Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 6/14 & 6/15

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend, which will feature Patty Loveless as the Opry honors her for 25 years of Opry membership. Patty joined the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night June 11, 1988. (on an interesting side note, Ricky Van Shelton joined the Opry the night before Patty, Friday June 10). Just for the heck of it, I went back and did a little addition and in those 25 years, Patty has made 116 Opry appearances. That comes out to just under 5 per year. The year she joined she made 10 appearances, and that was followed by 15 in 1989. From then on it was downhill, with several years of no appearances. On a personal note, and I have said this before, I wish Patty was at the Opry more often. She is one of my favorite female singers and I own a number of her albums. She has a great country voice and is always well received at the Opry.

Patty will be on both shows this weekend and joining her both nights will be her good friend and duet partner, Vince Gill. He will be hosting both of the segments featuring Patty. Also appearing will be guest artists Pure Prairie League. They have obviously been around a long, long time.

Joining them on Friday night will be Opry member Joe Diffie and the Little General Cloggers will be making their annual appearance. Saturday night's show will feature 50 year Opry member Loretta Lynn, along with this week's newcomer Joanna Smith. The Saturday show is pretty thin at this point with just 9 artists schedule, split into 3 segments.

Friday June 14:
7:00: John Conlee (host); Sarah Darling; Jim Ed Brown
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Little General Cloggers; Joe Diffie
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Jenn Bostic
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Pure Prairie League; Patty Loveless

Saturday June 15:
7:00: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Opry Square Dancers
8:15: Vince Gill (host); Joanna Smith; Pure Prairie League; Patty Loveless; Loretta Lynn

I would assume they will add another act or two on Saturday night.

As mentioned, Patty Loveless joined the Grand Ole Opry on June 11, 1988. Patty grew up in the coal country of Kentucky and as a child remembers listening to the Opry with her mother. Early on, Porter Wagoner (who employed her brother) and Dolly Parton took an interest in her. "My first visit to the Opry was when I was 14 years old; it was at the Ryman. I went as the guest of Dolly and Porter. It was the very first time I really got to visit backstage, and I felt like I was just in hillbilly heaven."

Shortly after that she was signed up on a tour with the Wilburn Brothers who were so impressed with her that they signed her to their road show, following in the footsteps of Loretta Lynn. (for those who watch the RFD network, the Wilburn Brothers show is on their schedule and Patty Ramey is on many of the later shows). Her solo career broke out in the mid 1980s and she had numerous Top 10 hits. She has won awards from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. As her hit making days ended, she turned to her love of bluegrass music and has recorded several albums highlighting that sound. A strong case can be made that some day Patty may eventually be in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In honor of Patty Loveless and her 25 year as an Opry member, here is the Opry line-up from Saturday June 11, 1988, the night Patty joined the Opry.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Grandpa Jones (host); Stop That Ticklin' Me
4 Guys: Some Memories Just Won't Die
Ramona Jones: Hey Boys, Grab Your Partner, Come on Out Tonight

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Anderson (host); Son of the South
Lorrie Morgan: Silver Wings & Golden Rings
Bill Anderson: Still

7:00: Shoney's
Jimmy Dickens (host): Me & My Big Loud Mouth
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Del Reeves: The Only Girl I Can't Forget
Charlie Louvin: I Love You Best of All
Jan Howard: Take Me As I Am or Let Me Go
Jimmy Dickens: I Leaned Over Backwards For You

7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Ray Pillow: Invitation to the Blues
David Houston: Have A Little Faith
Patty Loveless: If My Heart Had Windows/A Little Bit In Love
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand
Right Combination: Old Joe Clark

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: I Tear Dropped By/Second Fiddle
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/Statue of A Fool
Roy Drusky: Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy/One Day At A Time
Larry McNeely: Amazing Grace
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Billy Walker: Wild Texas Rose
Holly Dunn: That's What Your Love Does To Me/Daddy's Hands
Hank Snow: Nevertheless

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
4 Guys: What'll You Do About Me
Jeannie Seely: The Divorce Song
Wilma Lee Cooper: Loving You
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Bill Anderson & Roy Acuff: I Wonder If God Likes Country Music

10:00: Little Debbie
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'all Come
Patty Loveless: A Little Bit In Love/If My Heart Had Windows
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Just A Friend
Del Reeves: Six Days on the Road/Truck Driving Man
Randy Pollard: Soppin' The Gravy Brilliancy

10:30: Pet Milk
Grandpa Jones (host); Are You From Dixie
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Alisa Jones: Golden Slippers

