Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 4/4 & 4/5

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedule for the shows this weekend. Overall, nothing special and I would give the edge to Saturday night as the strongest of the two this weekend.

Saturday will feature frequent Opry guest, and someone who should have been an Opry member long ago, Rhonda Vincent. Joining Rhonda will be Restless Heart, another Opry regular and two artists who will be appearing both Friday and Saturday night, Kree Harrison and The Willis Clan.

Joining both of those on Friday night will be Ricky Skaggs, who will have MercyMe as one of his guests. And also guesting will be Holly Williams.

Friday April 4
7:00: John Conlee (host); Kree Harrison; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Willis Clan
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Holly Williams
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; MercyMe

Saturday April 5
7:00: John Conlee (host); Kree Harrison; Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Rhonda Vincent; Restless Heart
8:15: Connie Smith (host); George Hamilton IV; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Willis Clan

Jesse will be in the Opry gift shop after the show signing copies of his new CD, which is a collection of Jim & Jesse radio shows from years gone by. And Leona Williams will be the host of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.

On an additional note, some have asked and commented about Mike Snider and his absence from the Opry. Last year, his appearances were down, particuarly toward the end of the year, while in 2014 he has yet to make an Opry appearance. I asked and I don't have an answer. Apparently the comment was that he just wasn't coming to town as much as he used to. I didn't pick up on anything going on between him and the Opry.

For this week's look back at past Grand Ole Opry line-ups. I have 2 for this week. The first is from Saturday April 5, 1975, 39 years ago this Saturday night. This was the night that Skeeter Davis returned to the Opry. She had been suspended in December 1973 for comments that she made on the Opry that evening. Skeeter wrote in her book, "Bus Fare to Kentucky" that she received the news that she would be allowed back on the Opry while on a trip to Africa. Bud Wendell was the manager of the Opry when she was suspended, but upon his promotion was replaced by Hal Durham. Skeeter mentioned the efforts of Jean Shepard, Kirk McGee, George Hamilton IV and Teddy Wilburn, who campaigned on her behalf to get her back. The night she returned was her first night for her at the new Grand Ole Opry House, as she missed the opening. And as you would expect, there was a lot of press there to see what kind of reaction she would receive, which was overly positive.

Here is the line-up from Saturday April 5, 1975, the night Skeeter Davis returned to the Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Charlie Louvin (host): Freight Train Boogie
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Charlie Louvin: When You Have to Fly Alone/See the Big Man Cry

6:45: Rudy's
Ray Pillow (host): Countryfied
Stu Phillips: She Thinks I Still Care
Del Wood: The Entertainer
Ray Pillow: The Simple Things In Life

7:00: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Lonesome Road Blues
Skeeter Davis: I Can't Help It
Lonzo & Oscar: When I Stop Dreaming
Ernie Ashworth: The High Cost of Living
Skeeter Davis: Bus Fare to Kentucky
B. Gallion: Green Back Dollar
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

7:30: Standard Candy
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Jimmy C Newman: Thibodeaux Cajun Band
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Jim & Jesse: Ashes of Love
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Old Joe Clark
Jimmy C Newman: Before the Next Teardrop Falls
Charlie Walker: Lucille

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Justin Tubb: Sunshine Lady
Roy Acuff: Carry Me Back to the Mountains
Jeanne Pruett: Hold to My Unchanging Love/Love Me/You Don't Need Me to Move A Mountain/Satin Sheets
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: There's A Big Wheel

8:30: Stephens
Jack Green (host) & Jeannie Seely: If You're Going Down
Jeannie Seely: Catfish John
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
4 Guys: Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: He Can Be Mine

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
4 Guys (host): What About Me
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Bill Carlisle: Rough Stuff
Marion Worth: The Hands You're Holding Now
Ray Pillow: She's Doing It to Me Again
Del Wood: Alabama Jubilee
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria

10:00: Fender
Charlie Walker (host): Stay A Little Longer
Skeeter Davis: I Believe In Music
Lonzo & Oscar: Mountain Dew
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper

10:15: Union 76
Stu Phillips (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Rosemary Clooney: Half As Much

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Back in the Country
Jim & Jesse: Paradise
Billy Grammer: Peace in the Valley
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Big Midnight Special
Justin Tubb: Loving Arms
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jack Greene (host) & Jeannie Seely: Take Me Home Country Roads
Jeannie Seely: The First Time
Jimmy C Newman; Potato Song
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin Hen
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: Delta Dirt
Sam McGee: Victor Rag

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Don't Worry
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy/Welcome to the Sunshine
Ronnie Robbins: Mama Tried/If You Love Me Let Me Know
Marty Robbins: Love Me/I'm Wanting To/Devil Woman/El Paso/Ka-Lu A

Yes, that was Rosemary Clooney on the 2nd show.

The 2nd line-up is from Saturday April 3, 1982, which was the final Opry performance for DeFord Bailey. This took place on the Opry's annual Reunion Show, sometimes called Old-Timer's Night, or the Homecoming Show. Deford had returned to the Opry in 1974 after being gone for many years. After that 1974 show, he did return for several more of the Old-Timer's shows and was always a crowd favorite. DeFord would pass away in July of 1982. Here is the line-up from April 3, 1982, 32 years ago this weekend.

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Jimmy C Newman (host): Louisiana Cajun Band
Ernie Ashworth: Irene
Jeannie Seely: It Turns Me Inside Out
Jimmy C Newman: (?)

