Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 11/21 & 11/22

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the 3 shows this weekend as the Opry continues the winter run at the Ryman Auditorium.

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry members Ricky Skaggs and Marty Stuart. For Ricky, who is also scheduled for Saturday night, this will be 2 weekends in a row at the Opry. For Marty, November 28 will mark his 22nd year as an Opry member, as he joined the cast on that date in 1992. 2 other Opry veterans, and Hall of Fame members, Bill Anderson and Charley Pride are also scheduled for both nights.

Joining Ricky, Marty, Bill and Charley on the schedule for Friday night is Jean Shepard, who missed last weekend. Friday night will mark Jean's 59th year as an Opry member, and I should add that it is 59 consecutive years as Jean has never left the Opry cast. It is also Jean's 81st birthday and her wedding anniversary.

Guest artists this weekend include The Quebe Sisters, who are set for both nights, while on Friday they will be joined by Lori McKenna and Easton Corbin. Joing those already mentioned on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will be guest artists Mandy Barnett, JT Hodges and Nashville star Charles Esten

Friday November 21
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Mike Snider; Lori McKenna
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; The Quebe Sisters
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Easton Corbin
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charley Pride

Saturday November 22
1st show
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); JT Hodges
7:30: Mike Snider (host); John King; Charley Pride
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mandy Barnett; Charles Esten

2nd show
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); JT Hodges
10:00: Mike Snider (host); John King; Charley Pride
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mandy Barnett; Charles Esten

And no, that is not a typo. The line-up is the same for both shows on Saturday night. Looks like they are saving the usual spot for Jimmy Dickens, and there might be a spot to fill in the Ricky Skaggs hosted segments.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, November 20 & 21, 2009:

Friday November 20
7:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jason Michael Carroll
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Shane Yellowbird
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; The Whites; Connie Smith
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Ralph Stanley; Little Big Town

Saturday November 21
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Holly Williams
7:30: The Whites (host); Jack Greene; Ralph Stanley
8:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Jan Howard; The Lovell Sisters; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Daniels Band

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Holly Williams
10:00: The Whites (host); Jack Greene; Ralph Stanley
10:30: Mike Snider (host); Ray Pillow; Charlie Daniels Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; The Lovell Sisters

Now from 10 years ago this weekend, November 19 & 20, 2004:

Friday November 19
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; Christy Sutherland
8:00: Steve Wariner (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Janie Fricke
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jimmy C Newman; Catherine Britt
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Brad Cotter; Jerry & Tammy Sullivan
9:30: John Conlee (host); Osborne Brothers; Mandy Barnett

Saturday November 20
1st show
6:30: Steve Wariner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Lane Turner
7:00: Brad Paisley (host); Restless Heart; Catherine Britt; Buddy Miller w/Emmylou Harris; Alison Krauss
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Rodney Atkins; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Janie Fricke

2nd show
9:30: Steve Wariner (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Lane Turner
10:00: Brad Paisley (host); Catherine Britt; Buddy Miller w/Emmylou Harris
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stu Phillips; Rodney Atkins; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Restless Heart
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Ray Pillow; Janie Fricke

While November 21, 1955 is the date that Jean Shepard joined the Opry, that date was actually on a Monday. In those days, artists signed their contracts to become Opry members in the WSM offices, and whatever day of the week it happened, that was considered the date that they joined. In Jean's case, her first appearance as an Opry member took place the next Saturday night, November 26, 1955. Here is the Opry line-up and song listing from that night.

7:30: Federal Fertilizer Co.
Marty Robbins (host): Maybelline
Fiddle Tune: Old Joe Clark
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Don and Rita: Lonely Heart
Fiddle Tune: Grey Eagle

7:45: American Ace
George Morgan (host): Every So Often
Goldie Hill: Ain't Gonna Wash My Face
Eddie Hill: Smack Dab In The Middle
George Morgan: Jesus, Saviour Pilot Me
Fiddle Tune: Devil's Dream

8:00: Martha White
Flatt and Scruggs: Theme Song
Jim Reeves: (host): Looking For A Sucker
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Standing at the End of the World
Flatt and Scruggs: Flint Hill Special
Jean Shepard: Satisfied Mind
Moon Mullican: Mean Mama
Possum Hunters: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Jim Reeves: I've Lived A Lot in my Lifetime
Maybelle Carter: Wildwood Flower
Flatt and Scruggs: Bubbling In My Soul
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Car-Hoppin' Mama
Fiddle Tune: Blackeyed Susan

