Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 11/22 & 11/23-Updated

Some changes to the Opry line-up for this weekend. The biggest is Vince Gill added to the 2nd show on Saturday night, hosting the final segment, with Bill Anderson and Jeannie Seely each moved to an earlier slot. The Whites are no longer hosting. Also on the 1st show, Jim Lauderdale has been added. Friday night changes have Austin Webb added and a few names shifting around. I guess they found someone else who will not be performing at the George Jones tribute. Line-up below reflects the changes.

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend, and the big news is Jean Shepard. It was on November 21, 1955 that Jean Shepard joined the Opry. This will be her 58th consecutive year as an Opry member, which is the longest streak by any current Opry member. (Jimmy Dickens joined in 1948, but he left the show and returned). It will also be Jean's 80th birthday and it is also her wedding anniversary.

Jean has quite a history in country music. She was the first country female artist to sell a million records in the post World War II era. She was the first to overdub her voice and the first to make a color television commercial. And she has been an Opry member longer than any other female in the history of the Opry.

Jean was born in Oklahoma and grew up in California. She was one of 10 children. By the time she was 14 she had formed an all-girl band called "The Melody Ranch Girls" who played at local dances and on local radio. One night the group played a show with Hank Thompson, who was so impressed with Jean that he arranged a meeting with Capital Records, and she was signed to a recording contract. She then moved to Springfield, Missouri and joined Red Foley on the Ozark Jubilee. She had a huge record with Ferlin Husky, "Dear John Letter" and followed that up with "Forgive Me John", both of which sold over a million copies. That led her to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry.

During her career, she has recorded more than 25 albums and has had numerous charted singles. She was married to Hawkshaw Hawkins, who passed away in the March 1963 plane crash that took the lives of Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Randy Hughes. She later married Benny Birchfield, who still plays guitar for all of Jean's Opry appearances.

Jean will be hosting a segment on the Friday Night Opry and will be appearing on the 2nd show on Saturday night. I am sure she will be recognized on her Opry anniversary.

As far as the rest of the Friday Night Opry line-up, I know many of us were wondering who would be left to play the Opry, considering that over 100 artists, many of whom are either Opry members or frequent Opry guests, will be performing at the George Jones tribute concert on the same might. We'll, the Opry did come up with a suitable line-up. Appearing will be guest artists The Steeldrivers, Sarah Darling, Andy Gibson, Elizabeth Cook and The Willis Clan, all of whom have appeared on the Opry many times. Ray Pillow will be along to host a segment. The downside is that there are only 5 Opry members scheduled.

Saturday night's Grand Ole Opry will feature the return of Opry member Bill Anderson, who is scheduled for both shows. I have mentioned before how Bill seems to have really cut back his Opry appearances. Also scheduled are guest artists The Black Lillies and Lee Greenwood. Elizabeth Cook will be back, along with this week's "Nashville" star, Charles Esten.

Friday November 22:
7:00: The Whites (host); Drake White; Sarah Darling
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); Andy Gibson; The Steeldrivers
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Austin Webb; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Elizabeth Cook; The Willis Clan

Saturday November 23:
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jim Lauderdale; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: The Whites (host); Elizabeth Cook; The Black Lillies
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jan Howard; Del McCoury Band; Orpy Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Charles Esten; Lee Greenwood

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Elizabeth Cook; Jean Shepard
10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; The Black Lillies
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Charles Esten; Lee Greenwood

For this week's look back at past Grand Ole Opry line-ups, and continuing with Jean Shepard, on November 21, 1992, Jean celebrated 37 years as an Opry member. Here is the Opry line-up and running order of the show from that night, 21 years ago:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Porter Wagoner (host); On A Highway Headed South
Jim Ed Brown: I Don't Want To Have To Marry You
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass Of Home

6:45: Country Music Hall Of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Old Blue
Skeeter Davis: The End Of The World
Riders In The Sky: How Does He Yodel
Grandpa Jones: Come And Dine

7:00: Shoney's
John Conlee (host): I'm Only In It For The Love
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore/Too Many Memories
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues

