Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 5/31 & 6/1

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend and there are some interesting names on the schedule. As far as Opry members, Ricky Skaggs will be hosting segments both nights, as will Riders In The Sky. Joining those 2 on Friday night will be Vince Gill and Bill Anderson, while George Hamilton IV and The Whites will be hosting on Saturday night.

As far as the interesting names, we have several. First, Poco will be appearing both nights. Poco is a Southern California country rock band that has been around since the late 1960s. They have had a string of hits and have appeared on the Opry before. Also appearing on both nights will be Jeanne Robertson. She is a 69 year old former Miss North Carolina, and is a humorist and motivational speaker who has written many books and has made numerous public appearances. Joining them on Friday night will be Mrs. Vince Gill, otherwise known as Amy Grant. She has a new CD out and I am sure will be promoting a single from that collection. Also appearing on Friday night will be country music newcomer Kalisa Ewing. This will be her first Grand Ole Opry appearance.

Saturday night's guest list includes Elizabeth Cook, Striking Matches, Jason Crabb and Darryl Worley, all of whom have made numerous Opry appearances. When you all it all up, there are 12 acts on Friday night and 13 on Saturday night, with just 6 Opry members on Friday and 7 on Saturday. I guess everyone else was busy with the CMA Music Festival starting next week!!

Friday May 31:
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Mark Wills; Jim Ed Brown
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Kalisa Ewing; Exile
8:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Jeanne Robertson
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Poco; Amy Grant

Saturday June 1:
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Elizabeth Cook; Jimmy C Newman; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Striking Matches; Poco
8:15: The Whites (host); Jean Shepard; Jason Crabb; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jeanne Robertson; Darryl Worley

For this week's look back in Grand Ole Opry history, I go to a couple of dates. The First is Saturday June 2, 1990, which is the date Mike Snider joined the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 23rd year as an Opry member, and while Mike is at the Opry most weekends, he is missing on this one. Mike was born on May 5, 1961 and is noted for his comedy and banjo playing. In 1983 he won the National Banjo Championship and the following year made his first appearance on the Opry. He became a regular on Hee Haw and also had his own show at Opryland. When he was inducted as a member of the Opry, Minnie Pearl, who worked with Mike on Hee Haw, handled the induction. Unlike many of those who have joined the Opry since the 1980s, Mike has been very active as an Opry member and there has never been any question of him meeting an attendance requirements.

The 2nd date I am going to, and to share the line-up from that date, is from Saturday June 3, 1944. This line-up, from 69 years ago this weekend, is one of the older line-ups that I have and there are some interesting names on the program.

8:00: Purina
Bill and Clyde: I'm Rolling On
Uncle Dave Macon: Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Paty on the Turnpike
Bill Monroe: I Traced Her Little Footprints in the Snow
Jam-Up and Honey: Jokes
Golden West Cowboys: Mama Don't Low No Music
Daniel Quartette: Keep on the Firing Line
Chubby Wise: Wagoner
Paul Howard: Home in San Antone
Bill Monroe: Bile Dem Cabbage Down
How Down: Fire in the Mountain
Uncle Dave Macon: Alabamy Bound

8:30: Crazy Water
Paul Howard: Ten Years
Marie and Clyde Dillaha: Have I Stayed Away To Long
Crook Brothers: Fisher's Hornpipe
Zeke Clements: I've Been Lonesome Since You've Been Away
Smith Sisters: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Possum Hunters: Take Your Foot Out of the Mud
Eddy Arnold: Don't Be Ashamed of Mother
Curly Fox and Texas Ruby: You Should Have Thought of That Before
Tommy Thompson: Wagon Wheels
Sam, Kirk and Gordy: When My Sweetie Puts Her Lovin On
Uncle Rufus: Your Days Are Numbered Adolph Hitler

9:00: Royal Crown
Golden West Cowboys: Steel Guitar Chimes
Curly Williams: Open Up Dem Pearly Gates
Ernest Tubb: Careless Darling
Slim Luse: Beaumont Rag
Becky and Trio: There's A Blue Sky Way Out Yonder
Curly Fox: Fox Chase
Curly Williams: Your Breaking My Heart
Ernest Tubb: You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Justin Tubb: No Letter Today
Golden West Cowboys: Here Comes the Navy

9:30: Prince Albert
Roy Acuff: Whoa, Mule, Whoa
Roy Acuff: Live and Let Live
Minnie Pearl: Coming Round the Mountain
Jimmy Riddle: Bugle Call Rag
Old Timers Quartette: Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
Zeke Clements: I'll Have to Live and Learn
Whitey Ford, Duke of Paducah: Jokes
Rachel and Oswald: Little Darling
Mark McGarr: Twelfth Street Rag
Roy Acuff: Precious Memories
Square Dancers: Eighth of January

10:00: Wallrite
String Beans: Pretty Polly
Sally Ann: Wait for the Wagon
Blue Grass Quartette: He'll Set Your Fields On Fire
Curly Bradshaw: Careless Love
Bill and Clyde: I Dreamed of an Old Love Affair

10:15: Weatherhouse
Daniel Quartette: Press Along Weary Pilgrim
Uncle Dave Macon and Doris: Chattanooga Blues
Possum Hunters: Widow McGraw
Tommy Thompson: No Letter Today
Daniel Quartette: You Gonna Win That Ball Game Uncle Sam
Uncle Dave Macon and Doris: Bully of the Town

10:30: Cherokee Mills
Roy Acuff: Put My Rubber Doll Away
Rachel and Oswald: John Hardy
Marie and Clyde Dillaha: Please Speak to Me Little Darling
Roy Acuff: No Letter In the Mail
Jimmy Riddle: Twelfth Street Ray

10:45: Laxyu
Eddy Arnold: You'll Reap Just What You Sew
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Curly Williams: Each Minute Seems a Million Years
Gully Jumpers: Breakdown in D
Eddy Arnold: Don't Sweetheart Me
Curly Williams: Blue Bonnet Girl

