Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 10/11 & 10/12

After the "big" Grand Ole Opry birthday bash last weekend, the Opry moves on with 2 more shows this weekend at the Opry House. Over all, the shows do not look that bad with the Friday Night Opry featuring guest artists, and frequent Opry performers, Sunny Sweeney, James Wesley, Sam Bush, Moe Bandy, Wade Hayes and Collin Raye. In addition, Amber Carrington from season 4 of "The Voice" will be making an Opry appearance. If that sounds like a lot of non-Opry members on Friday night, it is as only 5 Opry members are scheduled.

It is a little better on Saturday night, as there are 6 Opry members listed. Among the guests artists listed this week are Gwen Sebastian and The Black Lillies, who are always entertaining. Junior Brown makes one of his rare Opry appearances, along with Chris Carmack, who has you might suspect, has been on the "Nashville" program. Also scheduled is Joey + Rory, 2 people who I really think would make great Opry members.

Missing this weekend is Jimmy Dickens, along with Jimmy C Newman, who cancelled out last weekend.

Friday October 11:
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Sunny Sweeney; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); James Wesley; Sam Bush
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Moe Bandy; Wade Hayes
8:45: John Conlee (host); Amber Carrington; Collin Raye

Saturday October 12:
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Morgan Frazier; Junior Brown
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Chris Camack
8:15: The Whites (host); Jean Shepard; Joey + Rory; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Gwen Sebastian; The Black Lillies

As we continue through the month of October, this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history will continue to focus on past birthday shows and I have a couple of more to share. The 1st is from Saturday October 12, 1985, 28 years ago this weekend, which was the Opry's 60th birthday celebration. Here is the running order from that night:

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Juke Box/A Dime at a Time/Looking at the World Through A Windshield
4 Guys: Whiskey & Water
Del Reeves: Louisiana Legs

6:45: Rudy's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
John Conlee: The Old School
Jim Ed Brown: Morning

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Larry Gatlin: Houston/Run Away, Go Home
Charley Pride: Lovesick Blues
Raymond & Leo Duffy: Somebody Touched Me
Roy Acuff & Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Porter Wagoner & Cast: Y'all Come

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Monroe (host): It's Mighty Dark For Me to Travel
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
The Whites: I Don't Wanna Get Over You
Jimmy C Newman: My Toot Toot
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Bill Monroe: Just A Little Talk With Jesus

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Baptism of Jesse Taylor
Jeannie Seely: How Will I Stand the Pain Once You're Gone
Billy Walker: Coffee Brown Eyes
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Bill Carlisle: In The Pines
Grandpa Jones: The Sweet Sunny South

8:30: Music Valley Drive
Hank Snow (host): Bluebird
Roy Drusky: If the Whole World Stopped Loving
Wilma Lee Cooper: Honey in the Rock
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Hank Snow: I Stepped Over the Line

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Bill Monroe (host): Uncle Pen
4 Guys: How Married Are You Mary Ann
Lorrie Morgan: Crazy
Ray Pillow: Dim Lights; Thick Smoke
Larry Gatlin: Run Away; Go Home
Bill Monroe: Wayfaring Stranger

10:00: Little Debbie
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come This Far to Say Goodbye
Charlie Louvin: Near the Cross
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'/Waterloo

10:15: Sunbeam
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
John Conlee: Rose Colored Glasses
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me
Roy Acuff & Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry

10:30: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Nashville on My Mind
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
Jean Shepard & Roy Drusky: Will There Be Sweethearts in Heaven
Grandpa Jones: I'll Meet You In the Morning

10:45: Beech-Nut
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya
The Whites: The House of Gold
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Instrumental
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Why Don't You Punish Me
Osborne Brothers: Old Flames
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Justin Tubb: Thanks, Troubadour, Thanks
Charley Pride: Now & Then/Kiss An Angel Good Morning
Raymond & Leo Duffy: Cryin' My Heart Out Over You
Hank Snow: Bluebird Island

11:30: Quincy's
George Hamilton IV (host): Abilene
Wilma Lee Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Hank Locklin: Please Help Me I'm Falling
Jeannie Seely: When Your Hearts Been Stepped On
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
George Hamilton IV: The Way Old Friends Do

