Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 8/29 & 8/30

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-up for the shows this Labor Day weekend. Usually these are a couple of the shows that are pretty hard to fill as far as having a quality line-up as many of the artists are out on the state and county fair circuit, but for this weekend the Opry has done pretty well.

The highlight, and the name that stood out as a pleasant surprise, is Alison Krauss, who is scheduled for both nights. For Alison, this will be her first Opry appearances in 2014 and if she follows her usual pattern, these might be her only appearances this year. It has hard for me to believe that Alison has been an Opry member now for 21 years. I really enjoy her and wish that she would be around the Opry more often.

Joining Alison on Friday night will be guest artist, and someone who I wish would be an Opry member, and that is Kathy Mattea. She is at the Opry every couple of months and is always well received. Also making another appearance will be Mary Gauthier, along with semi-regular Jimmy Wayne.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, in addition to Alison, will have Larry Gatlin and this time, The Gatlin Brothers will be joining him. While Larry is around the Opry a lot, very rarely do we get Steve and Rudy, although many times Steve will be there playing guitar for Larry on his solo appearances. Also appearing will be Opry member Lorrie Morgan, along with "Nashville" stars Chaley Rose and Charles Esten. And don't forget The Steeldrivers.

Friday August 29
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy Wayne; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Connie Smith (host); The Henningsens; Mary Gauthier
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Kathy Mattea
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Mark Wills; Alison Krauss

Saturday August 30
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Mark Wills
7:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Chaley Rose; Jean Shepard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); John Conlee; The Steeldrivers; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); Charles Esten; Alison Krauss

Like I said, 2 pretty good line-ups this weekend and it looks like they might be saving a spot for Jimmy Dickens.

Now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, August 28 & 29, 2009:

Friday August 28
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Riders In The Sky; Cherryholmes
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jamie O'Neal
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jean Shepard; The Whites
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Ralph Stanley

Saturday August 29
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Jean Shepard; Ralph Stanley
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Clay Walker; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); John Conlee; Connie Smith

And from 10 years ago this weekend, August 27 & 28, 2004:

Friday August 27
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; George Hamilton IV; Melonie Cannon
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Blue Country
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Osborne Brothers; The Jenkins
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Billy Grammer; Jean Shepard; Billy Ray Cyrus
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Charlie Walker; Kevin Haynie; Gene Watson

Saturday August 28
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Osborne Brothers
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Martina McBride; The Notorious Cherry Bombs; Billy Ray Cyrus; Loretta Lynn
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Riders In The Sky; Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Osborne Brothers
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Martina McBride
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Billy Grammer; The Notorious Cherry Bombs; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; Billy Ray Cyrus
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Billy Walker; Mandy Barnett

For this week's feature lin-up, I go to Saturday August 31, 1996. This was the final Saturday night show for Hank Snow. Hank joined the Opry in January 1950 and was one of the Orpy's top members. But, by 1996 his health was beginning to fail as he was having respiratory issues along with other ailments. In fact, after making 125 Opry appearances in 1995, he made just 5 in 1996. He came back the following week and did the Friday Night Opry and cancelled out for Saturday. He also failed to appear the weekend after and that was the last time Hank was on the schedule for the Opry. He passed away in December 1999, just weeks from 50 years of Opry membership.

Here is the line-up from Saturday August 31, 1996, the final Saturday night for Hank Snow.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Mike Snider (host); Tennessee Rhapsody/Cotton Eyed Joe
Bill Carlisle: Rusty Old Halo
Mike Snider: Shuckin' the Corn/Foggy Mountain Chimes

6:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Grandpa Jones (host): Ol' Blue
Jan Howard: My Heart Skips A Beat
Grandpa Jones: Gooseberry Pie

7:00: Shoney's
Johnny Russell (host): Good Hearted Woman
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
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
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells/Looking Back to See
Johnny Russell: Act Naturally

7:30: Standard Candy
Jeannie Seely (host): Burning that Old Memory
The Cumberland Boys: Nothing But Love
Ray Pillow: She's Doing It to Me Again
Margaret Whiting: I Can't Help It
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durane's Hornpipe
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water
Del Reeves: Got A Little Bit of Heaven on Earth
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Porter Wagoner: The Cowboy's Hat
Porter Wagoner & Kristi Lynn: Forty Miles from Poplar Bluff

