Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 6/29 & 6/30

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend, one on Friday night and the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night. Both shows this weekend will feature a number of non-Opry members, and 1 former Opry member as Jim Glaser, formally of Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, will be on Friday Night. The Glasers were Opry members for many years and were quite popular. Their last appearance together was for Hank Snow's 40th anniversary as an Opry member when the brothers, who had not performed in 5 years, reunited at Hank's request for this show. The show was televised by TNN and on YouTube, there are 2 videos of the Glasers from that night. One is of them doing "Loving Her Was Easier", and the other is a melody of hits. They did a great job on "Loving Her Was Easier You" and their harmonies really showed through. When I watched the melody video, I laughed as it was funny watching the brothers facial expressions toward each other. Just a classic.

Also appearing on Friday night will be the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who have made previous Opry appearances, along with Canaan Smith and The Issacs. As far as Saturday night, the great guitarist Doyle Dykes will be on, along with The Grascals, Elizabeth Cook and Exile, all frequent Opry guests.

Friday June 29
7:00: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Craig Campbell
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Carolina Chocolate Drops
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Glaser; Canaan Smith
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; The Isaacs

Saturday June 30
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Grascals
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Craig Campbell; Doyle Dykes
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Elizabeth Cook; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Exile

That comes out to 12 artists on each show, with 7 Opry members each night.

On a final note, I will be absent from the blog until Sunday, taking a little vacation time to travel. If anything comes up that needs comment, I will. Enjoy the weekend and thanks to all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wednesday Night Opry

Earlier in the year, the Grand Ole Opry announced that they were going to have Wednesday night shows this summer, and then nothing further was said. Well, today the Opry confirmed that the Wednesday Night Opry (sounds funny to type), will take place for 1 month, from July 18 to August 8. The shows will start at 7:00 and on the Opry website, they have Rascal Flatts listed for the July 25 show.

If nothing else, this will give Opry members another opportunity to get over to the Opry and support the show. But at the same time, you always worry that another weeknight show will delute the weekend shows, as if they can be any further deluted. As it is right now, the Tuesday Night Opry has had better acts performing on that show then they have had for some of the Friday or Saturday night performances.

I think this is another opportunity for people to see the Opry and to experience the show. But before everyone starts to complain about the additional week night shows, remember that when Opryland was open, especially in the early years, the Opry had shows all during the week, including Saturday and Sunday afternoon. So adding additional shows is nothing new for the Opry.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 29, 1963-Jim Reeves Final Opry Appearance

As I look at the week ahead in Grand Ole Opry history, it was on Saturday June 29, 1963 that Jim Reeves made his last Grand Ole Opry appearance prior to giving up his Opry membership.

During the early 1960s, Jim Reeves was probably the biggest star at the Opry. He joined the show on October 22, 1955, coming to Nashville from the Louisiana Hayride. His 1960 hit, "He'll Have to Go" sold over 3 million copies. "Four Walls" is still a classic today.

During his time at the Opry, he changed his appearance and sound. He went from dressing in the classic country suits of the day to a more business suit and metropolitan look. And he went from singing more of a honky-tonk style to being one of the main voices of the Nashville sound.

As Jim's career took him in a new direction, with international travel and movies, he found that he no longer needed the Opry for his career, so he left the show in 1963.

When Jim Reeves left the Opry, little did he know that he would only live for one more year. He, along with Dean Manuel, his manager and piano player, died in a plane crash on July 31, 1964 while attempting to land in a storm in Nashville.

While Jim is missed at the Opry, it is good to know that his good friend Jim Ed Brown, will still sing a Jim Reeves song every once in a while at the Opry. And Jim Ed has the voice to do it. Keep singing them Jim, as those classic songs still need to be heard from the Opry stage today.

Here is the line-up and running order of the show from Saturday June 29, 1963:

7:30: Kelloggs
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Doin' My Time
Bill Anderson: You Made It Easy
Bill Monroe: Goodbye, Old Pal
Loretta Lynn: (?)
Wilma Lee Cooper: Philadelphia Lawer
Del Wood: Georgia Blues
Billy Walker: Storm Of Love
Bill Monroe: Careless Love
Bill Anderson: Still
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Satisfied

8:00: Martha White
Roy Drusky (host): Anymore
Jim & Jesse: (?)
Johnny Bond: My Darling Cora Lee
June Carter: Comedy
Roy Drusky: You Never Cried When You Were Mine
Carter Family (?)
Crook Brothers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Jim & Jesse: (?)
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose

8:30: Stephens
The Browns: Scarlet Letter
Bobby Lord: Out Behind The Barn
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Curly Fox: Carroll County Blues
Margie Bowes: Right Or Wrong
Blue Boys: Red River Rock

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Roy Acuff (host): Y'all Come
Skeeter Davis: The End Of The World
Cousin Jody: Don't Make Love In A Buggy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire On The Mountain
Roy Acuff: Lonely Mound Of Clay
Jug Band: They Cut Down The Old Pine Tree
June Stearn: Release Me
Brother Oswald: Roll On, Buddy, Roll On
Roy Acuff: Drifting Too Far From The Shore
Howdy Forrester & Jimmy Riddle: Jesse Polka

9:30: Pet Milk
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Glaser Brothers: Tracking Me Down
Marion Worth: Crazy Arms
Lonzo & Oscar (?)
Hank Snow: The Man Who Robbed The Bank At Santa Fe
Stringbean: Walk Up, Little Betty
Dave Dudley: Six Days On The Road
Glaser Brothers: Sweeter Than The Flowers
Hank Snow: The Wreck Of The Old 97

10:00: Gates Rubber
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Big Midnight Special
Bill Monroe: White House Blues
Loretta Lynn: (?)
Stoney Cooper: Sally Goodin
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Gloryland March

10:15: Luzianne
Jim & Jesse (?)
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues

10:30: Harveys
Bill Anderson (host): (?)
Skeeter Davis: I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know
The Browns: The Three Bells
Bill Anderson: (?)

10:45: Ford
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Stringbean: 20 Cent Cotton & 90 Cent Meat
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Brother Oswald: John Hardy
Roy Acuff: Waltz Of The Wind

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Jamaica Farewell
Glaser Brothers: Where No One Stands Alone
Bobby Lord: Cry, Cry Darling
Lonzo & Oscar: (?)
Hank Snow: I Don't Hurt Anymore
Sam & Kirk McGee: I Left My Girl On The Mountain
Margie Bowes: Think It Over
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Johnson
Glaser Brothers: Stand Beside Me
Hank Snow: Caribbean

11L30: SSS Tonic
Roy Drusky (host): Anymore
Marion Worth: Tennessee Teardrops
Archie Campbell: Fools Side Of Town
Cousin Jody: Lady Cop
Roy Drusky: (?)
Curly Fox: 50 Years Ago
Dave Dudley: Six Days On The Road
Marion Worth: I Can't Stop Loving You
Roy Drusky: Another

Interesting to see Dave Dudley on the Opry. He made very few appearances and this was during the time Six Days on the Road was a big hit for him. Also, the Browns were guesting on the Opry on this particular night, as they were not members as of yet.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Grand Ole Opry June 22, 1957

As I am listening to Jimmy Dickens on the Friday Night Opry, with 12 artists scheduled, I thought again of days gone by and I have an Opry line-up from June 22, 1957, 55 years ago tonight. Again, I thought it would be nice to look back.

