Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 4/5 & 4/6

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, along with next weeks Tuesday Night Opry.

Overall, the shows are pretty solid considering that the ACM Awards are in Las Vegas on Sunday night and most of the "big" names in country music will be out there for the weekend. As far as the Friday Night Opry, Marty Stuart will be returning to the Opry stage for the 2nd time since being honored in December for 20 years of Opry membership. (His 1st appearance will be the night before at the Opry Country Classics show). Joining Marty on Friday Night will be the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, who have played the Opry previously, along with Amanda Shires. Among the veteran artists, Darryl Worley and Restless Heart will be visiting, along with bluegrass sensation Rhonda Vincent.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will feature guest artists Point Of Grace and Bucky Covington, along with Opry members John Conlee, Connie Smith and Bill Anderson, all of whom will be appearing both nights. And speaking of Connie Smith, she will be hosting a segment on Saturday night. If I have my records right, this will be her 3rd time hosting, as she hosted a segment last year and one many years ago. Just an opinion on my part, but I like the fact that the Opry is using different artists to host segments. In addition to Connie this weekend, Craig Morgan got another shot last week and he did well. I think it brightens up the show instead of having the same acts hosting week after week. I know back in the day, you had the usual hosts such as Roy Acuff, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Porter Wagoner, Grandpa Jones and Bill Monroe among many others, but the Opry also used just about any other male artists at times to host, including some of the "lower end" acts. It just seems like in the last 5-10 years, the Opry has kind of gotten in a rut regarding the segments.

Friday April 5
7:00: John Conlee (host): Rhonda Vincent; The Whites
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host): Amanda Shires; Restless Heart
8:15: Bill Anderson (host): Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Darryl Worley
8:45: Marty Stuart (host): Sleepy Man Banjo Boys; Connie Smith

Saturday April 6
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host): J.T. Hodges; Jim Ed Brown
7:30: John Conlee (host): Carolyn Dawn Johnson; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:15: Connie Smith (host): Jesse McReynolds; Bucky Covington; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host): Jean Shepard; Point Of Grace

And you will notice that Jimmy Dickens is not on the schedule for this weekend. Last weekend, Jimmy surprised everyone by making an appearance both Friday night and Saturday night. Friday he was on John Conlee's segment, while Saturday he was with Jeannie Seely. He came out with his guitar and told some of his jokes. He sounded a little weak, but otherwise looked pretty good. The audience both nights gave him a standing ovation. Perhaps he will be on again this weekend and just didn't want to commit until he knew for sure. Also, I am fine with Jimmy not hosting a segment and just coming out and telling some jokes. He is funny and if the voice isn't quite there to sing, that is ok.

The Opry also announced the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, April 9:

7:00: The Henningsens; Connie Smith
7:30: Jimmy Wayne; Dailey & Vincent
8:15: Jim Ed Brown; Holly Williams
8:45: Lorrie Morgan; Pam Tillis

A pretty solid show and it is nice to see both Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis back at the Opry. They have each made previous appearances this year and both are scheduled for some future shows. They have been missed at the Opry and with their family history, should be supporting the show more.

Now, for our look back in Grand Ole Opry history:

For a period of time in the Opry's history, they held annual reunion shows, also called "Old-Timers' night", when they invited back former Opry members. These shows usually took place in either March or April. One of the shows took place on Saturday April 4, 1981, 32 years ago. Here is the line-up from that night:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): San Antonio Rose
Stu Phillips: Great El Tigre
Charlie Walker: Crazy Arms

6:45: Rudy's
Jack Greene (host): I'll Be There
Jan Howard: The Story of Hondo Crouch
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Skeeter Davis: Take It Easy
Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule
Wilburn Brothers: I'm Gonna Tie One On Tonight
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Porter Wagoner: Trouble In Amen Corner

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy C Newman (host): Happy Cajun Country
David Houston: Texas Ida Red
Zeke Clements: Where Could I Go, But to the Lord
Billy Grammer: Somebody Loves You
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Sally Goodin
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun Country Special

