Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 9/14 & 9/15--Updated Line-Up

As expected, the Opry has filled out this week's line-up. Amazing that with 65+ Opry members, they had to go with 3 non-members to fill it out.

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend, 1 on Friday night and the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night. The highlight for Opry fans this weekend will be the 45th anniversary of Jeannie Seely joining the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Jeannie joined on September 16, 1967 and has been a very loyal Opry member. She joined the year after having her career record, "Don't Touch Me", which went to #1 on the country charts and won her the 1966 Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. She had a number of hits after that and was also a successful songwriter. She was the duet partner with Jack Greene and together they had a number of hits. In her early years on the Opry, Jeannie was also known for how she appeared on stage, often with a bare midriff or a very short skirt. And she always played up to the men in the audience, and still does.

Joining Jeannie on the Friday Night Opry this week will be Billy Ray Cyrus and Steep Canyon Rangers, along with other guest artists Billy Dean and Elizabeth Cook. Saturday Night's show will feature, in addition to Jeannie, the beautiful and highly talented Sara Evans. Also guesting will be Heidi Newfield and Will Hoge.

Friday September 14
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Dean; Elizabeth Cook
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Andy Griggs
8:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Tyler Farr; Steep Canyon Rangers
8:45: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Billy Ray Cyrus

Saturday September 15
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Heidi Newfield; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Isaacs
8:15: The Whites (host); Jan Howard; Will Hoge; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Sara Evans

That comes out to 10 artists per show with just 6 Opry members on Friday Night and 7 on Saturday night. I also expect another artist or two that will be added to the shows.

The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will be hosted by Jeannie Seely this week and the Shop will honor her with a special 45th anniversary show. I am sure several guest artists will stop over and help Jeannie celebrate.

The line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, September 18 has been announced. As with the past several Tuesday night's, the line-up is pretty strong featuring Opry members Lorrie Morgan and Dierks Bentley. Nice to see Lorrie returning to the Opry stage. She has been missed.

7:00: Lorrie Morgan; Riders In The Sky
7:30: Jimmy Wayne; Jimmy Dickens
8:15: Bill Anderson; Kellie Pickler; Dierks Bentley

Now for this week's look back in history and into the Grand Ole Opry archives. This week I go back to Saturday September 18 1965, 47 years ago for a real classic Grand Ole Opry show.

7:30: Luzianne
Leroy Van Dyke (host): Auctioneer
Bill Carlisle: Business Man
Connie Smith: Then And Only Then
Auctioneers: Remington Ride
Leroy Van Dyke: Just A State Of Mind
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Tale That The Crow Told Me
Connie Smith: The Hinges On The Door
Auctioneers: Old Joe Clark
Leroy Van Dyke: It's All Over Now Baby Blue

8:00: Martha White
Roy Drusky (host): Strangers
Jim & Jesse: Memphis
Merle Kilgore: Tiger Woman
Alan Shelton: Bending The Strings
Roy Drusky: Reel Me A Nanner
Crook Brothers: Instrumental
Jim & Jesse: I Wish You Knew
Merle Kilgore: Ring Of Fire
Jerry Whitehurst: Java
Roy Drusky: White Lightning Express

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Gathering Flowers From The Hillside/Freight Train Blues
Howdy Forrester: Instrumental
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Onie Wheeler: Hang My Britches Up
Brother Oswald: Worry, Worry Blues
Roy Acuff: The Great Judgement Morning
Jimmy Riddle & Howdy Forrester: Jessup Polka

9:00: Pet Milk
Ernest Tubb (host): Lots Of Luck
Wilburn Brothers: It's Another World
Loretta Lynn & Teddy Wilburn: The Race Is On
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire On The Mountain
Ernest Tubb: A Memory, That's All You Ever Be To Me
Wilburn Brothers: I'm Gonna Tie One On Tonight
Jack Greene: Every Since My Baby Went Away
Loretta Lynn: The Home You're Tearing Down
Loretta Lynn & Ernest Tubb: Our Hearts Are Holding Hands

9:30: Kelloggs
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Willis Brothers: Pinball Anonymous
Hank Locklin: Wild Side Of Life
Marion Worth (?)
Hank Snow: Tears In The Trade Winds
The Blue Boys: I Hear Little Rock Calling
Willis Brothers: A Satisfied Mind
Hank Snow: My Memories Are You

10:00: Schick
Leroy Van Dyke (host): Walk On By
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Auctioneers: Sweet Georgia Brown
Bill Carlisle: Too Old To Cut The Mustard
Leroy Van Dyke: It's All Over Now Baby Blue

10:15: McCarter
Roy Acuff (host): Tennessee Central No. 9
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Harold Weakley: Where No One Stands Alone
Jimmy Riddle & Onie Wheeler: Fox Chase

10:30: Harvey's
Jim & Jesse (host): I Like The Old Time Working Of The Lord
Connie Smith: If I Talk To Him
Jim & Jesse: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Alan Shelton: Cripple Creek

