Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 11/9 & 11/10

The Grand Ole Opry continues its winter run at the Ryman Auditorium with 3 shows this weekend. In looking at the schedule, the highlight for me is the return of former Grand Ole Opry member Bobby Bare to the Opry stage, as he is scheduled for both shows on Saturday night. Bobby is now 77 and in my opinion, is one of the great singers and songwriters in the history of country music. This man should have been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame long ago. Bobby originally joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1965 after his hit record "Detroit City" became a country smash. Bobby did not stay at the Opry long as his career moved in other directions. In fact, his Opry stay was so short that most of his biographies do not even list his Opry membership.

Joining Bobby Bare on Saturday night will be Opry members Ricky Skaggs and Jean Shepard, who is scheduled to return to the Opry after cancelling out on last Saturday night's shows. The Friday Night Opry will feature Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers, The Grascals and the very talented Kathy Mattea.

Friday November 9
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Sunny Sweeney; Jim Ed Brown
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Grascals
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Kathy Mattea
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Time Jumpers

Saturday November 10
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Kelleigh Bannen; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Mandy Barnett; Bobby Bare
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charles Esten; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Riders In The Sky; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Kelleigh Bannen; Jean Shepard
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mandy Barnett; Bobby Bare
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charles Esten; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Riders In The Sky; Connie Smith

The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree continues with no live shows for November and the archived show this week will feature the Osborne Brothers. Should be another good one.

Here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, November 13:

7:00: Diamond Rio; Riders In The Sky
7:30: Miss Willie Brown; Jimmy Dickens
8:15: Jeannie Seely; Del McCoury Band
8:45: Billy Dean; Little Big Town

We should feel good that they have 5 Opry members on the Tuesday Night Show. As far as Friday and Saturday night, there are 8 Opry members on each show.

As far as this week's look back at Opry line-ups from the past, this Saturday night November 10th will mark the 39th anniversary of the final Grand Ole Opry show for Stringbean. After performing on the Opry that night, he along with his wife Estelle, were murdered by 2 men who were waiting at his home to rob him. David "Stringbean" Akeman was born on June 17, 1916 (although I have seen a couple of other dates) and grew up in eastern Kentucky. He was Bill Monroe's first banjo player, joining him in Nashville in 1942. That is also the year that the Opry has him becoming a member. He would also work with Lew Childre and Uncle Dave Macon. By 1952 he was working on the Opry as a solo act. He did not make any records until 1960, after which he did several for Starday Records. In 1969 he joined the cast of Hee Haw and became a household name. Hee Haw featured more of his comedy routines instead of his banjo playing and I think many people forgot what a great banjo player he was. His best friend and neighbor was fellow Hee Haw star and Opry member Grandpa Jones. He would continue on Hee Haw and on the Opry until his death in 1973. In my opinion, Stringbean is really one of the under appreciated stars in the history of country music. I do believe that if he had lived longer, he would have been appreciated as much as Grandpa Jones and Bill Carlisle, and he probably would have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

In memory of Stringbean, here is the running order and line-up from Saturday November 10, 1973, his final Grand Ole Opry show. (by the way, this show also featured Bobby Bare).

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): Little Red Wagon
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Willis Brothers: God Walks These Hills With Me

6:45: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Forget, Forgive Us #1
Bill Carlisle: Too Old To Cut the Mustard
Josie Brown: Precious Memories, Follow Me
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: When My Time Comes To Go

7:00: Rudy's
Tex Ritter (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Stringbean: Hillbilly Fever
Karen Wheeler: The First Time For Us
Tex Ritter: Green Grow the Lilacs
Stringbean: Y'all Come
Karen Wheeler: Listen, Spot
Tex Ritter: Fall Away

7:30: Standard Candy
Bobby Bare (host): Ride Me Down Easy
Jimmy Martin: Just Plain Yellow
Melba Montgomery: Crowdad Song
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore
Jimmy Martin: Tennessee
Melba Montgomery: Wrap Your Love Around Me
Bobby Bare: Detroit City

