First, sorry for the lack of posts over the past week. While some may find it hard to believe, I do have a full-time job, which is not this!! Anyways, things were a little busy the past week and are now taken care of. So with that, I am back in business.
The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend and at first glance, it looks like another nice weekend for the Opry. The shows look solid and there are a couple of events scheduled for this weekend. The first involves Opry members Diamond Rio, who on April 18 will celebrate 15 years as Opry members. They will be honored this weekend for their achievement. It goes without saying that Diamond Rio have been pretty loyal members of the Opry and have always come thru with their Opry appearances. Also being honored this weekend will be Charley Pride, who on May 1 will be celebrating 20 years as an Opry member. As with Diamond Rio, Charley has been pretty good with his Opry appearances and has almost always made the 10 yearly appearances that Pete Fisher has asked of new Opry members. Even though Charley joined teh show before Pete took over and joined during the time period that nothing was asked of Opry members, he has made sure to be at the Opry whenever he is in Nashville.
The newest Opry member, Darius Rucker, will also be appearing on Friday night. For Darius, this will be his 2nd Opry appearance of the year, after also appearing this past Tuesday night, and he has a couple of more scheduled. When Darius joined the Opry many of us wondered how he would respond as an Opry member, and so far it looks promising. Joining Darius on Friday night will be Clare Bowen from "Nashville", continuing the cross promotion with the television show. I know this past week, the show was doing some filming at the Opry.
The Saturday night Grand Ole Opry will feature Billy Ray Cyrus, always a crowd favorite whenever he performs. Also scheduled is the very fine bluegrass artist Sam Bush, who usually makes several Opry appearances each year.
It seems like each week we have someone making their first appearance ever on the Grand Ole Opry and this week it is Sir Cliff Richard, from the United Kingdom. Sir Cliff is 72 years old and the information that I found states that he is the 3rd highest selling singles artist in the history of the United Kingdom. He obviously is not country and he is on Vince Gill's segment on Saturday night, so I would assume that there is a connection there.
Also scheduled to appear this weekend is Jeannie Seely, who cancelled out on her Opry appearances last weekend and on Tuesday night. Also, Jimmy Dickens is not on the schedule. He made a surprise appearance again on Friday night. It looks to me that if Jimmy is feeling ok, he heads to the Opry and hits the stage for a few minutes. But he must not be well enough to put on the schedule each week or to host a segment. And in his brief Opry appearances this year, he has been well received and has done a fine job.
Friday April 19
7:00: John Conlee (host); Maggie Rose; The Whites
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Diamond Rio
8:15: Charley Pride (host); Jim Ed Brown; Elizabeth Cook
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Clare Bowen; Darius Rucker
Saturday April 20
7:00: John Conlee (host); Kelleigh Bannen; Jesse McReynolds; Jean Shepard
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Jim Ed Brown; Sam Bush
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Billy Ray Cyrus; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Sir Cliff Richard; Charley Pride
Again, 2 very solid line-ups and it looks like a fine weekend at the Opry.