Monday, September 29, 2014

October Opry Highlights

October has traditionally been one of the more active months in the history of the Grand Ole Opry. Lots of important and historical events have taken place during the month involving the Opry or it's members. So here are those events that have taken place during the month of October.

October 25, 1912: Sarah Ophelia Colley, known to the world as Minnie Pearl, was born. Minnie first appeared on the Opry in November 1940 and she was an Opry member for over 50 years, until her death in March 1996. She was an active Opry member until June 1991, when she suffered a stroke that left her unable to perform.

October 20, 1913: Louis Marshall Jones was born in Henderson County, Kentucky. This 50+ year Opry member would become better known by his stage name, Grandpa Jones. Grandpa was a great banjo player and comedian who became nationally known thanks to his work on Hee Haw.

October 5, 1925: WSM radio went on the air. Edwin Craig was given the honor of starting off the broadcast, and he did it with a few simple words, "This is WSM. We Shield Millions. The National Life and Accident Company." National Life President C.A.Craig dedicated the station to public service. George D. Hay, who would later be hired as the program director at WSM, was on of those who attended that night.

October 27, 1934: The Grand Ole Opry moved from Studio C at WSM to the Hillsboro Theater. The move was made because of the larger crowds that wanted to see the Opry in person. The Hillsboro sat 2,400 and it also offered the performers dressing rooms. Because they were now performing before a live audience, the artists were told to "dress" for their performances. That meant to wear rural clothes that reflected the image of a down home country show. This night also marked the beginning of Vito Pellettiere as the Opry's stage manager, a position he would hold until his death in 1977. Vito is the one who helped move the Opry into a more organized show with segments and sponsors, along with setting up specific times for the performers to perform. Many have felt that Vito was the most important person in the history of the Opry and some of the veteran artists will still tell you that the Opry has not been the same since Vito passed away. An interesting fact about Vito is that for all the years he was at WSM and the Opry, he never owned or drove a car, always taking the bus to and from work.

October 14, 1939: The NBC radio network begins carrying a half-hour Opry segment which was sponsored by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to promote it's Prince Albert brand. Roy Acuff was the host. The story behind this is that the William Esty Agency of New York had been employed by WSM to sell time on the Opry. The station had worked with NBC in the past by providing live network feeds from Nashville to New York. In the fall of 1938, Esty added R.J. Reynolds as an Opry sponsor, and since Prince Albert smoking tobacco was a big brand in the South, it was decided by R.J. Reynolds to promote that brand. It was Dick Marvin, an account executive, that got the idea of trying to sell R.J. Reynolds on sponsoring part of the show on the NBC network. Marvin had to work through the agency, which thought it was not that good of an idea. After a lot of convincing, he was able to notify George D. Hay and Harry Stone that 26 network stations would broadcast the Opry. On that first show, David Stone announced the open and introduced Roy Acuff and his group, wo played the them song, "Have A Big Time Tonight." Along with George D. Hay, that first show included Uncle Dave Macon, George Wilkerson and his Fruit Jar Drinkers, DeFord Bailey, Brother Oswald and the rest of Roy's group. Over time, the Prince Albert portion would become the most famous Opry segment and extend to the entire NBC radio network.

October 28, 1939: Bill Monroe becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry. On his first night, he performed "Muleskinner Blues." Opry founder George D. Hay was so impressed with this new sound that he told Bill that if he ever wanted to leave the Opry, he would have to fire himself. Bill would never do that and would remain an Opry member until his death in September 1996.

October 17, 1953: Carl Butler made his debut at the Opry. Later with his wife Pearl, he would join the Opry cast.

October 2, 1954: Elvis Presley makes his first and only appearance as a guest on the Opry. He sang Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky." Reports have said that Elvis received only modest applause after his performance, which was not that unusual at the Opry. Legend has it that after he finished, Jim Denny told Elvis that he should go back to driving a truck. While Elvis never did go back to truck driving, over years there has been some doubt if Jim Denny actually made those comments or if they have just become another story from the Opry's history. What did happen after that night was that Jim Denny never invited Elvis back to the Opry and while he might not have been impressed with Elvis, Bill Monroe was, especially after he started to see the sizeable royalty checks that started coming in after Elvis recorded Bill's song.

October 22, 1955: Jim Reeves joins the Grand Ole Opry. Over time, he would become one of the Opry's biggest stars, but like so many others, came to realize the limitatioins of being an Opry member and would move on. His last Opry appearance was on June 29, 1963.

October 29, 1955: For what will be a very short run, Slim Whitman became a member of the Opry.

October 15, 1960: Loretta Lynn made her first Opry appearance. The Wilburn Brothers were instrumental in getting her a guest slot and she appeared on a segment hosted by Ernest Tubb. At the time, Loretta did not have a band so Leslie Wilburn played bass and Lester Wilburn played rhythm guitar. Just like in the movie, she did, "I'm A Honky-Tonk Girl." The Opry was impressed and would later ask her to become a member.

October 20, 1962: Leroy Van Dyke became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Like many others, Leroy would remain a member for a few years and then moved on. Even after he left, he would continue to make appearances at the Opry, with his most recent appearance coming in September of last year.

October 27, 1962: Sonny James becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry. As with a few others, Sonny's time at the Opry would be fairly short.

October 23, 1965: Roy Acuff Jr. made his first appearance on the Opry. With his famous father watching off to the side, Roy Jr. sang, "Baby Just Said Goodbye." His recording and performing career were short as he preferred to work behind the scenes.

October 14, 1966: Dle Reeves is introduced as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was a guest on a segment hosted by Porter Wagoner. It was a very emotional evening for Del as his parents were in the audience and Del was unable to get through his song. Del would remain an Opry member until his death in January 2007.

