Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 3/1 & 3/2

(I have updated the line-up to reflect the additions of Scotty McCreery and Charlie Worsham. I don't know why Scotty was not on the original line-up posted as he has been advertised for this show for over a month.)

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend and the big news is the return of Blake Shelton to the Opry stage. Blake joined the Grand Ole Opry in October 2010 and since he joined the show, he has made just 4 Opry appearances, the last of which was in 2011. With his recent comments regarding the fans of classic country music, and knowing how Pete Fisher and the Opry management operates, it is really no surprise that he is back on the show. Since is ill-advised comment, he has been reaching out to some of the traditional country artists and doing some repair work on his reputation.

In addition to Blake Shelton, who is appearing both nights, the Friday Night Opry will feature Opry members Montgomery Gentry, Josh Turner and Steve Wariner. In fact, of the 12 acts scheduled for Friday night, 11 are Opry members. The exception is the country group Parmalee, which will be making their Grand Ole Opry debut.

Saturday night's show will feature a former Grand Ole Opry member, BJ Thomas. BJ was an Opry member for a very short period of time, joining the Opry on August 7, 1981. He actually made 7 Opry appearances that year, but was gone shortly after that. This was one of those situations that just didn't work out for BJ. Joining BJ will be pop artist Richard Marx, who will be performing with BJ. Also appearing on Saturday will be Morgan Frazier, who is another in the long line of new female singers in country music. On a final note, still no Jimmy Dickens this weekend, and as it was noted last week, he is not listed on the Opry's website for any upcoming Opry appearances.

Friday March 1:
7:00: Steve Wariner (host); Mike Snider; Parmalee
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jimmy C Newman; Montgomery Gentry
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); George Hamilton IV; Josh Turner
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Blake Shelton

Saturday March 2:
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Worsham; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Presss
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Morgan Frazier; Connie Smith
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); BJ Thomas w/Richard Marx; Scotty McCreery; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Blake Shelton

Also this week, the Tuesday Night Opry returns after the winter layoff. The show this week will honor the 50th anniversary of the death of Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Randy Hughes. Among those scheduled to perform are Jean Shepard, who was the wife of Hawkshaw Hawkins. I would expect a moving performance and perhaps some personal thoughts from Jean. Also scheduled will be Mandy Barnett, who has done an outstanding job performing as Patsy Cline.

7:00: Darryl Worley; Jean Shepard
7:30: Florida Georgia Line; Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
8:15: Riders In The Sky; Terri Clark
8:45: John Conlee; Mandy Barnett

It is too bad that the Opry did not schedule some of the legends who were members of the Opry at the time Patsy, Cowboy and Hawkshaw were, or who knew them. Folks such as Bill Anderson, Jimmy C Newman, and Jan Howard among others. I think tributes are done best by those who personally knew the artists being honored. If this is a show to honor this group, why is Florida Georgia Line scheduled? On the other hand, we should feel good that the Opry is taking the time to remember this tragic event. Over the past decade, they have not done a real good job remembering or honoring the history of the show. Perhaps this will be a start.

For this week's look back in Grand Ole Opry history, I want to go with 2 different dates. The 1st is from March 2, 1963, 50 years ago this weekend, which was the final Opry show for Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas. They would pass away several days later in that tragic plane crash. As noted last week, Patsy Cline's final Opry show was the previous week. On this particular Saturday night, Patsy was performing in Birmingham, Alabama with Flatt & Scruggs, Tex Ritter and Charlie Rich as part of a package show.

7:30: Kelloggs
George Morgan (host): Little Dutch Girl
Carter Family: 14 Carat Nothing
Jimmy C Newman: Bayou Talk
Willis Brothers: Eat A Little More
George Morgan: Untie the Knot
Harold Morrison: Pretty Little Pink
June Carter: (?)
Jimmy C Newman: A Fallen Star
George Morgan: Down Memory Lane

8:00: Martha White
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Come Walk With Me
Billy Walker: I've Got A New Heartache
Wilburn Brothers: Roll Muddy River
Stringbean: Pretty Little Widow
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: There's A Higher Power
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Margie Bowes: Think It Over
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Wilburn Brothers: Troubles Back in Town
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Philadelphia Lawyer

8:30: Stephens
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): Darkness on the Face of the Earth
Lonzo & Oscar: There's A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Bobby Lord: Out Behind the Barn
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Hawkshaw Hawkins: I Don't Apologize
Glaser Brothers: Lover's Farewell
Curly Fox: Instrumental
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Silver Threads & Golden Needles

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Cowboy Copas (host): You Don't Have to Be A Baby To Cry
Bill Monroe: (?)
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Cowboy Copas: Alabam
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheethem
Bill Carlisle: Shutter and Boards
Bill Monroe: (?)
Cowboy Copas: The Man Upstairs

