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!!!


  1. Well, the Opry has done it again. Connie Smith cancelled out for Saturday night so instead of adding another host, they decided to have the last hour as one long segment hosted by Riders In The Sky. This time, they actually had Mike Snider on the schedule, so they could have moved him down to host the final segment if they wanted and added another guest. But, they took the easy way out.

    Also on Friday night, Katie Armiger has been added on to the 2nd segment hosted by Jeannie Seely.

  2. You referred to how Mr. Acuff was supposed to be there and host a segment, and couldn't. I looked at that lineup. Of course his absence hurt. But it still was an excellent show with a lot of variety. Then there's what the current management has done to the place.

  3. I find this weekend's lineup among the best I've seen in a LONG time.
    Lots of real live members along with several folks I would like to see become members.
    Well done, 'Opry.

  4. The Ernest Tubb Midnight has been cancelled for tonight. No host, so they are doing a repeat of last week's show. I'm not going to say it, but I think they are in some real trouble over there. I know when I was in Nashville for the birthday weekend, I was shocked at how empty the shelves were, especially at the downtown store. It looked like a close out sale. Hope I am wrong as the record shop and jamboree are both a Nashville institution.

  5. Agree about Ernest Tubb Record Shop - we were there on anniversary weekend and also found it to be very different from other visits. They may be having problems; still don't know how they maintain the one in Fort Worth.

    1. Fred, Bismarck,

      Anon, I googled the Fort Worth store and found a two-year-old story that represented it as a franchise deal that has been thru two or three owners now and stripped of the E.T. name.

  6. Just to add on the Record Shops, I was in Gatlinburg the first week of September and went to their location by Dollywood on the Parkway and it was loaded with inventory. Plenty of CD's, books, etc., but sadly, not many customers.

  7. Fred, Bismarck:

    As we know, brick-and-mortar record (or CD) stores have all but disappeared, and it's not surprising that the E.T. shops should have fallen off. Even mail-order, their prices are usually quite high compared to what you can find on Amazon. Loyal Troubador as I am, I have made one purchase from them in 20 years ... of some Xmas material I couldn't find anyplace else.

  8. We used to see Eddie Stubbs at ETRS doing research and making purchases; nothing there for him now. The Saturday Grand Ole Opry ending so early certainly has impacted the Midnight Jamboree - people aren't staying around for 2+ hours for it. Plus, unfortunate as it is - the "Loyal Troubadors" are now in the minority, the youngsters are getting their music from downloads, etc etc.

  9. Fred, Bismarck:

    Wonder if the record shop has given any thought to starting the show earlier, to match the Opry's closing as before. That surely would be a sensible solution to the gap problem. No reason, when you think of it, to be a slave to the midnight starting time.

  10. Hi Byron - while this is coming quite after the fact, it was a pleasure meeting you after the 9:30 Opry Saturday Night show during the Opry Birthday Bash. My sister, our really good friend & I enjoyed chatting with you about the Opry & country music. Thank you for taking the time to chat before we were told they wanted to close the Opry House for the night.

    I am throwing out my two cents regarding the The Ernest Tubb Record Shop which I fully agree with your description that the store was pretty empty, not only in "product" but customers as well. While I can only speak of the Music Valley Drive location, I was really surprised to see just how empty that record shop was. I visited this location about six years ago & I recall it being fairly well stocked. Got to chatting with the guy behind the counter & asked him about the lack of Midnite Jamboree shows & why. He told me that when the Opry goes to the Ryman during fall/winter there are no live shows because not many people travel back to the Opryland area to attend them. I also mentioned about being happy that Mike Snider was going to appear for the first time all year. He told me that there are times when members don't go "along with things" they are & he stopped while thinking for the right word to use & I nonchalantly threw out "punished??" & it took him about two seconds to respond "that about sums it up." He said that Alan Jackson refuses to to appear ... I never asked about Alan Jackson, I only mentioned Mike Snider. You know, just like anywhere one works, word gets around.

