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.


  1. It's kind of interesting that the night Stonewall rejoined, if I am correct, there were 18 members present. That wasn't a lot back then, I'd say.

  2. Fred, Bismarck:

    Yet Marty, E.T. and Hank Snow were there -- all missing (to the best of my memory) at the show I saw a week or two later. My lineup was still so packed I hardly missed them, such was the depth of the roster in those days! (I never did get to see Marty and Hank "in the flesh," a reproach to a fan of my age.)

  3. You know Fred, I have to admit that I never did see Ernest Tubb or Marty Robbins either. When I attended the Opry in those days, they were out on the road the weeks I attended.