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): In the Misty Moonlight
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream
Stu Phillips: Colorado
The Whites: Pins and Needles
Connie Smith: Then and Only Then
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Tell Her Lies and Feed Her Candy
Oswald: The Girl I Love Don't Pay Me no Mind
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou/Texacajun
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name/Freight Train Boogie

10:00: Massey Ferguson
Grandpa Jones (host): Fifteen Cents Is All I Got
Stonewall Jackson: Me and You and A Dog Named Boo
Grandpa Jones: Any Old Time

10:15: Opryland
Jean Shepard (host): I Thought of You/It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels/You Win Again/A Dear John Letter
Roy Drusky: Waltz of the Angels/One Day at A Time
Jean Shepard: A Phone Call Away

10:30: Purnell's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Cumberland Boys: Today I Might Be Going Home
Jim Ed Brown: Lyin' In Love With You

10:45: Fairfield
Mike Snider (host): Lonesome Road Blues
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Ragtime Annie
Mike Snider (host): Battle Cry of Freedom/Get Your Hand Off My Knee and Load the Cannon

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Del Reeves: I Would Like to See You Again
Connie Smith: Amazing Grace
Charlie Walker: Who'll Buy the Wine
The Whites: He Took Your Place
Hank Snow: I Almost Lost My Mind

11:30: Loreal
Johnny Russell: Red Necks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer
Stu Phillips: Blue Canadian Rockies
Jeannie Seely: Bubbles in My Beer
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You
Colleen Walters: Walkin' After Midnight

I know I post this line-up each year, but as I have mentioned before, Hank Snow was and is, my favorite Grand Ole Opry member of all-time, so I hope you don't mind.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. We don't mind! It's both a pleasure to see and a bit sad, knowing those were his last shows.

    When we have eight members on a Saturday night and think it's a pretty good show--and it is, to be fair--we know the times have changed.

  2. Don't mind at all on the Hank Snow repeat. Makes me feel old though seeing that it is getting close to 20 years ago.

    Hope Jimmy Dickens is there to help calm our concerns.

    Knightsville, IN

  3. The Little Ranger ( Hank Snow as marty Robbins used to call him ) could go almost a year without repeating a song in his Opry appearances. And he was always all class on stage.

  4. Yes he could. One time in the early 90's I was keeping track and he did over 90 different songs without repeating. The only exception was I'm Movin' On which he did maybe three or four times in that period.

    Byron has stated that at one time Hank was trying to go though his entire catalog of songs which would have been close to a thousand!

    I remember Marty running way over one night and teasing ET about holding him up on starting the Midnite Jamboree and he blamed in on that "Strange Ranger" and "Acuff, he owns the place" for running over.

    Knightsville, IN

  5. Jim, what makes that even better is that I think Mr. Snow had the greatest internal clock of any Opry member: he did a 30-minute segment and BOOM.

    He and Marty adored each other, and Marty did a good impression of him (Merle Haggard does the best impressions of anybody I've seen in country music, except perhaps for me--but seriously, folks ....).

  6. I purchased some of the Marty Robbins Spotlight shows and Hank is on one. Haven't had a chance to see it yet but it should be interesting. Given their admiration for each other and then consider that Hank didn't like to do TV, should be interesting. I think it is about 1978! Always remember Hank doing It Kind of Reminds Me of Me quite often on the Opry and talking about Marty who wrote it. Can't say I ever heard him do Sweet Lies on the Opry in my day but that was another of Marty's that Hank did up tempo and I always loved.

    Knightsville, IN

  7. Indeed, as stated above, Hank Snow was one who regularly went deep into his extensive catalog and sang very little-known songs on the Opry. That's something that I wish Bobby Osborne would do, as he has lots of great bluegrass material that he doesn't do very often (unless he gets time for two songs). On a side note, I had no idea that Oswald was performing on the Opry as late as 1996. I've seen videos of Os from 1993; it was very sad to see the deterioration of his Dobro and banjo skills. Kudos to him for showing up several years afterwards.

