The Opry has filled out the line-up for this weekend.
As far as myself, I will be "off the air" for the weekend on an out-of-town trip to the great state of North Carolina. If there is anything breaking I will report it, but other than that don't expect any posts or updates from myself until Monday. Enjoy the weekend.
The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend. As happens quite a bit at the Opry, after a strong Saturday night show featuring the Oak Ridge Boys and Carrie Underwood, and a Tuesday Night Opry with Keith Urban, the Opry falls back this week on the talent level of the shows.
The Friday Night Opry will feature previous Opry guests The Grascals, Mindy Smith and Canaan Smith, along with new group Due West. Saturday nights show will feature the very talented Kathy Mattea. In my opinion, she is one of the fine country singers of our generation and has gotten only better as she has aged. In addition, Sarah Darling and Mark Wills are listed, as is Jimmy Dickens, who did not appear last week on the Opry.
Friday September 7
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Canaan Smith; Due West
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mindy Smith
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Casey James
8:45: John Conlee (host); The Whites; The Grascals
Saturday September 8
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bret Eldridge; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: The Whites (host); James Wesley; Kathy Mattea
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Sarah Darling; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Wills
With a couple of slots still to fill, there are 11 acts on the Friday night show and 10 for Saturday night, of whom 7 are Opry members each night.
The host of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will be Tony Booth, the fine honky-tonk singer out of Texas. Tony has been featured a lot on Willie's Place and does a very nice job.
This week's look back at the history of the Opry involves a former Opry star who many times is forgotten in the history of the Opry and that is the great piano player Del Wood, who on September 9, 1989 made her last Grand Ole Opry appearance.
Polly Adelaide Hazelwood, who was from Nashville, joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1953 after turning down a two-week engagement with Bob Crosby the year before to guest on the Opry. Her ragtime piano playing was a new sound for the Opry and brought an instrument to the Opry stage that was used by just a few groups. She started playing piano at an early age and attended East High School in Nashville. She was a true one-hit wonder with "Down Yonder."It is still considered the biggest-selling instrumental number of all time. Her nickname at the Opry was the "Queen of the Ivories" and even though she had just the one monster hit, Del actually recorded over 20 albums and had 60 singles to her credit. Del passed away about a month after her last Opry show, on October 3, 1989 at the age of 69 after suffering a stroke She was an Opry member for 36 years and while her Opry appearances seemed to be limited to just 1 show per weekend during her final year, she was a loyal member of the cast.
In honor of Del Wood and her final Opry appearance, here is the line-up and running order of the 2 shows on Saturday September 9, 1989.
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Jeannie Seely: I'll Be Around When It's Over
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water
Bill Anderson (host): Before I Met You
Stu Phillips: Blue Canadian Rockies
Bill Anderson: A World Of Make Believe
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Del Reeves: Bad News
Ray Pillow: I Guess He Knows Something I Don't Know
Dottie West: Are You Happy Baby/Together Again
Porter Wagoner: Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff
7:30: Standard Candy
4 Guys (host): Baby, You Look Good To Me Tonight
DEL WOOD: DOWN YONDER
Jean Shepard: Slippin Away
Charlie Pride: Looking Through Amy's Eyes/Moutain Of Love/There Goes My Everything
4 Guys: My Special Angel
8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby On My Mind/Once A Day
Jimmy C Newman: LaCajun Band/Cajun Stripper
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Patti On The Turnpike
Roy Acuff: Once More
8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): Mama Tried
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Hank Snow: I'm Not At All Sorry For You
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): (?)
Wilma Lee Cooper: I'm Picking Up The Pieces
Stu Phillips: If Loving You Means Anything
Dottie West: Country Sunshine
Pay PIllow: The Kind Of Love I Can't Forget
Porter Wagoner: What Ain't To Be Just Might Happen/Y'All Come
10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Anderson (host): Son Of The South
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Bill Anderson: Still
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Charley Pride: Looking Through Amy's Eyes/Mountain Of Love/Kiss An Angel Good Morning
10:30: Pet Milk
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars In The Jukebox/A Dime At A Time
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Del Reeves: There She Goes
10:45: B.C. Powder
Jimmy C Newman (host): Pistol Packin' Mama
Connie Smith: You're Cheatin' Heart
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durham's Bull
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun Honey
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Skeeter Davis: Silver Threads & Golden Needles
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong With The Way That We're Doing It Now
Hank Snow: Among My Souvenirs
4 Guys (host) (?)
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Bill Carlisle: Happy Birthday Sheila/Too Old To Cut The Mustard
Charlie Louvin: New Dreams & Sunshine
4 Guys: I'm All Tied Up
What is interesting is that if you look at the timing of the show, the last 2 segments which would have been an hour in length, only lasted 45 minutes. Also, Del Wood's last Opry appearance was actually during the televised portion that week. While the 4 Guys hosted, Jack Greene was originally scheduled to host but cancelled out that night.
On a final note, there are 2 things that are no longer on the Opry and are missed. The first is comedy. There are no true comedy acts on the show. While Mike Snider is funny and tells jokes, he is not a true comedian. Comedy seems to have become a lost art at the Opry after the death of Jerry Clower. The second lost art at the Opry is instrumental music. There are no longer any string bands and no true instrumental acts. Del Wood was the end of the line for piano players. While Buck White and Ronnie Milsap play the piano on the Opry, that is not the primary part of their act. For Del Wood, the piano was it. As much as she was not a major act at the show, she was a distinctive act and is missed. The Opry continues to modernize itself, keeping up with the newest trends and newest acts in country music. I don't think it would hurt the Opry at all to look back once in a while and remember it's past.