Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 7/18 & 7/19

One!!!! (1). Brad Paisley. That is it. He is the only Grand Ole Opry member scheduled for this week's Friday Night Opry. No one else. And on top of that, only 7 acts scheduled in a show that looks more like a Tuesday Night Opry rather then a traditional Friday or Saturday show. And to me that is just terrible and there is just no excuse.

This booking lies at the feet of two people: Steve Buchanan and Pete Fisher. You can't tell me that this is the best these two can do. Or maybe this is all they want to do. And then you look at the rest of the line-up for Friday night. Asleep At The Wheel is a quality act. No complaints. But Mark Wills is a semi-regular who has seen his better days. Sarah Darling continues to struggle to establish a career. Striking Matches? Kristian Bush? And how about Native Run? By the way, they are making their Opry debut. $60 for a prime ticket. I don't think so. It is apparent that they are expecting Brad to carry the load and he will. I am also sure this show will be a sell-out. But, it certainly won't be a Friday Night Opry that I will be listening to.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry is better, especially if you like the legends. The Whites, George Hamilton IV, Ray Pillow and Connie Smith are all hosting segments, and Jean Shepard and Jesse McReynolds are also scheduled. Charles Esten from "Nashville" will be making an appearance as will The Grascals. And what is an Opry show without either Chris Janson or The Willis Clan? Saturday, it's the Willis Clan's turn. And there is a spot saved for Jimmy Dickens.

Friday July 18
7:00: Striking Matches; Mark Wills
7:30: Native Run; Asleep At The Wheel
Intermission
8:15: Kristian Bush; Sarah Darling
8:45: Brad Paisley

Saturday July 19
7:00: The Whites (host); Austin Webb; Jean Shepard
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); The Grascals
Intermission
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Jesse McReynolds; Mark Wills; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Charles Esten; The Willis Clan

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago, the weekend of July 17 & 18, 2009.

Friday July 17
7:00: John Conlee (host); Riders In The Sky; Jack Greene; Rhonda Vincent
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Daryle Singletary
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Hal Ketchum
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; Roy Clark

Saturday July 18
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Lovell Sisters
7:30: Roy Clark (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman; Riders In The Sky
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Hal Ketchum; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; The Lovell Sisters
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman; Hal Ketchum
10:30: Roy Clark (host); Jan Howard; Riders In The Sky; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Connie Smith

And from 10 years ago this weekend, July 16 & 17, 2004.

Friday July 16
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Connie Smith; Shannon Lawson
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Helen Cornelius; Bellamy Brothers
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; George Hamilton IV; Scotty Emerick
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Stevens Sisters
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Walker; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Chely Wright

Saturday July 17
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Gail Davies
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Helen Cornelius; John Conlee; The Whites; Scotty Emerick
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Louvin; Billy Walker; Eddy Raven
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jesse McReynolds; & The Virginia Boys; Jean Shepard; Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Stevens Sisters; Andy Griggs

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Scotty Emerick
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); John Conlee; The Whites; Eddy Raven
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Helen Cornelius; Billy Walker; Andy Griggs; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Craig Morgan
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Stonewall Jackson; Stevens Sisters; Gail Davies

I noticed that Chely Wright was on the Friday Night Opry. This was during the period when there was a lot of talk about Chely becoming an Opry member, something that she really wanted. After her huge hit, "Single White Female" in 1999, her career really has tailed off. Probably a good move on the part of the Opry in not making her a member.

A quick count has 13 Opry members on Friday night, and the 1st show on Saturday, while there were 12 for the 2nd show.

And finally, we go back 23 years, to Saturday July 20, 1991. Nothing special took place on this particular evening, but I think it represents the shows that were being put on at the Opry during that time period.

