Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 8/22 & 8/23

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend. There is the usual one show on Friday and one show on Saturday, along with the Tuesday Night Opry.

The Friday Night Opry will feature another appearance by Vince Gill. This makes 2 weeks in a row for this Opry star and I am glad to see him back on the Opry stage. Joining Vince on Friday night will be Opry members the Oak Ridge Boys. As far as guest artists, we have Carolina Story, Sundy Best and the ever popular Willis Clan. This week's new artist, making his Opry debut, will be Chase Bryant and also scheduled is a name from the past that I haven't heard from in a while and that is Billy Gilman. I remember when he was a teenage star.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature a number of guest artists including Caitlin Rose, James House, Mandy Barnett, Holly Williams, and staying over from Friday night, The Willis Clan.

Friday August 22, 2014
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Carolina Story; Billy Gilman
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Sundy Best; The Willis Clan
8:15: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chase Bryant
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jan Howard; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday August 23, 2014
7:00: John Conlee (host); Caitlin Rose
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); James House; Mandy Barnett
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Willis Clan

There is a slot available for Jimmy Dickens. I still find it interesting that the Opry does not list Jimmy on the schedule yet expects him to appear unless told otherwise. I really don't remember that happening previously. Back in the early 1990s when Roy Acuff was basically "show-to-show" for many weeks, he was always listed on the schedule and even Hank Snow was listed for many weeks when he wasn't appearing. In the case of Hank in 1996, the Opry in many cases wouldn't know until right before show time that he wasn't coming.

A thought crossed my mind, and others have offered opinions, that it has been almost a year since the Opry has had a new member. Old Crow Medicine Show last fall has been the last. You would expect a new member soon and rumors are starting to heat up on who might potentially be asked. For what it is worth, there has not been a new female Opry member in years, but that doesn't mean much. Something to watch which way the tea leaves are waving.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, August 21 & 22, 2009:

Friday August 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Crystal Gayle
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jesse McReynolds; The Whites
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday August 22
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; Joey+Rory
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Exile

Now, from 10 years ago this weekend, August 20 & 21, 2004:

Friday August 20
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jack Greene; Christy Sutherland
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Cory & Jarrod Walker; The Whites
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; BR549
9:00: Jeannie Seely (host); J.D. Crowe & The New South; Daryle Singletary
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Brad Cotter; Connie Smith

Saturday August 21
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Lane Turner
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); J.D. Crowe & The New South; Jessi Alexander
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Lynn Anderson; Pinmonkey
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Sherrie Austin; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Billy Walker; Cory & Jarrod Walker; T Graham Brown

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Lane Turner
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Lynn Anderson; J.D. Crowe & The New South; Pinmonkey
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stu Phillips; Jessi Alexander; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Billy Walker; Cory & Jarrod Walker; Sherrie Austin
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Mel McDaniel; T Graham Brown

For this week's feature line-up, I go to Saturday August 22, 1981. This was the last show for Don Williams as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Don joined the Opry on April 23, 1976 and let's just be nice and say that he figured out that Opry membership just wasn't for him. Not that he was at the Opry that many times anyways. In 1977, the year after he joined, he appeared just 2 times. He followed that up with 3 appearances in 1978, no appearances in 1979 and 1980, before wrapping it up in 1981 with just 2 appearances. A record like that would be acceptable today, but back when he joined, you were still expected to appear. Don had a great career in country music and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. And, he is still touring today.

Here is the line-up and running order of the Opry from Saturday August 22, 1981, 33 years ago this weekend:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Full Moon; Empty Pockets
Ernie Ashworth: Irene
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): T For Texas
Jan Howard: Six Weeks in the Summer; Christmas Every Other Year
Charlie Walker: Little Old Wine Drinker Me/Waltz Across Texas

7:00: Shoney's
Charlie Louvin (host): What Are Those Things
Billy Grammer: When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
John Conlee: Could You Love Me One More Time/Miss Emily's Picture
Joe Edwards: Black Mountain Rag
Charlie Louvin: Ten Years; Three Kids; Two Loves Too Late

7:30: Standard Candy
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Skeeter Davis: It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels/I'll Fly Away
Roy Drusky: If The Whole World Stopped Loving
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Lost Indian
Archie & Phil Campbell: Hey Waiter