11:00: Roy Acuff Song Book
Roy Acuff: They Can Only Fill One Grave
Rachel and Oswald: Curly Headed Baby
Uncle Rufus: I Wish I Was Single Again
Jimmy Riddle: San Antonio Rose
Roy Acuff: Turn Your Radio On

11:15: Ernest Tubb Song Book
Ernest Tubb: I Believe I'm Entitled To You
Justin Tubb: Just Wait and See
Sam, Kirk and Gordy: Roll On Jordon, Roll On
Ernest Tubb: When the World Has Turned You Down

11:30: Saf-Kill
Curly Fox: Sitting on Top of the World
Texas Ruby: With Jesus On My Side
Curly Fox: Southern Three
Smith Sisters: Don't Do It Darling
Curly Fox and Texas Ruby: Remember Me

11:45: Wildroot
Paul Howard: I'm Sending You Red Roses
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Rav1n's Gap
Zeke Clements: Forever and a Day
Paul Howard: I Wonder If You Feel the Way I Do

An interesting note from this show is that it took place just days before D-Day and in the dark days of World War II, which resulted in quite a few patriotic songs on this show. And you will notice the name Justin Tubb on this show. At the time, Justin was just 8 years old and already appearing on the Opry. The show featured a few names and a few sponsors that have been largely forgotten in the Opry's history.

Next week it is CMA Music Fest, with some outstanding Opry shows coming up including Carrie Underwood celebrating her 5th year as an Opry member on Friday June 7,

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tuesday Night Opry 5/28

Before getting to the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry this week, I wanted to make just a couple of comments about Saturday nights show and some up coming Opry shows.

First, several have already commented on Jan Howard's appearance on Saturday night. She did a dedication and a short talk about the importance of her song, "My Son", and then sang the song. I felt it was a very moving tribute and the Opry audience that night responded with what was said to be a standing ovation. Knowing how much the Opry is "scripted" today, I would assume, and I might be wrong, that Pete Fisher gave the "ok" for Jan to say a few words before doing her song. If that was the case, I take my hat off to Pete for allowing Jan to have that special moment. If that was not the case, and Jan did it on her own, my hats off to her for doing the tribute. We have all talked about special Opry moments before and it is moments like this that makes the Opry such a great show.

My other thought regarding Saturday night involves Larry Gatlin. I don't know what has changed with Larry, but over the past several years he has become more involved with the Opry and his appearances have increased. It started with hosting many of the Opry Country Classic shows, and he does an excellent job in that role. But I think somewhere along the way, he realized what fun the Opry was and starting coming around more on Friday and Saturday night. He gives the show energy and he always receives a great ovation. This past weekend, Larry was without his brothers, and Vince Gill stepped up and did the backup singing for him. In the past, I have heard Bill Anderson, Connie Smith and Carol Lee Cooper do the same. And if you ever get the opportunity to be at the Opry when Larry is there with these "back-up" singers, he always treats it as a special moment with a lot of fun. It is good to see Larry back at the Opry.

As far as upcoming shows at the Opry, there was the formal announcement this week that Patty Loveless will be celebrating her 25th anniversary as an Opry member, with special shows on Friday and Saturday June 14 and 15. She will be joined by Vince Gill, Loretta Lynn, Joe Diffie and many others. Let me say I am a big Patty Loveless fan, especially her later stuff involving bluegrass. And I am glad that Patty is at the Opry. But that said, I will admit that I am disappointed that Patty is not at the Opry more often. When she joined the show, I really thought with her background and working with the Wilburn Brothers and Porter Wagoner, that she would have been one of the ones, such as Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs, that "get it" and would have been at the Opry more often. I realize that she has had voice issues during her career, no longer tours much and does not live in the Nashville area, but I keep hoping that we will see her more. Think how much better the Opry would be if in addition to seeing Vince, Ricky and Diamond Rio 20 times a year, that we could add Marty Stuart, Lorrie Morgan and Patty Loveless to the list.

As far as the Tuesday Night Opry, this is what we have for this week:

7:00: Dustin Lynch; Bill Anderson
7:30: Aoife O'Donovan; Diamond Rio
8:15: Craig Campbell; Aaron Lewis; Sam Palladio
8:45: Ricky Skaggs; Josh Turner

June 1st is Saturday night and I mention that because June usually brings out some of the best shows and line-ups at the Opry. Looking at the future schedules, they look packed with Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Charley Pride, Mel Tillis, Oak Ridge Boys and many more scheduled. It should be a good, exciting month.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 5/24 & 5/25

As we move into Memorial Day weekend, the Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend. The highlights are appearances both nights by Opry members Vince Gill and Steve Wariner, both of whom are hosting segments. Joining them on Friday night will be guest artists Eric Paslay and Andrew Peterson, on what is looking like a pretty thin night with just 10 acts scheduled.

Saturday night's Grand Ole Opry, in addition to Vince and Steve, will feature guest artists Billy Dean, Mark Wills and Ayla Brown. In the case of Ayla, this will be her first appearance at the Opry and what is of interest to me is that she is a former NCAA Women's basketball star, playing at Boston College in the Big East Conference. Saturday is also a little on the thin side with 11 acts scheduled, but in looking at both nights, I think there is the possibility of one more act being added in the final segment each night. We shall see.

Friday May 24:
7:00: John Conlee (host); Eric Paslay; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jim Ed Brown; Andrew Peterson
8:15: Steve Wariner (host); George Hamilton IV
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press

Saturday May 25:
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Dean; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Steve Wariner (host); Mike Snider; Mark Wills
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Ayla Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds

Now it is time for this's week's look back at past Opry line-ups. For this one I go back 64 years, to Saturday May 28, 1949. I picked this line-up from my file because it features the great Mac Wiseman, who on May 23 celebrated his 88th birthday. He is one of the true legends in the business, and while I am not 100% sure on this fact, I believe that he, along with Jimmy Dickens, are the only 2 performers on this show that are still alive today. One show that night, as usual for that time period.

