Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 3/28 & 3/29

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend, and I have to say that the Opry has come up with 2 pretty nice shows. The line-ups look pretty solid and feature a couple of Opry members who do not get to the Opry as often as many of us would like.

Scheduled for both nights is Opry member Patty Loveless. I have said before that she is one of my favorite female country singers. I just wish she would get to the Opry more often. Joining her on Saturday night will be another long-lost Opry member Ronnie Milsap. Hopefully Ronnie makes it as he has cancelled out on his last couple of Opry shows. Joining them will be Opry member Vince Gill and guest artists Lee Greenwood, Leah Turner and Lauren Alaina.

Joining Patty on the Friday Night Opry will be Ricky Skaggs and Joe Diffie. Guest artists include Michael W. Smith, Mark Wills and a new name, Fiddlin' Carson Peters. From what I can find, this is a 10 year old fiddle player who has opened for Ricky Skaggs and has played a few numbers with Ricky. It should be interesting to see and hear this young man.

And what is an Opry weekend without someone from "Nashville" and this weekend it is Jonathan Jackson.

Friday March 28
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mark Wills; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Riders In the Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Joe Diffie
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jonathan Jackson; Patty Loveless
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Fiddlin' Carson Peters; Michael W. Smith

Saturday March 29
7:00: John Conlee (host); Leah Turner; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mandy Barnett; Ronnie Milsap
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Lee Greenwood; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Lauren Alaina; Patty Loveless

For this week's look in past Grand Ole Opry line-ups, I go to Saturday March 30, 1974. This was 40 years ago this weekend and 2 weeks after the new Opry House opened. It was also the last Opry appearance of the Earl Scruggs Revue. Earl Scruggs first came to the Opry with Bill Monroe in the 1940s. After the split from Bill, Earl and Lester Flatt became Opry members in the 1950s. On February 22, 1969, they made their final Opry appearance before their break up. Both Lester and Earl remained Opry members and Earl put together a group with his sons, the Earl Scruggs Revue. On September 13, 1969, they made their first Opry appearance. Earl did not perform on the Opry on a regular basis as he preferred to take his group to new and younger audiences. Finally on March 30, 1974, they left the Opry for good.

After a few years away, Earl began to make guest appearances on the Opry and would do so for the remainder of his life. There is also a report that later in life he expressed an interest in rejoining the Opry, but the invitation never came.

Here is the line-up from Saturday March 30, 1974:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Ernie Ashworth: Honky-Tonk Hardwood Floor
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down

6:45: Rudy's
Willis Brothers (host): Truck Stop
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203/Looking Back To See
Willis Brothers: Buying Popcorn

7:00: Rudy's
Archie Campbell (host): (?)
Bob Luman: Lonely Women Make Good Lovers
Tommy Jones: Dixie Humminbird
Archie Campbell: (?)
Bob Luman: When You Say Love
Tommy Jones: Orange Blossom Special
Archie Campbell: Make Friends

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I'm Going Home On The Morning Train
Lonzo & Oscar: Moving On #2
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Lost Indian
Roy Acuff: Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
Carolee Cooper: Making Plans
Roy Acuff: I Saw The Light

8:00: Martha White
Billy Walker (host): I Changed My Mind
Grandpa Jones: Are You From Dixie
Earl Scruggs Revue: Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Connie Smith: Dallas
Billy Walker: You Gave Me A Mountain
Grandpa Jones: Just Plain Folks
Earl Scruggs Revue: I Shall Be Released

8:30: Stephans
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Stu Phillips: Great El Tigrae
4 Guys: Don't It Make You Want To Go Home
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Johnny Russell: Red Necks, White Socks And Blue Ribbon Beer
Stu Phillips: That's A Chance I'll Have To Take
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

2nd show
9:30: Kelloggs
Charlie Walker (host): Wanting My Woman Again
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Connie Smith: Amazing Grace
Ernie Ashworth: Honky-Tonk Hardwood Floor
Charlie Walker: Jambalaya
Connie Smith: Louisiana Man
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips

10:00: Fender
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Doin' My Time
Bob Luman: Today I Started Loving You Again
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Coming Down From God

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Back In The Country
Justin Tubb: Loving Arms
Roy Acuff: Carry Me Back To The Mountains

10:30: Trailblazer
Stu Phillips (host): There Must Be Another Way To Say Goodbye
Grandpa Jones: Banjo Sam/Mountain Dew
Stu Phillips: For The Good Times

