Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 7/4 & 7/5

Before getting into the Opry line-ups for this weekend, I just wanted to say a few things about last Saturday night's show. First, I thought Pete Fisher did a very nice job with the dedication to Jimmy C Newman. It seemed a little longer then some of the ones he has had to do, and I really felt it was from the heart. I know many of us will criticize Pete and some of the decisions he has made at the Opry, but on this one, my compliments. I also thought it was nice that Cajun Country was allowed to open the show. They did "Alligator Man" and as was commented in the posts from last week, it did seem that the song was a beat or two slower then normal. A nice tribute to an Opry legend.

Secondly, again hats off to Pete Fisher, an excellent job with the "retirement" of Paul Eckhart. As has been noted, Paul has been attending Opry shows for the past 42 years and has not missed from attending at least one show each weekend. During the last segment, Pete came out to the front, along with Connie Smith, and did a special presentation that was greeted by a standing ovation from the sold-out Opry House. Well deserved!!

As far as the Opry this weekend, it's July 4th weekend and it will be business as usual at the Grand Ole Opry as the Opry will be presenting the usual Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry.

As far as the Friday Night Opry, a couple of the Opry's more popular members will be making appearances, Mel Tillis and The Oak Ridge Boys. In addition, The Isaacs and Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers will be making guest appearances.

In addition to his Friday night performance, Mel Tillis also be appearing on Saturday night, where he will be joined by Opry members Vince Gill and, hopefully making it, Stu Phillips. This Opry legend was scheduled early in the year and cancelled out. I really hope he can make it this weekend.

Guest artists on Saturday include Jonathan Jackson, from "Nashville" and the ever popular Chris Janson. Yes, Chris again!! And for this keeping track, this will be appearance #15.

Friday July 4
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mandy Barnett; Jean Shepard
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; The Isaacs
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers; Mel Tillis
8:45: Connie Smith (host); The Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday July 5
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Janelle Arthur; T.G. Sheppard
7:30: Connie Smith (host); George Hamilton IV; Jim Ed Brown; Danny Gokey
8:15: Mel Tillis (host); Stu Phillips; Chris Janson; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jonathan Jackson

A couple of pretty solid shows!!

And now, the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago, the weekend of July 3 & 4, 2009:

Friday July 3:
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jesse McReynolds; Holly Williams
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; The Grascals
8:00: Mike Snider (host); The Vanderbilt Kennedy Music Camp; Jan Howard; Jack Greene
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Stonewall Jackson; John Conlee; Connie Smith

Saturday July 4:
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Christy Sutherland
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); George Hamilton IV; The Grascals
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Chris Young; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett; Jim Ed Brown w/The Browns

And from 10 years ago, the weekend of July 2 & 3, 2004:

Friday July 2:
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mandy Barnett
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jimmy Wayne
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Ricky Van Shelton
9:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Dan Seals
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Kellie Coffey; T Graham Brown

Saturday July 3:
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Del McCoury Band
7:00: Jean Shepard (host); BeauSoleil; Lane Turner
7:30: John Conlee (host); Charlie Walker; Billy Walker; Emerson Drive
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Emerson Drive
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Lane Turner
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Stu Phillips; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); BeauSoleil
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett

Looking back at anniversary dates for Opry members, it was on Saturday July 3, 1993 (21 years ago), that Alison Krauss became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. When Alison joined the Opry, she was just 21 years old and was the first bluegrass artist to be added to the cast in 29 years. She had first appeared on the Opry in 1989 at the age of 17.

Alison is the most awarded female artist in the history of the Grammy Award and is a true legend in not only bluegrass music with Union Station, but has branched out into other areas of music and has recorded music with a host of folks. This summer she is on tour with Willie Nelson.

