opry members over here most of the time: Oak Ridge Boys, The Gatlins, Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis..etc. and I see George Jones is doing several concerts over here this fall. And yet, they can only come up with less than a dozen to do the Opry??

    One last note: How is Jack Greene? He has disappeared, or I have missed him.

  11. Jack Greene is fine but I believe that his Opry days might be over. That is pretty much all that I would want to say publically.

  12. David, I will toss in that George Jones has been an embarrassment as an Opry member, and you may quote me anywhere you like.

    1. Well George Jones could appear more, that is for sure. Especially, if he has time doing several shows in Branson this fall. He may have the same feelings toward Mr. Fisher as others though?

  13. Maybe, but he was no better for Hal Durham or Bob Whittaker!

  14. Regarding the Jack Greene comment that I made, just to be clear, it is nothing that the Opry has done regarding Jack not appearing on the Opry. He is dealing with a health issue that I prefer not to discuss on the blog (per my policy), but there is other information out there on the internet regarding it.

    1. Found it. Thanks. I had remembered reading about it some time back, I had just forgot. What a vocalist he is !

  15. Fred in Bismarck here:

    Don't understand the whispering, Greene has Alzheimer's, not a STD -- self-announced many years ago.

  16. Fred, a couple of times, even when a health issue was public, some people complained about it being mentioned here. So, I think Byron feels if we want to know, we can look it up. Yes, Jack did announce it, but of course there's the possibility--I don't pretend to know--that there's some other issue, too. He's 82, after all.

  17. I completely respect someone's privacy regarding their health and I certainly wish Jack Greene nothing but the best. I will, however, just add one thing: back in 2002 if his ex-wife had been honest with me, I never would have booked him for a show. He should not have been traveling alone then and yet she put him on a plane and sent him half way across the country. He was very disoriented to the point that we almost had to cancel the show. I knew something was terribly wrong especially when he was so difficult when we rehearsed with the band. I was so concerned about him making it back home alone, I called her to make sure he got home and never heard a word back. Shortly thereafter, she left him. If not for his "manager" who has driven him around and taken him places, and I would guess pretty much been a caretaker, I doubt very seriously he would have been performing at all these past 10 years. I am very sorry that his Opry days may be over but I am at least glad to hear that it is not an "issue" with Opry management.

  18. Thanks for sharing that story. I know that the last few times I saw him at the Opry, he seemed a little confused on the stage and the last couple of times, he forgot the lyrics to his hit. But, he still looked and sounded great.

  19. I should also say that I really do appreciate reading this board because without it, I would get no updates on the veterans at the Opry. It's a terrible shame that someone like Jack could be on the Opry for all these years then one day "disappear" without any explanation. Thank you Byron.