Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 2/15 & 2/16

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-up for the 2 shows this weekend. The line-ups are pretty solid, with the Friday Night Opry featuring Opry members Josh Turner and Craig Morgan. What is interesting for Friday is that Craig will be hosting a segment, which I believe is the 1st time that he has had the opportunity. Also appearing on Friday night will be non-members The Black Lillies, along with newcomer Chris Janson.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature guest artists The Grascals, who I believe would make good Opry members, Jenn Bostic, and country music veteran Collin Raye. Appearing on both nights again this weekend is Ricky Skaggs, who seems to have taken up temporary residence at the Opry as he continues his string of 2013 Opry appearances. Missing again this weekend is Jimmy Dickens, with nothing new to report regarding Jimmy.

Friday February 15
7:00: John Conlee (host); Chris Janson; Jean Shepard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); George Hamilton IV; Josh Turner
8:15: Craig Morgan (host); Jim Ed Brown; Riders In The Sky
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; The Black Lillies

Saturday February 16
7:00: John Conlee (host); Greg Bates: Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; The Grascals
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jenn Bostic; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Collin Raye

Out of the 13 acts on Friday night, 11 are Opry members, while 8 of the 12 acts on Saturday night belong to the Opry. As an Opry fan, it is tough to see just one show on Saturday night and such few Opry members on the schedule. The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will feature George Hamilton IV this weekend.

This week's look back at Grand Ole Opry history takes us back to Saturday February 15, 1947, 66 years ago this weekend. This one obviously goes way, way back and Eddy Arnold was still a member of the Opry at this time. It was also the Opry anniversary of The Andrew Brothers, who joined the Opry on February 18, 1939. That show would have marked their 8th year as an Opry member.

February 15, 1947
8:00: Purina
Eddy Arnold: Just Because
Oklahoma Wranglers: Farther and Farther Apart
Rod Brasfield: Jokes
Uncle Dave Macon and Dorris: Bill Bailey
Eddy Arnold: Mother the Queen of My Heart
Jamup and Honey: Jokes
Zeke Clements: Am I Too Late
Lonzo and Oscar: Green Back Dollar
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Eddy Arnold: What Is Live Without Love

8:30: Warren Paint & Color Co.
Paul Howard: I Can't Go On This Way
Lew Childre: Alabamy Bound
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Milton Estes: Good Old Mountain Dew
Clyde Moody: Shenandoah Waltz
Lew and Stringbean: The Martins and the Coys
Jimmy Salph: Writing Your Darling Through Tears
Possum Hunters: Stoney Point
Robert Lunn: Robert Lunn Blues
Jimmy Walker: No One Will Ever Know
Bill Monroe: True Life Blues

9:00: Royal Crown
Golden West Cowboys: Steel Guitar Rag
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Leather Britches
Cowboy Copas: Divorce Me C.O.D.
Texas Ruby: Dear Old Southern Home
Johnny and Jack: This World Can't Stand Long
Bradley Kincaid: Old Smokey
Annie Lou and Danny: Ragtime Cowboy Joe
Cowboy Copas: Tragic Romance
York Brothers: Rainbow at Midnight
Shorty Boyd: Flower of Texas

9:30: Prince Albert
Red Foley: Tennessee Central No.9
Oak Ridge Quarter: I'm In His Care
Duke of Paducah: Jokes
Curley Fox: Whoa Mule Whoa
Red Foley: Old Shep
Grandpa Jones: Gathering Flowers from the Hillside
Minnie Pearl: Jokes
Old Timers Quartet: Oh You Beautiful Doll
Red Foley: One Step More
Breakdown: Skip to My Lou

10:00: Wall-Rite
Chubby: Fire on the Mountain
Lester and Bill: No One Will Take You From Me
Quartet: Shining Path
Marie and Clyde: Railroad Boomer
Bill Monroe: Little Joe

10:15: Weatherhouse
Paul Howard: With Tears In My Eyes
Uncle Dave Macon and Dorris: In the Sweet Bye and Bye
Clyde Moody: Leaf of Love
Possom Hunters: Miss Sally
Zeke Clements: I'll Face the World with a Smile

