Thursday, June 6, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 6/7 & 6/8

The CMA Music Festival is underway in Nashville and as usually happens during the festivities, the Grand Ole Opry has some big names on the schedule. It started with the Tuesday Night Opry featuring Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts among others, and continues this weekend with 2 shows on Friday night, a Saturday matinee at the Ryman Auditorium, and then the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night.

The Friday Night Opry will feature a mini-concert by Opry member Carrie Underwood, who will be celebrating her 5th year as a member of the Opry. In honor of the occasion, the Opry is giving her the final half hour on each of the shows on Friday night. Joining her on Friday will be Opry members Josh Turner, Mel Tillis and Charley Pride, along with guest artists Lauren Alaina and Casey James, both of whom have appeared on the Opry before.

5 years now seems the magic number to get recognition at the Opry, as the Opry recently honored Charlie Daniels for the same milestone. Since joining the Opry, Carrie Underwood has actually appeared, making close to 10 appearances each year. And since becoming a member, she has found the time to appear at the Opry during CMA week. The fans obviously love Carrie as the 1st show on Friday quickly sold out and a 2nd show was added.

As far as the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night, it would appear that the Opry's "A" team of hosts are in town, as Roy Clark, Mel Tillis, Charley Pride and Bill Anderson will all be hosting segments. Each of the 4 are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Bill Anderson is a frequent Opry host, and we do see Mel and Charley a number of times through the year, but Roy usually makes the Opry only once or twice each year. On Saturday, they will be joined by HLN anchor Robin Meade, who has a wonderful voice and has appeared on the Opry previously. Also, Scotty McCreery is back on the Opry, as is Maggie Rose. This week's newcomer is Tate Stevens, who won the 2nd season of  "The X Factor." He just put out his 1st major label album and this will be his 1st appearance on the Opry.

Finally, there is the Opry matinee at the Ryman Auditorium on Saturday afternoon. That show will feature the Oak Ridge Boys, Larry Gatlin and Joey + Rory. As with all of the shows over the weekend, it is pretty solid for a matinee.

Friday June 7:

1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Lauren Alaina; Jim Ed Brown
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Casey James; Charley Pride
8:00: Mel Tillis (host); The Whites; Josh Turner
8:30: Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Lauren Alaina; The Whites
10:00: Charley Pride (host); Jan Howard; Josh Turner
10:30: Mel Tillis (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Casey James
11:00: Carrie Underwood

Saturday June 8:

3:00: Jim Ed Brown; Oak Ridge Boys
3:30: Chris Janson; Mark Wills
4:00: Jesse McReynolds; Kristen Kelly
4:30: Joey + Rory; Larry Gatlin

Grand Ole Opry
7:00: Roy Clark (host); Maggie Rose; George Hamilton IV; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Mel Tillis (host); Tate Stevens; Connie Smith
8:15: Charley Pride (host); Jean Shepard; Robin Meade; Opry Square Dancers
8:45" Bill Anderson (host); Mike Snider; Scotty McCreery

I will say that all 4 shows offer a great mix of legends and veterans, young artists and established stars. I think each show has something that will please everyone.

For this week's look back in Opry history, I have 2 line-ups to present. The 1st one is from Saturday June 9, 1945, 68 years ago. In many ways it is similar to the one that I posted last week which was from 1944. But I think it is interesting to look back into the Opry's history.

8:00: Purina
Bill Monroe: Kitty Clyde
Eddy Arnold: You Don't Love Me, But I'll Always Care
Curly Fox: Black Mountain Rag
Cackle Sisters: She Taught Me How To Yodel
Bill Monroe: Weary Traveler
Rod Brasfield: Jokes
Speedy McNatt: Dill Pickle Rag
Uncle Dave Macon and Doris: Give Me the Gal With the Red Dress On
Texas Ruby: Traveling Blues
Bill Monroe: Were You There?
Curly Fox and Texas Ruby: Open Up Them Pearly Gates
Eddy Arnold: I Hung My Head and Cried