    Also this guy told me that there was "quite a bit of grumbling going on in Nashville as to why Reba McEntire showed up at the Opry to be the one to make the formal invitation to Little Big Town to become Opry members." He said people were asking why she got the honor & not another member, as she never appears & I told him how many times in all the years she has been a member, has she appeared (thank you Byron!) & he just shook his head. I never mentioned anything about LBT becoming members - only Mike Snider.

    He told me that Mike Snider had been there the week prior to drop off a bunch of product. One could not help but see the huge display of Marty Stuart's new album "Saturday Night & Sunday Morning" up front near the register but see anything by Mike Snider? Again, did not see it, does not mean it was not there & it is possible that what may have been dropped off was also meant for the downtown & other locations as well. I wish we had been able to get to location on Broadway, but we did not get to even though we spent much of our visit in the downtown area.


  11. Fred, Bismarck:

    I know the Broadway store is supposed to be too small to host the Jamboree; but would it really be out of the question to hold the show there in the Ryman months, going on-air as soon as the Opry wraps up?

    I sure don't know all the answers, but some of the Jamboree's problems may be self-inflicted, through inflexibility.

    1. Fred, I have been in the Broadway store before, not sure if you have been. It is a fraction of the size of the Music Valley Drive store (yep, right by the Fiddlers Inn, love that name!) The Texas Troubadour Theater is a whole separate room from the record shop at the MVD store. There are pictures online to view this theater to give one, the opportunity to see it, if they never have. I have attended a few Midnite Jamboree shows there but not in a long time. Unless I misunderstood things, the Midnite Jamboree was held in the basement of the MVD store at some point. Marty Stuart held an "after the Ryman"Opry performance at the Broadway location (Midnite Jamboree) years ago & the show went until 2am. A couple of months ago, Marty held an album release party/performance at the downtown store for his newest album "Saturday Night & Sunday Morning." He & his band signed albums after the performance. In Sept., 2011, Kenny Vaughn, Marty's guitarist, held an album release party for his own album, with Marty & the other Fabulous Superlatives in attendance at the Broadway location. The downtown store does have a small stage - nothing like the theater at the Music Valley Drive location.

      I read a very interesting online article from the January 30, 2014 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, regarding that location. Copyright restrictions was mentioned but not elaborated on. "Ernest Tubb Record Shop is losing its name but maybe not its feel" is the name of the article. Hmmm .... states that "Nashville was going to close it" so it was bought.

      One more thing from country music's past slowly coming to a close apparently. It is possible that when Marty performs at the downtown store, that he is possibly trying to keep the Ernest Tubb Record Shop itself alive, he does tend to gravitate to the downtown location.


  12. Fred, Bismarck:

    Thanks, Jeanene, for all the info. Giving a boost to the downtown store is something our good, history-minded Marty Stuart would do.

    We went to the Broadway location 45 years ago, in our one visit to Nashville. (I even remember which album I bought there!) We tried for the Jamboree -- hosted, as I recall, by Bill Monroe -- but the crowd from the Opry was already spilling out the door. We were so happily exhausted from the 5-hour Opry it was easy to call it a night and head for home!

  13. I know that when the Opry first went went back to the Ryman for the winter, and for a few years after, the Midnight Jamboree did have a few shows from the downtown store. I remember one that Ricky Skaggs hosted and another hosted by George Hamilton IV. Having been at both of those shows, it is easy to see why they don't want to have shows any longer from the downtown store. The crowds were out the door for both shows, and everyone was stuck in place, all standing. With the staged raised a little, it was very hard to see from the back.

    I think another issue, and if I remember right, it is actually harder for them to produce the show from the downtown shop as the Music Valley Drive location is actually wired for the radio broadcast, while the Broadway shop they have to bring everything in and set it up. Then you have the factor of moving all of the music out of the center of the shop, and not doing any sales during the show. At the Music Valley location, you can still browse the record shop during the show and make purchases if you wish.

    I did see on their website that they have no host announced yet for this weekend. Makes you wonder if another cancellation is coming up. The 2 weeks after that they are set with David Frizzell and Charlie McCoy.

    Finally, as far as attendance, I still remember one show in the winter at the Music Valley location, before they had the theater and the Midnight Jamboree was in a side room, and there were 6 people there!! Charlie Lovuin was the host and Carol Lee Cooper was the MC, but the weather was terrible and even the 2nd Opry show had only about 200 people there.