6:45: Rudy's
Roy Drusky (host): Billy Bayou
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Closed My Heart's Door
David Houston: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Roy Drusky: Blues in My Heart

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Kitty Wells: Amigo's Guitar
Johnny Wright: Ashes of Love
Zeke Clements: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry/Just A Little Lovin
Vic Willis Trio: Faded Love
Mac Magaha: Rocky Top

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Monroe (host): Uncle Pen
Connie Smith: I Just Had You On My Mind
Curly Fox: Sweet Georgia Brown/The Old Gray Mule
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle
Bill Monroe: My Florida Sunshine

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jack Shook: Carry Me Back to the Lone Praire
Alcyone Beasley: Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland
Alcyone Beasley & Jack Shook: Let the Rest of the World Go By
DeFord Bailey: Fox Chase/Cacklin Hen/Pan American Blues/Lost John
Sid Harkreader: Never Alone Waltz.Red Wing Fiddlin
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Paper Roses
4 Guys: It's High Time to Get Back on My Feet Again
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sugar Tree Stomp
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Hank Snow: Once More, You're Mine Again

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): You Make Every Day Feel Like Sunday
4 Guys: It Turns Me Inside Out
Jeannie Seely: When Your House Is Not A Home
Wilburn Brothers: If I Can't Have All of You
Kitty Wells: It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels
Johnny Wright: Poisen Love
Mac Magaha: Old Flames
Porter Wagoner: The Man in the Little White Suit/Ol' Slewfoot

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Monore (host): Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Curly Fox: Alabama Jubilee
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby On My Mind
Carl Butler: Don't Let Me Cross Over

10:15: Sunbeam
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Wilma Lee Cooper: Walking My Lord Up Calvary's Hill
Zeke Clements: God Made It All; It Belongs to Him/Smoke on the Water
Jimmy C Newman: (?)

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Jack Shook: Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Alcyone Beasley: Silver Threads Among the Gold
Alcyone Beasley & Jack Shook: Someone Like You
Sid Harkreader: Amazing Grace/Sally Goodin

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): There'll Be Anone Else But You For Me
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Lonzo & Oscar: Rocky Top
Roy Drusky: Just A Closer Walk With Thee

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Down the Trail of Aching Hearts
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Hank Snow: I Don't Hurt Anymore

11:30: Bama
Marty Robbins (host): Don't Worry
Charlie Louvin: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight/We Could
Stonewall Jackson: Angry Words.Muddy Water
Marty Robbins: Devil Woman/That's All Right/Don't Let Me Touch You/Good Hearted Woman/18 Yellow Roses/I Don't Know Why/El Paso

As you would expect on a night with a line-up like that, the Opry ran way over, ending just after 1:00am. The 1st Roy Acuff 30 minute segment ran 45 minutes and the 2nd Roy Acuff 15 minute segment ran 30 minutes. A great night.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. I think I'll sing a chorus of "Those Were the Days." GREAT stuff, Byron. Thanks.

  2. Thursday's show:

    Members: Jeannie Seely, Larry Gatlin, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis

    Guests: Gene Watson, Mandy Barnett

  3. A couple of additions to the 2 shows this weekend. Daryle Singletary takes the spot that was open in the 3rd segment on Friday and Andy Griggs takes that same spot on Saturday night. I guess with 7 Opry members for Friday and 8 Opry members already scheduled for Saturday, they didn't want to run the risk of having too many on.

    In fairness, this was a tough weekend to schedule for as most of the big-hitters are out west for the ACM awards on Sunday.

  4. Byron, I can understand their desire to have three minutes on a non-country music show. In honor of Jean Shepard, let's refer to that show as Ain't Country Music.

  5. I Think This Years Hall Of Fame Inductees Will Be Hank Cochran/Dallas Frazier The Browns And Alan Jackson I Think With Both Ronnie Milsap And Randy Travis Not Well Enough To Travel And The Oaks Performing In Branson On The 22th The Day Of The Hall Of Fame Announcement And With The 25th Anniversary Of The Iconic Class Of 1989 This Year I Think It Will Be Alans Year As Much As I Love Ricky Skaggs I Just Dont Think He Has Had The Success As Alan Has Had Alan Has Done Far More For Country Music Over The Years Than Ricky Has

  6. For those following the Hall of Fame announcement , I just read that Dottie West was not a finalist this year.

  7. Thanks David. Interesting.

    To follow up on the comment prior to yours, don't discount someone just because of their health. Ronnie Milsap did have surgery and is recovering. He lives about 3 or 4 miles from the Hall of Fame, so he could easily get there if needed. Randy Travis, who knows? But if needed, they could have a video feed for him or he could even be there. The Oaks start in Branson that night, which is just a short flight away from Nashville. And there is no guarantee or requirement that an inductee be there for the announcement. If you remember a few years ago, Reba was unable to attend due to her Father's situation.

    But again, I point to last year. Nobody had Bobby Bare or Jack Clement on any list of finalists that were being floated around. The voters are famous for pulling surprises. It could happen again this year. The voters tend to look at things a little different then the fans.

  8. Maybe it means nothing but Ricky is scheduled to be part of the HoF expansion grand opening on April 15.

    Found in the press release: "Who: The Honorable Karl Dean, Museum Director Mr. Kyle Young, Board Chairman Mr. Steve Turner, Country Music Hall of Fame members and special guest performers including Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Lee Ann Womack, Buddy Miller, and more"

    Notice that it says Hall of Fame members and not member. Plus, Ricky's mentioned right after Vince and you'd think that they'd list more Hall of Famers than by just saying 'and more.'

    Just throwing it out there.


  9. Wow, it looks as if someone from "Nashville" isn't on the Opry this week!

  10. But it's nice that The Potato came in, and he sounded pretty good.

  11. He sure did. I think this makes it 4 weeks in a row.

  12. Fred, Bismarck:

    Wish they'd put him on the schedule; then I'd listen, too.

  13. Fred, I suspect that they think it's too big a risk--he IS pretty frail, I gather.