8:30: Crazy Water
Paul Howard: I'm Worried About My Gal
Poe Sisters: The Best of Friends Must Part
Crook Brothers: John Henry
Lou Childre: When Lou Sings In the Valley
Clyde Moody: Home In San Antone
Possum Hunters: Billy Wilson
Whitey Carson: Roger Young
Dan Bailey: A Soldier's Grave
Gully Jumpers: Rickett's Hornpipe
Paul Howard: Hear Dem Bells
Clyde Moody: You Caused it All

9:00: Royal Crown
Golden West Cowboys: Beaver Creek
Curly Williams: At Mail Call Today
Ernest Tubb: You'll Nearly Lose Your Mind
Fruit Jar Drinkers: The Girl I Left Behind Me
Golden West Cowboys: Audience Song
Curly Fox and Texas Ruby: Hand Out the Front Door Key
Curly Williams: Georgia Steel Guitar
Ernest Tubb: Daisy May
Golden West Cowboys: Yodel Polka
Golden West Cowboys: Rocky Mountain Goat

9:30: Prince Albert
Roy Acuff: You Are My Sunshine
Old Hickory Quartette: My Tennessee Rose
Whitey Ford, The Duke of Paducah: Jokes
Tommy Magness: Wake Up, Susan
Rachel and Oswald: Foggy Mountain Top
Minnie Pearl: Jokes
Roy Acuff: We'll Understand it Better, Bye and Bye
Old Hickory Quartett: Red River Valley
Square Dance: Soldier's Joy

10:00: Wallrite
Jim Shumate: Lady of the Lake
Sally Ann: Put Me in Your Pocket
Quartette: Mother's Only Sleeping
Bill and Lester: My Old Dixie Home
String Beans: My Little Brown Jug

10:15: Weatherhouse
Curly Williams: How Was I to Know
Uncle Dave Macon: All I Got's Gone
Tommy Scott: Jokes
Happy Valley Boys: The Happy Sunnyside of Life
Possum Hunters: Forked Deer
Uncle Dave Macon: Jonah and the Whale

10:30: Cherokee Mills
Roy Acuff: There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder
Jug Band: Uncle Noah's Ark
Clyde Moody: Each Night at Nine
Roy Acuff: At Mail Call Today
Roy Acuff: This World Is Not My Home

10:45: Southern Agriculturist
Eddy Arnold: Love Gone Cold
Crook Brothers: Ole Hen Cackled
Whitey Carson: Roving Cowboys
Gully Jumpers: Arlington Breakdown
Eddy Arnold: Somebody's Breaking My Heart

11:00: Roy Acuff Song Book
Roy Acuff: Battle of Armegeddon
Roy Acuff: Radio Station S-A-V-E-D
Lou Childre: Cie Lito Lindo
Rachel and Oswald: Just Tell Them That You Saw Me
Roy Acuff: Hold To God's Unchanging Hand

11:15: Ernest Tubb Songbook
Ernest Tubb: You'll Want Me Back, But I Won't Care
Leon and Johnny: I Loved You Once
Poe Sisters: In A Little Valley Church Yard
Ernest Tubb: With Tears in My Eyes

11:30: Saf-Kill
Golden West Cowboys: I Want to Live and Love
Texas Ruby: Bring Back to Me My Wonderful Boy
Golden West Cowboys: Twelfth Street Rag
Curly Fox: Whoa, Mule, Whoa
Golden West Cowboys: If I Ever Make You Cry

11:45: Wildroot
Paul Howard: I'm Sending You Red Roses
Clyde Moody: You're On My Mind
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Going Home to Jule
Paul Howard: There's A Gold Star In Her Window
Clyde Moody: Sparkling Blue Eyes

The 2nd line-up I wanted to past is from Saturday June 9, 1984. On that night, Lorrie Morgan became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 29th year as an Opry member. I have commented before about Lorrie and her Opry appearances. All I will add on this note is that I wished she was at the Opry more often. Here is the line-up from that night:

1st show
6:30: Stonewall Jackson (host); Connie Smith
6:45: Del Reeves (host); Jeannie Seely
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Billy Grammer; Skeeter Davis; Hank Locklin; Jean Shepard
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Lorrie Morgan; Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers; Billy Walker
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); The Whites; Jeanne Pruett
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Dottie West; 4 Guys; Roy Drusky; Bill Carlisle

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); 4 Guys; Jeannie Seely; Del Reeves; Wilma Lee Cooper
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Ray Pillow
10:15: Billy Walker (host); Hank Locklin; Skeeter Davis
10:30: Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard; Roy Thackerson
10:45: Roy Drusky (host); Jeanne Pruett; Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Dottie West; The Whites; Jerry Douglas
11:30: Stonewall Jackson (host); Bill Carlisle; Lorrie Morgan

During the 1st show Lorrie sang Candy Kisses and Stand By Your Man, in honor of her father George Morgan and Tammy Wynette, while on the 2nd show she did What I've Got In Mind and Crazy. Congratulations to Lorrie Morgan on her Opry anniversary.


