Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 8/10 & 8/11

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 3 shows this weekend. With new Opry member Keith Urban performing on Saturday night, a 2nd show as been added. In addition to Keith on Saturday night, both shows will also feature former Opry member, and Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price. It is always a treat when Ray does the Opry and at the age of  86, he still sounds great.

Also appearing on Saturday night will be Iris DeMent. She has a great voice and is a great talent. And if that is not enough, Miss Willie Brown is scheduled. These are 2 young ladies who are starting to make their mark in music, performing a combination of country and blues.

On the Friday Night Opry this week will be Canaan Smith, who will be making another guest appearance, and Maggie Rose. She is another of the young females in the business and I believe this will be her first Opry appearance.

Friday August 10
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Maggie Rose
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Mark Wills
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Canaan Smith
8:45: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Restless Heart

Saturday August 11
1st show
7:00: Opry Square Dancers; Jimmy Dickens (host); Dustin Lynch; The Whites
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Iris DeMent; Miss Willie Brown
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Ray Price; Mark Wills
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Keith Urban

2nd show
9:30: Opry Square Dancers; Jimmy Dickens (host); Dustin Lynch; Connie Smith
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Miss Willie Brown; Ray Price
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Jesse McReynolds; Mark Wills
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Keith Urban

For Friday night, that comes out to 14 artists, with 10 Opry members, while Saturday night's 1st show has 11 artists of which 6 are Opry members, while there will be 12 acts on the 2nd show, with 8 Opry members. And interesting that it looks like the Opry Square Dancers will only be opening both shows on Saturday and not in their usual spots.

Anita Stapleton will be the host of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree after the Opry on Saturday night/Sunday morning. She has been a frequent guest doing some Saturday afternoon appearances at the main shop on Broadway.

Looking back in history and to compare line-ups, I have come up with an old one for everyone, from Saturday August 11, 1951, 61 years ago. There are some real classic Opry members that appeared on this show including a short-timer as an Opry member, Lefty Frizzell.

7:30: Warren Paint
Roy Acuff (host): Pins and Needles
Lew Childre: Riding on the Elevated Train
Le Croix Sisters: Precious Lord
Oswald: Take Me Back to Tennessee
Joe Zinkas: Tiger Rag

7:45: American Ace Coffee
Roy Acuff (host): Fire Ball Mail
Uncle Dave Macon: Chewing Gum
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light
Jug Band: Uncle Epit
Jimmy Riddle: Frankie and Johnnie

8:00: Martha White Flour
Hank Snow (host): Golden Rocket
Bill Monroe: Rotation Blues
Crook Brothers: Shortening Bread
Carl Smith: Let's Live a Little
Mamma Maybelle: Wave on the Sea
Hank Snow: Your Locket is my Broken Heart
June Carter: Bashful Rascal
Bill Monroe: Lord Protect my Soul
Rudy Lyle: Shenandoah Valley Breakdown
Hank Snow: One More Ride

8:30: Prince Albert (NBC)
Red Foley (host): Mine, All Mine
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Tommy Duncan: San Antonio Rose
Square Dancers: Ragtime Annie
Red Foley: I'll Fly Away
Old Hickory Singers: I Want a Girl
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Tommy Duncan: Mississippi River Blues
String Bean: Free a Little Bird
Red Foley: I Want to Be With You Always
Square Dancers: Flop Eared Mule
Tommy Duncan: There's Not a Cow in Texas

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Blues in My Mind
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbin Ridge
Hank Williams: Cold, Cold Heart
Jamup and Honey: Comedy
Le Croix Sisters: Columbus Stockade Blues
George Morgan: Tennessee Ghost
Lonzo and Oscar: Moving On No. 2
Roy Acuff and Gang: Don't Wait Till the Judgement Day
Jug Band: Don't Put a Tax on a Beautiful Woman
Oswald: Foggy Mountain Top

9:30: Fortune Feed
Cowboy Copas (host): You Don't Have to be a Baby to Cry
Jimmy Dickens: It May Be Silly
Possum Hunters: Sleepy Lou
Lefty Frizzell: Always Late
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Anita Carter: I Wanna Be Blue
Moon Mulligan: Mean Mamma Blues
Jimmy Dickens: Bessie the Heifer
Cowboy Copas: I Love You My Darling
Big Howdy: Sally Goodin