10:45: B. C. Powder
Jimmy Dickens (host): May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar in the Goard
Charlie Walker: Fraulein
Jimmy Dickens: What Will I Do Then

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Bummin' Around
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong With the Way That We're Doing It Now
Jean Shepard: Many Happy Hangovers to You
Charlie Louvin: Loving Arms
Holly Dunn: That's What Your Love Does To Me/Daddy's Hands
Hank Snow: The Prisoner's Song

11:30: Creamette
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Roy Drusky: Always
Johnny Russell: No One Will Ever Know
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

During the 1st show, the Crook Brothers did not play as Herman Crook had passed away earlier in the week. Amazing Grace was played as a tribute to Herman Crook. The Crook Brothers name was used during the 2nd show but the following week, it was the Opry Square Dance Band.

Before closing out this post I do want to note a couple of other Opry members that will be reaching Opry milestones over the next several days. As mentioned above, Ricky Van Shelton will also be a 25 year Opry member, as he joined the Opry on Friday June 10, 1988. Ricky has retired from the business and has not made any public appearances for a number of years. On June 12, Terri Clark reached 9 years as an Opry member and on June 13, Connie Smith reached 48 years as an Opry member. Finally on June 19, Riders In The Sky will celebrate 31 years. I only mention these because it would be nice if the Opry does also. Nothing against Patty Loveless, but Connie Smith and Riders In The Sky make many more appearances than she does, and while not a "milestone" year that 25 is, 48 and 31 are pretty good achievements. Both Connie and the Riders are scheduled for Friday night. Hopefully, something will be said. As for here, Riders In The Sky will be featured in a post over the weekend.

Once again, congratulations to Patty Loveless.


  1. Patty Loveless is one of my more "modern" favorite female acts. She continues to include many of the traditional sounds I like; fiddles, steel guitars..etc... I just wish her dedication to the Opry was better. Maybe her buddy Vince Gill can help her a little on that.

    I agree on the Hall of Fame comment. I think of those ladies of the late 1980's through the 1990's, she stands a greater chance of any on becoming a Hall of Famer. Right behind Martina McBride and just a notch above Lorrie Morgan. Personally, I believe all three will someday be enshrined.

  2. Byron, what a wonderful research job. If you think about it, 91 appearances in 23 years, and she's still ahead of about 20 members or so with that number. And while I share your love and admiration for Patty--in my opinion, her pipes rank with Connie Smith's--if I am able to listen and she starts in about how much she loves the Opry, I may just declare war.

    I had never known how they memorialized Herman Crook. "Amazing Grace" was his favorite hymn, and that Larry did it, meaning it was on the harmonica ... I don't know that I would have made it through that performance.

  3. Remember when Mr. Acuff would introduce Herman and tease him by saying, "Herman's lived a good clean life... never took a drink of beer or whiskey?" Herman: "Nope" Acuff: "Never smoked?" Herman: "Nope." Acuff: "But he worked as a twistmaker in a tobacco company so no telling how many people he killed!" (oldtimeopry)

  4. Mr. Acuff would also ask Herman about womanizing and he would say something about having had the same woman through all the years.

    I couldn't begin to quote it without digging out the recording but I remember Mr. Acuff giving a very nice, somber and sincere dedication to Herman and then bringing Larry forward to play what he acknowledged as Herman's favorite song. It was a very touching performance.

    Byron I remember these nights and setting close to the radio, recording and taking it all in. I must say that to have you list the artist and also the songs which I did not keep track of is very moving. This 1988 show is a great example of the Opry that is most close to my heart. I can close my eyes and almost hear every performance. I'm sure there are those who fill the seats today that would disagree but just about every performance is rock solid, even the Four Guys doing Marty's song. Bill and Roy, Billy Walker and his latest effort which I thought was great, Jack Greene hosting, Roy Drusky and Charlie Louvin on both shows. I know that you have posted much stronger shows from the 40's but this is the Opry that made me want to meet and see as many of these folks as possible and collect all the music.

    Thanks for the memories.

    To the main topic, I like Patty too and wish she was on the Opry more where she is badly needed! It will be good to hear her this weekend. She and Vince were very moving at the George Jones memorial.

    Knightsville, IN

  5. Jim, thanks for sharing that. Oldtime, one of Mr. Acuff's favorites was to say that Herman Crook had been with the same woman for 61 years and didn't know what he had been missing! Another time, he asked if he'd been with any other women and Mr. Crook replied, "No, been with the same woman for 61 years." Mr. Acuff said, "Well, that's all right, but were you with any women before her," and Mr. Crook's reply went something like this: "Huh ... hm ... what ...?" He knew what was good for him.

