Saturday, April 20, 2013

Past Mid-April Opry Line-Ups

Sometimes it is fun to go back in Grand Ole Opry history and compare line-ups from years past. Since this is the middle of April, I thought I would go back to this time period and compare some Opry line-ups and so some can see how the Opry has progressed over the years.

The first one is from Saturday April 19, 1952 (61 years ago). 1 show from 7:30-Midnight and notice the quality of the line-up and all the Hall of Famer's on the show.

7:30: Warren Paint
Roy Acuff (host): My Tears Don't Show
Lew Childre: Riding On The Elevated Railroad
The Le Croix Sisters: Cabin In Glory Land
The Jug Band: Barney Google
Joe Zincan: Alabama Jubilee

7:45: American Ace
Roy Acuff (host): It's All Right Now
Oswald: Weary Lonesome Blues
Roy Acuff: Branded Whereever I Go
Jimmy Riddle: Darling Nellie Grey

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): Daisey May
Bill Monroe: Uncle Pen
Mama Maybelle: Wildwood Flower
Cowboy Copas: Copy Cat
The Crook Brothers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Ernest Tubb: Driftwood On The River
June Carter: Around The Corner
Chet Atkins: Stars And Stripes Medley
Bill Monroe: Raw Hide
Fiddle: Sally Goodin

8:30: Prince Albert
Red Foley (host): Salty Dog Rag
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Webb Pierce: Wondering
The Square Dancers: Old Joe Clark
Red Foley: Just A Closer Walk With Thee
The Jordanaires: Walk Those Golden Stairs
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Webb Pierce: New Silver Bells
Stringbean: Nine Pound Hammer
Red Foley: The Convict And The Rose
The Square Dancers: Money Musk

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Roy Acuff (host): South Bound Train
The Fruit Jar Drinkers: Stump Tail Dog
George Morgan: You're A Little Doll
Pap And The Jug Band: Too Old To Cut The Mustard
Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues
Oswald: Blue Ridge Mountain Blues
Roy Acuff: The Heart That Was Broken For Me
The Le Croix Sisters: Practice What You Preach
Howdy Forrester: Bonapart's Retreat

9:30: Fortune Feed
Carl Smith (host): Don't Just Stand There
Hank Snow: The Gold Rush Is Over
Johnny and Jack: Three Ways Of Knowing
Anita Carter: Just When I Needed You
The Possum Hunters: Billy In The Low Ground
Ray Price: Talk To Your Heart
The Jordanaires: Read That Book
Carl Smith: Little Girl In My Home Town
Hank Snow: Why Do You Punish Me
Hal Smith: Here And There

10:00: Wall Rite
Bill Monroe (host): I'm On My Way Back To The Old Home
The Old Hickory Singers: Waiting For The Robert E Lee
George Morgan: Almost
Bill Monroe: Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Old Joe Clark: Ground Hog

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
Roy Acuff (host): The Great Speckled Bird
The Le Croix Sisters: I Miss Old Oklahoma
The Jug Band: Uncle Noah's Ark
Roy Acuff: This World Is Not My Home
Big Howdy: Wake Up Susan

10:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb (host): Travelin' Blues
Hank Snow: Golden Rocket
Ray Price: Hurry, Hurry, Hurry
The Jordanaires: Did A Little Deeper
The Gully Jumpers: Mocking Bird
Ernest Tubb: Slipping Around
June Carter: I Ain't Been Yet
Chet Atkins: Five Foot Two
Hank Snow: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Mother Maybelle: I'm Leavin' You

11:00: D Con
Cowboy Copas (host): 'Tis Sweet To Be Remembered
Annie Lou and Danny: You Ain't Got No Hillbillies Any More
Stringbean: Cindy
Cowboy Copas: I Love You My Darling

11:15: Soltice
Carl Smith (host): Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way
Sam and Kirk: While I'm Away
Johnny and Jack: Ashes Of Love
Carl Smith: Let's Live A Little
Hal Smith: Turkey In The Straw

11:30: ABC Chick
Hank Williams (host): Baby We're Really In Love
Lew Childre: Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
The Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Hank Williams: Lost Highway
The Crook Brothers: Trouble Among The Yearling

11:45: O-Cel-O
George Morgan (host): Cry Baby Heart
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon Of Old Kentucky
The Fruit Jar Drinkers: Mississippi Sawyer
George Morgan: My Baby Lied To Me
The Fruit Jar Drinkers: Down Yonder

Now, let's jump to April 17, 1971. This was 42 years ago and the Opry had started having 2 shows. You will notice a big difference in the line-up.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms: Jim Ed Brown (host): 4 Guys
6:45: Rudy's: Ray Pillow (host): Del Wood; Bobby Lewis
7:00: Luzianne: Billy Grammer (host): Earl Scruggs Revue; Justin Tubb; Joe & Rose Lee Maphis
7:30: Standard Candy: Roy Acuff (host): Skeeter Davis: Stringbean; Crook Brothers
8:00: Martha White: Ernest Tubb (host): Hank Locklin; Connie Smith; Floyd Tillman
8:30: Stephens: Hank Snow (host): Bob Luman; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Harold Weakley

