Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 1/31 & 2/1

The Grand Ole Opry returns to the Opry House this weekend after spending the winter at the Ryman Auditorium. Usually when the Opry returns, that first weekend back is pretty big. While the line-ups are good for this weekend, there is nothing special.

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry members the Oak Ridge Boys. Having seen these guys at the Opry several times, they always bring excitment to the show. Also appearing on Friday will be guest artists The Black Lillies, who have always impressed me on their prior appearances. In addition, The Gibson Brothers, Elizabeth Cook and Kree Harrison are scheduled.

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will feature 2 Opry members that we don't see enough of, Terri Clark and Mel Tillis. Not to mean that they don't come to the Opry, just that it would be nice to see more of them. Tracy Lawrence is also scheduled. I know a few years back there was some talk of Tracy becoming an Opry member but he made the comments that he was too busy touring and doing other things to be a part of the Opry at that time, but maybe later after his career had settled down. It is safe to say that his career is settled and he has been a guest at the Opry a few times, but I don't see an Opry invitation coming anytime soon. Also appearing will be Frankie Ballard and Dan + Shay. These are a couple of new guys who are currently touring with Hunter Hayes.

And hold the presses, but I think this might be the first week in a while without anyone from "Nashville" performing on the Opry.

Friday January 31
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; The Gibson Brothers
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Kree Harrison; The Black Lillies
8:45: Larry Gatlin (host); George Hamilton IV; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday February 1
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Dan+Shay; The Whites
7:30: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Terri Clark
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Frankie Ballard; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Tracy Lawrence; Mel Tillis

Ronnie Milsap was originally set for this weekend but cancelled out. 7 Opry members on Friday night and 9 on Saturday. And Larry Stephenson is the host of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree this weekend as the Jamboree is back to doing live shows. Larry would have made a fine addition for the Opry on Saturday.

For this week's look back in Grand Ole Opry history, I have the line-up from Saturday January 27, 1973. This was the night that Marty Robbins celebrated his 20th anniversary as a member of the Opry.

7:00: Shoney's
Roy Drusky (host): Long, Long Texas Road
Justin Tubb: Traveling Singing Man
Lonzo & Oscar: Moving On
Opry Staff Band: Cajun Hop
Roy Drusky: Jody and the Kid
Justin Tubb: Lodi
Lonzo & Oscar: Pass Me By (If You're Only Passing Through0
Roy Drusky: Guess I Must Be Doing Something Right

7:30: Standard Candy
Tex Ritter (host): Boll Weevil
Billy Walker: Sing Me A Love Song to Baby
Charlie Louvin: Bottom of the Fifth
Stoney Cooper: Nobody's Darling But Mine
Tex Ritter: Green Grow the Lilacs
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: A Man Likes Things Like That

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Del Reeves: Trucker's Paradise
Billy Grammer: Tennessee Polka
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Roy Acuff: Lonely Mound of Clay
Del Reeves: Philadelphia Fillies
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On

8:30: Stephens
Porter Wagoner (host): Katy Did
Dolly Parton: My Tennessee Mountain Home
Stringbean: Roll On Buddy
Porter Wagoner: The Last One to Touch Me
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: We Found It
Dolly Parton: Joshua
Stringbean: Train 45
Porter Wagoner: What Ain't to Be Just Might Happen
Mac McGaha & Buck Trent: Turkey in the Straw

9:00: Rudy's
Glaser Brothers (host): Me & Bobby McGee
Charlie Walker: Soft Lips and Hard Liquor
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Goodin
Glaser Brothers: A Girl Like You
Charlie Walker: The Lord Knows I'm Drinking
Stu Phillips: I Hear Your Name
Glaser Brothers: Release Me/Then I Turned & Walked Away/Many Tears Ago/You Win Again/There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight

9:30: Kelloggs
Hank Snow (host): Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of A Dove
Ray Pillow: Cinderella
Hank Snow: With This Ring I Thee Wed
4 Guys: Shenendoah
Ray Pillow: Slipping Around
Hank Snow: Where Has All the Love Gone

10:00: Fender
Billy Walker (host): Charlie's Shoes
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Lonzo & Oscar: Borrowed Angel
Billy Walker: My Mind Hangs Onto You

10:15: Union 76
Tex Ritter (host): Coming After Jenny
Del Reeves: Whole Lotta Shaking Going On/I'm Walking
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me On Sundays
Stoney & Carolee Cooper: My Mansion in the Sky

