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,


  1. That lineup is incredible! A couple of things occurred to me. One, it appears that Rod Brasfield was not yet a member, since he wasn't on, but he did join in 1944. Two, Rollin Sullivan probably was there, either still with Paul Howard or starting to work for Eddy Arnold. Three, if I am correct, that was the last Opry broadcast before the arrival of an announcer named Grant Turner.

  2. Two thoughts:
    First on Mike Snider; Mike will be on the road this Saturday at Fredericktown, MO., only about 25 miles from my home. I will be driving up there to see him. He is on a fair bill with several southern gospel groups. While not the "biggest" opry star, I believe Mike keeps the "traditional" Opry ways alive. He is as close as it gets today on keeping the style of music alive of such artists as Grandpa Jones, The Crook Brothers, Sam & Kirk McGee..etc... to me he is a shining jewel at the Opry.

    I agree the 1944 Opry bill is wonderful. One name that sticks out to me is Stringbean. This is nearly 25 years before "Hee Haw" was even thought of. He was a Opry staple during, what I believe, was the Opry's Golden age, the 1940s, 50s and 60s. His contributions to Country Music are just as important as some of his peers in the Country Music Hall of Fame. He deserves a bronze plaque in the rotunda of the Hall of Fame as well.

  3. David B, I have thought that Rollin Sullivan and Stringbean both would be in the Hall of Fame if they had performed regularly on the Opry into their eighties and nineties--Oscar wouldn't have retired and Stringbean obviously wouldn't have met that horrific end. Bill Carlisle was a great performer, and I mean no offense, but I confess to doubting that he would have gone into the Hall of Fame if he hadn't lived so long as he did.

    I echo you on Mike Snider. I understand that the "rube" comic doesn't exist in the way the character did when the South was more rural, radio was THE means of getting information, and the internet and modern life were just in the imagination. But we need some throwbacks.

  4. I agree with both. If not for the early death of Stringbean, and assuming he had stayed active, much like Bill Carlisle, he would have made the Hall. He really is underestimated as a comedian and as a banjo player. I think the big difference, besides the fact that Bill lived a long, long life, is that Bill did have a couple of charted hits.

    The couple of thoughts that hit me as I looked again at the line-up that I posted from 1944 was the rural nature of the show, meaning the number of down-home acts and musical acts. You have Roy Acuff, Ernest, Tubb, Eddy Arnold and Paul Howard, but the majority were the string bands. And I did notice many of the song titles. A lot of rural and true country songs and I have to admit there were several that I had not heard of before. And the rural nature of many of the sponsors.

  5. Thanks, Byron, for the line-ups and the continued informative posts on this great blog.

    We're nearing June and Little Jimmy Dickens has not returned to the Opry. Do you have a sense of whether he realistically will be able to come back with any kind of regularity? His twitter comments have been silent for more than a month and while he did appear at the Jones visitation and memorial service, it was obvious the loss of his friend took a huge emotional toll on him.

  6. I have not heard anything regarding Jimmy Dickens and I have quietly asked a few people, and they don't seem to know anything either, or they are not saying, which I totally understand. It has been months since he has been on the Opry and I do believe the last time he was out was for the George Jones visitation and you are right, from the photo that I saw, he looked pretty emotional and drained. If you remember also, the 2 appearances that he did make this year, were basically cameo appearances with no singing, just telling a few jokes.

    Anything develops more, I will post