2nd show
9:30: Kelloggs: Jim Ed Brown (host): 4 Guys; Justin Tubb; Del Wood
10:00: Fender: Hank Locklin (host): Stringbean; Bobby Lewis
10:15: Union 76: Billy Grammer (host): Skeeter Davis; Joe & Rose Lee Maphis
10:30: Trailblazer: Roy Acuff (host): Ray Pillow; Floyd Tillman
10:45: Beech-Nut: Ernest Tubb (host): Leon Boulanger; Crook Brothers
11:00: Coca-Cola: Hank Snow (host): Connie Smith; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Elm Hill: Charlie Louvin (host): Bob Luman; Diane McCall

Moving up 20 years, here is April 20, 1991, which was 22 years ago this weekend.

1st show
6:30: Bonanza: Grandpa Jones (host): Wilma Lee Cooper
6:45: Hall of Fame: Bill Monroe (host): Charlie Walker; Jack Greene
7:00: Shoney's: Porter Wagoner (host): Hank Locklin; Jim Ed Brown; John Conlee; The Whites
7:30: Standard Candy: Del Reeves (host): Osborne Brothers; Jeannie Seely; Lee Greenwood
8:00: Martha White: Roy Acuff (host): Jimmy Dickens; Jeanne Pruett; Bill Anderson; Opry Square Dance Band
8:30: Pops Rite: Hank Snow (host): Jean Shepard; 4 Guys; Ricky Skaggs

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General: Porter Wagoner (host): Stonewall Jackson; Jeannie Seely: Charlie Walker; Jack Greene
10:00: Little Debbie: Grandpa Jones (host): Roy Drusky; Del Reeves
10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam: Roy Acuff (host): Jeanne Pruett
10:30: Pet Milk: Bill Monroe (host): John Conlee
10:45: BC Powder: Bill Anderson (host): Bill Carlisle; Opry Square Dance Band
11:00: Coca-Cola: Hank Snow (host): The Whites; Jim Ed Brown; Jimmy Dickens; Justin Tubb
11:30: Creamette: Ricky Skaggs (host): 4 Guys; Jean Shepard; Ray Pillow; Osborne Brothers

Finally, lets jump to Saturday April 16, 2005, 9 years ago.

1st show
6:30: Cracker Barrel: John Conlee (host): Connie Smith: Bobby Pinson
7:00: Tootsie's: Jim Ed Brown (host): Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman; Hanna-McEuen
7:30: Standard Candy: Lorrie Morgan (host): Billy Walker; Osborne Brothers; The Whites
8:00: Martha White: Porter Wagoner (host): Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds; Trent Willmon; Opry Square Dance Band
8:30: Odom's: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Larry Gatlin

2nd show
9:30: Cracker Barrel: John Conlee (host): Connie Smith; Bobby Pinson
10:00: Martha White: Porter Wagoner (host): Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Larry Gatlin
10:30: Rutledge Hill Press: Lorrie Morgan (host): Billy Walker; The Whites; Opry Square Dance Band
11:00: Johnny Walker Tours: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Hanna-McEuen
11:30: Grand Ole Opry Visa: Jeannie Seely (host): Ray Pillow; Jesse McReynolds; Trent Willmon

As you can see, there has been quite a difference in the Opry line-ups over the years. While we may all have our own preference, I will take the 1952 show any day of the week.


  1. Fred, Bismarck:

    Thanks, Byron. Yeah, that was a helping of Hillbilly Heaven in 1952, no doubt.

    Happy Saturday night, everyone. I know I don't have to urge Fayfarers to keep it country.

  2. I'll go along with that. But I look at that 2005 lineup and think, wow, the place has really gone to Hades.

  3. Look at all the sponsor's - for the longest time Coke was the sponsor for the 11:00 segment & Bill Anderson was its host. Shoney's & Johnny Walker Tours is in there too. Good Opry shows last night & tonight!! Vince Gill forgot the song he was going to sing & also the words. Not sure what he was about to sing, the musicians were playing the music & Vince got totally lost somewhere along the line. Not sure where he was going, all I know is he ended up singing One More Last Chance - funny - they normally don't mess up. He is one guy who can really laugh at himself.

    It was really nice to see the Opry/Pete Fisher celebrate Charley Pride's 20 years as an Opry member. Pete did say how many times in a year Charley travels from Dallas to Nashville to do the Opry & told Charley any time he wants to do the Opry, come on along. Have always loved Charley's music. Such a good guy.

    And last night the Opry celebrated Diamond Rio's 15th year as Opry members. Very nice for them as well.

    Have a good Sunday everyone!