On the night she was inducted, Garth Brooks did the honors, although he did not perform during her segment. Here is the running order of the Opry from Saturday July 3, 1993, the night Alison Krauss became an Opry member.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Del Reeves (host); Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime at A Time/Looking at the World Through A Windshield
The Whites: Hangin' Around
Del Reeves: Bad News

6:45: Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Going Down the Country
Billy Walker: You Gave Me A Mountain
Grandpa Jones: Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

7:00: Shoney's
Jack Greene (host): I'll Be There
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Jeanne Pruett: I Oughta Feel Guilty
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chunk of Coal
Charlie Walker: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/Statue of A Fool

7:30: Standard Candy
4 Guys (host): If It's Coming From the Country, It's Coming From the Heart
George Hamilton IV: Has Anyone Here Seen Hank
Mike Snider: Battle Cry of Freedom/Get Your Hand Off My Knee and Load the Cannon
Alison Krauss: Atlanta, I Hear You Calling/Big Mon
4 Guys: The Star Spangled Banner

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Jean Shepard: Bouquet of Roses
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Charlie Louvin: See the Big Man Cry
Porter Wagoner: Happy Birthday Margaret Smathers
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar in the Goard
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Address Unknown
Skeeter Davis: Lovesick Blues
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You
Jan Howard: You Don't Know Me
Roy Drusky: Son, Go Bring My Children Home
Hank Snow: I've Done at Least One Thing that Was Good In My Life

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Del Reeves: There She Goes
Stonewall Jackson: Side-Steppin' the Blues
Alison Krauss: (?)/Molly and Tenbrooks
Porter Wagoner: Wabash Cannonball/The Precious Jewel/Fireball Mail/Night Train to Memphis/The Great Speckled Bird/On A Highway Headed South

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Ball-Headed End of the Broom
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Gloryland March
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home

10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
4 Guys (host): We're Only Here For A Little While
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot

10:30: Piccadilly
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
Jean Shepard: Let's All Go Down to the River/I Saw the Light/Will the Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/Somebody Touched Me
Charlie Walker: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere

10:45: Opry Book
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Charlie Walker: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sail Away Ladies
Jimmy C Newman; Cajun's Dream

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Ancient History
Roy Drusky: Mississippi
Justin Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Jack Greene: Walking on New Grass/Statue of A Fool
Hank Snow: The Prisoner's Song/Are You Lonesome Tonight

11:30: General Jackson
George Hamilton IV (host): This Land is Your Land
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore
Jan Howard: Wayfaring Stranger
Mike Snider: Bells of St. Marys
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young

Congratulations to Alison and I really wish we would see her more at the Opry.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend and be safe over the holiday weekend!!!


  1. Byron, a great job as usual. And I'll second everything you said about Pete Fisher and about Alison Krauss.

    By the way, I read that Colin Reed of Gaylord would go hunting at Jimmy C. Newman's ranch, Singing Hills (named for a Gene Autry song). Jimmy was a regular on the old Opry duck hunts, so I wonder if maybe Pete Fisher had spent a little more time around him than he had with some of the other old-timers.

    The lineups this weekend look pretty good, and I wonder if Vince Gill will say anything about Jimmy, since he performed at the memorial service.

  2. Chris Janson is popular with me.
    Chris recently asked Eddie Stubbs to play fiddle with him on the 'Opry. They played and sang a Hank Williams classic, "I can't help it if I'm still in love with you." They got a standing ovation.
    Chris has something the 'Opry can use a lot more of, and that's energy.
    As far as this 66 year old guy is concerned, he can appear anytime the 'Opry asks.

    1. Nat .... I couldn't agree with you more regarding Chris Janson - I think he's just terrific, full of energy & can play that harmonica. It's not every day anyone can get Eddie Stubbs to play his fiddle - it is quite apparent that Eddie is a fan of Chris's. I heard the Opry show that Chris sang the Hank Sr. song - he sang the fire out of that song. And It is quite apparent how much he loves his wife & children - that includes the ones he refers to as his "bonus" children. Not many children are referred to as THAT in second marriages, I've seen plenty of what I'm saying to know that's not the way it is at all. And Chris is performing in the middle of the Opry show tonight instead of early on .... happy to see that. I wish nothing but a huge career for him.

      Watched the season finale of the Marty Stuart show tonight - an entire hour of Marty & Johnny Cash - how their lives truly were woven in & out & around each other until the day Johnny died. If you have the opportunity to see it tomorrow morning as a repeat please do yourself a country music favor - it was one of THE best episodes Marty has ever put on his show & I watch it every Saturday night & yep, I'll be watching it again tomorrow morning. The film footage is just so fabulous. His show is always first rate.