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: Give Them All to Jesus
Pee Wee King: Tennessee Waltz
Alcyone Beasley: Silver Threads Among The Gold
Jack Shook: Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Alcyone Beasley & Jack Shook: (?)
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Storms Never Last
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
Lonzon & Oscar: Delta Dirt
Paul Howard: Stay A Little Longer
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: Before the Next Teardrop Falls

2nd show
9:30: Kelloggs
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
4 Guys; Woman, Woman
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Jeannie Seely: Somebody's Knockin'
Vic Willis Trio: Shenendoah
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name

10:00: Little Debbie
Jack Greene (host): Sing For The Good Times
Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule
Wilma Lee Cooper: Walking My Lord Up Calvary Hill
Jack Greene: Try A Little Kindness

10:15: Sunbeam
Jimmy C Newman (host): Louisiana Cajun Band
Skeeter Davis: Just When I Needed You Most
Zeke Clements: Why Should I Cry Over You/Just A Little Lovin
Wade B. Landrey: Orange Blossom Special

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): I Couldn't Believe It Was True
Pee Wee King: Deck of Cards
Howdy Forrester & Jimmy Riddle: Jesse Polka

10:45: Beechnut
Roy Drusky (host): Strangers
Connie Smith: When God Dips His Love Into My Heart
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Arkansas Traveler
Roy Drusky: Last Farewell

11:00: Coke
Hank Snow (host): With This Ring I Three Wed
Billy Grammer: Kentucky
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Kirk McGee: Milk'em In The Evening Blues
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: After The Love Is Gone

11:30: Bama
David Houston (host): Texas Ida Red
Lonzo & Oscar: Up This Hill And Down
Paul Howard: It Makes No Difference Now
Bill Carlisle: Too Old To Cut The Mustard
David Houston: After All

Another of the shows took place on April 7, 1984, 29 years ago:

1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host): 4 Guys
6:45: Bill Monroe (host): Stonewall Jackson; Clyde Moody
7:00: Grandpa Jones (host): Skeeter Davis; Jordanaires; Jimmy C Newman; Jan Howard
7:30: Bill Anderson (host): Ricky Skaggs; Ferlin Husky; Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:00: Roy Acuff (host): Jean Shepard; Roy Drusky; Sid Harkreader;
8:30: Hank Snow (host): Pee Wee King; Curly Fox; Wilma Lee Cooper; Boxcar Willie

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host): Ray Pillow; Jim Ed Brown; David Houston; Jordanaires
10:00: Bill Monroe (host): Jeannie Seely; Clyde Moody
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host): Lonzo & Oscar; Pee Wee King
10:30: Roy Acuff (host): Charlie Louvin
10:45: Ricky Skaggs (host): Bill Carlisle; Crook Brothers.Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host): Jean Shepard; Ferlin Husky; Jimmy C Newman; Justin Tubb
11:30: Roy Drusky (host): Boxcar Willie; Curly Fox; 4 Guys

There you have it. A big week coming up with the Hall of Fame announcement on Wednesday.


  1. Hey Guys Out Of The 4 Modern Favorites For This Year Alan Jackson Ronnie Milsap Kenny Rogers And The Oaks Which One Of The 4 Is The Most Likely To Go In From That Modern Category This Year

  2. I miss those Reunion shows, and they could do one now with a lot of great stars. But ... oh, well.

  3. Here is another reunion show line-up from Saturday March 15, 1975. This show was the one year anniversary of the new Opry House opening and was held at the Municipal Auditorium due to flooding at Opryland. The Opry House was fine, as it was the roads and parking lot that were flooded.