  1. That lineup from the 80's amazes me. You got your money's worth that is for sure.

    Missing is Grandpa Jones, Jimmy Dickens, Minnie Pearl and Bill Monroe. All must have been on the road.

  2. One wonders why the acts on the matinee can't also be on the Saturday night show.

    David B, one emendation--Minnie Pearl by that time didn't do nearly so many shows. I also remember that on "Nashville Now," they showed Lorrie's induction, with Bill Anderson having tears in his eyes as he did the honors. She was carrying flowers and Ralph Emery said, "Were those from Uncle Bill?" And she said, "No, Uncle Jimmy." Yet Jimmy C. wasn't listed on the lineup that night, but I know he was close to George Morgan, and it was quite an emotional night at the Opry.

    And I wish I had been there that night ... and especially in 1945.

  3. I know I have mentioned this before, but so many of those early shows featured not only the stars, but also the band members of the various groups. Roy Acuff's portion featured Rachel and Oswald, while Ernest Tubb featured Leon and Johnny. Also, the Poe Sisters were part of Ernest Tubb's road show for a time. And as with so many of the early Opry shows, the 1945 show featured just about as many instrumental numbers as they did singers. Times have changed.

    And just to follow-up on Mike's Minnie Pearl comment, that was the time period when Minnie started to do Ralph Emery's "Nashville Now" show on Friday nights, sometimes with Roy Acuff stopping by. After that, they would usually go over and do the Friday Night Opry. In Minnie's case, she did more Friday nights than she did Saturdays. And she was also doing some of the Opry Matinees that were taking place when the park was open.

    The only thing I can think of regarding some of those doing the Saturday matinee is that they are doing other CMA events in the evening. That could certainly be the case with the Oak Ridge Boys and maybe Larry Gatlin. But I also think they could have fit one or two of them in on the nighttime show.

    One final comment and that has to do with Mel Tillis. Talk about a guy with a heavy schedule, but yesterday he did the ROPE breakfast, where he was the featured entertainer, then he is doing both Opry shows on Friday night, the Opry on Saturday night and then hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. Not bad for someone who will turn 81 later this year. And, I might add, he's still got it!!

  4. Those shows in 1945 and 1984 didn't have an "intermission" like they do now for shorter programs - go figure !

  5. Had to smile when I saw the Cackle Sisters listed on the program. That's a name only the really "dyed-in-the-wool" fans will recall. Their name was actually Dezurik and they got that nickname from doing chicken sounds during hen feed commercials. I've got a couple of their recordings in my collection and they were very good performers and their yodeling really did sound like birds singing. I've seen where there are some YouTube posts that feature them now. YouTube is becoming a great resource for discovering a lot of the Opry's "lost history".

  6. Mel also participated in a panel discussion during Thursday afternoon's Fan Fair with Crystal Gayle, Charley Pride, Lynn Anderson, Bobby Bare and Jim Ed Brown. After the panel, Mel stayed around and signed autographs for anyone who wanted one. I went to Nashville for the ROPE Breakfast and I have to say the difference between veterans acts and the new acts is growing wider each day. At the ROPE Breakfast artists like Jean Shepard, Bill Anderson, Jan Howard, LuLu Roman, Jim Glaser, Jeannie Seely and Jim Ed Brown freely mingled with fans, signed autographs and took photos. One of the highlights was when the GREAT Mac Wiseman was introduced and got a standing ovation. Keith Bilbrey had an outstanding line when he said, "What's the point of having a Country Music Hall of Fame if Mac Wiseman isn't in it?" I had the chance to visit briefly with Mac, who I think is 87 or 88 years old, now in a wheelchair. I told him I was hoping this would have been his year in the Hall and he replied, "I'd just like to have it happen while I'm still alive." The only thing missing from the breakfast were those who were scheduled to attend that didn't make it: Stonewall Jackson, George Hamilton IV (who I was told later was under the weather but would be signing at Fan Fair on Friday), Jesse McReynolds and Jimmy C. Newman.