10:00: Wallrite
Bill Monroe (host): New Skinner
Old Hickory Singers: Waiting for the Robert E. Lee
George Morgan: Have I Stayed Away Too Long
Old Joe Clark: Old Age Won't Kill You
Bill Monroe: Swing Low Sweet  Chariot

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
Roy Acuff (host): The Midnight Train
Uncle Dave Macon: Just Tell Them That You Saw Me
Roy Acuff: Jesus Died For Me
Robert Lunn: Talking Blues
Benny Martin: Patty on the Turn Pike

10:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Jimmy Dickens (host): If It Ain't One Thing It's Another
Lefty Frizzell: I Love You a Thousand Ways
Gully Jumpers: A Little Bit of Blues
June Carter: Winking and Blinking
Jamup and Honey: Comedy
Jimmy Dickens: What About You
Moon Mulligan: Cherokee Boogie
Mamma Maybelle: Wildwood Flower
Lefty Frizzell: Mom and Dad's Waltz
Jimmy Dickens: Galvanized Bath Tub

Hank Williams (host): I Can't Help It
Sam and Kirk: I'm Sorta Wondering
Audry: Men Don't Mean a Thing
Hank Williams: Howlin' at the Moon

Cowboy Copas (host): There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me
Annie Lou and Danny: Hear Dem Bells
Lazy Jim Day: Singing the News
Cowboy Copas: Down the Trail of Achin' Hearts
Big Howdy: Arkansas Traveller

Carl Smith (host): I Won't Be At Home
Lew Childre: Sister Lucy
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain
Carl Smith: Mr. Moon
Crook Brothers: Soldier Joy

George Morgan (host): Cry Baby Heart
Lonzo and Oscar: If Texas Told What Arkansas
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Alabama Jubilee
George Morgan: Penny For Your Thoughts
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Under The Double Eagle

What an Opry show!!!!!!! A loaded line-up on that night. Interesting that Hank Snow and Red Foley were only featured in 1 segment, which was normal for Red, while Roy Acuff had 4 segments. The 1st segment that Roy hosted was basically his road show as Lew Childre and the Le Croix Sisters were part of his touring outfit at the time. Of course I could ask how does the 2012 line-up compare with the one from 1951?

You can't bring those times back but you can look back.


  1. Fred in Bismarck:

    Simply wonderful -- thanks, Byron. And a single,star-packed show! I'll bet when the audience members finally got back to their hotel rooms that night, they were too hopped up to sleep.

    Nice to see that Tommy Duncan guested -- didn't know he had ever made the Opry, especially as a solo act. One of the all-time greats, in my humble.

  2. Fred, hard to beat Tommy Duncan, especially when, as my dad put it, he has that nut yelling "ah yes" every time he's trying to sing! Bless Bob Wills.

    We can't compare too closely, of course, because it's a different world--not merely the fault of Opry management. But I find it interesting that "Big Howdy" Forrester was then with Cowboy Copas, but he joined Mr. Acuff sometime later that year. And think of the Crook Brothers and Fruit Jar Drinkers each getting two songs in a segment!

    As to the Square Dancers just opening the show, they're never billed as doing that, so I suspect that Earl White will do a full number as opposed to Hoot Hester just doing part of an old-time number. The odd thing is, they don't HAVE to set up the lineup that way.

  3. Bob Wills could make it hard on a singer, for sure, Michael. I remember being so enraptured with their latter-day (Liberty Records) job on "Dusty Skies" that I played it for my own father. He was not trained in Bob Wills or in country music, for that matter. Tommy is just closing in on the heart-rending conclusion ("We're moving off of this range"), when Bob can no longer contain his happiness and bursts forth with a prolonged falsetto cry. Dad could not believe his ears and burst out laughing, which was surely not the effect Tommy was aiming for.

    I'm sure a lot of singers would have taken a swing at Wills or just quit,never mind who signed his paycheck. But western swing and especially Bob Wills were special worlds, weren't they?

