Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 2/7 & 2/8

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend. There are a couple of interesting names on the list and then some that you kinda wonder about.

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry member Dierks Bentley. He will be joined by guest artists The Henningsens and Henry Cho, both of whom are no strangers at the Opry. Also appearing will be Josh Wilson, who is another in the line of fine Christian entertainers that they like to have on the Opry. It is also nice to see Opry member Steve Wariner scheduled not only on Friday night, but Saturday night also.

Joining Steve on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will be The Boxcars, one of the better bluegrass groups out there. They were up for best bluegrass album at the recent Grammy Awards. Also scheduled is a group that I have not heard from in a long time, The Forrester Sisters. They had a string of hit records in the 1980s and 90s, but to be honest, I didn't know they were still out performing. And finally, we have Aubrey Peeples, and yes she is associated with "Nashville."

Friday February 7
7:00: John Conlee (host); The Henningsens; The Whites
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); George Hamilton IV; Jim Ed Brown; Josh Wilson
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Henry Cho
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Dierks Bentley

Saturday February 8
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Greg Bates; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); The Forrester Sisters; Sarah Darling
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Aubrey Peeples; Opry Square Dancers
8:45; Steve Warinier (host); Connie Smith; The Boxcars

For this week's look back in Grand Ole Opry history, I have 2 dates to share. The first is Saturday February 7, 1976, as it was on this night 38 years ago that Ronnie Milsap became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Ronnie moved to Nashville in 1973 and hit it big. The following year, he had 3 #1 hits and was soon invited out to the Opry. Here is what Ronnie had to say about coming to the Opry. "Before I joined the Opry in 1976, Jeanne Pruett was always getting me to come out here and guest. Eventually, she said 'I think you need to join the Grand Ole Opry' and I said, 'We'll, how to you do that?' All of a sudden one night I was over her and Mr. Roy Acuff came up to me in the hall and said, 'Hey, Ronnie, you want to be a member of the Opry?' I said, 'Yes, sir.' He said, 'Okay, then, you're going to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry.'" I guess you could say they did things pretty simple back then. Ronnie has always been well received at the Opry. It would just be nice if he was there more often.

Here is the Opry line-up from February 7, 1976:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line/The World Each Day
Billy Grammer: That's Life/God Will Take Care of You

6:45: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Curly Headed Baby
Skeeter Davis: Love Will Keep Us Together
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Tramp on the Street

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Barbara Mandrell: Standing Room Only
Roy Drusky: Sunrise
Ernie Ashworth: Wichita Woman
Barbara Mandrell: Steel Guitar Rag
Roy Drusky: One Day at A Time
Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green, Green Grass of Home/Indian Creek

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Don Gibson: Sweet Dreams
Marion Worth: You Win Again
Justin Tubb: Looking Back to See
Roy Acuff: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Gray Eagle
Don Gibson: Oh, Lonesome Me

8:00: Martha White
Osborne Brothers (host): Smokey Mountain Smoke
Grandpa Jones: Ball-Headed End of the Broom
Connie Smith: Til I Kissed Ya
Charlie Louvin & Pam Dickenson: Don't It Seem to Rain A Lot In Our Lives
Hank Locklin: Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Stu Phillips: A Castle/A Cabin
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Ronnie Milsap: Day Dreams
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Brush Arbour: White Line
Hank Snow: The Next Voice You Hear

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Roy Drusky (host): Alone With You
Willis Brothers: Bob
Don Gibson: I Can't Stop Loving You
Skeeter Davis: One Tin Soldier
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Don Gibson: Blue, Blue Day
Roy Drusky: Bouquet of Roses

10:00: Fender
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Sunshine
Barbara Mandrell: Satisfied
Del Wood: The Entertainer
Porter Wagoner: The Last One to Touch Me

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Traveling the Highway Home
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Heartbreak Street
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird/I Saw the Light