    I also went to Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam and for the price of $39 we got a 3 1/2 hour show FULL of country music that included Marty, Connie Smith, the Fabulous Superlatives, Bobby Bare (who got a standing ovation), the Oak Ridge Boys, surprise appearances by Jamie Johnson (who did an amazing version of Amazing Grace with the Oaks) and Mo Pitney, new artists Charlie Worsham and Brandy Clark, the Mavericks, Eddie Stubbs on the fiddle, the Grand Ole Opry Square Dancers, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys (who got a standing ovation) and 91-year old Don Maddox who is the last surviving member of the Maddox Brothers and Rose.

    As far as Fan Fair went, I paid my $10 for a day pass on Thursday at the new Music City Center which is HUGE. It took almost 45 minutes just to get inside and a couple of observations: it's been probably 10 years since I went to Fan Fair last and there were very few name artists that attended the autograph sessions then, now it's even less. I think it speaks volumes that it's the veterans who come out to meet and sign autographs with the fans (and a bunch of indie artists.) You won't find the people whose picture is on the CMA Fest program signing autographs -- no Brad Paisley, no Keith Urban, no Carrie Underwood, no Rascal Flatts, no Jason Aldean -- none. Who was signing? Bill Anderson, Ricky Skaggs, David Ball, Lynn Anderson, Riders in the Sky, the Oak Ridge Boys, Daily & Vincent, the Whites, Lorrie Morgan & Pam Tillis. Plus the excellent panel discussion from Tillis, Pride, Bare, Anderson, Brown and Gayle. What few exceptions were Lady Antebellum (which was a highly managed photo op). It was fine with me, I went to see the veterans anyway but I think it speaks volumes about the way the traditional acts feel about their fans versus the new artists. (oldtimeopry)

  7. Final couple of observations: I saw in an earlier post the comment made about how much money the Opry was charging and how much they could charge if they decided to offer preferential parking -- it's already happening -- they will valet park your car at the Ryman for $15. Oh and about the Opry Museum, I did find a lot of the former items from the museum spread out across town: a bunch of Minnie Pearl's stuff is on the second floor of the Ryman along with Patsy Cline's dresses. I would bet that more of the former Opry Museum items are in the display cases on the first floor, however, they had those covered when we went in for the Marty Stuart show because they wouldn't want to take the chance we would get to see the display cases without paying the $14 for a daytime tour of the Ryman! I also saw several of Minnie's items on loan in a display at the Hall of Fame and two of Patsy's dresses from the Opry on loan in her display at the Hall of Fame.

    Finally, I'd HIGHLY recommend that if you are in Nashville you make a point to go to the Willie Nelson museum next to the Nashville Palace. We got in free with our ROPE ticket but it would have been well worth the $8 to see clothing and displays on people like Porter Wagoner, Jeannie Seely, Faron Young, Webb Pierce, Patsy Cline, Lefty Frizzell and others -- unique piece was a suit that Lefty loaned to George Jones when he didn't have any costumes to wear of his own. The suit was apparently recently given back to David Frizzell by George's wife and they have photos of both George and Lefty wearing the suit! AND -- the new Johnny Cash Museum on 3rd Avenue is well worth seeing. Lots of great clothing and artifacts, even a reconstructed rock wall from Johnny's House.