A very nice line-up with Charley Pride as a guest. Also, I am sure it was noticed when reading the line-up that Roy Acuff did not perform, only coming on stage to help the Opry celebrate it's birthday. On June 16, Roy had chest pains and was taken to the hospital. He spent 2 days there and doctors found a blood clot on his right lung and he was given blood thinners. It was later found that he also was suffering from anemia and diverticulitis. On Saturday September 14, Roy was on Bill Anderson's segment and announced that he would be 82 years old the next day, but he didn't sing. In honor of his birthday, WSM sent Roy and some of his friends to Atlanta where they watched the Braves play the Reds. Roy's next appearance at the Opry was on the night of the Opry's 60th anniversary, when he came out on stage, but he did not sing. He did finally return to the Opry the following Saturday night, October 19.

The 2nd line-up is from 5 years later, on Saturday October 13, 1990 when the Opry celebrated it's 65th birthday. Again, a very solid line-up for the birthday show:

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya/Cajun Stripper

6:45: Rudy's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Fools
Wilma Lee Cooper: Come Walk With Me
Jim Ed Brown: Scarlet Ribbons

7:00: Shoney's
Tom T Hall (host): Country Is
Stu Phillips: Great El Tigre
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Steve Wariner: Til I Can Come Home to You/Kansas City Lights
Tom T Hall: Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter/Bye, Bye Love/Don't Come Home A' Drinkin/I Wanna Be Free
Minnie Pearl: Comedy

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy Dickens (host): John Henry
Jack Greene: The Last Letter
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Bill Cheatham
Jimmy Dickens: What Will I Do Then

8:30: Pops Right
Hank Snow (host): Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
Billy Walker: She's A Heartache In High Heel Shoes
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Bill Carlisle: Same Old Tale That the Crow Told Me
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Jan Howard: Wind Beneath My Wings
Ray Pillow: Your Favorite Fool
Charlie Walker: Silver Dew on the Bluegrass Tonight
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jim Ed Brown: Four Walls/The Old Lamplighter

10:00: Little Debbie
Tom T Hall (host): The Year That Clayton Delaney Died
Steve Wariner: Your Love is A Precious Thing/On Life's Highway
Tom T Hall: I Love

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Loretta Lynn: They Don't Make 'em Like My Daddy Anymore/Coal Miner's Daughter
Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry

10:30: Pet Milk
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jack Greene (host): My Cherokee Rose
Jean Shepard: Why Don't You Haul Off And Love Me
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Rachel
Jack Greene: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Snowbird
Osborne Brothers: My Favorite Memory
Billy Walker: You Gave Me A Mountain
Jeannie Seely: It Should Be Easier Now
The Whites: Swing Down, Chariot
Hank Snow: Among My Souvenirs

11:30: Creamettes
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Hank Locklin: Please Help Me I'm Falling/Danny Boy
Charlie Louvin: I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow/Everytime You Leave
Jimmy Dickens: Shopping for Dresses

Certainly, the birthday weekend from this year does not measure up to either of these 2 shows.

As always, enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Even if more members would be on, to be fair, it would be hard to measure up.

    I remember the 1985 show very well because it was the first year TNN was televising. When Mr. Acuff came out with the cake, everybody went wild and Porter gave him a sweet introduction. Mr. Acuff then said his doctors said he couldn't perform. Then he was back the next week. I really do doubt that the doctors changed their minds, but he was boinging all over the place the night he came back. It also was the night that Lonzo & Oscar retired, and I felt bad that Hank Snow wasn't hosting so that he could mangle Lonzo one last time. When they were done, as they walked off the stage, Rollin Sullivan and Dave Hooten shook hands, and then Dave pulled his arm over his shoulder and they walked off together.

  2. When Lonzo & Oscar made their final Grand Ole Opry appearance on October 19, 1985, they appeared on both shows that night. During the 1st show, they appeared on Roy Acuff's segment at 7:00 and sang, "I'm My Own Grandpa" and "A Beautiful Life." Also appearing on that segment was Loretta Lynn. During the 2nd show, they appeared at 10:30 in the segment hosted by Grandpa Jones. During that segment, which also featured Jeannie Seely, they did, "Wedding Bells", "I'Can't Help It", "You Win Again", "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Cold, Cold Heart", all in a medley. My notes have it that they were on stage from 10:42-10:46. And Mike, you are right that it would have been nice if Hank Snow had hosted their final appearance as he seemed to enjoy Lonzo & Oscar more than anyone else, and yes, he did jumble the names a lot!!!

