Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 10/31 & 11/1

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for this week's Opry shows. This will be the final weekend at the Grand Ole Opry House for this year as starting next week, the Opry moves to the Ryman Auditorium for its annual winter run, which will last through January.

There is some interesting booking this weekend regarding a number of the Opry's guest artists who are scheduled. Scheduled both nights are frequent Opry guests Jimmy Wayne and The Willis Clan. Joining them on Friday night will be Elizabeth Cook and Jim Lauderdale, while Chris Janson and Collin Raye are set for Saturday night.

On the other hand, there are a couple of acts who will be making their Opry debut. On Friday night, Rayland Baxter is scheduled. Rayland is considered a Nashville roots artist and let's just say he is not traditional country. Saturday night will feature Opry newcomer, who is described as a modern Wanda Jackson.

As far as Opry members this weekend, Vince Gill is scheduled, as are Riders In The Sky, who have been touring for most of the month of October. Also set again for both shows this weekend is Mike Snider. You still have to wonder about Mike as he was missing for 9 months and now for the last month has not missed a weekend.

Friday October 31
7:00: John Conlee (host); Elizabeth Cook; Mike Snider
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Lauderdale
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jimmy Wayne
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Rayland Baxter; The Willis Clan

Saturday November 1
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Chris Janson; (Jimmy Dickens?)
7:30: John Conlee (host); Nikki Lane; Mike Snider
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jimmy Wayne; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Collin Raye; The Willis Clan

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago, the weekend of October 30 & 31, 2009:

Friday October 30
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Jean Shepard; Sunny Sweeney
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Doyle Dykes
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; David Nail
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; Keith Urban

Saturday October 31
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jim Lauderdale
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; Restless Heart
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Doyle Dykes
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; Blake Shelton

Interesting to see 2 future Opry members closing the show on Friday and Saturday.

Now from 10 years ago, October 29 & 30, 2004:

Friday October 29
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; IIIrd Tyme Out
8:00: John Conlee (host); Stu Phillips; Osborne Brothers; Lane Turner
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); BR549; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Eddy Raven; Rhonda Vincent
9:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Restless Heart

Saturday October 30
1st show
6:30: Jean Shepard (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: John Conlee (host); Carolyn Dawn Johnson; Jamie O'Neal; IIIrd Tyme Out; Crystal Gayle
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); George Hamilton IV; Billy Walker; Rebecca Lynn Howard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; B.J. Thomas

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Osborne Brothers; Crystal Gayle
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Carolyn Dawn Johnson
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Charlie Louvin; IIIrd Tyme Out; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Jamie O'Neal
11:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Billy Walker; Jeannie Seely; B.J. Thomas

For this week's feature line-ups, I have 2. The first is from Saturday November 2, 1963 which is the night that the Opry celebrated it's 38th birthday. (Interesting how the birthday date has moved around from year-to-year). As you would expect, it was a pretty solid show, especially in the era when Opry acts had to appear 26 Saturday nights through the year. Here is the Opry line-up from 51 years ago, November 2, 1963:

6:30: Rudy's
Jimmy Newman (host): The Mover
Kitty Wells: Heartaches For A Keepsake
Johnny Wright: O Baby Mine, I Get So Lonely
Stringbean: There Will Be Moonshine In Them Old Kentucky Hills
Bobby Lord: Out Behind the Barn
Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule
Kitty Wells: I Gave My Wedding Dress Away
Jimmy Newman: D.J. For A Day

7:00: Delited
Porter Wagoner (host): I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand
Roy Drusky: Peel Me A Nanner
Carl Butler: Don't Let Me Cross Over
Melba Montgomery: What's Bad For You Is Good For Me
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Billy Walker: The Morning Paper
George Hamilton IV: Abilene
Porter Wagoner: In The Shadow of the Wine

7:30: Kellogg's
George Morgan (host): Alright, I'll Sign the Papers
Marion Worth: (?)
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Willis Brothers: Private Lee
Bill Anderson: Still
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
Tex Ritter: Boll Weevil
Square Dancers: Soap Suds Over the Fence
George Morgan: One Dozen Roses

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): New York Town
Ferlin Husky: Gone
Loretta Lynn: Before I'm Over You
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Flatt & Scruggs: Mama Don't Allow It
Billy Grammer: (?)
Louvin Brothers: (?)
Crook Brothers: Lafayette
Flatt & Scruggs: Flint Hill Special

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Bill Monroe: John Henry
Ray Price: San Antonio Rose
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Sonny James: Going Through the Motions
Lonzo & Oscar: There's A Hole In the Bottom of the Sea
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Oswald: Roll On, Buddy, Roll On
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb (host): Thanks A Lot
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Johnny Cash: (?)
Stringbean: Pretty Polly
June Carter & The Carters: (?)
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
Margie Bowes: Our Things
Ernest Tubb: The Way You're Living

9:30: Pet Milk
Hank Snow (host): Ninety Miles An Hour Down A Dead End Street
The Browns: The Three Bells
Faron Young: Yellow Bandana
Jean Shepard: (?)
Porter Wagoner: Your Old Love Letters
Leroy Van Dyke: Happy to Be Unhappy
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: There's A Big Wheel
Stonewall Jackson: B.J. the D.J.
Hank Snow: Blue Roses

10:00: Gates Rubber
Billy Grammer (host): (?)
Bobby Lord: Life Can Have Meaning
Curly Fox: T. Model and A Train
Billy Walker: Heart, Be Careful
Billy Grammer: (?)