8:30: Prince Albert
Ferlin Huskey (host): I'll Baby Sit With You
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Louvin Brothers: I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby
Fiddle Tune: Soldier's Joy
Ferlin Huskey: Sayeth The Lord
Del Wood: Smoky Mountain Polka
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Louvin Brothers: In The Middle of Nowhere
Chet Atkins: Avalon
Ferlin Huskey: Walking and Humming
Fiddle Tune: Katy Hill

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Hank Snow (host): Music Making Mama
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Tennessee Wagoner
Lonzo and Oscar: The Cow Jumped the Moon
Bill Monroe: I Used To Be
Carlisles: Knot-Hole
Marty Robbins: Pretty Mama
Hank Snow: I Can See The Love in Your Heart
Lonzo and Oscar: Snow Deer
Carlisles: Lil Liza Jane
Fiddle Tune: Back Up and Push

9:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Jordanaires: Theme Song
Ray Price (host): I Don't Want You On My Conscience
Slim Whitman: Tell Me
Anita Carter: Mask On My Heart
Cousin Jody: Dear John
Crook Brothers: Girl I Left Behind
Louvin Brothers: Just Rehearsing
Grandpa Jones: Night Train to Memphis
Chet Atkins: Five Foot Two
Jordanaires: Shaking Bridges
Ray Price: Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes

10:00: Wall-Rite
George Morgan (host): Almost
Bill Monroe: Close By
Moon Mullican: Cherokee Boogie
George Morgan: The Best Mistake I Ever Made
Fiddle Tune: Buffalo Gal

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
Marty Robbins (host): That's Alright
Carlisles: I Was On My Way to The Show
Goldie Hill: Why Don't You Leave Me Alone
Marty Robbins: Don't Let Me Hang Around
Fiddle Tune: Devil's Dream

10:30: Hester Battery
Jim Reeves (host): Looking For A Sucker
R.D. Heardon: To Be Announced
Jean Shepard: Beautiful Lies
Jim Reeves: I'm Hurting Inside
Fiddle Tune: Mississippi Sawyer

10:45: D Con
Hank Snow (host): Just Keep on Moving
Jimmy Snow: Go Back You Fool
Gully Jumpers: Bully of the Town
Hank Snow: Within This Broken Heart
Fiddle Tune: Bill Cheatham

11:00: W.E. Stephens
Lonzo and Oscar: Theme
Ferlin Huskey (host): I Feel Better All Over
Hawkshaw Hawkins: The Love You Steal
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Lonzo and Oscar: Who Put That Brick Wall In My Way
Slim Whitman: Indian Love Call
Grandpa Jones: Call Old Rattler
Maybelle Carter: Gold Watch and Chain
Crook Brothers: Arkansas Traveler
Ferlin Huskey: Cuz You're So Sweet
Fiddle Tune: Old Joe Clark

11:30: Delited
Ray Price (host): Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes
Louvin Brothers: When I Stop Dreaming
Eddie Hill: Someday You'll Call My Name
Sam and Kirk: While I'm Away
Cousin Jody: Oh, Wonderful World
Ray Price: Release Me
Dot and Smokey: Contact
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking In My Sleep
Louvin Brothers: Just Rehearsing
Ray Price: I'll Be There
Fiddle Tune: Sleepy Lou

(Note, I printed it as it was printed in the program that night, spelling errors and all). Some interesting names on the Opry that night including Hank Snow's son, Jimmy, along with Slim Whitman, who was an Opry member for a short amount of time.

The final line-up to be featured is from Saturday November 21, 1992, 22 years ago and 37 years after the first line-up posted.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Jim Ed Brown: I Don't Want to Have to Marry You
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Old Blue
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Riders In The Sky: How Does He Yodel
Grandpa Jones: Come and Dine

7:00: Shoney's
John Conlee (host): I'm Only in it for the Love
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues

7:30: Standard Candy
Billy Walker (host): Coffee Brown Eyes
David Houston: Secret Love
Jean Shepard: I'm Just an Old Bridge that You Keep Burning
Stacy Dean Campbell: Singing the Blues/Poor Man's Rose
Billy Walker: Let My Faith Begin to Move

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Oswald: Hawaiian March
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Forked Deer
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream/Happy Cajun