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Juke Box/A Dime at A Time/Looking at the World Through A Windshield
Johnny Russell: Act Naturally
Del Reeves: She Thinks I Still Care

6:45: Hall of Fame
Jimmy Dickens (host): Mountain Dew
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way

7:00: Shoney's
Jack Greene (host): Oh, Lonesome Me
4 Guys: What'll You Do About Me
Jean Shepard: A Stranger In My Place
Mike Snider: Puttin' On the Dog
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/He Is My Everything/Statue of A Fool

7:30: Standard Candy
Jerry Clower (host): Comedy
George Hamilton IV: I'm Using My Bible for A Roadmap/Cabin in Gloryland
Jeannie Seely: Too Far Gone
T. Graham Brown: You Can't Take It With You When It's Gone/The Rock
Jerry Clower: Comedy

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jim Ed Brown: Just For Old Times Sake/The 3 Bells
Roy Drusky: One Day at A Time/Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
Opry Square Dance Band: Bill Cheatham
Roy Acuff: My Old Pal of yesterday
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

8:30: Pops Rite
Hank Snow (host): There's A Fool Such As I
Jimmy C Newman; Lafayette
Charlie Walker: A Way to Free Myself
Jan Howard: You Belong to Me
Ray Pillow: If I Didn't Have You in My World
Hank Snow: Prisoner's Song

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Jean Shepard: Love's Gonna Live Here
Jack Greene: Our Time
Del Reeves: The Race is On
T. Graham Brown: You Can't Take it With You When It's Gone/The Rock
Jimmy Dickens: Another Bridge to Burn

10:00: Little Debbie
Jimmy C Newman (host): Mottland
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
Jimmy C Newman: Cochon de Lait

10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
Roy Acuff (host): Home in San Antone
Bill Carlisle: I'm Movin'
Roy Acuff: Freight Train Blues
Bill Carlisle: Elvira

10:30: Pet Milk
Charlie Walker (host): Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
4 Guys: You Are My Reason to Live
Charlie Walker: Waltz Across Texas

10:45: B. C. Powder
Jerry Clower (host): Comedy
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Opry Square Dance Band: Blackberry Blossom
Jerry Clower: Comedy

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
Skeeter Davis: He Will Be There
Roy Drusky: The Last Farewell
George Hamilton IV: Abilene
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Hank Snow: Little Buddy

11:30: Creamette
Jim Ed Brown (host): Don't Bother to Knock
Jan Howard: I Wish I Could Love That Much Again
Ray Pillow: Congratulations, You're Absolutely Right
Johnny Russell: Baptism of Jesse Taylor
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter

With the exception of T. Graham Brown, this show featured all Opry members.

I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!

35 comments:

  1. Seven acts on a Friday Night.
    Friday night has become Tuesday night (very few acts).
    This is not a good trend.

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  2. A terrible trend, I agree. Some thoughts on this:

    1. I don't mind experimentation. That keeps everything fresh. But for the current management, a "traditional" show is an experiment now, and that's bad.

    2. They may add other people to the lineup before the week is done?

    3. I hate to say it, but last night I realized that this is where the Opry is inevitably headed, and I realized why. It goes back to Del Reeves complaining of how the management treated the veterans and saying that when you started out, there was an implicit deal: if you gave up the chance to make big money on those Saturday nights when you came back to Nashville and did the Opry for peanuts, the Opry would take care of you when you didn't want to travel. Now, I'm not convinced that was completely true, but it made a lot of sense as some old-timers pulled back from the road and did the Opry more. But when the rules were relaxed (we often hear Hal Durham blamed, but I wonder how much of that came from Bud Wendell and Gaylord management--remember that B.J. Thomas was booted as a member and Don Williams left before Gaylord bought the store), that meant a longer-term change than may have been clear at the time. Namely, even the acts committed to the Opry, like Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill, don't feel as Ernest Tubb did: that being in Nashville Saturday night and not doing the Opry was sacrilege. The attitude has changed and the Opry has changed with it, and it will change still more. We don't have to like it, but there it is.

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  3. SAD!!!! JUST FLAT OUT SAD ....... WILL LISTEN IN JUST TO KEEP MY STREAK GOING FROM SPAIN....... WILL MULTITASK AND WATCH A BASEBALL GAME WHILE LISTENING TO THE OPRY.

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  4. From Anonymous in PA: Very sad indeed. In your listings from 2009, 2004 and 1991, there are FIFTEEN Opry Members who are no longer with us and THREE who are no longer appearing for health or other reasons (Mike Snider, Hal Ketcham, Stonewall Jackson). It is hard to imagine that of all the current Opry Members only one was available and in town this Friday night - just doesn't compute. Agree, surely not worth the ticket price nor a special trip to Nashville. Very sad indeed.

