Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 9/20 & 9/21-Updated

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedules for the 2 shows this weekend and while the line-ups look pretty solid, there is nothing spectacular about them. I will say that the Opry's management was kind enough to give us 6 Opry members on Friday night and 7 on Saturday night.

As far as the Friday Night Opry, the non-members scheduled include Kristen Kelly, Wade Hayes, The Henningsens, The Willis Clan, Jim Lauderdale and Mark Chesnutt, who is probably the biggest "name" that is scheduled. Of those that I have listed, I do have to say that I enjoy The Willis Clan. There must be a dozen of them and they are very, very talented. When I was at the Opry last month, they were on the schedule and drew a huge ovation from the audience.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature several stars from the "Nashville" television show as Jonathan Jackson and Charles Esten will be making appearances. Also scheduled will be a return appearance by Sons Of Fathers, and making their first Opry appearance, American Young.

Friday September 20:
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Kristen Kelly; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: The Whites (host); Wade Hayes; The Henningsens
8:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Willis Clan
8:45: John Conlee (host); Jim Lauderdale; Mark Chesnutt

Saturday September 21:
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Morgan Frazier; The Whites
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; American Young
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Jonathan Jackson; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Sons Of Fathers; Charles Esten

You will notice no Jimmy Dickens on the schedule this weekend and there doesn't appear to be an empty slot for him to do a walk-on. Also, Jan Howard will be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.

I know that there have been further comments regarding the Opry's Birthday Bash and 2 more names were added over the past several days, Casey James and Sarah Darling. Sorry to say that these are not the big names that people have been waiting for. Perhaps over the next several days we will hear something further. I know personally that Casey was there for the birthday bash last year and didn't really impress me at all. Sarah Darling I do enjoy. Now somebody must know something because for the heck of it, I went on StubHub this evening and tickets are up for sale anywhere from $105 in the balcony up to $159 on the main floor for both the 1st and 2nd shows. What makes this interesting is that there are tickets available at face value from the Opry ticket office for both shows, including almost 3,000 available for the 2nd show. I have heard from others that it has become a problem at the Opry where people are buying blocks of tickets and reselling them on StubHub and other secondary ticket sites. I know that this goes on in the real world today, but I just hate to see it at the Opry.

The Opry has announced the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry on September 24:

7:00: Maggie Rose; The Whites
7:30: Drake White; Aaron Tippin
8:15: Jimmy Wayne; Larry Gatlin
8:45: Chris Stapleton; Restless Heart

Now for this week's look back at past Grand Ole Opry line-ups.

This one is a little more recent than some of the ones I have posted. It is from Saturday September 23, 1989, 24 years ago. There is nothing really special about this show except that it is a good representation of the Opry during that time period. The other thing that is interesting is that all of the performers that night were Opry members. A little different than today.

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
George Hamilton IV (host): Break My Mind
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
George Hamilton IV: Life's Railway to Heaven

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): Roly Poly
Jim & Jesse: Thanks For the Trip to Paradise
Charlie Walker: Take Me Back to Tulsa

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Wake Me Up, Jacob
Osborne Brothers: Ruby
Jean Shepard: Slowly
Billy Grammer: I Dreamed of an Old Love Affair/Gotta Travel On
Jeannie Seely: One Step Away from Coming Home
Porter Wagoner: Tennessee Saturday Night

7:30: Standard Candy
Del Reeves (host): Girl on the Billboard
Jeanne Pruett: I Oughta Feel Guilty
Roy Drusky: Have I Stayed Away Too Long
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel/Everytime You Leave
Del Reeves: Bad News

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: I Never Once Stopped Loving You/Once A Day
4 Guys: When You've Got A Good Woman, It Shows/How Married Are You, Mary Ann
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Gray Eagle

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Jim Ed Brown (host): Lyin In Love With You
Vic Willis Trio: Beer Barrel Polka
Jan Howard: The One You Slip Around With
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Ray Pillow: I'll Break Out Again Tonight
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me
Ray Pillow: Days When You Were Still in Love With Me
Jim & Jesse: When I Dream About the Southland/The Night Runner
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoy As Much of This as I Can Stand/You've Gotta Have A License

10:00: Little Debbie
Osborne Brothers (host): My Cabin in Caroline
Jean Shepard: I Just Had You On My Mind
Osborne Brothers: Beneath Still Waters

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Billy Grammer: Happy Birthday Donna/I Was Born in Renfro Valley/The Waltz You Saved for Me
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

10:30: Pet Milk
George Hamilton IV (host): Abilene
Charlie Louvin: My Baby's Gone
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young

10:45: BC Powder
Charlie Walker (host): Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Jeannie Seely: I'll Be Around When It's Over
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Connie Smith: Walkin After Midnight
Bill Carlisle: Oh, What A Party
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells/Send Me the Pillow You Dream On

11:30: Creamette
4 Guys (host): I'm All Tied Up
Roy Drusky: More & More
Jan Howard: Heartaches by the Number
Vic Willis Trio: Sioux City Sue
4 Guys: Wings of a Dove/My Special Angel/I've Had the Time of My Life

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. I love this lineup, but it occurs to me that a lot of people at the time, including me, might have said, well, that was nothing special--good country music, certainly. Those we think of today as legends might not have been viewed quite the same way in 1989--stars, maybe, and certainly as great country performers. But I look at this and say, the good times are really over for good.