10:15: Luzianne
Roy Acuff (host): The Great Speckled Bird
Del Wood: Columbus Stockade Blues
Jimmy Newman: D.J. For a Day
Roy Acuff: Wreck on the Highway
Howdy Forrester & Jimmy Riddle: Apple Blossoms

10:30: Harvey's
Ferlin Husky (host): Wings Of A Dove
Louvin Brothers: (?)
Tex Ritter: (?)
Simon Crum: (?)

10:45: Ford
Faron Young (host): (?)
George Morgan: You're the Only Good Thing
Bill Anderson: Eight By Ten
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Faron Young: (?)

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Skeeter Davis: Something Precious
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
The Browns: Oh, No
Lonzo & Oscar: Hand Holding
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Gloryland March
Sam & Kirk McGee: Let's Meet By the Old Oaken Bucket
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Love Somebody
Hank Snow: There's A Fool Such As I

11:30: SSS Tonic
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Hank Locklin: Flying South
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Stonewall Jackson: Wild, Wild Wind
Margie Bowes: Judge Not
Sonny James: The Minute You're Gone
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry

Wow!! That is what I call one of a kind Opry show. Yes, it did start at 6:00 (the Opry normally started at 7:30) and it was one show until midnight-6 hours long!!

26 of the acts did 2 spots (If I count right),while Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright, Carl Butler, George Hamilton IV, Marion Worth, Willis Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs; Loretta Lynn, Archie Campbell, Ray Price, Minnie Pearl, Ernest Tubb, The Carters, Jean Shepard, Leroy Van Dyke and Marty Robbins did just 1. That come to 16, for a total of 42 acts. Add on Kirk & Sam McGee, The Crook Brothers and the Fruit Jar Drinkers, and it is pretty loaded up. Oh, I forgot Tex Ritter, who at this point was not an Opry member yet, and Johnny Cash, who by this time had given up his Opry membership, and what a show!! Need I say that it was just a bit better than this year's birthday bash?

For the final line-up for this week, I have Saturday October 31, 1992. This was the final show that Roy Acuff appeared on the posted Opry line-up. While he was on the schedule, Roy did not appear on the Opry this night. His final Saturday night was 2 weeks prior, during the Opry's birthday show. Friday October 23 was his final Opry appearance. While he was scheduled for Saturday October 24, but did not appear as he was taking a nap and his family made the decision not to wake him. He tried to give it a go the following weekend, but he could not as by the time Saturday night came, he was a patient in Baptist Hospital. He was never again listed on the Opry schedule.

Here is the running order of the Opry from 22 years ago, Saturday October 31, 1992:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Bill Anderson (host): Son of the South
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Bill Anderson: Po' Folks

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Bill Monroe (host): Mule Skinner Blues
Jim Ed Brown: Scarlet Ribbons
Ray Pillow: That Ain't No Way to Treat My Heart
Bill Monroe: I've Found A Hiding Place

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Connie Smith: I've Never Once Stop Loving You
Charlie Louvin: Must You Throw Dirt In My Face
Jimmy Dickens: May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
Osborne Brothers: Rank Strangers

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Riders In The Sky: Ghost Heard in the Sky
Johnny Russell: Red Neck, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer
Alison Krauss: (?)/I'll Never Stand In Your Way
Jimmy C Newman: Texa-Cajun/Jambalaya

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Banjo Sam
Jerry Ford: The Cottage in the Country
Oswald: The End of the World
George Hamilton IV: Abilene
Roy Drusky: Always
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Liberty
Grandpa Jones: It's Raining Here This Morning

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Between Fire and Water
Del Reeves: Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime At A Time/Looking At the World Through A Windshield
The Whites: I Just Steal Away and Pray
4 Guys: Big River
Jack Greene: Every Since My Baby Went Away
Hank Snow: Mary Ann Regrets

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Roy Drusky: Take Good Care of Her
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors
Alison Krauss: (?)/ Clinch Mountain Backstep
Porter Wagoner: Big Wind

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Monroe (host): Kentucky Mandolin
Mike Snider: (?)
Bill Monroe: Tall Pines

10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
George Hamilton IV: I Saw the Light/I'll Fly Away
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water

10:30: Pet, Inc.
Grandpa Jones (host): Kitty Klyde
Charlie Louvin & Charlie Whitstein: When I Stop Dreaming
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Grandpa Jones: Dear Old Sunny South By the Sea

10:45: B.C. Powder
Bill Anderson (host): How Married Are You Mary Ann
Jeannie Seely: Why Doesn't He Just Leave Me Alone
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Big Wheels A'Turnin' Going Somewhere
Charlie Walker: Right or Wrong
Justin Tubb: Travelin' Singing Man
Osborne Brothers: Nobody's Darling But Mine
Riders In The Sky: The Honey Baby Song
Hank Snow: These Things Shall Pass

11:30: Creamettes
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Jean Shepard: I Don't See How I Can Make It With You Gone
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
The Whites: San Antonio Rose
Johnny Russell: No One Will Ever Know
Jack Greene: All The Time

Roy Acuff was scheduled to host the 8:00 and 10:15 Opry segments that night. This was also the final show that Pet sponsored the 10:30 segment with Randy Travis Enterprises taking over the following week.

Finally, here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, November 4:

7:00: Riders In The Sky; Casey James
7:30: The Black Lillies; Darius Rucker
8:15: Connie Smith; Kristian Bush
8:45: Rhonda Vincent; Mo Pitney

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Little Jimmie Sizemore

I recently received word that former Grand Ole Opry member Little Jimmie Sizemore passed away on October 14, at the age of 86.