    -- Fred in Bismarck

  4. My thoughts on Tommy Duncan.

    I believe the CMA should consider Tommy Duncan for membership as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Now, where would he fit in? The “Recording and/or Touring Musician," category? I don't know if he would fall under that or not? I really do not know how else he would get in otherwise.

    I think Tommy falls into the same boat as Bashful Brother Oswald and Don Rich. A talent that was largely shadowed by their boss (i.e., Bob Wills, Roy Acuff & Buck Owens). But could you imaging "San Antonio Rose" without Tommy's voice? Or "The Precious Jewel" without Os's Dobro? Or "Love's Gonna Live Here", without Don's fiddle?

    With membership in the Hall of Fame so hard to receive, all three of these men could end of being "lost" to future generations as to their impact on the influence of Country Music. I do not know how deep into the past the CMA will look for the “Recording and/or Touring Musician" category. The trend has been "Nashville Sound" era "A-Team" (1960's-present day). If this category had been started 30 + years ago, I would say all three of these fine men would already have a bronze plaque in the rotunda.

  5. Fred, truly special, indeed! I'm also reminded: Ralph Emery tells the story that when Wills couldn't answer the bell, so to speak, whether they got paid depending on whether he went "ah, yes," sometime during the performance.

  6. It's great to see Ray Price on the list for Saturday night. I believe he will be returning from a show in North Carolina the night before. We went to the Opry in May when Ray was supposed to perform as he was on his way to Virginia and Pennsylvania but he did not show. I never did hear what happened. I saw flyers laying around town showing he was to do the Opry but I don't think he was ever officially on the lineup. Too bad I have tickets for next weekend and not this one! Maybe Ray did polish up his music and take it up town but many others have too. Those who did many years ago did not take it as far away from the roots as it has been taken today. Many of those uptown records were still good music even if they strayed from the hardcore country many of us love so much. Ray dose still sound great and he usually had a good band with him. If Jim Loessberg is on steel Saturday night it is too bad the Opry crowd probably won't hear "City Lights", he nails it!

    It will be interesting to see how Ray dose and how the crowds react. Whether he'll get more than two songs will depend on the audience since he is listed with Mark Wills on the first show and Miss Willie Brown on the second. It may be up to Mike and Jim Ed to offer Ray a third shot!

    I guess we should thank Kieth Urban if that is what it takes to get two shows on the same night. Hopefully both shows will be packed and well received.


  7. I noticed the name of Lazy Jim Day. I do not know much about him at all. Was he an Opry member or guest ? I see he died (fairly young) in the late 1950's.

  8. Lazy Jim Day had the nickname of "The Singing News Man" and played the Opry on a regular basis in the 1950s. He normally appeared on stage wearing farm overalls. He was employed by WSM as an entertainer. He was a comedian and was featured at times on the Prince Albert Shows, mostly when Roy Acuff hosted. From what I can tell, he was never an "official" member of the Opry, but a regular performer on the show.

  9. James Alva ''Lazy Jim'' Day was on the Wheeling Jamboree and Opry during the 1940s-1950s.I can't find the date,but he was born Oct.10,1911 and died Sept. 5,1958 age 46.Almost 47.

  10. I was looking at the Opry show from Aug.11,1951 and I know quite a few Opry members here.But there are a few names I don't know.Jug Band,Big Howdy,LeCroix Sisters,Rudy Lyle,Joe Zinkas.What can you tell me about them?

  11. Big Howdy was Forrester, who then was the fiddler, it appears, for Cowboy Copas, but soon went to work for Mr. Acuff. Rudy Lyle was the banjo player for Mr. Monroe. The others were part of Mr. Acuff's show--the Jug Band would be Oswald blowing into the jug with the others on their regular instruments. Byron knows more about the LeCroix Sisters (he knows more about all of this), but they toured with Mr. Acuff, too.

  12. As always Mike, thanks for the compliment. Yes, the LaCroix sisters were part of Roy Acuff's group for a few years. They were a vocal trio and consisted of Helen Chance and Inez Hayes. By the mid 1950s, they are broken up, with Helen and Inez (who were sisters) joining Dolores Denning to form the La Dell Sisters. For a while, they were on Mercury Records. Kathy Copas Hughes was also a part of this group. But for the life of my, I can't remember the name of the 3rd sister (who, if I remember right, was not related to the other 2).

