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.



  1. I think Friday's show (as well as Saturday's) is better than the Birthday show.

  2. I THINK I counted 40 members on that 50th anniversary show in 1975, plus two future members in Don Gibson and Roy Clark. Wow.

  3. I so enjoy reading your web page Bryan, it brings back so many wonderful memories! I do hope that "The Grand Old Ladies Of The Grand Old Opry" are permitted to reunite an sing some songs together soon. I so miss them. Perhaps a whole halfhour segmant, hosted by Whisperin' Bill Anderson!!! That would be terrific!

    God Bless, Wilma Grace

  4. Hi Yall... I need some help. I was trying to remember when I saw BJ Thomas on the Opry. It would have been since 2010 to current. I'm also sure it was a friday or a saturday night at hte opry house. Does anyone have any idea of the dates he was. i would appericate any help.


  5. I have all of the Opry line-ups and shows from that time period. Do you have a year it might have been. BJ has made several Opry appearances during that time frame. Just let me know.

  6. When Bill Anderson opened that 50th anniversary show he said something to the effect of "welcome to the biggest night in the history of the Grand Ole Opry". And I have to think that it was, too. It was an interesting time in country music. Dolly Parton had just recently left Porter Wagoner's employ but hadn't yet made her move toward her pop sound. Barbara Mandrell was just on the cusp of superstardom and appeared on the show with great regularity. Roy Clark appeared that night with his father and uncles. They had recently recorded an album together and that group appeared on the Opry a couple of times during the year. Hee Haw was always taped twice a year, once while the DJ convention was going on, hence George Lindsey's unscheduled appearance as the guest of Del Reeves. Now that I think about it, it also makes the absence of Grandpa Jones on both nights a bit more odd. Bill Monroe, Bob Luman and Marty Robbins were some other Opry regulars that weren't there that night and, obviously, Lester Flatt was playing somewhere else on Saturday because it was a given that if he was in Nashville he would be at the Opry…a philosophy that others might do well to adopt. Minnie Pearl had been named to the Hall of Fame earlier in the week and she got long, loud standing ovations at both of her appearances that night. The second show during DJ week was the "official" birthday celebration show and Acuff's portion of the second show included all of the ceremonial parts of the evening…remarks and a presentation from Hal Durham, presentations by Hal Davis on behalf of BMI, Mayor Fulton on behalf of the city of Nashville and the rolling out of the cake. There was also an award given to Alcyone Beasley on the 10:45 portion (which started around midnight!). It was also unusual to have both square dance groups in on the same night with Ralph Sloan's group doing the first show and the Stoney Mountain Cloggers doing the second. Jeannie Seely and Dottie West appeared in matching 50th anniversary sweatshirts for their "duets". Once the Opry ended around 1:15, Ernest Tubb took off with a Midnight Jamboree that featured Willie Nelson, Jimmie Skinner and Lois Johnson among others followed by a second hour hosted by Justin. I still have tapes of the entire show locked safely (I hope, after all these years) in the archives. If I wasn't afraid they were so brittle after nearly 40 years I'd take them out and give them a listen.

  7. Barry, thanks for providing the great details from that night. And yes, you are going to have to find that tape!!!!

  8. Listening to Mac Powell on Saturday Night's 'Opry.
    Now this is the kind of guy the 'Opry needs. He has a passion for country music, and brings something today's cool artists seem short on ---> energy!

    Barry, totally enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Those days are gone forever, aren't they?

  9. The birthday shows were a disgrace in my opinion. Terrible.