James L. Sizemore was born in Paintsville, Kentucky on January 29, 1928. He was the son of Asher Sizemore, who was a singer but more importantly, one of the great country music promotors of his time. Jimmie (or in some cases spelled Jimmy) came to the Grand Ole Opry with his father in 1932, at the age of 5. They were a very popular duo, thanks in part to Asher's great promotional skills. In 1933, Asher would say many times that Little Jimmie knew over 200 songs. Among those songs were "The Booger Bear", "Has Anybody Seen My Kitty?", and "Little Feet." His best selling record was "Little Jimmy's Goodbye to Jimmie Rodgers", recorded in 1934. One of his best known by most fans was "My Little Rooster".

After coming to the Opry in 1933, they split their time between WSM and WHAS in Louisville, Kentucky. They also had a fifteen minute transcription program that was distributed thoughout the Midwest. The shows were very profitable as Asher hawked paperback songbooks on each program; he was among the first country performers to use this method to raise additional income. Asher also worked to have songs he owned or published recorded by other acts.

The Sizemores also had a program on the NBC Network for a short period of time, becoming one of the first Opry acts to have a national program. They left they Opry in 1942, but continued to perform and work throughout the Midwest. They had programs on radio stations in Waterloo, Iowa, Des Moines, St. Louis and Atlanta, in addition to their program in Louisville.

Jimmy served in the Korean War, after which he settled in Arkansas with his father, who died in 1975. Jimmy served as an executive with a Jacksonville, Arkansas radio station, and then moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma. Jimmie continued to perform at country music shows throughout the Midwest, and was still performing as recent as several years ago.

Asher and Little Jimmie's first Opry appearance was on September 24, 1932. It was said by many that Asher and Little Jimmie are the best-remembered figures from the 1930s show. After joining the Opry, they were on almost every week in 1933, about three months in 1934 and from January to April in 1935. After a series of appearances on the NBC Network, they were back on the Opry for eight weeks in 1936 and 1937, and for about four months in 1939. After that, they appearances decreased until they left the show.

Little Jimmie is one of the Opry's forgotten members. I did a quick check of the Opry's annual reunion shows, sometimes called Old-Timer's Night, and I don't see Little Jimmie listed on any of the shows. I had heard that he did come back to visit the Opry in the 1970s, but I don't have the date handy. Either way, he would have been the last Opry performer alive from the 1930s.

I listed to the Opry for the past several weekends, and from what I could hear, there has been no mention of Little Jimmie's passing. No show dedication and no announcement. I know it had been 70 years since he left the Opry, but I still think a mention sould have been made. And to be honest, he should have been asked back for a performance in his later years.

Another of the Opry's early stars, Little Jimmie Sizemore.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 10/24 & 10/25

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the upcoming weekend shows. The Opry continues at the Grand Ole Opry House with the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry.

The Friday Night Opry will feature a pair of Opry members singing selections from their new CD and signing copies in the Opry Gift Shop. That would be the husband and wife team of Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White. They have recorded previously, but this will be the first time they have done an entire album together. Joining the pair on Friday night will be guest artists Mallary Hope, John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band, Will Hoge, JT Hodges and Striking Matches. All have done the Opry previously. And it is nice to see Ray Pillow returning to host a segment.

Striking Matches will also stay over for the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night, where they will be joined by popular and frequent Opry guest The Willis Clan. Also appearing will be guest artists TG Sheppard, Elizabeth Cook and a person who a lot of folks are excited about, Sturgill Simpson.

Friday October 24
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mallary Hope; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band; Will Hoge
8:15: Mike Snider (host); JT Hodges; Striking Matches
8:45: John Conlee (host); Ricky Skaggs & Sharon White

Saturday October 25
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; (Jimmy Dickens?)
7:30: Mike Snider (host); TG Sheppard; Striking Matches
8:15: The Whites (host); Jean Shepard; Sturgill Simpson; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Willis Clan

Interesting to see Mike Snider down again for both shows this weekend. That makes 3 in a row after being gone for 10 months. Interesting!! And did everyone notice that last weekend Jimmy Dickens made it for both the Friday and Saturday night shows? Nice to see.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago, the weekend of October 23 & 24, 2009:

Friday October 23
7:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Ashton Shepherd
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Emily West
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Keith Anderson
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Riders In The Sky; The Whites

Saturday October 24
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mallary Hope
7:30: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Montgomery Gentry
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Trace Adkins; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Oak Ridge Boys

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mallary Hope
10:00: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Montgomery Gentry
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Trace Adkins; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; Oak Ridge Boys

From 10 years ago this weekend, October 22 & 23, 2004:

Friday October 22
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; IIIrd Tyme Out
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Osborne Brothers; Catherine Britt
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Charley Pride
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Hebb; Jeff Bates
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band

Saturday October 23
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Joe Diffie; Mark Chesnutt; Chely Wright; Del McCoury Band
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Riders In The Sky; SHeDAISY; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Charley Pride

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Chely Wright
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Del McCoury Band; Joe Diffie
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Osborne Brothers; Charley Pride; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Mark Chesnutt
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; SHeDAISY

Finally, on Tuesday October 28, the Opry will have it's annual "Opry Goes Pink" show to promote breast cancer awareness. The show will begin with the switch being pulled to change the Opry backdrop to pink for the evening. The line-up is as follows:

7:00: Terry Clark; Danielle Bradbery; Rascal Flatts
8:15: The Isaacs; Montgomery Gentry
8:45: Will Chase; Sara Evans

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 10/17 & 10/18

The line-ups are out for the Grand Ole Opry shows this weekend and of course the big news is that on Friday night, Little Big Town will become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. Vince Gill will handle the honors. As with each new member, I offer my congratulations and my hope that they will support the show and continue to remember where the Opry House is located. They have been guest artists on the Opry for over 10 years, so my guess is that they will.