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  5. If they want to experiment with the line-up, or have "special" nights, or whatever, I have no issue with that at all, just use the Tuesday and Wednesday night shows for that. The Friday and Saturday shows should be left alone. But to me, it just looks so obvious that Steve and Pete told everyone else that they could stay home on Friday night.

    And, we all wait for the Opry to announce what they are going to do for the birthday bash this year. They already have booked Loretta for the Ryman on Friday and Saturday against the Opry. Makes you wonder......

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  6. A change already for Saturday night. Jean Shepard is out, with no replacement (Jimmy Dickens?) and Mandy Barnett has been added as the 3rd act in the 2nd segment.

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  7. have to agree that this is taking advantage of the fan the ticket buyer; you can not tell me there are not legend acts in the Nashville area that would not do the show and leave it to one sole opry member. I would feel scamed....not a buyer......

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  8. Craig Morgan has been announced as the SUPERSTAR for the Opry BDay in October (that came through on my Facebook feed).

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  9. how much does an act get paid to do the opry?

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  10. Sadly, I fear that this is the end of the Opry as we know it. This has probably what Fisher and Buchanan having been working towards for years, and it looks like they've succeeded. The Opry is soon to become just a concert with a headliner and few "opening" acts. It has long ceased to be the show that I loved and grew up with. I last attended the Opry in 2005 and probably won't ever make another trip to visit (even in 2005, the decline was noticeable). If future shows go the way of this Friday night show, there is no way I would even pay half the price to see such a lineup. I would have to agree with David B., it's about time to say RIP Grand Ole Opry.

    On a happier note, I was at the July 23, 1991 show that Byron posted. I attended the first show (with the televised portion). What a great show it was. How I wish we could see shows like that again, but, alas, those days are sadly over. Well, at least we have our memories of what used to be and can watch Opry performances from the better days on youtube!

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    1. Sorry for the poor grammar. What I meant to say was "This is probably what Fisher and Buchanan have been working towards for years,....."

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  11. Most of the musicians, veteran acts and newcomers receive the minimum union scale as negotiated betwen The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Ryman Hospitalities. I don't have a copy of the current contract, but the one I have from a couple of years ago pays roughly $250 to a single artist and $372 to a duo. A Trio was making about $512. Back when the Opry was televised, there were higher rates for the artists on the televised portion. The square dancers, back-up singers and back-up musicians are paid much less. The old notion that everyone who steps on the Opry stage, no matter if they are a lead singer or a back-up musician getting paid the same is long gone.

    That is the minimum. However, the bigger name acts receive considerably more than the union scale. This is nothing new as it goes back to Roy Acuff's time as he was paid a much higher rate to be on the Opry then others. In many cases, the record companies will kick in some extra cash in order to their acts on the Opry and again, this is nothing new.

    My guess, and knowing that the Opry is expected to make money and contribute to Ryman Hospitalities bottom line, is that Pete Fisher is on a budget and that budget includes a payroll line that he is not expected to exceed. I am sure a lot of the booking we see is based on that. If, for example, you bring in a big name such as Brad Paisley, that will affect how many acts are booked on the rest of the show. Next Friday, Carrie Underwood is scheduled, but there are 2 shows that night which I am sure will help on the revenue/cost side of things. Again, this is a guess on my part, but I would think, as a business, this is how they are operating.

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  12. Fred, Bismarck:

    The ironic thing is that the Gaylords presumably got into this thing through a love of country music that goes all the way back to Hee Haw. As of now, their legacy is ruination, if not destruction, of the Grand Ol' Opry.

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  13. I was shocked to see the Friday night lineup. Thought for sure it must have been a mistake, that someone had posted a Tuesday line to the Friday date. It's not even worth turning on the Opry tonight. Had I been in Nashville and purchased at ticket in advanced, I would be fighting for a full refund. The Opry management need to hear from us about this one. I plan on sending them a message. Might not do any good, but if they hear nothing they will assume all is ok.

    Wonder if Jean canceled in protest?