7:30: American Ace Coffee
Roy Acuff (host): Please Stay Home With Me
Tommy Magness: Mulberry Gap
Dot & Smokey: Picture On The Wall
Jimmy Riddle: Rubber Dolly
Roy and Pete: Branded Wherever I Go
Uncle Dave: Tennessee Farmer
Jug Band: A Little Birdie Told Me
Roy Acuff: Thank God
Joe Zinkas: Corina
Dot & Smokey: Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
Oswald: The Girls I Love Don't Pay Me No Mind

8:00: Purina Show
Cowboy Copas (host): Tragic Romance
Lonzo & Oscar: My Little Indian Maid
Cowboy Copas: It's Wrong To Love You Like I Do
Lazy Jim Day: Singing The Blues
Blue Grass Quartet: Remember The Cross
Possum Hunters: Off To Charleston
Cowboy Copas: I Love To Tell The Story
Red Heron: Chuck Old Hen

8:30: Prince Albert
Red Foley (host): Home In San Antone
Milton Estes: Keep A Talking Baby
Wally Fowler: The Hallelujah Song
Red Foley: No Tears In Heaven
Old Hickory Quartet: Home On The Range
Zeb Turner: To Be Announced
Red Foley: Born To Lose
Minnie Pearl: Gags
Square Dance: Ida Red

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Crook Brothers: Green Back Dollar
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannon Ball
Jamup & Honey: Gags
Jimmy Riddle: I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover
George Morgan: Please Don't Let Me Love You
Jug Band: Camptown Races
Uncle Dave: Going Back To Dixie
Rachel & Oswald: Little Pal
Roy Acuff: Where The Soul Never Dies
George Morgan: The Gods Were Angry With Me
Tommy Magness: Wake Up Susan

9:30: Warren Paint
Lew Childre: Hang Out The Front Door Key
Ernest Tubb (host): The First Year Blues
String Beans: Crazy War
Jimmy Dickens: Cold Tater
Robert Lunn: Crawdad Song
Ernest Tubb: I Believe I'm Entitled To You
Mel & Stan: Whispering Now
Jimmy Dickens: Pennies For Papa
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Ernest Tubb: I Hung My Head And Cried

10:00: Wallrite
Bill & Don: Molly And Ten Brooks
Lew & String: Maple On The Hill
Mack Wiseman: Six More Miles
Blue Grass Quartet: Shine Hallelujah Shine
Trio: Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

10:15: Gaylark
Roy Acuff (host): Have You Ever Been Lonely
Uncle Dave: Good Bye My Honey
Roy Acuff: Poem
Roy & Gang: Glory Bound Train
Tommy Magness: Up Jumped The Devil

10:30: Royal Flour
Milton Estes (host): Wish I Had A Nickel
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
Jmimy Selph: Beautiful Moonbeams
Milton Estes: Give Me Your Hand

10:45: Dr. Le Gear
Cowboy Copas (host): Package Of Lies Tied In Blue
Robert Lunn: Blue Ridge Blues
Lazy Jim Day: Singing The Blues
Cowboy Copas: Waltzing With Tears In My Eyes
Red Heron: Fire In The Mountain

George Morgan (host): Chime Bells
Lonzo & Oscar: Good Old Mountain Dew
Velma: Chain Of Broken Hearts
George Morgan: Will The Angels Let Me Play
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel

Ernest Tubb (host): Our Babys Book
Butter Ball: Mind Your Own Business
Drake Brothers: Memember Me
Ernest Tubb: I Hate To See You Go

Jimmy Dickens (host): Look What Those Blue Eyes Did To Me
Mel & Stan: In The Blue Hills Of Virginia
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Free A Little Bird
Jimmy Dickens: Charming Betsy
Zeb Turner: A Little Bit Of Boogie

Wally Fowler (host): Lead Me To That Rock
Gully Jumpers: Forked Deer
Bradley Kincaid: Somebodys Waiting For You
Wally Fowler: I Cried And I Cried To The Lord
Bradley Kincaid: Blue Tail Fly

A couple of things that stand out from this show. First, considering the time frame, the line-up is not what I would call especially loaded. But in looking at the Opry cast from that time period, most of the Opry's members are on this show. Also, the number of slots that featured the band members and musicians of the various stars. For example, Roy Acuff's segment featured Oswald, Rachel and "The Gang", while Ernest Tubb's segment featured Butter Ball. Also, it would appear much like today, that the Opry was having sponsorship issues even back then, as the last hour had no sponsor listed. And finally so that many of you don't think my spell check is broken on my computer, I typed the spelling as it was listed in that program. And yes, there are a number of errors. Mac Wiseman somehow came out as "Mack" Wiseman, and of course you had "String Beans" which is how it was printed and spelled in numerous Opry programs.

May all of you enjoy the Memorial Day weekend.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tuesday Night Opry 5/21 & Opry Country Classics 5/23

Here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, May 21:

7:00: Diamond Rio; John Conlee
7:30: Mandy Barnett; Easton Corbin
8:15: Bill Anderson; Angie Johnson
8:45: Craig Morgan; Lee Greenwood

Here is the line-up for Opry Country Classics, May 23:

Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Oak Ridge Boys
Featuring: Lynn Anderson; Mandy Barnett; Leroy Van Dyke; Billy Yates

The name that catches my eye when looking at the 2 line-ups is that of former Grand Ole Opry member Leroy Van Dyke.

Leroy joined the Opry in 1962. His ticket to the Opry stage was his 1961 hit "Walk On By", which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. He came from Spring Fork, Missouri and was a graduate of the University of Missouri with degrees in animal husbandry and journalism. He also attended livestock auctioneer school in Decatur, Illinois. Leroy was not considered a pure country singer, but a product of the "Nashville Sound."