It is interesting when you look at the Opry's recent additions. Counting back from Little Big Town, you had Old Crow Medicine Show (2013), Darius Rucker (2012), Keith Urban (2012), Rascal Flatts (2011), Oak Ridge Boys (2011), Blake Shelton (2010) and Montgomery Gentry (2009). That is 5 groups and 3 male artists, with the recent emphasis on groups. What is missing? The addition of any female artists. The last to join was Carrie Underwood in 2008. In fact, a quick count shows only 18 female Opry members. And 2 of those, Jeanne Pruett and Barbara Mandell, no longer perform. Just an observation on the direction the Opry needs to take regarding it's next member.

As far as the Opry this weekend, joining Little Big Town and Vince Gill on the Friday Night Opry, will be frequent Opry guests Darryl Worley and Exile. Exile will be in the Opry gift shop signing after the show on Friday. Also back on the schedule for the 2nd week in a row, and actually scheduled for both nights, is Mike Snider. I was glad to see Mike on the Opry last weekend and glad he is coming back.

Joining Mike on Saturday night will be Opry members Bill Anderson, Lorrie Morgan and Connie Smith, along with "Nashville" star Charles Esten. Guest artists include One More Girl, Kristian Bush and Angaleena Presley, who has been associated with the group, Pistol Annies. And it's nice to Jean Shepard back on the schedule after missing a couple of weeks.

Friday October 17
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Chuck Wicks; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Darryl Worley
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Canaan Smith; Exile
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Little Big Town

Saturday October 18
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jon Pardi; (Jimmy Dickens?)
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jean Shepard; Mac Powell
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); One More Girl; Kristian Bush; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); Angaleena Presley; Charles Esten

Overall, Saturday's show is better than the Saturday show we got last week at the birthday bash.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, October 16 & 17, 2009:

Friday October 16
7:00: John Conlee (host); Riders In The Sky; Whitney Duncan
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; T. Graham Brown
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Keith Anderson
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown

Saturday October 17
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Holly Williams
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Sam Bush
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Stonewall Jackson; Steel Magnolia; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Vince Gill

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Holly Williams
10:00: Jean Shepard (host); Charlie Louvin; Sam Bush
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Steel Magnolia; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Vince Gill

Now from 10 years ago, the weekend of October 15 & 16, 2004. This was also the weekend of the Opry's 79th birthday celebration

Friday October 15
1st show
6:30: Steve Wariner (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Carolyn Dawn Johnson
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Andy Griggs
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); J.D. Crowe & The New South; Diamond Rio
8:30: John Conlee (host); Charlie Walker; Joe Nichols

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Diamond Rio
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Stu Phillips; Jack Greene; Carolyn Dawn Johnson
10:30: Steve Wariner (host); John Conlee; The Whites
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Ernie Ashworth; Joe Nichols
11:30: Charlie Walker (host); J.D. Crowe & The New South; Andy Griggs

Saturday October 16
1st show
6:30: Steve Wariner (host); Jack Greene; J.D. Crowe & The New South
7:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Andy Griggs; Alison Krauss; The Whites; Jimmy Dickens
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Louvin; Carolyn Dawn Johnson; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Joe Nichols

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Alison Krauss
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; J.D. Crowe & The New South; Andy Griggs
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Hank Locklin; Steve Wariner; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jack Greene; Carolyn Dawn Johnson
11:30: Jean Shepard (host); Stonewall Jackson; Joe Nichols

And now for this week's feature lin-ups, and I have several.

The first one is from 50 years ago this weekend, Saturday October 17, 1964. As usual, there was one show and it took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

7:30: Luzianne
Wilburn Brothers (host): I'm Gonna Tie One on Tonight
Loretta Lynn: Before I'm Over You
The Browns: Everybody's Darling Plus Mine
George Hamilton IV: Fort Worth, Dallas, or Houston
Wilburn Brothers: Move Up A Little Closer
Cousin Jody: Jody's Chimes
Loretta Lynn: Wine, Women and Song
The Browns: Mariah
George Hamilton IV; If You Don't Know, I Ain't Gonna Tell You
Wilburn Brothers: Making Plans

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): My Saro Jane
Hank Locklin: I Was Coming Home to You
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Justin Tubb: Prematurely Blue
Flatt & Scruggs: Cabin on the Hill
Crook Brothers: Arkansas Traveler
Hank Locklin: Going Fishing
Jean Shepard: Two Little Boys
Flatt & Scruggs: Shuckin' the Corn

8:30: Stephen's
Faron Young (host): (?)
Carter Family: Gold Watch and Chain
Willie Nelson: Touch Me
Del Wood: Night Train to Memphis
Faron Young: (?)
Ernest Ashworth: Pushed in A Corner
Carter Family: Ring of Fire
Willie Nelson: Mr. Record Man
Faron Young: (?)

9:00: Pet Milk
Ernest Tubb (host): White Silver Sands
Glaser Brothers: A Girl Like You
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Hank Williams, Jr: (?)
Ernest Tubb: Daddy, When Is Mommy Coming Home
Lonzo & Oscar: Old Leather Saddle
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Glaser Brothers: Words Come Easy
Ernest Tubb: Thoughts of A Fool

9:30: Kellogg's
Roy Drusky (host): Second Hand Rose
Bill Monroe: Gotta Travel On
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Curly Fox: Alabama Jubilee
Bill Monroe: Mary At the Home Place
Skeeter Davis: Gonna Get Along Without You Now
Roy Drusky: Anymore

10:00: Schick
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Shady Grove
Loretta Lynn: Success
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Flatt & Scruggs: You Are My Flower

10:15: SSS Tonic
Wilburn Brothers (host): Roll Muddy River
George Hamilton IV: Abilene
Cousin Jody: No Help Wanted
Wilburn Brothers: Somebody's Back in Town

10:30: Harvey's
Faron Young (host): (?)
Jean Shepard: Two Little Boys
Willie Nelson: I Never Cared For You
Faron Young: (?)

