Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Grand Ole Opry 11/29 & 11/30

The Grand Ole Opry has gotten a head start on the Thanksgiving day weekend and has posted the line-ups for the 2 shows this weekend. After going with 2 shows at the Ryman on Saturday nights for November, the Opry is back to 1 show this weekend and then resumes the 2 shows next Saturday night.

Overall, the quality of the shows is not that bad, considering that it is the holiday weekend. The Friday Night Opry is highlighted by Opry members Vince Gill and Mel Tillis. They will be joined by Ray Pillow, who is hosting for the 2nd week in a row. Guest artists Kalisa Ewing, The Willis Clan and Restless Heart are also scheduled.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will feature guest artists Guy Penrod, The Grascals, Jimmy Wayne, Chuck Mead, T.G. Sheppard and J.T. Hodges. If that sounds like a lot of guests, that is because there are just 6 Opry members scheduled. We should be grateful that we get 8 members on Friday Night.

Friday November 29
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Kalisa Ewing; Mike Snider
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Willis Clan
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Restless Heart
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Janelle Arthur; Mel Tillis

Saturday November 30
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); J.T. Hodges; Mike Snider
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); T.G. Sheppard; The Grascals
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy Wayne; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys; Guy Penrod

Interesting that the Opry decided to go with Ray Pillow hosting a segment on Friday night instead of Mike Snider. Based on past history, you would have expected Mike to have hosted. I have noticed that Mike has reduced his Opry appearances over the past several months. Makes you wonder if he is on the "outs" with Pete Fisher.

Sometimes it is hard to follow some of the dates and appearances that have taken place in the history of the Grand Ole Opry, but the best that I can determine, it was Saturday November 27, 1971 that Margie Bowes made her last appearance as a member of the Opry. Margie would return to the Opry on occasion, especially at the annual Old-Timer's Nights, that took place at the Opry. She was always well received and continued to impress the Opry audiences.

In the 1969 edition of the WSM Grand Ole Opry History Picture Book, Margie is described as "an animated, effervescent young singer whose lively presence has sparkled the Grand Ole Opry for little more than a decade". Margie came to Nashville from Roxboro, North Carolina and was the 1958 winner of the Pet Milk Grand Ole Opry talent contest and became an Opry members shortly after. During Margie's career, she had a number of chart records, with her best being "Poor Old Heartsick Me", which reached #10 on the charts. She also has written a number of songs, including "When Dreams Go Out of Style", which was recorded by Loretta Lynn. Margie was married for a time to Doyle Wilburn. Since leaving the Opry, Margie has continued to live in the Nashville area and worked in the medical field.

Here is the Opry line-up from Saturday November 27, 1971:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
4 Guys (host): Let The Sun Keep Shining
Stringbean: Ruby
Margie Bowes: Understand Your Gal/Big City
4 Guys: Shenendoah

6:45: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): This Train
Ernie Ashworth: Sad Face
Del Wood: Raggin' The Keys
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Couldn't Care Less

7:00: Luzianne
Charlie Louvin (host): I Don't Love You Anymore/Think I'll Go Somewhere And Cry Myself To Sleep/See The Big Man Cry
Earl Scruggs Revue: Lonesome Reuben
Grandpa Jones: Old Blue
Jack Barlow: Birmingham Blues
Charlie Louvin & Diane MCCall: I'm Gonna Leave You
Earl Scruggs Revue: You Ain't Going Nowhere
Grandpa Jones: Eight More Miles To Louisville
Jack Barlow: It Ain't No Big Thing
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me On Sundays

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: Safe In The Loving Arms Of Mine
Merle Kilgore: Ring Of Fire
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Oswald: Southern Moon
Jean Shepard: Just As Soon As I Get Over Loving You
Merle Kilgore: Honky-Tonk Man
Roy Acuff: I Saw The Light

8:00: Martha White
George Morgan (host): Easy Lovin'
Skeeter Davis: One Tin Soldier
Archie Campbell: Comedy
George Morgan: The Gentle Rains Of Home
Louie Roberts: Sandy
George Morgan: Candy Kisses