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Night Train to Memphis
Grandpa Jones: Mountain Dew
Jimmy Driftwood: Run, Johnny, Run/Tennessee Stud
Roy Acuff: Wabash Cannonball
Grandpa Jones: Orange Blossom Special
Brother Oswald: Roll On, Buddy

8:30: Stephens
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Marion Worth: Paper Roses
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
Billy Grammer: I'm Letting You Go
Marion Worth: Me and Bobby McGee
Billy Grammer: Just A Closer Walk With Thee

2nd show
9:30: Kelloggs
Willis Brothers (host): Give Me 40 Acres
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Jimmy Martin: Honey, You Don't Know My Mind
Josie Brown: Precious Memories, Follow Me
Skeeter Willis: Maiden's Prayer
Johnny Carver: Tonight Someone's Falling In Love
Jimmy Martin: Who'll Sing For Me When I'm Gone

10:00: Fender
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Little Darling Pal of Mine
Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink On Me/No Help Wanted
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Coming Down From God

10:15: Union 76
Tex Ritter (host): There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder
Stringbean: Gonna Make Myself A Name/Hot Corn, Cold Corn
Tex Ritter: Willie, The Wondering Gypsy and Me

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Ball Knob, Arkansas
Grandpa Jones: Bright Morning Stars Are Rising
Jimmy Driftwood: The Mixed Up Family

10:45: Beechnut
Bobby Bare (host): Four Strong Winds
Karen Wheeler: The First Time for Us
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Bobby Bare: Detroit City

11:00: Coca-Cola
Billy Grammer (host): Bonaporte's Retreat
Melba Montgomery: Don't Keep Me Lonely Too Long
Billy Grammer, Jr.: Orange Blossom Special
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Melba Montgomery: Let's All Go Down to the River
Sam McGee: Worry, Worry Blues
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): I Walk Alone
Marion Worth: Paper Roses/Sleeping At the Foot of the Bed
Ronnie Robbins: Too Much Love Between Us/Mama Tried
Marty Robbins: Love Me/Big Boss Man/Crawling on My Knees/Don't Worry/El Paso

There you have it. Thanks for remembering Stringbean!!


  1. Only 14 members that night--THAT used to be an off night.

    Bare was a member at least through the move to the new Opry House. So it's funny: he was there much longer than, say, Don Williams or B.J. Thomas or Willie Nelson.

  2. You know Mike, when I was typing in the line-up from 1973, I kept thinking to myself that it was a pretty weak one with a lot of "filler" acts but then, those were the final years before they left the Ryman and in looking back, there were quite a few shows in those days that were not what I would call "loaded".

    For what it is worth, Bobby Bare did do the Opry on the last Saturday night at the Ryman in 1974, and the Friday Night Opry on March 15, but did not appear on the Opry on the opening night of the new Opry House on March 16.

    As far as his Opry appearances in the years before he left the Opry, he had 0 in 1968, 1 in 1969, 9 in 1971 and 1972 and just 3 in 1974 and then he was gone. I was looking for my appearance sheets for 1974 and don't have them in front of me, but if he made any Opry appearances after the show moved to the new Opry House, it would have been only 1 or 2.

  3. Wow. He was barely a member, you might say--almost the Blake Shelton of his day.

  4. They might have been "filler" acts but Johnny Carver, Karen Wheeler and Melba Montgomery still had fairly successful careers and are, in fact, still active in the music business today. For a time, Johnny and Karen were on the Opry more often than most of the new members are there today.

    Karen is the daughter of Onie Wheeler and her website,, has a really nice bio of him as well as some great pictures. She was on a great package show with Conway Twitty and Nat Stuckey for a while in the mid-70's and I believe her biggest hit record was "A Woman Born to Love and Satisfy". A great entertainer who never enjoyed the extended chart success that she should have, she was a favorite of Roy Acuff and is still performing today.

    Melba Montgomery also had a connection to Roy Acuff as she was one of the "Smoky Mountain Girls" and later had some successful duets with George Jones and Charlie Louvin. Of course her monster hit in the early 70's was "No Charge" but most of her success has been as a songwriter. Still, she always had a very unique, very "country" voice and is still one of my favorites.

