Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 1/10 & 1/11

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedule for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and the Grand Ole Opry. Both shows continue at the Ryman Auditorium.

The Friday Night Opry will feature another guest appearance by The Grascals. This bluegrass group has had a following since they first appeared on the Opry and there are many folks who think that they would make good Opry members. While I don't disagree, what is obvious is that they appear on the Opry more than many of the Opry's members. Joining them as guesting on the Friday show will be Gwen Sebastian, Sundy Best, Collin Raye and Ashley Monroe.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will feature guest artist Eric Church. He is one of the bigger names in country music and from what I have heard, this show is a sell-out. With a big name such as Eric, this would have been one of the nights where you would have thought that the Opry would add a second show. Joining him will be non-members Morgan Frazier, Will Hoge and Parmalee.

As far as Opry members, it will be the veterans carrying the load this weekend, including Bill Anderson, who will be appearing both Friday and Saturday night.

Friday January 10
7:00: John Conlee (host); Gwen Sebastian; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Grascals
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Sundy Best
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Collin Raye; Ashley Monroe

Saturday January 11
7:00: John Conlee (host); Morgan Frazier; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; Will Hoge
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Parmalee; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Eric Church

Looking back in Grand Ole Opry history, it was on Saturday January 9, 1971 that Tom T Hall first joined the Grand Ole Opry. If he was around to enjoy it, this would be his 43rd year as an Opry member. But as we know, Tom T last appeared on the Opry in 1992 and from what he has said, he has no intention of coming back.

As I mentioned, Tom T first joined the Opry in 1992, but then he quit the Opry in 1974 when the Opry moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. He said that he was a "romantic" that thought the Opry should have stayed at the Ryman. He rejoined the Opry in 1980. The story goes that he ran into Ernest Tubb in the parking lot one night who told him that he needed to get back to the Opry, and Tom T did. Whether that is true or not, who really knows but it sounds good enough to me.

I find it too bad that he does not want to come back and appear on the Opry. I know he doesn't do many shoes anymore, but I think his style and sound would do well on the show. And with his personality, he would be the perfect segment host, much like Larry Gatlin.

Here is the Opry line-up from Saturday January 9, 1971, the night Tom T Hall joined the Opry:

7:00: Rudy's
Roy Drusky (host); Jimmy Newman; Jim & Jesse; Ray Pillow
7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Walker; Tom T Hall
8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host); Stonewall Jackson; Hank Locklin; Del Wood; Crook Brothers
8:30: Stephens
Bill Monroe (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; George Morgan; Stringbean; Stu Phillips
9:00: Luzianne
Porter Wagoner (host); Dolly Parton; Osborne Brothers; Ernie Ashworth; Fruit Jar Drinkers
9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host); Willis Brothers; Del Reeves; Grandpa Jones; Marion Worth
10:00: Fender
Bill Monroe (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy Newman; Jim & Jesse
10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Ray Pillow
10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host); Grandpa Jones; Willis Brothers; Tom T Hall; Charlie Walker
10:45: Beech-Nut
Porter Wagoner (host); Dolly Parton; George Morgan; Hank Locklin; Crook Brothers
11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host); Osborne Brothers; Stringbean; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Del Wood; Margie Bowes; Sam McGee
11:30: Lava
Del Reeves (host); Marion Worth; Justin Tubb; Ernie Ashworth; Stu Phillips

For the final line-up this week, I go to Saturday January 12, 1980, 34 years ago this week. There is really nothing special about this line-up other then it is a good solid Saturday night at the Opry.

1st show
6:00: Vietti
Jim Ed Brown (host) & Helen Cornelius: I Don't Want to Have to Marry You
4 Guys: Fire
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Helen Cornelius: That's What You Do to Me
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells

6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Del Reeves (host)L Lay A Little Lovin' On Me
Jimmy Dickens: Out Behind the Barn
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Don't Care (If Tomorrow Never Comes)
Del Reeves: She Thinks I Still Care

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Monroe (host): Mule Skinner Blues
Vic Willis: Colorado
Bill Monroe: Crying Holy Unto the Lord

7:00: Shoney's
Charlie Louvin (host): See The Big Man Cry
Connie Smith: He Touched Me/When God Dips His Love In My Heart
Jim & Jesse: Freight Train
Jim & Jesse/Charlie Louvin: Stormy Horizons
Charlie Louvin: Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep/Have I Told You Lately That I Love You

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: Saturday Night Sin
Stonewall Jackson: Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Charlie Walker: Don't Play Me No Songs About Texas
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Eighth of January
Roy Acuff: Thy Burdens Are Greater Than Mine/I'll Fly Away

8:00: Martha White
Billy Walker (host): When A Man Loves A Woman
Jeanne Pruett: Back to Back
Wilburn Brothers: God Bless America Again
Bill Carlisle: Same Old Tale That the Crow Told Me
Osborne Brothers: Country Roads
Billy Walker: You Turn My Love Light On

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): In The Misty Moonlight
Roy Drusky: Remember Me (I''m the One Who Loves You)
Marion Worth: Someone Is Looking For Someone Like You
Stu Phillips: Great El Tigrae
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Hank Snow/Kelly Foxton: Stop Me From Loving You

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Monroe (host): My Sweet Blue Eyed Darling
Jim Ed Brown/Helen Cornelius: Golden Ring
David Houston: Almost Persuaded
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
4 Guys: Woman, Woman
Wilma Lee Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Bill Monroe: Right On