  3. Byron, the other thing is, after the big success of "I'm Movin' On," Homer & Jethro wrote a spoof and RCA wouldn't let them record it, so they gave it to Lonzo & Oscar, and they used to do it. I saw one of the 1950s performances where the end of it is, "We've got to go, here comes Hank Snow, we're movin' on," and he would come out on stage and glare at them. That would have been so perfect.

  4. We have talked about this night before so forgive me for the repeat. Remember that Lonzo & Oscar also did the Midnite Jamboree that night with Justin. I don't have all the specifics with me but I do recall that they did Hole in the Bottom of the Sea at Justin's request.

    Knightsville, IN

  5. I really wonder what Tom T. Hall's beef is with the Opry. I remember him several times hosting in the 1980's and early 1990's (as Byron has it listed here from 1990). I personally believe he would be such an added blessing to the show. Like him or not, he is a legend in the business.

  6. Lonzo & Oscar's retirement as members of the Grand Ole Opry has reminded me that for most of its history, Opry membership was not considered a lifetime commitment and Opry members tended to come and go. In fact, up until the 1960s, more members left than stayed. It wasn't until well into the 1960s that we started to see Opry members staying until they passed away.

    David, as far as Tom T, I guess you could also ask the same question to Reba, Travis and a few others.

  7. To be fair, Tom T is all but retired and has been for quite some time. He is also now approaching his late 70s and apparently enjoys life with Miss Dixie on his homestead where he has a studio that he allows young musicians to use. After a lifetime in the business I think he's entitled to enjoy his senior years away from the limelight.

  8. Fred, Bismarck:

    Tom T. was certainly one of the good ones, looming ever larger in retrospect. He was surely our best writer since Hank Williams. In his heyday, I held against him that he used no fiddle and steel ... realizing later, as my acquaintance with country deepened, that these were not mandatory accompaniments of "real country music." Altho I gotta say, my favorite Tom T. works are those two albums he cut for RCA rather late, after his biggest days ... which had, belatedly, the fiddle & steel!

    They're "Soldier of Fortune" and "Ol' T's in Town" ... and I wish somebody would hurry up and put them out on CD!

  9. I guess by now everyone has heard that Cal Smith passed on Thursday evening. Also, fiddler Jim Shumate who worked with Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs passed, I believe early on Thursday.

    Knightsville, IN

  10. Jim, thanks for sharing that. Sad days, indeed--wonderful entertainers, both. Here's Jim Shumate's obituary:

    One of my late mother's favorite songs was "Country Bumpkin," maybe because she had only one son, too. I still start bawling when I hear the song. I always think of "The Lord Knows I'm Drinkin'" with a smile because of Bill Anderson's story of how he wrote it. He and his then-wife Becky were out to dinner and having a glass of wine when they saw their minister. Bill tried to hide his alcohol and Becky kept drinking it and Ol' Whisper said something like, hey, that's our minister, and she replied, "Bill, the Lord knows I'm drinking." And ....

  11. Fred, Bismarck:

    Boy, can Jim Ed still bring it with "3 Bells," or not? Nice to hear the rousing hand he got.

    I'm an old Junior Brown fan, but wish he would lay off the kind of novelty numbers he did tonight. He has written and sung much better -- such as "Highway Patrol" and "You're Wanted by the Po-lice (and My Wife Thinks You're Dead)."

  12. Jim Shumate fiddled with Bill Monroe in 1945, and to my knowledge was the earliest-tenured Blue Grass Boy still living. That distinction now falls to Mac Wiseman, who joined Monroe in 1949. With Shumate's passing, Mac Wiseman is also the last remaining member of the first Foggy Mountain Boys lineup that recorded with Flatt & Scruggs for Mercury in 1948. Jim Shumate was a true legend and pioneer of blue grass fiddling - although unfortunately under-recorded in his prime, and therefore under-appreciated and little known today.