7:30: Standard Candy
Billy Walker (host): Coffee Brown Eyes
David Houston: Secret Love
Jean Shepard: I'm Just An Old Bridge That You Keep Burning
Stacy Dean Campbell: Singing The Blues/Poor Man's Rose
Billy Walker: Let My Faith Begin To Move

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Oswald: Hawaiian March
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Forked Deer
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream/Happy Cajun

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): The Wreck Of The Old 97/One More Ride
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah
Charlie Louvin & Monroe Fields: Must You Throw Dirt In My Face
Mike Snider: Foggy Mountain Breakdown/Eating Chicken Necks And Wings
The Whites: Keep On The Sunny Side
Hank Snow: My First Night Alone

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Roy Drusky: Somewhere My Love
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Porter Wagoner: An Old Log Cabin For Sale/Dooley

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Kitty Klyde
Riders In The Sky: Boots And Saddle
Grandpa Jones: It's Raining Here This Morning

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
John Conlee (host): Backside Of Thirty
Stacy Dean Campbell: Poor Man's Rose
John Conlee: Rose Colored Glasses

10:30: Randy Travis Enterprises
Osborne Brothers (host): A Pain In My Heart And Blues On My Mind
Jean Shepard: I Don't See How I Can Make It With You Gone
Terry Eldridge: Your Own Set Of Rules
David Crowe: Sally Goodin

10:45: B.C. Powder
4 Guys (host): Operator, Get Me Jesus On The Line
Mike Snider: Soldier's Joy/Angeline The Baker/Old Molly Hare
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Blackberry Blossom
4 Guys: Hand Me Over To The Twist And Shout

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): That Heart Belongs To Me
The Whites: Doing It By The Book
Charlie Walker: Who Will Buy The Wine
Justin Tubb: Thanks, Troubadore, Thanks
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter
Hank Snow: Brand On My Heart

11:30: Creamettes
Jimmy C Newman (host): Big Mamou
Charlie Louvin: My Baby's Gone
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Johnny Russell: Me And Bobby McGee
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Jean (don't call her Jeannie!) has been very clear in recent interviews on WSM that she has been on the 'Opry "longer than Jimmie Dickens."
    Her stance is that she didn't take any years off, as did little Jim.
    She's not afraid to speak her mind.
    I really enjoy her act and Her attitude!

  2. It may be worth noting that that was the last Opry lineup for which Mr. Acuff was a member. He died two days later.

    I counted 26 members on the Opry that night in 1992. Those were the days.

  3. Maybe I'm seeing myself getting older (lol, a whopping 33! ), but It's hard for me to imagine that Jean Shepard is now 80. A year older than Minnie Pearl was when she had her career ending stroke. Jimmy C. Newman is older right now than Bill Monroe, Hank Snow or Grandpa Jones lived to be and Jan Howard is well into her 80's. Bobby Osborne and Jesse McReynolds are getting along in years as well. We need to cherish the Opry right now so much, even though us traditionalists don't agree with a whole lot currently. The next few years that "Acuff" spirit could be totally gone. And frankly, that really makes me sad.

  4. Fred, Bismarck:

    Byron recalls Hank Thompson giving Jean Shepard that big boost. Jean may have made it anyway, but Hank surely speeded up the process.

    Anyway, and ONE of the reasons I'm not a big J.S. admirer:

    In TNN days Jean was guesting with Bill Anderson on the pre-Opry show. The subject of songwriting came up, and the obligatory genuflections were made toward Hank Williams. Then, Jean -- entirely gratuitiously -- took a shot at Hank Thompson, saying that, by contrast to Williams' work, Thompson's songwriting was mere wordsmithing, clever but without the ability to touch the heart.

    You can agree with this or not -- I certainly don't. But it seems strange and churlish that, of all the hundreds of country songwriters that are lesser figures than the great Williams, Jean should single out for mention on national television her one-time mentor.

    That's not just "plain-spoken," the usual accolade given Jean. That's churlish, as I say; also ungrateful to the tenth power -- I don't care how much water may have run under the bridge since Hank's helping hand.

    As long as I'm watering people off, I'll also say I think Jean is miles from deserving her place in the Hall of Fame!

