Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 11/28 & 11/29

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, the Grand Ole Opry has gotten a quick start on a short week and has already posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend. There is the Friday Night Opry and the 2 Grand Ole Opry shows on Saturday night.

The Friday Night Opry will include guest artists Guy Penrod, who will also be signing after the show, The Black Lillies, Aaron Tippin,along with Jimmy Wayne and Elizabeth Cook, both of whom will also be performing on Saturday night. Joining Jimmy and Elizabeth on Saturday night will be very frequent Opry guests The Willis Clan, along with the Rhett Walker Band.

As far as Opry members this weekend, Lorrie Morgan will be hosting a segment on each show Saturday night. John Conlee is set for both weekend nights, as is Jeannie Seely, if she can make it back from her tour in Ireland.

The interesting name on this week's Opry schedule is the "80's Lady" K.T. Oslin. I am sure all of you remember the string of hits that she had in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her "80's Ladies" album won several Grammy Awards for best female country performance and for song of the year. She followed that up with "Hold Me" which also won the same two Grammy Awards. In 1988 she was the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year.

In 1995 she had heart bypass surgery and within a year after that she basically left the business. In November 2013, she returned to do a show at the Franklin Theater to mark the 25th anniversary of her "80's Ladies" album. Her career was short, but impactful.

Friday November 28
7:00: John Conlee (host); Love and Theft; Elizabeth Cook
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jackie Lee; Aaron Tippin
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jimmy Wayne
8:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Guy Penrod; The Black Lillies

Saturday November 29
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; (Jimmy Dickens?)
7:30: The Whites (host); Mike Snider; Jimmy Wayne
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Rhett Walker Band; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); K.T. Oslin; The Willis Clan

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; Mike Snider
10:00: Lorrie Morgan (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jimmy Wayne
10:30: The Whites (host); Jan Howard; Rhett Walker Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); K.T. Oslin; The Willis Clan

Nice to see a little variety between the 2 shows.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, November 27 & 28, 2009:

Friday November 27
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Rhonda Vincent
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jack Greene
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Matt Kennon
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Doyle Dykes

Saturday November 28
1st show
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jimmy Wayne
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites; Charlie Louvin
8:00: Lorrie Morgan (host); Riders In The Sky; Cherryholmes; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Brad Paisley

2nd show
9:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Brad Paisley; Jim Ed Brown
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Charlie Louvin; Jimmy Wayne
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Cherryholmes

Now from 10 years ago this weekend, November 26 & 27, 2004:

Friday November 26
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Catherine Britt
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Walker; Billy Walker; Kenny & Amanda Smith Band
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jack Greene; Sherrie Austin
9:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; BR549
9:30: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; T. Graham Brown

Saturday November 27
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Hilljack
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jack Greene; Mindy Smith
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Osborne Brothers; Jamie O'Neal
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Mountain Heart; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Marty Stuart

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Hilljack
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Mindy Smith
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Charlie Louvin; Marty Stuart; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Osborne Brothers; Connie Smith; Jamie O'Neal
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Mountain Heart

For this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history, it was 50 years ago this Saturday night, November 28, 1964 that Willie Nelson made his Grand Ole Opry debut.

Willie came to Nashville in 1960 and while he had made plenty of records, it was the songwriting of Willie that people were talking about. Already at the point in his career, "Hello Walls", "Crazy", "Night Life," and "Funny How Time Slips Away" had been hits by others.

As far as the Opry, Willie said, "November 28, 1964 was when I made my first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry for which I was paid thirty-five dollars. And I cohosted a televisioin show with my old hero, Ernest Tubb. The whole enterprise was supported by my songwriting royalties. But I love the Opry. The family tradition is very similar to the family tradition I grew up with. It's very important to keep family units together, and that's the kind of life that the Opry was trying to set an example for. The show represents the people to themselves."

Willie's time as an Opry member was short. He realized that the Opry and Nashville were just not for him and within a few years of joining the Opry, he left. There were no hard feelings. The pay was low and the audience was not quite sure what to make of him. Even after Willie left, he would still come back to the Opry. Not often, but he did remember where the Opry House was.

Here is the line-up and running order of the show from November 28, 1964, the night Willie Nelson came to the Opry.

7:30: Luzianne
Roy Drusky (host): (?)
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: (?)
Curly Fox: (?)
The Browns: Little Drummer Boy
Roy Drusky: (?)
Stringbean: Run, Little Rabbit, Run
Ernest Ashworth: Pushed in A Corner
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: (?)
Roy Drusky: (?)