10:45: Newport
Ernest Tubb (host): Thanks A Lot
Ernest Ashworth: I Love to Dance With Annie
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Ernest Tubb: Warm Red Wine

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Glaser Brothers: South of the Border
Dottie West: I Guess I'm Crazy
Lonzo & Oscar: Charming Betsy
Hank Locklin: Followed Closely by My Teardrops
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking In My Sleep
Sam & Kirk McGee: Railroad Blues
Glaser Brothers: Alibi
Hank Locklin: I Can't Stop Loving You

11:30: Lava
Roy Drusky (host): Peel Me A Nanner
Bill Monroe: There's An Old, Old House
Hank Williams, Jr: (?)
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Roy Drusky: Pick of the Week
Curly Fox: Fox Chase
Skeeter Davis: Foggy Mountain Top
Bill Monroe: I'm One of God's Sheep
Roy Drusky: Second Hank Rose

For the final classic Opry line-up, it was 39 years ago this weekend, October 17 & 18, 1975 that the Opry celebrated it's 50th anniversary with a huge birthday celebration. Along with the opening of the new Opry House and the Opry's 75th birthday celebration, these shows rank among the greatest in the history of the Opry. Most of the Opry's members were present for at least one of the shows that weekend. Here is the running order from the 50th birthday celebration of the Opry:

Friday October 17
7:00: Cracker Barrel
Charlie Louvin (host): She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye
Skeeter Davis: I Can't Believe That It's All Over
Jim & Jesse: Please Be My Love
Stu Phillips: Only You Can Hush the Wind
Skeeter Davis: When Will I Be Loved
The Promenaders: (?)
Jim & Jesse: I Wish You Knew
Charlie Louvin: I Just Want Out

7:30: Varallo
Lester Flatt (host): Great Big Woman and A Little Biddy Bottle of Wine
Dottie West: Lay Back Lover
Ray Pillow: Countryfried
4 Guys: Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Dottie West: A House of Love
Ray Pillow: Roll On, Truckers; Let Her Roll
Lester Flatt: Let the Church Roll On
Charlie Nixon: Maggie Blues

8:00: Tennessee Pride Sausage/Borax
Del Reeves (host): Down in the Boondocks
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Willis Brothers: For the Good Times
Del Reeves: (?)/You Comb Her Hair
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited Too Long
Willis Brothers: Cimarron
Del Reeves: Girl on the Billboard

8:30: Kroger/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilma Lee ( Stoney Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
The Promenaders/Joe Edwards: Ragtime Annie
Roy Acuff: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Curly-Headed Baby
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

9:00: Baltz Bros./Schlitz
David Houston (host): Almost Persuaded
Tammy Wynette: I Still Believe in Fairy Tales
Roy Drusky: Sunrise
David Houston: Living in A House Full of Love
Tammy Wynette: The World Needs A Melody
Roy Drusky: The Bitter They Are
David Houston & Calvin Crawford: Sweet Molly

9:30: Acme/Beech-Nut
Charlie Walker (host): Lucille
Barbara Mandrell: Tonight My Baby's Coming Home
Billy Grammer: Amazing Grace
Jimmy C Newman: Thibodeaux's Cajun Band
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Barbara Mandrell: Baptism of Jesse Taylor
Billy Grammer: Maiden's Prayer
Jimmy C Newman: Before the Next Teardrop Falls

10:00: Cee Bee/Schlitz
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Marion Worth: Today I Started Loving You Again
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Phil Campbell: The One on the Right
Hank Locklin: The Sweetest Mistake I've Ever Made
Marion Worth: Okie From Muskogee
Tommy Jones: Orange Blossom Special/Black Mountain Rag

10:30: Rudy's
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Jeanne Pruett: Sweet Baby Jane
Wilburn Brothers: Country Honey
Del Wood: Alabama Jubilee
Jeanne Pruett: Hold To My Unchanging Love/Love Me/You Don't Need to Move A Mountain/Satin Sheets/A Poor Man's Woman
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walking/Waterloo

Saturday October 18, 1975
1st show
6:00: Vietti
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
Stonewall Jackson: Waterloo
Billy Grammer: Family Man
Stu Phillips: Only You Can Hush the Wind
Justin Tubb: Keep Me From Blowing Away
Jimmy Gately: The Angel of the Bar Room
Bill Anderson: Thanks

6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jack Greene (host): He Little Thing'd Her Out of My Arms
Jeannie Seely: Take Me Hand
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of A Dove

6:45: Rudy's
Del Reeves (host): Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Barbara Mandrell: I Know My Lord Will Lead Me Home
Charlie Louvin: Little Reasons/Will You Visit Me On Sundays/What Are Those Things
Jimmy C Newman: When the Saints Go Marching In

7:00: Shoney's
Ernest Tubb (host): In the Jailhouse Now
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jim & Jesse: The Magic Little Garden
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Wilburn Brothers: Country Honey
Wayne Hammond: Release Me
Skeeter Davis: Silver Threads and Golden Needles