  2. Michael, to me the difference in the shows "back then" and now is the variety/diversity of the talent, every half-hour segment in those TWO shows had tremendous talent that "stood out" - now they have one 2-hour show and the non-Opry talent just isn't the same as back then; and the Opry Members showed up, not like now; if only a few of the ones who aren't yet "legends" would be there, it would make a great improvement as well. That's who I feel they price the tickets for - not a lot of no-names - except that what we wind up watching, the no-names. We are hoping Little Jimmy Dickens is holding his energy for the Opry Anniversary.

  3. Anon, that goes to another important point. In a 2:30 show, with at least four performers per show, if you weren't thrilled with one of them, the next one would be on in about three minutes. Today, no, and I think it's a real problem.

  4. Didn't catch Friday Opry; Saturday - YAWN. Liked Jeannie, Whites, Jim Ed (although he was cut short on last song); Jean Shepherd sounded great AND two songs; John Conlee, Jan Howard, OK; Bill Anderson always great, although didn't care for "Deck of Cards" at the Opry; Charles Esten was OK (better than I expected). We don't watch the "Nashville" show so don't know much about the performers. Did NOT like Morgan Frazier, American Young, Jonathan Jackson, Sons of Fathers. Show dragged on - felt a lot longer than the 2-hours.

  5. I caught most of last night' show and I really thought Jean Shepard sounded great. Opened with Lonesome 7-7203 and was right on. The audience responded fine. Jim Ed did his usual very nice job hosting, and Jeannie Seely was fine also. I do enjoy when Bill does "Deck of Cards" only because he has the perfect voice to pull it off. I have been at the Opry twice when Charles Esten has been there, and he is a crowd pleaser and actually does have a nice voice. While I did like Morgan Frazier, I have to agree with the comments regarding American Young and Sons of Fathers.

  6. Byron.

    Thanks for posting the 1989 show. My favorite era that I got to listen to live. You notice Hank Snow missing from the lineup. He was on his second week of touring western Canada!

    Not sure who announced it on the Opry that night but my notes show that Bradley Kincaid passed away at age 94 in Ohio on 9-23-89.

    As for this weekend, Jean Shepard turned in the best performance and the crowd appreciated it.

    For those that missed Jan Howard and the Midnite Jamboree, she had Jimmy Fortune as her special guest. I'm not sure if it has been discussed here but I guess that Billy Linnemen, former staff band bass player, has been very ill the past three years. Jan had said she would not do the Jamboree until Billy could come be on the show with her. He was there last night and said at one point he spent six months in the hospital. He said he got two new legs out of the deal. Anyone know more about this?

    Knightsville, IN

  7. Jim, I had heard nothing and I don't like to speculate, but I just did a search. An old blog from late 2010 for the musicians union--Billy has long been active there--said he'd had a stroke and then a heart attack, and doctors had decided to amputate his feet to try to keep clots from forming. He was in ICU for quite a while, apparently. According to the blog, his email address at the time was billylinneman@att.net.

    When Jean introduced "Lonesome 7-7203," if I heard it right, she said this was a song by an old friend of hers. When I heard the first chords, I got a bit wistful.

  8. Mike, that was what I heard Jean say also. Threw me for a minute.

  9. another thing about Saturday night - there were NO bluegrass or any other "different styles" - it just dragged on and on; and "back in the day" when the Opry members were hosting or performing and brought out a new act, the new act usually did ONE song - if they were well received, they might have gotten a small encore or return that night and were then asked back again; we also were struck by Jean Shepard's comment about an old friend

    1. Jean was most likely referring to the late Justin Tubb, a fellow Opry member who wrote the song and would have been an old friend.

  10. Maybe, but the one who had the hit with it was Hawkshaw Hawkins, her husband, who was killed in the plane crash with Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, and Randy Hughes.

  11. I agree with Mike on this one. My first thought was to Hawkshaw, as she has done the song before on the Opry and at times has made a few comments about him. It was also the song she did during the show that remembered the 50th anniversary of the plane crash earlier this year.

  12. Chris Stapleton just sang on the Tuesday night 'Opry.
    All I can say is, WOW !