October 21, 1967: The Browns gave their final performance as members of the Opry. While Bonnie and Maxine would "retire" in order to raise families, Jim Ed would continue as an Opry member, which he still is today. The sisters would come back many times to perform with Jim Ed, both at the Opry and at other venues. The Browns made a huge impact on country music with some great hits and many feel, including myself, that they should have already been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

October 8, 1968: Harry Stone, former WSM executive, passed away at the age of 70. The influence that Harry Stone had at the Opry was great, perhaps even greater than George D. Hay himself. While George D. wanted to keep the Opry simple and down to earth featuring local and regional musicians, Harry wanted to move the show forward by hiring established and professional stars. While Hay was away from the Opry due to personal issues, Harry Stone moved ahead with his plan and as a result, there was great conflict between the two. In 1932, Harry became the general manager of WSM and was George D. Hay's boss. Among the first acts that he brought to the Opry were Pee Wee King and Roy Acuff, followed by Eddy Arnold. He saw what the show could do for WSM and National Life on a national level and thanks to his leadership, the Opry survived while other country barn dance shows failed.

October 19, 1968: In an interview with the Nashville Tennessean, WSM President Irving Waugh said that the Opry's days at the Ryman Auditorium were numbered. The article stated, "The initiation of plans for the relocation of the Opry, possibly as the center of a multi-million dollar hotel and amusement complex, was announced at a breakfast at Municipal Auditorium sponsored by WSM." Irving Waugh said, "Our feeling is that the Grand Ole Opry needs a new, modern facility. It is estimated the center, which would be called Opryland USA, would require between one hundred fifty and two hundred acres of land. The location would not be in the Music Row area." Over time, detailed plans would be announced and the Opry would leave downtown Nashville for a rural location at Opryland USA.

October 27, 1973: Comedian Jerry Clower becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was the last member to join the Opry cast before it left the Ryman Auditorium for the new Opry House. When he joined the Opry, Jerry followed in the steps of such great Opry comedians as Minnie Pearl, Rod Brasfield, Archie Campbell, Stringbean, Duke of Paducah, Lew Childre, Cousin Jody and Lonzo and Oscar. Jerry was a popular Opry member until he passed away in August 1998.

October 18, 1975: The Grand Ole Opry celebrated it's 50th anniversary. The 50th show is considered one of the biggest in the Opry's history with most of the Opry's members appearing.

October 16, 1982: Opry member Doyle Wilburn passed away in Nashville at the age of 52. The Wilburn Brothers, Doyle and his brother Teddy included, first came to the Opry as children but were forced to leave because of the child labor laws that were in effect at the time. They later came back, becoming members in 1953. They are considered one of the great duet acts in country music history. After Doyle passed away, Teddy continued as a solo Opry member.

October 29, 1982: Alabama made their first appearance on the Opry.

October 24, 1983: Opry member and one of the originals, Kirk McGee, passed away. Along with his brother Sam, Kirk made his first Opry appearance in 1926, back in the WSM Barn Dance days. Over the years, he would be part of the Fruit Jar Drinkers and the Dixieliners.

October 19, 1985: Lonzo and Oscar make their final appearance as members of the Opry. Rollin Sullivan, who was Oscar, came to the Opry in 1942, while Johnny Sullivan, who was actually the second Lonzo after Ken Marvin, came 2 years later. Dave Hooten took over the role of Lonzo in 1967 after Johnny Sullivan died in a car accident.

October 3, 1989: Opry member Del Wood passed away in Nashville. Del, whose real name was Adelaide Hazelwood, had joined the Opry in 1953. She was famous for her ragtime piano and her great #1 record, "Down Yonder." In looking at my past Opry line-ups, I find it hard to locate a show that she did not perform on. In an interesting note, the Opry Picture History Book wrote that, "She was famous for her canning and jams."

October 4, 1989: Holly Dunn becomes a member of the Opry. She would remain an Opry member until retiring and leaving the music business to move to New Mexico as an artist. If it were up to Holly, she would still be an Opry member today, but after her retirement, she was dismissed from the cast.

October 6, 1990: Garth Brooks becomes a member of the Opry. This will be his 24th year as an Opry member and with 2015 being his 25th anniversary and back touring, there are lots of rumors that Garth will be back at the Opry. His last singing appearance was at the Opry's 80th birthday celebration 9 years ago. Garth was first introduced at the Opry by Johnny Russell and the night he was inducted as a member, it was on a segment hosted by Johnny. On that night, he did "Friends In Low Places," "If Tomorrow Never Comes," and "The Dance." Also on the same night that Garth joined the Opry, Alan Jackson made his first Opry appearance.

October 4, 1991: Diamond Rio made their first guest appearance on the Opry. They would become members 7 years later, in 1998.

October 19, 1991: Grand Ole Opry announcer, and Country Music Hall of Fame member, Grant Turner passed away hours after announcing the Friday Night Opry. He was the "dean" of Opry announcers and had been at WSM since 1944. He also hosted the Opry's warm-up show and was an announcer for the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.

October 24, 1991: Gaylord Entertainment Company, owners of WSM and the Grand Ole Opry, listed its stock for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange. Many say this was the event that started the downfall of the Opry as the company became more focused on their bottom line performance.

October 23, 1992: Roy Acuff makes his final Opry appearance. It was a Friday night show and he did his segment sitting in a directors chair. He had appeared on his final Saturday night show the weekend before, which was the Opry's birthday celebration. After that Friday night, he was scheduled for the Saturday night show, but he took an afternoon nap and his family did not wake him to go to the Opry. He was hospitalized shortly after and died a month later.

October 15, 2000: The Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 75th anniversary with 4 shows that weekend, including 2 on Saturday night that featured the majority of the Opry's cast, including Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton. On a personal note, I would say that the shows that weekend had the strongest line-ups of any Opry show that I have attended.

October 25, 2003: Del McCoury becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry as he was inducted into the cast by Patty Loveless. For this bluegrass legend, it will be his 11th year as an Opry member.

October 1, 2005: Dierks Bentley joins the Opry. This will be his 9th year as an Opry member. He made his Opry debut in April 2003. As a former employee of the Nashville network, he was known for hanging around backstage a lot. Marty Stuart handled the induction.

October 15, 2005: The Opry celebrated its 80th birthday. Garth Brooks marked the occasion by coming out of retirement and performing on the Opry stage for the first time in 5 years. He was joined on stage by Hall of Fame members Porter Wagoner, Jimmy Dickens and Bill Anderson, along with his good friend Steve Wariner.