8:30: Stephens
Wilburn Brothers (host): Roll, Muddy River
Peggy Little: Little Henry Hurt
Jay Lee Webb: She's Looking Better My The Minute
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking In My Sleep
Wilburn Brothers: The War Keeps Dragging On
Peggy Little: Son Of A Preacher Man
Jay Lee Webb: The Happiness Of Having You
Wilburn Brothers: That She's Leaving Feeling
Ed Hyde: The Grey Eagle

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Doin' My Time
Margie Bowes: Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Louie Roberts: Come Back, Salina
Harold Weakley: Almost Persuaded
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Turn Your Radio On
George McCormick: Big Wind
Stoney Cooper: Back Up And Push

10:00: Fender
4 Guys (host): Over On The Other Side
Stringbean: Train 45 Heading South
Jack Barlow: Child Bride
4 Guys: Let There Be Peace

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Earl Scruggs Revue: Paul And Silas
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Howdy Forrester & Earl Scruggs: Sally Goodin

10:30: Trailblazer
Charlie Louvin (host) w/Diane McCall: Something To Brag About
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Klide
Del Wood: Beer Barrrel Polka
Charlie Louvin: I Placed A Call To My Conscience

10:45: Beechnut
George Morgan (host): Easy Lovin'
Jean Shepard: Safe In The Loving Arms Of Mine
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
George Morgan: The Last Letter

11:00: Coca-Cola
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Skeeter Davis: One Tin Soldier
Merle Kilgore: Woverton Mountain
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Phil Campbell: A Thing Called Love
Skeeter Davis: Love Takes A Lot Of My Time
Sam McGee: Under The Double Eagle
Merle Kilgore: Folsom Prison Blues

11:30: Elm Hill
Wilburn Brothers (host): It Looks Like The Sun's Gonna Shine
Peggy Little: Little Henry Hurt
Jay Lee Webb: The Happiness Of Having You
Wilburn Brothers: The War Keeps Dragging On
Peggy Little: My God Is Real
Jay Lee Webb: Heart Over Mind

Finally, another date that I want to mention is November 28, 1992, which was the night Marty Stuart joined the Opry. This will be his 21st year as an Opry member. Marty joined the show the week following the death of Roy Acuff, whose name was mentioned a lot that night.

While just a member since 1992, Marty has been around the Opry for many years, as he was part of Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass. After that, he was part of Johnny Cash's band and then in the 1980's, he signed a deal with Columbia Records and he was off and running. He had a number of hits including "Hillbilly Rock" and "Tempted", along with several duets with fellow Opry member Travis Tritt. While his hit making days have ended, he has made several fantastic albums on his own label, Superlatone Records, and since 2008 has had a hit series on RFD-TV, "The Marty Stuart Show." He claims it is the highest rated series on the network and they are starting to film a new season of shows.

One item that I find interesting with Marty is that he occupies a dressing room at the Opry that previously belonged to three of his heroes. As Marty said, "It's a special room. This room was originally occupied by Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours, then Marty Robbins, and then Porter Wagoner had it. They've given this room to me and the Superlatives now." The dressing room is filled with many pictures and posters of his heroes and is a sight to see. My only wish is that Marty was in that room more often

Here is the line-up from Saturday November 28, 1992, the 1st Opry show after the death of Roy Acuff and the night Marty Stuart joined the Opry.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Boxcar Willie (host): There's Nothing Like A Good Old Country Song
Mike Snider: (?-Instrumental)/The Fur Coat
Boxcar Willie: The Great Speckled Bird

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Nashville On My Mind
Jim Ed Brown: The Doll Maker
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Grandpa Jones: My Little Old Home In New Orleans

7:00: Shoney's
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars In The Jukebox/A Dime At A Time/Looking At The World Through A Windshield
Charlie Louvin: The Family Who Prays
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
The Whites: Pins & Needles
Skeeter Davis: The End Of The World

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy Dickens (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeannie Seely: As Long As I Live/My Tears Don't Show
Ray Pillow: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Marty Stuart: Tempted/The Long Black Veil
Jimmy Dickens: I Saw The Light

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Oswald: I'll Be All Smiles Tonight
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Liberty
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Forever And One Day
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
Roy Drusky: Too Old To Die Young
4 Guys: I'm Bound For Higher Ground
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk Of Coal
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleeping At The Foot Of The Bed
Wilma Lee Cooper: He Will Set Your Fields On Fire
Jan Howard: Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good
Marty Stuart: This One's Gonna Hurt You A Long, Long Time/I'll Take The Blame/Hillbilly Rock
Jimmy Dickens: My Eyes Are Jealous