He was born on October 4, 1929 and during his career he only had 3 Top 10 country hits. In addition to "Walk On By", which was #1 for 19 weeks on Billboard's country charts, he had "The Auctioneer", which was released in 1956. This was a song that he co-wrote with his Uncle. His final hit was "If A Woman Answers (Hang Up the Phone)", which went to #3 in 1962. In addition to hitting the country charts, all 3 also landed on the pop charts.

After serving in the Army during the Korean War, he performed for three years on the Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, Missouri and appeared on Arthur Godfrey's CBS television show. He was on DOT Records from 1956 to 1958, and then moved to Mercury Records, where he remained until 1968.

As I mentioned, he was a part of the "Nashville Sound" and he helped to usher in a new era of sophisticated country entertainers. He was among the first to perform in tux at posh nightclubs such as the Playboy Clubs and he was a big headliner in Las Vegas. After his career faded away, he moved to Branson, Missouri and performed there.

Leroy did not stay at the Opry very long, but when he was there he was a popular segment host. Even after he left the Opry as a member, he still make visits to the show, such as he is doing this week. At the age of 83, he still looks and sounds great and can does not miss a beat when doing "The Auctioneer." A couple of years back, I saw him doing an Opry Country Classics Show and he was the highlight of the night.

It is nice to see Leroy back at the Opry and I know he is scheduled for another appearance in September.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 5/17 & 5/18

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend, but before I get into my thoughts on this week's shows, I want to offer a little editorial comment. This past week it was announced that an exhibit dedicated to the television show "Nashville" will be set up backstage and will be included as part of the Opry backstage tour that is offered for a fairly significant price. Since I have been lucky to have been able to be  backstage several times over the past couple of years, I have not had to pay to take the tour, but I have watched the tours as they are given and the are actually "ok." But my problem is that backstage at the Opry, there are very little exhibits dedicated to the Opry itself. You have the wall of bricks, which lists all of the Opry members in the history of the Opry; the pictures hanging up in the hallways and dressing rooms; Roy Acuff's and Jimmy Thompson's fiddle; Minnie Pearl's hat, and that is about it.

When the Grand Ole Opry Museum was open, I thought it was excellent in telling the story and history of the Opry. Through the years, there were exhibits dedicated to Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Tex Ritter, Hank Snow, Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline, Jimmy Dickens, Marty Robbins, and I know I am missing others. And before that you had the Roy Acuff Exhibits and the Minnie Pearl Museum. But since the flood, when the museum was damaged and closed, you have nothing. The museum building is still standing, but it is used for storage.

I seems to me that if you have room for an exhibit dedicated to a television show, that was one of the last shows renewed for next season, then you have room for some exhibits dedicated to actual members of the Opry, past and present. Just my thoughts.

As far as the Opry this week, the Friday Night Opry will feature an appearance by LeAnn Rimes. It has been several years since she last did the Opry. You also have Charlie Nagatani, who seems to have made an annual appearance for the past couple of decades (at least it seems that way), along with Lennon & Maisy. Non-Opry regulars The Grascals and Sarah Darling are also scheduled this week.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will feature 2 Opry newcomers making their first appearances. Johnny Reid, who is considered a superstar in Canada, will be making an appearance. I have to confess, I had to look him up as I did not know who he was. Also making his first Opry appearance will be Corey Smith. In looking at his material, I think there are a few songs that he has recorded that he will not be singing at the Opry. Also visiting are Elizabeth Cook and Radney Foster.

As far as Opry members this weekend, Ricky Skaggs and Diamond Rio are scheduled for Friday night, while Jim Ed Brown is scheduled for Saturday night and will continue to feature his new single. He will be joined by Jeannie Seely and John Conlee, who is hosting both nights.

Friday May 17:
7:00: John Conlee (host); Sarah Darling; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Chris Janson; The Grascals
8:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Nagatani; Lennon & Maisy
8:45: Diamond Rio (host); The Whites; LeAnn Rimes

Saturday May 18:
7:00: John Conlee (host); Greg Bates; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Johnny Reid
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); George Hamilton IV; Corey Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; Radney Foster

Of the 13 acts on Friday night and 12 on Saturday night, only 7 are Opry members. And I guess after only 10 acts last Saturday night, we should feel better that we have what is now considered a "full" line-up for both shows this weekend.

For this week's look back in Grand Ole Opry history I go to Saturday May 18, 1991, which was 22 years ago this Saturday night. As you look at the line-up, just notice how many great Opry stars we have lost since 1991, which really doesn't seem so long ago.

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Del Reeves: The Race is On
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name/Sugarfoot Rag

6:45: Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Kitty Klyde
Jan Howard: Rock Me Back to Little Rock/Evil On Your Mind
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home

7:00: Shoney's
Bill Monroe (host): Will You Be Lovin' Another Man
Jim Ed Brown: Morning
Skeeter Davis: I'm Saving My Love
Ray Pillow: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget/Please Don't Leave Me Anymore
Riders In The Sky: Cool Water
Bill Monroe: Just A Little Talk With Jesus

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
The Whites: Hangin' Around
Connie Smith: I Never Once Stopped Lovin' You
Mel McDaniel: Shoe Shine Man/Mother's Bible/Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya/Texa-Cajun

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
4 Guys: We're Only Here For A Little While
Jean Shepard: Let's All Go Down To The River/I Saw the Light/Will The Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/Somebody Touched Me
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Wilma Lee Cooper: Philadelphia Lawyer
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Hatti on the Turnpike

8:30: Pops Rite
Hank Snow (host): Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Jack Greene: Midnight Tennessee Woman
Roy Drusky: Somewhere My Love
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Hank Snow: I Kinda Reminds Me of Me

(on that first show, there were 24 acts. Of those 24, 13 have passed away and 2 others (Melvin Sloan and 4 Guys) are no longer part of the Opry. That leaves only 9 left from that night-Jan Howard, Jim Ed Brown, Ray Pillow, Riders In The Sky, Jimmy C Newman, The Whites, Connie Smith Jean Shepard and Jeannie Seely).

