Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 9/21 & 9/22--Updated

The Opry has made a few changes to the line-ups.

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. What is noticed right away is no Jimmy Dickens this weekend. He had previously cancelled out of the Tuesday Night Opry this past week and to be honest, did not sound so good on Saturday night. Here is hoping that this is nothing more than getting a little voice rest.

As far as the Friday Night Opry, there are a couple of highlights. First, Helen Cornelius will be making an Opry appearance with Jim Ed Brown. Back in the 1980s, they were a great duo that won a few awards and had a number of hits. It is always a treat when they perform together. The other highlight is the return of Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen to the Opry stage. Chris Hillman was a member of the Byrds and of The Desert Rose Band. Chris & Herb's CD, "At Edwards Barn" is great and I have it in my collection. When they did a previous Opry appearance they were very well received. Also on Friday night, bluegrass legend and Opry member Ralph Stanley will be on, along with Opry members Joe Diffie and Diamond Rio.

Saturday night's Grand Ole Opry will feature frequent Opry guests Edens Edge, Andy Gibson, Exile and Lee Greenwood. When comparing the 2 nights, Friday night is definitly the stronger of the 2 this weekend.

Friday September 21:
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Joe Diffie; Gwen Sebastian
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Johnny Counterfit; The Isaacs
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Bucky Covington; Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Helen Cornelius; Ralph Stanley; Diamond Rio

Saturday September 22:
7:00: John Conlee (host); Edens Edge;Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Andy Gibson; Exile
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds; Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Chuck Wicks; Lee Greenwood

As of this point, there is a slot to fill on Saturday night. I wish I could tell you who the host of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree is this weekend, but as of yet they have not settled on a name.

For our look back at Opry history this week, I have the line-up from Saturday September 23, 1989. There is really nothing special about this show, but it is one of the line-ups that I have in my collection so I thought it would be nice to share it and see what the Opry had just 23 years ago.

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
George Hamilton IV (host); Break My Mind
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
George Hamilton IV: Life's Railway To Heaven

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host); Roly Poly
Jim & Jesse: Thanks For The Trip To Paradise
Charlie Walker: Take Me Back To Tulsa

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host); Wake Up, Jacob
Osborne Brothers: Ruby
Jean Shepard: Slowly
Billy Grammer: I Dreamed Of An Old Love Affair/Gotta Travel On
Jeannie Seely: One Step Away From Coming Home
Porter Wagoner: Tennessee Saturday Night

7:30: Standard Candy
Del Reeves (host); Girl On The Billboard
Jeanne Pruett: I Oughta Feel Guilty
Roy Drusky: Have I Stayed Away Too Long
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel/Everytime You Leave
Del Reeves: Bad News

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host); Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: I Never Once Stopped Loving You/Once A Day
4 Guys: When You've Got A Good Woman It Shows/How Married Are You, Mary Ann
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Grey Eagle

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Jim Ed Brown (host); Lyin In Love With You
Vic Willis Trio: Beer Barrel Polka
Jan Howard: The One You Slip Around With
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Ray Pillow: I'll Break Out Again Tonight
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host); Dooley
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me
Ray Pillow: Days When You Were Still In Love With Me
Jim & Jesse: When I Dream About The Southland/The Night Runner
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand/You've Gotta Have A License

10:00: Little Debbie
Osborne Brothers (host); My Cabin In Caroline
Jean Shepard: I Just Had You On MY Mind
Osborne Brothers: Beneath Still Waters

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host); Meeting In The Air
Billy Grammer: Happy Birthday Donna/I Was Born In Renfro Valley/The Waltz You Saved For Me
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

10:30: Pet Milk
George Hamilton IV (host); Abilene
Charlie Louvin: My Baby's Gone
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young

10:45: B.C. Powder
Charlie Walker (host)l Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Jeannie Seely: I'll Be Around When It's Over
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jim Ed Brown (host); Pop-A-Top
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Connie Smith: Walkin After Midnight
Bill Carlisle: Oh, What A Party
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells/Send Me The Pillow You Dream On

11:30: Creamette
4 Guys (host); I'm All Tied Up
Roy Drusky: More And More
Jan Howard: Heartaches By The Number
Vic Willis Trio: Sue City Sue
4 Guys: Wings Of A Dove/My Special Angel/I've Had The Time Of My Life

Lot's of big names missing on this particular night, but still a good show.

On a final note, I wanted to thank Jeannie Seely. On last week's Opry, Jeannie celebrated her 45th year as an Opry member. She also hosted the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, a show that featured many guest artists who came out to celebrate with her. During the Midnight Jamboree, she was kind enough to mention my name, as I had sent to her the Opry line-up from the night she joined the Opry in 1967. Thanks Jeannie (and thank you Ron!!).


  1. That was very nice of you and of her.

    I counted 23 members. I was surprised not to see Hank Snow, since he had largely retired from the road by then.

  2. Jimmy Dickens is scheduled to be on a package show this Sunday in Fort Worth along with Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith, Jim Ed Brown and Johnny Counterfit. I have tickets and I hope he makes it.(oldtimeopry)

  3. Thanks for the update oldtimeopry.

  4. I have a funny feeling, like an old racehorse, The Potato gets an extra spring in his step when it's time for a road trip. I remember Mr. Acuff hosting the TV portion once the night before he was going to do a rare road appearance and he was just about bouncing off the walls.

  5. Fred in Bismarck:

    The 1989 show seems to have been "sing Webb Pierce" night at the Opry, with Skeeter D. doing "I Ain't Never," Jean S. "Slowly" and R. Drusky "More & More."