October 27, 2007: Josh Turner becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 7th year as an Opry member. Josh made many guest appearances before being asked to join the cast by fellow Opry member Roy Clark.

October 28, 2007: Grand Ole Opry member Porter Wagoner passed away in Nashville after a short illness. He was 80. One of the most popular members in the history of the Opry, he had celebrated his 50th year as an Opry member months earlier. Not only was he a great solo artist, but he was known for his duets with Norma Jean and Dolly Parton.

October 25, 2008: Craig Morgan joins the cast of the Opry. This will be his 6th year as an Opry member. Craig was inducted by John Conlee.

October 22, 2010: Blake Shelton joined the Grand Ole Opry. He had been invited to join the previous month by Trace Adkins in what may have been the worst kept secret in the history of the Opry. Sorry to say, that although Blake did perform at the Opry in March, his appearances have been very few. It would appear that Pete Fisher missed on this one.

October 8, 2011: During the Opry's 86th birthday celebration, Rascal Flatts became members of the Opry. Vince Gill was there that night to help induct this group.

October 16, 2012: Darius Rucker joins the Opry cast. He had been invited to join the show earlier by Brad Paisley, who made a surprise appearance in the audience.

October 23, 2012: The Grand Ole Opry honors the 100th anniversary of the birth of Minnie Pearl. Among those included in the tribute that night were Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Mel Tillis and Pam Tillis.

Enjoy the month of October!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 9/26 & 9/27

I hate this. I really do. And I hate coming off this negative about the Opry as I really do enjoy the show and what it has done for country music. But, here we go again. The Friday Night Opry has only 2 Opry members scheduled!! And we are back to only 8 acts scheduled. 60+ Opry members and this is the best Steve Buchanan and Pete Fisher can do? Hundreds of country music acts and they could only find 8? Terrible!!

On the positive side, one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Mac Wiseman is scheduled. And with a 15 minute segment, that means he will get more than 1 song. I guess so that the younger fans don't get too upset at watching Mac, the Opry has scheduled RaeLynn, who will be making her Opry debut.

As far as Saturday Night's Grand Ole Opry, Steve Wariner and Vince Gill, who is one of the two Opry members scheduled for Saturday night, are scheduled, along with Jean Shepard. Jonathan Jackson from "Nashville" is on the list, as is Amber Digby.

Friday September 26
7:00: Connie Smith; Drake White
7:30: Striking Matches; Exile
8:15: RaeLynn; Mac Wiseman
8:45: Vince Gill; Alabama Shakes

Saturday September 27
7:00: The Whites (host); Striking Matches; (Jimmy Dickens)
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Billy Yates; Grand Master Fiddle Champions
8:15: Steve Wariner (host); Jean Shepard; John King; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Amber Digby; Jonathan Jackson

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, September 25 & 26, 2009:

Friday September 25
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Joey+Rory
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; Steep Canyon Rangers
8:30: Pam Tillis (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jesse McReynolds; The Whites

Saturday September 26
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Orleans
8:00: Pam Tillis (host); Charlie Louvin; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Craig Morgan

From 10 years ago, the weekend of September 24 & 25, 2004:

Friday September 24
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Joni Harms
8:00: Steve Wariner (host); Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard; Trent Willmon
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Osborne Brothers; Julie Roberts
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Asleep At The Wheel
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; T. Graham Brown

Saturday September 25
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jim Ed Brown
7:00: Steve Wariner (host); Julie Roberts; Dierks Bentley; Ronnie Milsap
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Riders In The Sky; Jimmy C Newman; Joni Harms; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Asleep At The Wheel

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Ronnie Milsap
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Julie Roberts
10:30: Steve Wariner (host); Hank Locklin; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Dierks Bentley
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Billy Walker; Joni Harms

For this week's feature line-up, I go back to Saturday September 26, 1953, as it was on this date 61 years ago that Skeeter Davis made her Grand Ole Opry debut. Skeeter would later join the Opry on August 4, 1959 and would remain an Opry member, despite a suspension that lasted almost 2 years, until her death in 2004.

Here is the Opry line-up and show running order from September 26, 1953:

7:30: Prince Albert
Ray Price (host): Who Stole That Train
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Darrell Glenn: Crying In the Chapel
Square Dancers: Katy Hill
Ray Price: In The Garden
Old Hickory Singers: Floating Down To Cotton Town
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Darrell Glenn: Hang Up That Telephone
String Beans: Uncle Pen
Ray Price: The Wrong Side of Town

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): When The World Has Turned You Down
Bill Monroe & Jimmy Martin: Cabin Of Love
Hank Snow: Golden Rocket
June Carter: Rub A Dub Dub
Possom Hunters: Sleepy Lou
Ernest Tubb: The Long Way
Carter Family: Red River Blues
Bill Monroe: Rocky Roll Blues
Hank Snow: Message From The Trade Winds
Ernest Tubb: Daisey May
Fiddle Tune: Old Hen Cackle

8:30: Royal Crown Cola
Webb Pierce (host): I'm Walking the Dog
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Martha Carson: Satisfield
Lonzo and Oscar: I'm Moving On No. 2
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Skeeter Davis: I'll Forget More Than You'll Ever Know
Webb Pierce: It's Been So Long
Lonzo and Oscar: Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea
Fiddler: Down Yonder

9:00: Martha White
Carl Smith (host): Hey Joe
Jimmy Dickens: Thick and Thin
Marty Robbins: Sing Me Something Sentimental
Anita Carter: I'm Fading Fast With the Time
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Crook Brothers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Carl Smith: Darling I'm I The One
Chet Atkins: Dill Pickle Rag
Jimmy Dickens: Sidemeat and Cabbage
Fiddle Tune: Arkansas Traveler

9:30: Warren Paint
Johnny and Jack (host): Private Property
Lew Childre: Hang Out the Front Door Key
Kitty Wells: I Don't Claim to Be An Angel
Johnny and Jack: Don't Say Goodbye If You Love Me
Paul Warren: Turkey In The Straw