    Johnny Carver is still active in the music business and was part of Tandy Rice's stable of stars at Top Billing for a number of years. He was among the first, if not the first, to record "Tie A Yellow Ribbon" and make it a hit. Tony Orlando's version came out around the same time and was the version everyone remembers but it still remains Johnny Carver's signature song. He also has a website with some great photos and history at

    Billy Grammer, Jr. was a pretty good harmonica player and although he never made a living in the music business I can recall a number of occasions where he would come to the Opry with his father and play "Orange Blossom Special" on the harp. If you think back there were a lot of kids who appeared with their parents on the Opry either as a musician or backup singer: Jeanne Pruett, Ernie Ashworth, Charlie Louvin, Jim Ed Brown and Porter Wagoner were all accompanied by their kids onstage at one time or another. Sheila and Bill Carlisle, Jr., were both outstanding members of their father's group for years and Bobby Osborne, Jr. and George Hamilton V continue to work with their fathers at the Opry. Bobby Bare's son, who was featured on the hit "Daddy, What If" is a prominent fixture in Nashville's music scene and had a smokin' band called Bare Jr. for a few years. He's currently the subject of a documentary called "Don't Follow Me (I'm Lost) and continues to tour.

    Quite a few Opry stars have had children follow them into the music business. Some like Justin Tubb and Lorrie Morgan had great success in the music industry. Others, like Ronny Robbins had more moderate success and some, like Roy Acuff, Jr. are sort of footnotes in the history of country music but it's another one of those things that makes the Opry's history such a rich and interesting tapestry.

  5. Bobby Bare and The Browns are the most "overdue" LIVING artists that need to elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame from that Veterans Category. I hope 2013 will be the year for one of them (or both).

    Thanks for remembering Stringbean. He was a fixture in Country Music, and I agree should have been elected to the Hall of Fame years ago. Sadly, this will never happen I'm afraid.

  6. Interesting to see Jimmy Martin on the show as well as he managed to make himself "persona non grata" aound the Opry in later years although it was one of his lifelong dreams to be a regular member. Marty Stuart probably said it best when he said, "Somewhere along the line moonshine and dynamite collided (and the result was) Jimmy Martin." If you haven't read Tom Piazza's book "True Adventures With the King of Bluegrass" (not much of a book really but an extended version of a magazine article) you should find a copy. The Tennessean called it one of the most engaging, revealing, funny and sad books ever written about a Nashville musician and it seemed to have outraged a lot of Jimmy Martin fans...not surprising as it's not very pretty...but it paints an accurate picture of one of bluegrass and country music's MOST unique and volatile personalities.

    Also interesting to see Jimmy Driftwood making a rare guest appearance. He was a member of the Opry at one time but I don't remember how many years. I believe he left to go to Arkansas and was one of the founders of the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View (where, incidentally, Grandpa Jones performed for many years when he left Nashville in the wake of Stringbean's murder).

  7. Fred, Bismarck:

    Great entries, Barry.

    Arkansas was Driftwood's original home, and I always admired the way, his 15 minutes of fame over, he returned so gracefully to his mountain life. (With plenty of cash, to be sure, from his many much-recorded songs.)

    Driftwood was a "project" of Chet Atkins, and it's ironic that, at the same time Atkins was so busily watering down other country music at RCA, he was laying down the real thing with Driftwood and largely leaving it alone, in all its wonderful simplicity.

    Bear Family's 3-CD set on Driftwood should be in every hard-core's collection.

  8. Fred again:

    I've got the Piazza book on Martin, and it is indeed a dandy. It's too bad Martin never realized his dream of Opry membership -- especially since he's the singer of the best song ever recorded about the Opry, "The Grand Ole Opry Song," which made it to the famous Nitty Gritty Dirt Band "Circle" set.

    On the other hand, Piazza shows us, in his account of a backstage visit to the Opry with Martin, how the "King" was SO abrasive he made it impossible for the Opry to embrace him.