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: I'm A Believer
Minnie Pearl: Careless Love
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Don Gibson: Oh, Lonesome Me
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie/Down Yonder/There's A Big Wheel
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Dolly Parton: The Seeker
David Houston: Almost Persuaded
Dottie West: Country Sunshine
Wilma Lee Cooper: Rollin In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Say Forever You'll Be Mine
Porter Wagoner: Indian Creek

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Moving On
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Roy Drusky: Sunrise
Willis Brothers: Cimarron
Marion Worth: For the Good Times
Ray Pillow: Roll On, Truckers
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Hank Snow: Paper Roses

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Ernest Tubb (host): If You Don't Quit Checking Up on Me
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Connie Smith: How Can You Refuse Him Now
Stonewall Jackson: Waterloo
Barbara Mandrell: Johnny B Goode
Stu Phillips: Only You Can Hush the Wind
Bill Carlisle: Same Old Tale That the Crow Told Me
Jim & Jesse: Paradise

10:00: Fender
Bill Anderson (host): Country DJ
Jean Shepard: I'm A Believer
George Lindsay: Joke
Del Reeves: Half A Mind/I'm Moving On/Chug-A-Lug/Hillbilly Heaven
Skeeter Davis: On the Way Home
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Cottonfields
Roy Clark: Sweet Bunch of Daisies/A Pain in My Heart; Blues on My Mind/John Hardy
Minnie Pearl: I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes
Tammy Wynette: Clap Your Hands
Charlie Louvin: American Trilogy
Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love
Jimmy C Newman: Alligator Man

10:30: Trailblazer
Porter Wagoner (host): Indian Creek
Dolly Parton: We Used To
4 Guys: Down By the Lazy River
Jack Greene; Statue of A Fool
Jeannie Seely & Dottie West: Don't Touch Me
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Say Forever You'll Be Mine
Dolly Parton: The Seeker

10:45: Beech-Nut
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Dottie West & Jeannie Seely: Here Comes My Baby
Wilburn Brothers: Country Honey
Susan Raye: He Gives Me Something to Forgive Him For
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Jeanne Pruett (with Dottie West & Jeannie Seely): Satin Sheets
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Kirk McGee: Freight Train
Hank Snow: There's A Fool Such As I

11:30: Elm Hill
Roy Drusky: Surise
David Houston & Calvin Crawford: Sweet Molly
Marion Worth: For the Good Times
Ray Pillow: Roll On, Truckers
Roy Drusky: I Really Don't Want to Know/I'm Throwing Rice/Four Walls

The first show actually ran pretty close on time that night, coming in just 5 minutes over. However, the 2nd show did not end until 1:15am, and that was with the Hank Snow segment lasting only 25 minutes and the final segment lasting just 20 minutes. The 15 minute Roy Acuff segment actually lasted 55 minutes!! The opening Ernest Tubb segment on the 2nd show featured 8 acts, which was 1 less than the entire Opry show this past Saturday night!! And that segment actually came in on time, only running 2 minutes over. Amazing how they just rushed the acts on and off.

Anyways, enjoy the Opry this weekend and congratulations to Little Big Town on their induction as the Grand Ole Opry's newest members.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Grand Ole Opry Birthday Celebration Recap

The Grand Ole Opry celebrated it's 89th anniversary this past weekend and I was in Nashville for all 4 shows, 2 each for the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. It was a fun weekend and it was fun seeing several of those who follow and comment on the blog. Always a joy to put a face to a name.

After seeing the shows this past weekend, I guess the best I can say is, don't give up on the Opry yet. They promise that the 90th will be better. Let's hope that is the case as this past weekend continued the trend of seeing the quality and quantity of the birthday weekends continue to deteriorate. I can remember when the birthday weekends featured many of the Opry's members, but this year, only 4 members were there on Friday night, while 5 made it to the Opry House on Saturday.

Commenting on those Opry members who were there, it was nice to see Jimmy Dickens on both shows Saturday night. Jimmy looked and sounded pretty good. He told a few jokes and sang, "Mountain Dew" on both shows. The fact that he stayed for both shows impressed me. He received a standing ovation on each show.

Many have already commented on Stu Phillips. Yes, during the first show, he sounded as bad in the Opry House as he apparently did on the radio. But to his credit, he came right out to the front of the stage and carried on. I was actually surprised that he made it out for the 2nd show, but I am glad that he did as he sounded much better. And for those who were not there, Stu looked in good health.

Jan Howard, Jeannie Seely and Ray Pillow did their usual good jobs, and Ray handled the hosting duties just fine. On a personal note, I do wish that the hosts would not say that they haven't seen or met the act before that they are introducing. Ray, along with Mike Snider, made that comment on both shows and to me it just shows that they are a little out of touch with some of today's younger talent. Even if they do not know who the acts are, I just don't think they should admit it to a full Opry House and a national radio audience.

Mike Snider made it back to the Opry for the first time this year and hosted the opening segment on all 4 shows. On Friday, he stayed pretty much on the script, in fact reading off a sheet of paper the introduction of each of his guests, as he did with 2 of his new band members. On Saturday, he opened up a little more and during the 2nd show he made a few comments about Jimmy Dickens after Jimmy was done with his song.

Bill Anderson hosted on both shows Friday Night and handled the birthday cake. As always, Bill was on top of his game. I also thought that the Opry made the right move by having Bill stay around for the final segment and handle the introduction of Lady Antebellum, who was the featured act that night. While not Opry members, Lady Antebellum did a fantastic job and even participated in with the birthday cake, as did Jan Howard and The Willis Clan.

