Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 7/26 & 7/27

When I looked at the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this weekend, the first thing that came into my mind was that these are the type of line-ups that I like to see, and what helps to make for a good weekend at the Opry. There is so much variety in the 2 shows this weekend, that there is something to please everyone.

The Friday Night Opry has a good solid line-up of 14 artists including guest artists Kim Richey, Chuck Wicks and bluegrass veterans The Grascals. If that is not enough, the legendary Gene Watson will be featured, along with the popular Larry Gatlin. Mike Snider will be on with his comedy and instrumental skills and Hall of Fame members Bill Anderson and Jean Shepard will entertain. Throw in a legend or two, and the show is ready to go.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature Hall of Fame member Vince Gill, performing with his fellow Time Jumper's member Paul Franklin. They will be featuring music from their new album, "Bakersfield", which is a tribute to the great Bakersfield sound. I have heard cuts of the album, which comes out this weekend, and it sounds like a winner. Also appearing, and promoting their new album, will be Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tills, who have been touring together. Bluegrass will be featured with Bobby Osborne and Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers. Joe is from southern Ohio and owns a group of classic country radio stations and he has a fine group that I have seen perform before. The western sound is covered with Riders In The Sky, young Elizabeth Cook will feature her honky-tonk style and Connie Smith and George Hamilton IV are also on the schedule. All in all, a good weekend at the Opry.

Friday July 26:
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Chuck Wicks; Jim Ed Brown
7:30: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Mike Snider; Kim Richey
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; The Grascals
8:45: Larry Gatlin (host); Mandy Barnett; Gene Watson

Saturday July 27:
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Elizabeth Cook; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Lorrie Morgan & Pam Tillis (hosts); George Hamilton IV; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Billy Yates; Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Paul Franklin; Connie Smith

A few people have asked if I have heard any additional news on Jimmy Dickens. I have not so I hope all is as well as can be expected. Also, Jesse McReynolds was on the original schedule for this weekend and he has been taken off. I know he has missed the last several weeks so hope all is well with Jesse.

Enjoy the shows.


  1. Fred, Bismarck:

    Following up on remarks of a couple of weeks ago on Opry guests Carolina Chocolate Drops, I'd like to report that I bought one of their albums -- "voting," Emmylou Harris-style -- and I think it is terrific.

    The one I bought is "Dona Got a Ramblin' Mind." They've got 3 others out there, which I will promptly buy.

    A cautionary note: This is old-time country music, vintage 1920s -- but done by vibrant young new singers, in the best sound. It's not for those who think country is Reba McIntyre or Dottie West.

    It's only the real deal.

  2. Fred, Bismarck:

    I shoulda said, singers and MUSICIANS. This is basically a fiddle album, with vocals (and guitar, jug, harmonica, etc.).

  3. from PA anonymous: very much agree about this weekend's line-up; a good variety of great entertainers - this is what we hope for when we go

  4. Wish we could be there Friday! Will be listening from home in Iowa. Next Nashville trip will be in November for Opry at the Ryman. We've had good luck that past several years with the lineups for the shows in November. Especially around CMA Awards show week.

  5. Fred, Bismarck:

    Caught the Riders' opening segment tonight. How wonderful ... like the good old days! Elizabeth Cook (my first listen to her) was fine, as was Jimmy 'C,' as always. (One suggestion for Jimmy: Why not give 'Cry' a rest and give us instead another of your early chart busters, 'Daydreaming'?)

    The Riders are true entertainers, giving us wit along with the wonderful cowboy music. Jimmy as "half alligator and half human" was a dandy!

  6. from PA anonymous: Friday night show was very good; love Jeannie Seeley but she TALKS TOO MUCH. Listening to Saturday night right now; good so far; ditto about Riders. WOW, Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis - promoting their new album - they did 4 songs - that doesn't happen very often. They are good hosts - excellent stage rapport, BUT 4 songs - would have loved George Hamilton IV to have had another one. Wonder when they will be back - ha ha. Here comes Bill, always love him. Waiting on Vinnie :-)

  7. A couple of observations after listening to the Opry tonight:

    Fred, I agree with you in your comments on Jimmy C. But my concern is that Jimmy can't hit the notes on "Cry" anymore and it just doesn't sound good. I am glad he is getting 2 songs, and his Cajun songs are always great. But like you, it is time to give us something else. Maybe a real look back and do "Six Days on the Road."

    It is a tough call as the entire Opry was great tonight, but I thought that the Pam Tillis/Lorrie Morgan segment was the best of the show. I didn't catch the name of the duet they did at the beginning, but it sounded like a winner to be. George Hamilton IV and Bobby Osborne did their usual great jobs, even if Bobby did do "Rocky Top" again for what seems like the 500th time in a row (just kidding).

    I listened to the show tonight on my tablet, which I usually do not do as I go with either the radio (the old-fashioned way) or my I-Pod. I don't know if it was the tablet, but going back to a comment that I think someone made about 6 months ago, many of the singers sounded "flat". Bobby Osborne, George Hamilton and Bobby Osborne in particular. Even the Riders sounded off. Like I said, I thought someone said the same thing before and it just didn't hit me until tonight.

    And finally Fred, Elizabeth Cook is the real deal. Just my opinion.

  8. I didn't get to listen tonight, but I did want to say, I like Elizabeth Cook when I hear her and wish I could have heard Lorrie and Pam. It's funny that Byron mentioned Jimmy C. doing "Six Days on the Road," which he did on one of the transcriptions that WSM runs on Saturday nights. His publishing company owned it. He offered it to Stonewall Jackson, who turned it down, as did Johnny Cash, and they gave the same reason: concern about referring to "little white pills." Jimmy once said on Nashville Now and Ralph Emery said, "CASH didn't like that?" And Jimmy chuckled and said, "Yes, that was strange." Anyway, he said that he then went to Dave Dudley with it and said, "I would love to do it, but I can't sound like a truck driv-AIR." I would add that Jimmy isn't hitting those notes, but in one month, he'll hit his 86th birthday, and it's incredible that he can still do as well as he does (I'm not suggesting Byron was being critical).

  9. Fred, Bismarck:

    Agreed that Jimmy 'C' can still bring it on the Cajun numbers. Another argument for him doing 'Daydreaming": It has an "AAA-EEE" written right into it!

    Another old Jimmy 'C' I'd like to hear him do again is "DJ for a Day," giving it that good moan.

    I like it that Jimmy still sings nice and loud, even if he doesn't always hit his notes. Reminds me of ET's fearless approach toward the end. When he missed, he just gave you that big grin, and it was all good.