10:30: Trailblazer
Grandpa Jones (host): Nashville on My Mind
Osborne Brothers: Smokey Mountain Smoke
Billy Grammer: That's Life
Grandpa Jones: Make Me A Pallet Down on the Floor

10:45: Beech-Nut
Hank Locklin (host): The Sweetest Mistake I Ever Made
Connie Smith: Til I Kissed Ya
Crook Brothers/Smokey Mountain Cloggers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Hank Locklin: Send Me The Pillow You Dream On

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Tangled Mind
Stu Phillips: Only You Can Hush the Wind
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Ernie Ashworth: Wichita Woman
Kirk McGee: My Darling Rose Malone
Hank Snow: Mary Ann Regrets

11:30: Elm Hill
Charlie Louvin (host): I Just Want Out
Jeanne Pruett: Break My Mind/Satin Sheets
Ronnie Milsap: Lovesick Blues/Just In Case/Day Dreams
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Charlie Louvin & Pam Dickerson: If I Could Only Win Your Love

The 2nd show I want to highlight this week if from Saturday February 11, 1967. It was on this date that future Opry members The 4 Guys made their first appearance on the Opry. The 4 Guys came to Nashville from Wheeling, West Virginia. Sam Wellington, Glen Bates, Brent Burkett and Gary Buck had been working on the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree. On that first night, they sang "Shenandoah." They were so well received that they would become the first vocal group in the history of the Opry to join without recording a hit record. At one time, it was written, they held the Opry record for 33 consecutive "encore" appearances. The 4 Guys would join the Opry in April 1967 and would remain members until they were fired from the Opry in April 2000. Pete Fisher had informed the group that since there were no longer any original members in the group that they were being dropped from the Opry.

Here is the line-up from the 1st night that the 4 Guys performed on the Opry.

7:30: Luzianne
Jim Ed Brown (host) & Maxine Brown: I Heard the Bluebird Sing
Bob Luman: Hardly Anymore
Dottie West: What's Come Over My Baby
Justin Tubb: But Wait, There's More
Pete Drake: I'm Just A Guitar
Jim Ed Brown: You Can Have Her
Bob Luman: Come On and Sing
Jim Ed & Maxine Brown: Looking Back to See

8:00: Martha White
Wilburn Brothers (host): Hurt Her Once For Me
Hank Locklin: Send Me The Pillow You Dream On
Ray Pillow: I Like That Sorta Thing
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Wilburn Brothers: Just To Be Where You Are
Crook Brothers: Old Hen Cackle
Billy "Crash" Craddock: There Oughta Be A Law
Hank Locklin: Hasta Luego
Wilburn Brothers: All We Have For You, Mom

8:30: Stephens
Billy Walker (host): Things
Bill Carlisle: What Kinda Deal Is This
Bobby Bare: Shame On Me
Archie Campbell: The Cockfight
Billy Walker: Anything Your Heart Desires
Curly Fox: The Old Grey Mule
Bill Carlisle: The Great Snoman
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco

9:00: Pet Milk
Charlie Louvin (host): I Don't Love You Anymore
Ernie Ashworth: At Ease, Heart
Margie Bowes: There Goes My Everything
Bluegrass Country Kin: Black Mountain Rag
Charlie Louvin: I Don't Want It
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Instrumental
Harold Weakley: Almost Persuaded
Ernie Ashworth: Pass Me Not
Charlie Louvin: Off and On

9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): Golden Rocket
Cousin Jody: I Miss Him So
Jimmy Dickens: A Country Music Lover
Carter Family: Bye, Bye
Hank Snow: A Legend In My Time
4 Guys: Shenendoah
Carter Family: Once Around the Briar Patch
Hank Snow: Hula Love

10:00: Schick
Jim Ed Brown (host) & Maxine Brown: Where Does the Good Times Go
Dottie West: It's My Way to Survive
Jim Ed Brown: You Can Have Her
Dottie West: All the World Is Lonely Now