    JanFan

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  14. So, it goes back to my old question: what's the point of even having Opry "members" anymore? Pete can't book the members he wants and he doesn't want the members he can book. I guess you need "names" as a marketing hook but isn't that kind of a bait and switch tactic? You've got a list of 66 "members" that you might see on any given night but good luck actually seeing any of them. Up until Pete Fisher came along you could count on seeing at least 1/3 of the Opry cast on any given broadcast night. You didn't need to advertise your superstars months in advance to sell tickets....the quality of the cast ensured that even with 60% of them missing it would be a great show. Can you imagine if the Opry presented shows like that with the cast it has now? You couldn't beg, borrow or steal a ticket on Saturday night! I understand that part of Pete's problem is that most of his current cast don't give a rat's rump about the show or they would show up once in a while. For them, it's just another trophy to hang on the wall and trot out in your press release. At the same time, I have never been too impressed with his management or people skills. Of course, when the Opry finally does go belly up, the same people who rarely (if ever) supported the show will be all over the TV and newspapers crying about what a travesty it is...how they LOVED the Opry and are SO broken hearted to see it come to an end and b.s., b.s., b.s. and etc. Again, I'm glad I was around when the Opry was still like a family and that I got to see and meet so many of the great characters that made it so unique. For me, the show that I loved has been chopped, watered and dumbed down to the point that I can't even listen to it anymore...but I'm no longer part of the Opry's target audience so maybe I'm speaking out of turn.

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  15. From Anonymous in PA: Barry, agree with you 100%; Anonymous Jul18 - agree too, will send a message too - have done it before, not that it made any difference !

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  16. I can't imagine having spent $65 for a ticket several months in advance and finding out tonight's show is what I paid for. I would have stayed home and kissed my $65x3 goodbye. No need to throw good money after bad.

    Like Barry, I'm not who the Opry is targeting these days. I feel old before my time, I'm 48! My idea of good music, good singing, and good showmanship must be warped and really out of touch. Special talents of tonight's cast were "This is my debut" which applied to two of the eight, "I'm on a TV show", I've been here 60 times", I've opened for some marginal non country act" and best of all, I'm an Opry member and it's been quite a while since I was here". What a show! I can take or leave Mark Wills and Asleep at the Wheel but they were the good stuff tonight.

    All that aside, what matters is that Brad Paisley filled the house. Too bad if you paid your hard earned $65 and Brad isn't one of your favorite "big names" of the day. We got your money, the laughs on you. Speaking of Brad, what is he going to do when he grows up and the teenagers won't download his latest song. That seems to be his target audience. And, he may be a real nice guy, but listening to him live just isn't like listening to his recordings. I can only imagine what he will be like at 75. Jim Ed, Ray Pillow and the like should be filled with envy. Apologies to the Brad Paisley fans, I'm not trying to be mean, only my opinion.

    I think we are seeing the transformation of the Opry into that concert venue with a big name and a few opening acts. We even had our big name and one of those up and coming opening acts do a duet, the complete concert package. Wonderful! Maybe tonight was a test drive, sure looked like it.

    Even after saying all that, I'm still amazed when Jim Ed knocks em out, Anderson gets a roaring applause after doing one of those serious heart wrenching story songs or Jimmy Dickens gets a standing ovation. They and a few other younger acts who could only wish to be members, are what makes me suffer though this every week. I can't turn my back on them like Opry management has us long loyal fans.

    Saturday night has no choice but to be better than tonight.

    Paul Harvey, er Jim Rhodes, Good Day!

    Jim
    Knightsville, IN

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  17. Didn´t even bother to tune in tonite from Spain. Preferred watching the baseball game, BUT I will listen in tomorrow nite for the REAL Opry when the legends show up...... I am 41 years old, a Spaniard, who studied English in the U.S., and mainly learned English from country music legends like Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Connie Smith, Tammy Wynette, etc.
    My first time in 1998 at the Opry was like living a movie, like the one I saw on tv in Spain, about Loretta Lynn when I was 15-16 years old.
    Imagine when I heard her voice singing in English the first time, as opposed to being translated and dubbed in Spanish.......
    I just dont like modern, present day country music, and the day that the last "legend from the 50´s, 60´s, 70´s on the Opry passes away, that will be the day I stop listening.