9:30: Pet Milk
Roy Acuff (host): Plastic Heart
Jordanaires: (?)
Marion Worth: Shake Me; I Rattle
Cousin Jody: Lady Cop
Roy Acuff: The Wreck on the Highway
Brother Oswald: Roll On Buddy, Roll On
Justin Tubb: (?)
Jimmy Riddle: Fox Chase
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

10:00: Gates Rubber
George Morgan (host): Roly Poly
Curly Fox: (?)
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Satisfied
Del Wood: Bill Bailey
George Morgan: Who's Jealous Now

10:15: Luzianne
Wilburn Brothers (host): Day After Day
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Margie Bowes: Within Your Crowd
Harold Morrison: The Cat Came Back
Wilburn Brothers: Not That I Care

10:30: Harvey's
Jimmy C Newman (host): (?)
Carter Family: (?)
Billy Walker: Thank You For Calling
Jimmy C Newman (?)

10:45: Ford
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): Big Old Heartache
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Stringbean: There'll Be Moonshine In Them Old Kentucky Hills
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Lonesome 7-7203

11:00: Coca-Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Little Pal
Jordanaires: (?)
Marion Worth: Tennessee Teardrops
Lonzo & Oscar: I'm My Own Grandpa
Roy Acuff & Brother Oswald: Stuck Up Blues
Sam & Kirk McGee: While I'm Away
Justin Tubb: (?)
Brother Oswald: John Hardy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbin' Ridge
Roy Acuff: Shake Me Mother's Hand For Me

11:30: SSS Tonic
Cowboy Copas (host): Down in Nashville, Tennessee
Bill Monroe: (?)
Roy Drusky: It Worries Me
Cousin Jody: Mockingbird
Archie Campbell: A Fool's Side of Town
Glaser Brothers: Odds & Ends
Bobby Lord: So Doggone Lonesome
Bill Monroe: (?)
Cowboy Copas: Flat Top

The 2nd date I would like to look back to is March 1, 1980. This was a night that the Opry was televised on PBS as part of their fundraising program. The Opry was first televised on March 4, 1978 and would be televised annually until 1981. And unlike TNN, CMT and GAC, these were full Opry shows. The only concession to television made by the Opry, and to accomodate PBS, was that the radio commericals were not aired over PBS and the sponsor signs were covered. The commercials were replaced by backstage features. The 1980 show was the 3rd in the series of 4 televised and took place 33 years ago Friday Night.

1st show:
6:00: Vietti
Del Reeves (host): Crazy Arms/My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You
Jean Shepard: Then He Touched Me
Wilburn Brothers: God Bless America Again
David Houston: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere
Del Wood: 12th St. Rag
Del Reeves: Take Me To Your Heart and Let Me Live There

6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Charlie Louvin (host): I Don't Love You Anymore/I Think I'll Go And Cry Myself to Sleep/See the Big Man Cry
Connie Smith: Satisfied
Hank Locklin: Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Charlie Louvin: Love Don't Care

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): Don't Play Me No Songs About Texas
Skeeter Davis: It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter/We've Come A Long Way Baby
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong With the Way That We're Doing it Now
Jim & Jesse: Freight Train
Porter Wagoner: Everything I've Always Wanted

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Down in Union County
Minnie Pearl: Careless Love
Jimmy Dickens: Another Hell of A Night In Dixie
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Durang's Hornpipe
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Stop That Ticklin' Me
Wilma Lee Cooper: A Daisy A Day
Ronnie Milsap: Back on My Mind Again/Why Don't You Spend the Night
4 Guys: Let There Be Peace
Grandpa Jones: Fallen Leaves

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Osborne Brothers: Take Me Home Country Roads
Marion Worth: Someone Is Looking for Someone Like You
Roy Drusky: Welcome Home
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: Hasn't It Been Good Together
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)

2nd show
9:30: Kelloggs
Porter Wagoner (host): Ole Slewfoot
Jean Shepard: Seven Lonely Days
Ronnie Milsap: I'm a Stand By My Woman Man/What Goes On When the Sun Goes Down/Day Dreams About Night Things
Charlie Lovin & Jim & Jesse: Show Boat Gambler
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Ray Pillow: Super Lady
Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green Green Grass of Home

10:00: Little Debbie
Jack Greene (host): Yours For the Taking
Jeannie Seely: Since I Met "Cha Boy
Vic Willis: Last Cheater's Waltz
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely: Fox on the Run

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Once More
Minnie Pearl: Jealous Hearted Me
Connie Smith: He Was There All the Time
Roy Acuff: Lord, Don't Give Up On Me

