Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 3/29 & 3/30

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend, and as they generally are Easter weekend, they are 2 pretty good shows.

The Friday Night Opry will feature guests artists Michael W. Smith, The Black Lillies, Old Crow Medicine Show and Maggie Rose. All have appeared previously at the Opry. If you have not had a chance to see The Black Lillies or Old Crow Medicine Show you would be in for a treat. Both acts are very, very talented. Appearing with them will be Opry members Ricky Skaggs, Craig Morgan and Bill Anderson, all of whom will be appearing both nights. For Bill, it is a return to the Opry after a brief vacation and Spring training.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night, in addition to Ricky, Craig and Bill, will feature new Opry members Rascal Flatts. In addition, guest artists Will Hoge, The Henningsens and Kacey Musgraves will be appearing. And Craig Morgan gets another opportunity to host a segment.

Friday March 29
7:00: John Conlee (host); Maggie Rose; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Old Crow Medicine Show
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jean Shepard; Craig Morgan
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Black Lillies; Michael W Smith

Saturday March 30
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Henningsens; Mike Snider
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Will Hoge
8:15: Craig Morgan (host); Jim Ed Brown; Kacey Musgraves; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Rascal Flatts

As I mentioned, 2 pretty good shows. 9 Opry members each night.

For this week's look back in Grand Ole Opry history, I have a couple. The first is from Saturday March 28, 1970. This was the night that Marty Robbins returned to the Opry stage after his open heart surgery. His surgery took place on January 27th, so it was a remarkable comeback for Marty. Marty took the stage that night at 11:45 and the segment just about 45 minutes. And the crowd still wanted more. Everyone was smiling, even those at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop waiting for the Midnight Jamboree to start. This was during the days of 1 Opry show on Saturday night, and it was estimated that close to 2,000 people were waiting outside to take the place of people leaving the show early. And it was also the night that Marty first did, "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife", which he wrote for his wife right after his surgery. So here is the line-up from that night:

7:30: Standard Candy
Jim Ed Brown (host): (?)
Grandpa Jones: Make Me A Pallet Down on the Floor
Stu Phillips: Crystal Chandeliers
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Jim Ed Brown: Lift Ring; Pull Open
Grandpa Jones: Dear Old Sunny South By the Sea
Stu Phillips: Blue Canadian Rockies
Bill Carlisle: Rusty Old Halo
Jim Ed Brown: Looking Back to See

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Rolling in My Sweet Baby's Arms
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Billy Walker: Darling Days
Crook Brothers: Arkansas Traveler
V. Jorden: Little Dave
Charlie Louvin: Tiny Wings
Billy Walker: You Gave Me A Mountain
Uncle Josh: Just Joshin'

8:30: Stephens
Bill Anderson (host): But You Know I Love You
Earl Scruggs Revue: Lonesome Ruben
George Morgan: Lilacs and Fire
Jan Howard: Rock Me Back to Little Rock
Bill Anderson: Love Is A Sometimes Thing
Earl Scruggs Revue: Girl From the North Country
George Morgan: My Elusive Dreams
Bill Anderson: Thirty Pieces of Silver

9:00: Luzianne
Porter Wagoner (host): Big Wind
Dolly Parton: Just the Way I Am
Bobby Bare: God Bless America Again
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Tomorrow is Forever
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Dolly Parton: How Great Thou Art
Bobby Bare: Detroit City
Mac Magaha & Buck Trent: Turkey in the Straw

9:30: Kelloggs
Hank Snow (host): Millers Cave
Willis Brothers: Bob
Leroy Van Dyke: If A Woman Answers, Hang Up the Phone
Jim & Jesse: I've Got A Freight Train in My Mind
4 Guys: The Games People Play
Leroy Van Dyke: Auctioneer
Jim & Jesse: Tennessee Central No 9
Hank Snow: Conscience, I'm Guilty

10:00: Fender
Jim Ed Brown (host): Alabama Jubilee
Grandpa Jones: Don't You Cry Melinda
Stu Phillips: Little Tin God
Bill Carlisle: Shanghai Rooster
Jim Ed Brown: Pop A Top

10:15: Union 76
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Charlie Louvin: I Don't Believe You've Me My Baby/Don't Laugh/My Baby's Gone/When I Stop Dreaming
Jimmy Gaetley: People Lution
Bill Anderson: 8 by 10/Still/Po Folks

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Great Big Woman and A Little Biddy Bottle of Wine
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos At Waco
George Morgan: Lilacs and Fire
Lester Flatt: Regina