7:30: Nabisco
Roy Acuff: New River Train
Cowboy Copas: Gone And Left Me Blues
Brother Oswald: Nobody's Business
Roy Acuff: Precious Memories
Howdy Forrester: Cumberland Gap
Ralph Sloan Square Dancers

7:45: American Ace
Jordanaires: Theme
Faron Young: I'm Gonna Live Some
Justin Tubb: The Party Is Over
Jordanaires: Sugaree
Faron Young: Chrine of St. Cecilia
Fiddle Tune: Soldier's Joy

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs: Head Over Heals In Love
Marty Robbins: Knee Deep In The Blues
Wilma Lee & Stoney: Loving You
Del Wood: Pony Boy
Flatt & Scruggs: Is There Room For Me
Marty Robbins: White Sport Coat
Ladell Sisters: Butterfly
Possom Hunters: Fire In The Mountain
Wilma Lee & Stoney: Rocky Road Blues
Flatt & Scruggs: Shucking The Corn
Ralph Sloan Square Dancers

8:30: Prince Albert
Ferlin Husky: Prized Possession
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Carlisles: I'm Rough Stuff Stuff
Ralph Sloan Square Dancers
Ferlin Husky: Sa/ith The Lord
Chet Atkins: Triger Rag
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Carlisles: Wouldn't You Like To
Stringbean: Going Down The Country
Ferlin Husky: Fallen Star
Fiddle Tune: Leather Britches

9:00: Jefferson Island
Jordanaires: Theme
Ernest Tubb: Two Glasses Joe
Wilburn Brothers: I'm Setting You Free
Jimmy Newman: Can't Go On This Way
June Carter: Comedy
Ernest Tubb: Don't Forbide Me
George Jones: You Gotta Be My Baby
Jordanaires: Walk Away
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Grey Eagle
Wilburn Brothers: I'm So In Love With You
Ernest Tubb: Will You Be Satisfied That Way

9:30: Stephens
Lonzo & Oscar: Theme
Hank Snow: Caribbean
Porter Wagoner: Good Morning Neighbor
T. Texas Tyler: Bumming Around
Lonzo & Oscar: Fallen Star
Hank Snow: A Fool Such As I
Maybelle Carter: I Never Will Marry
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Porter Wagoner: Who Will It Be
Hank Snow: Golden Rocket

10:00: Wall-Rite
Roy Acuff: It's Hard To Love
Justin Tubb: Bachelor Man
Stringbean: Going Down The Country
Howdy Forrester: Money Musk
Ralph Sloan Square Dancers

10:15: Delited
Carlisles: Theme
Marty Robbins: A White Sport Coat
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Carlisles: Tain't Nice
Marty Robbins: Same Two Lips
Fiddle Tune: Billy In The Low Ground

10:30: Hester Battery
Ernest Tubb: Mississippi Gal
Maybelle Carter: I Never Love But One
Flatt & Scruggs: Joy Bells
Ernest Tubb: Treat Her Right
Fiddle Tune: Bully Of The Town

10:45: De Con
Faron Young: I Miss You Already
Ladell Sisters: Ninety Nine Ways
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark
Faron Young: I'll Be Satisfied That Way

11:00: Coca Cola
Jordanaires: Theme
Hank Snow: I'm Moving On
Ferlin Husky: Gone
Chet Atkins: Alabama Jubilee
Jimmy Newman: Fallen Star
June Carter: Comedy
Lonzo & Oscar: Gone No. 2
Hank Snow: Stolen Moments
Wilburn Brothers: Go Away With Me
Gully Jumpers: Up Jumped Trouble
Ferlin Husky: Prized Possession
Hank Snow: Music Makin Mama
Ralph Sloan Square Dancers

11:30: Jamison
Jordanaires: Theme
Cowboy Copas: Filipino Baby
George Jones: Too Much Water
T. Texas Tyler: Remember Me
Cowboy Copas: The Man Upstairs
Fiddle Tune: Wake Up Susan

11:45: Sustaining
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Cheated
Sam & Kirk: Roll On Buddy Roll On
Porter Wagoner: Uncle Pen
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: He Set Me Free
Ralph Sloan Square Dancers

A couple of observations:
>Ralph Sloan and the square dancers got in a lot of dancing that night.
>Even though he was an Opry member for a fairly short amoung of time compared to others on that night, Hank Snow had already settled into the early slot for Stephens and the late slot for Coke.
>Sam & Kirk McGee were in the late segment, of which they would remain for the remainder of their Opry careers.
>Roy Acuff was featured in just 2, 15 minute segments, including opening the show, which he did not like doing.
>Interesting to see George Jones on the Opry this night, along with Porter Wagoner.

Finally, the quality of the line-up was very good on this night.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 6/22 & 6/23

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend, 1 of Friday Night and 1 on Saturday night. The Friday Night Opry will feature the annual appearance by the ACM Lifting Lives Campers, who will be completing their 3rd annual music camp at Vanderbilt University. In the past Trace Adkins has helped out with the camp and this year Big & Rich took part, and the ACM Lifting Lives Campers will be performing on the Friday Night Opry with them. Also appearing on Friday Night will be Love and Theft, The Derailers and Opry favorite Mark Wills.

The Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry will feature this week's newcomer, Jaida Dreyer. She is another one of the new talents in country music and released her first single several months ago. Her debut album will be out later this year and her website states that she wrote most of the songs on it. Mark Wills will be back for the Saturday night show, along with a return appearance of the Marshall Tucker Band, who were at the Opry several months back to a great audience reception.

Friday June 22
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Love and Theft
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV; The Derailers
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Wills
8:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Big & Rich; ACM Lifting Lives Campers

Saturday June 23
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jaida Dreyer
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Mark Wills; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Marshall Tucker Band

I forgot to mention last week that the Riders In The Sky are celebrating their 30th anniversary as Opry members. They were honored during the Tuesday Night Opry. And former Grand Ole Opry member Jim Glaser of the Glaser Brothers, will be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 18th Opry Shows

Sometimes it is fun to look back at some of the classic Grand Ole Opry shows from year past. I thought it would be interesting to post several shows that took place years apart, on June 18, just so people could compare the line-ups. The first one goes way back to Saturday June 18, 1955. Remember back in those days there was one show that went from 7:30 until Midnight.