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): What'll I Do With The Baby
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Boxcar Willie (host): There's Nothing Like A Good Old Country Song
Billy Walker: Peace In The Valley
Boxcar Willie: Wabash Cannonball

10:30: Randy Travis Enterprises
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
The Whites: San Antonio Rose
Bill Anderson: City Lights

10:45: B.C. Powder
4 Guys (host): How Married Are You Mary Ann
Charlie Louvin & Monroe Fields: I Love You Best Of All
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Snow Flake Reel
4 Guys: Farther Along

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): There's A Fool Such As I
Jean Shepard: Bouquet Of Roses
Charlie Walker: A Way To Free Myself
Justin Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Mike Snider: Soldier's Joy/Angeline The Baker/Old Molly Hare
Hank Snow: These Things Shall Pass

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Connie Smith: The Deepening Snow
Roy Drusky: As Long As I Live
Johnny Russell: In A Mansion Stands My Love/He'll Have To Go
Jimmy C Newman: Colinda

I hope that everyone has a very thankful and grateful Thanksgiving. I know up here in Ohio it is going to be a white Thanksgiving. As always, my thanks go to those who read the blog and to those who comment on the blog. I enjoy the "give and take", and please continue to visit.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Byron: I hear there is some controversy regarding the Opry not recognizing Jean Shepard on her 80th birthday? I cannot confirm, as I did not get to hear the Opry last weekend.

  2. Great stuff as usual, Byron. You're on my list of what to be thankful for, and I hope you and all of the others who pop in here have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    I have to remind everyone of the night that Marty joined. He said, uh, something that some found offensive and apologized later. But he's Marty, and it's nice to see that he's in a dressing room that another Marty graced.

  3. David, I have not head or seen anything regarding Jean Shepard. I know in the past that the Opry does not generally recognize birthdays but they do mention Opry anniversaries. Usually it will be the host of the segment making the comments or in the introduction of the segment if that particular act is hosting, as Jean was on Friday night. I have to admit that I listened on Saturday night, but not on Friday. Like you, I didn't really hear anything special, at last concerning Saturday. If they did not mention it, I would be disappointed.


    Jean Shepard, member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, and Matriarch of Country Music, just celebrated multiple anniversaries, including her milestone 80th birthday. She appeared on the Opry this past weekend, and for some unknown reason, the Grand Ole Opry never presented her with a birthday Cake, BUT HER BAND MADE SURE SHE HAD ONE, AND HER BIRTHDAY WAS NOT FORGOTTEN. Seems as though the delivery person either got lost or had the incorrect address, but at any rate, how embarrassing of the GRAND OLE OPRY to forget the lady that has been the longest consecutive member of the Opry, and has also been forgotten by those at the Opry who should feel ashamed at their efforts to forget the Matriarch of Country Music, MISS JEAN SHEPARD. SHAME ON YOU GAYLORD ENTERTAINMENT AND YOUR MANAGEMENT STAFF. YOU HAVE NOT EXCUSES THIS TIME.

  5. David, thanks so much. I did not see this and I appreciate you for posting it. Come to think of it, and updating what I had posted earlier, the Opry just about always has a birthday cake backstage when there is an Opry member's birthday. Not sure who would be in charge of it, but it does look like they dropped the ball on this one. Hopefully, it was nothing personal against Jean, just that somebody really messed up.

  6. Regarding Margie Bowes, thanks for posting about her. She was one of my favorites in the 60's and I still love listening to her records. In fact, I have 28 of her songs on my Ipod. Who can forget that great song "A Man Around the House"? That song, today of course, would be considered terribly politically incorrect.

  7. They may have not mentioned anything on the air or backstage, but they did have a post on Facebook about it. That doesn't really help matters as Jean probably doesn't use Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152047561218234

    Also, Garth did a commercial for his live concert at The Wynn at the Opry house last week. So he'll do a commercial promoting his Vegas concert at the Opry, but he won't play the Opry? Yeah, that makes complete sense.
    Commercial: http://youtu.be/nSHiOY7NLC0
    Ad for Garth taping at Opry: http://www.wsix.com/articles/trending-462827/be-in-garth-brooks-commercial-11851127/