  13. Ok, here we go: The LaCroix Sisters (at times spelled Le Croix and La Croy), were Helen, Inez and Ann. They joined Roy Acuff and his show around 1949. They were also featured on the Roy Acuff Royal Crown Cola transcription shows that were released for to local radio stations around the country. These were 15 minute shows and I believe 52 of them were put out. Some of you might remember that a couple of the shows were released on CD about 10 years ago. They did record some with Roy in the 1950s. By the mid 1950s, they had left Roy's show and 2 of them formed the group that I referenced above.

  14. For those of you who were listening to the Grand Ole Opry tonight, you heard a true legend and one of the finest voices in the history of country music: Ray Price.

    On the 1st show he did, "You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" and "For The Good Times." He received a prolonged standing ovation after each number. When you listen to Ray, it is hard to believe that he is now 86 years old. The voice is still there.

    After a few kind words from host Jim Ed Brown, Ray said "it's good to be home." Yes, even though he has not been an Opry member for almost 50 years, he still considers the Opry "home".

  15. Fred in Bismarck:

    What did Ray sing on the 2nd show? Thanks.

  16. Our internet was off last night, and I may never forgive the cable company! I'll try to get the archived version.

  17. Fred,

    Ray sang "I won't Mention it Again " and "A Way to Survive" on the second show.

    It was disappointing the way he went over with a full house, especially on the first show, that he did not get an encore song. I thought it was funny on the first show after his first song when he said "if you'll all settle down out there, we'll do you another song". Kind of a funny side Ray usually doesn't show on stage. It was great news to hear Eddie say Ray was going in the studio to record again. I believe he did a gospel CD in the last few years but I think the last country thing he did was "Time" in 2002 which was just exceptional.

    Nice to see a full house and great crowd. Good show!


  18. Fred here:

    Thank you, Jim. If I'd been there, I'd have been disappointed he didn't tap his hard-country catalog for more than one song ("A Way to Survive") out of four. At other Opry visits -- seen a while ago, now, in TNN days -- he did better on that score.

    But that's Price. I remember an interview with him, probably 30 years ago now, in the old "Country Music" magazine, in which he said he'd always done things exactly the way he wanted. That included, he said, trading in his gaudy old rhinestone costumes for more conservative dress. The former had "served their purpose" by drawing attention, he said. "Now, I'd sooner go out there in a G-string."

  19. Fred,

    Was a time when Ray would come out and do Cray Arms/Heartaches by the Number, then San Antonio Rose and act like he was done. The audience would applaud at length and he would return and do For the Good Times. Since he did For the Good Times second out Saturday I wonder if he knew he was only getting two songs regardless? He got as much applause as anyone Saturday night although it wasn't the screaming yelling type, it was very obvious the crowd wasn't just being sympathetic to an old timer. They liked what they heard. Now I like Ray Price so I'm a bit prejudice but when you go over that well the crowd should get what they want! As I have said before we have to stay on schedule unless it is a superstar of today and then it seems as if time stands still. I know, I'm hard to please!

    One other note, I was mentioning the CD "Time" earlier and if my memory is correct Ray has occasionally performed "You Just Don't Love Me Anymore" a few times on the Opry and it is a nice blend of the hard core country with a little polish. Hope you have heard the song I'm talking about.


  20. Fred here:

    Thanks for the song reference, Jim. I found Ray's 2008 live performance on Youtube and liked it very much. While "contemporary" in lyrics it does indeed have that good old Cherokee Cowboys sound. It's always neat to find a good new country song!

    Agree also on the encore issue. If you can't allow one of those for a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, who are you saving it for? The issue of TIME is more pressing as it applies to an oldtimer like Price, who we may never get to see again, than as it applies to a single Opry segment.

  21. Fred and Jim, thanks for the great Ray Price discussion. I will say that listening to the 1st show on Saturday night, that even at the point when Ray was on, the show was running about 10 minutes long, and you know they were not going to cut Keith Urban to just one song. That is one of the problems when there are 2 shows. It is not like the old days when management did not care how long the Opry ran over. I am just glad we got 2 good songs out of Ray.