10:00: Fender
Del Reeves (host): The Race Is On
Billy Grammer: Spanish Fandango
Ernie Ashworth: The DJ Cried
Del Reeves: Bad News

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Down In Union County
Connie Smith: Sing, Sing, Sing
Charlie Walker: Don't Play Me No Songs About Texas
Roy Acuff: The Things That Might Have Been/I Saw the Light

10:30: Trailblazer
Osborne Brothers (host): Rocky Top
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Vic Willis: Last Cheater's Waltz
Osborne Brothers: Fastest Grass Alive

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): Don't It Make You Want to Go Home
Jim & Jesse: Orange Blossom Special
Charlie Louvin/Ernie Ashworth: Houston Is A Honky-Tonk Town
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Cotton-Eyed Joe

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
Billy Walker: You Turn My Love Light On
Marion Worth: New Lips
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Wilburn Brothers: Because He Lives
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Hank Snow/Kelly Foxton: After the Love Is Gone

11:30: Little Debbie
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Jeanne Pruett: Back to Back/Satin Sheets
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Stonewall Jackson: Washed My Hands In Muddy Water

Notice that it was only Opry members that night. And Porter Wagoner, along with Skeeter Davis were scheduled by cancelled out.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. Fred, Bismarck:

    Thanks, Byron. Gosh, did the Opry have a deep bench in the old days! People such as Kirk McGee, Stu Phillips and the Willis Brothers may have lacked "star" standing. But for musicianship, material and plain old authenticity they were miles ahead of today's parade of cookie-cutter guest artists and even most member "stars" (when they show up).

    When I was a young Opry listener, I tended to wait out the bench players, breathless for the current stars to come on. Less and less so, however, as I grew older and a little deeper in the roots of country music. A personal favorite in the 1980s, until he too was snatched, was Kirk McGee doing his hits from 50-60 years earlier, such as "While I'm Away" and "Blue Night."

    I waited for his words of encouragement to his guitar player, "Take it away, Horsefly" (as in "Horsefly" Joe), and was simpleminded enough to laugh every time.

  2. Byron, where do you view the schedule? I have the app on my phone but since they updated the site all i can see is the coming 'big name attractions'

  3. FROM ANONYOUS IN PA to LINDA: to see the schedule, scroll down the page and click the block "SEE FULL CALENDAR" - that will give you each date and there is a block for "SCHEDULE" , if you click on it, that night's show will appear - this works from the webpage, hope it will work from your APP the same

  4. Linda, for what it is worth, I cannot get the schedule on my phone either. It won't open up. When I click the date, it will give a short preview of who is on, but that is it. On my computer it works fine and the schedule comes up. I would like it if both nights would show up on the same page as it used to do. If it is there, I haven't found it yet.

    1. No internet on computer so thanks again for your blog keeping us posted re: who is scheduled. The artists they highlight are not the ones I tune in to hear normally.

  5. I wonder if the break up of Friday and Saturday are a calculated decision to further break down the idea that the OPRY is a weekend show. I think we would all agree that for the past 30/40 years even though the Opry on Friday night has been called the Friday Night Opry we consider the Friday and Saturday shows the Opry for THIS week. The Opry name has become a brand and not necessarily the description of an experience. Chances are some big consulting company that has little idea or respect for the Opry or the history has helped Fisher and crew move us farther away from tradition.

    Have you missed my pessimistic thoughts?

    Knightsville, IN

  6. Listening to the end of the Opry last night was depressing for me. If this is what the show is coming to and the crowd they are drawing and want I wish as I have said before, they would retire the show gracefully and rename the Opry house and the show. That is a knee jerk statement and one I don't fully wish for but I'm having a hard time accepting what is considered good music and entertainment these days and when it is taking over our beloved Opry it makes me sick. When Maxine Brown was on with Jim Ed in August her cussing was a slip and not intended for shock factor as what I was hearing last night.

    Some would say I am getting older and just do not like the younger music. My taste and appreciation for the music has never changed. Maybe that is my problem, I hear it all the time, this is the 21st century, get with the modern ways!

    As always, I am thankful that there is variety and other music on the Opry and a little of something for everyone. That is why I still listen and there are good performances other than just our legends.

    Knightsville, IN

    Anyone else disappointed in the ending last night?

    1. Jim, I did not listen to the Opry last night. What happened? Sadly, I miss the Opry more often than I listen to it.

  7. Chris,

    Probably nothing special or all that terrible to most who listened. Eric Church closed the show and much of the crowd seemed to love him. However, for me, if he is a sign of things to come at the Opry then it will not be recognizable to us over 40 in another five years. It was really not that much different than many of the other new performers who obviously have influences outside of country and if they can even recognize the name of Roy Acuff or Kitty Wells as a country singer they probably wouldn't recognize their voice. So Eric Church is probably just fine to all the young folks and even older folks who feel to "stay" young they have been told to like this new music. I hold nothing against anyone and what they like or wish to perform or how good they really are, which is all opinion, but I just hate to see the Opry being drug down with the rest of our PC society.

    Take a listen when they post the show on WSM online. My opinion of the performance would be a very personal perspective and probably not fair to post here. I don't want to come off as disrespectful! I'm just frustrated with the drastic change to our music and the Opry.

    Knightsville, IN

  8. Jim, you're right.
    Eric Church can leave the 'Opry alone forever. Just heard a few seconds of the Saturday night show, and that was enough.
    I generally think it's great when some new guy or gal fills the place, but some of the new breed don't impress me much.
    That especially applies to Eric Church. The "Mother Church of Country Music" deserves better. Captain Ryman is fliipin' around in his grave.