Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 8/30 & 8/31

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend. Historically, Labor Day weekend does not bring out the strongest shows as many of the country music stars are out doing road dates, especially at all the county and state fairs taking place. But overall, the Opry has managed to present a line-up that is not terribly bad.

The Friday Night Opry will feature guest artists The Henningsens, Keith Anderson, Joel Crouse, Kristen Kelly and Chris Janson, all of whom have played the Opry before. Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature Opry member Lorrie Morgan, along with guest artists The Isaacs, Chuck Mead and Kristy Lee Cook, along with Tate Stevens, who will be making a return Opry appearance.

Friday August 30
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Chris Janson; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Kristen Kelly; Chuck Mead
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Joel Crouse
8:45: John Conlee (host); Keith Anderson; The Henningsens

Saturday August 31
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Kristy Lee Cook; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Grand Master Fiddle Champion; George Hamilton IV; Chuck Mead
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Tate Stevens; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); Connie Smith; The Isaacs

The host this week for the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will be my friend Anita Stapleton. Anita is an amazing singer and she appears every other week, along with Leon Rhodes, at the downtown location for a free Saturday afternoon show. Now she is getting an opportunity to host the Jamboree. I know she will do a fine job and if you get the chance, listen in.

For this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history, I go to Saturday August 31, 1996 (17 years ago this weekend), for what turned out to be Hank Snow's final Saturday night appearance on the Opry. Hank's Opry career came to a close rather suddenly, as in 1995 he made 125 Opry appearances but in 1996, he was down to just 5, with the August 31 date being his only Saturday appearance. Hank did the Opry the following Friday September 6, but cancelled out on Saturday September 7. He was also scheduled the following weekend but cancelled those appearances and that was the last time Hank was scheduled to do the Opry. Hank had been an Opry member since January 7, 1950 and died just short of 50 years as an Opry member. I know I have said it before but Hank Snow was/is my favorite Opry member of all time. (And yes, Roy Acuff is a close 2nd).

I know I print this line-up each year, so some of you may have seen it before, but for those who have not, or if you would just like to remember a memory, here is the Opry line-up from Saturday August 31, 1996, Hank Snow's final Saturday night Grand Ole Opry appearance:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Mike Snider (host): Tennessee Rhapsody/Cotton-Eyed Joe
Bill Carlisle: Rusty Old Halo
Mike Snider: Shuckin' The Corn/Foggy Mountain Chimes

6:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Grandpa Jones (host): Ol' Blue
Jan Howard: My Heart Skips A Beat
Grandpa Jones: Gooseberry Pie

7:00: Shoney's
Johnny Russell (host): Good Hearted Woman
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Jean Shepard: Let's All Go Down To The River/I Saw The Light/Will The Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/Somebody Touched Me
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells/Looking Back To See
Johnny Russell: Act Naturally

7:30: Standard Candy
Jeannie Seely (host): Burning That Old Memory
The Cumberland Boys: Nothing But Love
Ray Pillow: She's Doing It To Me Again
Margaret Whiting: I Can't Help It
Opry Square Dance Band: Durang's Hornpipe
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water
Del Reeves: Got A Little Bit Of Heaven On Earth
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Porter Wagoner: The Cowboy Hat
Porter Wagoner & Kristi Lynn: Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): In The Misty Moonlight
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream
Stu Phillips: Colorado
The Whites: Pins & Needles
Connie Smith: Then And Only Then
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me Of Me

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Tell Her Lies And Feed Her Candy
Brother Oswald: The Girl I Love Don't Pay Me No Mind
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou/Texacajun
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name/Freight Train Boogie

10:00: Massy Ferguson
Grandpa Jones (host): Fifteen Cents Is All I Got
Stonewall Jackson: Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Grandpa Jones: Any Old Time

10:15: Opry Book
Jean Shepard (host): I Thought Of You/It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels/You Win Again/A Dear John Letter
Roy Drusky: Waltz Of The Angels/One Day At A Time
Jean Shepard: A Phone Call Away

10:30: Purnell's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
The Cumberland Boys: Today I Might Be Going Home
Jim Ed Brown & Kristi Russell: Lyin' In Love With You

10:45: Fairfield
Mike Snider (host): Lonesome Road Blues
Opry Square Dance Band: Ragtime Annie
Mike Snider: Battle Cry Of Freedom/Get You Hand Off My Knee And Load The Cannon

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Del Reeves: I Would Like To See You Again
Connie Smith: Amazing Grace
Charlie Walker: Who'll Buy The Wine
The Whites: He Took Your Place
Hank Snow: I Almost Lost My Mind

11:30: Loreal
Johnny Russell (host): Red Necks, White Socks & Blue Ribbon Beer
Stu Phillips: Blue Canadian Rockies
Jeannie Seely: Bubbles In My Beer
Ray Pillow: Someone Had To Teach You
Colleen Walters: Walkin' After Midnight

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. sorry, ho-hum; too many guests I have never heard of. . . .bring back the 80's, 90's and
    even early 2000. . .