9:45: American Ace
Cowboy Copas (host): Tennessee Senorita
Ray Price: Talk To Your Heart
String Beans: Take Me Back to Tulsa
Cowboy Copas: Feelin' Low
Dale Potter: Cattle Call

10:00: Wallrite
Webb Pierce (host): That's Me Without You
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Martha Carson: I'm Walking and Talking With My Lord
Webb Pierce: Wondering
Don Slayman: Fisher's Horn Pipe

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
Hank Snow (host): Ladies Man
Annie Lou and Danny: I'd Rather Die Young Than Grow Old Without You
Bill Monroe: Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Hank Snow: A Fool Such As I
Tommy Varden: Rickett's Hornpike

10:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb (host): I'm With A Crowd But So Alone
Jimmy Dickens: I'll Dance At Your Wedding
Jordanaires: My Rock
Duke Of Paducah: Comedy
June Carter: Juke Box Blues
Marty Robbins: Every Precious Memory
Ernest Tubb: Somebody Loves You
Chet Atkins: Sweet Georgia Brown
Jimmy Dickens: Making Love To A Stranger

11:00: O-Cello-O
Ray Price (host): Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes
Johnny and Jack: South In New Orleans
Paul Warren: Black Mountain Song
Kitty Wells: Hey Joe
Ray Price: Weary Blues

11:15: Hester Battery
Carl Smith (host): My Trademark
String Beans: John Henry
Gully Jumpers: Old Joe
Carl Smith: This Side of Heaven

11:30: W.E. Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Music Making Mama
Lew Childre: Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
Lonzo and Oscar: Pretty Little Indian Maid
Crook Brothers: Fire In The Mountain
Hank Snow: Golden River

11:45: Grand Ole Opry
Cowboy Copas (host): Gone And Left Me Blue
Sam and Kirk McGee: Riding Old Paint
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire In The Mountain
Cowboy Copas: Will You Forget
Dale Potter: Fiddle Sticks

Interesting that Skeeter was given just 1 slot on her first visit to the Opry. Some of the members like Hank Snow, Ray Price and Bill Monroe were on 3 different segments. And it was nice to see Martha Carson on the schedule.

Finally, here is your Tuesday Night Opry line-up for September 30:

7:00: Bill Anderson; Brett Eldredge
7:30: Connie Smith; Easton Corbin
8:15: Jackie Lee; Marty Stuart
8:45: Rascal Flatts

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

George Hamilton IV

There is sad news from the Grand Ole Opry tonight as George Hamilton IV has passed away. On Saturday, he suffered a massive heart attack from which he was unable to recover.

Known as the "International Ambassador of Country Music", George performed and brought country music around the world. During his career, he brought country music to England, Sweden, Finland, Holland, Norway, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria. He was the first American country singer to appear in Russia and Czechoslovakia.

George started out as a pop singer, but switched to country and came to the Grand Ole Opry in 1960, joining on February 6. He left the Opry in 1971 to return to North Carolina with his family, but returned in 1976 and has never left. The hits he had included "Abilene", "Forever Young", "A Rose and a Baby Ruth", "Early Morning Rain" and "Break My Mind." A case can certainly be made that George should be in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity and honor to have met George several times. The first time was in the 1990s, when I met him at Opryland. He was kind enough to sign a birthday card for my wife. Years later, I met him again several times backstage at the Opry. He was kind and generous with his time, taking the time to actually have a conversation with you.

While he was not scheduled to perform on the Opry each weekend, for the past several years he would be backstage each weekend that he was not out on the road, greeting those who paid to take the backstage tour. I would watch as he would talk, sign autographs and have pictures taken. I never saw him once treat anyone with disrespect.

His son, George Hamilton V, who usually was there with his father each time he was at the Opry, wrote a song "We Will Meet Again." Anytime an Opry member died, or someone who George felt close to, he would sing that song on the Opry in honor of that person. I would hope that on Saturday night, time is made that would allow the performers to do this song in honor of George.

Over the past several months, we have lost 2 great Opry legends. First, Jimmy C Newman and now George Hamilton IV. Even at their age, both were sudden and something we really didn't expect. Knowing George as I did, and the respect that I had for him, this one is going to hurt a bit.

I am sure all all of us extend our prayers and thoughts to the family of George Hamilton IV.

Grand Ole Opry 9/19 & 9/20

When I saw the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this weekend, my first thought was, "Who in the heck is Ry Cooder?" I only ask that question because the name just didn't ring a bell from country music. Well, Ry Cooder, who is scheduled for the Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, is an artist described as, "His solo work has been electric, encompassing folk, blues, Tex-Mex, soul, gospel, rock and much else. He has colloborated with many musicians, notably including Captain Beefheart, Ali Farka Toure, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Randy Newman, David Lindley, The Chieftains, and The Dobbie Brothers." What is missing from this descripton? Any reference to country music or a country musician? So I ask the question, "Why is he scheduled on the Opry?"

Joining Ry on Saturday night will be bluegrass singer, and Opry member, Ricky Skaggs, along with Steep Canyon Rangers and Mandy Barnett. Oh, yes, there is country music on the Opry Saturday in the form of Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith, Jim Ed Brown and Jan Howard.

The Friday Night Opry is in better shape with Mark Chesnutt making a return appearance, along with frequent Opry guests The Willis Clan and Jim Lauderdale. I am happy to see Ray Pillow back hosting a segment and I am very happy to see Mo Pitney getting another Opry appearance.

