Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 11/15 & 11/16

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 3 shows this weekend as they continue the winter run at the Ryman Auditorium. The shows this weekend will feature the Opry's newest members, Old Crow Medicine Show, who will be performing on all 3 shows. This will be their first appearance since becoming Opry members.

On Friday Night, Old Crow Medicine Show will be joined by a group of guest artists who are no strangers to the Opry's audience. Craig Campbell, Daryle Singletary and Chuck Wicks will be among those appearing, along with one of my personal favorites, Joey+Rory, who I have said would make good Opry members.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will also feature the Charlie Daniels Band, appearing on both shows. They will be joined the guest artists The Greencards and Greg Bates. And this week's Opry performance by a star from the "Nashville" show will be Jonathan Jackson. I personally do not watch the show, but I have read where the ratings are down. It will be interesting to see how long the city of Nashville and Ryman Hospitalities continue to pump money into it.

Friday November 15
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Craig Campbell; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: The Whites (host); Daryle Singletary; Joey+Rory
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Amber Carrington; Chuck Wicks
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Old Crow Medicine Show

Saturday November 16
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Greg Bates; Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); The Greencards; Jonathan Jackson
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Charlie Daniels Band; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Connie Smith (host); Old Crow Medicine Show

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Greg Bates; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: Riders In The Sky (host); The Greencards; Jonathan Jackson
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Charlie Daniels Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Connie Smith (host); Old Crow Medicine Show

7 Opry members on Friday Night, while we have 8 for the 1st show on Saturday with 7 on the 2nd show. The Whites and Connie Smith continue to be placed in the role of hosting segments. Both Connie and The Whites continue to get more comfortable in that role.

I was also noticing how the Opry has booked the veteran members this weekend. Jim Ed Brown and Jeannie Seely are on all 3 shows, hosting each night. Jean Shepard is on 2 of the 3 weekend shows, while Jimmy C Newman, Jesse McReynolds and Bobby Osborne each received 1 slot.

The Opry has also announced the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry , which will also feature a Tuesday afternoon matinee. The big, big news is the return of Hal Ketchum to the Opry. He is scheduled for both shows and this will be his first Opry appearance since the one appearance he made in 2010. Hal has been battling some health issues and many of us wondered if he would ever come back. Also appearing on both shows will be Opry members Larry Gatlin and Diamond Rio.

Tuesday November 19
3:30: Larry Gatlin; Mandy Barnett
4:00: Jeannie Seely; Hal Ketchum
4:45: Joel Crouse; The Grascals
5:15: Jim Ed Brown; Diamond Rio

7:00: Larry Gatlin; Joel Crouse
7:30: The Grascals; Hal Ketchum
8:15: Mandy Barnett; Henry Cho
8:45: Dustin Lynch; Diamond Rio

For this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history, I wanted to follow-up on the line-up that I posted last week that featured the final performance on the Opry by Stringbean. This week I want just offer a few comments from the show  the week following his death, November 17, 1973. I know that last week on WSM they played what I think was the first hour of the 1st show, which began with a tribute from Bud Wendell. Tex Ritter hosted the 1st segment, which was appropriate considering that he had hosted the segment the previous week that featured Stringbean's final performance. During the 1st show, Roy Acuff hosted his segment but did not perform. He did sing on the 2nd show. As you would expect, Grandpa Jones did not appear. And finally, some of the song selections from that night reflected the sorrow that many of the Opry's members felt. It took the Opry a while to get over the Stringbean tragedy.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Mandy Barnett's new album, a tribute to the writings of Don Gibson, is simply awesome. Her, Teea Goans, Amber Digby, Justin Trevino any many other 'real country' talents are being overlooked by mainstream radio, and it nothing short of a travesty. If we had Acuff, Snow and Tubb back, I firmly believe they would ask management to send Blake Shelton and his cronies packing and let these young real country entertainers have a stab at Opry membership. Barnett has certainly paid her dues to merit it, being ready for Fischer at a moment's call at times.

  2. Mandy Barnett hosted Channel 56 Roadhouse on Sirius/XM on Thursday, 12-2, and she was excellent. She had great commentary, played a nice mix of music as well as promoting her new CD and then did 3 "LIVE" songs with accompaniment. How many artists can you think of that would (and could) do that? She is a talented lady. Have loved her since we saw her in the first run of Always Patsy Cline.

