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!!!


  1. From Anonymous in PA: I am with you 100 percent. Actually, the Tue, Sep 30 Opry is better than the weekend. As I said before, I'm dreading what the final line-up for the Anniversary weekend will be - and here we are 2 weeks out and very little is identified and I don't like what they have so far listed.

  2. We used to drive down to Nashville annually to see a show. Not worth my time to do that anymore.......more money for tickets and fewer Opry member appearances. This does not look good.

  3. The Friday Night 'Opry is now the Tuesday Night 'Opry (8 performers, 15 minutes each).
    TWO 'Opry members Friday night (Vince and Connie).
    Say goodbye to the 'Opry as us old old folks remember it.

    On another topic, this Thursday Night's 'Opry Country Classics has only five artists listed, ONE 'Opry member (Connie). Wow.
    Having said that, it looks like a darned good show, with Sara Darling, Jim Lauderdale, Connie Smith, Charlie McCoy, and everybody's favorite Chris Janson. I'm sorry, the devil made me throw Chris in there.

  4. I am probably better off just playing Cracker Barrel Opry Classic Cds and making my own Opry at home than listening to this ...........

  5. Ya, it's not hardly worth the time or effort anymore. The last time I was back in town I didn't even bother to tune in on the radio. On the flip side, I'm glad to see Amber Digby getting an Opry slot. Here's a girl that has a great voice and a country music pedigree like no other. Her dad is Dennis Digby who was one of the funniest people I've ever met and was Loretta Lynn's bass player and road manager for 20 years. Her mom sang harmony for Connie Smith at one time and her stepdad is Dickey Overbey who has played steel guitar for Connie Smith and Ronnie Milsap. She's also the niece of Darrell, Diane and Dennis McCall so she comes from a long line of talent. She's done the Midnight Jamboree a number of times but it's nice to see her get exposure to a wider audience. THIS is the kind of talent the Opry should have been showcasing all along instead of the pop-star-goin'-country flavor of the month (just my 2 cents).

  6. Well, I might as well join the chorus. Again, I don't mind experiments or change. Even granting that the Friday Night Frolics started about 65 years ago, I think of the Saturday night Opry as sacrosanct. But nobody in the current management considers anything about the Opry sacrosanct. One might think that after his supposedly heartfelt tributes to Jimmy C. Newman and George Hamilton IV, Pete Fisher might stop to think that while the legends don't have to be on ALL the time, they deserve some respect. But that would have required him to listen to what he was saying.

  7. Barry-Amen on Amber Digby and "this is the kind of talent the Opry should have been showcasing all along". I know that can't be all the Opry is but that hard core country should certainly have a bigger cut of the show and we know there is the talent out there to do it.

    As far as Fisher and the tributes, I think he is sincere, but, Walter Cronkite reported the news every night for twenty of years, just gave a no nonsense facts based news and we or at least I never knew until he retired or passed just how opinionated he was. He was doing his job and left his personal feelings or politics out of it. So?

    Knightsville, IN

  8. Regarding Skeeter Davis' first appearance on the Opry, the accident that killed Betty Jack Davis was on August 2, 1953. It's been a few years since I read her autobiography, but I think that may have been her first performance since the wreck. At any rate, I know that moving forward without Betty Jack was very difficult for her. To complicate things further, Betty Jack's mother tried to force her other daughter into the Davis Sisters act. Skeeter worked with her until 1956.

  9. First, the Skeeter Davis autobiography is a good one. I recommend it.

    As far as the Opry on Friday, this is another issue in how they schedule the veterans who can host segments. I know some of the regular ones who host are out doing shows this weekend, but you still could have brought in Jean Shepard or Ray Pillow. I am sure The Whites were available as they really don't do any live shows anymore. How about Mike Snider? He is still staying away from the Opry.

    This just shows where the Opry is at today. They couldn't, or didn't want to, bring in just 2 more to host. I put the blame directly on Steve Buchanan and Pete Fisher for this.

    How about this? No new members since Old Crow Medicine Show and that has been over a year now? Is it a case of nobody wants to be an Opry member or they are not asking the right people? (and we all know who those would be).

    The birthday bash this year is looking slim again. I checked some of the schedules of Opry members for the birthday weekend, and a lot of the veterans that you would expect to see are out on the road. 3 weeks out and the same names listed.

  10. I am trying, as an a 50 year Opry listener to warm up to Chris Janson. He seems very talented, has a feel for the country spirit, but tends to shout most of his songs. Maybe a ballad or two where he actually sings in a normal voice would help. And yes, adding some of the Opry's frequent guests like Rhonda Vincent, Suzy Bogguss, and others previously mentioned in posts would help bolster the show.
    What about the most country female artist Leona Williams becoming an Opry member ???? What a fantastic and totally country singer. Has she offended Opry management some way or another ????

    Flushing, Michigan

  11. Fred, Bismarck:

    So, how was Mac? Through a cruel fate, I had company Friday night and was unable to listen. Thanks.

  12. Fred, Mac sounded great. He did 3 songs and received a standing ovation. Eddie Stubbs gave him a very nice introduction.

  13. Fred, Bismarck:

    Thanks, Byron. I'm sure grateful that Mac is still with us and he can still bring it. Did you make a note (mental or otherwise) of the songs he sang?