10:45: Newport
Ernest Tubb (host): Filipino Baby
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Cal Smith: Oklahoma Hills
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Wilburn Brothers: Making Plans
Harold Morrison: I'm A Bluebird
Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl
Hank Snow: The Queen Of Draw Polka Town
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
Wilburn Brothers: It's Another World
Loretta Lynn: When Lonely Hits Your Heart
Chubby Wise: Lee Highways Blues

11:30: Lava
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Willis Brothers: A 6 Ft. 2 By 4
Marion Worth: I'm Picking Up The Pieces Of Your Heart
Archie Campbell: Most Richly Blessed
Hank Locklin: Flying South
Merle Kilgore: Wolverton Mountain
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Marion Worth: Silver Threads & Golden Needles
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy

There you go as we enjoy another week at the Opry.


  1. Fred, Bismarck:

    Wow, loaded! Including E.T. & Loretta, just recently matched by Decca, singing together; and E.T. doing the brand-new "Waltz."

    Thanks, Byron.

  2. Great 65 lineup. It is interesting to see Hank Snow and Queen of Draw Poker Town. I'd like to hear that live, there is very little room to breath in that song and it is long and full of words, a song only few like Hank could pull off. Also nice to see My memories of You. Both were relatively current release I believe.

    Also neat to see Harold Weakly on with Roy Acuff. I think Roy enjoyed his singing. I remember Roy telling about going to hospital to visit Harold in the late 80's after major surgery, heart I think. If I remember correct Harold came back to the Opry but did not live too long after that. Always chewing that gum back there on the drums!

    It is so interesting to see all of the non star performances that I'm sure were great as well. Howard Forrester, Onie Wheeler, Jimmie Riddle, Oswald, Alan Shelton, Jerry Whithurst, Harold Weakly, Chubby Wise, The Auctioneers, The Blue Boys, Jack Greene and Cal Smith were all band members or Opry staff band members. There were more of them performing that night than make up a whole Opry show now. Great variety which included many instrumentals. And, Archie and Bill Carlisle added the comedy. Oh for those good old days. It was one month prior to my birth!


  3. Jim, on You Tube, there is a "live" performance--meaning you can see it--of Hank Snow doing "I've Been Everywhere," and he doesn't even look winded. All the more amazing when you consider that he was a smoker until he was about 65.

    The lineup actually isn't that strong, if you think about it. It was September and a lot of the acts were on the road. Jim & Jesse had been members about a year and were hosting a segment. In fact, I count only 16 members. That isn't to say I wouldn't have loved to have been there--I would have, and it looks like it was just a wonderful show. But it's interesting, anyway.

    And Jim, I have you beat--I was almost six months old when this show aired!

  4. Micheal,

    Thanks for the you tube info.

    I hadn't considered how strong the show was but you are right going by members or star power. It is just interesting that the Opry could draw from within the bands and the staff to fill out a show that was still pretty darn good and didn't hold back doing it. I don't think that is possible or would happen today. It has some to do with the importance of each artist individual sound, having distinctive band members and using them to record as much as possible therefore the band members also had a following.


  5. Jim, I agree completely. I have this joke with my wife. She said her ex knew the name of every member of every rock band. I replied that I could name all of the Smoky Mountain Boys! I suspect that many band members today could be spotlighted just as easily, but few of them seem to do that to the degree that the old-timers did.

  6. I must clearify my comments earlier about Hank Snow's two songs. Queen of Draw Poker Town made it's chart debut on the billboard charts on October 30, 1965 and reached #28. My Memories of You did not show as a single release but I believe it was a B side to something in that time period.


  7. A few observations:

    So interesting to see the names of all the well-known "sidemen" featured on the show that night...many outstanding performers in their own right. Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, Porter Wagoner and others would always featured their band members prominently on the Opry. Marty Robbins would do that in his concerts but not as much on the Opry. Many of those backup musicians went on to great solo careers of their own. Shoji Tabuchi, the long-time mainstay of Branson, first came to Nashville as David Houston's fiddle player.

    Of course, Jack Greene and Cal Smith from Ernest Tubb's band went on to have fabulous solo careers. The Troubadours was always just as popular with the fans as Ernest and he always featured members of the band on the road, on the Opry and the Midnight Jamboree. Decca Records had already begun releasing solo recordings by Jack Greene around this time and his first Top 40 hit ("Ever Since My Baby Went Away") came out the next year. The follow-up to that record was "There Goes My Everything" and the rest is history.

    I often heard Acuff say that he knew he wasn't a great singer but he knew how to entertain and his group was always loaded with entertainers. And if you look at some of the lineups Byron has posted from the 40's and 50's, his segment was often dominated by solo spots from Oswald, Howdy Forrester, Pap and the Jug Band, Onie Wheeler, Jimmie Riddle and other members of the troupe and it was a practice that continued to the end of his life.

