Thursday, July 11, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 7/12 & 7/13

Looking at the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for the past several weeks, I was beginning to think that Pete Fisher was on vacation. Last week we had legends Stu Phillips, George Hamilton IV and Jan Howard, along with Ray Pillow and Jean Shepard, who each hosted segments. This weekend we have the legendary Stonewall Jackson on the Opry schedule. As a country music fan, I am happy to see that.

As far as the line-ups for this weekend, with Carrie Underwood out on the road, we are back to 1 show each on Friday and Saturday night. The Friday Night Opry will feature the Oak Ridge Boys. I kept looking to see if the Oaks would maybe cancel as they are stepping in on Saturday night to perform a show in Canada that Randy Travis was originally scheduled to do, but so far so good. Also on Friday will be guest artists Charlie Worsham, Jim Lauderdale, Kalisa Ewing Lee Greenwood and Sarah Jarosz, all of whom have performed on the Opry before. Friday will also feature this week's Opry newcomer, Drake White. He is your basic opening act who released his first music earlier this year.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature "Nashville" star Jonathan Jackson, along with Kip Moore, The Willis Clan, Elizabeth Cook and Restless Heart. Jesse McReynolds was on the original schedule posted but has been taken off on the latest version. Jesse was scheduled for both shows last Friday night but became ill shortly before his performance and was taken to the hospital and checked out. Last I heard, everything was ok for this legend who celebrated his 84th birthday earlier this week.

Friday July 12:
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Worsham; Jim Lauderdale
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Kalisa Ewing; Lee Greenwood
8:15: John Conlee (host); Drake White; Sarah Jarosz
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Stonewall Jackson; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday July 13:
7:00: John Conlee (host); Kelleigh Bannen; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Kip Moore; Jonathan Jackson
8:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Willis Clan; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Elizabeth Cook; Restless Heart

Looking back in Opry history this week, I wanted to mention former Opry members The Glaser Brothers. It was on July 14, 1973 that the Glasers made their final appearance as Grand Ole Opry members. In fact, it was their final appearance anywhere as a trio until they reunited on January 20, 1990 for an Opry performance at Hank Snow's 40th Opry anniversary celebration. The 1990 show was their final appearance together.

Officially known in Opry circles as Tompall & The Glasers, they joined the Opry in 1959. The brothers Tompall, Chuck, and Jim first came to the attention of Marty Robbins who really enjoyed their ranch and cowboy songs. They were soon singing with Marty and for a time were in back-up group. Eventually they struck out on their own. While they never had a #1 single or album, they did record 10 albums that resulted in 9 charted singles. Most of their hits were in the period of the mid-1960s and early 1970s. Personal differences led to their break-up. For a time, Tompall was a part of the "outlaw" movement with Willie and Waylon. Jim Glaser is still active today and has made several Opry appearances over the past several years.

Here is the Opry line-up from Saturday July 14, 1973, the final appearance as Opry members of the Glaser Brothers. (and yes, that is correct-George Jones was on the Opry and hosting segments that night and joined by Tammy Wynette).

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Charlie Walker: Soft Lips & Hard Liquor
Joe Edwards: Old Joe Clark

6:45: Rudy's
Justin Tubb (host): Lodi
Del Wood: Standing Room Only
Judy Bryte: Wabash Cannonball
Justin Tubb: Texas Dance Hall Girl

7:00: Rudy's
George Jones (host): White Lightning
Tammy Wynette: Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria
Harold Morrison: Dueling Banjo
Patsy Sledd: Nothing Can Stop My Loving You
George Jones: A Picture of Me Without You
Tammy Wynette: Stand By Your Man
4 Guys: Sing Me Back Home/I'll Fly Away/Jambalaya/She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain/You Are My Sunshine/Shutters & Boards
George Jones & Tammy Wynette: We Go Together

7:30: Standard Candy
Tex Ritter (host): Fall Away
Stringbean: Cripple Creek
Willis Brothers: Cimmerron
Crook Brothers: Liberty
Tex Ritter: Green Grow the Lilacs
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of A Hillbilly Heaven