  9. Barry, thanks for the great information. Interesting that Melba at this point in her career had not yet recorded her big hit, "No Charge". Also Jimmy Carver had the country version of Tony Orlando's hit, "Tie A Yellow Ribbon", which he did on both shows.

    When I made the comment about "filler" acts, I meant to point out the lack of Opry members and not so much the quality of those on the Opry that night. And yes, it was surprising that Jimmy Martin was still questing at the Opry at this point in his career. One reason Jimmy might have been on was because of the lack of bluegrass members on that night. No Bill Monroe, Osborne Brothers or Jim & Jesse, who were the main bluegrass acts on the Opry at the time.

    As far as the Hall of Fame, I do agree that Bobby Bare and The Browns should be in. I would add Dottie West to the group. The veterans are again backing up.

  10. Yes, this weekend is a good line up; wish it had been half this good for the anniversary weekend.

  11. For those who were unable to listen last night, Bobby Bare did a great job with "Detroit City". He still has it and sounded as good as ever.

  12. Bobby was awesome.

    Why this man is not in the Hall of Fame is a mystery. This should have came to him 10 to 15 years ago. I see Roy Clark, Mel Tillis and Tom T. Hall in the Hall, and I wonder where Bobby's plaque is at? Nothing against those three particular legends (they belong in there as well), but Bobby's career was very similar. Tillis & Tom T. of course might be a hair ahead on songwriting, but that aside...... I see a Hall of Fame career in Bobby Bare as well.

  13. I agree David. When you compare Bobby to the group you have listed above, I find his career very similar. No reason on why he is not in. Wait, there is a reason. It is called politics as usual in Nashville!!

  14. Byron:
    Here is a great article by Chet Flippo on about the Hall of Fame.
    I put my two cents worth in. He is really pushing for Gram Parsons and Ray Charles. Bobby Bare was mentioned, but not the Browns.

  15. I confess, I have a problem with Gram Parsons and Ray Charles, as great as they were. Frankly, I had a problem with Elvis going in, but he started in country and influenced it. If everybody who's deserving were in, I'd say fine.

  16. If I was an elector I could vote for Ray Charles. But only if there was no backlog of true country legends. For example, if Charles was on the ballot with Bobby Bare, The Browns, Dottie West and Hank Williams, Jr. - NO WAY. Put those artists in first and we'll talk about it. And even if those four artists I mentioned were inducted there is still others that should go in before Ray Charles.

    On Gram Parsons - NEVER. There is not a Country Music Hall of Fame career there at all. Being Emmylou Harris' mentor does not merit an induction into the Hall.

    Yes Michael, I do find it very baffling that Elvis got a bronze plaque before the likes of Faron Young, Webb Pierce, Don Gibson and Carl Smith. But as Byron mentioned above a little earlier - POLITICS.

  17. I personally would never vote for Gram Parsons into the Country Music Hall of Fame as to me, he was not country and his career was too short. And as David mentioned, outside of Emmylou Harris, he really didn't have that great of an influence on country music.

    Ray Charles is another matter. He did reach out to the country music community and he actually made some very good country recordings. But as mentioned, there are others who I would like to see go in first. Right now on Facebook, there is a page for getting Dottie West into the Hall of Fame. Dottie does deserve to be in and she really should have been in by now. But the same can be said for The Browns and Bobby Bare.

    Elvis? Yea, an argument can be made whether he should be in or not, but he was an influence and he did do some country. But, what a star he was and there are others I would question before Elvis on why they are in.

  18. David, I agree: politics. I would like to see Dottie West go in but, I admit, since she is no longer with us but the Browns and Bobby Bare are, I'd rather see roses to the living, and I don't know that she is MORE deserving than they are. But then there's the political question. Byron knows more about everything country than I do, but I don't know of any particular problem between any of them and the country music community, as opposed to Webb and Faron offending some folks by being about as blunt as a punch in the nose.