    I know back in the day these problems did not seem like an issue, but like everything else, you get used to the new and improved. And sitting in a 500 seat theater watching the show on comfortable pews is a much better alternative then standing for an hour and a half, wedged in so bad that you cannot move.

    Yet, we still miss the old days!!!

  14. Fred, Bismarck:

    Byron makes a good point about our preference for the "new and improved" even as we pine for the good old days.

    By my own testimony, I passed on the Broadway show, rather than put up with a little discomfort, 45 years ago!

  15. Fred, Byron is right, I would rather sit on the seats at the MVD location vs standing among a couple hundred people at the downtown location .... and we have to think of the reason WHY record shops are going out of business or may not carry alot of product - internet, i-Tunes, all the stuff they call modern technology. Though I have to say that people (customers) are starting to become acquainted or re-acquainted with vinyl - I find that to be just wonderful, it should have never gone out of style in my opinion, but all I hear today is new technology. I'm lucky I get this far on Byron's blog for Pete sakes. :-)


  16. Interesting comments regarding the record shops. I've never been to the theatre on Music Valley but I hear it's nice. At one time, the shop on Music Valley was a stand-alone building (I'm thinking that the original shop is still part of the shopping center that's there now) and there used to be an out building there for the Midnight Jamboree. I remember going over after the Opry let out in the summer and standing outside and watching the show through the windows. Glamorous it wasn't but you could fit a lot of people in there and a lot more on the outside...of course, you were also wide open to the elements, too.

    The Broadway shop was never an ideal setting for a live show but if you could shoehorn your way in you were always guaranteed an up-close look at the biggest names in country music at the time. If you look at pictures taken during the show you can see that the musicians were literally crawling all over each other on that tiny stage. I was in town the weekend they had the 60 anniversary of the MJ and they closed off lower Broadway and did the show from an outdoor stage set up in front of the shop. Bill Anderson hosted the show and Travis Tritt was the special guest. I recall Jack Greene, Leon Rhodes and Carol Lee Cooper being on the show that night as well.

    After the Opry moved to Opryland, the MJ stayed at the Broadway shop until around 1976 or 77 when it moved to the "Ernest Tubb Record Shop #2" out on Demonbreun near the old Hall of Fame. That shop was later sold to Conway Twitty and became the "Twitty Bird Record Shop" at which point the Jamboree moved to the Music Valley store. I found some great treasures at the Twitty shop back when record shops still sold "records". In the early 80's, when the weather turned cold I would often head out to do some music shopping, first stopping in at The Great Escape near Vanderbilt, then heading over to the Twitty shop, then pop by the Ryman Auditorium to flirt with the girls there (well, they were more like grandmothers and aunts to me!) and then a quick stop at 417 Broadway before heading down the street to the Lawrence Brothers shop to sit and visit with old Mr. Lawrence for the rest of the afternoon. The Lawrence shop is still there and really hasn't changed at all...dusty floor, funky smells and everything...and they still sell 33 1/3 LP records! It's a little like stepping back in time.

    With the advent of digital music, brick and mortar music shops of all kinds are biting the dust. The big box stores like Virgin and Tower went out of business years ago so I'm not surprised that a specialty shop like the ET shop is having difficulty. If weren't for the history behind it I fear that it would have gone down long ago and that will be its eventual fate unless they can find a way to turn a profit. I would hate to see such a historic operation become a victim of the times. Perhaps the Country Music Foundation might be able to step in and at least preserve the Broadway shop much the way it did the Hatch Show Print and RCA studio locations. Any thoughts there?

  17. I always stop at Lawrence Records when in Nashville, but many times it is closed. I know it was not open during the recent Opry birthday weekend. Barry, I know what you are saying about browsing the record shops. I always enjoyed Conway's shop, Great Escape (now out in Madison and still a great selection), along with Ernest Tubb's. You could find some real treasures. And I do remember the stand alone building on Music Valley Drive, where they had folding chairs that you sat on. That was the location where just 6 were there for the Jamboree one night.