10:15: Pure
Bob Luman (host): Leet's Think About Living
Wilburn Brothers: I'm Gonna Tie One on Tonight
Hank Locklin: Hasta Luego
Bob Luman: Hardly Anymore

10:30: Buckley's
Bobby Bare: I Saw the Light
Del Wood: Cajun Stripper
Ray Pillow: Two Minus One Leaves Blue
Bobby Bare: Streets of Baltimore

10:45: Kent
Bill Carlisle (host): Shanghai Rooster
Justin Tubb: But Wait, There's More
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Bill Carlisle: Doctor R.D.

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Billy Walker: Bare With Me A Little Longer
Margie Bowes: Enough to Make A Woman Lose Her Mind
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Instrumental
Hank Snow: Confused With the Blues
Sam McGee: Under the Double Eagle
Jimmy Dickens: You Destroyed Me
Billy Walker: A Million and One
Hank Snow: Man Behind The Gun

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): Running Gun
Charlie Louvin: See the Big Man Cry
Ernie Ashworth: Sad Face
Curly Fox: Won't 'Cha Come Home, Bill Bailey
Don Winters: Annie Lou
Cousin Jody: Run, Please, Run
Bluegrass Country Kin: Ol' Slewfoot
Marty Robbins: Devil Woman/The Shoe Goes on the Other Foot Tonight/Begging to You/El Paso

In was announced today that the Opry will have a big weekend on Friday March 14th and Saturday March 15th, which is the 40th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry House. Scheduled for Saturday night will be Opry members Blake Shelton, Clint Black, Josh Turner and Diamond Rio, along with guest artist Miranda Lambert. I am sure there will be more scheduled. Hopefully they will include some of the legends in the celebration.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. Thanks, Byron, and great lineups. A couple of interesting things:

    --There were more members present in 1976 than in 1967. That struck me, since, by then, the rules were being loosened.

    --I don't think I'd seen Bill Carlisle listed as a segment host before!

  2. I just hope they don't extend an invitation to Miranda Lambert to become an Opry member. Personally, I feel that would be a nightmare. I'm sure husband, Blake Shelton, has no doubt been pushing the issue.

  3. David, I am going to be at all 3 shows that weekend and I would not be surprised at all if that happened. Just a feeling and knowing how the Opry operates. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some type of televisioin for that Saturday night, either live or taped for a later showing.

    The Opry also posted that this will be the start of a series of Orpy events that will end with the Opry's 90th birthday celebration in 2015. It could be a big year of Opry shows.

    Mike, I am with you as I don't recall any other line-ups that I have posted that had Bill Carlisle hosting a segment. I am sure he did and he would sure have the personality to do it.

  4. Two things I can note about those two lineups. That lineup from 1976 is probably the only time Don Gibson and Barbara Mandrell ever played the Opry the same night.
    As for the 1967 list, I remember very well listening that night. Back then, I used to write down the lineups as I listened and I still have my notes from that show. (I later got to see the 4 Guys in concert and loved them till the day Pete fired them.)
    But the thing that stands out for me was Bobby Bare. In those days whoever hosted the Buckley's segment was advertising a new album available at the Buckley's store. I remember thinking how unusual it was for Bobby to be singing gospel on the Opry, but that was the featured album.
    Also, Jimmy Dickens was appearing as a nonmember and it was always special when he was there.

  5. I remember with fondness getting to see the Four Guys perform in person. Their harmonies were wonderful and they brought to the Opry a unique sound. They are certainly missed. In my opinion, the way they were dismissed was unfortunate.
    A historical note: The original Four Guys who came to the Opry in '67 were Sam Wellington, Brent Burkett, Rich Garrett, and Berl Lyons. Gary Buck and Glen Bates were members in years to come.