  8. PL, Os became a member in 1995 and performed until he was too ill. Byron would know, but I'd GUESS that was about 1998. He had slipped a little, but he could still do it. I think he was becoming arthritic, which obviously didn't help, but by then he also was in his early eighties, so he was still a whippersnapper.

    Jim, when Bill Anderson's Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry TV show did an album of songs and interviews, Mr. Snow was on it, and "Sweet Lies" was the song he did. Marty wrote it, and both he and the Glaser Brothers recorded it, so I'm sure that was good enough for Mr. Snow, since they all were a mutual admiration society (with good reason).

  9. Mike, Oswald last appeared on the Opry in 1999 when he appeared just 6 times. The prior year he was on 95 times, so when the end of his performing days came, it was pretty sudden.

    I know I have written this about Hank Snow before, but toward the end of his career he decided that he was going to perform as many songs from his catalog that he could on the Opry. I am not sure how many of his singles and other songs he got through, but I do remember and it is confirmed as I look at the older shows, that he did do a good number of them. When you figure that he was on most Friday and Saturday nights, 3 shows per weekend which would come out to 7 songs each week, in 20 weeks he could have made it through 140 different songs.

    I know when we talk about variety, Roy Acuff would always do "Wabash Cannonball" on the first show but he would do a variety of different songs on the 2nd.

  10. I know many of us feel that Steve Buchanan and Pete Fisher have forgotten who many of the veterans are, but on Friday September 26, the great and newest Hall of Fame member Mac Wiseman is scheduled. That should be a special night.

  11. Mac Wiseman?! Too bad I live in the Northeast. I thought he wasn't performing anymore. He's still got that voice.

  12. Byron, have you heard any updates on the Potato?

  13. Good for them. Now if they would extend that courtesy to other folks ....

  14. Fred, Bismarck:

    Wonder what Mac will sing? Assuming he is allowed two numbers, the sentimental candidates would be " 'Tis Sweet to be Remembered" and "I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home."

  15. On Facebook, the Ernest Tubb Record Shop posted that The Potato just visited them. So I guess he's at least out and about!

    Fred, don't forget "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy" was a big 'un for him, although I'd pick those two--but remember that he has a new CD out, so he may be pushing what's on there. I'll always remember the story of Mr. Monroe being asked who his best lead singer was and his response was, "Oh, Mac," said in such a way as to mean, how could you even ask? Considering that Lester Flatt was there before him and Jimmy Martin after him ....

  16. From Anonymous in PA: I have been checking the Grand Ole Opry schedule on a regular basis watching for any updates for the Anniversary weekend - so far, only Craig Morgan for the matinee and Trace Adkins for the Opry were listed, until today - who is Keb' Mo???? OK, I did look him up - he is a BLUES singer, why, why, why - we go to the Grand Ole Opry for COUNTRY MUSIC - and especially on the anniversary. As I have posted many times before, this 89th and next year's 90th are our last trips - just can't stand the decline. I'll save my $$$ and go to more concerts by real country performers/artists as they come to our area - will get their whole show for less than the gold circle seats too !

  17. For what it is worth, Keb' Mo lives in Nashville and has been on the Opry before. No, he is not country and I do wish there were country acts scheduled for the birthday weekend. He is a friend of Vince Gill, so perhaps this is a sign that we will also see Vince on the birthday show this year. And if past history repeats itself, I would say there is a decent chance that Craig Morgan will stay around for at least one of the Saturday night shows.

    That said, we are now just 6 weeks away from that weekend, which back in the day was the biggest Orpy weekend of the year, and so far there are just 4 acts announced, 1 of which is actually an Opry member. I did some checking and a lot of the Opry's members, including many of the veterans, are actually out on the road doing dates that weekend. The list includes Jim Ed Brown, Bill Anderson, Lorrie Morgan, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Bobby Osborne, John Conlee and Jeannie Seely. There could be cancellations so that could change, but,yes, times have changed.

  18. The Potato made it. He didn't do as many jokes and did a short version of Mountain Dew. He did sound a little weaker, but if I could do what I do at 93 as well as he does what he does ... I'd be happy!

    On a similar note, Jean Shepard can still yodel as she approaches her 81st birthday. And for all of the stuff about the kids, she brought the house down.