10:30: Cherokee Mills
Texas Ruby: Foggy River
Bradley Kincaid: Swapping Song
Lazy Jim Day: To Be Selected
York Brothers: A Love That Ended Too Soon
Curley Fox: Black Mountain Rag

10:45: Southern Agriculture
Milton Estes: There's A Big Rock in the Road
Lew and Stringbean: John Henry
Johnny and Jack: To Be Selected
Crook Brothers: Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Milton Estes: Say You'll Be Mine

11:00: Eddy Arnold Songbook
Eddy Arnold: Chained to a Memory
Lily Belle: A Face I See at Evening
Lonzo and Oscar: Jole Blonde
Eddy Arnold: So Sure There's No Mistake

11:15: Ernest Tubb Songbook
Ernest Tubb: Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right
Dot and Smokey: Columbus Stockade Blues
Jimmy and Leon: You Gotta Pay the Fiddler
Ernest Tubb: Forth Worth Jail

Golden West Cowboys: Kentucky Waltz
Oklahoma Wranglers: El Rancho Grande
Gully Jumpers: Breakdown in D
Kirk McGee: Golden River
Golden West Cowboys: Nashville Blues

11:45: Michigan Bulb
Wally Fowler: Plowing in the New Ground
Jimmy Walker: Tear Stains on My Letter
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Rabbit Where is your Mommy
Andrews Brothers: Mother's Only Sleeping
Wally Fowler: I Got Faith
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Dixie-Home Sweet Home

A couple of Opry notes from this time period:

>There was no Roy Acuff on the Opry during this period as this was when he had "quit" the Opry and went on tour. Red Foley had replaced Roy as the host of the Prince Albert show.
>The Golden West Cowboys were headed by Pee Wee King, a future Hall of Fame member.
>Interesting that even then, Kirk McGee was scheduled in a later slot. Years later, he would complain about the Opry putting him on so late.
>The Oklahoma Wranglers was of course, the original name for the Willis Brothers, long-time Opry members.
>Interesting that Ernest Tubb was scheduled for only 1 later segment, of which he sponsored himself.
>Rod Brasfield and Minnie Pearl received just one slot.
>Nice to see such old-times as Uncle Dave Macon and Bradley Kincaid on the show.

A nice look back.


  1. A ticket to that 1947 show Byron would be priceless!

    Bradley Kincaid is probably one of the most underrated artists in the History of Country Music. Good to see a line up with him in it.

  2. That was an incredible lineup! By the way, a possibility is that Ernest Tubb was coming off the road.

  3. Interesting to see Zeke Clements on the lineup. I remember him being on one of the reunion shows in the 80's and doing a nice job. If I'm thinking correct wasn't he the voice of one of the seven dwarfs in Snow White? He also had some major songs recorded like Anytime and Smoke on the Water.

    Great lineup with a lot of names I've heard of but don't know a lot about!

    Knightsville, IN

  4. There sure was a lot of comedy on the Opry back then. I guess Jerry Clower was the last comedian to join the show.

  5. I agree. Comedy was a big part of the Opry back in the early days, and since the passing of Minnie Pearl, Jerry Clower and Archie Campbell, it has been missing. Mike Snider is funny some nights, but he is more into the music of his stringband these days, more than the comedy. You will get some jokes of Jimmy Dickens and Jean Shepard, and a visit once a year or so from T. Bubba, but that is about it. Comedy has become a lost art at the Opry.

  6. I should have clarified something above. On the first Opry broadcast I ever got to hear in full, sadly as late as 1992, Bill Monroe appeared on Hank Snow's 8:30 segment because he had been on the road and wasn't sure he'd make it back in time for the first show, and Mr. Snow even commented that it had been a long time since he'd introduced him. As big as ET was then, I suspect that may have been the reason.

    On comedy, a couple of thoughts. One, which I've mentioned here before, is that as country music has become more urbanized and not just part of rural culture, the "baggy pants" comic has really fallen by the wayside, partly due to rural people changing, partly due to no longer having the same kinds of touring shows. That brings me to the other point: today, with the big arena-style performances, someone like a Brad Paisley who has a sense of country music history is unlikely to have T. Bubba or someone like him come out and do a few minutes. Related to that, remember that a lot of the comics, and country performers themselves, used to do radio shows where they had to talk to the audience about a sponsor or fill air time. When someone pays to sit in a club or arena, that person presumably will stay around; if the listener to the radio isn't entertained, s/he flips the dial.

