Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 2/28 & 3/1

There is lots happening at the Grand Ole Opry this weekend and the biggest news is the 50th anniversary of Jesse McReynolds as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jesse, along with his late brother Jim, joined the Opry on March 2, 1964.

Jesse McReynolds will be recognized for his 50 years of Opry membership on Saturday night. Joining Jesse on Saturday night will be Opry members Rascal Flatts, along with Lorrie Morgan and Ralph Stanley, both of whom will also be appearing Friday night. It is nice to see Ralph back on the Opry. Earlier this week, he celebrated his 87th birthday and is still touring and making music. And what is an Opry show without an act making their Opry debut or someone from "Nashville." The new act is Old Dominion, while Charles Esten is the "Nashville" star.

In addition to Lorrie and Ralph, the Friday Night Opry will feature a guest appearance by Sara Evans. Sara usually plays the Opry once each year and this time around she is supporting a new CD. Also appearing on Friday night, and making his first Opry appearance will be Mac MCAnally, who is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Finally, I want to note that on March 2, The Whites will be celebrating 30 years of Opry membership. They are scheduled both nights and at this point, I don't know if there is anything planned for them. There is an opening on the Friday night schedule, which perhaps could be for them, another act, or leaving it open for Jimmy Dickens. We shall see.

Friday February 28
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Henningsens; Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: The Whites (host); Ralph Stanley
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mac McAnally
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); Sara Evans

Saturday March 1
7:00: The Whites (host); Sarah Darling; Ralph Stanley
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Old Dominion; Jesse McReynolds
8:15: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jimmy C Newman; Charles Esten; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Rascal Flatts

Interesting that of the veterans, Jimmy C Newman gets both nights this week. And, if you haven't noticed, the Opry has continued the trend of going with just one guest in the final segment, when it is a bigger named artist.

Jim & Jesse grew up near Coeburn, Virginia. In 1952 they made their debut on Capital Records. Among their hits was the Top 20 country hit "Diesel on My Tail," along with "The Flame of Love," "Cotton Mill Man," and "Paradise," "Better Times A-Coming," "Ballad of Thunder Road," "Freight Train," and "North Wind." In 1993 Jim and Jesse were inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Assocation's Hall of Honor. After the death of Jim, Jesse has continued to be very active in both recording and road appearances with his Virginia Boys.

The first night that Jim & Jesse performed on the Opry as members was Saturday March 7, 1964, which was also the first night that Ernie Ashworth was introduced as a new member of the Opry. Here is the line-up from that night, Saturday March 7, 1964:

7:30: Luzianne
Jimmy Newman (host); Wilburn Brothers; Marion Worth; Stringbean; Del Wood; Merle Kilgore
8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host); Skeeter Davis; Glaser Brothers; Ernest Ashworth; Ray Pillow; Crook Brothers
8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host); June Stearns; Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper; Archie Campbell; Hank Williams Jr; Oswald
9:00: Pet Milk
Ernest Tubb (host); Jean Shepard; Billy Walker; Jim & Jesse; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Cousin Jody
9:30: Kellogg's
Leroy Van Dyke (host); Carter Family; The Browns; Willis Brothers; Dottie West
10:00: Schick
Wilburn Brotherss (host); Jimmy Newman; Stringbean
10:15: SSS Tonic
Flatt & Scruggs (host); Marion Worth; Del Wood
10:30: Harvey's
Roy Acuff (host); Skeeter Davis; Ernest Ashworth
10:45: Ford
Ernest Tubb (host); Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper; Crook Brothers
11:00: Coca-Cola
Leroy Van Dyke (host); Jean Shepard; Billy Walker; Glaser Brothers; Hank Williams Jr; Sam McGee; Fruit Jar Drinkers
11:30: Gretch Guitars
Marty Robbins (host); The Browns; Willis Brothers; Jim & Jesse; Cousin Jody; Don Winters

Congratulations to Jesse McReynolds for 50 years of Opry membership!!

The second Opry anniversary that I would like to mention is the 30th anniversary of The Whites becoming members of the Grand Ole Opry. They joined the cast on Friday March 2, 1984.

Buck, Sharon and Cheryl White came to the Opry courtesy of Texas. Early in his career, Buck played piano for Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb, among others. Buck and his wife Pat performed as part of the Down Home Folks, with the children a part of the Down Home Kids. After becoming known in bluegrass, they decided to move to Nashville, which they did in 1971. They made some recordings during that period, and eventually hooked up with Emmylou Harris. Through Emmylou, they met Ricky Skaggs, who would eventually marry Sharon. By the early 1980s, they had a string of country hits and in 1984 they joined the Opry. While their hit making days are behind them, they continue to be a popular act on the show.

Here is the Opry line-up from Saturday March 3, 1984, the 1st Saturday night performance by The Whites, as Opry members:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Bill Monroe (host): Will You Be Lovin' Another Man
Jeannie Seely: When Your Heart's Been Stepped On
Bill Monroe: Shenendoah Breakdown

6:45: Rudy's
Grandpa Jones (host): Little Ol' Gal A'Waitin'
Jan Howard: Rock Me Back To Little Rock
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'
Grandpa Jones: I'll Meet You In The Morning

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Charlie Louvin & Deb Grovers: Something To Brag About
Lonzo & Oscar: I'm My Own Grandpa
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore
Porter Wagoner: The Cowboy Hat/Tennessee Saturday Night

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
The Whites: The Cowboy Lives Forever/You Put The Blue In Me
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Liberty
Bill Anderson: From Rock N' Roll To Rock Of Ages

8:00: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Minnie Pearl: Maple On The Hill
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Connie Smith: I'm Only In It For The Love/Sing, Sing, Sing