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Ole Slewfoot
Mel McDaniel: Stand Up
Jan Howard: Heartaches by the Number
Wild Blue Country: (?)/Auctioneer
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Banjo Sam
Del Reeves: The Old Girl I Can't Forget
Charlie Walker: Deep Water
Grandpa Jones: Nashville On My Mind

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Riders In The Sky: There's A Blue Sky Way Out Yonder/Tumbling Tumbleweeds

10:30: Pet Milk
Jim Ed Brown (host): Lyin' In Love With You
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter

10:45: B. C. Powder
Bill Monroe (host): In Despair
The Whites: Swing Down, Chariot
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Blackberry Blossom
Bill Monroe: Take Courage Un Tomorrow

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Silver Rails, Keep Me Free
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou
Jean Shepard: Above and Beyond
4 Guys: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited Too Long
Hank Snow: Ol' Shep

11:30: Creamette
Jack Greene (host): Satisfaction
Roy Drusky: Have I Stayed Away Too Long
Charlie Louvin: If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again
Johnny Russell: In A Mansion Stands My Love/He'll Have to Go

That takes care of 1991. Now here is another line-up from May 18, but this one is from 1968. 1 show in those days:

7:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jean Shepard; Justin Tubb; 4 Guys; Del Wood
8:00: Flatt & Scruggs (host); George Hamilton IV; Margie Bowes; Billy Grammer; Stringbean
8:30: Roy Acuff (host); Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper; Tex Ritter; Skeeter Davis: Charlie Louvin
9:00: Ernest Tubb (host); Bill Carlisle; Jeannie Seely; Cousin Jody
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Willis Brothers; George Morgan; Archie Campbell; Ernie Ashworth
10:00: Tex Ritter (host); Charlie Louvin; Margie Bowes
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Monroe; Jean Shepard;
10:30: Flatt & Scruggs (host); Billy Grammer; 4 Guys
10:45: Ernest Tubb (host); George Hamilton IV
11:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Roy Drusky; Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper; Skeeter Davis
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Willis Brothers; Jeannie Seely; Bill Carlisle; Archie Campbell

Notice that each segment was hosted by artists that would all be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. And also notice, that each of the artists are no longer with us.

On a final note, and I am reminded of this after seeing her name in this last line-up, but Margie Bowes was hospitalized a week or so ago after suffering a stroke. She has been in rather poor health over the past several years and our thoughts are with this former Grand Ole Opry member.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Remembering Lester Flatt

I wanted to take a moment and remember one of the great bluegrass legends of all time, Lester Flatt, who passed away on May 11, 1979. Lester had a long association with the Grand Ole Opry, first with Bill Monroe as a member of Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, then as part of the duo Flatt and Scruggs, and finally as the leader of his own group, the Nashville Grass.

Lester was born on June 14, 1914 in Duncan's Chapel, Tennessee. He grew up in a rural farm setting where music was often played. He left school at the age of twelve and worked in a textile mill. He married at the age of seventeen and by 1943 was working in radio. During this time, he worked with several bands including Charlie Monroe and his Kentucky Partners. In that group, Lester sang tenor and played guitar and mandolin. In 1945 he was hired as guitarist and led singer in Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys.

Lester met Earl Scruggs shortly after that, when Earl joined Bill Monroe's group. They stayed as members of the Blue Grass Boys until early 1948, when Earl and Lester left Bill's group. By the end of that year, Flatt and Scruggs were playing at WCYB in Bristol, Tennessee, and recording for Mercury Records. During the years that followed, they moved to various radio stations in the Southeast and in 1950 they signed with Columbia Records, where they would remain for the rest of their careers together.

In 1953 Martha White Flour began sponsoring Flatt and Scrugg's daily early morning radio shows over WSM in Nashville, and would continue to support them the rest of their career. Two years later, they became members of the Grand Ole Opry, over the objections of Bill Monore. Bill was so against them joining the Opry that he tried to get a petition started to prohibit them from joining. However, the executives of Martha White Flour, one of the Opry's biggest supporters and sponsors, threatened to pull their advertising from WSM and the Opry if Flatt and Scruggs were not made members. Based on that, and the support of other Opry members, Flatt and Scruggs were welcomed at the Opry.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Flatt and Scruggs had a syndicated television show that was seen by millions of viewers across the Southeast and their recordings began to show up on the country charts. They made appearances at the Newport Folk Festival and were leaders in the folk music movement. They performed the theme to The Beverly Hillbillies and their recording of "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" was their only #1 record on the country charts.

The early 1960s was the highlight of their popularity and while they would both battle health problems, they continued to tour and record widely. They traveled to Japan and made frequent trips to the West coast. In the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde, their 1949 recording of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" was used, giving the duo increased exposure.

Musical and business differences brought the act to an end in early 1969. Earl Scruggs would continue to perform a more progessive sound of bluegrass with his sons, while Lester, who in 1969 formed the Nashville Grass, would stick to a more traditional bluegrass sound. Lester remained a Grand Ole Opry member and he found new audiences while keeping the traditional sound of bluegrass that he was most comfortable with, alive. A number of the Foggy Mountain Boys stayed with Lester and critics and fans hailed Lester's early recordings on Nugget and RCA records.

It is interesting how the name Nashville Grass came about. Lester was contractually prevented from using the Foggy Mountain Boys name, so the advertising agency that handled Martha White's account promoted a "name the band" contest. More than 20,000 entries came in and Nashville Grass was the winner. Flatt initially disliked the name, a punning reference on Danny Davis's Nashville Brass. However, his resistance faded when it proved popular among fans and other bluegrass bands adopted similar "grass" monikers.

By 1972, the Nashville Grass began to turn over some of its members, but Lester made sure to keep the trademark, traditional bluegrass sound. In September of that year, 14 year old Marty Stuart joined the group as the lead guitarist, while Curly Seckler rejoined the group.