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): (?)
Bobby Lord: When I've Learned
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco
Crook Brothers: (?)
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)
Bobby Lord: Take the Bucket to the Well
Del Wood: (?)
Billy Walker: Circumstances
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)

8:30: Stephens
Porter Wagoner (host): I'll Go Down Swinging
Glaser Brothers: A Girl Like You
Willie Nelson: I Never Cared for You
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Porter Wagoner: Life of the Party
Lonzo & Oscar: (?)
Norma Jean: (?)
Glaser Brothers: Where No One Stands Alone

Porter Wagoner: Sorrow on the Rocks

9:00: Pet Milk
Roy Acuff (host): Pins and Needles
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Oswald: The Girl I Love Don't Pay Me No Mind
Roy Acuff: Just Friends
June Stearns: (?)
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Howdy Forrester & Jimmy Riddle: (?)
Roy Acuff: Life's Railway to Heaven

9:30: Kellogg's
Jimmy Newman (host): (?)
Bill Monroe: Gotta Travel On

George Hamilton IV: (?)
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Jimmy Newman: (?)
Cousin Jody: The Peanut Song
Bill Monroe: Memories of You
George Hamilton IV: (?)
Jimmy Newman: (?)

10:00: Schick
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): (?)
Curly Fox: (?)

Ernest Ashworth: Heartbreak Avenue
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: (?)

10:15: SSS Tonic
Porter Wagoner (host): Howdy Neighbor Howdy
The Browns: Everybody's Darling But Mine
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Del Wood: (?)
Porter Wagoner: Misery Loves Company

10:30: Harvey's
Flatt & Scruggs (host): (?)
Roy Drusky: (?)

Billy Walker: Down to My Last Cigarette
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)
Earl Scruggs: (?)

10:45: Newport
Jimmy Newman (host): (?)
Carter Family: (?)
George Hamilton IV: If You Don't Know, I Ain't Gonna Tell You
Crook Brothers: (?)
Jimmy Newman: (?)

11:00: Coca Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Willie Nelson: Touch Me
Glaser Brothers: Satisfied
Roy Acuff: One More
Lonzo & Oscar: (?)
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Sam & Kirk McGee: (?)
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): (?)
Bill Monroe: Come Go With Me
Bobby Lord: Life Can Have Meaning
Willis Brothers: Gonna Buy Me A Jukebox
Marty Robbins: (?)
Cousin Jody: Talk A Little Louder
Bill Monore: Shenendoah Breakdown
Marty Robbins: (?)

The 2nd featured line-up for this week is from Saturday November 28, 1992, which was the night 22 years ago that Marty Stuart joined the Grand Ole Opry. Marty joined the Opry the week after the death of Opry legend Roy Acuff. And yes, we all remember the famous comments that Marty made on the night of his induction.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Boxcar Willie (host): There's Nothing Like A Good Old Country Song
Mike Snider: (?)/The Fur Coat
Boxcar Willie: The Great Speckled Bird

6:45: Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Nashville on My Mind
Jim Ed Brown: The Doll Maker
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Grandpa Jones: My Little Old Home in New Orleans

7:00: Shoney's
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime at A Time/Looking at the World Through The Windshield
Charlie Louvin: The Family Who Prays
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
The Whites: Pins and Needles
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy Dickens (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeannie Seely: As Long As I Live/My Tears Don't Show
Ray Pillow: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Marty Stuart: Tempted/The Long Black Veil
Jimmy Dickens: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Oswald: I'll Be All Smiles Tonight
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Liberty
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Forever and One; Forever and Two
Jean Shepard: Let's All Go Down to the River/I Saw the Light/Will the Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/Somebody Touched Me
Roy Drusky: Too Old to Die Young
4 Guys: I'm Bound for Higher Ground
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chuck of Coal
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Wilma Lee Cooper: He Will Set Your Fields on Fire
Jan Howard: Lord, I Hope This Day is Good
Marty Stuart: This One's Gonna Hurt You A Long, Long Time/I'll Take the Blame/Hillbilly Rock
Jimmy Dickens: My Eyes Are Jealous

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): What'll I Do With the Baby
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Boxcar Willie (host): There's Nothing Like A Good Old Country Song
Billy Walker: Peace in the Valley
Boxcar Willie: Wabash Cannonball

10:30: Randy Travis Enterprises
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
The Whites: San Antonio Rose
Bill Anderson: City Lights

10:45: B.C. Powder
4 Guys (host): How Married Are You Mary Ann
Charlie Louvin & Monroe Fields: I Love You Best of All
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Snow Flake Reel
4 Guys: Farther Along

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): There's A Fool Such As I
Jean Shepard: Bouquet of Roses
Charlie Walker: A Way to Free Myself
Justin Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Mike Snider: Soldier's Joy/Angeline the Baker/Old Molly Hare
Hank Snow: These Things Shall Pass

11:30: Creamettes
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Connie Smith: The Deepening Snow
Roy Drusky: As Long As I Live
Johnny Russell: In A Mansion Stands My Love/He'll Have to Go
Jimmy C Newman: Colinda

Happy Thansgiving to everyone and I hope each of you gets the chance to spend some time with your family or friends.