  19. Hey David I Cant See the Browns Or Bobby Bare Getting Inducted From That Veterans Category Before Hank Williams Jr Hank Jr Has Done More For Country Music Than Bobby And The Browns From 1989-2011 He Had The Monday Night Football Theme Song Are You Ready For Some Football From 1987-1989 He Won 5 Consecutive Entertainer Of The Year Awards 2 From The CMA 1987 And 88 And 3 From The ACM 1987-89 Hes Sold Over 50 Million Albums Worldwide And One Week In October 1982 He Had 9 Albums On The Billboard Top Country Albums Chart Hank Jr Should Go In From That Veterans Category First Before Bobby And The Browns

  20. Just my opinion for what it is worth: Hank Williams, Jr. will get into the Country Music Hall of Fame some day, but I don't think it is going to happen in the next couple of years. Politics does play a role in the selection, whether people think so or not, and I think in view of Hank's recent comments regarding the politics of our country, that will be enough for the voters to wait a bit until things settle down a bit.

    As mentioned before, the finalists in the veterans category over the past several years have included The Browns, The Wilburn Brothers, Bobby Bare, Kenny Rogers, Connie Smith (who did get elected), June Carter Cash and Archie Campbell. Add to that list Ronnie Milsap, Crystal Gayle and a few others who will join the veteran category over the next couple of years, and there will be a backlog of candidates.

    Michael, in regards to your question, I have not heard of any reason why The Browns or Bobby Bare have not gotten in. This is a tough category and it just might be a case that the votes are just not there for them.

  21. Hey David B I Think The Next Few Years Are Going To Have Big Problems In That Veterans Category Hank Jr Charlie Daniels Kenny Rogers Jerry Reed Ray Stevens Anne Murray And Tanya Tucker Could All Be Offically Inducted From That Veterans Category Right Now Considering They Changed That Veterans Criteria To 40 Years After They First Became Prominent Currently It Is 45 Years Within The Next Couple Of Years So Could Ronnie Milsap Crystal Gayle Mickey Gilley Vern Gosdin And Gene Watson Thats Going To Hurt Acts Like Bobby Bare And The Browns And People Who Are Dead Like The Willburns And Dottie West Might Have Seen Their Last Days Passed I Believe The CMA Is Going Looking For Ways To Get Artists Such As Alan Jackson Brooks & Dunn Shania Tim McGraw.Etc In From That Modern Category Considering They Changed That Modern Criteria To 15 Years After They First Became Prominent Currently It Is 20 Years ASAP

  22. Byron:
    Your right. In the next few years, Ray Stevens, Anne Murray, Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap, Mickey Gilley and (believe it or not) Tanya Tucker will all be eligible to be elected from that Veteran Category. Lynn Anderson, Jerry Reed and Kenny Rogers already are eligible.

    It's really going to be a tight squeeze to get Bobby Bare, The Browns, Jerry Lee Lewis and (I hope) Jimmy C. Newman all inducted in the next few years. I would say deceased artists such as Archie Campbell and The Wilburn Brothers have probably lost their chances (even though they are worthy). Dottie West and Jerry Reed may be the exception to that. That is why I feel a fourth posthumous category is needed. The electors will always mark the "x" beside the living artist so they can "smell the roses" while they are here.

    It is my guess that we will see Kenny Rogers and Alan Jackson elected in 2013. And nothing against Kenny, but it's shameful that he will probably get elected before his duet partner Dottie West. Her Country career being farther back in the spectrum in time of the history of the genre.

    Same for Alan Jackson; A great true traditionalist, whom I adore, but I feel others from the 1970's and 1980's should go in first; i.e., Milsap, Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis, Gene Watson, Crystal Gayle and others.

  23. This "Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award" that the CMA developed this year is bothering me as well.

    Why did the CMA have to develop a Lifetime Achievement Award, when they already control the strings to the Country Music Hall of Fame election process? The Hall of Fame is in part a lifetime achievement award. To me it is taking away from what should be Country Music' highest honer.

  24. David, I would agree that Alan Jackson is the favorite in the modern era category, with strong consideration going to Randy Travis and Ronnie Milsap, depending on where he ends up on the ballot. And don't forget that Ray Stevens was a finalist last year also, along with Ricky Skaggs. Add The Judds to the mix and there are tough choices.

