I just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope that it is a blessed day for all of you and that you have family and friends to share the day with. I also hope that Santa brings each of you everything you have asked for.
Since I started this blog several years ago, I have taken the opportunity to pass along Christmas greetings and wishes to the Grand Ole Opry and its members, along with a "wish list". So with that introduction, here is my updated 2012 "wish list" for the Opry:
To Pete Fisher and Steve Buchanan, I hope for a new Opry television contract and for RFD-TV, I hope you are the ones to get it. I also hope that you will consider more on-line streaming of the Opry's shows. Pete, please treat the legends with more kindness and it wouldn't hurt to let them sing two songs instead of one. And please, don't mess with the show any more. Most of us thought it was fine the way it was.
For Jimmy Dickens, Jean Shepard and Hal Ketchum, I wish each of you better health this coming year. And Hal, here is hoping that you return to the Opry stage. To Jack Greene, our prayers and thoughts are with you as you go through the sunset of your life.
To Jim Ed Brown, congratulations on your upcoming 50th anniversary as an Opry member. And also here is the wish that you receive a call from the Country Music Hall of Fame welcoming you as a new member. To Bill Anderson, thanks for sharing your 50th anniversary with all of us this past year and congratulations on another great year of Opry shows. And for Connie Smith, congratulations on your Hall of Fame induction. For one of the finest voices in country music, it was well deserved.
To Carol Lee Cooper, Barbara Mandrell, Ricky Van Shelton and Jeanne Pruett my wish is that all of you continue to enjoy your retirement and enjoy good health. And if you feel the urge, please don't be afraid to call Pete and ask for an Opry appearance. For George Jones my wish is that your retirement tour is a success and that you include the Opry as part of that tour. To Loretta Lynn, since the Opry honored you for 50 years of Opry membership, will you honor the Opry by appearing more often? After all, the Opry was once important in your career.
To veteran Opry members George Hamilton IV, Stonewall Jackson, Ray Pillow, Jan Howard, Jeannie Seely, Jean Shepard, The Whites, Roy Clark and Jimmy C Newman, my Christmas wish if for more Opry appearances. Please Pete, call them more often. They enjoy playing the Opry as much as we enjoy listening to them. To Mike Snider and Riders In The Sky, thanks for keeping humor on the Opry stage.
To Vince Gill, Marty Stuart and Ricky Skaggs, thanks for supporting the Opry over the years and the hope is that each of you will continue to do so. Also thanks for encouraging others to play the Opry and making it an important event.
For Keith Urban and Darius Rucker, the Opry's newest members, please don't forget where the Opry House is and support the show. The Opry needs you to be there. And to Trace Adkins, Craig Morgan, Josh Turner, Montgomery Gentry, Rascal Flatts and especially Carrie Underwood, thanks for remembering where the Opry House is. Please keep coming as the Opry needs each of you.
To Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Ralph Stanley and Del McCoury, thanks for carrying on the bluegrass tradition. And to Alison Krauss, it was nice to see you at the Opry this past year, but your sweet voice is missed and the Opry needs to see more of you. And Pete, isn't it time for a new Opry member who sings bluegrass music?
To Emmylou Harris and Patty Loveless, my wish is that two of the sweetest voices on the Opry continue to keep those voices. And Patty, the Opry is still there for you. It needs you more than a couple of times each year. To Emmylou, please come back. I think you enjoy the Opry. I do know that the Opry enjoys you.
To Brad Paisley, please come back. You were there after the flood in 2010 and then left again. And when you come, please bring Martina McBride with you.
To John Conlee, Charlie Daniels, Terri Clark, Joe Diffie, Steve Wariner, Charley Pride, Mel Tillis and the Oak Ridge Boys, my wish is that each of you gives the Opry another year of great performances. To Diamond Rio, thanks for increasing your Opry appearances this past year. To Pam Tillis, please keep coming back. And to Lorrie Morgan, what happened to you? Please come back to the Opry. We miss you.
For Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson, Tom T Hall, Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, Clint Black, Randy Travis, Blake Shelton and Dolly Parton, a GPS system for you car locked into 2804 Opryland Drive. I am afraid that each of you forgot where the Opry House is. By the way, it is still there and the doors are unlocked for you. And to Dolly, think of the memories that you have of the Opry and singing with Porter. I know we do.
To Mandy Barnett, Elizabeth Cook, Holly Williams, Jimmy Wayne, Restless Heart, Sarah Darling and so many others, thanks for answering the phone when Pete calls you at the last minute. My wish is that each of you have a million selling record this year. And Pete, don't forget that the veterans have phones too. And to all the non-Opry members who came out to the Opry this past year, thanks. There are too many to mention, but my wish is that we see more of you this year. Each of you helps to keep the show fresh and help to fill out the line-up when the missing Opry stars do not appear.
To Rhonda Vincent, Dailey & Vincent, Crystal Gayle and Gene Watson, may this be the year that you finally get asked to be an Opry member, especially after supporting the show for as long as you have.
To Mike Terry, Bill Cody and Eddie Stubbs, thanks for the great introductions that you give us each week on the show. To Larry Gatlin, thanks for a great job hosting the Opry Country Classics show. Your energy and enthusiasm have helped to make the show a success. To the Opry Singers and the Opry Staff band, thanks. The show would be missing something without the talents that each of you bring to the Opry stage. And to the Opry Square Dancers, each time you appear you help us remember where the show came from. Thanks.
To Ryman Hospitality, may you continue to give the Opry the resources and respect that the show needs and deserves. And please, get the Opry Museum back open so that today's fans can understand the history and importance of the show, and where it came from.
To all the Opry fans, please continue to support the show. Some weeks it is not easy, but if we are not in the audience or listening on the radio, there would be no Opry.
To the new readers of the blog, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments. To those who have been with me from the beginning, my continued thanks. And thanks for the comments. We may not always agree, but we are all friends who share a common bond about the Opry and a love of the show. And thanks for the emails. Keep them coming. To those who I have met at the Opry over the years, thanks for your friendship and thanks for making those Nashville trips more enjoyable.
Special thanks go to Michael, Fred, Barry, Robert, Lindy, David, Countryart, Jim, Opryman, Tim, Ken, Peter, Brain, and the others who comment regularly and email often. And I know I have forgotten a few and for that, I am sorry but you are all important and it has been a pleasure.
Finally, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. My wish to each of you is that 2013 is the best year of your lives and that we may continue the dialog. And may peace be with each of you.