7:30: Prince Albert
Hank Snow (host): Would You Mind
Old Hickory Singers: Bill Bailey
Carlisles: Bargain Day
Fiddle Tune: Fire in the Mountain
Hank Snow: The Last Mile of the Way
Moon Mullican: Mean Mama Blues
Carlisles: It's Bed Time Bill
Grandpa Jones: Uncle Eph's Got the Coon
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again
Fiddle Tune: Saint Ann's Reel

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): Kansas City Blues
Ferlin Huskey: I'll Baby Sit With You
George Morgan: The Best Mistake
Louvin Brothers: Make Me A Soldier
Possum Hunters: Turkey in the Straw
Ernest Tubb: I't A Lonely World
Mother Maybelle: Gold Watch and Chain
Ferlin Huskey: Cuz You're So Sweet
Louvin Brothers: Just a Little Light of Mine
Ernest Tubb: Daisy May
Fiddle Tune: Old Joe Clark

8:30: Federal Fertilizer Co.
Faron Young (host): If You Ain't Lovin, You Ain't Livin'
Fiddle Tune: Ragtime Annie
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Eddie Hill: Smack Dab in the Middle
Fiddle Tune: Black Eyed Susan

8:45: American Ace
Faron Young (host): Live Fast, Love Hard, and Die Young
Goldie Hill: I'm The Lonesomest Gal in Town
Bill Monroe: Rose of Old Kentucky
Faron Young: Forgive Me Dear
Fiddle Tune: Sleepy Lou

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Hank Snow (host): Golden Rocket
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Marty Robbins: It Looks Like I'm Just In Your Way
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Clyde
Ray Price: Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes
Carlisles: No Help Wanted
Hank Snow: Yellow Roses
Marty Robbins: I'll Love You Till The Day I Die
Carlisles: Shake A Leg
Fiddle Tune: Arkansas Traveler

9:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Carl Smith (host): There She Goes
Hank Snow: Why Don't You Leave This Town
Jordanaires: Go On By
Anita Carter: Making Believe
Crook Brothers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Lew Childre: Hang Out The Front Door Key
Carl Smith: Old Lonesome Times
Anita, Rita and Ruby: Pledging My Love
Chet Atkins: Alabama Jubilee
Hawkshaw Hawkins: How Can Anything So Pretty Be So Doggone Mean
Fiddle Tune: Buff Creek Gal

10:00: Wall-Rite
George Morgan (host): Look What Followed Me
Bill Monroe: Close By
Eddie Hill: Cuz I Have You
George Morgan: I Like to Know
Fiddle Tune: Leather Britches

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
Marty Robbins (host): That's Alright Mother
Goldie Hill: Treat Me Kind
Moon Mullican: Pipe Liner Blues
Marty Robbins: Time Goes By
Fiddle Tune: Bill Cheatham

10:30: Hester Battery
Ernest Tubb (host): Jealous Lovin' Heart
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Rattle Shake Daddy
Annie Lou and Danny: Satisfied Mind
Ernest Tubb: Mississippi Gal
Fiddle Tune: Billy in the Low Ground

10:45: D Con
Hank Snow (host): Music Making Mama
Jimmy Snow: Someone Else's Heartaches
Salty and Matty: I Found My Mama
Gully Jumpers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Hank Snow: I Don't Hurt Anymore

11:00: W. E. Stephens
Carl Smith (host): Loose Talk
Ferlin Huskey: She's Always There
Ray Price: Release Me
Grandpa Jones: Darby's Run
Carl Smith: More Than Anything Else in the World
Crook Brothers: Buff Creek Gal
Mother Maybelle: Foggy Mountain Top
Ferlin Huskey: I Fell Better All Over
Ray Price: I'll Be There
Carl Smith: Go Boy Go
Fiddle Tune: Mississippi Sawyer

11:30: Delited
Faron Young (host): Place For Girls Like You
Louvin Brothers: The Family Who Prays
Paul Howard: Stay A Little Longer
Lew Childre: Maple on the Hill
Carlisles: Rusty Old Halo
Sam and Kirk: Peach Picking Time in Georgia
Faron Young: If That's the Fashion
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Smith's Ral
Louvin Brothers: Love Thy Neighbor
Faron Young: Just Married
Fiddle Tune: Soldier's Joy

Now let's move forward 33 years to Saturday June 18, 1988. There were 2 shows on Saturday night.

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Billy Walker (host): Charlie's Shoes
4 Guys: Fanny Mae
Billy Walker: Wild Texas Rose/Funny How Time Slips Away

6:45: Rudys
Grandpa Jones (host): Going Down The Country
Dottie West: Country Sunshine
Grandpa Jones: The Baby O

7:00: Shoney's
Charlie Walker (host): There's Not A Cow In Texas
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Ray Pillow: Congratulations, You're Absolutely Right
Patty Loveless: Lonely Days, Lonely Nights/If My Heart Had Windows
Charlie Walker: Cherokee Maiden/Take Me Back To Tulsa
Charlie Walker & Carolee Singers: In The Garden

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Clark (host): Uncle Pen
Jan Howard: Take Me As I Am
Vic Willis Trio: Shenendoah
Ed Bruce: Evil Angel/You're The Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had
Roy Clark: If I Had To Do It All Over Again

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jack Greene: What Locks the Door/There Goes My Everything
The Whites: Move it On Over/It's Not What You Know, It's Who You Know
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers" Sugar in the Goard
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): Between Fire & Water
Roy Drusky: The Moon is Still Over Her Shoulders
Jeannie Seely: One Step Away From Coming Home
Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink On Me
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Grandpa Jones (host): Nelly Bly
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Teddy Wilburn: I've Loved You All Over The World
Patty Loveless: A Little Bit In Love/Slow Healing Heart
Joe Carroll: Just One Time

10:00: Little Debbie
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Charlie Nagatoni: Room Full of Roses
Charlie Walker: Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Roy Clark: Thank God and Greyhound You're Gone/Rocky Top/I Saw The Light

10:30: Pet Milk
Jack Greene (host): Happy Tracks
Ed Bruce: My First Taste of Texas
Jack Greene: You Are My Treasure

10:45: B. C. Powder
Roy Drusky (host): As Long As I Live
Dottie West: You're Cheating Heart
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Soldier's Joy
Roy Drusky: One Day at A Time

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): The Call of the Wild
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
Jan Howard: Will The Circle Be Unbroken
The Whites: Daddy's Hands/Alabama Jubilee
Hank Snow: That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine

11:30: Creamettes
4 Guys (host): Look Out For Me, O Muddy Water
Jeannie Seely: That May Be All I Need to Know
Vic Willis Trio: We'll Sing in the Sunshine
Charlie Louvin: Till the End
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On

I just thought it would be interesting to look back and compare the line-ups over the years, especially with the line-ups at the Opry today.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Grand Ole Opry To Celebrate it's Most Loyal Fan Saturday June 16

(from the Grand Ole Opry)
There are loyal fans, and then there are loyal fans.
The Grand Ole Opry will recognize its undisputed most loyal fan, Nashville's Paul Eckhart, this Saturday June 16. Eckhart will mark 40 years without having missed a single weekend of Opry performances, and the Opry plans to celebrate during the show by honoring him with its first ever Opry Fan Award along with other surprises when he and his family enjoy performances from the Opry's front row.