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  18. Jim, you whippersnapper, I'm 49. My mother was the country music fan who converted my father and then me. And where I have a problem with Brad Paisley is not what he sings or how he sings, but that I don't hear HIM or Vince or Ricky or Marty saying this is unacceptable. But I sure do recall Mr. Acuff and Ernest Tubb and Minnie Pearl going to the management about Jim Denny. Now, we have discussed this before: this is not 1957 and the Opry isn't part of National Life. But apparently they don't stand for anything, though they will put up with anything.

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  19. I agree with everything everyone has contributed, and believe the Opry will just become a venue in the future. I find it sad that the Opry uses artists like Carrie (although, she is pretty good about appearances), Brad, Blake, etc to promote the shows when most of them rarely play. It is geared more toward the kids rather than the real country fan now and its sad to see it turned into just another tourist attraction. I'm 20, but I could care less about seeing Brad on the bill. When I want to go to the Opry, I want to see Jean, Jeannie, The Whites, Lorrie, and those that it actually means something to. I hate so much that I missed what it used to be because I love reading the old lineups posted on here.

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  20. Anonymous posted July 20:

    Nice to see you here. At this point I think all that we loyal Opry and true country fans can hope for is that some younger folks like you will appreciate and continue to pass on the history and love of the Opry and the music. I think the Opry members you mention and many other veterans would feel the same way. I have always thought that 20-25 years ago when my brother and I were about your age that our age and interest in the Opry and these performers was invigorating to them when we met and visited with them. They at least saw one more generation who knew and appreciated them and their music.

    If you were there and remembered it that's nice but if you weren't even born and you know all about the songs and the people and the era then it showed them you truly love it and had studied and researched to learn and that seemed to mean something to them. Sorry for the regulars here but this relates. I'll always think that the reason we were invited backstage by Jean Shepard and her husband Benny was because of who we talked to them about during our second time to meet them. This was 1998 and Hank Snow had not appeared on the Opry in about two years. We ask how he was doing and if they thought he would ever be back. They obviously loved Hank and we had a good discussion. Then, we ask about Marion Worth. Well, who in the heartland would have ever thought about her in 20 years. Jean's eyes lit up and she said "my lord how do you guys know about her?" "I just took her to the dentist the other day". We talked some more and eventually I was holding Jeans business card in my hand, she wrapped two hands around mine and said"guard this with your life".

    My point is that it looks like it is going to be left up to us fans and a just a few industry folks and performers to keep the Opry and the music alive so it is great to know there are younger folks who long for the real Grand Ole Opry and not this thing it is turning into. Thank you!

    Jim
    Knightsville, IN

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  21. @Jim, nice post bro. Totally on your wave length........ I agree its up to teh fans and just a few who understand the REAL Opry and what it is.

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  22. @Byron, personal question for you, what has been the most impacting Opry moment that you have witnessed???

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  23. I have posted on here many times how I got into the Opry and Country Music, and of course how it helped me learn English and American Culture. How did all of you get into the Opry??? Is it like in the stories I hear about families gathering around the radio in living room and listening, or out on teh front porch of their homes out in the Great Plains?????? I am just a curious foreigner with an addiction to country music and american culture!!!!!!

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    1. Was introduced to the Opry and it's wonderful members, in 1997 after see the first Country's Family Reunion videos on TNN. I remember distinctly Jeannie Seely singing the first lines of Don't Touch Me and saying Wow that's something. Been a faithful fan of the Opry and it's regular members ever since. Have made 5 trips to Nashville, and have had the pleasure of meeting several of these fine folks. They are so appreciative of their fans.

      JanFan

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    2. Nittannee, I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is hardly the place to look for country music, although a lot of country stars have headlined here over the years. My mother grew up in the 1950s in the hills of northern New Jersey, which also isn't country music central. But from where she lived, she could hear WSM and she could see TV shows. That's where she fell in love with country music and, when the family moved west, she brought that love with her. When I was a kid, I'd hear country music from the local country station, KRAM, and then my mother started buying records and cassettes (and 8-tracks!). Her all-time favorite was Jimmy C. Newman. But Las Vegas was beyond WSM's signal, so we got to see the PBS telecasts of the Opry in the late 1970s, and then when TNN started televising the Opry in 1985 ... I, too, was hooked.