    1st show
    6:00: Vietti
    Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
    Jimmy Dickens: Sleeping At The Foot Of The Bed
    Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
    Justin Tubb: Sunshine Lady
    Charlie Walker: The Last Supper
    Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way
    Marion Worth: Put Your Hand In The Hand
    Charlie Walker: Odds and Ends

    6:30: Mrs Grissoms
    Jerry Clower (host): The Last Piece of Chicken
    4 Guys: Let Me Be There
    Del Wood: Keep On The Firing Line
    Jerry Clower: How I Backed Into Show Business

    6:45: Rudy's
    Charlie Louvin (host): See The Big Man Cry
    Lonzo & Oscar: When I Stop Dreaming
    Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink On Me
    Charlie Louvin: I've Just Gotta Know

    7:00: Shoney's
    Ray Pillow (host): Countryfried
    Jean Shepard: The Tips of My Fingers
    Billy Grammer: Just A Closer Walk With Thee
    Stonewall Jackson: Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
    Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: That God I'm Free
    Jean Shepard: Seven Lonely Days
    Ray Pillow: The Simple Things In Life

    7:30: Standard Candy
    Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
    DeFord Bailey: Pan American Blues/Fox Chase/John Henry
    Alcyonne Beasley: Silver Threads Among The Gold
    Duke of Paducah: If You Knew Susie/Toot-Toot-Tootsie/Baby Face
    Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle

    8:00: Martha White
    Minnie Pearl (host)
    Zeke Clements: Why Should I Cry Over You/Somebody's Been Beating My Time/Just A Little Lovin'
    Maybelle Carter: Wildwood Flower
    Tennessee Sweethearts (Clyde & Marie): Peggy O'Neil
    Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me

    8:30: Stephens
    Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
    Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
    Clyde Moody: I Know What It Means To Be Lonesome
    Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
    Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
    Hank Snow: Paper Roses

    2nd show
    9:30: Kelloggs
    Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
    Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
    Jimmy Dickens: May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
    Stu Phillips: Loving You; Still Loving You
    Lonzo & Oscar: The Crowded Song
    Stonewall Jackson: Washed My Hands In Muddy Water

    10:00: Fender
    Charlie Walker (host): Don't Squeeze My Sharmin
    Jerry Clower: A New Bull
    Marion Worth: Burning Bridges
    Charlie Walker: The Last Supper

    10:15: Union 76
    Roy Acuff (host): Old Time Sunshine Song
    Jean Shepard: The Tips of My Fingers
    Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

    10:30: Trailblazer
    Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Poor Ellen Smith
    Charlie Louvin: When You Have To Fly Alone
    Ray Pillow: Excuse Me
    Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Coming Down From God

    10:45: Beech-nut
    Billy Grammer (host): Under The Double Eagle
    Bill Carlisle: Too Old To Cut The Mustard
    Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Liberty
    Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love

    11:00: Coke
    Hank Snow (host): Hello, Love
    Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
    Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
    Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
    Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
    Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
    Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile

    11:30: Elm Hill
    4 Guys (host): Down By The Lazy River
    Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues/Are You From Dixie
    Clyde Moody:The Prisoner's Song
    4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria

    Interesting that all of the old-timers did the first show only.

  4. Fun looking back at those old lineups. I was at the Opry House for the 1984 show. I had a nice conversation with Pee Wee King that night...a very, very nice man. Carl and Pearl Butler and John Hartford were backstage that night although they didn't perform on the show.

    Thanks for posting the full lineup from the 1975 reunion show as well. I've got portions of that show on tape but had never seen the full lineup from that night. As far as I know that particular show still holds the record for the largest audience to attend an Opry show. I did catch an error in the 8:00 segment....the Tennessee Sweethearts were followed by Sarie (of Sarie and Sallie). The audience mics weren't placed especially well that night so the sounds from the audience were kind of muffled but you could hear Minnie laughing uproariously all through her routine. Sarie's style of comedy that night...gentle stories about country people with outrageous punch lines...are what I've always imagined Minnie's early material was like given the way she always described those early routines.

  5. Fred, Bismarck:

    Lonzo & Oscar doing "When I Stop Dreaming"? Don't know if I can wrap my mind around that! (I do realize this was a later edition of L & O.)