Eckhart began his Opry streak the day he and his family moved from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Nashville, visiting the Opry the night before his family had even unpacked. Paul credits the Opry not with just years of entertainment but with also having played a pivotal role in his happy marriage. For nearly as many years as he's been spending his weekends at the show that made country music famous, his wife has headed in a different direction to play bingo.

"Of course there have been some true standout moments over the past 40 years," Eckhart says, "but every Opry show has been special, each one has been different, and every single one of them has been entertaining. I can't imagine spending my weekends anywhere else other than the Grand Ole Opry."

"Paul is family," said Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher. "Like so many other Opry fans, he's built an amazing connection with the show and with the artists on the Opry stage. None of use can imagine looking out on a weekend Opry performance and not seeing Paul in the crowd. We hope to make this Saturday night's show his most memorable yet."

What a nice thing for the Opry to do. I have met Paul several times as I was first introduced to him by someone who follows this blog and I have known for several years (if he wishes to step forward, he certainly can). Each time I go to the Opry, I walk down to his seat in the front row of section 5 and just say hi.

Congratulations to Paul and I hope that this is the first in something that the Opry will do more often.

Grand Ole Opry 6/15 & 6/16-Updated

An update to the schedule for this weekend. Holly Williams has been added to Friday and Saturday night. And Jim Ed Brown has cancelled for Saturday night and George Hamilton IV will now be hosting that segment.

With the CMA Music Fest over, things get back to normal this week at the Grand Ole Opry. What that means is that we get 1 show on Friday night and 1 show on Saturday night. The Friday Night Opry this week will feature Crystal Gayle making a guest appearance. Why she is not being considered for Opry membership I do not know. To me, she would make a fine member and with the shortage of female singers on many of the Opry's shows, she would be a good choice. Also making another return appearance on Friday night will be The Farm. I was there when they made their Opry debut several months back, and they were "ok". Nothing special. And the Little General Cloggers will be making their annual Opry appearance, which usually happens the Friday before Father's Day. They are a nice outfit and I am glad the Opry has allowed that tradition continue. As far as Opry members on Friday night, Craig Morgan will be there along with Ray Pillow, who will be hosting a segment.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will feature veteran country star T.G. Sheppard. T.G.'s opinion about the Opry has changed over the years. Early in his career he gave an interview and was quoted as saying, "I played the Opry only once. I guess we could play it more, but we just don't, because we're what they call the 'new breed.' And a lot of the 'new breed' doesn't play the Opry."

When he did appear at the Opry, he offered this observation. "Well, it was very strange. I don't know, I think every performer experiences that whenever you go to the Opry for the first time. You know, you're standing in the middle of history. I guess it's pretty much like if you're a politician and you get into the Oval Office and sit behind the President's desk for two or three seconds. You know that you're sitting where all the greats have set."

Well, ok T.G. But now that is career is not as "hot" as it used to be and now that he is no longer considered part of the "new breed" (whatever that was), T.G. seems to have no problems playing the Opry. Actually, I do enjoy T.G. and he did have a string of hits in his career. Also appearing on Saturday night will be this week's Opry newcomer Gwen Sebastian.

Appearing both nights this weekend will be Opry member Del McCoury and his band, along with non-Opry member Jimmy Wayne. While Jimmy may not be a member, he is at the Opry more times than most of those who are members.

A final special mention this week goes to Opry veteran Stu Phillips, who will be appearing on Saturday night. We know Stu has had a rough go of it lately and his voice has really suffered, but this month he is celebrating 45 years as an Opry member. (In the Opry history book, the date is given as June 1, but in my files I have June 17 as his first date as a member appearing on the show). Either way, I am glad they are having Stu on this weekend and I hope when he is introduced by Jim Ed Brown, he is given special mention.

Friday June 15
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Little General Cloggers; Holly Williams
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Craig Morgan
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); The Farm; Crystal Gayle
8:45: John Conlee (host); Jimmy Wayne; Del McCoury Band

Saturday June 16
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Gwen Sebastian
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy Wayne
8:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Stu Phillips; Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); T.G. Sheppard; Del McCoury Band

9 Opry members for each night.

I want to finish by giving my thanks and special mention to the folks at Metromarks. If you go to their website and go to Nashville as the city of your choice, they are now featuring my blog. I do appreciate the mention and as always, I thank everyone for being a part of this. I enjoy the comments and the opinions. Keep them coming!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Patty Loveless

It was on June 11, 1988 that Patty Loveless became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 24th year as an Opry member. It is just my opinion, but I  believe that Patty has one of the sweetest voices in country/bluegrass music and I just love her singing. Everytime that I have seen her perform on the Opry has been a treat. But like so many others who joined the Opry during that time period, her Opry appearances have been few and far between. Over the course of her Opry career, she has averaged about 5 appearances per year. And actually, that is more than some of the others. But, being a Kentucky girl who grew up in the coal mining area of the state, I really thought we would get more out of her. She was helped along the way by the Wilburn Brothers and Porter Wagoner, both of whom were Opry stars. She is a relative of Loretta Lynn. She played the Opry many times before becoming a member and seems to enjoy the Opry each time she is there. So while it is always a joy each time she is there, I just wished she was there more often.

It is hard to  believe, but Patty is now 55 years old. She has had more than 40 singles on the Billboard country charts, including 5, #1 records. She has recorded 14 albums, of which 4 are platinum and 2 are gold. In 2011 Patty was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and I am sure that at some point she will get serious consideration for the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Patty's personal life and career has had its high and low points. She came to Nashville as a teenager and went back home to get married. She returned to Nashville but just as her career was taking off, she was forced to have throat surgery that put her career on hold and in fact, changed her voice a bit. But the sweetness was always there.

To honor Patty Loveless on her 24 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, here is the line-up and running order of the show from Saturday June 11, 1988, the night she joined the Opry. This show took place during Fan Fair week and the 7:30 segment hosted by Porter Wagoner was televised.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Grandpa Jones (host): Stop That Ticklin's Me
4 Guys: Some Memories Just Won't Die
Ramona Jones: Hey Boys, Grab Your Partner, Come Out Tonight

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Anderson (host): Son Of The South
Lorrie Morgan: Silver Wings & Golden Rings
Bill Anderson : Still

7:00: Shoney's
Jimmy Dickens (host): Me & My Big Loud Mouth
Skeeter Davis: The End Of The World
Del Reeves: The Only Girl I Can't Forget
Charlie Louvin: I Love You Best Of All
Jan Howard: Take Me As I Am Or Let Me Go
Jimmy Dickens: I Leaned Over Backwards For You

7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Ray Pillow: Invitation To The Blues
David Houston: Have A Little Faith
Patty Loveless: If My Heart Had Windows/A Little Bit In Love
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand
Right Combination: Old Joe Clark