  6. Mike, I know that the first exchange you commented above with Roy and Herman Crook is on YouTube and as I was watching it and Roy's comment about not knowing what he was missing, I kept thinking, "Roy, I don't think you want to take it further than that/"!!!!

    My thoughts regarding Opry appearances and several comments regarding the wish that Patty would do the Opry more are simply that I would like her and several of the others, such as Lorrie Morgan and some of the newer members, is to follow Vince Gill's example and give us up to 20 appearances a year. I think all of us would be happy with that.

  7. Yes, and I think I heard another like it one night when the Crook Brothers were on with him. And let's just say that Mr. Acuff and a couple of the others ... lived full lives.

  8. I met Patty backstage the night Porter celebrated is 50th Anniversary. Very nice person, always been a big fan and in the words of George Hamilton IV "she knows from whence it came" thanks to her association with Porter, the Wilburn Brothers and Loretta. I wish she'd play the Opry more too but then again, that whole generation could step up and really assume the mantle of leadership at the Opry... imagine how different the Opry would be if Patty, Garth, Trisha, Lorrie, Alan, Clint, Travis, Randy, and Pam (along with Marty & Vince) would just commit to 10 Saturday nights a year. Not to mention if Loretta, Dolly and Ronnie Milsap would commit to just three or four Saturday nights a year. I've often thought if management would work to ensure at least one or two of these folks were on every week how much it would boost the Opry -- the same way they worked to fill out the Prince Albert portion every week in the 1950s. Heck if each made only five Saturday nights a year that would be more than enough to ensure at least one of these folks were on every week. Think about that. What if you knew when you went to the Opry you'd see at least one of these folks the same way you used to know you'd see at least one of Roy Acuff, Hank Snow, Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb, Jimmy Dickens, Lester Flatt, Porter Wagoner or Grandpa Jones.

    One other off topic thought/question: I'm a big Rose Maddox fan and I know that Rose was a member of the Opry for a very short time. Byron, I'm wondering if you have any information on when Rose joined the Opry or how long she stayed and why she ultimately left. Was amazing to see the last surviving Maddox Brother at Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam -- 91 years old and recently started fiddling again. Read an article about him that the Maddox Brothers broke up about in the early 1950s so Rose could strike out on her own. By chance, I was once at a Willie Nelson concert in Branson in the early 90s and there was a family sitting in the row in front of us with an older women and a couple of young adult. They seemed to be arguing a bit but I never thought anything about it. At the end of the show, Willie said there was a special guest in the audience and he'd like her to come up and sing "I'll Fly Away" with him. Turns out the older woman sitting in front of me was Rose Maddox. Gosh how I wish that I'd have known then who she was and I sure would have gotten an autograph and a photo with her. Along with Kitty Wells & Jean Shepard, Rose was a true pioneer for women in country music (and in my opinion, Hall of Fame material. BTW/the Bakersfield exhibit at the Hall of Fame (which is very nice) has a lot of great clothing and artifacts from the Maddox Brothers and Rose, in addition to Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Jean Shepard, Billy Mize, Wynne Stuart, Bonnie Owens and many others...)

    One last question: when I picked up the latest Opry Picture/History Book they list both Hank Thompson and Merle Travis as past Opry members. I know that Hank joined the Opry for a VERY short time (think maybe only a week if I remember from either Ronnie Pugh's Ernest Tubb book or Hanks autobiography "My Side of Life) -- even though he once told me he'd never been an Opry member -- but I don't believe Merle Travis was ever a member of the Opry??

    Sorry for the long rambling post... (oldtimeopry)

  9. Oldtime, this is interesting. Byron may have a lot more on this, but a few years ago, I did a search and found a story in one of the trade publications from 1961 that Merle Travis had signed to be an Opry member. If he ever followed through, it was VERY brief. Yet on at least one of the specials about the Opry, he was introduced as one of the Hall of Famers who had been with the Opry.

  10. As far as The Maddox Brothers & Rose, they first played the Opry in February 1949. During the 1950s, Rose often recorded on her own, with her brothers and as a duet with her sister-in-law. Rose Maddox joined the Grand Ole Opry in September 1956, after the group broke up because Rose wanted to record more pop-oriented material. There is a documented story that on the night she returned to the Opry as a member, she changed into a bare-midriff cowboy suit and hid until her name was called. She then appeared to a huge reception and sang, "Tall Men." Rose was a California-based performer, and at the Opry there were tensions between that group and the Tennessee-based group of performers, which was obviously the majority group. In March 1957, at the request of Roy Acuff, she was dismissed from the Opry.