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  24. Nittannee, great question. There have been a few that I have been lucky enough to see. But I would say, and actually this is pretty easy, it would have been Roy Acuff's final Saturday night appearance at the Opry in October 1992. Watching him that night singing with Bill Anderson, "I Wonder If God Likes Country Music" you just had a feeling this was it. I had not been at the Opry in a few months and was shocked at how frail Roy looked and as Bill and Roy did that song, there were tears in the Opry House, along with the long standing ovation. I know Bill writes in detail about that night in one of his books.

    Probably the 2nd moment would have been the Opry's first return to the Ryman Auditorium in January 1999, the first time back since the Opry left in 1974. A lot of memories that night and it was a special show.

    As far as the best Opry show I have been at, I would say the Opry's 75th. Overall, that weekend was probably the strongest that the Opry will ever see again.

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  25. I cry whenever Bill Anderson sings "I wonder if God Likes Country Music" just thinking about Roy Acuff.
    I believe I've heard Bill say that when the song was over, he told Roy, "Roy, they standing." Roy responded with "They ain't leavin' are they?"
    Great story (even if perhaps stretched a bit), and a great memory.
    Wish I could have been there!
    Thanks, Byron.

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  26. I remember the night Nashville Now showed Lorrie Morgan's induction, with Bill Anderson doing the honors with his eyes glistening (Ol' Whisper would be the first to say that he cries over singles to left field, but this was a different matter). My mother turned to me and said, "If she sings 'Candy Kisses,' they're going to go crazy." They did.

    I think of other emotional moments. The night Margaret Smathers retired, Vince Gill wanted to be there because Mickey Smathers was his bus driver. When they finished, Vince did something that classical conductors do when a performance is over and they want certain musicians to be acknowledged--they point at a section or person and signal them to stand, and they do. Vince stood next to her and pointed at the balcony, then swung his finger across, then pointed down and swung it back, and everybody stood.

    And the night Charley Pride came in, which Byron mentioned in a post not long ago. Jimmy C. Newman inducted him, and Charley read a telegram from Henry Cannon about how proud Minnie was and Roy Acuff would be, and Charley had to stop and cry. And I started crying. Then I thought of DeFord Bailey and cried some more.

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  27. Nittannee, Funny but I have to agree with Byron. I wasn't there the last night that Roy and Bill did "I Wonder if God Likes Country Music" but I was listening and recording and crying. I remember telling my brother that I couldn't believe Bill ask him to do it. Later, I wrote to Bill and told him at first I was shocked but later realized he knew and could see what we couldn't out in radio land, that this was probably the last time. Anyway without thinking to much that is probably my number one.

    I was also at the January 99 Ryman show and it was very special. I had been once in 1970 when I was four. That trip and my father's love for the music and the Opry is what got me into all of it. We always watched Porter, the Wilburn's, That Good Old Nashville Music, the Midwest Hayride out of Cincinnati, and Hee Haw among others. I never revolted and took and interest in anything else nor did my younger brother. We always had records and 8-Tracks and my dad started my brother playing records when he was barley out of diapers. Today he is a TV producer and has played classic country on radio part time for the past 20 years. Our dad passed in 1987 but we carry on his love for the music and even enjoy some performers he didn't.

    And, the Opry, the music and the performers seemed to go hand in hand with how I was raised and the small town and people I was raised with. Back in those days we were more secluded and things were more simple. No internet, cell phones and all that instant communication stuff.

    Now I'm feeling old and a little sad.

    Jim
    Knightsville, IN

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  28. Nat, that's what Mr. Roy said, you could hear him on the radio. I also recall how Bill talked in the book just how frail Mr. Roy has just as Byron said he looked.

    That reminds me, another nigh that was special to me was being there that first night after Roy passed. We were there Friday and Saturday. The most tearful time for me was when Os and Charlie came out alone. I could barley kneel and take my pictures I was shaking so bad.

    Jim
    Knightsville, IN

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  29. You could hear him on the radio?!
    Wow, what a powerful moment that must have been, and I'm glad to hear it's the gospel truth.
    Thanks, Jim.

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  30. I noticed this week on the Fox New's website there was piece on the Opry! Guess what brought the attention? The duet of Brad Paisley and Sarah Darling last Friday night. So, would anyone say that Fisher and crew are doing the right things to bring attention and ticket sales to the Opry regardless of what it does to the art form!

    Jim
    Knightsville, IN

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