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: A Tear Dropped By/Second Fiddle
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/Statue Of A Fool
Roy Drusky: Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy/One Day At A Time
Larry McNeely: Amazing Grace (In Memory Of Herman Crook was died June 10th)
Roy Acuff: I Saw The Light

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Billy Walker: Wild Texas Rose
Holly Dunn: That's What Your Love Does To Me/Daddy's Hands
Hank Snow: Nevertheless

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
4 Guys: What'll You Do About Me
Jeannie Seely: The Divorce Song
Wilma Lee Cooper: Loving You
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Bill Anderson: I Wonder If God Likes Country Music

10:00: Little Debbie
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Patty Loveless: A Little Bit In Love/If My Heart Had Windows
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Just A Friend
Del Reeves: Six Days On The Road/Truck Driving Man
Randy Pollard: Soppin' The Gravy/Brilliancy

10:30: Pet Milk
Grandpa Jones (host): Are You From Dixie
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Hank Locklin: Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Alisa Jones: Golden Slippers

10:45: B. C. Powder
Jimmy Dickens (host): May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar In The Goard
Charlie Walker: Fraulein
Jimmy Dickens: What Will I Do Then

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Bummin' Around
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong With The Way That We're Doing It Now
Jean Shepard: Many Happy Hangovers To You
Charlie Louvin: Loving Arms
Holly Dunn: That's What Your Love Does To Me/Daddy's Hands
Hank Snow: The Prisoner's Song

11:30: Creamettes
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Roy Drusky: Always
Johnny Russell: No One Will Ever Know
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

As mentioned above, there was a tribute to Herman Crook who had died the day before after 62 years at the Opry. The square dancers did not dance during that tribute. On the Friday Night Opry the night before, Ricky Van Shelton became an Opry member. And although Holly Dunn was on both shows, she was not yet an Opry member. She would join the show in October 1989.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Grand Ole Opry 6/8 & 6/9

Traditionally during the former Fan Fair, the Grand Ole Opry offered some of the strongest line-ups of the year as most of the stars were in town to meet and greet their fans. But now with the festival being called the CMT Music Fest and with most of the major shows on the weekend, the Opry doesn't get the star power like it used to do. Back in the Fan Fair days, there would be 2 Friday night shows, a Saturday matinee, 2 Saturday night shows and a Sunday matinee. Now we are left with 1 show on Friday and Saturday night and a Saturday matinee show at the Ryman Auditorium.

In looking at the schedule for this weekend, Friday night seems the stronger of the 2 nights with veteran Opry members Mel Tillis, Charley Pride and Larry Gatlin heading the show. The only non-Opry member scheduled is Lauren Alaina. The Saturday matinee show features Wynonna, along with Kellie Pickler and Larry Gatlin, while the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will again feature  veterans Mel Tillis and Charley Pride, along with non-member Sarah Darling, who seems to be making a lot of appearances on the Opry of late. Also scheduled on Saturday night is Jan Howard, who has just returned from doing a series of concerts in Norway. The still love the traditional country music over there.

Friday June 8
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; George Hamilton IV
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Mel Tillis
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Lauren Alaina
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); John Conlee; Charley Pride

Saturday June 9-Matinee
3:00: Jimmy Dickens; Wade Bowen
3:30: Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
4:00: Jim Ed Brown; Kellie Pickler
4:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Wynonna

Saturday June 9
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Sarah Darling
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Mel Tillis
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Charley Pride

Sometimes I wonder about the booking and show line-ups at the Opry. (I think we all do at time). With Mel Tillis, Charley Pride and John Conlee on the Friday show, why is Mike Snider hosting a segment? I know Mike usually does, but there is some star power and Hall of Famers on the show who have experience hosting segments. Same on Saturday night. Mike again is hosting, and you have Mel and Charley again that could have hosted. One the good side this weekend, it is nice to see that the majority of those performing on Friday and Saturday night are actually Opry members. Good to see.

Speaking of Mel, he will be pretty busy over the weekend as in addition to the Opry shows, he will be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night/Sunday morning. That should be a great show.

Finally, here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry on June 12:

7:00: Jim Ed Brown; Aaron Tippin
7:30: Jimmy Dickens; Craig Morgan
8:15: Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charlie Daniels Band; Luke Bryan

That is the 2nd week in a row with just 7 artists on the show. Wonder if this is the way they are going to go with the Tuesday night show. With Gaylord always looking at the bottom line, they might figure that 7 pays less than 8 and they can make a few more dollars on the show. The future will tell.

It should be a great weekend in Nashville and at the Opry and let's hope in the festivities and shows downtown that the fans do not forget about the Opry and head out to support the show and have a great experience.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lorrie Morgan- 28 Year Opry Member

This Saturday night, June 9, Lorrie Morgan will be celebrating her 28th year as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Sorry to say, she will not be at the Opry this weekend to celebrate the moment. And it is also sad because the Opry could use her right now. When Lorrie first joined the Opry in 1984, she appeared regularly on the show. But that was before she had her big hits and like so many of the other Opry members who joined in the 1980s and 1990s, once Lorrie hit it big, her regular Opry appearances ended. And in the last several years it has been even more so. So far in 2012, she has made just 1 Opry appearance, and that come after making just 4 appearances in 2011. In 2010, he appeared 7 times after having 16 appearances in 2009. From 2001 up to 2009, she averaged about 15 shows per year, so something has happened to cause Lorrie to really drop off the Opry. And that is too bad because she seems to enjoy performing on the Opry and the crowd appreciates her performances. I know she has been touring with Pam Tillis this past year, but her concert appearances have not been that high, and she lives right in the Nashville area.

I can remember about 10 or 15 years ago when Vince Gill and Lorrie Morgan were appearing on the pre-Opry show on either TNN or CMT, as I forget which one. Vince was talking about his Opry appearances and how much he enjoyed the show and the subject got around to why some of the other younger Opry members did not make more Opry appearances. Right there on camera, Vince challenged Lorrie about her committment to the show and she got very uncomfortable. She started to say how much she loved the Opry and would appear more if she could, but you could tell that Vince put her on the spot. Personally, I really like Lorrie and I do wish she would do the Opry more. Like I said, the Opry could use her.