Troubled by lingering problems from a 1967 heart attack, Lester underwent open heart surgery in June 1975. Although his health continued to deteriorate, he kept the band on the road until shortly before he passed away on May 11, 1979. It was in 1985, well after his death, that Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. If you get a chance, watch the video from that night when the announcement was made on the CMA Awards Show and you will see a priceless reaction from Earl.

Lester's final Grand Ole Opry appearance was on Friday April 6, 1979. His final Saturday Opry show was the previous Saturday, March 24, when he hosted segments on both shows. Even to the end of his career, Lester's long association with Martha White continued as he always hosted the Martha White 8:00 portion of the Opry, often singing the Martha White theme song.

From Friday April 6, 1979, here is the line-up of Opry members from that night:

7:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jeannie Pruett; Jim & Jesse; Willis Brothers
8:00: Lester Flatt (host); Stu Phillips; Wilburn Brothers
8:30: Roy Acuff (host); David Houston; 4 Guys
9:00: Billy Walker (host); Connie Smith; Carlisles
9:30: Bill Monroe (host); Charlie Walker; Stonewall Jackson; Marion Worth
10:00: Del Reeves (host); Ray Pillow; Wilma Lee Cooper; Ernie Ashworth
10:30: Billy Grammer (host); Justin Tubb; Charlie Louvin

An argument can be made that outside of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt was the greatest and most influential bluegrass performer in the history of that music. You will get no argument from me. He kept the traditional sound alive and served as a huge influence on the generation that followed. Not to take anything away from Bill Monroe, but Lester, because of his ability to reach out to the younger fans and performers, and his visits to college campuses and festivals, did much to popularize traditional bluegrass music. The influence is still felt today.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 5/10 & 5/11

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedules for the 2 shows this weekend. If there are those who think that the Grand Ole Opry is somewhat similar to last week's show, you might be right. Much like last week's final segment that featured Bill Anderson and Charlie Daniels as his only guest, it is the same thing again this week. And this week's 3rd segment is once again hosted by George Hamilton IV, which also is a repeat from last Saturday. Other than that, Saturday's show will feature Opry member Ralph Stanley, who was scheduled to appear at the Opry earlier this year but cancelled out, and guest artists Old Crow Medicine Show, who have made several Opry appearances. As I have mentioned before, Old Crow is pretty good and fun to listen to and watch. Also on Saturday, Joel Crouse will be making his Opry debut. Another new face in Nashville and country music.

The Friday Night Opry will feature Anita Renfroe, who is a very popular Christian comedian. Jonathan Jackson and Maggie Rose will be making repeat Opry appearances and there is another Opry newcomer on this week as Sara Haze, a new young female artist who will be making her first appearance on the Opry.

Friday May 10:
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Sara Haze; Jonathan Jackson
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Maggie Rose; Anita Renfroe
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds; Exile

Saturday May 11:
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Presss
7:30: The Whites (host); Joel Crouse; Ralph Stanley
8:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Old Crow Medicine Show; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Daniels Band

That comes out to only 9 acts for Saturday night, with 7 Opry members, while Friday night there are 13 on the schedule, of whom 8 are members.

Sunday is Mother's Day, and I hope all of the Moms have a great day. But it got be thinking to some of the great traditional songs that were featured at the Opry on the Saturday before Mother's Day and the first one that came to my mind was the great Hank Snow song, "Mother." I think Hank did this song each year and it was always well received. Jimmy Dean would guest on the Opry and do "I.O.U.", which was another of the classic Mother's Day songs. And before finishing with Hank Snow, I should mention that as I type this today, it would have been Hank's 99th birthday.

Now to Travis Tritt and a couple of thoughts. Travis, of course, is a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He has not appeared on the Opry since Porter Wagoner passed away in 2007. I, among others, were starting to get concerned that maybe Travis forgot where the Opry House was but last week, he was there performing at George Jones's funeral service. And I will say that he did an outstanding job with his presentation of "Why Me, Lord?". I was told by one person that the reason Travis has not been at the Opry is because he hasn't been asked. I find that hard to believe, much like Garth Brook's statement that he will do the Opry anytime Pete Fisher calls. That statement by Garth got me thinking that maybe Pete lost Garth's phone number, or Garth switch cell phone carriers and forgot to give his new number to Pete as Garth hasn't been at the Opry either. Anyways, back to Travis. While a funeral is not the place to ask about future Opry appearances, I do hope that Pete Fisher, who spoke at George's funeral, was able to take a few moments and exchange greetings with Travis. And perhaps Pete was able to say to Travis, "hey, we've missed you around here. What about coming back for a few shows?" Personally, I am at the point where I don't care if Travis does the Opry again or not. The Opry is doing fine without him and he seems to be doing fine without the Opry. But he is a member and is still active. As such, it would be nice if he would come around once in a while.

Speaking of another Opry member who really cut her appearances down over the past several years, Lorrie Morgan is scheduled again for the Tuesday Night Opry. Including tonight's Opry Country Classics show, that would be her 6th Opry appearance of the year, which would be the highest number of Opry appearances for her since 2010, when she was on 7 times. It is good that Lorrie seems to be coming back to the Opry as she does add class and beauty to the show. And as she has done on several of her appearances, she will be appearing with Pam Tillis, who also seems to have rediscovered the Opry. Here is the complete line-up for Tuesday May 14:

7:00: Diamond Rio; Chris Janson
7:30: Henry Cho; Collin Raye
8:15: The Whites; Dailey & Vincent
8:45: Lorrie Morgan; Pam Tillis

This week's look back at Grand Ole Opry line-ups from the past takes us to Saturday May 11, 1991, 22 years ago. Nothing really special took place that night, but it is still good to look at the past.

