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.