Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 87th Birthday Weekend 10/5 & 10/6

The Grand Ole Opry will be celebrating it's 87th birthday this weekend and the line-ups have been posted. There will be 1 show on Friday night and 2 shows on Saturday, with the last hour of the 1st show being televised by GAC-Great American Country. What that means to those who will be going or listening to that 1st show on Saturday night is the fact that there are only 9 acts listed, with 4 of those in the last hour.

The headliner for the birthday show will be current hot country star Jason Aldean, who will be doing both shows on Saturday night. Joining Jason on Saturday night will be guest artists Ray Stevens and Casey James, along with Opry members Ricky Skaggs and Steve Wariner. Ricky and Steve will also be on the Friday Night Opry, along with guest artists Rodney Aktins, Kelleigh Bannen and Jaida Dreyer.

I know I have said this for the past several years, but it just seems like the birthday weekend line-up gets weaker and weaker each year. In the past, almost every Opry member possible would be in town for at least one of the shows. In the recent past, even with the absence of many of the Opry's members, there was usually a strong showing of guest artists. But when you look at the weekend, you have 14 artists on Friday night (which is more than the usual 12), with 10 of those as Opry members. Then on Saturday night, there are just 9 acts for the 1st show, of whom 6 are members, and 10 acts for the 2nd show, of which 8 are Opry members. For the 3 shows total, there are 15 different Opry members appearing. To me, that is just terrible. Finally, you have the televised show on Saturday night. While it many look good on television, I can tell you that sitting in the Opry House for this will not be much fun. The televised part always feels separate from the rest of the show. It just doesn't flow well together.

Friday October 5
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); John Conlee; Tyler Farr; Jean Shepard
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jaida Dreyer
8:15: Steve Wariner (host); George Hamilton IV; Connie Smith; Kelleigh Bannen
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Rodney Atkins

Saturday October 6
1st show
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Opry Square Dancers; Jimmy Dickens; The Whites
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Stevens
8:00: Jason Aldean; Casey James; Bill Anderson; Steve Wariner

2nd show
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Opry Square Dancers; Jimmy Dickens
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jason Aldean
10:30: Steve Wariner (host); Ray Stevens; Riders In The Sky; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press

It would appear that there are still a couple of slots to fill on Saturday night, with 1 possible for the 1st show, and 2 for the 2nd show. And, I am not sure if it is a typo or not from the Opry, but they do not have Jimmy Dickens hosting the segments on Saturday, but Ricky Skaggs. Ricky will be busy this weekend as in addition to all 3 Opry shows, he is also doing the Opry's Birthday Concert Saturday afternoon. Many times for the birthday weekend, the Opry will pull a rabbit out of their hat, so maybe there is still the chance of someone special showing up.

For those who missed it, Opry Country Classics on Thursday night October 4 will be hosted by Bill Cody, and will feature Mandy Barnett, John Conlee, Jim Glaser, T.G. Sheppard, Rhonda Vincent, and spotlight artist Crystal Gayle. And the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will be hosted by the great legend, Wanda Jackson.

In 1991, the Grand Ole Opry's 66th birthday bash was held on Saturday October 5, 21 years ago this weekend. For the look back at Opry history for this week, here is the line-up from both shows that Saturday night.

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Bill Monroe (host): I'm Going Back to Old Kentucky
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Bill Monroe: Dark as the Night; Blue as the Day

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
George Hamilton IV: Till I Can Gain Control Again
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Charlie Walker: Drinking Champagne

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Funky Grass Band
Wilma Lee Cooper: Ghost Train
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Roy Drusky: The Last Farewell
Osborne Brothers: Kentucky

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: You've Got Me Right Where You Want Me
Jim Ed Brown: Just For Old Time Sake
Vince Gill: Little Liza Jane/When I Call Your Name
Roy Acuff and Everyone: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Jim & Jesse: When I Dream About the Southland
The Whites: Doing It By The Book
Bill Anderson: Still/Southern Fried
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sugar in the Goard
Grandpa Jones: Gooseberry Pie

8:30: Opryland
Hank Snow (host): Address Unknown
4 Guys: Way Down Deep
Del Reeves: A Dozen Pair of Boots
Mike Snider: Old Joe Clark/Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You
Hank Snow: I'm So Glad I Got To See You Again

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): You Gotta Have A License
Osborne Brothers: Tennessee Hound Dog
Ray Pillow: The Days When You Were Still In Love With Me
Vince Gill: Look at Us/Crying Holy Unto the Lord/When I Call Your Name
Porter Wagoner: Big Wind

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Kitty Clyde
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Roy Drusky: Mississippi
Grandpa Jones: Tristzen Yodel

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host) Low & Lonely
Connie Smith: The Keys In The Mailbox/Satisfied
Roy Acuff and Everyone: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

10:30: Pet Milk
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime at a Time/Looking at the World Through A Windshield
David Houston: I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
Del Reeves: Lay a Little Lovin On Me

10:45: B.C. Powder
Bill Monroe (host): Mary Jane, Won't You Be Mine
Charlie Walker: Drinking Champagne
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Monroe: Wicked Path of Sin

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): White Silver Sands
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
4 Guys: We're Only Here For A Little While
Jim & Jesse: The Flower in the Desert
Hank Snow: That Lucky Old Sun

11:30: Creamette
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
The Whites: Love is A Rose
Jeannie Seely: I'll Be Around, When It's Over
Mike Snider: Foggy Mountain Breakdown/Putting on the Dog
Bill Anderson: Deck of Cards

What a difference from this year's line-up.

