Thursday, January 16, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 1/17 & 1/18

The Grand Ole Opry continues the winter run at the Ryman Auditorium with the usual two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Overall, the line-ups looked pretty solid, especially the Friday night show.

That show will feature 4 of the Opry's more popular members hosting segments as John Conlee, Larry Gatlin, Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill are scheduled. Along with them will be guest artists Lauren Alaina and someone who I am personally pleased to see on the Opry, Dean Miller. This fine songwriter, who will also be appearing on Saturday night, is the son of Roger Miller and has been making a name for himself in the country music community.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will have Opry members Diamond Rio returning to the Opry for the first time in 2014. Joining Diamond Rio and Dean Miller will be guest artist Sarah Darling, making another of her long line of Opry appearances, along with Joel Crouse and Austin Webb. And not to forget this week's "Nashville" star at the Opry, as Clare Bowen will be performing

Friday January 17
7:00: John Conlee (host); Striking Matches; George Hamilton IV; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Larry Gatlin (host); Ayla Brown; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Lauren Alaina
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Dean Miller; Connie Smith

Saturday January 18
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Sarah Darling; Dean Miller
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Joel Crouse; Connie Smith
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Austin Webb; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Clare Bowen

That comes out to 9 Opry members on Friday night and 7 on Saturday.

For this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history, there were several important events that have taken place corresponding to this weekend. On January 15, 1999, the Opry returned to the Ryman Auditorium for the first time since leaving for the new Opry House in March 1974. It was a great weekend of shows, all of which were sold out. Bobby Bare was introduced on Friday night, which was fitting as on the final Friday Night Opry in 1974, he hosted a segment and it was also his last night performing as an Opry member. On Saturday night, Chet Atkins was introduced from the stage and Ricky Skaggs asked Trisha Yearwood to become the Opry's newest member. I was at all 3 shows that weekend and it was a great time and the Opry felt home.

On January 20, 1990, 24 years ago, Hank Snow was honored for 40 years of Opry membership. He hosted the televised portion that night and featured as his guests Mel Tillis and The Glaser Brothers. For the Glaser Brothers, it was their first Opry appearance since giving up their Opry membership and it was their first time performing together in years. It was also their final time together. They got back together at the personal invitation of Hank who always was impressed by them. Clips of the performance are on YouTube and if you haven't seen them, check it out. It shows the Glaser Brothers at their best.

And it was on January 21, 1995 that Brother Oswald became an Opry member. I was there that night also and it was a surprise. Beecher Ray Kirby was born in 1911, which made him 84 at the time of his Opry induction, the oldest person to ever join the Opry. Oswald came to the Opry in 1939 as a member of Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys. Roy featured Oswald a lot on the Opry and we all know he was a great comedian and dobro player. He was introduced as Bashful Brother Oswald, posing as the brother of Rachel Veach, nicknamed Queen of the Hills. In those times, it was not acceptable to have a female in the group except if she was "related" to another of the band's members, so that is how Brother Oswald came about. Oswald also played banjo and guitar and was a very fine tenor singer, singing on many of Roy's great records. When Roy passed away, Oswald continued on at the Opry with Charlie Collins, performing as "Os and Charlie". Finally in 1995, thanks to the efforts of Porter Wagoner and Marty Stuart, the Opry did the right thing and allowed Oswald to become a member. Oswald passed away in October 2002. His total time at the Opry was 63 years.

Here is the Opry line-up from Saturday January 21, 1995, the night Brother Oswald joined the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Grandpa Jones (host): Are You From Dixie
Mike Snider: Foggy Mountain Chimes
Grandpa Jones: My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

6:45: Hall of Fame
Bill Monroe (host): A Feast Here Tonight
George Riddle & Bill Carlisle, Jr: White Lightening
Bill Monroe: A Voice From On High

7:00: Shoney's
Jimmy Dickens (host): I'm Little But I'm Loud
The Whites: He Took Your Place
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jeanne Pruett: Back to Back
Jim Ed Brown: Will The Circle Be Unbroken/I Saw the Light/I'll Fly Away/Gone at Last
Jimmy Dickens: Take Me As I Am, Or Let Me Go