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): The Wreck of the Old 97/One More Ride
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah
Charlie Louvin & Monroe Fields: Must You Throw Dirt in My Face
Mike Snider: Foggy Mountain Breakdown/Eating Chicken Necks and Wings
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Hank Snow: My First Night Alone

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Roy Drusky: Somewhere My Love
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Porter Wagoner: An Old Log Cabin for Sale/Dooley

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Kitty Klide
Riders In The Sky: Boots and Saddle
Grandpa Jones: It's Raining Here This Morning

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
John Conlee (host): Backside of 30
Stacy Dean Campbell: Poor Man's Rose
John Conlee: Rose Colored Glasses

10:30: Randy Travis Enterprises
Osborne Brothers (host): A Pain in My Heart and Blues on My Mind
Jean Shepard: I Don't See How I Can Make It With You Gone
Terry Eldridge: Your Own Set of Rules
David Crowe: Sally Goodin

10:45: B.C. Powder
4 Guys (host): Operator, Get My Jesus on the Line
Mike Snider: Soldiers Joy/Angeline The Baker/Old Molly Hare
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Blackberry Blossom
4 Guys: Head On Over to the Twist and Shout

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): That Heart Belongs to Me
The Whites: Doing it By the Book
Charlie Walker: Who Will Buy the Wine
Justin Tubb: Thanks, Troubadour, Thanks
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter
Hank Snow: Brand on my Heart

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Big Mamou
Charlie Louvin & Monroe Fields: My Baby's Gone
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Johnny Russell: Me and Bobby McGee
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

You look back at some of these great Opry line-ups from the past and sometimes you just wonder where it all went.

Congratulations to both Jean Shepard and Marty Stuart and enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Terrific stuff as always. Should we try a technicality? Herman Crook was a member longer than Jean Shepard. Lewis Crook may or may not have been. I BELIEVE he arrived at the end of 1927 or beginning of 1928 and therefore was a member longer, but she has almost caught up.

    By the way, the lineup from November 21 is also the last Saturday night of Roy Acuff's life. He died on the 23rd.

  2. 2014 has almost come to an end, and it may be a record-breaking year for non-appearances by Opry members. Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Tom T Hall, Travis Twitt, Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson....and on and on... Why won't you fire them all, Pete Fisher?

  3. In the case of Garth, Tom T, Travis and Trisha, we are not talking "year" but "years"!!

  4. You are correct, Byron. Except in Tom T Hall's case, it is not "year" or "years", but "decades"!

  5. Fred, Bismarck:

    In my dreams ...

    The Opry makes its biggest news splash in decades by canning all the no-shows and seldom-seens, and announces, as part of a back-to-our-roots movement, a big audition -- a la Ralph Peer in 1927 -- for genuine country acts.

    In my dreams, established acts of the bluegrass and oldtime world apply -- from Gillian Welch to Larry Cordle, Rhonda Vincent and the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. As well as dozens of talented newcomers we've never heard of. The Opry trumpets its signings with a active PR effort.

    For this to happen, somebody else would doubtless have to own and run the Opry. But that's in my dreams too!

  6. Fred, that's a GREAT dream.
    I want your list, plus Sturgill Simpson, Mandy Barnett, Dailey and Vincent, and a few other folks who aren't afraid to appear on the 'Opry any time they've been asked. In other words, folks to whom the 'Opry means something.
    GREAT dream.

  7. Who played all of the fiddle tunes in the 1955 lineup? Maybe Tommy Jackson or the old-time bands?

  8. Fred, Bismarck:

    PL, I was a devoted weekly listener in 1955 and wish my memory were better. I'm sure Tommy fiddled them off on some of those segments. On others, the obvious candidates would be those string acts already shown on a given segment, such as the Possum Hunters (8 pm), Crook Brothers (9:30, 11), Sam & Kirk McGee (11:30) and the Fruit Jar Drinkers (also 11:30).

    Otherwise, most of our Hall of Fame acts had great fiddlers of their own who could have done the honors: Paul Warren for Flatt and Scruggs; whoever Bill Monroe had at the time; Hank Snow's man (I'd have to check), etc. If Roy Acuff had been on that night, we would have heard Howdy Forrester.

    That was when the Opry was the Opry, for sure!

  9. Fred, I think in 1955 it would have been Tommy Vaden with Mr. Snow. I THINK Chubby Wise came a couple of years later.

    Remember that then, most acts spotlighted band members. Not just Mr. Acuff, whose segments usually included individual performances by several of the Smoky Mountain Boys. That's one change that remains incomprehensible to me: why today's artists don't do that.