  5. Fred;
    It's a mighty thin line from "telling it like it is" to simply being mean.
    Jean walks very close to that line, and I would not dispute that at times she crosses over it.
    I enjoy your input to this forum.

  6. Fred, I will admit that Jean Shepard is not my favorite country music singer and I don't own a Jean Shepard album. In fact, my favorite Jean Shepard song is a song that is not even her's, "Lonesome 7-7203. That said, I give her some slack as far as some of her comments. She is a pioneer and has gone through a lot in her life. I am sure there has been some bitterness in being overlooked as she really did set the stage for many of the females who followed her. And I know she has remained loyal to Hank Thompson, as many other artists have to those who they feel discovered them.

    But I do agree with Jean on the Opry membership. (For what it is worth, when Charlie Louvin was alive she stood up for him as being at the Opry longer than Jimmy Dickens and her). I am sure it really hurt her to hear Jimmy Dickens being introduced as "an Opry member since 1948", which is the way they used to introduce him, (in the past year, they changed the intro for him by saying that he "first came to the Opry in 1948"), while her length of time at the Opry was not mentioned. And she did stay at the Opry while many of the others did not. When you think about it, among those who have been mentioned as Opry members for 50 years or longer, Roy Acuff, Stonewall Jackson, George Jones, George Hamilton IV, Minnie Pearl, and even Jimmy C Newman left the Opry for a while.

    As far as the Hall of Fame, no she did not have the hits like many others. But she set the stage and I do feel she deserves to be in. But also, I understand those who feel she should not be. No hard feelings, but I enjoy the debate.

    1. Byron: I believe Grandpa Jones even left the Opry for a short period of time in the late 1950's, to join with Connie B. Gay in Washington, D.C.

  7. Speaking Of The Hall Of Fame Whats You Guys Predictions For The 2014 Inductees

  8. Well I agree, Fred is entitled to his opinion on Jean Shepard. I however disagree. Byron, I, like you do not own any of her albums. In fact I do not own any "albums"at all. I have purchased her iTunes and they are some of the best jewels in my collection. I love pure country traditionalism and she is 100%. She is surly the current "Grand Lady" of the Opry. Her pioneerism in Country music cannot be overlooked. Saucy ? Yes, but many of her generation were; Politics, Hollywood..etc.. That was the generation of woman who broke through the walls of sexism all over the U.S.A. Was her contributions overlooked? Yes! And too long. Her Hall of Fame induction was by far 20 years too late. But she did have peers, i.e. Porter Wagoner, Webb Pierce, Faron Young, etc., who ruffled some feathers and had late inductions as well. I believe her association with the ACS in the 1970's and her outspoken voice against the CMA was a big factor in this.

    I realize there were female singers prior to Jean; Molly O'Day, Patsy Montana, Rose Maddox, Texas Ruby, Kitty Wells, Lulu Belle Wiseman and The Carters all come to mind. But most of these acts were affiliated with a man or a group.
    Kitty's solo breakthrough in 1952 and what followed is not matched by Jean, no, or few others. But after Kitty Wells, the next female "big star" was Jean Shepard, with an honorable mention to the late Goldie Hill. And Goldie's career does not even come near to matching Jean. She then had steady success throughout the rest of the 50's, 60's and much of the 70's.

    Few woman have made the Hall of Fame; Sara & Maybelle Carter, Minnie Pearl, Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Barbara Mandrell, Jean Shepard, Reba McEntire and Connie Smith (and some non-performers). That is a short list when you look at the number of Hall of Famers overall. I personally would have put Jean in the Hall of Fame over Emmylou Harris, Brenda Lee and Connie Smith any day. But, like Fred, that is my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

