Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 5/30 & 5/31

Before offering the line-ups for the shows this weekend, I just wanted again to comment on Stonewall Jackson's appearance on last week's Friday Night Opry. As I stated previously in the comments from last week, Stonewall sounded pretty good in his first Opry appearance of the year. He did his hit, "That's Why I'm Walkin'" and the audience gave him a very nice reception. Among the comments he made were, "I love the Grand Ole Opry", and at the conclusion of his song he thanked "Mr. Fisher" for inviting him.

It was that last comment that I thought was a little strange and it just made me wonder a bit. I know some of the veterans, particuarly Ray Pillow, Stu Phillips and Stonewall, rarely do the Opry. Some is by choice as all 3 have had a few medical issues. But it also made me wonder if Stonewall had been called previously to do the Opry over the past several months and he has declined, which resulted in Pete Fisher calling him personally to ask him to appear. I know that sounds a little out there, but that seemed to be the only logical explanation I could come up with for Stonewall to say that. Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but I hope we have not seen the last of Stonewall and that he comes back soon.

As far as the Opry, the next couple of weeks will be pretty busy with the CMA Music Festival getting underway and a lot of the bigger acts in town and doing the Opry. For this weekend, it's not so much the big names, but there is some good talent at the Opry this weekend, particuarly on Friday Night.

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry members Marty Stuart and Ralph Stanley, along with Ricky Skaggs who is appearing both nights. Guest artists include comedian Henry Cho, Radney Foster and among my favorites, Kathy Mattea. The only name I see on Friday night that I question is Mary Gauthier. I was at the Opry years ago when she made her Opry debut and in my opinion, she was terrible. And I was not the only one to have that opinion. Hopefully she is better this time around.

In addition to Ricky Skagg's, Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature a number of guest artists including frequent Opry guests Sarah Darling and Mark Wills. Deana Carter gets another guest appearance and she has impressed. As far as newcomers this weekend, we have Morgan Evans from Australia making his Opry debut on Saturday, along with Crowder, a Christian act.

Friday May 30
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Kathy Mattea; Jimmy C Newman; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: John Conlee (host); Henry Cho; Ralph Stanley
8:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; Radney Foster
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Mary Gautheir

Saturday May 31
7:00: John Conlee (host); Sarah Darling
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Morgan Evans; Mark Wills
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Deana Carter; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Crowder

That comes out to 14 artists on Friday night, which might be close to a modern day record!!, and 11 on Saturday night. 10 Opry members on Friday and 6 on Saturday with a slot left open for Jimmy Dickens. The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will be hosted by Joanne Cash.

Now looking back, here is the Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, May 29 & 30, 2009:

Friday May 29, 2009
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jean Shepard; Sunny Sweeney
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:00: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; The Quebe Sisters Band
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Nagatani; Riders In The Sky

Saturday May 30, 2009
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider
7:30: Marty Stuart (host); Jimmy C Newman; Riders In The Sky; Connie Smith
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Joe Diffie; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Amy Grant; John McEuen; Tim O'Brien; Steve Martin; Brad Paisley

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; George Hamilton IV; The Whites
10:00: Marty Stuart (host); Jack Greene; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Connie Smith
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Joe Diffie; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Amy Grant; John McEuen; Tim O'Brien; Steve Martin

And here is the line-up from 10 years ago, May 28 & 29, 2004:

Friday May 28, 2004
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Joni Harms
8:00: Steve Wariner (host); Osborne Brothers; Lane Turner
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Daryle Singletary
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Rhonda Vincent
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; John Berry

Saturday May 29, 2004
1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Julie Roberts
7:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Joni Harms
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jimmy C Newman; Darryl Worley
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Carl Hurley; Joe Nichols; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Lane Turner; George Jones

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; George Jones
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Billy Walker; Julie Roberts
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Carl Hurley; Darryl Worley; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Joni Harms; Lane Turner
11:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jack Greene; Joe Nichols

With the exception of George Jones, this would be one of the few weeks that I would take the 2009 show over the 2004 Opry.