    This lineup also reminds me of a complaint that Herman Crook and the McGees voiced: that their audience was the farmers who went to bed early, so, naturally, they were on later segments. The Opry was even mismanaged in 1955, although at a far more competent and thoughtful level.

  10. So right Mike, and of course Maybelle Carter complained about the spots she was given also.

    For those who are interested, in today's Tennessean, which can be viewed online, there is a fine article about the homes of Hank Snow and Maybelle Carter, that are up for sale in Madison, which is where most of the Grand Ole Opry and other country stars lived when they came to town in the 1950s. Also for sale is the office that Tom Parker used when he managed Elvis. The office originally belonged to Eddy Arnold. Some great history there. From the outside, Hank's house and property is in pretty bad shape. I know the last time I saw it in October, it looked bad. But, the article is great reading and interesting.

  11. Fred, Bismarck:

    Yeah, 50-60 years ago country stars lived more like their fans. My old friend Merv Rawes and his wife (of New Philadelphia, O.) used to stay at the Butlers' (Carl and Pearl) when they went to Nashville. Faron Young and Merv would go out to eat when Faron was in the area. And so on.

    The digs of these stars, as exemplified by Hank Snow's Rainbow Ranch, tended to be modest. I remember reading that, for years after Stoney's heart attack, Wilma Lee Cooper mowed their lawn!

    Now everybody, including the fans, has more money, but the music is worse. You can't have it all, I guess.

  12. Fred, you are so right. Many of the homes of those stars from the earlier days of the Grand Ole Opry and country music were very modest. Some of it was that the artists remembered where they came from, and also from the fact that very few country artists made much money in those days. The venues were small, and after paying expenses and the musicians, not much was left.

    Many times when I am in Nashville I will drive past some of the former homes of those artists and it does bring back such great memories. Then you look at the mansions, the gates and fences and the estates where today's stars live now, and you tend to think how out of touch they are with their fans compared to those from the past generations.

  13. Fred, there's the joke The Potato tells, supposedly first told about Roy Acuff or Eddy Arnold, that a tour group found him mowing the lawn, didn't recognize him, asked him what he's paid to do that, and he replied, "The woman who lives there lets me sleep with her." Now, I don't KNOW exactly how Mr. Acuff and Eddy Arnold lived, but between them they owned about 95% of the state of Tennessee, so they weren't hurting.

    What you two discussed is an issue in all of "entertainment." Look at athletes. Derek Jeter has a compound in Tampa that's so big, it's called "St. Jetersburg." Well, he's been paid enough to afford it, just as, say, Garth Brooks has. The money today is so different and so much greater. It also helps explain why Brad Paisley would rather appear on "Two and a Half Men" than on the Opry, despite his ad for the Opry, which could be charitably described as consisting of what comes out of the back end of a bull.

  14. Fred, Bismarck:

    Yes, Michael, Paisley should blush to have made that ad about the best place to spend the weekend and WSM should blush to play it.

    I'm a baseball fan like Michael and Byron, and can remember when the minimum MLB salary was $6,000 and many players took jobs during the off-season. I can also remember how Al Kaline, toward the end of his great career, refused $100,000 from the Tigers ... because he wasn't worth it, he said!

    By contrast, A-Rod is still owed three years and $62 million from the Yankees, and can anyone imagine him waiving that, or even a dollar of it?

  15. I seem to remember that at one time Eddy Arnold owned the water company in Brentwood, Tennessee. He also drove a VW bug.

    And as a huge Tiger fan growing up, the Al Kaline story is true. This was when the player's union under Marvin Miller was just getting going and there were a few players who I think wanted to throw Al out of baseball!! At the very least, they thought he was nuts. And Marvin would tell the story about Al many time to illustrate his point about the players being underpaid and not appreciated by the owners. (I guess that is a subject for another day and time).

  16. On an unrelated note, Bea Hitt passed away this past week in Bella Vista, Arkansas, at the age of 91. "Aunt Bea" was a family friend and the sister of Speck Rhodes and was the last surviving member of their family band that also included brothers Slim and Dusty. She was a fine fiddle player and was still playing at events around Northwest Arkansas until just a year or so ago. She was the only female member of their family band, the "Log Cabin Mountaineers", who played the RKO vaudeville circuit in the 30's and while Bea was never part of the Opry family she was one of the last surviving links to that era of entertainment.