Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 8/17 & 8/18

After 2 blockbuster weekends at the Grand Ole Opry that featured Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, the Opry shows this weekend are a little short on "star-power." And without the help of a "big" named artist, the Grand Ole Opry is back to just 1 show on Saturday night. The Saturday night show will feature a return Opry appearance by Katie Armiger, along with Opry guests Mountain Heart. Jimmy Wayne will also continue his string of Opry appearances on Saturday night.

The Friday Night Opry, which looks like the stronger of the 2 shows this weekend will feature Opry members Ricky Skaggs, Joe Diffie and John Conlee. Guest artists include Florida Georgia Line, who will be making their first Opry appearances. Florida Georgia Line is a duo featuring Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, who are from Florida and Georgia. If you are looking for traditional country, this is not your group.

Jimmy Dickens has been taken off the schedule for Friday night. I know his voice sounded weak on Saturday night. Perhaps all the Opry shows he has been doing is catching up to him. He is still set for Saturday night. Also, we get the treat of Ray Pillow hosting segments on both Friday and Saturday night.

Friday August 17
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Joe Diffie; Connie Smith
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); Sarah Darling; Jimmy C Newman
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Florida Georgia Line
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; John Conlee

Saturday August 18
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Tyler Farr
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Katie Armiger; Mountain Heart
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Jesse McReynolds; Sarah Darling; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: The Whites (host); Connie Smith: Jimmy Wayne

It is nice to see Jean Shepard hosting a segment on Saturday night. And it is interesting that Bill Anderson is leading off the show on Friday Night. He is scheduled on the road with Jan Howard on Saturday night, so the guess is that he wanted the early slot to head out. Regarding Jimmy Dickens, my guess is that if he cannot make it on Saturday night, Jimmy C Newman would slide up and host and they would fill Jimmy C's shot with someone else.

That comes out to 12 artists on each night, with 10 Opry members on Friday and 7 Opry members on Saturday night. And interesting to see the Square Dancers back to their traditional spot on the show.

The Tuesday Night Opry on August 21 looks very strong and will feature Lisa Marie Presley making a guest appearance. (I wonder if Pete Fisher will tell her to take up truck driving after she is finished?). Along with Lisa Marie, the show will feature Rascal Flatts, Steve Wariner and Larry Gatlin. The way the booking is set up, I would assume the last hour will be filmed for the Opry show on GAC, which in my opinion is a horrible show (for what little I have seen of it).

Tuesday August 21
7:00: Larry Gatlin; Casey James; Jimmy Dickens; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Steve Wariner; Lisa Marie Presley; Rascal Flatts

For this week's look back in Opry history, I have the line-ups from the weekend of August 18 &19, 1978, 34 years ago this weekend. There was an Opry matinee on Friday, 2 shows on Friday and Saturday night, along with an Opry matinee on Saturday and Sunday. Here are the line-ups from all of the shows that weekend:

Friday August 18, 1978
3:00: Jimmy C Newman; The Wilburn Brothers
3:30: George Hamilton IV; Lonzo & Oscar
4:00: Stonewall Jackson; The Four Guys
4:30: Roy Acuff; Bill Carlisle

1st show
6:30: Baltz: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jeanne Pruett; Billy Grammer; Ernie Ashworth
7:00: Doan's Pills: Del Reeves (host); Jean Shepard; Lonzo & Oscar; Bill Jones Promenadors
7:30: Cracker Barrel: Roy Acuff (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; The Willis Brothers; Del Wood
8:00: Odom Sausage/Wrangler: Bill Monroe (host); The Wilburn Brothers; Marion Worth; Bill Carlisle
8:30: Kroger/Sunbeam: Stonewall Jackson (host); The Four Guys; George Hamilton IV

2nd show
9:30: Beechnut Tobacco: Del Reeves (host): Jean Shepard; Lonzo & Oscar; Del Wood
10:00: Alamo: Jimmy C Newman (host): Billy Grammer; Jeanne Pruett; The Willis Brothers
10:30: Schlitz: Roy Acuff (host): The Wilburn Brothers; Stonewall Jackson; Bill Jones Promenadors
11:00: Big Star: Bill Monroe (host): The Four Guys; Wilma Lee Cooper
11:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Bill Carlisle; Marion Worth

12:05-12:30: Grand Ole Gospel
Rev. Jimmy Snow; Evangel Temple Choir

Saturday August 19, 1978
3:00: Stonewall Jackson; Wilma Lee Cooper
3:30: George Hamilton IV; Bill Carlisle
4:00: Lonzo & Oscar; The Four Guys
4:30: Roy Acuff; Barbara Green

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms: Billy Grammer (host); Ernie Ashworth
6:45: Rudys: Bill Monroe (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; The Willis Brothers
7:00: Shoney's: Porter Wagoner (host); George Hamilton IV; Lonzo & Oscar; Del Wood
7:30: Standard Candy: Roy Acuff (host); Stonewall Jackson; Bashful Brother Oswald; The Crook Brothers; Bill Jones Promenadors
8:00: Martha White: Lester Flatt (host); Roy Drusky; Marion Worth; Don King; Bill Carlisle
8:30: Stephens Work Clothes: Hank Snow (host): The Four Guys; Janie Fricke; The Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Kelloggs: Bill Monroe (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Lonzo & Oscar; Del Wood
10:00: Fender Guitar: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Grammer; The Willis Brothers
10:15: Union 76: Roy Acuff (host); George Hamilton IV
10:30: Trailblazer: Lester Flatt (host); Stonewall Jackson; Bill Carlisle
10:45: Beechnut Tobacco: Roy Drusky (host); Janie Fricke; The Crook Brothers; Bill Jones Promenadors
11:00: Coca Cola: Hank Snow (host); The Four Guys; Don King; Fruit Jar Drinkers: Kirk McGee
11:30: Acme: Marty Robbins (host); Marion Worth; Ronny Robbins

Sunday August 20, 1978
2:00: Bill Carlisle; Wilma Lee Cooper; Del Wood
2:30: George Hamilton IV; Lester Flatt
3:00: Roy Drusky; The Four Guys
3:30: Roy Acuff; Billy Grammer

On a final note, the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night/Sunday morning will be hosted by "The Survivors" which include Curtis Potter, Tony Booth and Darrell McCall. That should be a fine show.


  1. I would rather attend or listen to the 1978 show.

  2. A couple of thoughts in listening to the Friday Night Opry:

    Jimmy C Newman mentioned that Saturday night will mark his 56th year as an Opry member, joining August 18, 1956. Congratulations to Jimmy.

    The more I listen to Sarah Darling, the more I am impressed with her. She has a great voice and sings some great songs. She was making her 20th Opry appearance last night and I know she is also on tonight. I think she might have a future in this business with the right break and the right material.

    Ray Pillow did another fine job hosting his segment last night. I know he is on senior status and not on the Opry much anymore, but each time he is on, he does a nice job. He is scheduled to host again tonight.

    I was not impressed with Florida Georgia line. Just not my style. It was their first Opry appearance.

    Today's Tennessean on-line has a feature on Lisa Marie Presley making her Opry debut on Tuesday night. I am sure she will be well received and good luck to her. She is promoting new material.

  3. Jimmy C. is the longest tenured male, and I believe the only men to top him are the Crooks, Kirk McGee, and Mr. Monroe, right? And HE doesn't host? Sheesh.

    I didn't get to hear the show, but he still sounds great and so does Ray Pillow. I watched the Opry's video of Ray Price and thought, he's looking a bit old. Then I thought, he's 86! Wow!