  6. Fred again:

    Byron, I am just off the road and caught up with your response, on an earlier thread, to my question about sidemen vs. staff band on the Opry. Thank you, as always.

  7. Fred III:

    Oldtime, if you would be good enough, I and I'm sure others would love to have a report on that show. That's a dandy lineup, especially for these days.

  8. I let you know about tomorrow's show. (oldtimeopry)

  9. I was able to listen to most of last night's show, and there was one of those little moments we love. Jean Shepard had Chuck Mead do an encore, and his extra number was "Girl on the Billboard." Then she said her favorite part of the Opry was next and introduced Earl White to play for the Square Dancers. When he got out there, he said something about having just heard country music, and Jean commented on how unusual that is today. Bless them both.

    On the classic shows afterward, there was a segment where Jean appeared and did both "Lonesome 7-7203" and "Two Little Boys," which suggests it was maybe an anniversary of the plane crash or something. Anyway, I looked it up, checking my memory. She said Marty Robbins, for whom (with Don Gibson) one of her sons was named, came to her and said he wanted to write a song for her about the whole thing and she said she doubted he could do it. She said he came back to her with a song and, by golly, he had done it, and it was "Two Little Boys," and he put it in the names of her two sons so they got the royalties.

  10. I will listen at times to tapes of older Opry shows that I have. On those shows, the square dance segment seems to always last at least 5 minutes. Now if we are lucky, the square dancers get maybe half that time. Also, the square dance music does not vary much like it used to when the Crook Brothers or the Fruit Jar Drinkers were doing the songs. With the square dance band now being just Earl White and the Opry Staff Band, something is lost.

  11. It's interesting. I have several of Earl's CD's, and he used to do a greater variety of songs. I wonder how much of that is also that Melvin Sloan no longer is in charge of the dancers.

  12. As promised, here is my recap of the big Opry Show last night in Fort Worth... First, I can report Jimmy Dickens was at the show and did an outstanding job. His set alone was worth the 3+ hour drive. Although he apologized for his "laryangitis" and his voice was weak, his presence alone made up for it. (And by the way, for a man whose almost 92 years old and has been a smoker for probably 75 years, it's amazing he can sing at all.) Jimmy came on third, after Jeannie Seely and Jim Ed Brown. I expected we'd get about 15 minutes, much like a Tuesday night Opry... an opening song, a ballad and bunch of joke before maybe a bit of "Mountain Dew." We got about a 35 minute set... he opened with Sleepin' at the Food of the Bed, then did "Out Behind the Barn," "Life Turned her That Way" and then donned a hat an overcoat for his old roadshow "detective" routine." That was followed by "We Could" and closed out with the recitation, "Alone with God"-- one of my personal all-time favorites. Of course, in between there were all the old favorite jokes and stories. The crowd, which I thought was pretty flat most of the night with their applause, except for some spontaneous dancing, lept to their feet and gave Jimmy a thunderous standing ovation. They called him back out, he came to the front of the stage, arms out stretched blowing kisses while the flash bulbs popped across the auditorium -- electric. He came back out on the stage to join the rest of the cast at the end to sing "I Saw the Light" with Bill Anderson.

    After the show (which lasted over four hours) he came out front and signed autographs until the last person was satisfied -- in typical kind, humble Dickens style. There is just no one who is more sincere with his fans than LJD!! I haven't been to the Opry in a couple of years and since we don't regularly see him on television anymore, I did notice that he is very thin, but again, he moved extremely well for someone almost 92 years old! He made a remark that he was using a music stand so he wouldn't forget what was next, and I don't think anyone would begrudge him for that fact. I couldn't tell if the words were on the stand but I have an idea they may have been. He did not miss any words or coming in on any of the songs or turnarounds.

    What can I say, it is always just such a thrill to see him in person and I know there won't be many more times left -- especially to see him in a concert and not just a couple of songs on the Opry. I took my eight year old with me who was thrilled to have his picture made with LJD and tell him he named his dog "Tater."

    It was a fantastic night and I'd venture to say, I saw more Grand Ole Opry from actual Opry members in Fort Worth than what we now get on the actual Opry. As I said before Jeannie Seely opened the show and did about 25 minutes (Burning an Old Memory, a very bizarre version of Are Lonesome Tonight with senior lyrics, a Mickey Newberry number, Leaving and Saying Goodbye, Don't Touch Me,) followed by Jim Ed Brown who did about 30 minutes (Southern Lovin', Pop-a-Top, Family Bible, Jim Reeves medley, the Old Lamplighter, Looking Back to See, The Three Bells.) Then came Jimmy Dickens. They took an intermission during which Johnny Counterfit played solo while they changed the Po Folks Band to the Sundowners. Connie Smith played for over an hour -- she was doing a lot of material from her new album. Then came Bill Anderson to close the show (some I remember were, I Sure Had a Good Time Getting Here, I Love You Drops, Mama Sang a Song, City Lights, Orange Blossom Special -- an odd choice --, Quits, Wild Weekend, Give it Away and of course Still.)

    Late night drive back but it was definately worth the trip! (oldtimeopry)

  13. from Fred:

    Wonderful account, Oldtime -- thank you. And what a great show! It's heartening to see how much Little Jimmy has left in the tank. He made a vivid impression on me the only time I got to see him in concert, more than 50 years ago, in Ohio. And it sounds like he's still wowing 'em.

    Years from now, you'll be patting yourself on the back for that 3-hour drive to take him in!

  14. Oldtime, I wish I'd been there! Wonderful report.