    1. Barry, do you by chance have a recording of the Tennssee Sweethearts playing that 75' show?

  6. Barry, you are right. I missed that one. Also, do you remember who the Tennessee Sweethearts were? For the life of me, I can't find their information. I want to say they were a duo, Clyde and Marie??? Just guessing on this one.

    1. Yes, they were Clyde and Marie Dilleha. Marie and her sister Nola were the Stacy Sisters from 39'-42'ish before Nola died from TB. I have a few recordings of them from the late 30's and 40's.

  7. The 2013 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Announcement will be streaming live at 9am Central (Chicago/Nashville) time Wednesday, April 10th at

    My "picks" for this years inductees are: The Browns, Kenny Rogers & Buddy Killen

    Best of luck to everyone eligible.


  8. Hey Guys I Think It Will Be Buddy Killen The Browns And Alan Jackson I Dont Think Well See Kenny Rogers Getting Inducted Until He Falls Into The Veterans Category Which Will Be Starting Next Year

  9. Thursday Night's Show:

    Members: Larry Gatlin (3rd appearance of the year), Jeannie Seely (18th appearance), Marty Stuart (1st appearance)

    Guests: Mandy Barnett (4th appearance), Joey + Rory (3rd appearance), T.G. Sheppard (2nd appearance)

  10. Clyde Moody did the second show in 1975, but I think he was one of the few really still performing full-time then, unless I am mistaken.

    On Lonzo & Oscar, Fred, Dave Hooten got Oscar to stop wearing the "rube" outfit and they began playing some bluegrass festivals, as I recall. I have a "serious" album they did, so they were trying some different things.

  11. The "Tennessee Sweethearts'" real names were Deacon Clyde Beasly Dilleha and Laura Marie Stacey Dilleha ("Clyde and Marie"), a husband and wife duet team. Clyde (1917-2011) and Marie (1921-2002) were married in 1940. Marie originally joined the Opry on December 9, 1939 with her sister Nola, as the "Stacey Sisters". The sisters were members of the cast at least through 1942 (as they are pictured in the Grand Ole Opry songbook that year), after which time Marie began performing on the Opry with Clyde. Clyde and Marie were regulars on the Opry at least until 1948, when they stop appearing in any of the Opry programs I have.

  12. Robert, thanks so much. The "Stacey Sisters" I was familiar with and thanks so much confirming the "Tennessee Sweethearts:.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. You're welcome. I learned a few things myself while getting that together.

  14. A couple of interesting side notes to the April 7, 1984 show. Ferlin and Jean performed Dear John Letter on the second show and Ferlin suffered a heart attack the following week.

    Also, Hank Snow, Charlie Walker and the Stoneman Family were scheduled to do a benefit show in Sunday the 8th in Greenville, North Carolina for victims of the March 28th tornado outbreak. I mention this only because it is interesting that Hank Snow was still doing limited tours at the time. Late in the summer he spent five days touring in Canada. I’m not sure if that was one of the tours he did for the Irving Oil people or not.

    Knightsville, IN

  15. Friday Night Show:

    Members: Riders in the Sky (21st appearance)*, The Whites (19th appearance), Bill Anderson (19th appearance), Jimmy C Newman (13th appearance), John Conlee (13th appearance), Connie Smith (11th appearance), Jan Howard (6th appearance), Marty Stuart (2nd appearance)

    * Ranger Doug has actually made 22 appearances as he performed with the Time Jumpers on one of the Thursday shows

    Guests: Darryl Worley (3rd appearance), Restless Heart (2nd appearance), Amanda Shires (1st appearance), Rhonda Vincent (1st appearance), Sleepy Man Banjo Boys (1st appearance)

  16. I was so highly impressed with the three brothers, known as the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, who appeared on last night's Opry show.