    Personally, I just don't see Kenny getting in this year. But as we all know, Dolly Parton got in before Porter Wagoner, so it might happen. It was a good sign to me that Connie Smith did get in last year as it shows me that the voters are still looking at the artists from the 1960s, as they should be.

  25. Hey David B I Think The CMA Is Going To Change The Criteria For The Veterans Category From 45 Years To 40 Years After They First Became Prominent And For The Modern Category From 20 Years To 15 Years After They First Became Prominent This Year Because That Would Make Acts Like Shania Tim McGraw Toby Keith.Etc Eligible For Induction From That Modern Category And For The Veterans That Would Make Acts Like Ronnie Milsap Tanya Tucker.Etc Eligble For Induction From That Veterans Category To Be Honest Ronnie And Tanya Stand A Much Better Chance Of Going In From That Veterans Category Than That Modern Category And Speaking Of The Modern Category If They Change The Criteria To 15 Years After They First Became Prominent And In The Veterans Category To 40 Years After They First Became Prominent I Would Expect The First Inductee From The Updated Veterans Category Will Be Kenny Rogers And The First Inductee From The Updated Modern Category Will Be Shania Twain Because Of Her 75 Million Albums Sold And Having The Biggest And Best Selling Album By A Female And Also The Biggest And Best Selling Country Album Of All Time With Come On Over That Sold Over 34 Million Copies Shania Is A Global Music Icon And If They Change The Criteria For That Veterans And Modern Categories 40 Years For The Veterans Category And 15 Years For The Modern Category Shania Has To Be One Of The First Few If Not First Inductees From That Modern Category If They Updated And That Would Make Her Eligble For Induction I Would Expect Shania Will Go In First Before Alan Jackson Randy Travis Brooks & Dunn The Oaks Ricky Skaggs.Etc Go In From That Modern Category If They Change The Criteria In That Modern Category From 20 Years To 15 Years After They First Became Prominent And In That Veterans Category From 45 Years To 40 Years After They First Became Prominent

  26. Hey David B Ray Stevens First Became Prominent In 1969 Anne Murray In 1970 Tanya Tucker In 1972 Ronnie Milsap In 1973 And Crystal Gayle And Mickey Gilley In 1974 So They Will Be Eligble For The Veterans Category Stevens In 2014 Murray In 2015 Tucker In 2017 Milsap In 2018 And Gayle And Gilley In 2019 But If They Change The Criteria This Year In Both The Veterans And Modern Categories From 45 Years To 40 Years In The Veterans Category And From 20 Years To 15 Years In The Modern Category Stevens Murray Tucker And Milsap Would Be Eligble For Induction From That Veterans Category This Year And Gayle And Gilley In 2014 And In The Modern Category Artists Like Shania Tim McGraw Toby Keith.Etc Would Become Eligble For Induction In That Category

  27. Hey David B If They Put Kenny Rogers In From That Veterans Category This Year It Will Open The Door For The Rest Of That Group To Be Eligble For Induction Including Ronnie Milsap Tanya Tucker Crystal Gayle Anne Murray Ray Stevens And Mickey Gilley While Overlooking Folks Like The Browns Bobby Bare.Etc

  28. They are not going to change the modern category to 15 years and I can say with a 100% guarantee and certainty that Shania Twain will not be elected to the Hall of Fame this year and to be honest, if her career ended today, she would have a tough time ever getting in. Her career has been too short and she is not a Nashville favorite.

    As far as moving the veterans category down to 40 years or whatever, it will not change the backlog of candidates. It would just add a few more names to the mix. Being eligible does not mean being elected and I don't see the Hall of Fame changing the number getting in. I think they are perfectly happy with only 3 or 4 members added each year. As far as the 2014 inductees, the preliminary voting should be getting underway, if it has not already.

  29. Bryon:
    I agree on Shania Twain. Everyone assumes she is a no-brainier for the Hall of Fame. I do not believe she is. If she makes it at all she may be so old they have to bring her in a wheel chair. I'll compare her to Kenny Rogers (a "non-nashville" superstar); 74 years old, Millions upon Millions of Records sold; 21 No. 1 Hits and no bronze plaque yet. And Kenny Rogers endured many more years on the charts than Shania ever did. However, I do believe this recent distention he has been given, "The Artist In Residence for 2012" at the Hall of Fame may help his chances in 2013 or in the next few years.

