Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 3/14 & 3/15

The Grand Ole Opry will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry House this weekend. In addition to the Friday Night Opry, Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will have 2 shows for the first time this year.

The reason for the 2 Saturday shows is the appearance of a couple of Opry members who seem to have lost their way to the Opry House. Blake Shelton and Clint Black will be appearing, Josh Turner and Diamond Rio. The big-name guest artist for Saturday night will be Blake's wife, Miranda Lambert. She is promoting some new product and I am sure she will be singing some selections from the new CD. Saturday's show will also feature the "Opry debut of the week", which this week is Green River Ordinance

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry members Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis, along with guest artists Crystal Gayle, Chuck Wicks and Scotty McCreery, all of whom are frequent Opry guests. And we cannot forget the "Nashville" connection and this week it is Lennon & Maisy.

Friday March 14
7:00: Nashville Irish Step Dancers; Riders In The Sky (host); Jenn Bostic; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Chuck Wicks; Crystal Gayle
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Lennon & Maisy
8:45: Lorrie Morgan & Pam Tillis (hosts); Scotty McCreery

Saturday March 15
1st show
7:00: Diamond Rio (host); The Whites; Green River Ordinance
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Josh Turner
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Clint Black; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Miranda Lambert; Blake Shelton

2nd show
9:30: Diamond Rio (host); Jean Shepard; Green River Ordinance
10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Josh Turner
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Clint Black; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Miranda Lambert; Blake Shelton

I do have a couple of comments. First, the line-ups are pretty strong as far as "star-power," especially on Saturday night. But I really expected something more when the 40th anniversary was announced. Maybe I was thinking a few more Opry members and more of the veterans who were there that opening night. That would have added a nice salute to the show. I know there are just a few left, but it would have been nice. On Saturday night, there is a slot open on both shows. Perhaps a special surprise guest, or maybe Jimmy Dickens. Or maybe nothing and we get what we get.

I will be in Nashville this weekend and will be at all 3 shows (providing I can get out of Canton!!! Another winter storm today). Seriously, I will make it and am looking forward to the Opry. This will be my first trip since the birthday bash in October, which is about the longest stretch for me between shows. And as usual, I will provide updates when I get back.

For this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history, I go to Saturday March 15, 1975, which was the 1st anniversary of the Opry House. What made this show special was that flood waters from the Cumberland River forced the Opry to move downtown to the Municipal Auditorium. Unlike 2010, the Opry House was not damaged, it was just a case of the parking lots being flooded. What made this show so special was that it was also the annual Old-Timer's night and the Opry had guest appearances by former members DeFord Bailey, Alcyonne Beasley, Zeke Clements, Maybelle Carter, Duke of Paducah and the Tennessee Sweethearts, Clyde & Marie Dilleha.

1st show
6:00: Vietti
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Jimmy Dickens: Sleeping At The Foot Of The Bed
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Justin Tubb: Sunshine Lady
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way
Marion Worth: Put You Hand In The Hand
Charlie Walker: Odds & Ends

6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jerry Clower (host): The Last Piece Of Chicken
4 Guys: Let Me Be There
Del Wood: Keep On The Firing Line
Jerry Clower: How I Backed Into Show Business

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Louvin (host): See The Big Man Cry
Lonzo & Oscar: When I Stop Dreaming
Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink On Me
Charlie Louvin: I've Just Gotta Know

7:00: Rudy's
Ray Pillow (host): Countryfied
Jean Shepard: The Tips Of My Fingers
Billy Grammer: Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Stonewall Jackson: Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Thank God I'm Free
Jean Shepard: Seven Lonely Days
Ray Pillow: The Simple Things In Life

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
DeFord Bailey: Pan American Blues/Fox Chase/John Henry
Alcyonne Beasley: Silver Threads Among The Gold
Duke Of Paducah: If You Knew Susie/Toot-Toot Tootsie/Baby Face
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle

8:00: Martha White
Minnie Pearl: (host)
Zeke Clements: Why Should I Cry Over You/Somebody's Been Beating My Time/Just A Little Lovin
Maybelle Carter: Wildwood Flower
Tenneessee Sweethearts: Peggy O'Neil
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
Clyde Moody: I Know What It Means To Be Lonesome
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Hank Snow: Paper Roses

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Jimmy Dickens: May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
Stu Phillips: Loving You; Still Loving You
Lonzo & Oscar: The Crawdad Song
Stonewall Jackson: Washed My Hands In Muddy Water

10:00: Fender
Charlie Walker (host): Don't Squeeze My Sharmin
Jerry Clower: A New Bull
Marion Worth: Burning Bridges
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Old Time Sunshine Song
Jean Shepard: The Tips Of My Fingers
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:30: Trailblazer
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Poor Ellen Smith
Charlie Louvin: When You Have To Fly Alone
Ray Pillow: Excuse Me/Slippin' Around
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Coming Down From God

10:45: Beechnut
Billy Grammer (host): Under The Double Eagle
Bill Carlisle: Too Old To Cut The Mustard
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Liberty
Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Hello, Love
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile

11:30: Elm Hill
4 Guys (host): Down By The Lazy River
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues/Are You From Dixie
Clyde Moody: The Prisoner's Song
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria

The last segment was running short as the show was running pretty long. Also, I notice no bluegrass acts. My guess is there must have been a pretty big festival somewhere that most of them were at. Finally, you will notice that Minnie Pearl "hosted" a segment. So as not to go against Opry policy at the time, which was to have only male performers as segment hosts, Minnie was considered the "M.C." of the segment and not the "host."