For this week's look back in the archives, it was on Saturday June 2, 1990, that Mike Snider became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

William Michael Snider has taken the venerable country traditions of down-home humor and old-time banjo playing and carried them lovingly into contemporary times. He was one of the first stars created by "The Nashville Network" via guest spots on Ralph Emery's Nashville Now (more than a hundred appearances) and the syndicated Hee Haw series (he joined the cast in 1987). With his slow-drawling West Tennessee accent, he left an initial impression of a bashful and simple country boy, but he quickly proved to be a shrewd and effective entertainer, mixing old-time tunes with humorous stores about his wife, "Sweetie" (Sabrina). He often generated double the fan mail of famous guests.

At sixteen, Snider received his first banjo. After winning the Mid-South Banjo Championship, he became National Bluegrass Banjo Champion at twenty-three. On January 21, 1984, Snider made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. A prouder moment came on June 2, 1990, when he was officially welcomed as a cast member by his comedy idol, Minnie Pearl. Snider has since added back-up musicians to his act and witty one-liners. In 1989 he hosted TNN's "Fairs & Festivals" series and is in demand for banquets and conventions. He was also a familiar face at the Opryland park. Snider's albums, "Puttin' on the Dog" and "Mike Snider Live at the Opry," are not available in music stores but instead at his personal appearances. Thanks to TV appearances, Snider says, the releases have sold respectably: "Sometimes you sell a few and sometimes you don't."
(Walt Trott-The Encyclopedia of Country Music)

Mike has always been a very loyal member of the Opry, but for some unknown reason, he has not appeared on the show at all in 2014. I have asked, as have others, and there seems to be no real explanation for Mike avoiding the Opry. There is nothing being said that he is mad at anyone, so let's just hope he is taking a break.

In honor of Mike Snider's 24th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, here is the running order of the show from Saturday June 2, 1990, the night Mike Snider became a member.

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Jimmy Dickens (host): (?)
Jeanne Pruett: (?)

6:45: Rudy's
4 Guys (host): (?)
Skeeter Davis: (?)

7:00: Shoney's
Jim Ed Brown (host): (?)
Jan Howard: (?)
Billy Walker: (?)
Ray Pillow: (?)
Charlie Louvin: (?)

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): Are You From Dixie
Holly Dunn: Don't Worry/You Really Had Me Going
Minnie Pearl
Mike Snider: Alabama Jubilee/Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Grandpa Jones: Eight More Miles to Louisville

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come This Far to Say Goodbye/Your Cheatin' Heart
George Hamilton IV: Till I Can Gain Control Again/Abilene
Opry Square Dance Band: Patti on the Turnpike
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Roy Drusky: The Last Farewell
Stu Phillips: The Great El Tigroe
Jeannie Seely: One Step Away From Coming Home
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
Holly Dunn: Don't Worry
Billy Walker: Tennessee Waltz
Bill Carlisle: Same Old Tale That the Crow Told Me
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Jim Ed Brown: A Child Is Born

10:00: Little Debbie
Jimmy Dickens (host): Me and My Big Loud Mouth
Skeeter Davis: If I Don't Have You
Jimmy Dickens: What Will I Do Then

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Low and Lonely
4 Guys: Catfish John/How Married Are You Mary Ann
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

10:30: Pet Milk
Grandpa Jones (host): Darby's Ram
Mike Snider: Bells of St. Mary's
Grandpa Jones: Chicken, Chicken

10:45: B.C. Powder
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Jean Shepard: Love's Gonna Live Here
Opry Square Dance Band: Sugar in the Goard
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Forever & 1; Forever & 2
Connie Smith: Once A Day
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Roy Drusky: Always
Vic Willis Trio: Colorado
Hank Snow: Ninety Miles An Hour

11:30: Creamette
George Hamilton IV (host): Break My Mind
Stu Phillips: I Shouldn't Have Stayed So Long
Jeannie Seely: One Bad Old Memory
Johnny Russell: No One Will Ever Know
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young

*It appears that Dottie West might also have done the first show, but I neglected to write what segment she might have been on.

Congratulations to Mike Snider on 24 years of Opry membership.

1 comment:

  1. I hope Mike Snider is doing all right, which reminds me that I hadn't recalled Ray Pillow having health problems. I hope he's doing ok, too.

    Interesting that Mike did The Bells of St. Mary's. Do a search for that with the name Kayton Roberts attached. Mr. Snow would introduce him by saying that he would be doing "a most unUsual version" of the song. Then at the end he'd say, "You'll notice at no time did his fingers leave his arms." But he does an incredible job on it.