  9. Patsy Montana is also a Hall of Famer. I left her out.

  10. To add to my comments, several years ago CMT had televised "40 greatest" series. Men and women. While I think their presentation of the men was very decent, there tribute to the woman was awful. Here is the list of the 40 greatest women (according to CMT):
    40. Linda Ronstadt, 39. LeAnn Rimes, 38. Barbara Mandrell, 37. K.T. Oslin, 36. Lucinda Williams, 35. Wanda Jackson, 34. Dale Evans, 33. Crystal Gayle, 32. Cindy Walker, 31. June Carter Cash, 30. Pam Tillis, 29. Lynn Anderson, 28. Brenda Lee, 27. Lorrie Morgan, 26. k.d. lang, 25. Martina McBride, 24. Anne Murray, 23. Dottie West, 22. Rosanne Cash, 21. Mary Chapin Carpenter, 20. Tanya Tucker, 19. Faith Hill, 18. Patsy Montana, 17. Lee Ann Womack, 16. Patty Loveless, 15. Kitty Wells, 14. Minnie Pearl, 13. Dixie Chicks, 12. Alison Krauss, 11. The Judds, 10. Trisha Yearwood, 9. Connie Smith, 8. Maybelle Carter, 7. Shania Twain, 6. Reba McEntire, 5. Emmylou Harris, 4. Dolly Parton, 3. Loretta Lynn, 2. Tammy Wynette, 1. Patsy Cline.

    I find it to be a total travesty that Jean Shepard was not even included, with acts like Lucinda Williams and k.d. lang, making the cut. And Kitty Wells didn't even make the top ten. Has Jean Shepard been overlooked? Yes ! . She has every right to speak out.

  11. Fred, Bismarck:

    A silly list, as you say, David -- but what would we expect from CMT? Whether compiled by the network or its viewers, it is weighted toward the newer music that CMT -- itself new -- knows. I'm amazed somebody told them about people like Cindy Walker and Patsy Montana.

    Besides Jean, conspicuous by their absence are Wilma Lee Cooper and Rose Maddox. I'd have put Melba Montgomery on there too, ahead of entries like Oslin, Williams, Lang, Anderson, Lee ... I could go on.

  12. David, thanks for reminding me how old I am!!!! Just kidding, but yes, I still call them albums. And you may find this hard to believe, but I also have 8 track tapes and CDs, along with an iPod and iTunes. It's a generational thing and I will always think of them as albums.

    I'm not surprised at the lack of women in the Hall of Fame as for much of country music's history, women were thought of as second-class citizens, nothing more than opening acts or filler for the live shows. As far as the CMT list, I firmly believe that they think country music didn't start until 1970.

  13. Fred, Bismarck:

    Byron, I wonder if most younger fans know that the "album" moniker dates not from vinyl LPs but from the book of 78 records that preceded them and constituted the first phonograph albums. They took their name from the photograph albums, so named, that became popular with Americans in the later 19th century.

    Byron, we may be getting older, but one consolation is that at least we've seen a lot of history!

  14. You bet Fred. And we will never forget some of those classic album covers and liner notes.

    On another note, for those who are interested, Jimmy Dickens was at the George Jones tribute show last night. He went up on stage for an introduction and wave. From the pictures I saw, he looked ok.

  15. I was at the George tribute, right by the stage. Yes, Tater did come on stage... he did need assistance getting up the steps and getting to the rocking chair (The chair had been out all evening, as "George's chair"). But he sat down and had the biggest smile on his face. The crowd went NUTS seeing him... he did look better than some of the pix I had seen recently. Ol' Stonewall looked in worse shape and could barely walk, needed to sit, and completely missed the part he was supposed to sing. I'm so glad the veteran Opry men group got such a huge reaction... well deserved!

    The "no shows" I found interesting... Jimmy Wayne (doesn't he always show up?), Brenda Lee (who was in TN), Reba (who said she was ill on Twitter), Gretchen Wilson, Ronnie McDowell, Lynn Anderson. It was still satisfying and a great tribute to the Possum.

  16. I read the "blog" from the Tennessean during the show; not sure if they actually covered all the names of the acts although it did seem pretty straight forward and on time - where was Wyonna? Many posted questions about it being aired or offered as a DVD - doubt it could ever be aired, just too long; DVD maybe but who gets the proceeds? George Jones did have a lot of fans and many people appreciated his interpretation of songs and the volume of music he recorded; however, he also made a lot of poor choices (just read what Nancy said in her book-yikes) throughout the years and did try to make amends later in life but I personally think that show was a bit over-the-top; and that monument they unveiled just doesn't seem like anything George would have been happy about.