Let's look back in time to Saturday June 9, 1984, the night Lorrie Morgan joined the Grand Ole Opry and here is the line-up and running order of the show from that night:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Connie Smith: Had A Dream (For The Heart)
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water

6:45: Rudy's
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars In The Jukebox/A Dime At A Time/Looking At The World Though a Windshield
Jeannie Seely: Your Sweet Lies Just Turned Down My Checks Again
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me

7:00: Shoney's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Lyin In Love With You
Billy Grammer: Homestead On The Farm
Skeeter Davis: Turning Away
Hank Locklin: Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Jean Shepard: Virginia
Jim Ed Brown: Pop A Top

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Po Folks
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Bill Anderson: Still

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
The Whites: Forever You/Swing Down, Sweet Chariot
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin
Jeanne Pruett: Back To Back
Howdy Forrester: Fiddle Tune
Roy Acuff: I Saw The LIght

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Forever and One
Dottie West: Its High Time/Crazy/I Fall To Pieces/Sweet Dreams
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah
Roy Drusky: The Last Farewell
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Hank Snow: I Don't Hurt Anymore

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
4 Guys: How Married Are You Marry Ann
Jeannie Seely: When Your Heart's Been Stepped On
Del Reeves: Good Hearted Woman
Wilma Lee Cooper: A Daisy A Day
Jim Ed Brown: You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Anderson (host): I Love You Drops
Jan Howard: Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good
Ray Pillow: Julie Loved Boston More Than Me
Bill Anderson: Southern Fried

10:15: Sunbeam
Billy Walker (host): Cross The Brazos At Waco
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy
Skeeter Davis: Turning Away
Billy Walker: He Sang The Songs About El Paso

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting In The Air
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Roy Thackerson: Eighth Of January

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): Don't It Make You Want To Go Home
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Grey Eagle
Roy Drusky: One Day At A Time

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Dottie West: It's High Time/Here Comes My Baby
The Whites: Hanging Around
Jerry Douglas: Cincinnati Rag
Hank Snow: Born For You

11:30: Quincy's
Stonewall Jackson (host): Why I'm Walking
Bill Carlisle: Too Old To Cut The Mustard/Oh, What A Party
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chunk Of Coal

Also during this show, Bud Wendell came out on stage and gave an award to Opry announcer and Country Music Hall of Fame member Grant Turner, who was celebrating 40 years as an Opry announcer. Grant started at WSM radio as a staff announcer on June 6, 1944, which happened to be D-Day. Grant spent many years announcing the Friday and Saturday night Grand Ole Opry shows, the Opry warm-up show and as the announcer at the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. He was also one of the original inductees into the Country Disc Jockey Hall of Fame. Grant passed away on October 19, 1991, shortly after announcing the Friday Night Opry. He was 79 years old.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tuesday Night Opry 6/5 & Marty Stuart

With the CMA Music Festival getting underway, the Tuesday Night Opry this week will feature a pretty strong line-up, as will the Opry shows next weekend. There will be 2 shows on Tuesday night, the first from 7-9 and the second from 9:30-11:30. Both shows will feature Jimmy Dickens, Easton Corbin, Oak Ridge Boys, Bill Anderson and Carrie Underwood.

Also, in todays (Sunday), Tennessean, Peter Cooper has written a great article about Marty Stuart and how his career is going. I highly recommend it and you can view it on-line on the Tennessean website. It also lists the artists that will be appearing at Marty's Late Night Jam this week at the Ryman and they include, among others, Opry members Connie Smith and Stonewall Jackson. Nice to see Stonewall get some exposure and nice to see Marty still making a difference and remembering the history of country music.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June Opry Highlights

In the history of the Grand Ole Opry, June has been one of the active months. I hope you enjoy this look back at the important and historical events that took place in Opry history during the month of June.

June 17, 1910: Clyde Julian Foley, better known as Red Foley, was born in Blue Lick, Kentucky. Red would join the Opry and replaced Roy Acuff as the host of the Prince Albert Show and would stay at the Opry until 1954, when he left Nashville to go to Springfield, Missouri to host the Ozark Jubilee.

June 14, 1914: Lester Flatt was born in Overton County, Tennessee. Lester would become famous as part of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys and as part of the duo Flatt & Scruggs, with Earl Scruggs. He would break off from Earl over the direction of the music, as Earl wanted to work on a more progressive sound, while Lester wanted to continue to play traditional bluegrass. When Lester left, most of the Foggy Mountain Boys stayed loyal to him and formed the majority of his new group, The Nashville Grass. He remained an Opry member and when doing the Opry, would always host the Martha White portion of the show.

June 17, 1916: David Akeman, better known as Stringbean, was born in Anniville, Kentucky. We all know the tragic story of his death in November 1973, when he and his wife were murdered at his home after returning from a Grand Ole Opry performance. Stringbean had been a steady performer and musician in country music and at the Opry, but it was his role on Hee Haw that made Stringbean famous to a nationwide audience. On fact regarding Stringbean: he never learned how to drive. His wife Estelle would drive him everywhere. And, he would buy a new Cadillac every year.

June 28, 1924: George Morgan was born in Waverly, Tennesseee. The father of current Opry member Lorrie Morgan, he joined the Opry in 1948 and would remain an Opry member until his death in 1975. He would later be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. George also hosted the final portion of the Friday Night Opry on its final night at the Ryman Auditorium.

June 19, 1926: DeFord Bailey made his Grand Ole Opry debut. DeFord would be a regular on the Opry until he was fired by Opry founder George D. Hay in 1941. His song, "Pan American Blues" would often be the opening number on the Opry's early broadcasts. After he was fired from the Opry, DeFord was very bitter and he rejected many invitations to return and make guest appearances on the show. Finally on February 23, 1974, he returned to the Opry for their annual Old Timer's Night. Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl introduced him and he received a great ovation from the crowd. DeFord passed away on July 2, 1982, several months after his final Opry appearance in April of that year. He would later be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

June 2, 1927: Former Grand Ole Opry member Carl Butler was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. Carl and his wife Pearl had one of the biggest hits in country music history, "Don't Let Me Cross Over." Carl and Pearl were instrumental in Dolly Parton's career and helped to bring her to Nashville. And Dolly never forgot the kindness that they showed to her. Later in Carl and Pearl's life, when their careers tailed off and they had serious financial problems, Dolly reportedly helped them out, allowing them to keep their farm.

June 23, 1929: Valerie June Carter was born. She would later become a member of the Opry as part of Mother Maybelle and the Carter Family. June married Carl Smith and they are the parents of Carlene Carter. Later, June would marry former Opry member and country music superstar Johnny Cash.

June 12, 1936: Dr. Humphrey Bate of the Possom Hunters died. He was 61. After Uncle Jimmy Thompson, he is considered the 2nd original member of the Opry, and in fact, many historians feel that he may have been the first rural performer featured on WSM. He was an important part of the early days of the Opry and his contributions are often overlooked today.

June 13, 1936: Because of the size of the crowds, the Opry moves to the Dixie Tabernacle, located on Fatherland Street in East Nashville. The Tabernacle, while sounding impressive, was actually a very primative facility with wooden benches, sawdust floors and no dressing rooms. It was basically an old barn that you had to open the sides in the summer to keep the air flowing throught. But it did seat 3,500 people and contributed to the growth of the Opry.

June 5, 1937: Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys join the Opry. Pee Wee was one of the first professional entertainers to join the show and they helped to bring a more professional and polish look to the Opry. Pee Wee would also have numerous disagreements with George D. Hay, who felt that Pee Wee's group was not country enough and playing instruments that had no business being on the Opry. Pee Wee would leave the Opry and move to Louisville, Kentucky to work in television, something that he tried to convince WSM to get into, without success. He would become famous for the "Tennessee Waltz" and would be one of the early members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. After leaving the Opry, he would continue to make appearances and attended almost all the reunion shows. His biography, "Hell-Bent for Music" is an excellent read, and even though a few of the facts are wrong, I highly recommend it.