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Charlie Louvin: Funny Man
Jimmy Newman: Back Pocket Money
Penny DeHaven: This Time
Lester Flatt: The Girl I Love Don't Pay Me No Mind
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: Did You Ever
Jimmy Newman: Diggy Liggy Lo
Marty Stuart: Roanoke

8:30: Stephens
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
Mary Lou Turner: I Am Woman
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life
Mary Lou Turner: Take Me Home Country Roads
Johnny Carver: You Really Haven't Changed
Bill Anderson: All the Lonely Women In The World

2nd show
9:30: Tex Ritter (host): Boll Weevil
Willis Brothers: There Goes the Farm
Charlie Walker: The Lord Knows I'm Drinking
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Tex Ritter: The Streets of Laredo
Judy Bryte: The Wreck of the Old 97
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Tex Ritter: High Noon

10:00: Fender
Charlie Louvin (host): Will You Visit Me On Sundays
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink on Me/Rusty Old Halo
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: American Trilogy

10:15: Union 76
George Jones (host): She Thinks I Still Care
Tammy Wynette: Kids Say the Darndest Things
Harold Morrison: Dueling Banjos
Patsy Sledd: Pass Me By
Tammy Wynette&George Jones&Harold Morrison&Patsy Sledd: Let's All Go Down to the River

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Country Boy
Stringbean: Pretty Polly
Del Wood: Gloryland March
Lester Flatt & Marty Stuart: The Bluebird's Singing for Me

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bill Anderson (host): If You Can Live With It
Mary Lou Turner: The Shelter of Your Eyes
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jimmy Newman (host): Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of A Dove
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Take Me Back to Tulsa
Jimmy Newman: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
Jimmy Newman: Jole Blon

11:30: Elm Hill
Glaser Brothers (host): Release Me/She Turned And Walked Away Slowly/Many Tears Ago/You Win Again/Bouquet of Roses/There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon
Penny DeHaven: Down in the Boondocks
Glaser Brothers: Rings
Johnny Carver: You Really Haven't Changed
Penny DeHaven: The Love of Your Life
Glaser Brothers: Faded Love/Rose of Old Pawnee/Just A Girl I Used To Know/I'll Hold You In My Heart/More & More

While the Glaser Brothers only had 1 segment that night, the hosted it and pretty much sang all of their hits and the songs that were associated with them. And it was nice of the Opry to let them close out the show on their final night. Also, many of the Opry's big names were missing: Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Marty Robbins and Porter Wagoner stand out. But even without them, it was a solid line-up.

It was sad to see the Glaser Brothers end their careers so early as in my opinion, they had some of the best harmonies around and really did a great job on the ballads. While I know it won't happen, I would love to see them get together one last time.

Not to forget the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, July 16:

7:00: Chris Janson; Rhonda Vincent
7:30: Thomas Rhett; Jim Ed Brown
8:15: Jimmy Fortune; Cassadee Pope
8:45: Darius Rucker

Finally, after coming off 4 sold-out Opry performances last weekend, Carrie Underwood has been scheduled for the Opry on Saturday August 10. The Opry has added a 2nd show that night. Also on the schedule so far is the newest Country Music Hall of Fame member, Bobby Bare. I am also hearing of maybe more special surprises for that night.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend.


  1. Great to see that lineup. I guess they had made it official that they were leaving? It's sad that they had those differences. One time, I think on his website, someone asked Jim Glaser about Tompall and he said that that is a subject he does not discuss. There was a picture on his old site of him with Chuck a few years ago, and Chuck was in a wheelchair. Their final performance is on You Tube, except for the introduction where Tompall said they hadn't sung together in years and had no idea how they sounded, but Hank Snow had been their idol when they were growing up in Nebraska and when he called, they had to come.

    It was strange to see so many of the legends away. I counted 17 members between the two shows, not including whichever dance group presumably would have been there. That's a pretty low number but it was summer, when the touring was going on.

    It also was cute to Marty Stuart being spotlighted. Connie Smith wasn't there, so I guess Marty could concentrate better on his music!