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Vic Willis Trio: Colorado
David Houston: Bandera Waltz
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird/Shake My Mother's Hand For Me

8:30: Acme
4 Guys (host): Loving Up A Storm
Jeannie: When Your House Is Not A Home
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hollow Poplar
Don Williams: Living On Tulsa Time/I Believe In You//Amanda
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
4 Guys (host): Mama Rocked Us to Sleep With Country Music
Ray Pillow: She Never Likes Nothing For Long
Jan Howard: Good Hearted Woman
Don Williams: Living On Tulsa Time/I Believe In You/Amanda
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On

10:00: Little Debbie
Charlie Louvin (host): The Way I Am
John Conlee: Could You Love Me One More Time/Miss Emily's Picture
Charlie Louvin: Is This How It Is When It's Over

10:15: Sunbeam
David Houston (host): Texas Ida Red
Ernie Ashworth: Irene
David Houston: Bandera Waltz

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): I Couldn't Believe It Was True
Charlie Walker: The One Rose That's Left In My Heart
Howdy Forrester: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Roy Acuff: Jesus Will Outshine Them All

10:45: Beech-nut
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Skeeter Davis: The Old Rugged Cross/The King is Coming/I'll Fly Away
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Old Joe Clark
Stonewall Jackson: Me and You and A Dog Named Boo

11:00: Coca-Cola
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
The Pilgrims: When They Call My Name
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Jeannie Seely: I'm Almost Ready
Archie & Phil Campbell: The Interview

11:30: Bama
Roy Drusky (host): Billy Bayou
Billy Grammer: Somebody Loves You
Vic Willis Trio: Shenendoah
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Roy Drusky: There'll Never Be Anyone Else But You For Me/Just A Closer Walk With Thee

And finally, it was 27 years ago this weekend, Saturday August 22, 1987, that Roy Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Here is the line-up from that night:

1st show
6:30: 4 Guys (host); Lorrie Morgan
6:45: Charlie Louvin (host); Del Wood
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow; Jeannie Seely; Ernie Ashworth
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Jan Howard; Roy Clark
8:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Tom T Hall; Wilma Lee Cooper; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; Roy Drusky; Stonewall Jackson; Bill Carlisle

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jeannie Seely; 4 Guys; Tom T Hall
10:00: Charlie Louvin (host); Skeeter Davis
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Roy Clark
10:30: Ray Pillow (host); Lorrie Morgan
10:45: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; Ernie Ashworth; Wilma Lee Cooper; Bill Carlisle
11:30: Stonewall Jackson (host); Roy Drusky; Johnny Russell

On a final note, here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, August 26:

7:00: Frankie Ballard; Bill Anderson
7:30: Darryl Worley; Dailey & Vincent
8:15: The Whites; Shovels & Rope
8:45: Josh Thompson; Ricky Skaggs.

I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. Being a little sarcastic yet maybe on target, I wonder if management is afraid of false advertising if they list Jimmy and he doesn't show? After all, they are so committed to promoting a consistently well rounded show of stars each week so that the fans can make advance plans with confidence, why risk such a reputation and have a 93 year old veteran make liars of them.

    That aside, lets all be thankful they will still make a place for Jimmy. That's really all that matters.

    Knightsville, IN

  2. A little off topic from this week's schedule, but after last night's two show Opry, I have to ask if anyone else has noticed this....Each time there are two shows on the same night, I have noticed that most artists that appear in both shows do the same songs in both shows, with the exception of Carrie Underwood who always does a different set on each show.
    Personally, I was in Nashville last July on a night that Carrie was there, and was ready to get tickets to the second show just because I was in town already and at the Opry. I then decided after hearing previous shows where most acts do the same songs in the same night, it would be best to just listen to the second show on the choice since other than Carrie, the second show was a copy of the first show.
    Last night was another example. The Opry pushed the show with so many "younger" members, and they did the same songs. I can understand the two new singers doing the same show, but not the veterans. Seriously, with a song catalog like most of these folks have, why not give the people that decide to get tickets to both shows a little variety???
    This is something that isn't really a big deal, but it bothers me every time there is a double Opry show.