10:30: Trailblazer
Grandpa Jones (host): Who Will Sing For Me
Skeeter Davis: The Old Rugged Cross; The King is Coming
Billy Grammer: When They Ring The Golden Bells/Kentucky
Jan Howard: I Will Survive

10:45: Beechnut
George Hamilton IV (host): Forever Young
Loretta Lynn & Sissy Spacek: You Ain't Woman Enough
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Rachel
George Hamilton IV: Close Your Eyes, I'll Be There in the Morning

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Stu Phillips: There's More to Love
Osborne Brothers: Country Boys & Georgia Mules are Fading Fast Away
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
4 Guys: Fire
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: My First Night Alone

11:30: Budweiser
Marty Robbins (host): Tonight Carmen
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Couldn't Believe it Was True
Jimmy Dickens: Out Behind the Barn
Roy Drusky: Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Cool Water/Muddy Water/Among My Souvenirs/The Great Speckled Bird/Love Me/El Paso City/You Gave Me A Mountain/Touch Me With Magic/She's Made of Faith/A White Sports Coat/What Are Friends For Jenny/El Paso
(That was 13 songs for Marty, a total of 48 minutes)

On an interesting note, Ernest Tubb, Archie Campbell and Don Gibson were all scheduled but cancelled. Ernest was scheduled to host both segments that Loretta Lynn was on.

There you have it for this week. Enjoy the Opry.


  1. Fred, Bismarck,

    PBS did those Opry shows right. One little problem was their entirely understandable sales pitches, which knocked off some of the end-of-the-half-hour music. I remember E.T. complained good-humoredly on the Midnight Jamboree in '79 that these breaks had eliminated both of his concluding numbers.

    I was such a nut in '79 that, my town not having PBS, I drove 30 miles to rent a motel room just to see the show.

  2. Fred, I would have driven that distance, except I wasn't 16 yet! What great lineups. But I THINK on at least one of the shows, PBS did show the sponsor signs, though not the ads themselves.

  3. Also Fred, I think if all of us knew then what we know now, we would have all recorded those shows. Nothing like those shows have ever been done since. And even if they did, the way the Opry is now, it wouldn't be the same.

    I can remember watching each of the shows, but with a wife and small children not all that interested in the Opry, I couldn't tie up the TV for 6 hours on a Saturday night, so there were parts of those shows that I missed. But what history.

    1. Do you remember the actual hours that PBS broadcast the show, and how many weeks a year?


  4. Byron:
    Off topic, but have you heard or read anything about the Hall of Fame announcement? It has been in the 1st week in March before. I cannot get any answer from the CMA.

  5. It's funny David, I was thinking the same thing. I have been watching the CMA and Hall of Fame website, and nothing. You are right that it is usually the 1st week in March and if I remember right, they usually give a 24-48 hour notice. I would think that the later the announcement is made, the more of a chance that it will involve living inductees, as they always want them there for the announcement, so sometimes it takes some scheduling. Just a guess on my part.

  6. Hi all

    This weekend I'm going be in Nashville and got tickets to the Saturday night opry. I was wondering if anyone else on here was going as well

    Have a nice night


  7. Love the work that you do, especially the old Opry lineups. As kid I would fall asleep every Saturday night listening to these stars. The Opry will never again be what it was them. I especially enjoyed your recent article on Stoney Cooper. Would love to see this precious couple in the Hall, but it seems more and more unlikely as time goes on.

  8. Probably of interest to no one but me, but Mrs. Grissom's is returning as an Opry sponsor on Saturday night. One of the Opry's long-time regional sponsors and a really good sandwich spread!

    1. Barry:
      I miss the "GooGoo" sponsorship myself

  9. Barry, it's of interest to me, too! I miss the old commercials and think they were an important part of the show.

  10. This is the best news I've heard in years. Mrs. Grissom's products are actually quite good and I still buy them whenever I can. So good to have them back and I will certainly send them a big thanks.

  11. If anyone had the chance to listen to Jean Shepard on the Tuesday Night Opry, it was a very emotional segment. Jean introduced Kathy Copas, Cowboy Copas's daughter and the wife of Randy Hughes, in addition to introducing her 2 sons that she had with Hawkshaw. She also did Hawkshaw's only #1 song, "Lonesome 7-7203", which if I understood her correctly, was the first time she had sang it on the Opry.

    It sounded like the audience gave her a standing ovation and was very generous in their applause.

  12. Yes as a good segment for sure....really enjoyed it.

    But, after 2 songs from the rock group that followed Jean from Florida had to just turn the show off.


  13. I haven't heard anything about the Hall of Fame announcement either.Unless......shades of 1963? No inductees this year? I really hope not.Say it ain't so,Joe.