10:45: Beech-Nut
Billy Grammer (host): Lonesome Road Blues
Lonzo & Oscar: Rocky Top
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Sally Goodin
Billy Grammer: Just A Closer Walk With Thee

11:00: Coca-Cola
Billy Walker (host): Sing Me A Love Song To Baby
Earl Scruggs Revue: Carolina Boogie
Tommy Jones: Alabama Jubilee
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Earl Scruggs Revue: T For Texas
Sam McGee: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings Of A Dove
Johnny Russell: Red Necks, White Socks And Blue Ribbon Beer
Ronnie Robbins: Am I Good Enough To Be Your Man/Mama Tried
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Love Me/Big Boss Man/I'm Wanting To/El Paso/Singing The Blues

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!!!


  1. Fred, Bismarck:

    Looking more like it! I can see something to tune in for both nights.

    I'm with you on Patty Loveless, Byron. I'll be rooting for her & Vince to do "My Kind of Woman."

  2. The Opry reports that Ronnie Milsap had to cancel. He had surgery and he hasn't recovered to the degree that he can come in and perform. I hope everything is all right.

    I counted 20 members that night in 1974. Back then, that was mediocre!

  3. Thanks Mike. It is amazing how soon he cancelled out after the line-up was posted. It had to have been within an hour or two. Hope he is fine. Mark Wills is going to replace Ronnie on Saturday night. Not really a fair trade for those who bought tickets expecting to see Ronnie.

    Not to speculate, but could Ronnie's surgery and recovery be one reason why the Hall of Fame announcement is a little late? If you remember, last year it was the 2nd week of April and that was the latest announcement since they went with the 1st of the year elections.

  4. Fred, Bismarck:

    Sorry to be mischievous, but could this be a case of approach/avoidance?

  5. This Years Hall Of Fame Inductees Will Be Announced April 22

  6. April 22? I just looked and Ronnie, Marty, Ricky, & Alan don't have a tour date that day. The Oaks do.


  7. A.B., it's kind of funny. Those were the same individuals that I looked up. You are correct, that those you mentioned don't have anything booked on that date, while the Oaks begin a run of dates in Branson, Mo. And, like many others, I would consider those listed, along with The Browns, Dottie West and Randy Travis among the leading candidates.

  8. With Ronnie Milsap And Randy Travis Not Well Enough To Travel And The Oaks Performing In Branson On The 22nd That Leaves Either Ricky Skaggs Or Alan Jackson To Go In From The Modern Category This Year

  9. It's about time for the Hall of Fame announcement.April 22 huh? Good.I like to guess either Alan Jackson or Ricky Scaggs in modern category,Hank Jr.,June Carter Cash,The Browns,the Wilburns,or Dottie West for veteran category,Buddy Killen for songwriters category.That's my choices for 2014

  10. Fred, Bismarck:

    Wasn't able to listen last night because of a kind of echo in my feed. How did Vince and Patty do?

    I did catch Patty on Friday. Wish she had sung something from one of her newer albums; her radio hits never did that much for me.

    Jonathan Jackson doesn't need to come back. What the heck was that second number he did? Sounded like he was invoking Yahweh, the Hebrew god, over and over. Freaky.

    1. Fred,

      I agree on Jackson. Saturday night it was Leah Turner! I must have strange taste but I just didn't see anything pretty, artsy, pleasing or entertaining about her performance. I really can't say what I think it sounded like she was doing. Not trying to be mean or too critical, just an opinion.

      Enjoyed Patty Lovelace and like Byron wish she would come around more often.

      Knightsville, IN

  11. A tough night at the Opry. Ronnie Milsap cancelled out earlier in the week and Vince Gill cancelled out for last night. So no Patty and Vince number, although Patty sounded great and did 3 songs. Riders In the Sky double hosted last night. I know Vince bailed at pretty much the last minute, but you would have thought they could have come up with someone.

    Jimmy Dickens did make it again last night. That is 3 weeks in a row for him. He did sing and sounded pretty good. I wonder if they will just continue with surprise appearances by him or at some point, take a chance and put him on the schedule.

    Also, Marcia Campbell announced at the start of the "Inside the Opry Circle" program that WSM runs after the Opry on Saturday night, that last night would be the final program. Not sure what is up with that. I always enjoyed listening to it.

  12. I heard Larry Gatlin say on the Thursday night show that he was going to have a radio program on WSM right after the Opry. I assume he meant on Saturday nights.