  3. I wonder also if this is part of the reason for keeping The Potato off the schedule: the lineup now is so thin, it's far more noticeable when someone doesn't make it. When Mr. Acuff or Mr. Snow couldn't make it, there would be three or four others on the segment and they would just shuffle the deck a little bit. Which is a sad commentary on how things are now.

    I hope Byron is right about a new member, and I hope it's a good one who will take the Opry seriously.

  4. Rhonda Vincent, Kathy Mattea, Suzy Boggus or Crystal Gayle would be nice if picking a female. And I really believe that any of the four would be regulars.

  5. Fred, Bismarck:

    Jim's note is very funny. We're too old to cry, so we might as well laugh.

    Also right on, above, is Janice. You'd think the Opry, if not the performers themselves, would care more about the radio audience than to bore it with the same numbers on a second show. There is also their second-show sponsors to consider.

    Could it be that Pete Fisher's "versatile" staff band -- when the artist has not brought his own musicians -- is too inflexible or lazy to work up the additional arrangements?

    Speaking of new members: I'm disappointed to see Old Crow Medicine Show following the modern pattern. Since joining up last fall, they have appeared exactly twice.

  6. One thing you will notice in looking at the past line-ups that I post, especially the ones where I list the songs, is the variety between the shows. Most of the artists did do different songs on both shows and in addition, the artist line-up was many times different. Most of the shows had 5 or 6 acts that were only on one of the two Saturday night shows.

    It does bug me to a degree when the Opry does 2 shows on a given night, which they rarely do anymore, and the line-ups for both shows are exactly the same, and as mentioned by another comment, the songs are exactly the same. I have to think that one of the reasons the artists do this is that this is what they are "asked" to do, and it does make it easier on the staff band. I think another reason is so that the fans attending the 2nd show don't feel like they are being short-changed, that they are getting the same show as those attending the 1st one. Personally, I like the variety of listening or attending 2 different shows, not the same show twice.

    The catalog of some of the artists were mentioned. Let's be honest, when the Opry schedules Jimmy Wayne, Mandy Barnett, Chris Janson and many of the other new artists, how many songs do they really have? Much of what they sing are covers of other's hits. Even a veteran act such as The Whites tend to stick to the same 2 or 3 songs each week. Because of his voice, which I am sure is the reason, Jimmy Dickens more often than not does Mountain Dew. Jan Howard and Jean Shepard have also been keeping pretty much to the same couple of songs. And how many appearances in a row has Bobby Osborne done Rocky Top? And he is one who does have an extensive catalog. The one person I will give credit to is Jesse McReynolds as he does seem to reach and do something different each night.

    It's tough in the sense that the fans want to hear the hits. That is probably fine for the occasional fan, but for us veterans, we would sure love to hear some of the long lost classics that many have in their catalog.

  7. I nominate Mandy Burnett. She appears regularly anyway, might as well do the honorable thing and make her a member.
    I'm a little nervous about how often any of the four women David B nominated would actually appear on a regular basis. I for sure second the nominations, though, as they're all very real talents.

  8. When I was really into going to the Opry several times a year in the 90's I always got tickets for all three shows. I knew that there would be different combinations of acts on stage, read photo ops, they would most likely do different songs and I would get my money's worth. I would hate to think I was there and missed a special performance because I chose only to go to one show. Now I don't care to go to any. Guess my money is not as good as the youngsters!

    I'm not crazy about the repeat of songs each week by the veterans either but I'd rather hear that than not hear them at all. I have to wonder if it isn't both scenario's. Take Jim Ed or Jean who have at least some of their own with them. We are getting to the point with much of the now crowd that hardly knows who they are let alone any diversity in their catalog so maybe that is why they stick to a few songs. Jim Ed does do a little more variety. And it could be that others are getting to be a little like Tater, not able to perform all the songs they used to because of age and voice.

    Then, THERE IS the staff band. I have to wonder beyond Jimmy Capps and Tommy White who knows much more than the biggest or most common song of these older artist. The other night when Tater was doing Life Turned Her That Way whoever was playing lead was either a sleep or just didn't know what they were doing. I have noticed this with others and even if they know the part they are not as good and quick to help a veteran artist recover if they make a mistake. So, maybe some are afraid to stray to much. I know that there are those who would say if they need that kind of support then it is time to give it up. It's coming so don't rush it!