Friday September 19
7:00: John Conlee (host); Kelleigh Bannen; Jean Shepard
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Sleepy Man Banjo Boys; Mark Chesnutt
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Mo Pitney; Steep Canyon Rangers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Jim Lauderdale; The Willis Clan

Saturday September 20
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Henningsens; (Jimmy Dickens?)
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Jim Ed Brown; Steep Canyon Rangers
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Chris Carmack; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Mandy Barnett; Ry Cooder

I am glad that management was able to round up 5 Opry members for Friday night. If Jimmy Dickens makes it on Saturday, they got it up to 7.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, September 18 & 19, 2009:

Friday September 18
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; The Flatlanders
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jim Ed Brown; John Anderson
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Stonewall Jackson; Riders In The Sky; Suzy Bogguss
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne; The Whites

Saturday September 19
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Buddy Jewell
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Jim Ed Brown; The Lovell Sisters
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; Josh Thompson; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Raul Malo

And from 10 years ago this weekend, September 17 & 18, 2004:

Friday September 17
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Mel McDaniel; Paul Brandt
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Malibu Storm; John Conlee
8:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Restless Heart
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Osborne Brothers; Elizabeth Cook
9:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Janie Fricke; Marty Stuart

Saturday September 18
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Jim Lauderdale
7:00: Hal Ketchum (host); The Whites; Paul Brandt
7:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Malibu Storm; Crystal Gayle
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Suzy Bogguss; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; Billy Ray Cyrus

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Paul Brandt
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Lauderdale; Billy Ray Cyrus
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); The Whites; Crystal Gayle; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Stu Phillips; Jack Greene; Suzy Bogguss
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; Malibu Storm

Finally, it was on Saturday September 20, 1997 that Opry manager Bob Whittaker surprised Johnny Paycheck during a guest appearance on the Opry, with an invitation to join the cast. This was a real surprise considering Johnny's past. Prior to the invitation, he had made several guest appearances on the show and always drew a solid crowd reaction. Johnny officially joined the cast several months late, on November 8, 1997. Sadly, Johnny's time at the Opry would be short. He made 7 appearances in 1997 and 7 more in 1998 before ill health forced Johnny to retire from performing.

Here is the Opry line-up and running order from September 20, 1997, 17 years ago when Johnny Paycheck was invited to join the cast of the Opry.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Bill Anderson (host): Family Reunion
Bill Carlisle: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
Bill Anderson: Orange Blossom Special

6:45: Jogging In a Jug
Grandpa Jones (host): Fifteen Cents is All I Got
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Grandpa Jones: Eight More Miles to Louisville

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Jeanne Pruett: Back to Back
The Whites: San Antonio Rose
Ray Pillow: Cinderella
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou
Porter Wagoner & Kristy Lynn: Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine
Porter Wagoner: Sugarfoot Rag

7:30: Standard Candy
Steve Wariner (host): On Life's Highway
Country Rose Barbie (Jackie Brown): You're Looking At Country
Johnny Paycheck: Love's on Fire Again/The Old Violin/Please Don't Play A-11
Steve Wariner: Big Empty House

8:00: Martha White
Jack Greene (host): Walking on New Grass
Hal Ketchum: I Know Where Love Lives/Stay Forever
Wilma Lee Cooper: Matthew 24
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durango's Hornpipe
Jack Greene: Follow Me

8:30: Clifty Farms
John Conlee (host): Friday Night Blues
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Jean Shepard: Live and Let Live
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down/Smoke, Smoke, Smoke
John Conlee: I Don't Remember Loving You

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Coming
Oswald: Mansion on the Hill
Wilma Lee Cooper: Coming Down from God
Jeanne Pruett: A Poor Man's Woman
Country Rose Barbie (Jackie Brown): You're Looking At Country
Porter Wagoner: & Kristy Lynn: Milwaukee, Here I Come
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

10:00: Massey Ferguson
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Hal Ketchum: The Way She Loves Me
Grandpa Jones: Any Old Time

10:15: Banquet
Steve Wariner (host): On Life's Highway
Roy Drusky: Jody and the Kid
Steve Wariner: A Big Old Empty House

10:30: Purnell's
Jean Shepard (host): I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Stu Phillips: Colorado
Jean Shepard & Jeannie Seely: Live and Let Live/Farewell Party

10:45: Your Quality Certified Home Dealers
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): Did She Mention My Name
The Whites: Hanging Around/He Took Your Place
Johnny Paycheck: Love's On Fire Again/The Old Violin
Bill Anderson: The Unicorn

11:30: Opry Book
John Conlee (host): Common Man
Jeannie Seely: Burning that Old Memory/Too Far Gone
Billy Walker: Come A Little Bit Closer/Jesus Walks In
John Conlee: Rose Colored Glasses

As far as Johnny Paycheck, I really like what he did early in his career and what he did at the end of his career. I always thought "The Old Violin" was made just for him. I didn't care much for what Johnny did in the middle part of his career and he certainly made some bad choices. I am glad that he got himself turned around at the end.

On a final note, here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, September 23:

7:00: Bill Anderson; Eric Paslay
7:30: Maddie & Tae; Charlie Daniels Band
8:15: Randy Owen; Jonathan Jackson; Sam Palladio
8:45: Brad Paisley

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 9/12 & 9/13

Before I get to the Grand Ole Opry line-up for this weekend, I had a couple of comments to pass along. First, the Opry has added a 2nd show on Friday October 10, which is the weekend of the 89th birthday bash. There were already 2 shows for Saturday. My guess is that they are going to add a few more "stars" to the line-up, which right now is pretty thin. They only add a 2nd show if they feel they can come close to selling it out.

My other comment does not relate to the Opry, but I wanted to mention the new Birthplace of Country Music Museum that has recently opened in Bristol. My wife and I have visited the area many times and we know the heritage of country music. In fact, the "Bristol Sessions" are considered the "big bang" of country music. Many people have spent a lot of time in making this project a reality and it opened last month. This past weekend, we went down for a visit. The Museum, while not huge, is very well done. The displays are impressive and the people working were very friendly and knew their stuff. There were displays on Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family, Ralph Peer, Pop Stoneman and Tennessee Ernie Ford. There was live music and I was told there is room for expansion. I would say their were 40-50 visitors when we were there Saturday afternoon. Of course, when in the area, make sure to visit The Carter Fold, up in the hills. Every Saturday night they have a show and A.P. Carter's cabin is open and filled with different items. I highly recommend that if you get the chance, head down for a visit.

As far as the Opry this weekend, I think they have come up with a couple of respectable shows. First, I was very happy to see Roy Clark scheduled for both shows this weekend. This will be his first Opry appearance of the year. I have seen some recent pictures of Roy on the web, and while he has aged, he is looking pretty good. Also scheduled both nights is another Country Music Hall of Fame member, Mel Tillis. Joining Roy and Mel on Friday night will be someone who should be in the Hall of Fame, and that is Ray Stevens. You never know what you will get from Ray. Also scheduled is Lee Greenwood and Elizabeth Cook. Making his first Opry appearance will be Noam Pikelny. He is a fine banjo player and part of the Punch Brothers. While not country, they are right on the fringe and having seen them previously, they are good.