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Home in San Antone
Billy Grammer: Detroit City
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beechnut
Porter Wagoner (host): Be A Little Quiter
Dolly Parton: Wash Day Blues
Stringbean: Hot Corn, Cold Corn
Crook Brothers: Liberty
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Someone I Used to Know

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Golden Rocket
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Charlie Walker: Soft Lips and Hard Liquor
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
Osborne Brothers: Ruby
Sam McGee: Victory Rag
Hank Snow: So Goes My Heart

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Ray Pillow: Excuse Me
4 Guys: Sing Me Back Home/I'll Fly Away/Jambalaya/She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain/You Are My Sunshine/Shutters & Boards
Marty Robbins: Big Boss Man/A Walking Piece of Heaven/Long, Gone Lonesome Blues/Don't Worry/This Much A Man/It's Not Love/El Paso/Singing The Blues

Quite a night at the Opry.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. It's kind of interesting to ponder that the lineup from 1973 wasn't in the least bit special, but it made me so nostalgic for those days and so angry about what has been done to the Opry that I could have cried. Seven Country Music Hall of Famers, by my count, and all of them regularly showing up. Only one of them left, Dolly Parton, who needs a GPS system to be able to find the place any more.

  2. Agree Michael; still long for those former shows; you got tired of sitting (no intermissions then, which are now so that they can sell drinks/food) but it didn't seem to matter and it was well worth the price; we will never get it back, so sad. (ANONYMOUS in PA)

  3. Marty, Marty, Marty, your 20th yr. with the GOO. In my opinion Marty Robbins was the greatest singer, bar none. Anybody doesn't like Marty Robbins can kiss Hank, Jr.'s backside.

  4. Fred, Bismarck:

    Marty was special, the most versatile talent our music has seen. Country, rock, pop, Hawaiian, cowboy ... he excelled at them all. And was a great writer and stage personality, too.

    Of all the greats we have lost over the past 30 years, I think I miss Marty the most.

    1. Fred, that's DEFINITELY true on the Opry. You probably have seen these, but he had a magic touch:

  5. Fred, Bismarck:

    Thanks, Michael. I looked in on these videos in lieu of listening to tonight's rather uninteresting Opry. Especially liked the first one; in the 2nd, in an odd arrangement, his back was to the audience in 5 of 6 numbers, while he was at the piano. If I hadn't had too many beers, and was seeing double, he had TWO steel players on that set.

    Which reminded me, in the wandering way of my alleged mind in my old age, of my favorite steel man of Marty's, good old jug-eared Tommy Farmer. His steel rang like a bell on my favorites of all Marty recordings, those from the 1950s, including the albums "Song of Robbins" and "Marty."

    When Tommy just couldn't take the road life anymore, Marty gave him a sinecure in his Nashville office, which sounds like something our Marty would do.

  6. Great stuff, Fred!

    First, I've always thought that the greatest country impressionists I'd heard were Del Reeves, Merle Haggard, Johnny Counterfit, and me, not necessarily in that order. But on the Opry tonight, Terri Clark did a terrific John Conlee impression singing and then of Reba McEntire talking.

    Second, Earl White returned tonight with "Cherokee Shuffle." He just finished and, boy, did it sound great!

  7. Fred, Bismarck:

    Michael, I've never paid much attention to Terri Clark, based on what I've heard of her music on the radio. I will now; anybody who does good impressions, especially trans-gender impressions -- a la Ferlin Husky -- is worth a second look!

    It's a good lesson -- of which nobody needs reminding more than I, who am too ready with snap judgments -- that there is more to many artists out there than comes through the filter of radio.

  8. It dawned on my last night that Bobby Osborne always gets a longer time slot. He always sings a song, takes 2 or 3 minutes to introduce everybody and then another song, usually "Rocky Top". While, I'm not complaining about Bobby, I am complaining in a way I guess. I would love to see Jean Shepard get the chance to do two songs. Last night she done Wynn Stewart's "Another Day, Another Dollar", and that was it. She's a legend, the longest serving member of the Opry and a Hall of Famer. I believe she's earned it. Maybe she only wants one song, but I'm not seeing the big picture here always letting Bobby having the longer segment.

  9. Terri Clark claims she started her career at Tootsie's playing for tips. That's where she figured out the impersonation thing. I have always enjoyed her and hope she has continued success. She's huge in Canada.