7:30: Standard Candy
Marty Stuart (host): Don't Be Cruel
Porter Wagoner: Wabash Cannonball/The Precious Jewel/Fireball Mail/Night Train to Memphis/The Great Speckled Bird
Connie Smith: Sing, Sing, Sing
Oswald: Hawaiian March/Mountain Dew/I'll Be All Smiles Tonight
Jimmy Dickens/Marty Stuart/Porter Wagoner/Connie Smith/Boxcar Willie/Oswald: Wabash Cannonball

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Jimmy C Newman: Allons A Lafayette
Boxcar Willie: Train Melody
Charlie Louvin: Nearer By God to Thee
Opry Square Dance Band: Bill Cheatham
Bill Anderson: The Touch of the Master's Hand

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Silver Rails
4 Guys: Big River
Billy Walker: Adam's Side
Doug Stone: Love Grows Best in Little Houses
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Hank Snow: The Prisoner's Song

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'all Come
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Legend of the Dogwood Tree
Osborne Brothers: I'll Be All Right Tomorrow
Stu Phillips: That's A Chance I'll Have to Take
The Whites: Hangin' Around
Porter Wagoner: Dim Lights; Thick Smoke

10:00: Goody's
Grandpa Jones (host): Banjo Sam
Roy Drusky: Always/One Day at a Time
Grandpa Jones: Dear Old Sunny South By the Sea

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Bill Monroe (host): Say Away From Me; You're Causing Me Trouble
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
Bill Monroe: Tombstone Junction/Crying Holy Unto the Lord

10:30: Gruhn Guitars
Marty Stuart (host): Tempted
Boxcar Willie: Train Melody
Marty Stuart: Blue Train/Hillbilly Rock

10:45: Fairfield Communities
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Del Reeves: The Race Is On
Opry Square Dance Band: Ragtime Annie
Jimmy Dickens: She Always Got What She Wanted

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Giesha Girl
Connie Smith: You & Your Sweet Love
Charlie Walker: Who Will Buy the Wine
Doug Stone: A Different Light/A Jukebox With A Country Song
Hank Snow: A Message From The Trade Winds

11:30: Cates Pickles
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
4 Guys: I Know; I Know
Jack Greene: Highway to the Sky
Johnny Russell: Baptism of Jesse Taylor
Bill Anderson: Deck of Cards

2 real nice shows and a lot of variety between the 2 shows. It was nice to remember Brother Oswald and his Opry anniversary.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!!!!


  1. It really was a special night when Oswald became a member. And what a lineup! I THINK I counted 29 members, including that Bill Carlisle wasn't there but his group was.

  2. Taking my whole fam damily to the Friday Night 'Opry (8 of us!), and was pleasantly surprised to see no cowboy hats, golf caps, or anything resembling the junk I hear on country radio today.
    Thirteen acts - I can't wait!

  3. Nat, it looks like it is going to be a good show. Enjoy yourself.

  4. A couple of changes in the Friday Night line-up. Striking Matches has cancelled out. Dean Miller has moved into their slot during the 1st segment. The Secret Sisters have been added into the 4th segment.

  5. I had a choice of listening to the Opry last night or watching the Marty Stuart show, which featured Stonewall Jackson as his guest. I went with Marty and Stonewall, and boy, has Stonewall aged. He looked a little rough and had some trouble walking.

    He sounded great when he sang. But, and I watch Marty's show a lot, most of the time the artists are actually singing during the taping. Now so sure about Stonewall. He might have been lip-singing, as his singing and band, which was Marty's, sounded like it was on tape. The volume and quality were different.

    Either way, it was nice to have Stonewall on.

  6. The Friday show was EXCELLENT. No folks from the TV series, no cowboy hats, no tight jean guys with no talent.
    Good, solid, country music. Well worth the money.
    My only wish is that the 'Opry would put on a longer show. I was left wanting more.