    I grew up in the 1980's and graduated high school in 1998. I have pondered as to who will make the Hall of Fame from those two decades I grew up in. My list of no-brainier artists is relatively short; Alabama, George Strait, Reba, Vince Gill and Garth are already in. Ronnie Milsap, Kenny Rogers, Hank, Jr., Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, The Oaks, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn, The Judds and Tim McGraw I'm certain all will make it; Dwight Yoakam, Keith Whitley, Patty Loveless, Diamond Rio, Vern Gosdin, Gene Watson, Clint Black, likely so but you never know. If Nashville politics comes into effect Lorrie Morgan will make it. She seems to be a favorite around town; Crystal Gayle, Mickey Gilley and Anne Murray (and possibly John Denver) will all have to wait and go in the Veteran category I'm certain.

    A few artists I would love to see go in might have a very big struggle. Earl Thomas Conley, Janie Fricke and John Conlee. After George Strait, ETC was the 1980's biggest hit maker. He should go in. I would say he is on the fence; Janie Fricke, two time CMA female vocalist of the year was probably the top producing female of the decade after Reba; If John Conlee lives to a ripe old age and still performs faithfully as he does on the Grand Ole Opry today, I would say he'll become "Bill Carlisle" and be inducted upon his longevity, rather than his career. But his career is nothing to sneeze at either. He had some of the biggest hits and best records of the decade.

    As I have to tell myself though...One year at time....

  30. I Agree With You Fayfare And Hey David B But They Could Change The Criteria For The 2015 Inductions Though They Seem To Do That Every 5 Years The Veterans Era Category 40 Years In 2015 Would Be 1975 The Modern Era Category 15 Years In 2015 Would Be 2000 The Following Would Then Be Eligble For The Veterans Era Category If They Change It Around 2015
    Charlie Daniels Crystal Gayle Mickey Gilley Vern Gosdin Ronnie Milsap Anne Murray Tanya Tucker And Gene Watson And The Following Would Then Be Eligble For The Modern Era Category If They Change It Also Around 2015 Shania Twain Kenny Chesney Brad Paisley Rascal Flatts And Keith Urban By Then Ray Stevens Would Already Be Eligble For The Veterans Era Category And Toby Keith Martina McBride Faith Hill And Tim McGraw Would Already Be Eligble For The Modern Era Category

  31. David, first I enjoy the Hall of Fame discussion with you and with the others. It seems to be a frequent topic of conversation. A few years back I did a post on what Opry members I felt would make the Hall of Fame and why. I think I might bring it back up and update it for a center of discussion. When I did that post, it was after I had talked to a few people who were in the know and in fact, one who was a voter at the time.

    1. I love talking about the Hall of Fame. I wish it had a blog on its own. I hate to clutter your Opry blog with Hall of Fame talk all the time.

  32. Hey David B If Alan Jackson Gets In This Year And Brooks And Dunn In 2014 From That Modern Category I Would Expect Toby Keith Who Will Be Eligble Starting This Year And Tim McGraw Who Will Be Eligble Starting In 2014 To Be Inducted After Alan And B&D And I Would Expect Ronnie Milsap And Tanya Tucker To Move Into The Veterans Category If They Change The Criteria To 40 Years Along With Aforementioned The Browns Bobby Bare Kenny Rogers Hank Jr.Etc From That Modern Category If They Change The Criteria To 15 Years Starting In 2015 I Would Expect After AJ And B&D Get Inducted In The Next Two Years Theyll Move On To Toby And Tim Along With Some 70s-80s Stars Like The Oaks Randy Travis Ricky Skaggs.Etc I Cant See Any Others From The Early 90s Other Than AJ And B&D Getting In From That Modern Category Before Toby And Tim