Saturday's line-up includes Crystal Gayle. I have said many times, and I think others agree, Crystal would make a fine Opry member. Also scheduled for another appearance is Fiddlin' Carson Peters Band, Mary Gauthier and frequent Opry guest, Chris Janson.

Friday September 12
7:00: John Conlee (host); Leah Turner; The Whites; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Jimmy Wayne; Mel Tillis
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Elizabeth Cook; Ray Stevens
8:45: Roy Clark (host); Noam Pikelny & Stuart Duncan; Lee Greenwood

Saturday September 13
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Katie Armiger; Jimmy Dickens (?)
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Fiddlin' Carson Peters Band; Crystal Gayle
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Marty Gauthier; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Roy Clark (host); Chris Janson; Mel Tillis

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, September 11 and 12, 2009:

Friday September 11
7:00: Steve Wariner (host); Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Stonewall Jackson; Joe Diffie
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Pam Tillis
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jim Ed Brown; Connie Smith

Saturday September 12
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Infamous Stringdusters
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jack Greene; Jean Shepard
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; The Carter Twins; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Pam Tillis

I am sure everyone will take note that the Friday night show featured all Opry members.

Now from 10 years ago, the weekend of September 10 & 11, 2004:

Friday September 10
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Radney Foster
8:00: John Conlee (host); Osborne Brothers; Christy Sutherland
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Anita Cochran
9:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Kylie Harrie; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mandy Barnett
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jeannie Seely; Mark Wills

Saturday September 11
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Brad Cotter
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Shawn Camp; Dan Seals
7:30: Charlie Walker (host); Mel McDaniel; Jessi Alexander
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Jeff Bates; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: The Whites (host); Jack Greene; Osborne Brothers; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Brad Cotter
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Shawn Camp; Dan Seals
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jessi Alexander; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: The Whites (host); Osborne Brothers; Jeff Bates
11:30: Ray Pillow (host); Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett

For this week's special look back into Grand Ole Opry history, it was on Saturday September 13, 1958 that Ben Smathers and the Stoney Mountain Cloggers became members on the Grand Ole Opry. The Stoney Mountain Cloggers were actually a family act that consisted of Ben and Margaret, along with Hal, Tim, Candy and Debbie. When they came to the Opry from North Carolina in 1958, they were given a guest spot. It was written that during that appearance, they received "wild ovations and numerous encores" and have been regulars on the Opry since. The Stoney Mountain Cloggers were much more than just an Opry act. They appeared on over 130 network television shows, 6 movies and at 40 state fairs and numerous county fairs. They even spent a considerable amount of time touring with Charlie Daniels.

Here is the running from Saturday September 13, 1958, 56 years ago this weekend, when the Stoney Mountain Cloggers first performed on the Grand Ole Opry.

7:30: Sessions Peanut Butter
Marty Robbins (host): Just Married
Porter Wagoner: Tell Her Lies and Feed Her Candy
Jordanaires: Little Miss Ruby
Jean Shepard: Secret of Life
Marty Robbins: I Can't Quite
Carlisles: Leave That Liar Alone
Porter Wagoner: Haven't You Heard
Square Dancers: Sally Goodin
Stringbean: Shotgun Boogie
Jean Shepard: Sweet Temptation
Marty Robbins: Story of My Life
Fiddle Tune: Leather Britches

8:00: Martha White
Flatt and Scruggs (host): I Don't Care
Jimmy Newman: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Carl Butler: The Blues Come Around
Benny and Jo Ann: My Fortune
Flatt and Scruggs: Heaven
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Hilo Brown: Stonewall
Possum Hunters: Bill Cheatham
Jimmy Newman: The Way You're Living
Flatt and Scruggs: Dear Old Dixie
Fiddle Tune: Devil's Dream

8:30: Prince Albert
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): I'll Get Even With You
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Don Gibson: Look Who's Blue
Tommy Jackson: Katy Hill
Hawkshaw Hawkins: If I Could Hear My Mother Pray
Chet Atkins: Bells of St. Mary
June Carter: Comedy
Don Gibson: I'm Going to Give Myself A Party
Grandpa Jones: Daylight Saving Time
Hawkshaw Hawkins: I Don't Apologize
Tommy Jackson: Wake Up Susan

9:00: Jefferson Island
Jordanaires: Theme
Ernest Tubb (host): Two Glasses Joe
Bill Monroe: Sitting on Top of the World
Porter Wagoner: Turn It Over in Your Mind
Cousin Jody: Television Set
Ernest Tubb: Half A Mind
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Johnson
Bill Monroe: Sally Joe
Stonewall Jackson: Grieving In My Heart
Porter Wagoner: Satisfield Mind
Ernest Tubb: Hey, Mr. Bluebird
Fiddle Tune: Soldier's Joy

9:30: Stephens
Coopers: Theme
Hank Snow (host): The Woman Captured Me
Cowboy Copas: Won't You Ride in My Little Red Wagon
Carl Butler: Nothing Can Stop Me
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Loving You
Hank Snow: I'm Hurting All Over
Crook Brothers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Benny Martin: Border Baby
Cowboy Copas: Don't Shake Hands With the Devil
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: We Live in Two Different Worlds
Hank Snow: Big Wheel
Fiddle Tune: Forked Deer

10:00: Standard Brands
Marty Robbins (host): Sweet Lies
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Sensation
Don Gibson: Blue Blue Day
Jean Shepard: Sad Singing Slow Riding
Marty Robbins: I'll Step Aside
Del Wood: Echo Waltz
Grandpa Jones: Mountain Dew
Jordanaries: In the Great Getting Up Morning
Marty Robbins: Singing the Blues
Fiddle Tune: Soldier's Joy

