Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy Birthday John Conlee

Happy 66th Birthday wishes go out to Grand Ole Opry member John Conlee, who was born on August 11, 1946. There is no question that John has one of the most unique voices in country music and he has had a long and solid career. John has his first chart success in 1978 and since then he has had 32 singles on the charts, along with 11 albums. Of those 32 singles, 7 went to #1 and 14 others were in the top 10.

John is a licensed mortician from Kentucky who came to Nashville in 1971. He signed his first record contract in 1976 and in 1978 "Rose Colored Glasses" became his first hit, coming in at #5 on the charts. "Rose Colored Glasses" is one of my wife's favorite country songs and is John's theme song. As popular as the record is, and still played today, it is surprising that it did not go to #1.

After a string of hit records, John was asked to join the Grand Ole Opry and became a member on February 7, 1981. As with many of the stars who joined the Opry in the 1980s and 90s, he did not make many Opry appearances when he first joined. But as his hits and touring dropped off, John has become one of the Opry's more loyal members and is in the rotation of members who regularly host segments. In fact, he hosted the final segment last night on the Friday Night Opry.

To honor John Conlee on his birthday, here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday February 7, 1981, the night John Conlee became an Opry member.

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Ernie Ashworth: Mind Your Own Business
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk of Coal

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): Crazy Arms
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong With the Way that We're Doing it Now
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
Charlie Walker: Don't Play Me No Songs About Texas

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Jimmy Dickens: Take An Old Cold Tater
Connie Smith: When God Dips His Love In My Heart
Porter Wagoner: What I've Always Wanted/On A Highway Headed South

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wasbash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Jim & Jesse: Truck Stops and Pretty Girls
Vic Willis Trio: Last Cheater's Waltz
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Durang's Hornpipe
Roy Acuff: That's the Man I'm Looking For

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): I Love You Drops
Skeeter Davis: The Rose
Wilburn Brothers: Making Plans
Ray Pillow: Countryfried
Lonzo & Oscar: Green, Green Grass of Home
Bill Anderson: Mr. Peepers

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Storms Never Last
4 Guys: Fire
Charlie Louvin: Mama's Angels
Roy Drusky: Don't It Make You Want to Go Home
Stu Phillips: I Will
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Bailey
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: Check

2nd show
9:30: Kelloggs
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
4 Guys: Swing Down, Chariot
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
Billy Grammer: When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver
David Houston: My Lady
Two's Company: How Can I Help You Forgive Me
Porter Wagoner: On A Highway Headed South

10:00: Little Debbie
Jack Green (host): I Need Somebody Bad Tonight
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): I Can't Believe it Was True
Jan Howard: Good Hearted Woman
Bill Carlisle: Same Old Tale the Crow Told Me
Carol Lee Singers: A Song that the Holy Angels Cannot Sing
Howdy Forrester & Jimmy Riddle: Limerock

10:30: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): One More Sexy Lady
Jean Shepard: You Still Have A Place in My Heart
Jim & Jesse: The Rider in the Train
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar

10:45: Beechnut
Charlie Louvin (host): See the Big Man Cry
Connie Smith: Love Lifted Me
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Black Mountain Rag
Charlie Louvin: She Is

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Old Shep
Skeeter Davis: Isn't It Always Love
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbin' Ridge
Stu Phillips: Born to Be A Man
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Kelly Foxton: Make the World Go Away

11:30: Bama
Roy Drusky (host): Strangers
Lonzo & Oscar: Blue Kentucky Home/Boggie Grass Band
Ray Pillow: Bubbles In My Beer/Too Many Memories
Opry Staff Band: Buckaroo
Roy Drusky: The Last Farewell/One Day at A Time

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