    Harold Weakley was Tootsie Bess's son-in-law and one of the favorite "go-to" guys in the staff band to fill a vacant slot. In the 60's and 70's he would get a solo spot quite often and had a fine voice. Of course, even the most casual Opry fan will remember his part in the Goo Goo commercials with Hairl Hensley. Acuff always called them the "Goo Goo Twins".

    Does anyone besides me remember when The Four Guys were the primary backup vocalists on the Opry? Carol Lee Cooper and her group took over those duties in the mid to late 70's (I believe) and would frequently get solo slots of Roy Acuff's segment. Hank Snow always liked the bring them out front when they backed him up. Dennis McCall was a long time member of Barbara Mandrell's band and is an outstanding bass player and comedian in his own right.

    Harold Morrison was always one of my favorite entertainers and a frequent Opry guest. He actually went to high school with my mom in Ava, Missouri, so I heard about him all my life. It's been nice to see him showing up on YouTube in some of his performances on the Wilburn Brothers TV show. He was also a member of the George Jones-Tammy Wynette road show for several years and late in his life recorded some great bluegrass albums that remain favorites in my collection. I learned to use the expression "snicker and grin" from him!

    Allen Shelton had been working and recording with Jim and Jesse for years and "Bending The Strings" was one his popular solo numbers at their concerts. Don Reno considered him the best banjo player on the bluegrass circuit (behind himself and Earl Scruggs) in those days. In the late 60's he retired from the music business returning to work for Jim and Jesse a decade later. He passed away about 3 years ago.

    And, finally, Chubby Wise of Hank Snow's band got a turn on "Lee Highway Blues". There are lots of great Chubby Wise stories out there...some of the best appear in Hank Snow's outstanding autobiography. Chubby first came to Nashville with Bill Monroe and later played with Clyde Moody but he was with Hank Snow the longest.

    Great entertainers all.

  8. You know Barry, that was back in the days when the "sidemen" would be featured on the show. Roy Acuff many times would give up his 2nd song, especially on the late show, to showcase one of his "boys". That just doesn't happen anymore, and of course, with the Opry Staff Band playing backup for just about everyone now, there are no real "sidemen" to feature.

    On this particular evening that I posted above, it makes you wonder if they had a lot of cancellations that night, or if it was just a "light" lineup, allowing all of these fine performers to be featured.

  9. from Fred:

    I haven't been able to watch the Opry in a long time and didn't know that Gaylord apparently isn't willing to pay scale to an artist's road musicians any longer. Incredible! I can see how, on more fronts than one, the fans who pay their way in are getting less and less for their money.

  10. That's one thing about Marty Stuart - he always lets Harry , Kenny and Paul share the spotlight.

  11. We were at the Opry on June 30, 2012 with a group of 7. In discussing the show recently, we were trying to remember the song that Jean Shepard performed. We couldn't come up with it. Is there a way to find out that information?

    Mount Olive, NC

  12. Danny, I'll beat Byron to the punch! Go to this link:

    WSM archives the shows and that one is on there.

    1. Thank you very much. By the way, the song in question was "Another Day, Another Dollar."

  13. Michael, thanks for beating me to the punch and helping Danny out.

    Fred, a few years ago, the Opry cut back on the Opry Staff Band and made a few changes and they also told many of the artists that they had to use the Staff Band and not their own members, with a few exceptions. I know Jimmy C Newman was able to keep most of his group, and Jim Ed Brown kept several. But if you are one of the legends, it's the staff band or nothing.

    Of course, if you are a touring Opry member, or unique, such as Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, or any of the bluegrass groups, you are still ok to use your own band.

    I know that Vince Gill on most of his appearances except when he is with The Time Jumpers will use the staff band also.

  14. To anyone who listened to the Opry last night, and I caught the first half, I want to first say congratulations again to Jeannie Seely and her 45th anniversary as an Opry member. It got mentioned frequently, as all anniversaries should.

    My only other comment is that I hope Jimmy Dickens was just having an "off" night. If you listened to his segment, particuarly his last song and exit, then you would know why I made that comment.

  15. Byron, I did not get to listen, but I heard his first song and he didn't sound very good. He seemed to do fine during his jokes. I hope everything is all right.

  16. Mike, I am pretty sure the final song he did was "We Could." If you remember from his past routines, he would usually make jokes about his wife before the song, such as her not being with him tonight and then the jokes about her looks, etc. Last night, he did not do the jokes before the song, then he forgot the lyrics on the 2nd verse and started to tell the jokes. He got in a line or two, and then started singing again. I think he was on the 2nd verse and the band was on the chorus. When the song ended, the band kicked into his exit music right away and Mike Terry gave the exit announcement. As you know, Jimmy will usually say a few words about not offending anyone, etc., but last night, he said not a word when the song ended. It just sounded like a train wreck.

  17. I suspect in my line of work they would call that a professorial moment. In his case, it may be a 91-year-old moment.