10:30: Delited
Carlisles: Theme
Ernest Tubb (host): You Don't Have to Be A Baby to Cry
Stonewall Jackson: Living This Way
Carlisles: Zat You Myrtle
Ernest Tubb: Driftwood on the River
Fiddle Tune: Paty on the Turnpike

10:45: De Con
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host): Cheated Too
Jimmy Newman: Why Baby Why
Crook Brothers: 8th of January
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Walking My Lord Up Calvery Hill
Fiddle Tune: Buffalo Gal

11:00: Coca Cola
Jordanaires: Theme
Hank Snow (host): Caribbean
Carl Butler: I Know What it Means to Be Lonesome
Benny Martin and Jo Ann: My Fortune
Flatt and Scruggs: Before I Met You
Hank Snow: Whispering Rain
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Stringbean: Nine Pound Hammer
Gully Jumpers: Grey Eagle
Carl Butler: Jealous Heart
Hank Snow: Rumba Boogie

11:30: Jamison Bedding
Jordanaires: Theme
Porter Wagoner (host): Trade Mark
Don Gibson: Oh, Lonesome Me
Bill Monroe: Brand New Shoes
Porter Wagoner: Eat Drink and Be Merry
Fiddle Tune: Flop Eared Mule

Cowboy Copas (host): Feeling Low
Sam and Kirk: I Wish I Had A Nickel
Cousin Jody: Dear John
Fruit Jars: Ida Red
Cowboy Copas: The Man Upstairs

The Stoney Mountain Cloggers remained on the Opry for 35 years, until September 11, 1993 when Margaret Smathers and the group made the decision to retire. Ben Smathers had died in September 1990 at the age of 61, following complications from open heart surgery but Margaret and the group continued to appear at the Opry, usually in an every-other week rotation with the Melvin Sloan Dancers.

On that final Saturday, the Nashville Tennessean had a very fine write-up on the group, that was written by Brian Mansfield. Here is that article, which was headlined, "They're clogging off the stage-Stoney Mountain Cloggers retiring from the Grand Ole Opry.:

"After 35 years on the Grand Ole Opry, the Stoney Mountain Cloggers kick up their heels for a final time tonight. The family-based troupe will retire from the Opry after performing on each of tonight's shows. 'It probably is a half dozen reasons,' says Margaret Smathers, the leader of the group since the death of her husband Ben in 1990. 'One big reason is I'm 66 and not getting any younger, I find. I feel I'm still dancing as good as I did a few years ago. I just think it's kind of time for the older ones to step down and let the younger ones have their turn. I'd like to think that a younger group would come in and start working on their 35 years.'

The Smathers family first began performing on the Opry in 1958, making weekly trips from their home in North Carolina. The group eventually relocated to Nashville and became a popular Opry feature even though people listening to the show on the radio could only imagine the dance steps. 'I've always thought the Opry, because it's a radio show, is kind of an unusual place to have clogging,' says Opry general manager Hal Durham. 'The radio listener hears the square-dance band playing and hears the sound of dancing, but they can't see.'

Smathers says the Stoney Mountain Cloggers went into semi-retirement five or six years ago, and her three children  who dance in the group found additional jobs. Candy Smathers Johnson works for Joyce Daniel & Associates doing make up for TNN; Hal Smathers is with Carter & Associates, and Debbie Smathers Wilson works as bar manager for the Santa Fe Steak Co.

Fellow Opry stars Vince Gill and the Whites asked to perform with the Stoney Mountain Cloggers on their final segments. Mickey Smathers, who used to dance with the troupe, now works as a production manager for Gill. He'll rejoin the family for the final performance, as will a non-dancing daughter, Sally. Margaret says she's concerned that the role of the traditional dances on the Opry may decrease with the Cloggers' departure. 'That has bothered me,' she says. 'I hope they will go on with it. Hal Durham and I talked recently about this, and he asked me if I thought clogging and square dancing should be kept. I feel like it's tradition.' 'We haven't determined yet what we're going to do about that,' says Durham. 'For the time being, Melvin Sloan's group will dance.'"

Here is the line-up from Saturday September 11, 1993, 21 years ago this weekend, when the Stoney Mountain Cloggers made their final Grand Ole Opry appearance, an appearance that was part of the televised Opry on TNN.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
4 Guys (host): Turn Your Radio On
Wilma Lee Cooper: Give Me the Roses While I Live
4 Guys: All Tied Up

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Jack Greene (host): Until My Dreams Come True
Jean Shepard: Wabash Cannonball
Jack Greene: You Are My Treasure

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Jim Ed Brown: Lyin' In Love With You
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Del Reeves: Luckenbach, Texas
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Porter Wagoner: Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff

7:30: Standard Candy
Vince Gill (host): Give Me Just One More Last Chance
Barry and Holly Tashian: I Dreamed of An Old Love Affair/If I Knew Then What I Know Now
The Whites: House of Gold
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Bill Cheatham
Vince Gill: (?)

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Riders In The Sky: Blue Montana Skies
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me On Sundays
Bill Anderson: The Touch of the Master's Hand

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Breakfast with the Blues
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco
Connie Smith: I Never Once Stopped Loving You
Roy Drusky: I Really Don't Want to Know
Mike Snider: Battle Cry of Freedom/Get Your Hand Off My Knee and Load the Cannon
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You
Charlie Louvin: The Hand that Rocks the Cradle
Porter Wagoner: Ol' Slewfoot

10:00: Little Debbie
Jack Greene (host): I Don't Believe I'll Fall In Love Today
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Jack Greene: Ever Since My Baby Went Away

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
4 Guys: Shut the Door
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar

10:30: Piccadilly
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
Mike Snider: Bells of St. Mary's
Charlie Walker: Smoke, Smoke, Smoke

10:45: Opry Book
Vince Gill (host): Take Your Memory With You When You Go
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Vince Gill: I've Been Hearing things About You

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Giesha Girl
Billy Walker: A Million and One
Roy Drusky: Mississippi
Riders In The Sky: Cowboy Jubilee/Riding Down the Canyon
Hank Snow: The Third Man

11:30: General Jackson
Jimmy C Newman (host): Big Mamou
Justin Tubb: Walkin', Talkin', Cryin' Barely Beatin' Broken Heart
Connie Smith: Sing, Sing, Sing
Johnny Russell: In A Mansion Stands My Love/He'll Have to Go
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

As we all know now, the Stoney Mountain Cloggers were not replaced and clogging disappeared from the Opry stage. Melvin Sloan and his dancers carried on each week until Melvin retired and now the group is just known as the Opry Square Dancers.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 9/5 & 9/6

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend. As has been mentioned before, the line-ups feature many more guest artists then Opry members. In fact, on Friday night, there are just 6 Opry members scheduled, while Saturday's show features just 5. It is what it is.