The final Opry member who appeared on Saturday night was Trace Adkins. Trace did a number of his hits and had good interplay with the audience. He had his full show band with him. Trace handled the birthday cake on Saturday, and let's just say I have heard better versions of "Happy Birthday." Nobody on Saturday night came out to join him. Trace did treat the final segment like a mini-concert which the younger fans in the audience seemed to enjoy but the 2nd Opry show on Saturday actually ended about 10 minutes early. I know we used to hear Opry shows running over, but one actually running short, I can't really say. That was a first for me.

Also scheduled was Opry member John Conlee. John cancelled out Saturday morning to play a date in Texas, filling in for a show that Merle Haggard was unable to make. Either the Opry could not find anyone to replace John, or no effort was made. Whatever the process was, with so few scheduled on the Opry that night, it left a pretty big hole in the schedule and forced Bill Cody to handle the introductions during the final hour of the show.

I already mentioned Lady Antebellum, and in addition to that super group, the guest artists on Friday included Chris Janson, Josh Abbott Band, John & Jacob, Sara Haze and The Willis Clan. I was not impressed with Josh Abbott or Sara Haze. They did their songs and received polite applause from the audience. Chris Janson, who I have made my own feelings about known, did an awesome job. He is full of energy and makes no secret of his feelings regarding his family, and his belief in God. The audience loves him and I am sure he will be a success in the industry. I was impressed with John & Jacob, and yes, that was a trumpet you heard. Finally, there was The Willis Clan. I saw them the first time they did the Opry and I was impressed then and still am. They were on "America's Got Talent" and did a nice job. The family is fun to watch and they are all talented.

On Saturday, the guests included JT Hodges, Greg Bates, Claire Bowen and Keb Mo. JT and Greg are what they are, younger male singers looking for the big career break, although Greg has had a top 5 hit. Claire is from "Nashville" and she was full of energy. She had her brother out doing a song with her. I don't know if anyone else got that feeling, but she reminded me of Skeeter Davis in the way she dressed and in her movements on the stage, with the long dress on. Finally, there was Keb Mo. He did 3 songs on each show and did a nice job, but you could tell most of the Opry audience wondered who he was and were asking themselves, why was he there. Good song selections and certainly nothing to offend the Opry audience, and he did receive good applause.

The other thing of interest is that on Saturday night, about half of the Opry Staff Band was missing. I know where Jimmy Capps was, but not sure where everyone else was off to.

As far as the attendance, both of the early shows were sold-out. There were very few empty seats for the 2nd show on Friday, while there were seats in the upper balcony available for the 2nd show Saturday. As always, they survey the audience before the show, and I would say at least half were at the Opry for the first time.

I did hear several comments that the Opry was working very hard already to make the 90th birthday celebration next year a big one. They have already confirmed that there will be 2 shows on Friday and Saturday and I do hope that they come through. When you think of milestone years, 90 is big. And when you think in terms of the Opry's 100th and who might or might not be around, you can understand the effort for next year.

Finally, a couple of interesting comments that Bill Cody made on Saturday night. Bill was doing the announcing for both shows, with Mike Terry absent. First, he kept referring to October 5, 1925 as the date the Opry first started, growing from the Uncle Jimmy Thompson appearance, to the WSM Barn Dance, to the Grand Ole Opry. As we all know, Uncle Jimmy's appearance took place on November 28, 1925. I am not sure if Bill was confused as the October date was when WSM went on the air. The 2nd error came when he introduced the square dancers on the 2nd show, which tied into the Uncle Jimmy Thompson reference. From all reports, the first song played by Uncle Jimmy on the Opry was "Tennessee Wagoner." When introducing the square dancers, Bill said they were going to dance to the first fiddle tune played on the Opry, "Billy in the Lowground." Just a small error.

As far as the Opry House itself, nothing new to report. It is still in good shape and nothing new has been added. They do make sure that if someone comes down for a photo that they take their picture and immediately head back to their seat. Nobody is allowed to hang around in front of the stage.

While not up to par to previous birthday shows, as always, I did enjoy my time in Nashville and at the Opry. It was loud and fast paced, but still a good show. And yes, I will be back at the 90th, and certainly a few more shows before then.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 10/10 & 10/11-89th Birthday Celebration

Gee, what can I say. We expected it but to actually see it in print just causes me to shake my head. You know what I am talking about and that is the line-up for this weekend's Opry, the 89th birthday bash. 2 shows on Friday and 2 shows on Saturday. 9 acts for each show, and only 4 Opry members on Friday night and 5 Opry members on Saturday night. I know I am showing my age a bit, but the birthday shows used to be some of the strongest and biggest line-ups of the year. I still remember when the annual DJ convention was part of the Opry's birthday and it was just about mandatory that every Opry member be there. But, those days are gone. In a way, the birthday celebration has kind of been lost in the news about Little Big Town, and their induction next week, and the Reba appearance from last weekend.

As far as what we have for this weekend, the big news (at least at my end), is the return of Mike Snider to the Opry stage. He is scheduled for all 4 shows this weekend and this will be his first Opry appearance in 2014. Joining Mike on Friday night will be guest artist Lady Antebellum,who is scheduled to close out both shows that night, along with The Willis Clan. Besides Mike, the other Opry members scheduled are Bill Anderson, Jan Howard and Jeannie Seely.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry has a couple of the veterans on the schedule, with Ray Pillow and Stu Phillips set for both shows. Trace Adkins is also scheduled, along with Clare Bowen from "Nashville" and Opry member John Conlee. And of course, both shows will feature the rolling out of the birthday cake.