June 25, 1940: Republic Pictures releases the move, "Grand Ole Opry" which featured George D. Hay, Roy Acuff and Uncle Dave Macon. It was a basic movie for the times, as the Opry stars helped a group of Ozark residents try to take back state government from a group of crooks. The movie premiered in Nashville on June 28. Currently the movie is long out of print and is a collectors items for those who can locate a copy.

June 5, 1943: The Opry moves again, this time to the Ryman Auditorium, where it would stay until March 1974 when the Opry moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. Over time, the Ryman would become known as "The Mother Church of Country Music" and was also the building where bluegrass music was first heard. The Opry would enjoy its greatest growth period while at the Ryman and many old-timers today still consider the Ryman the Opry's home. Each winter since 1999, the Opry has returned to the Ryman for a series of shows.

June 6, 1944: Grant Turner started work at WSM as an announcer. Of course, this was "D-Day". Over time, Grant would become known as the voice of the Opry and he would remain with the Opry until he died on October 28, 1991, after announcing a Friday Night Opry show. In 1981 he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

June 17, 1944: The Poe Sisters joined the Opry.

June 11, 1949: Hank Williams makes his Grand Ole Opry debut. The performance that night is still talked about today as he sang his hit, "Lovesick Blues" and was called back for 6 encores. Jimmy Dickens still talks about that night and he has been quoted as saying that it is the greatest Opry performance that he ever saw.

June 1, 1957: The Everly Brothers become members of the Opry. It was part of an effort that the Opry was making at the time to attract some of the younger fans as rock and roll was reaching its peak. Opry attendance was way, way down and there was some concern on whether or not the show would survive. However, the Everly Brothers were destined for bigger and better things and their stay at the Opry was very short. In 2001, they were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

June 13, 1959: Roy Drusky joined the Opry. Roy came to the Opry from Atlanta and would remain an Opry member until his death in September 2004. In my opinion, Roy had one of the smoothest voices there was and did an outstanding job each time he did a ballad number.

June 27, 1959: Grand Ole Opry member Loretta Lynn Morgan, known professionally as Lorrie Morgan, was born in Nashville, Tennessee.

June 14, 1961: Patsy Cline was seriously injured in an automobile accident in Nashville. It would take her 8 months to recover and because of the scar left on her forehead, Patsy would wear a wig just about every time she would perform.

June 8, 1964: Altone Delmore died at the age of 55 in Huntsville, Alabama. The Delmore Brothers joined the Opry in 1933 and their influence is still felt in duet acts today. They were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. As with many other acts, they had disagreements with George D. Hay and left the Opry after a dispute with the judge.

June 12, 1965: Tex Ritter joined the Grand Ole Opry. When Tex joined the Opry, he was on the tail end of his career and many questioned what his commitment would be to the show, as he was not a Nashville based star. But Tex surprised everyone by becoming one of the Opry's most loyal and popular members. He would also co-host the late night show on WSM radio with Ralph Emery and was influential in the start of the Country Music Association. Tex remained an Opry member until his death on January 2, 1974. He also had been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1964.

June 13, 1965: Connie Smith and Bob Luman became members of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Connie's 47th year as an Opry member, although she did leave the show for a short amount of time in the late 1960s, rejoining the Opry in 1971. Connie is one of the top female voices in the history of country music and this year she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Connie remembered the night that she joined the Opry: "I joined the same night as Bob Luman. And I had totally no control over my voice at all. I was scared to death; it just meant too much to me. I had heard about people's knees knocking and I thought it was a fake. But mine actually did while I was out there singing. I was that shook. And when I came off the stage I busted out crying. It was just my dreams come true." Bob Luman was someone who was as close to a rock and roll performer as anyone else at the Opry. He was a rockabilly singer from Texas, who came to the Opry from the Louisiana Hayride. His big hit that got his career going was "Let's Think About Living." Bob Luman would remain an Opry member until passing away in December 1978. What is interesting about both Connie Smith and Bob Luman is that June 13, 1965 was actually a Sunday. I have September 18, 1965 as the date where she was actually introduced as a new member at the Opry.

June 20, 1965: Ira Louvin, the older brother of Charlie Louvin, was killed in a car accident. One of the greatest duets in the history of country music, Charlie and Ira were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Except for Bill Monroe, Ira was considered to have one of the greatest high tenor voices in country music history.

June 1, 1967: Stu Phillips joined the Grand Ole Opry. Stu was from Canada and would join Hank Snow as the Opry's Canadian members. While Stu never had a "career record", he would be a loyal member of the Opry and still performs on the show to this day. This will be his 45th year as an Opry member.

June 30, 1970: Ground was broken for Opryland. Roy Acuff and Brother Oswald handled the grand breaking and it would take several years for the park to be completed. While the park was completed in several years, it took until 1974 for the Opry House to be finished. The closing of Opryland was a decision till felt in Nashville and the tourism industry today.

June 17, 1978: Marty Robbins drove his new custom-made Panther Deville automobile onto the Opry Stage. In a moment of good humor, Roy Acuff found a security guard and had the guard write Marty a parking ticket.

June 19, 1982: Riders In The Sky joined the cast of the Opry. Ranger Doug Green, Woody Paul and Too Slim would be the only act on the Opry to feature true western music. They remain popular Opry members to this day and will be celebrating their 30th year as Opry members. Doug Green was formally on the staff at the Country Music Hall of Fame and is an author who has an appreciation for the history of country and western music. Doug is also a featured member of the Time Jumpers.

June 9, 1984: Lorrie Morgan joined the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 28th year as an Opry member. Her father was the late George Morgan, who introduced Lorrie at the Opry for the first time was she was 13. Lorrie enjoyed a string of hits during her career and while still an Opry member, her appearances at the Opry are not as frequent as they could be.

June 18, 1984: Former Opry member Paul Howard died in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was 75 and he performed on the Opry with his group, the Arkansas Cotton Pickers.

June 20, 1986: Whitey Ford, the Duke of Paducah died at the age of 85. This former Opry member joined the show in 1942 and remained an Opry member until 1959. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1986. He was a featured comedian on the Prince Albert portion of the Opry and while many people remember Rod Brasfield and Minnie Pearl as being a part of the Prince Albert show, it was Whitey Ford who was an original part of that show.

June 10, 1988: Herman Crook died in a Nashville hospital at the age of 89. Herman was a harmonica player and part of the Crook Brothers, who backed up the square dancers each Saturday night. Herman was the last living member from the original Opry cast of 1926 and with his death, the final link to the start of the Opry was gone. Over the years as the string bands were merged together, the Crook Brothers would have various members, but Herman was always there. For the majority of his final years on the Opry, the Crook Brothers traditionally played on Roy Acuff's early segment and then would appear at 10:45 on the 2nd show. After his death, the Crook Brothers name was no longer used and the band playing for the square dancers and led by Earl White was just called the Opry Square Dance Band.