  33. Hey David B What Are Your Thoughts About The Modern Category Beyond 2014 After The Inductions Of Alan Jackson And Brooks And Dunn From That Category Im Fearful That The CMA Will Change Their Criteria And Open The Modern Category Up For Some Younger Modern Country Artists Such As Shania Tim McGraw Toby Keith.Etc To Be Elected Immediately After AJ And B&D Thats Why I Think Artists Such As Ronnie Milsap Tanya Tucker The Oaks Randy Travis Ricky Skaggs Stars Of The 70-80s.Etc Should Go In From That Modern Category Before Shania Tim McGraw Toby Keith.Etc What Do You Think David B

  34. Hey Guys I Will Say The Following Acts Im Certain Will All Make It To The Hall Of Fame At Some Point
    From The Veterans Era Category
    Bobby Bare
    The Browns
    Kenny Rogers
    Hank Williams Jr
    And When They Move Into That Veterans Category
    Charlie Daniels
    Ray Stevens
    From The Modern Era Category
    Brooks & Dunn
    Alan Jackson
    The Judds
    Ronnie Milsap
    The Oak Ridge Boys
    Ricky Skaggs
    Randy Travis
    Tanya Tucker
    Those Are All The Acts Im Certain Will All Make It To The Hall Of Fame At Some Point

  35. Now On To The Acts Who Im Not Quite Certain But Will Likely Probably Get In Eventually
    Crystal Gayle
    Anne Murray
    Mickey Gilley
    Gene Watson
    Larry Gatlin And The Gatlin Brothers
    Marty Stuart
    Dwight Yoakam
    Patty Loveless
    Now On To The Acts Who Will May Or Will May Not Make It In The Acts Who Are On The Fence And The Acts Who Will Probably Not Make It In
    John Conlee
    Earl Thomas Conley
    John Anderson
    Janie Fricke
    The Bellamy Brothers
    Kathy Mattea
    Steve Wariner
    Diamond Rio
    Clint Black
    Lorrie Morgan
    Now On To The People Who Are Dead And Will Never Make It In
    Eddie Rabbitt
    Vern Gosdin
    Jerry Reed
    The Willburn Brothers
    Dottie West
    John Denver
    Keith Whitley
    Now On To The Acts Im Certain Will Make It To The Hall Of Fame When Theyre Eligble
    Toby Keith
    Tim McGraw

  36. I had forgot about Steve Wariner. I would say he's a shoe in. John Anderson is probably on the fence.

  37. Hey Fayfare And David B I Think Both Toby Keith And Hank Wiliams Jr Will Both Pull A Waylon Jennings And Not Show Up For Their Inductions When Theyre Inducted Like Waylon They Both Butted Heads With The Industry Over The Years So I Wouldnt Be Surprised If They Both Pull A Waylon And Not Show Up To Their Inductions When Theyre Inducted At Some Point

  38. Hey David B If They Put Kenny Rogers In This Year From That Veterans Category It Will Open The Door For The CMA Changing Its Criteria Next Year And Making Ronnie Milsap Tanya Tucker Ray Stevens Anne Murray Crystal Gayle Mickey Gilley.Etc Eligble For Election From That Veterans Category As Well As Hank Jr Whos Already Eligble If Kenny Rogers Gets In From That Veterans Category This Year It Will Open The Door For The Rest Of That Group Including Hank Jr Milsap Tucker Stevens Murray Gayle Gilley.Etc If They Change The Criteria Next Year To Go In Immediately After Kenny While Overlooking Folks Like The Browns Bobby Bare.Etc

  39. Hey David B I Surpect Alan Jackson Gets In This Year And Brooks & Dunn Gets In Next Year From That Modern Category Dont Forget David B Both Toby Keith And Tim McGraw Will Both Be Eligble Soon Toby Will Be Eligble This Year And Tim Will Be Eligble Next Year Its Really Going To Hurt Acts Like Milsap Tanya Tucker The Oaks Randy Travis Ricky Skaggs.Etc Personally With Those Two Superstars Of The Late 90s/00s Hot On Their Heels The Next Few Years Its Going To Be Their Only Hope Of Getting Inducted From That Modern Category Especially If The CMA Changes Its Criteria In 2015