    It was a fun two day trip but I'd have to say it was bittersweet because the Nashville I used to love and the people I loved are fading fast away. Sure there were thousands of people crammed on Broadway with their Hunter Hayes and Dustin Lynch shirts but I could bet you a dollar the majority couldn't tell you who Roy Acuff or Ernest Tubb was. It's a much different place without people like Porter, Charlie Louvin, Billy Walker, Kitty Wells, Earl Scruggs, Charlie Walker, Johnny Russell, Jack Greene and so many other Opry stars you could run into almost any time you went (in the last 10-15 years). I walked around outside the Opry House but just couldn't justify the price of the Tuesday Night Opry show when I saw so many more people I was interested in at the ROPE Breakfast and the Marty Stuart Late Night Jam.

    p.s. I not only recall the Cackle Sisters but I actually have an autographed photo from them in my collection


  8. Oldtimeopry, you may have just explained my feelings better than I ever have. I have never been to Nashville or the Opry. I long have wanted to go. But increasingly I don't, or don't feel bad that I haven't, and what you posted kind of explains why. I blew my chance years ago. What is going on now in Nashville is not the Nashville or the Opry I wanted to see. I still may go. But I feel less deprived about it right now, and more deprived for not having been able to get there in the good old days.

  9. Listened to the Saturday night Opry; it was a very good show; really wish Mike Snider would do some of his unique, funny songs, but he is also very good playing his style; missed bluegrass tonight; really appeciated what Bill Anderson said at the end of the night - that all four of the segment hosts (stars) were each members of the Country Music Hall of Fame (Roy Clark, Mel Tillis, Charley Pride and Bill). We have never gone to the Fan Fair/CMA Fest and don't believe we have really missed anything; we have attended regular Opry shows, Opry Anniversary shows, and have been to many, many concerts and music festivals and have had the opportunity to see so many performers over the years that going for the compressed week of shows and too many people could never match our other experiences (and we have great photographs and quite a few autographs as well). Another anonymous lover of real country music!

  10. Fred, Bismarck:

    Wow, oldtime, thank you for the detailed and vivid account of your two days in Nashville. Feel like I'd been there myself! It warms my heart -- and takes me back -- to know those wonderful veteran acts we have left are still mixing with the fans as they used to. May God bless them and keep them with us for a long time yet!

    Anonymous, I also enjoyed last night's Opry -- or the parts I listened to. I heard all of Roy Clark's half-hour and parts of Mel's and Bill Anderson's. I loved all the vets and thought they requited themselves well, especially Jimmy 'C' on his rousing "Jambalaya."

    Roy's voice has been shot for 25 years, but he still brings so much energy and good humor to the stage -- not to mention his musicianship on the guitar -- that it almost doesn't make any difference. I think he was excellent on "(If I Had It All to Do Over) I'd Do It with You."

    And I loved Charlie's medley at the end of his set.

    "Newcomers" Maggie Rose and Tate Stevens are at least very talented -- unlike some other invitees to the Opry -- even if to me their music doesn't come within a country mile of country. If their inclusion is what it takes to help keep the Opry going -- if -- I guess I can swallow hard and practice tolerance.

    The one jolting thing to me this time was the obnoxious drum in the Opry band. (I'm sure it's been there for a long time, but I only started listening again recently.) At least for the square dance numbers, couldn't they give us an oldfashioned standup bass? In the right hands, the bass is a treat for the eyes as well as the ears.

  11. Fred, Bismarck:

    A further thought on oldtime's Nashville visit:

    Oldtime notes that it was the vets who showed up to meet the folks and sign autographs, but the hot newer acts were no-shows. I think the latter can be seen as not only selfish but taking a lot for granted.

    The vets are short-timers; the good will they create by treating their fans like the important people they are is largely for the benefit of others -- today's hot acts and the acts that will follow THEM someday.

    They're doing it for the industry, for the business, as Ernest Tubb used to preach. As well as out of sincere gratitude to, and love for, the people who helped make them what they are.

    One day, after they've cooled off, the Jason Aldeans, Brad Paisleys, et. al., might find it worthwhile to cultivate a little good will -- for themselves, if not the industry.

    It would be fitting, when that day comes, if they showed up at something like Fan Fair only to find there were no takers -- that fans had gotten out of the habit of thinking themselves worthy of meeting their favorites in the flesh.

    THAT will be the death of the country-music experience as we've always known it, and the fault will be at the feet of those moderns who reap the benefit of the hard work of their predecessors and never "give back."

  12. Oldtime, thanks for the great detailed update. I hope you don't mind, but I would love to chime in on a couple of your comments:

    First, you are 100% right concerning the Willie Nelson Museum. I think the normal admission is around $5 and I have to tell you that it is about the best bargain in town. Some great displays regarding Jeannie Seely, Wilburn Brothers, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, The Highway Men, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, just so many. It is not very fancy but it is sure well worth the time to visit.