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
4 Guys: Wings Of A Dove
Tom T Hall: Sneaky Snake/I Love
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Hank Snow: Paper Roses

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
4 Guys: Marie, The Dawn Is Breaking
Jeannie Seely: When Your Heart's Been Stepped On
Billy Walker: Cross The Brazos At Waco
The Whites: Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling/Alabama Jubilee
Porter Wagoner: Alive & Well

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Monroe (host): My Sweet Blue-Eyed Darling
Charlie Walker: My Window Faces The South
Jan Howard: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Bill Monroe: It's Me Again, Lord

10:15: Sunbeam
Grandpa Jones (host): Banjo Sam
Skeeter Davis: The Rose
Stonewall Jackson: Angry Words
Grandpa Jones & George McCormick: Wait A Little Longer, Please Jesus

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting In The Air
Connie Smith: That's The Way Love Goes
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bill Anderson (host): Country DJ
Jeanne Pruett: It's Too Late
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin'
Bill Anderson: Still

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): There's A Fool Such As I
Jean Shepard: If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time/The Wonders You Perform
Justin Tubb: Pull The Covers Over Me
Charlie Louvin: Love Has To Die (All By Itself)
Hank Snow: Nobody's Child

11:30: Hardee's
Jack Greene (host): Midnight Tennessee Woman
Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink On Me/Oh, What A Party
Tom T Hall: Your Man Loves You Honey/Old Dogs, Children & Watermelon Wine
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

Congratulations to The Whites!!

Finally, the next Opry induction date I want to mention is Saturday February 29, 1992, which was the date that Travis Tritt joined the Opry. Travis came onto the country music scene in 1988 when he signed with Warner Bros. Records, coming to Nashville from Georgia. In 1990 he was named Billboard's top new male artist after his album "Country Club" produced three Top 5 singles. From that point, he had a string of steady hits through the 1990s, including several hit duets with Marty Stuart.

When he joined the Opry he said, "All my life I've dreamed about this. At one point I didn't know if I would ever be invited to be on the Opry because I have a side that's a little more contemporary. But I'm a country artist. I've always been and it's a privilege to be here." While Travis said that then, I wonder how he feels now. His last Opry appearance was in 2007 and in 2012 when the Opry wanted to recognize Travis for 20 years of Opry membership, Travis didn't make time for an appearance.

Here is the Opry line-up from Saturday February 29, 1992, the night Travis Tritt became a member of the Opry:

1st show
6:30: Grand Ole Opry Tours
Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; David Houston
6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Del Reeves (host); Charlie Louvin; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Shoney's
Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Mike Snider; Jean Shepard; Ray Pillow
7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host); Trisha Yearwood; Travis Tritt
8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; 4 Guys; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Opryland USA
Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Stonewall Jackson; Boxcar Willie; Roy Drusky

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Louvin; Jeannie Seely; Travis Tritt
10:00: Little Debbie
Jim Ed Brown (host); Trisha Yearwood
10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
Roy Acuff (host); Mike Snider
10:30: Pet
Boxcar Willie (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
10:45: BC Powder
Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Bill Carlisle; Justin Tubb; Del Reeves
11:30: Creamette
4 Guys (host); Roy Drusky; The Whites; Connie Smith

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. Byron, those three lineups brought back great memories. So many gone ... and a couple of alleged Opry members, Trisha Yearwood and Travis Tritt.

  2. Interesting to note that all segments are hosted by females this weekend. I'm pretty sure that's never happened before.

  3. Wade Hayes has been added into the 2nd segment on Friday night, filling out the line-up. Still nothing official regarding The Whites and a 30th anniversary salute, but I am guessing it will take place during the Tuesday Night Opry, as The Whites and Ricky Skaggs are both scheduled for a back-to-back segment. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't mentioned this weekend, but the more formal moment will take place on Tuesday.

    Also, if the past is any clue, the Hall of Fame announcement takes place anywhere from early March into early April. Last year's April announcement was the latest in many years. Stay tooned.

  4. Byron, I just read on Marcia Campbell's Facebook page that the Opry will be celebrating Opry anniversaries for Jesse McReynold's & The Whites & will celebrate the 87th birthday of Dr. Ralph Stanley tonight. Marcia will then host the Midnight Jamboree.

    For those NHL fans (of which I am not one but I do believe in rooting for the home team) the Chicago Blackhawks play the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at "domeless" Soldier Field (home of the Chicago Bears.) It has been snowing in my area for over an hour & they are calling for moderate to heavy snowfall during the game, so the game could go longer - ugh! MORE snow & SO sick of it!!

    The Hall of Fame announcement cannot come soon enough for me ~

    Enjoy the Opry everyone ~ GO HAWKS!


  5. Sadly, I missed the big events tonite as here in Valencia we have just began our city´s festival Las Fallas, which carries on for 19 straight days. Hope to be able to tune in next week when there is not to much activity before the "intense party days"

  6. It was a great night at the Opry. The Whites anniversary was mentioned by them several times but nothing special from Pete Fisher. I figured they would leave the spotlight to Jesse McReynolds and perhaps do something for The Whites on Tuesday night.

    Jesse McReynolds had a great time. His grandchildren were there, along with many of the Virginia Boys from days gone by. He did 2 songs then Pete Fisher came out and present the 1927 railroad watch. The audience gave a long standing ovation to Jesse. It was also nice that Jim McReynolds was mentioned.

  7. The Tennessean webpage had an article on Sunday (WITH PICTURES) about the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night show recognizing Jesse McReynolds and Ralph Stanley's birthday - wonder what's up with that - they haven't had anything about the Opry in quite a while - of course they had to include Charles Esten too - any way it was good that they had the article.