Friday October 10
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Chris Janson; Josh Abbott Band
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); John+Jacob
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; The Willis Clan
8:30: Lady Antebellum

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Chris Janson; Josh Abbott Band
10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); John+Jacob
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; The Willis Clan
11:00: Lady Antebellum

Saturday October 11
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); JT Hodges
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); Greg Bates; Clare Bowen
8:00: John Conlee (host); Stu Phillips; Keb' Mo'; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Trace Adkins

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); JT Hodges
10:00: Ray Pillow (host); Greg Bates; Clare Bowen
10:30: John Conlee (host); Stu Phillips; Keb' Mo'; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Trace Adkins

There you have it. I think on Friday night there is a chance that another artist will be added to fill out the line-up and on Saturday night, maybe a Jimmy Dickens appearance? And who knows, we may be surprised by a guest appearance by someone.

For those interested, I did some checking and a number of the Opry's members are on the road doing shows this weekend. That list includes Riders In The Sky, Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Ricky Skaggs, Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, and even Bill Anderson and Jeannie Seely have shows scheduled on Saturday night.

I still think it will be an exciting weekend in Nashville with sold-out shows and lots going on in the Opry plaza. They have free concerts scheduled along with various contests and Opry House Tours. I will be there all weekend and feel free to look for me down toward the front of the Opry House. I love meeting those who comment, send me emails and read the blog.

Now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, October 9 & 10, 2009. This was also the weekend of the Opry's 84th birthday celebration:

Friday Ocrober 9
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jeannie Seely; Riders In The Sky; Ricky Skaggs
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Patty Loveless
8:00: Mike Snider (host); BJ Thomas; Josh Turner
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Jean Shepard; Montgomery Gentry

Saturday October 10
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Kathy Mattea
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jan Howard; George Hamilton IV; Jean Shepard
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Joe Diffie; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mike Snider; Diamond Rio

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Lorrie Morgan; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Ray Pillow; Kathy Mattea
10:30: Diamond Rio (host); Stu Phillips; Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown; Joe Diffie

And from 10 years ago, the weekend of October 8 & 9, 2004:

Friday October 8
1st show
6:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Jim Lauderdale
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Helen Cornelius; Eddy Raven
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Mountain Heart
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Walker; George Hamilton IV; Paul Brandt
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Helen Cornelius; Jimmy C Newman; Eddy Raven
10:00: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Jim Lauderdale
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Stu Phillips; Jack Greene; Mountain Heart
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Paul Brandt
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host)

Saturday October 9
1st show
6:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Mountain Heart
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jack Greene; Jimmy Wayne
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Ralph Stanley; Catherine Britt
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mandy Barnett; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Paul Brandt; Rhonda Vincent

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Mountain Heart
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Ralph Stanley; Mandy Barnett
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jan Howard; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Catherine Britt; Paul Brandt
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Stonewall Jackson; Rhonda Vincent

For this week's featured line-up, I go to Saturday October 12, 1985 which was the Opry's 60th birthday celebration. It was a pretty big weekend with a couple of very nice shows on Saturday night. Here is that show from 29 years ago this weekend.

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime at a Time/Looking at the World Through A Windshield
4 Guys: Whiskey and Water
Del Reeves: Louisiana Legs

6:45: Rudy's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
John Conlee: The Old School
Jim Ed Brown: Morning

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Larry Gatlin: Houston/Run Away; Go Home
Charley Pride: Lovesick Blues
Raymond & Leo Duffie: Somebody Touched Me
Roy Acuff and Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Porter Wagoner: Y'All Come

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Monroe (host): It's Mighty Dark For Me to Travel
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
The Whites: I Don't Wanna Get Over You
Jimmy C Newman: My Toot Toot
Crook Brothers/ Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Bill Monroe: Just A Little Talk With Jesus

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Baptism of Jesse Taylor
Jeannie Seely: How Will I Stand the Rain Once Your Gone
Billy Walker: Coffee-Brown Eyes
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Carlisles: In the Pines
Grandpa Jones: The Sweet Sunny South

8:30: Music Valley Drive
Hank Snow (host): Snowbird
Roy Drusky: If the Whole World Stopped Loving
Wilma Lee Cooper: Honey in the Rock
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Hank Snow: I Stepped Over the Line

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Bill Monroe (host): Uncle Pen
4 Guys: How Married Are You Mary Ann
Lorrie Morgan: Crazy
Ray Pillow: Dim Lights; Thick Smoke
Larry Gatlin: Run Away; Go Home
Bill Monroe: Wayfaring Stranger

10:00: Little Debbie
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me and You and A Dog Named Boo
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come this Far to Say Goodbye
Charlie Louvin: Near the Cross
Stonewall Jacksoon: Why I'm Walkin/Waterloo

10:15: Sunbeam
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
John Conlee: Rose Colored Glasses
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me
Roy Acuff and Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry

10:30: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Nashville on My Mind
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
Jean Shepard & Roy Drusky: Will There Be Sweethearts in Heaven
Grandpa Jones: I'll Meet You In the Morning

10:45: Beech-Nut
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya
The Whites: House of Gold
Crook Brothers/ Melvin Sloan Dancers: (?)
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Why Do You Punish Me
Osborne Brothers: Old Flames
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Justin Tubb: Thanks Troubadour Thanks
Charley Pride: Now and Then/Kiss An Angel Good Morning
Raymond & Leo Duffie: Cryin' My Heart Out Over You
Hank Snow: Bluebird Island

11:30: Quincy's
George Hamilton IV (host): Abilene
Wilma Lee Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Hank Locklin: Please Help Me, I'm Falling
Jeannie Seely: When Your Heart's Been Stepped On
Carlisles: Is Zat You Myrtle
George Hamilton IV: The Way Old Friends Do