  7. Any thoughts on how Craig Morgan did hosting last night? I didn't think he did too bad of job for a relatively new guy and a first time hosting.

    As for the lack of comedy on the Opry, I think comedy is a hard sell these days in the Opry environment. Even Little Jimmy and Mike have to border on the risque to get many of the good laughs. The audience is different and few of today's comedians have the timing or mannerisms and such to get laughs without degrading someone or being filthy. We might see a comedian comeback on the Opry one day if it continues to evolve the way it recently has and the bar for what is considered family friendly is lowered. To me there just aren't any Rod, Minnie's, Red(Skelton) or Art Carney's out there these days. It seems like they could make you laugh by just waling out on stage. Sorry for who I might have left out!

    Knightsville, IN

  8. The one thing that I have noticed from being at the Opry when T. Bubba has been there is that the audience seems to lose interest in the jokes pretty quick. Even Mike Snider and Jimmy Dickens tend to stick to the one-liners, versus the stories that Archie Campbell, Minnie Pearl and Jerry Clower told. And I will add that for my money, one of the funiest comedians in the history of the Opry was June Carter. I think people forget how funny she really was when she was part of the Opry.

  9. Jim, part of the problem is the Opry being on the radio or on a stage in a big hall: the facial expressions that Rod Brasfield used in the Ryman wouldn't work quite so well. But I was thinking about this as I watched a You Tube video of Frank Gorshin doing his brilliant impressions: is it even possible to do impressions of today's stars? Well, the comics today are very different from what you and I grew up with.

    Byron, Minnie Pearl said that when she heard and saw June Carter working, it made her pick up her game because here was another woman getting big laughs. Minnie also said one of the funniest people around is Pam Tillis, that she has great natural timing. Which reminds me that her dad will do some jokes, too.

  10. Well stated, one of the reasons I think June deserves to be in the Hall of Fame (along with Helen & Anita.) Unfortunately most people only think of June as Mrs. Johnny Cash. (oldtimeopry)

  11. @Jim - Knightsville, IN - I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Craig Morgan's debut as an Opry host last night & the audience appeared to enjoy his efforts as well. I really like his music - This Ain't Nothin', This Ole Boy & my favorite When a Man Can't Get a Woman Off His Mind from his 2000 debut album, Craig Morgan. He did a fabulous job singing this stone cold country song & the segment of him singing it on Country Family Reunion on RFD-tv can be found on YouTube, should there be interest.

    I also enjoyed The Black Lillies as well. I've heard them several time before on the Opry.

    However, Ricky Skaggs was the highlight of both evenings. I was very surprised that he played traditional country music vs bluegrass. When he opened his segment with "Heartbroke" the volume on my computer went way up & he ended the segment with a Webb Pierce song that I am blanking on the title right about now.

    Tonight Ricky opened his segment with "I've Got a New Heartache" & he made me laugh when he described the song as "country as a stick" & he ended the show with Stonewall Jackson's "That's Why I'm Walkin'" - the fiddle & steel work was just so great.

    It doesn't matter if Ricky Skaggs sings & plays traditional country or bluegrass, he elevates himself up a couple of levels when he opens his mouth & picks. I sure would love to see him get into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the next few years. In my opinion, he deserves that honor for all the great music he has given us in the last 30 plus years. He has mastered two entirely different styles of country music (& he sings gospel too) - that's real talent folks.


  12. Yes, It was a very good show tonight. I enjoyed Collin Raye very much. Maybe we'll see more of him.

    The new girl Jenn Bostic was impressive as well. I think Bill Anderson liked her.

  13. The audience liked her, too. It also was interesting to have George Hamilton IV fill in for John Conlee only five hours before IV was going to do the Midnight Jamboree. I guess he was hanging out backstage. What an old fart. Ahem.

  14. Hey David I Suspect They Will Go Back To 70s-Early 80s This Year In The Modern Category But You Never Know And Who Knows?