    11 yr. old Jonny on banjo (no "h" in his name)
    14 yr. old Robbie on fiddle
    15 yr. old Tommy on guitar

    By the name of their trio, one would think they come from some "holler", however, they live in the Western hills of New Jersey, 45 minutes outside of New York City.

    For those who heard them last night, know they received not one but two standing o's - I would love to meet their parents to tell them just how impressed I am with their sons & I can't help but think they are awfully proud of them. I am always impressed when young kids like these boys, are this talented & I hope they go on to greater heights of success as time goes on.

    They were THE hit of the night, for sure. The bluegrass trio are on Facebook & Twitter & they have a nice website

    Besides the boys, last night's Opry show was terrific - my gal, Rhonda Vincent, was on. Just love her!!! She is on Facebook & is forever posting where she is & what she is doing (usually baking with Martha White products) along with pictures!! She is so funny.

    Have a great weekend everyone ~


    1. Jeanene, the Old Crow Medicine Show guys will be on Marty Stuart Show tonight (Sat.) at 8pm EST on RFDTV.


  17. Hi Mel,

    Thank you so much for thinking of me to give me the heads up!! Much appreciated.

    Enjoy the show tonight, if you get RFD-tv.


  18. I wasn't able to listen last night and really regret it for a different reason than usual: my mother grew up about 30 miles from where the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys are from.

  19. Jeanene. The sleepy man banjo boys have been on mike huckabee's tv show several times. They said when jonny was learning to play the banjo it was so heavy and he was so little he'd lay on his back to play it. His family started calling him the sleepy man banjo boy and when they started playing as a group they thought the name was good. Marty loves finding young performers and encouraging them it seems.

  20. As someone who attends the Opry and listens to the show, it seems like since the first of the year, the show has a lot more excitement to it. There have been some different, high energy acts coming in and the crowds have been responding. They are younger and are really getting into the shows. And there have been many sellouts.

    So far this year, there have been great performances by Sarah Darling, Kristen Kelly, Maggie Rose, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Black Lillies, Dailey & Vincent, Marshall Tucker Band and Chris Janson among others.

    And it seems like many of the Opry's members have also moved it up a notch. I am listening tonight and Bobby Osborne sounds fantastic and is getting a great reception. Ricky Skaggs seems to have renewed his dedication to the Opry and we have seen more from Lorrie Morgan.

    I know there are many who prefer classic country and the legends performing on the Opry. I want to see them to, but these young acts are keeping the show fresh and many of them have a great country/bluegrass sound to them. And in seeing them, many of these young acts "get it" when it comes to the Opry.

  21. Fred, Bismarck:

    Young is great, often even better than veteran for energy and voice, when it is "keeping it country." Sounds like we are enjoying more of that these days on the Opry; good news indeed.

    Because of the hour -- cocktail hour, late dinner -- I have trouble catching today's abbreviated Opry. (In the old days, I'd listen from about 9 p.m. CT until whenever Marty was done.) You can bet I'll make a better effort from now on (although "watching" the radio on the computer still makes me antsy).

  22. My wife and I celebrated our 35th anniversary in Nashville this Thursday and Friday (Opry Country Classic and Friday Night 'Opry). (Keep in mind Jimmie Dicken's old joke about second honeymoons)
    I totally agree with Jeanene's assessment of the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, and Fayfare's assessment of the improvement and increased energy in recent 'Oprys.
    The crowd was very large for both shows and one could literally feel the excitement at both the Ryman and the "new" 'Opry house.
    We all whine and groan about how things used to be better, but let me testify, they're pretty darned good right now in Nashville.
    I would encourage ANYBODY to see the 'Opry live. It's still a great live show.

  23. Tuesday's show:

    Members: Jim Ed Brown (15th appearance), Connie Smith (13th), Lorrie Morgan (4th), Pam Tillis (2nd)

    Guests: Jimmy Wayne (3rd appearance), The Henningsens (3rd), Dailey & Vincent (2nd), Rhonda Vincent (2nd)