10:45: Beech-nut
Porter Wagoner (host): You Gotta Have A License
Dolly Parton: Daddy, Come and Get Me
Earl Scruggs Revue: Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Crook Brothers: Sally Ann
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Tomorrow is Forever

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): It's A Little More Like Heaven
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire on the Mountain
Del Wood: Cajun Stripper
Bobby Bare: Four Strong Winds
Kirk McGee: Milk Cow Blues
Hank Snow: Born For You

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Jim & Jesse: Golden Rocket/When I Stop Dreaming
Leroy Van Dyke: Oklahoma Hills/Walk on By
4 Guys: Put A Little Love In Your Heart/Ruby Don't Take Your Guns to Town
Marty Robbins: Begging to You/I Walk Alone/Devil Woman/I Love You in A Very Special Way/My Woman, My Woman, My Wife/They'll Never Take Her Love From Me

The next line-up is from Saturday March 29, 1980, 33 years ago:

1st show
6:30: Lonzo & Oscar (host): Ernie Ashworth
6:45: Billy Grammer (host): Jimmy Dickens
7:00: Roy Drusky (host): Connie Smith; Johnny Russell; Beverly Heckle
7:30: Jimmy C Newman (host): Skeeter Davis; Vic Willis; Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:00: Osborne Brothers (host):Stu Phillips; Bill Carlisle; Del Wood
8:30: Hank Snow (host): 4 Guys; Justin Tubb; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Kelly Foxton

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host): Billy Grammer; Lonzo & Oscar; Ernie Ashworth
10:00: Roy Drusky (host): Connie Smith
10:15: Jimmy C Newman (host): Johnny Russell; Wade Landry
10:30: Osborne Brothers (host): Del Wood
10:45: Justin Tubb (host): Vic Willis; Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host): Stu Phillips; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Kelly Foxton; Kirk McGee
11:30: 4 Guys (host): Bill Carlisle

It is safe to say that this was not one of the Opry's strongest line-ups.

On a final note, today was the memorial service for Jack Greene. And as I was finishing up this posting, a very good friend of mine who attended the service, called and gave me a rundown.

The service started with a recording of Jack Greene singing, and then Keith Bilbrey was introduced, and he acted as the MC. Dallas Frazier said a prayer and Keith did a brief biography of Jack, "The Life Of A Legend." Gene Watson performed "There Goes My Everything". Ricky Skaggs and The Whites did "Blessed Assurance" and then Lorrie Morgan did a fantastic version of "Ava Maria." Dallas Frazier delivered the message and then "Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You" was played. Jeannie Seely was introduced next and then Joe Rucker did "Statue of A Fool." Mandy Barnett performed "Peace In The Valley"and Penn Pennington, who performed with Jack for many years did "He Is My Everything." Dallas Frazier said some closing remarks and "Highway to the Sky" was played and everyone came out and sing "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." (I hope I got everything right and thanks Glen for the report. If I missed something, I apologize). Many members of the Opry Staff Band backed those singing at the service.

Among those in attendance was Garth Brooks, John Conlee, T G Sheppard and Kelly Lang, George and Nancy Jones, Steve Wariner, Crystal Gayle, Glen Douglas Tubb, along with Pete Fisher and his wife, who represented the Opry. Vince Gill was also scheduled to be there but was not. Also attending was former Opry announcer Haryl Hensley. Also attending was Jack's former wife, June. Special mention to LeeAnn Lallone, who put the service together. I know others were there and I wrote my notes as fast as I could, so if I missed someone, sorry about that.

I was told it was a fitting tribute to a great Opry star.


  1. Hey Guys On The Hall Of Fame Because The Hall Of Fame Is Expanding Soon So I Think The Reason For The Delay Of The New Hall Of Famers Is We Will See Another Mass Induction This Year Just Like 2001 I Would Not Be Surprised At All If They Did That This Year

  2. It sounds like a lovely service for Jack Greene, and I know that LeAnn Lallone took care of him, professionally and as a caretaker, for a long time. She deserves a tribute, too.

    Interesting lineups. Byron, I notice that you listed Kirk McGee in 1970 but not Sam, and that made me curious. You're right: not the strongest lineups. But still, what great shows!

  3. I'm sure everyone has heard by now that Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires passed away yesterday in Nashville. That leaves Ray Walker as the last surviving member of the classic lineup that was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001.