  6. Bill Cody of WSM interviewed one of the Forester Sisters (didn't catch which one).
    She said the sisters still all live in the same town, and even attend the same Church. When they all happen to show up together on a given Sunday, they've been know to sing a song or two. It's the family harmony thing.
    Sweet interview, and it will be good to hear them together again from the 'Opry stage.

  7. I was looking on The Forrester Sister's website and it would appear, like you said Nat, that they are live in the same area, several of whom are teachers, and enjoying raising their families. Good for them. But it also looks like that outside of a Christmas Album, they haven't done anything for years.

    Which leads me to the question, how did they get an invite to perform on the Opry? Obviously they are a veteran act. But so are many of the Opry's veteran members, several of whom are still actually performing. Folks like Stonewall Jackson or Jan Howard for example.

    I like The Forrester Sisters and always have. They do a great job. I am just making the comment that if you are going to bring in a veteran act, there are many Opry members to choose from.

  8. I am going to take a wild guess here and say a certain number of people will make a special trip to Nashville to see the Forrester Sisters take the hallowed 'Opry stage, I know I will be anxious to hear them. That group of people might not make a special trip to see Stonewall or Jan. I like both of them a lot and enjoy it when they're on the show, but I can certainly see the thought behind the Forrester sisters.
    I saw the Forrester Sisters at the Shelby County Fair in indiana YEARS ago. After the show, I remember that they sat down in their chairs behind a table on the home stretch of the race track and signed autographs until the last person left. Good people.
    Now I can gladly give you some names of folks I could care less if they ever appear again at the 'Opry!
    Hint: baseball caps, tight jeans, scruffy beards, zero personality, "how you all doin," flannel shirts, too cool for school, you get the picture.

  9. Byron,

    I have my sarcasm hat on so consider that with the following.

    Yes the Forrester Sister's can be considered a veteran act. So can T.G. Sheapprd, T Graham Brown, Sayer Brown, Exile and others that have appeared on the Opry the past few years. However, they were on mainstream radio into the 80's and 90's so there is a much better chance that the crowd they are trying to play to recognizes those names or maybe a song or two. To those folks, who is Jan Howard or Stonewall Jackson. Even Jeannie Seely for that mater. They are really veterans, maybe prehistoric even!

    Taking the hat off, it would appear that name recognition is probably more important than a history lesson. Having Jan or Stonewall on would increase the audience knowledge and exposure to an earlier style and thus some history but will they fill seats. You know they are what I want to hear and that I want them to appear often. I just think it is beyond what management is trying to promote now. As I have cried before, these people are used occasionally to fill out the lineup. Those used more often like Jim Ed, Bill, and Jeannie are good hosts and keep that can keep the show together. Either way I think they are used(abused) more than appreciated.

    My two cents for the day.

    Knightsville, IN

  10. I should add that I don't have a problem with the Forrester's being on the Opry. I enjoy their music and they seem like good people.

    Knightsville, IN

  11. It was good to hear The Potato come out tonight. He struck me as sounding pretty good, but obviously very emotional.

  12. I did not hear him. I was doing some driving and WSM was not coming in very well. I did hear The Forrester Sisters and they sounded very good.

    Was there a reason that you think why Jimmy sounded emotional?

  13. I couldn't tell just how much was emotion or his voice breaking because of his illness. However, it did sound like he was choked up. He explained how Mr. Acuff kept his promise and brought him down from Saginaw and he also said that the Opry and the Opry family have kept him alive. He did tell his toilet water joke at the beginning. It sounded like Jeannie tried to wrap him up without making it obvious. Nothing out of the way, Jimmy likes to talk and you can tell he enjoys being on that stage and in front of the crowd.

    Yes, the Forrester Sisters did a good job.

    Knightsville, IN

  14. I'll echo Jim. He commented at one point that he wasn't really getting better, and there's a phrase Vin Scully, who is 86, likes to use, that the meter is running. I suppose he is ever more conscious of it, and the memories were flooding back.