Finally, I will be in Nashville this weekend for the birthday bash. I look forward to seeing some of you, my friends. As things stand now, I will be at all the shows and activities. If anything breaks, I will let everyone know. 


  1. What a difference, indeed. And it says a lot about a place when the people at the heart of it aren't welcome.

  2. I see people say these are weak lines ups... What makes a line up weak or strong in your it start power or just opry members performing...I don't mean to be insulting just a normal question...

    When I visit nashvile I don't always go because of the cost is so high...if prices were half as much ir wouldn't matter as much to me...I think a strong line up is some bigger names as well as the more well known older would be fun if they cut the cost and then didn't announce the line ups.... So it would be a surprise

    Also if anyone is going to the weekend oprys we should have a meet up at the outdoor fest or before


  3. I just taped the saturday opry on my DVR and it said 87th birthday then had Keith urban he could be a surprise guest....


  4. Yes, what a difference 20 years makes. 15 of the acts from 1991 are now deceased. The 4 Guys have been fired and the Melvin Sloan Dancers are gone as well. The rest appear to be (for the most part) Opry regulars of today.

    Mike Snider is missing this weekend. I wonder if he is doing a touring date? Or management might think the rural comedy and string instruments is too "countryfied" for the birthday weekend these days.

    Ray Stevens is someone who I would have thought would have been given an invitation to join the Opry in recent years. He is in his mid 70's now (I believe), so its doubtful it will happen now at all.

  5. please see my tw0 comments about this weekend under the Opry Recap;
    bottom line - really disappointed in the line ups. . .

  6. OK, the Opry show tonight (Friday) was actually pretty good; Jimmy Dickens was "ON", Steve Wariner was GREAT, and we were pleasantly surprised with the talent of the newcomers (Tyler Farr, Jaida Dreyer and Kelleigh Bannen - they all did a good job); and guest Rodney Atkins was a HIT; Jean Shepard looks frail but did well on The Tennessee Waltz; it was good to see John Conlee, Jesse McReynolds, George Hamilton IV, Connie Smith, Jim Ed Brown and Jan Howard again; Ricky Skaggs opened up with a solo "old time" fiddle tune; looking forward to his matinee on Saturday; Saturday's shows are
    now promising. . .I've already written twice about disappointment in the line-ups for the 87th birthday celebration; Eddie Stubbs was the emcee all evening and did an outstanding job, as always.

    , and
    we were pleasantly surprised by the talent of the newcomers (Tyler Farr, Jaida Dreyer and Kelleigh Bannen); Rodney
    Atkins was a hit; Jean Shepard looks frail but still sounded good doing "The Tennessee Waltz", and we enjoyed seeing
    John Conlee, Jessee McReynolds, George Hamilton IV, Connie Smith, Jim Ed Brown and Jan Howard again. Ricky Skaggs
    did a solo "old time" fiddle tune to start off; looking forward to his matinee performance on Saturday.

  7. Fred, Bismarck:

    I wonder why Stonewall isn't there this weekend ... whether he's out of town, indisposed or (hard to believe) uninvited?

  8. We were extremely disappointed in the Opry Saturday night; especially the TV portion. More detail to follow after we
    travel home. .. .and don't know what happened but Bill Anderson didn't make it.

  9. My understanding from Bill Anderson's Facebook team that Bill was at the Opry House but left rehearsals sick.

    I was very disappointed in the Opry last night myself. The tv portion was lousy - one song & a few commercials & then Noteworthy comments by Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam & Vince Gill. Seeing that makes me say stop broadcasting the Opry Live & anyone who knows ME knows how very irritated I have been for the last 5/6 years since GAC stopped broadcasting the Opry. But what I saw last night, I have changed my stance to .... don't bother. Love Steve Wariner - he was GREAT Friday & last night - as he always is. So underrated all these years & he sang one of my favorite songs he recorded, "Linda." Does anyone know if they rolled a birthday cake out onto the stage? I've sat in the audience for a couple of the Opry birthday celebrations when all the artists came on stage & sang Happy Birthday with balloons falling & saw Bill Anderson & other singers handing out cake to audience members. Wow, how far the Opry has fallen. And the other thing that is really irritating me is bringing on new members - ALL men!!! Montgomery/Gentry, Blake Shelton, The Oaks (but they REALLY needed to be in there) Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban & now Darius Rucker. I am in no way begrudging ANY of these guys because I am not, they can't help if they were invited to become members. I am always thrilled when new artists are inducted, I'm thinking it is time for a few women to be inducted - for starters Rhonda Vincent, Mandy Barnett & Lee Ann Womack.


    1. We were there on Friday, Oct 5, and enjoyed it very much. It was our first visit, and it was a great experience. Yes, I would have liked to have heard some other performers, but the ones who were there did a fantastic job. Steve Wariner was fantastic, as usual. Yes, they did roll out a huge 87th Birthday Cake on the stage. Quite a pleasant evening. Luckily, we had first row balcony and a great view of the stage and the large screens. We took lots of pictures and went back to Texas very happy! We want to go back again some day.

  10. ricky scaggs came out and sang 1st but Jimmy dickens hosted