  4. Thank you Byron for the update on the memorial service for Jack Greene. I find it interesting that Keith Bilbrey was the MC & not Eddie Stubbs. Not that Keith Bilbrey should not have acted as MC. (I really like Keith Bilbrey alot & I am happy to see him on Larry's Country Diner. I always thought he got a raw deal being dumped by WSM & as one of the Opry staff announcers after all the years of service at the station/Opry.) I just say this because Eddie Stubbs is usually the MC on the memorial services. Second, I am very surprised there wasn't a bigger turn out by Jack Greene's co-Opry members but Garth Brooks was there, someone who can't & doesn't find his way to the stage. Where was Jeannie Seely? Maybe there were more there than we have heard & again, maybe not.

    My first trip to Fan Fair was the very day Conway Twitty died. I remember going to the memorial service in this huge Church & it was a who's who in country music that day & I remember that June day being 100 degrees - we had to walk in with nothing in our hands, barely a purse. I had to run back to the car to store everything while in the Church & that was on police orders - who knew or I wouldn't have attempted to walk in with something I was clearly not supposed to in the first place - I follow rules - not buck them. I am sure they did not want anyone taking pictures & I fully agree with that. That is not the place to do so no matter what.

    On another subject - Ricky Skaggs' many appearances at the Opry since the start of this year. As I was listening to him last Friday night & fully enjoying his traditional hits, a thought came to mind - the Country Music Hall of Fame. While I am thrilled he has been on the Opry stage practically every weekend since January, I am wondering if the other reason is because of the HoF. We know him to be a pretty darned good Opry member. He truly loves the Opry & is always very enthusiastic about being there. I am wondering if he's kinda saying to the "Hall" voters that he hasn't gone anywhere & he decided to reach back to do his country hits to remind the voters of all the music he has put out as the voters are likely starting to look at their ballots. I love his bluegrass music but I love his country music even more. I have read on your blog & other sites that he has been known as "picky Ricky." There are "difficult people" in all walks of life - I worked with one in particular & boy oh boy - not fun, however, to not vote someone into the HoF because of their being difficult vs electing them on their contribution to country music is punishing them, which is obviously the point - it's called "pay back time." While I get it, I also find it kind of silly. All any of us get is one life - this is not a dress rehearsal. In my opinion, the voters then need to step back & assess their role in what they are doing & the reason they are doing it. We know how long it took the voters to elect Webb Pierce to the Hall & now possibly Alan Jackson? According to the book written on Buck Owens since he passed away, it told a pretty ugly story on him & he is in the Hall. I always find this stuff totally fascinating - what are your thoughts, Bryon?

    Close to 20 years ago, I went to the Opry & Ricky was still doing his traditional music, he had this beautiful electric guitar with the front of it being lavendar in color - funny how things like that stick with me. So that leads to my question. When Ricky & his Kentucky Thunder were on stage last week, was he plugged in playing an electric guitar or did he just have an acoustic guitar? I did not hear a mandolin in the music. I'm just wondering, that's all. He does traditional, bluegrass, gospel & I bet he could rock out to any rock 'n roll song too - God gave him huge talent.

    Have a good day & however you may observe ~ Happy Easter/Passover Holidays to everyone.


  5. Hey Guys You Might Not Know This But Toby Keith Really Hates The CMA And That Will Held Back His Eventual Induction Into The Hall Of Fame

  6. Jeanene,

    My only thought on Keith doing the memorial service is that he worked the Midnite Jamboree with ET and may have had ties to Jack that everyone felt was better suited than Eddie. I agree with you that Keith got a raw deal at the Opry. There was a time that even though I liked all the Opry announcers including Keith, he was at the bottom of my list but I sure miss him now. Sometimes I wish Larry Black would let Keith have the discussion with the guests, he obviously knows more about the country folks.

    One other observation about Jack Greene passing and his memorial. Did anyone ever see or hear any comments about or from Cal Smith related to Jack?

    I must mention that you sound like Jan Howard with the line that life is not a dress rehearsal! That is one of her favorite sayings.

    I have to look back at the posts sometimes because I forget what all was said once I get wound up and writing. I believe that Jeannie Seely was listed as being there.

    Knightsville, IN

  7. Hey Guys To Celebrate The Expanison Of The Hall Of Fame And Museum I Expect There Will Be A Mass Induction And We Will Have 15 New Inductees This Year The Nominees For This Year Are
    Buddy Killen Fred Foster Jimmy Bowen Joe Galante And Tony Brown
    Veterans Era
    The Browns Archie Campbell Johnny And Jack Dottie West And Hank Williams Jr
    Modern Era
    Alan Jackson Ronnie Milsap The Oak Ridge Boys Kenny Rogers And Ricky Skaggs
    If We Have A Mass Induction This Year I Expect All Of This Years Nominees To Get In

  8. My error, Byron - I asked about Jeannie Seely & it is clearly spelled out that she was in attendance. Sorry.


  9. Jeanene, I wasn't picking on you about Jeannie Seely, just wanted you to realize she was there. I enjoy your comments.