1st show
6:30: Del Reeves (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jan Howard
7:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jimmy C Newman; Ray Pillow; Jack Greene; The Whites
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stonewall Jackson; Justin Tubb; Jean Shepard; Stu Phillips
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); 4 Guys; George Hamilton IV; Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Jeannie Seely; Roy Drusky; Teddy Wilburn

2nd show
9:30: Jack Greene (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Clinton Gregory
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); The Whites
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Carlisle
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown
10:45: Billy Walker (host); Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Roy Drusky; Teddy Wilburn; Stu Phillips
11:30: 4 Guys (host); Jeannie Seely; George Hamilton IV

I hope everyone enjoys another weekend at the Opry.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May Opry Anniversaries

During the month of May, several Opry members are celebrating anniversaries on joining the Opry. I thought I would take a few moments and cover those anniversaries:

While Stonewall Jackson did not originally join the Opry during the month of May, he did rejoin the Opry on May 10, 1969, after an absence of over 4 years. Stonewall was one of the Opry members that was fired from the Opry on December 6, 1964 for failing to meet the Opry's attendance requirements. Stonewall originally joined the Opry on November 3, 1956, and if you go by that original date, this will be his 57th year as an Opry member. Stonewall joined the Opry without having had a hit single, in fact he had no singles as he was new in town when he auditioned for George D. Hay and W.D. Kilpatrick. During his career, Stonewall has put over 40 singles on the Billboard charts and has had several #1 hits. As far as the Opry is concerned, he is probably most famous for suing the Opry in 2006 for age discrimination. He was off the Opry for several years while the lawsuit played itself out, and it was eventually settled out of court in October 2008. During that time period, he missed out on being recognized as a 50 year Opry member, even though he was invited by the Opry to be on the schedule. While his Opry appearances did increase right after the settlement, Stonewall rarely appears on the show.

Here is the Opry line-up from Saturday May 10, 1069, the night Stonewall Jackson rejoined the cast:

Willis Brothers; 4 Guys; Archie Campbell; Del Wood; Bill Monroe and Cousin Jody

7:00: Luzianne
Roy Acuff (host): Night Train To Memphis
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jean Shepard: I'm Tied Around Your Finger
Leroy Van Dyke: If A Woman Answers, Hang Up The Phone
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Stonewall Jackson: Angry Words
Jean Shepard: I Thought Of You
Leroy Van Dyke: Auctioneer

7:30: Standard Candy
Charlie Louvin (host): Let's Put Our World Back Together
Wilma Burgess: Misty Blue
Cal Smith: Drinking Champagne
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Charlie Louvin: I Want A Happy Life
Wilma Burgess: I Started Loving You Again
Cal Smith: Atlanta, G.A.
Charlie Louvin: How Great Thou Art

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): Saturday Satan; Sunday Saint
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking In My Sleep
Charlie Walker: Honky Tonk Season
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Hank Locklin: Before The Next Teardrop Falls
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Billy Parker: I'll Drink To That

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Rhumba Boogie
Susan Raye: Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Chubby Wise: Orange Blossom Special
Hank Snow: Mother
Roger Miller: King of the Road
Margie Bowes: Take Me As I Am, Or Let Me Go
Hank Snow: Tammy

9:30: Kelloggs
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Willis Brothers: Alcohol & #2 Diesel Don't Mix
Billy Grammer: I Get The Blues When It Rains
4 Guys: Love of the Common People
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Willis Brothers: Bob
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On

10:00: Fender
Archie Campbell (host): Scarlet Ribbons
Cal Smith: I Love You A Thousand Ways
Leroy Van Dyke: Walk On By/Auctioneer
Archie Campbell: Trouble In Amen Corner

10:15: Pure
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Stonewall Jackson: Angry
Del Wood: Down At Papa Joe's
Roy Acuff: You Win Again

10:30: Buckley's
Bill Monroe (host): When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again
Jean Shepard: I'm Tied Around Your Finger
Charlie Louvin: Let's Put Our World Back Together

10:45: True
Ernest Tubb (host): You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry
Susan Raye: Oh, Lonesome Me
Crook Brothers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Ernest Tubb: Warm Red Wine

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Charlie Walker: Honky Tonk Season
Wilma Burgess: Only Mama That'll Walk the Line
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Alabama Gal
Hank Snow: Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
Charlie Walker: Jambalaya
Wilma Burgess: Don't Touch Me
Sam McGee: Railroad Blues
Hank Snow: In The Misty Moonlight

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): Ribbon of Darkness
Margie Bowes: When It's Over
Wes Buchanan: Working My Way Through A Heartache
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey
Margie Bowes: Once A Day
Wes Buchanan: Windows Have Pains
Marty Robbins: Devil Woman/I Walk Alone/Don't Worry/El Paso

The 2nd Grand Ole Opry member with a May anniversary is Ricky Skaggs. Ricky joined the Grand Ole Opry on May 12, 1982, but his career in country/bluegrass music started long before that. He began working with Ralph Stanley in 1971 and as been active since. In 1985 he was the CMA Entertainer of the Year and has won numerous other awards. In the 1980s, he brought the country back to country music. And now, with his band Kentucky Thunder, he has been keeping the Bill Monroe bluegrass tradition alive and well at the Opry. There is no doubt that someday Ricky will be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Since I have printed this line-up previously, here is the artist line-up from Saturday May 12, 1982, when Ricky joined the Grand Ole Opry, 31 years ago:

1st show
6:30: Jack Greene (host); Boxcar Willie
6:45: Stonewall Jackson (host); Stu Phillips; Jeannie Seely
7:00: Archie Campbell (host); Jim & Jessie; Charlie Louvin; Connie Smith; Justin Tubb
7:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Jean Shepard; Billy Walker; Ricky Skaggs; Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Walker; Tennessee Ernie Ford
8:30: Hank Snow (host); 4 Guys; Roy Drusky; Wilburn Brothers; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Stonewall Jackson; Ernie Ashworth; Ricky Skaggs; Bill Carlisle; Boxcar Willie
10:00: Billy Walker (host); Ray Pillow; Vic Willis Trio
10:15: Archie Campbell (host); Jeannie Seely
10:30: Roy Acuff (host); Billy Grammer; Connie Smith
10:45: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jean Shepard; Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Justin Tubb; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Jan Howard; Kirk McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); 4 Guys; Roy Drusky; Wilburn Brothers