  3. Fred, Bismarck:

    I know I've lost this argument before it starts, but ...

    To be brutal about it, WHO CARES how much Chris Janson loves his wife and blended family ... if he really does? In any case, it's a limp substitute for real country music.

    I don't argue with anybody about his musical choices. I'll just dispute Chris Janson's relevance to the Opry and to country music. Which argument has at least as much standing as the admiration of those above for Janson's "energy" and alleged love of family, God, etc., etc.

    Who sang better gospel music than Bill Monroe? And blabbed less about his love of God, family, etc., etc?

  4. @Fred, I agree with you!!!!!! Second week in a row I have listened to him. Frankly, I dont like him and could give 2 shits about his ol lady and family. I will also pass on the religious stuff as well..... just get up there and play the damn music, and get off stage. UNTIL he is relevant to the Opry and country music dude needs to pay his dues!!!!!!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I also agree, Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, Flatt and Scruggs...... sang some great gospel and you didnt hear them drooling over, blabbing about their love for a God or 3 families. The music spoke for itself, and it was seen through their art, and frankly that is much more beautiful and powerful than a 10 minute discourse on it.


  8. Fred, Bismarck:

    Nittannee's 1:02 AM post says it all: You can tell 'em or you can show 'em. Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, et. al., SHOWED 'em.

  9. Will Pete Fisher ever invite Gene Watson to become a member? One thing that I believe Gene would do that not a lot of new members do would be several appearances per year without having to be coxed or plead with as some seem to have to have a special night observation to show back up after he gives them membership!!!!

    1. I guess Gene is not enough pop or rock or new age to make the opry roster as a member; they just use him over and over as a guest to have at least a great singer on the show for fans that pay high dollar ticket prices for so many guest artists; unbelievable Pete Fisher!!@!

  10. I normally don't post here, but have kept up with this blog for several years. I personally don't have strong feelings one way or the other about Chris Jansen's music, but I much prefer his "family values" to artists who are married but running around with the latest "cutie of the week".

    I'm sure we will all have differing opinions of new artists as they come along, but may we please keep the conversation civil and respectful of our friends with other opinions? Thank you.

  11. I must say that the Friday night show was one of better overall shows I have listened to in a long time. Nothing really exceptional but nothing really terrible or out of place. I was able to listen to the full show, never turn it down and found it rather enjoyable. Of course it isn't the 80's, 60's or 40's we all might rather listen to but it was pretty good for today.

    Nice to hear Jim Ed do This Land is Your Land which he and the girls cut years ago, very nice set up and performance by Bill Anderson on Old Army Hat and the Oaks did a great job with the National Anthem and really nice to hear the Riders do There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere and remember Charlie Walker.

    I hesitate to spend the money and time to got these days but I wish I had been there Friday!

    Last, good to hear Stu Phillips. His voice seems really weak and raspy but he seemed to be on key through most of his song. Nice for him to be able to perform.

    Knightsville, IN

  12. I'm all for civil and respectful.
    There was a time when this forum was exactly that.
    Maybe it can return to that again someday soon.

  13. To all:

    I appreciate all of you who read my blog and who make comments. I enjoy reading them all. But all I ask is that everyone respects each other and their views and be nice.

    I generally will not censure anyone and the only comments I will take out are those that use inappropriate language or make libelous statements about someone. And I think in the years that I have done this blog, that has only happened once.

    We all have different opinions about country music, about the Opry, about the Opry management and what each of us likes and dislikes, which is ok.

    I hope all of you who have commented in the past keep the comments coming, but again, all I ask is that we all respect each other.



  14. Fred, Bismarck:

    As one who has at least flirted with intemperance in the past, I hear you ... and will try to be a reformed character in the future. I do appreciate the blog and the fellowship here, and would not want to do anything to compromise them.

  15. From Anonymous in PA: absolutely agree with Fred, and Byron (it is YOUR blog, not ours) - I read it frequently, post occasionally and had been worried about some recent comments and that you might stop - love the forum, your commentary and history, and differing opinions, wouldn't want to lose it !

  16. Big 10-4 on the "your blog, not ours" comment.
    I was in error when I referred to it as a forum.
    Thanks anonymous in PA!