    Barry, thanks for mentioning Gordon Stoker, I had not yet heard. I would expect Mike Snider to mention him on the Opry tonight since Gordon helped get him to town and they are both from Gleason.


  10. Hi Jim - I didn't take that you were picking at me at all. I just did not see Jeannie's name at the time - now that I re-read Byron's post, I wanted to apologize for the lack of "eye sight." And thanks for the compliment on my comments - that's one thing about me - I usually always have, what I hope to be, common sense comments - I try anyway! - :-)


  11. To Mr. Anonymous: There is not going to be a mass induction for the Hall of Fame this year, and probably never again. As far as the Hall of Fame expansion, it is not that big.

    Jeanene, thanks for the comments. I happen to be one of those who believes that Connie Smith deserved election to the Hall of Fame. And at some point in the future, her husband will be a part of it also.

    As far as the Opry this weekend, there has been a change. Larry Gatlin has decided to stay over after hosting Opry Country Classics on Thursday night to do the Friday Night Opry. Nice addition.

  12. Jeanene, I am probably one of those that commented about Connie getting in the HOF. I forget how that post went but someone said she slipped in and I think I agreed. That was not to say she did not deserve it or that I wish she hadn't. I have an even harder time picking my all time favorite female than male artist but she is up there in the top five. I just never thought in the Nashville machine or politics that she would ever have a chance. And if Jean Shepard was not considered to have given enough to the business to be recognized I could see no way that Connie could have made it. I'm so glad they both went in and lived to enjoy it.

    Marty should be on his way as well with all that he has done to promote the heritage of the music and now his TV show that helps in that cause, let alone his musical abilities.


  13. I find it interesting that Shooter Jennings is on the Opry's website as signing copies of his new CD in the Opry Shop after the Saturday Night Opry but he is not listed on the schedule for that night. He is scheduled later in April to do the Opry.

  14. Hi Jim - I'm sorry, I don't want to appear like I am opening up a hornet's nest on any one subject. I abolutely LOVE reading everyone's opinions. Byron's blog is a GREAT, GREAT forum for all of us to read & join in with our comments & opinions. I think because Connie Smith didn't have a major career (& she didn't -she will tell anyone who will listen that all she ever wanted to be was a Momma & that is what she did) but God put that beautiful voice in her & by all accounts, she got in on that voice alone. So I fully understand why some people's opinions would be that she wouldn't be voted in the Hall so early or maybe at all. These two are beloved members of the Opry & Marty is a very influential person around Nashville. Not only does he have his current tv show, he also had the Marty Party series on CMT quite a few years ago. Marty has a way with his personality & seems to be, what I consider, a "mover & a shaker" & he has friends from coast to coast. He has had the last remaining Maddox brother, Wynn Stewart & Merle Haggard on his show. It really is no different with Reba & Blake Shelton. I am sure Reba & Miranda Lambert solicited the voters to vote for him to win all the categories he did at the CMA's last November & I will be surprised if he does not win a boatload of hardware next week at the ACM's. Reba is who she is & she is married to someone just as influential as she. And Blake is married to someone just as huge right now as he is. They all seem to be on one big merry-go-round down there & I don't know about anyone else, but it makes ME dizzy just thinking about it all :-)

    I am very much looking forward to seeing who the new inductees will be & I will be thrilled for each of them. Not everyone will get in - it's like the Opry - an elite & very honored (& lucky) group.

    Loved listening to Larry Gatlin last night on the Opry - he still has that fabulous voice & I just LOVE The Time Jumpers. Tonight Old Crow Medicine Show - every time they are on the Opry they just bring the house down!!! I LOVE their version of Wagon Wheel. Currently Darius Rucker has it out & the country station here in Chicago is really playing it a great deal - yeah, something that sounds like country music with lots of fiddle & banjo in it. :-)


    1. The Old Man Medicine Shows "Wagon Wheel" is more than their version, it is Wagon Wheel since they wrote it ( and gave 1/2 credit to Bob Dylan), Amazing thing is it went gold after them selling it for decades basically door to door (at their small shows). What a great group they are.

      Keep up your postings Jeanene, I like your insights


  15. Jeanene, I totally agree with you on Old Crow Medicine Show. I was in Nashville at the Opry in December when Marty was honored for 20 years of Opry membership, and they were on. Awesome job and a lot of energy into their music.