  2. Doesnt sound to encouraging about Little Jimmy Dickens. Me and my brother were there in april when he made his last unscheduled apperance. Hope it wont be his last. Maybe god will bless him with improved health. I will be there for the birthday weekend shows in October. Hope they can do a little more star power than just Kathy Matea. Robert B,Indianapolis Ind

  3. Byron, I confess, Hank Snow would be my favorite, too, as much as I loved Mr. Acuff and still love Jimmy C. I admit to being sad that I only got to hear him introduce Lonzo & Oscar once, because Oscar always laughed about how Mr. Snow just couldn't say Lonzo to save his life. What a career he had! I remember reading an article about some Soviets visiting the Opry and one asking him if he could get one of his albums and Mr. Snow said, "Which of the 104 would you like?" I thought, whoa.

  4. Fred, Bismarck:

    Great minds think alike; I think I've mentioned before that my Top Two are Hank and Roy ... only, I flip their order, in the closest of calls.

    Michael, I have learned the fallibility of my memory, so I am ready to credit your account of Hank's inability to pronounce Lonzo's name, even as I can't remember it for the life of me. What sticks in my mind is his pronunciation of "Oscar," which coming at the end of his introduction received the emphasis:

    "Please welcome ... Lonzo and OS-CAH!" Or thereabouts.

    Do you suppose that one day, when we are old and gray -- in my case, when I am older and grayer yet -- people will be sticking a microphone in our faces to harvest these jewels of memory?

  5. I personally give my No. 1 spot to Mr. Acuff. To me he was the Opry for many years. There is a youtube video of Gary Morris, Suzy Bogguss and Alan Jackson doing a tribute to Hank Williams on TNN in the last days of Roy Acuff's life (1990 or 1991). The crowd (seemingly young) had no idea that Mr. Acuff was backstage and coming out to perform the last number "I Saw The Light". When the stage door opened and he was led out by Gary Morris, the young crowd went 'nuts' for a 88 or 89 year old man. He was the staple - and all ages knew that.

  6. Fred, you're right about Oscar's name. Mr. Snow used to say, "Friends and neighbors, Alonzo and Os-cuh." Then it became, "Munimunimun and Os-cah." But they were also Billy Wogger and Cholly Wogger.

    David, I know what you mean, and I kind of think of Mr. Acuff as bigger than anybody and thereofre beyond comparison.

  7. What Lonzo and Oscar memories. And of course, Lonzo & Oscar seemed to appear on Hank's segments more than others.

    Regarding the Friday Night Opry, Chuck Mead is off, and Bobby Osborne has shifted to the 2nd segment. Looks like Chris Janson gets numerous songs tonight.

  8. We'll my luck. Jimmy Dickens made it back to the Opry tonight and I missed it!!!! I can say that I was shocked when I got a call from one of my very loyal readers and great Opry friend Lindy (I hope he doesn't mind that I exposed him), who was listening and heard it. He said that Jimmy did "Family Reunion" and sounded rough singing it. He did thank those at Vanderbilt who helped to treat him.

    This is good news. The Opry needs Jimmy Dickens and you can count me as one of the ones who was surprised that he made it back to the Opry.

  9. Glad I read your post - we listen to the Opry in Colorado via XM radio - and we were able to catch Jimmy Dickens !!

  10. I listened to Jimmy's performance again on the Sirius replay and he was little rough around the edges, but I would imagine he has went from not be able to sing at all... to being able to sing again. I am actually surprised he was able to sing in public this quick. I applaud him for putting the work in and going thru what he has went thru to get back on the Opry. His radiation treatments started the first week in July and lasted for 3 weeks so it has been a little over a month since he finished up. Amazing he can sing at all and I'm sure if he is able to sing on a more regular basis again, he'll soon be back to what he was last year when he last sung on the Opry. Without question, the highlight of this weekend's shows. Congratulations, Little Jimmy!

  11. I heard it Byron: I was only expecting jokes. So glad he has made it back, but as has been said, has a long road ahead.

  12. The Potato comes from that generation that would go out there on a gurney if necessary, so I'm sure he got back as early as it was possible for him to be there. I was thinking of Mr. Acuff's last performances, and Mr. Monroe doing a show coming directly from the hospital. I suspect that for his sake, it's good for him to be there.

  13. Fred, Bismarck:

    Right you are, Michael. There could be nothing more rejuvenating for an old trouper like Jimmy.

  14. Tuesday's show:

    Members: Terri Clark, Riders in the Sky, Bill Anderson, Mel Tillis

    Guests: J.T. Hodges, Suzy Bogguss, Dailey & Vincent, The Willis Clan