  17. Last night's tribute was wonderful. Little Jimmy Dickens was one of the highlights, and as someone mentioned previously, it was quite sad to see Stonewall. He didn't appear to be doing too well.

    Some other "no shows" to mention were Tanya Tucker (Lisa Matassa filled in for her at the last moment) and Alabama. I can't say that Tanya was a big shocker. She, unfortunately, is known for that sort of thing.

    As for putting the tribute on DVD, proceeds could possibly go to the newly established George Jones Memorial Scholarship.

  18. Quite a show, from all I've read ... almost as good as the average Grand Ole Opry lineup of the 1950s.

  19. For those who listened last night, the Opry was fantastic. One of the best nights in a long time. I don't think there was a bad act at all. Del McCoury, Jim Lauderdale, Elizabeth Cook, Bill Anderson, John Conlee, The Black Lillies, Jimmy C, The Whites and Jan Howard. The 2nd show lasted until past midnight, kind of like the old days.

    1. Would you be able to please tell me what were the songs Elizabeth Cook sang on this show? I really liked the second song she sang but can't seem to find it. Thanks!!

  20. My picks for the Hall of Fame [2014] would be [VETERANS-Hank Jr., June Carter Cash,Dottie West,Archie Campbell,The Browns,The Coopers,Lula Belle & Scotty,Mac Wiseman,Stringbean] [MODERNS-Clint Black,Alan Jackson,Tayna Tucker,]

  21. Fred, Bismarck:

    Who cares about your picks?

    If you identified and told us something about yourself --your country-music background, etc. -- maybe your opinion would be of more interest.

  22. uh-oh that's the first time I have seen "attitude" on this page - there are quite a few of us who enter as "anonymous" and all have interesting ideas, thoughts, opinions, etc; please don't spoil that, love this blog

  23. Fred, Bismarck:

    Uh-oh, you don't get away with that. This "Anonymous" -- maybe you're the same person -- always enters opinions about the Hall out of nowhere, as on this post, and then does a disappearing act. If you don't have the courage to tell us a little about yourself, we're bound to write you off as a troll.

  24. LOL. The Hall of Fame subject did cross my mind the other day Fred. I'm glad I did not post. I'm pretty vocal about it as well as the first of the year comes around.

  25. no I am NOT that anonymous about the HofF - I have been on here many, many times lamenting the same as everyone else about the situation of the Opry; always mention about our going to Nasvhille (from PA) and the Opry and the Anniversary shows and our favorites - I am NOT the troll, if I remember I ID as Anonymous-PA, oh well, have a nice day - let's get back to serious stuff

  26. Fred, Bismarck:

    Gotcha, Anon. I apologize for being so crabby. I must have been listening to country radio or something!

  27. Maybe Fred you were listening to Rascal Flatts or Blake Shelton!!!! Anyways, I think all of us will have some thoughts on the Hall of Fame in another month or so. I know that the preliminary voting has been taking place.

  28. I am that Anonymous guy.I'm been listening to country music for 50 years now [I'm only 61] I'm the one who wants a mass induction for the hall of fame.Now you remember me? And I will keep hollerin' for a mass induction until that backlog gets smaller.GOT IT?

  29. What Ever Happened To That Anonymous Guy Who Always Randomly Asked About The Hall Of Fame In And He Started Every Word With A Capital Letter? I Miss Him!

  30. from "another anonymous" - missed last weekend's Opry broadcasts and for all the "talk" on this post, didn't see anything about Jean Shepard's Opry anniversary and birthday recognition - did it happen ?

  31. Could anyone please tell me what were the songs Elizabeth Cook sang on this show? I was there all the way from India and I loved it. I really liked the second song she sang but couldn't find the song. Please do let me know! Thanks!

  32. Its so nice to see that anyone would acknowledge my mom "Peggy Little" even if its just song title and artist. I love her music and miss seeing her on stage. I remember spending many nights as a kid on the back stage of the Grand Ole Opry watching her sing and many other greats, but you don't find many sights that list her and many other's the way this one does. I want to say "thank You"