    Second, I have noticed with just about all the shows that I have attended at the Ryman that they cover up the main exhibits which I feel is just a shame and an example of plain old greed. You are already paying up to $50 for a ticket to the show so why not be able to see the displays? I do know that on several of the nights when the Opry is down there in the winter, the exhibits are uncovered. One more note regarding the Ryman, I have not noticed the valet parking before. I usually just pay $5 and park up the hill and walk the several blocks instead of paying up to $20 when there is an event at the Bridgestone Arena and parking is at a premium.

    Third, I have not attended the ROPE breakfast before but I have attended the ROPE October event when they give out their awards and like Oldtime mentioned, it is much like the breakfast. A fantastic deal and a real chance to meet and talk to the legends. I highly recommend any ROPE event. I read Marty Martel's press release that he did covering the breakfast and Mel Tillis's show and it goes without saying why there stars and legends are still popular today, many years after their careers have ended. They care about their fans and the fans respond in time. I know most of us have our own experiences meeting many of them and I can tell you in my case, I have never come across any of them that have been rude or impolite to me.

    Fourth, 100% agree that Mac Wiseman should have been in the Hall of Fame long ago. I might be wrong, but I do think he is the only one of the founders of the CMA that is not in the Hall. He really deserves it and I hope the voters someday agree. I don't believe that there is one legend who is up for the Hall of Fame who would object to Mac going in before they did. I know Jean Shepard has pushed his name in the past and I hope others will jump on the wagon.

    My final comments are in regards to the Opry Museum. I have said before that I thought the Museum was very nice and at no cost, was well worth the visit. The Opry really needs to do something like this. While it is nice that the items are scattered around town, it would be better if they were all in one place.

    Oldtime, again thanks for the report and I am glad you had a great time. Personally, I stopped going to Nashville in June many years ago. Not because I didn't care for the events, but just because of the crowds and how hard it is to get around town. While not like Fan Fair, it is still a great event and a great chance to see so many of the artists. Thanks again.

  13. Thank you ALL for the updates.

    I was able to listen to a good deal of the Opry last night and while some of the legends warble a bit more than they did a few years ago, they've still got "it." It's funny to hear Charley Pride mangle hosting duties. Being someone who grew up with it, he would be presumed to know how to do it, but he's also said he gets nervous being at the Opry, so I can understand it. Jimmy C. was in fine fettle, too.

    About the exhibits and the museums, I have to wonder whether any of these people ever had ECON 101. If it doesn't cost you anything to offer something, offer it. I'll never forget having an econ prof--he had been the state budget director, too--who made the point that if an airline has maybe 25 people on a flight, offer it to others at a big discount. They have to take off anyway, and they build good will. Should we hope that Warren Buffett takes over Nashville? It might be the best hope.

  14. Come on CMA,put Mac Wiseman in the Hall before he passes away.And do it soon please.

  15. Oldtimeopry: Thanks for the great report on your Nashville trip. I wanted to go to the ROPE event but usually my brother and I do these things together and we couldn't get together.

    It is a reoccurring theme here that the veterans are so kind and faithful to the fans and such troopers to keep on coming out to perform and meet all of us. Nothing you said about them mingling and meeting folks at the ROPE show surprises me.

    I eluded to this in the most recent post about Carrie Underwood but is there anyone who thinks that Carrie, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts or all the others will be out performing and meeting fans at 70 or 80. Maybe. Maybe if they are going in the HOF or something. It isn't fair to think they will all be the same but I just can't see that many of them performing at that point or interested in any fans.

    A note about the June 9, 1984 show Byron posted. My notes show that Onie Wheeler's daughter Karen was visiting that night and surprised Roy Acuff by blowing the train whistle for him during the Cannonball. I also noted that Howard Forrester had the honor of playing a real Stradivarius violin that night brought to the Opry by a friend from east Tennessee. And, I list Dan Kelly as being with Mr. Acuff on fiddle. Not sure what that was about but we know he would fill in and eventually replace Howdy after he passed.

    As others have said, thanks to all for the great information.

    Knightsville, IN