    And then there is management who some of us feel would rather the older acts not be there anyway. What kind of stipulations are they passing down.

    Agree or not, remember Mr. Acuff's word, "you gotta dance with the one that brung ya". That may be more true than ever at this point for the veterans.

    All that said, I like nothing better than to hear one of the veterans do a deep catalog song that 99% of the crowd never heard just as Byron mentions.

    On a new female, I was listening to one of the recent week night shows and Rhonda Vincent wasn't schedule but she got a call when someone fell out and she came running. When the new wore off she might not hold up but right now I would think she would do the Opry anytime she was in town.


  9. Totally enjoyed the two Tuesday Night Opry shows - Mark Chesnutt was fabulous as always. He tends to sing COUNTRY music - imagine that. Have always loved his "Too Cold At Home" song - from 1990? It hasn't been that many years from THAT country music to what is being passed off as country music today. I could not even watch the CMA show on ABC a couple weeks ago. I listened to the Opry show that night.

    I agree with everyone when it comes to the Opry having two shows with the same artists singing the same songs. There are just a few artists, that if appearing on both shows, vary it up.

    I am very curious that the Opry has announced Little Big Town appearing once a month, for three months in a row - Sept. 2, Oct. 3 & Nov. 18 - the Opry usually does something very innovative & quirky in how they go about putting the invitation out for new members. With a couple of groups going in recently, The Oaks, Old Crow - maybe another? I'm not opposed to them going in, I like them well enough. Though I would like to see Rhonda Vincent & Gene Watson become members first. That may never happen.

    Also, I have tickets to the second Opry show for the Opry birthday bash in October. The last time I was at their birthday bash was for their 75th. Would have loved to have gone to the 3:00 Opry show with Craig Morgan hosting, I really like him & his music. He sure has a powerful voice. Not to be, darn. It has already been announced that Trace Adkins will be on the Saturday night show, so I'm happy about that. Truly enjoy him & went to his Opry induction. Last time I was in Nashville, Carrie Underwood was being inducted as the newest member. Looking forward to returning to Music City, the Opry & taking in the newly enlarged Country Music Hall of Fame. For myself, I loved the old Hall of Fame building when it was situated all the way on the other side of town, along 16th Avenue, where so many songs have been written & recorded. Always seemed like the right place for it to be. But I do have to admit that this new building is just gorgeous, especially looking at it from the outside, with how the building was curved & the piano keys windows. Looking forward to seeing the Bakersfield Sound exhibit.

    Will be seeing Kathy Mattea in the Chicago area the weekend after being in Nashville. She sure has a beautiful voice.

    Enjoy the Opry & the weekend everyone.


  10. Jeanene, I will have to be on the lookout for you. I always enjoy the chance to meet those who contribute and comment on the blog and obviously, as I have for decades, I will be at all the shows over the birthday weekend. Let's just hope that they do better than just Trace Adkins. Certainly better than they have for the past several years, but I am not so sure as many of the Opry's acts are booked for out of town shows that weekend, including many of the Opry's veteran members.

    As far as Little Big Town, let's just say you might very well be correct. Rumors are out there and I personally would not be surprised. I know they would not be the first choice of many, as I think most of us can agree that Rhonda Vincent would be a favorite. Like others, I hope that they will actually show up and perform on the show.

  11. Word from Nashville this Sunday morning is that some have asked that you keep Jimmy Dickens and his wife Mona in your thoughts and prayers. Not sure of any of the details but I know he was not at the Opry last night.

  12. Thanks for the update. When you consider that he's pushing 94 ....

  13. Something was posted on LJD facebook page about Jimmy's finger being broken. I haven't heard any more than that. It doesn't sound like it would be that severe but at his age, any broken bone is likely extra painful. Hopefully there is nothing more serious.

  14. I believe Jimmy mentioned his hand last week and joked that he was crawling out from under the bed and Mona stepped on him!

    Hope everything is okay. I thought he sounded pretty good doing Life Turned Her That Way which is a bit difficult for someone in his condition.

    Knightsville, IN