Among the guest artists on The Friday Night Opry are Jamie O'Neal, The Grascals, Sarah Darling and Restless Heart. All are familiar to Opry audiences. Also scheduled is Carolina Story and JT Hodges, both of whom will also come back for the Saturday night show. Joining them on Saturday will be Wade Hayes, Striking Matches, Janelle Arthur and Casey James. The one Opry member that I am very pleased to see on the schedule for Saturday night is Ray Pillow. Nice to have this smooth singer back at the Opry.

Friday September 5
7:00: John Conlee (host); JT Hodges; Jamie O'Neal
7:30: The Whites (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Grascals
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Carolina Story
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Sarah Darling; Restless Heart

Saturday September 6
7:00: The Whites (host); JT Hodges
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Wade Hayes; Carolina Story
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Jesse McReynolds; Striking Matches; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Janelle Arthur; Casey James

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, September 4 & 5, 2009:

Friday September 4
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Luke Bryan
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne; Andy Griggs
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mark Wills
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Stu Phillips; Jack Greene; The Whites

Saturday September 5
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Emily West
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Blaine Larsen
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds; Johnny Counterfit; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Blaine Larsen
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Legacy Five
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Charlie Louvin; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Emily West; Connie Smith

And from 10 years ago this weekend, September 3 & 4, 2004:

Friday September 3
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; George Hamilton IV; George Canyon
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Adam Harvey; Stonewall Jackson; Trace Adkins
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Osborne Brothers; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:00: Roy Clark (host); Jean Shepard; Craig Morgan
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Restless Heart

Saturday September 4
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; T. Graham Brown
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; George Hamilton IV; George Canyon
7:30: Roy Clark (host); Billy Walker; Alecia Nugent
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Charlie Louvin: Rebecca Lynn Howard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Josh Turner

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; George Canyon
10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Alecia Nugent
10:30: Roy Clark (host); Stu Phillips; Rebecca Lynn Howard; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Billy Walker; Jack Greene; T. Graham Brown
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Ray Pillow; Josh Turner

For this week's feature line-up, I have one from 50 years ago this weekend, Saturday September 5, 1964:

7:30: Luzianne
Faron Young (host): Live Fast; Love Hard; Die Young
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
The Deputies: Preacher
Faron Young: My Friends on the Right
Osborne Brothers: Charlie Cotton
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Cousin Jody: Mockingbird
Jean Shepard: Two Little Boys
Faron Young: Hello Walls

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): My Saro Jane
George Hamilton IV: Ft. Worth, Dallas or Houston
Carter Family: Worried Man Blues
Billy Walker: Down to My Last Cigarette
Crook Brothers: Cacklin Hen
Flatt & Scruggs: Working It Out
Ernest Ashworth: Just One Time
Uncle Josh: Fireball

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Hank Locklin: (?)
Loretta Lynn: Wine, Women and Song
Bill Carlisle: Shanghei Rooster
Roy Acuff: Wreck on the Highway
Marion Worth: The French Song
Hank Locklin: I Was Coming Home to You
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

9:00: Pet Milk
Ernest Tubb (host): Give Me A Little Old Fashioned Love
Wilburn Brothers: I'm Gonna Tie One on Tonight
Bill Anderson: Po Folks
Ernest Tubb: Half A Mind
Margie Bowes: Overnight
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
Bill Anderson: Me
Wilburn Brothers: Never Alone

9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): Golden Rockeet
Bill Monroe: On and On
Charlie Louvin: I Don't Love You Anymore
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Hank Snow: I Stepped Over the Line
Skeeter Davis: Let Me Get Closer to You
Glaser Brothers: A Girl Like You
Stringbean: Banjo Pickin' Girl
Hank Snow: Rockin' Rollin' Ocean

10:00: Schick
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
Ernest Ashworth: A Week in the Country
Cousin Jody: Wabash Cannonball

10:15: SSS Tonic
Roy Acuff (host): (?)
June Stearn: Faded Love
Curly Fox: Orange Blossom Special
Roy Acuff: How Beautiful Heaven Must Be

10:30: Harvey's
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Jimmy Brown the Newsboy
Billy Walker: (?)
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Flatt & Scruggs: I'm On My Way to Canaan's Land

10:45: Newport
Ernest Tubb (host): Thanks A Lot
Loretta Lynn: Before I'm Over You
Bill Carlisle: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
Crook Brothers: Bill Cheatham
Ernest Tubb & Loretta Lynn: Mr and Mrs Used to Be

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Breakfast with the Blues
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Charlie Louvin: Just Between the Two of Us
Glaser Brothers: Satisfied
Hank Snow: (?)
Marion Worth: I'll Hold You In My Heart
Bill Anderson: Five Little Fingers
Sam & Kirk McGee: Blue Night

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Wilburn Brothers: Legend of the Big River Train
Bill Monroe: Mary at the Home Place
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Marty Robbins: El Paso
Margie Bowes: Sweet Dreams
Stringbean: Hot Corn; Cold Corn
Bill Monroe: John Hardy
Marty Robbins: Bouquet of Roses/I'll Step Aside/Take These Chains from My Heart/I Could Never Be Ashamed of You/Begging to You/Ruby Ann/Singing the Blues

Finally, here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, September 9

7:00: Charlie Worsham; John Conlee
7:30: Sara Haze; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Connie Smith; The Willis Clan
8:45: Moe Bandy; Scotty McCreery

Not a bad line-up for the mid-week show. I have always enjoyed Moe Bandy. Nice to see him back at the Opry.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!