    Two thoughts: First, Many people thought Jeannie Seely was pretty controversial when she appeared with a bare-midriff in 1974, but Rose beat her by almost 20 years. Second, this continues to show how powerful Roy Acuff was at the Opry. Could you imagine what the Opry would do today if, for example, Vince Gill had demanded that the Opry fire Blake Shelton for his political views?

    As far as Merle Travis, I can find nothing that listed him as a past member and I don't believe he was. Mike, you mention 1961 for Merle. In the Opry History-Picture Book 1966 edition, it lists 2 pages of "Past and Present Members and Guests of Grand Ole Opry" and for what it is worth, Merle Travis is not listed.

  11. Thanks for the information on Rose Maddox... very interesting. I wonder if there isn't a back-story on Martha Carson too who always said after she took a leave of absence to work in New York when she returned to the Opry she was told there was "no place for her" on the cast? I thought that strange that Merle Travis was listed in the new picture/history book as a past member. (oldtimeopry)

  12. First, I wish Vince Gill would go to management and say that. But nothing would happen, sad to say.

    Here's a link:

  13. You know, it has been mentioned before that the Opry is pretty loose with the facts when it comes to it's history. Either they just don't know or they are really "funny" with their facts. Mike, you mention Merle Travis. I can also add Mel Tillis to that list. Most people, including me, thought he was a member at one point. In his case, he even made the History Picture Book in one edition. Induction dates for various Opry members have changed over the years. I think at one point there was four different dates and years for when George Jones joined the Opry. And there have been others. I probably have most of the Opry History Picture Books in my collection and people would be amazed at how facts and dates have changed from one edition to the next. Like I said, either the current management doesn't know or such there were such poor records kept over the years.

  14. Fred, Bismarck:

    Oldtime, there's a great book on Rose Maddox & the Maddox Brothers: RAMBLIN' ROSE, The Life and Career of Rose Maddox, by Jonny Whiteside (The Country Music Foundation Press & Vanderbilt University Press, 1997). If memory serves, the breakup of the group was more complicated than Rose wanting to go in a different direction.

    There were the familiar incursions of rock & roll; plus, after twenty-some years, and with diminishing returns, the brothers were simply getting tired and looking for more financial stability.

  15. Jean Shepard has cancelled out for tonight at the Opry. Also of interest is that under the Upcoming Calendar of shows section of the website, Clare Bowen and Kalisa Ewing are listed as appearing Saturday night, but they are not on the schedule. My guess is that with only 2 scheduled for each of the 1st two segments, they will go into those slots.

  16. Great show tonight; although wasn't really impressed with any of the non-Opry performers except Pure Prairie League. Loretta sounded great and Patty was wonderful; Vince is always entertaining; wished they had given Jimmy C another song; John, Connie, Jeannie, were good too!

  17. I was at a music festival last night so I was only able to catch the last part of the Opry. I agree with the comment that Patty Loveless and Loretta Lynn were both wonderful. I would have to say that Loretta sounded the best as she has in the last 10 years. Her voice was awesome and right on pitch. Patty also sounded the best I have heard her in a long while and she seemed pretty happy and emotional being an Opry member. And Vince was an outstanding host. Even told a Jimmy Dickens joke, giving Jimmy the credit. Another great night at the Opry.

  18. I heard the first hour, so Byron and I kind of reversed fields! I thought the members were great. I am wondering where Mike Terry is--he has been off for a few weeks. And Bill Cody doesn't sound quite organized enough to announce the Opry.

  19. I agree that Loretta did great last night and it is a shame she didn't get another song. Not only was her singing the best it has been in years as Byron said, she also remembered all the words.

    Patty did a great job too. I'm not sure any of us know why she doesn't come around more, I'm thinking Emory has had health issues. Anyway, it would sure be great to see her more.

    I agree with Fred about Pure Prairie League. Pretty good that a band famous as country rock sound the most country on the Opry compared to any of the new folks.

    Knightsville, IN

  20. I've seen PPL a few times in recent years and these guys still get it done big time. Great band. Sensational pedal steel from John David Call who is better than ever !

    Mike Sweeney

  21. I see some great comments here re: Pure Prairie League.I'll add that PPL's Flat Tire Merle was sizzling hot with an enormous boost from steeler John David Call who is nothing short of remarkable.Center stage on the Opry suits him just fine.