June 10, 1988: Ricky Van Shelton joined the Opry. Ricky was introduced as a new member by Roy Acuff and was at the top of the charts when he joined the show. Ricky retired from the business several years ago and has not performed at the Opry since. Even when he was an Opry member, he did not make many appearances. In checking Ricky's website for any new information, I have noticed that it has not been updated. Technically, this will be his 24th year as an Opry member.

June 11, 1988: Patty Loveless joined the cast of the Opry. As with Ricky Van Shelton, this will be her 24th year as an Opry member. She is a cousin of Loretta Lynn and was signed as a songwriter by the Wilburn Brothers, who also had Loretta under contract. She was also a part of Porter Wagoner's show for a short period of time and always talked about how much Porter helped her early in her career. It was Porter who introduced her the night she became a new member. I honestly feel that Patty has one of the sweetest voices in country music today and I just wished that she would appear at the Opry more often.

June 24, 1989: Garth Brooks makes his first Grand Ole Opry appearance.

June 2, 1990: Mike Snider joins the Grand Ole Opry. Mike joined based on his comedy skills as a member of the Hee Haw cast. This will be his 22nd year as an Opry member and with his string band, remains a popular member of the Opry to this day. He is one of the very few artists keeping the string band music alive on the Opry.

June 7, 1991: Alan Jackson joined the Grand Ole Opry. To say that Alan has been a major disappointment as an Opry member would be an understatement. He was part of a group of artists who joined the Opry during this period of time who had no requirements on the number of appearances that they would make. As a result, Alan rarely appears at the Opry. This will be his 21st year as an Opry member.

June 15, 1991: Minnie Pearl made her last Opry associated appearance. It was at an Opry sponsored show in Joliet, Illinois. 2 days later, on June 17, she would suffer a serious stroke that forced her into retirement.

June 3, 1994: The Ryman Auditorium reopens for the first time since it was renovated. The last time that the Ryman was in regular use was for the Opry, which left in March 1974. For the 20 years after that, the auditorium basically sat empty and untouched. Garrison Keillor's Praire Home Companion radio program opened the remodeled building. It should also be noted that June 4 was to be the official opening date, but due to a high ticket demand, a June 3 show was added.

June 3, 1994: Former Opry member Wally Fowler passed away. He was 77 years old. Wally came to Nashville in 1948 with his Oak Ridge Quartet. Wally was also instrumental in getting Patsy Cline her with Roy Acuff. Roy offered Patsy a job but the pay was so low that Patsy decided to stay in Virginia. Wally would become famous for the all night gospel sings that were held at the Ryman Auditorium. The Oak Ridge Quartet would turn into the Oak Ridge Boys. He was a part of the Opry from 1946-1950, and they were regulars on the Prince Albert portion of the show.

June 4, 1994: Former Opry member Zeke Clement died at the age of 82.

June 27, 1994: Sarah Wilson of Sarie and Sallie, former Opry members, died at the age of 97.

June 10, 2000: The Grand Ole Opry introduced a new Opry backdrop. The new state of the art lighting replaced the traditional red barn that had been the backdrop for over 25 years. Instead of being just red, the backdrop could be changed to different colors and lighting. This is the backdrop that is still used today. It should be noted that Opry traditionalists were not happy over this. It was reported that the old barn was donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame, yet if it was, it has never been put on public display.

June 17, 2000: The Opry begins streaming its shows on the internet, giving those around the world the opportunity to listen live to the Opry.

June 14, 2003: While Trace Adkins was performing on the Opry, Jimmy Dickens came out and asked Trace if he would like to become an Opry member. What was funny about this was that Jimmy had to stand on a stepladder to be face to face with Trace.

June 12, 2004: Terri Clark joined the Opry. She was the first female Canadian artist to join the Opry. This will be her 8th year as an Opry member. After enjoying some solid success as an up and coming female artist in the early 2000s, her career has largely stalled out in recent years.

June 9, 2007: Mel Tills is introduced by his daughter Pam as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Mel had been a part of the show previously, as a part of Porter Wagoner's outfit. While many feel that Mel had been an Opry member earlier in his career, from what I could find, he had been asked but decided not to, even though his picture was included in an edition of the Opry's Picture History Book.

June 23, 2009: Montgomery Gentry joined the cast of the Opry. This will be their 3rd year as Opry members. Whenever they perform at the Opry, the certainly raise the excitement level of the show.

As I mentioned above, June 4, 1988 was Herman Crook's final show at the Opry, in an Opry career that started in 1926. In honor of Herman Crook, here is the line-up from that final Opry show, June 4, 1988:

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Jack Greene (host): Walkin' on New Grass
4 Guys: What'll You Do About Me
Jack Greene: You Are My Treasure

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): Down to My Last Cigarette
Jeannie Seely: (?)
Billy Walker: Wild Texas Rose

7:00: Shoneys
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Wilma Lee Cooper: No One Now
Jan Howard: You Don't Know Me
Charlie Louvin: See the Big Man Cry/You Are What Love Means to Me
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name
Right Combination: Turkey In The Straw

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy
Jeannie Pruett: Satin Sheets
Michael Johnson: Whisper Your Name/The Moon is Still Over Her Shoulders
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): The Corner of My Life
Del Reeves: The Great Chicago Fire
Jean Shepard: Someone's Gotta Cry
Roy Drusky: Blues In My Heart
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers" Sally Goodin
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar

8:30 Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): Between Fire and Water
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come this Far to Say Goodbye
Stu Phillips: I Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
Charlie Walker: Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Hank Snow: Old Shep

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
4 Guys (host): How Married Are You Mary Ann
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Lorrie Morgan: Crazy
Jim Ed Brown: Pop A Top/The 3 Bells
4 Guys: Fox on the Run

10:00: Little Debbie
George Hamilton IV (host): I Saw the Light/I'll Fly Away
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
George Hamilton IV: A Farmer's Dream Plows Under

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Night Train to Memphis
Jack Greene: I Need Somebody Bad Tonight

10:30: Pet Milk
Roy Drusky (host): Mississippi
Charlie Louvin: In the Pines
Roy Drusky: The Last Farewell

10:45: B. C. Powder
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dine at a Time/Looking at the World Through a Windshield
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Crook Brothers(Herman's last appearance)/Melvin Sloan Dancers
Del Reeves: She's Still the Only Girl I Can't Forget

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Tangled Mind
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Justin Tubb: Thanks, Troubadour, Thanks
Hank Locklin: Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Hank Snow: She Wears My Ring

11:30: Creamette
Charlie Walker (host): Deep Water
Connie Smith: Walk Me to the Door
Stu Phillips: Great El Tigra
Johnny Russell: Kaw-liga
Charlie Walker: Take Me Back to Tulsa

As I mentioned, a lot happened in Opry history in June. I hope you enjoyed the look back.