  2. a little off topic, but does anyone know how to track Bobby Bare's performance schedule; I can't seem to find anything accurate on the web; unfortunately there is no way we can be in Nashville in August, thanks

  3. Some names on that 73 lineup that a lot of folks won't remember. Johnny Carver, Penny DeHaven, Harold Morrison and Judy Bryte were among the "go-to" performers that the Opry often turned to when they needed to fill out a show. I'm not sure what happened to Judy Bryte but I know Johnny and Penny are still performing. Patsy Sledd and Harold Morrison were both members of the George Jones/ Tammy Wynette road show at the time. I've got a couple of programs where they were featured on a George Jones segment. Harold Morrison, who was also a long-time member of the Wilburn Brothers television show, was a virtuoso banjo player and did some great bluegrass albums with his daughter later in his career. He always hit the stage at 100 miles an hour and was one of country music's best entertainers (not just a very funny entertainer). He and my mom went to high school together in Ava, Missouri. He was actually a classmate of her older brother. Patsy Sledd had a couple of minor hits but she's probably best know for her work designing stage costumes for Tammy Wynette and Barbara Mandrell, among others, and still lives and works in Hendersonville.

    I'm always struck when I look back at these lineups how even though many of the Opry's biggest names were missing just how good the show still is. In fact, if I counted right, there were 7 current or future Hall of Fame members on this one show. Roy Acuff always said that the Opry itself was the show and no single performer could make it or break it. Unfortunately, the current management either doesn't understand that concept or (more likely) isn't even aware of that concept. Having Jesse McReynolds out of the show last Friday left a HUGE hole that Henry Cho had to fill. I know it was last minute and there wasn't anything they could do and while I like Henry Cho, I thought 20 minutes of standup was just a bit much.

  4. Perhaps carrie underwood might be at the opry for the birthday bash in october! Cant wait to be there. Robert B, Indianapolis

  5. Barry, you are so right. Even with the "big" names gone, the Opry was still a great show. Interesting that George brought what appears to be his entire road show to appear on his segments. Mary Lou Turner of course, was touring and recording with Bill Anderson at the time. Charlie Louvin and Diane McCall had duets. And you are right in that Johnny Carver was at the high point of his career.

    As far as the hole created by Jesse McReynolds, I am with you on that one. I know it happened right as he was getting ready to go on stage, but I would have thought that they could have had other options. I don't know for sure, but there was probably enough talent backstage to have covered at least some of the spot. At least for the 2nd show.

    As far as the question regarding Bobby Bare and his schedule, I am not really sure he tours anymore. And I would suppose that if he does, the dates are rather few and far between.

  6. Byron, I wonder how many people WERE backstage. It used to be that, say, the Carol Lee Singers would get a number, but management is clearly diminishing the backup group's importance. Or with 20 performers scheduled in a 2 1/2 hour show, making a shift was no big deal. Now, with so few people performing, this is what happens, and, frankly, with all respect to Henry Cho--he isn't the problem--the audience should have been saying afterward, we want some money back.

  7. Michael brought up something I'm curious about. How many times did Connie Smith and Lester Flatt with Marty Stuart in his band appear on the same night?


  8. A.B...probably a lot. In those final years of Lester's life, Connie Smith wasn't touring and did the Opry exclusively and Lester was one of those old timers who made his quota every year. In fact, it was a written rule with his group....if they were in Nashville on a Friday or Saturday night, they WOULD be at the Opry.

  9. Mike, I looked back on the schedule for last Friday night. Jan Howard and Jim Ed Brown were scheduled for only the 1st show and Stu Phillips was only scheduled for the 2nd show. Jim Ed was originally scheduled for the 2nd show but was taken off. I think it was mentioned before that he was headed for a personal appearance on Saturday. Jan I don't know about. She may have had to leave also or wasn't asked. Stu is pretty limited on his appearances and perhaps he wasn't at the Opry House yet, was asked and said he wasn't prepared, or more likely, was not asked to step in. And with Jean Shepard hosting each of those segments, they probably were not going to ask her to do anything extra. She was already pulling a full load.

    On the other hand, you can bet if Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Lorrie Morgan, or a few more of the bigger stars, they would have kept Henry to his alloted time and had one of those do a few more songs. And yes, nothing against Henry Cho. He just happened to be the one there at the time.