  3. David, you make a great point: the old-timers did have power. Not all of them: Bill Monroe tried his best (or worst) to keep Flatt & Scruggs off the Opry, but Martha White took care of that. But there are stories of them pushing for new members or going after management. And I have often wished some of today's members who might have clout would use it. Yes, some of them have pushed for members to be named (I am pretty sure that Marty Stuart played a role in getting Oswald finally made a member, for example). But not enough.

  4. Fred, Bismarck:

    What a rousing debut by Old Crow Medicine Show last night! Eddie Stubbs placed them in just the right context for the crowd -- "old-time stringband music ... brand-new material in the old style" ... and Old Crow took it from there with four barn burners.

    The reception was enthusiastic, and I wasn't surprised. I think Old Crow is just the medicine the Opry needs at this point: comparative youth, high energy, COUNTRY musicianship.

    May this be the beginning of a long association! Now, if we can just hear and see them at the Opry often enough ...

  5. Fred, I agree. Old Crow tore it up last night. And it was nice to see the Opry give them the extra time. The show ran over by about 20 minutes. And you could really hear the crowd getting into it. Yes, the appear to be a fine addition to the Opry.

  6. Chuck Wicks almost totally destroyed the show. His lack of appreciation for the 'Opry was stunning. Bass player "caught in traffic?" Really.?.?...
    Old Crow saved the show big time. Crowd ate 'em up, and Jim Ed Brown once again showed his class by letting them close out the show.
    Totally agree on Mandy Barnett. What does it take for Pete Fisher to ask her to join? All ages enjoy her and her music. She's earned her membership!

  7. The interesting thing about Mandy Barnett is that even though they will not ask her to join the Opry, her last 2 albums, "Winter Wonderland" and "Sweet Dreams" were produced by Steve Gibson, who is the music director at the Opry. The CD's were also released on the Opry Music label, which is a division of the Grand Ole Opry. The executive producers of her CD's were Steve Buchanan and Pete Fisher. So even though not a member, her music is recorded and produced by the Opry.

    While Mandy is not an Opry member, her appearances this year will again be more than about two-thirds of the Opry's cast.

  8. Just bought Mandy's Don Gibson album, wasn't sharp enough to pick up on the 'Opry/Fisher connection.

  9. Fred, Bismarck:

    Wow for Old Crow again last night! Their take on "Marching through Georgia" was incredibly moving, I thought, as well as rousing. And again they brought the house down. I'm no doubt getting carried away, but could addition of Old Crow to the cast be a turning point for the Opry? Another few groups like that -- I would nominate Carolina Chocolate Drops, for starters -- and they would have to be groups that show up! -- and we could have something like our old Opry back.

  10. Loved Connie singing with ocms!

  11. The 'Opry is in dire need of help.
    I hope (and pray if that's OK) that Old Crow appears OFTEN and turns this thing called the Grand Old 'Opry around. I haven't felt as good about the 'Opry for long time as I felt Friday night when they blew the place away.
    Throw in Mandy Barnett, Daily and Vincent, Rhonda Vincent, Grascals, and a few other crowd pleasers, and it may not be too late.
    Does Pete Fisher not listen to the crowd's response?
    Keep bringing on these "cool guys," with zero personality, and I'm afraid it will be a very cold day in a very hot place when I pay the increased ticket prices recently announced.
    I'm with you Fred. It's not too late, and no, I don't think you're getting carried away.

  12. Nat Hill IV - agree with you 100%

  13. Grascals appear for the 151st time tonight on the 'Opry.
    What does a group have to do to get an invitation to actually belong?????

  14. I am listening tonight and they are sounding very good. Of course, the Opry is probably thinking why make them members when they appear whenever we need them? And that of course, brings us back to one of the problems with the Opry. Many of the members rarely appear while several of the guest artists appear often.

  15. I know it has been several years since Hal Ketchum has appeared on the Opry, so I was very interested in listening tonight to see how he sounds. It is hard to believe that he will be an Opry member 20 years as of January. He sounds great, but you can tell his voice has aged a bit. Based on what I think are recent pictures on his website, he is looking good. He has aged but so have all of us. He did have a message on his website that he is out doing some shows and his health is good and he thanked everyone for their concerns.

    I always thought that Hal was a good segment host and he did that quite often during the 1st half of the 2000's.

  16. I had been traveling and couldn't listen, so I'll check the archives. I hope Hal Ketchum is indeed feeling well and will do the Opry more. He "gets it."