As an additional treat for this week, I have the line-up from the Friday Night Opry, March 14, 1975, 40 years ago this weekend:

7:30: Varallo
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Lonzo & Oscar: When I Stop Dreaming
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper
Stonewall Jackson: Washed My Hands In Muddy Water
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Becky Gallion: Let Me Be There
Charlie Walker: Stay A Little Longer

8:00: Tennessee Pride/Borax
Del Reeves (host): But I Do
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Bob Luman: Still Loving You
Del Reeves: Lay A Little Loving On Me
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
Del Reeves: White Lightening

8:30: Kroger/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Billy Grammer: Wednesday Night Waltz
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Big Midnight Special
Roy Acuff: Back In The Country
Billy Grammer: Detroit City
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Couldn't Care Less
Roy Acuff: I Saw The Light

9:00: Baltz Bros./Schlitz
George Morgan (host): In The Misty Moonlight
Jean Shepard: At The Time
Jimmy Dickens: Family Reunion
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
George Morgan: Mr. Ting-A-Ling
Jean Shepard: The Tips Of My Fingers
Jimmy Dickens: I'd Rather Sleep In Peace, Then Know Your Gone
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving

9:30: Acme Boot/Beechnut
Jerry Clower (host): Comedy
Barbara Mandrell: Wonder When My Baby's Coming Home
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Jerry Clower: The She-Coon Of Women's Lib
Barbara Mandrell: Johnny B. Goode
4 Guys: Country Lullaby

10:00: Cee Bee
Jim Ed Brown (host): Broad-Minded Man
Dottie West: Last Time I Saw Him
Stu Phillips: Love You All Over Again
Jim Ed Brown: Bar Room Pals & Good Time Gals
Dottie West: The Bitter They Are
Stu Phillips: Loving You; Still Loving You
Jim Ed Brown: Sometimes Sunshine/Southern Loving

10:30: Shoney's
Charlie Louvin (host): (?)
Marion Worth: (?)
Justin Tubb: (?)
Del Wood: (?)

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!!


  1. Fred, Bismarck:

    Hope the weather cooperates, Byron, and that the Opry puts on some good shows for you!

  2. Please give us "the up close and personal" updates after the shows. Safe travels.

  3. Byron, I hear you on the winter that just won't quit! Chicago has had almost 80 inches of snow since November. The norm for Chicago & its suburbs is around 35/38 inches - SO sick of snow & cold. But we continue to get to the finish line.

    Possibly you will be able to find out when the Country Music Hall of Fame newest inductees will be announced. Hopefully in the next few weeks. Always a very exciting time for the inductees & their fans.

    Safe travels & have a very enjoyable time in Nashville, Byron. Looking forward to the "tidbits" of your trip.


  4. The Tennessean had an item today about the anniversary and a video-report which said the shows are SOLD-OUT !!

  5. Uh-oh! You left Sarie (of Sarie and Sallie) off the first anniversary lineup. She came on after The Tennessee Sweethearts. I've still got the tape of that segment somewhere but I'm afraid that after 39 years it would fall apart! I used to listen to it over and over and I remember Minnie's introduction that night. She said, "If I could be as funny as those two were, and as this one is, I'd be pretty happy." All through Sarie's routine you hear Minnie cackling in the background.

  6. It is a shame that "the powers that be" apparently did not offer the surviving Opry members from forty years ago a spot on the Opry this weekend. This would have been a good touch, and it would have helped to satisfy fans (like myself) who have been frustrated at the direction that the Opry is being taken (trying to get away from the veterans of the Opry). It is not my intention to appear to be on a rant; this is just a sincere opinion.

  7. Bruce, it looks like the Opry ended up using last night too as part of the 40th anniversary celebration and they showed video clips of the artists who were on the show last night and in 1974. So I would expect them to do that tonight as well with the few who are on the shows this weekend that were on in 1974. So they did make an effort in this aspect. There just aren't that many who still alive and are members of the Opry that were there in 1974. The only ones not represented over the course of Friday and Saturday of this weekend are Jim Ed Brown(who would have been on if available), Stonewall Jackson(we know the deal with him and his issues with Opry management), Stu Phillips and Ray Pillow and of course Dolly who is who knows where? So I think using last night and tonight to honor the ones who were there in 1974 who are there this weekend with video clips was a pretty nice way of doing it. Would have loved to see them all together on the stage at the same time...that would have been cool but can't complain much on this.

  8. I was at the Friday night show in 1975....the last show at the Ryman. After the Opry ended that night, there was another show....The Grand Ole Gospel. I remember that Johnny Cash appeared on that show, but can't remember any of the other acts. Anybody know?

  9. was 1974, of course.

  10. Johnny Cash appeared with June Carter and The Carter Family. Hank Snow was also on Grand Ole Gospel that night, along with his son Jimmie Rodgers Snow, who of course hosted the show.