  16. Great to hear Little Jimmy back at the Opry.

  17. Ditto Little Jim making an appearance. Did my heart good!
    Craig Morgan is nervous as a man can be as a first-time host, and that makes me happy too....
    Trifecta ---> Audio quality is exceptionally good tonight, especially when compared to last nights absolutely awful sound (WSM online).

  18. Fred, Bismarck:

    Never too old to learn something: On the strength of comments here, I youtubed Old Crow Medicine Show, who were only a name to me. Wow! This is the very kind of act I've been crying about the absence of on the Opry. I'll give Gaylord a tip of the hat on this one ... and start shopping for CDs.

    I'll also be online next time Old Crow is booked on the Opry. Thank you, Fayfarers!

  19. Happy Easter/Sunday everyone ....

    So happy to hear Little Jimmy Dickens once again Friday/Saturday night - while he sounds so frail - it was SO GREAT to hear him again. I love when he is telling his jokes while just "innocently" strumming his guitar & then he gives the punch line - makes me laugh. Just love him!

    @Mel - thank you for the very nice compliment on my insights. I read alot, listen to the music alot & listen to the Opry pretty much every night it is on. As I have previously said, we all have our thoughts on this wonderful music & that is what is so GREAT about this great forum ... we get to share them amongst each other.

    @Fred - Old Crow Medicine Show has a driving beat to their music much like Waylon did. They are high energy & gets the audience very involved. They were a major hit again Friday night, as I pretty much suspected they would be. I think the Opry would have had them sing another song & the audience seemed disappointed that they weren't going to be but the show was already running way late. Of course, that is zero problem for me.

    Loved having Craig Morgan host again last night. I think he did a great job - I think he is just terrific - great voice & great music. It appears he has found quite a friend in Jim Ed Brown - good for both of them!!!

    I am also VERY intrigued by the Black Lilies - they are pretty darned good. Some very cool music from them. They have been on the Opry at least six times in the last six months - probably more. The Opry is now on four times a week folks, it's all starting to "blur" on me. I listen to it all - lol.


  20. I'm a sentimental sort and it doesn't take much to choke me up. A set and listened to Jimmy Dickens on Friday night with a lump in my throat wondering how many more times we will be blessed. His wit and timing are still dead on! Anyone know if he was in costume?

    I found Mike Snider's words about Gordon Stoker touching and appropriate as well but was surprised that he was the only one to mention him unless I missed something. The Jordanaires were a big part of the Opry in the late 50's/early 60's especially on those Pet Milk shows.

    Looks like Craig Morgan is going to make a good host and I agree with that it is nice to see Craig and Jim Ed getting along well.

    Knightsville, IN

  21. The Opry facebook page has two pictures of Little Jimmy from this past weekend. One is of him with Ricky Skaggs backstage and the other is onstage. Yes, he wore his signature clothes.

    While not bad, he does look like he's lost a bit of weight. God Bless Him.

  22. PS to my post above - you can see additional pictures of Little Jimmy on his twitter feed (just google LJD and Twitter and it will come up). He made an appearance and the Music City Bar and took some pictures with the owners and some fans. He looks pretty good in these as well considering what he's been through. Mona has taken good care of him.

  23. Glad to see Jimmy back this weekend, although I missed both shows, which is a bit unusual for me. Sorry folks, but Easter weekend was a bit busy.

    I mentioned before that Old Crow Medicine Show is a great group. Marty Stuart was the one that really pushed them and gave them encouragement. While not straight bluegrass or country, they have a great sound and are a lot of fun to watch.

    I can say the same about The Black Lillies. Again, another fun group of great musicians and they are getting some play at the Opry. These are the types of groups that I encourage the Opry to book to fill out their line-ups.

  24. Hi Y'All,

    My gal and I were at the Opry on Saturday night (March 30th) and had a wonderful time. We were absolutely in love with Mike Snider and his banjo - and NEED to know the name/where to find a version of the 1st song he played that evening. Was an instrumental song...slow and melodic kind.

    Any help would be appreciated!


  25. Fraser, I didn't catch the name of what he played on Saturday night but you can go to and look at what he has available. He has a string band CD and DVD which includes many of the instrumentals he plays on the Opry.

    Great to hear you were at the show and had a good time. You were lucky to experience and "Opry Moment" with the appearance of Little Jimmy Dickens!

    Knightsville, IN

  26. Can anyone tell me what the name of the song was that Jean Shepard sang at the Friday night show...I for the life of me cannot remember...I think I was to excited....please email the name to me at you so much and we'll be back