And finally, there is Steve Wariner. Steve first came to the Opry as the bass player for Dottie West, who discovered him while playing a show in Indianapolis, Indiana. Steve was just in his teens, but had learned to play guitar before the age of 10. Shortly after that, he played bass for Bob Luman, and then for Chet Atkins, who signed Steve to RCA Records in 1977. Between RCA and MCA Records, he has had dozen of hits on the charts, including ten that went to #1. Along the way, he has won several CMA Awards and in 2009 was inducted into the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame. And he is one of only five individuals to have been awarded the title of Certified Guitar Player by Chet Atkins. There are many who feel that someday Steve could end up in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Steve joined the Grand Ole Opry on May 11, 1996. Since joining the Opry, he has been a pretty steady member and has supported the show well. This will be his 17th year as an Opry member, and to remember Steve, here is the Opry line-up from Saturday May 11, 1996, when Steve joined the Grand Ole Opry.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Grandpa Jones (host): Ball-Headed End of the Broom
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Klyde

6:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Mike Snider (host): Short Little Lulu/Clinch Mountain Backstep/Mississippi Sawyer
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Mike Snider: Battle Cry of Freedom/Get You Hand Off My Knee and Load the Cannon

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Jean Shepard: Bouquet of Roses
Billy Walker: Jesus Walks In
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Ray Pillow: Darling, Take Pitty on Me
Porter Wagoner: A Satisfied Mind/Big Wind

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): But You Know I Love You
Chet Atkins: Instrumental/Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Steve Wariner: Why Goodbye/Heart Trouble/Midnight Fire/What I Didn't Do/Lonely Women Make Good Lovers
Bill Anderson & Steve Wariner: The Tips of My Fingers

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy Dickens (host): May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
Sweethearts Of The Rodeo: One More Night/Since I Found You
Riders In The Sky: Lonely River
Opry Square Dance Band: Durango's Hornpipe
Jimmy Dickens: A Death in the Family

8:30: Kraft
Jim Ed Brown (host): Fools
Jeannie Seely: Here Come My Baby
Del Reeves: Wild Blood
The Whites: Pins & Needles/Swing Down Chariot
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'all Come
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Brother Oswald: What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Steve Wariner: (?)/A Woman Loves/(?)
Rick Wayne: Instrumental

10:00: Massey Ferguson
Grandpa Jones (host): The New Vitamine
Jan Howard: Take Me As I Am, Or Let Me Go
Grandpa Jones: My Little Old Home Down In New Orleans

10:15: Bio Red Foot Bath
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Sweethearts Of The Rodeo: Mule Skinner Blues
Jimmy Dickens: We Could

10:30: Purnell's Sausage
Mike Snider (host): Instrumental
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Mike Snider: The Fur Coat

10:45: Fairfield
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Opry Square Dance Band: Acorn Hill
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jeannie Seely (host): Speaking of the Devil
Jim Ed Brown: The Family Bible
Billy Walker: When A Man Loves A Woman/Smokey Places
Riders In The Sky: Miss Molly/Always Drink Upstream From the Herd
Jeannie Seely: Here Comes My Baby

11:30: Loreal
Johnny Russell (host): Good Hearted Woman
Stu Phillips: Heart Over Mind
Jean Shepard: Farewell Party
The Whites: San Antonio Rose/Keep On The Sunny Side
Johnny Russell: Act Naturally

Also joining the Opry in May were Charley Pride, on May 1, 1993 and Carrie Underwood, who will celebrate her 5th anniversary as an Opry member on May 10, 2008. She will be honored in June for her anniversary date. Congratulations to all.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 5/3 & 5/4

Before getting into the line-ups for the Opry shows this weekend, I jut wanted to add a few thoughts regarding George Jones and the Opry shows last weekend. Both Opry shows featured numerous George Jones songs, as they should have, as the artists honored George by giving up their own scheduled numbers. Jeannie Seely, Jim Ed Brown and John Conlee in particular, were outstanding as segment hosts and in talking a bit about George. Mark Chesnutt on Friday night, who in many ways sounds like George Jones and who George really influenced, had a difficult time getting through his 2 songs. Rhonda Vincent was excellent on Saturday night. But the highlight of the weekend was the surprise appearance by Brad Paisley on Friday. He was stunning and moved to tears in honoring George. It is moments like that which make the Opry such a special show.

In looking at this week's line-up, it is a little on the thin side. I was wondering if any of the artists who were in Nashville for George's funeral today would stay around and do any of the Opry shows this weekend in his honor, but that does not seem the case. I don't blame them as many of the performers are touring now and many changed their plans and concert dates in order to get back to Nashville to honor George.

Looking at the Saturday night show, there are only 9 artists scheduled at the present time. The highlights include Opry member Charlie Daniels, who spoke at the funeral today, along with guest artist Kathy Mattea. The Friday Night Opry will feature Little Big Town, The Steeldrivers and Sam Palladio from the Nashville television series. Friday night has 10 scheduled.

Friday May 3:
7:00: The Whites (host); Chuck Wicks; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Mike Snider (host); The Steeldrivers
8:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Sam Palladio
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Little Big Town

Saturday May 4:
7:00: The Whites (host); Jimmy Wayne; Jean Shepard
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Kathy Mattea
8:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Jesse McReynolds; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Daniels Band

No Jimmy Dickens again this weekend. I did receive a picture of him at the viewing last night and he did look "ok", but you could tell looking at the photo, that he was emotionally spent.

The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night/Sunday morning will be hosted by Glenn Douglas Tubb, and it will be the 66th anniversary of the Midnight Jamboree. I know Glenn will be honoring Ernest Tubb with his show and it should be outstanding.