And I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Byron, and to all of the great folks who come here and post.

    I counted at least 25 members on each of those older shows, and nine this Saturday night. Sigh.

    Marty did apologize for those comments and he has been one of the best of the "younger" members, granting that that isn't a difficult standard. I confess I thought the comments were funny. My mother, who introduced me to country music, was almost ready to get on a plane to Nashville to kill him!

  2. What did Marty say? I'm lost, Michael. Help me here.

  3. Nat, it was great. The Potato introduced him as a member and he did one of his songs, then introduced "Long Black Veil" by saying he liked to do different kinds of things that appealed to young people, but also songs that appealed to "old farts." This caused a little bit of upset, and not long afterward, he came on the warmup show on TNN to apologize, that he meant well but his mouth sometimes ran a bit.

  4. Well, as somebody who totally fits his description, I am not one bit mad at Marty!
    I absolutely love his show on RFD-TV. It's a trip back in time.

    Thanks for the history lesson.

  5. Nat, I fit it NOW. I kind of did then, too!

  6. I was there for all three shows on that November weekend in 1992 and I have described some of that weekend here before so I will try not to repeat all of it.

    First, on the Friday night show, Porter read a poem set to music about Mr. Acuff to close his portion. Also, all four of the Smoky Mountain Boys performed with Bill Anderson for his opening song.

    On Saturday the first show started with a fiddle and bow setting on a table at center stage while the most recent history picture book photo of Mr. Acuff was projected on the big screen behind the stage and the lights turned down as a recorded memorial from Bud or Hal was played, at the moment I don't recall which one it was.

    I notice that Byron listed Monroe Fields as the duet partner of Charlie Louvin on the second show. I sure thought it was Charles Whitstien. Whoever it was, he performed on both shows with Charlie.

    Also on all three shows that weekend Buck White's father danced with his cane at the edge of the stage during their performance, teaming up with Bill Monroe on Friday night!

    During the first show Jimmy Dickens was joined on stage by several of the cast to close the show with I Saw the Light. Charlie Louvin, Grandpa Jones, Jimmy C Newman, Marty Stuart, Jeannie Seely, Jeanne Pruett, Buck, Sharon,Cheryl and Rosie White, Stonewall Jackson, Herman, Dennis, Nora Lee and Carol Lee(Carol Lee Singers), Melvin Sloan and George Riddle were all at the front of the stage.

    I recall that Stonewall Jackson talked for several minutes about Mr. Acuff before he sang, by far the longest statement of the evening by a fellow performer.

    When Oswald performed, Dan Kelly, Larry McNeely and Charlie Collins were with him and as I said before I could hardly take pictures for the tears in my eyes as they played.

    At that time I thought I would never return to the Opry. Thankfully that was not true and several dozen shows later it may now be true that I have been for my last time. So much has changed since that winter weekend.

    Knightsville, IN

  7. Darn if I didn't miss one, Boxcar Willie was also on stage when Jimmy closed with I Saw the Light!

    Knightsville, IN

  8. I am thankful I came across this wonderful blog at least 4/5 years ago. Fully enjoy reading what Byron posts & interact with the commenters on our favorite subject of country music.

    Agreeing with all regarding Marty Stuart. I've been a fan of his for more than 20 years now & I have to say, he has gotten better & better as every year has gone by. I am sure he & his cast will begin taping the 7th season of his great show, of which I have never missed one episode. Looking forward to the new line-up of guests he will have & for his continued country music lessons he gives us each & every show. I watched Marty's induction into the Opry - he is, who he is. A lover of life itself & his absolute love for this genre of music. Sometimes his mouth talks faster than it should, but if he didn't do this, he wouldn't be Marty. I have never seen him without a big smile on his face & even when I listen to him on the Opry, one can tell just how much he loves being there, always "up!" He loves Charley Pride & I was happy that he had Charley sing "Kaw-liga" on last Friday's show. What's two songs when it comes to Charley Pride or any of the veteran country artists? Thanks Marty!

    Mike Snider - not on the Opry from January through the first weekend of October. Since then, he is on every weekend. Talk about someone making up for lost time, so happy he has returned, does not matter what happened during that time.

    To one and all, a very Happy Thanksgiving Day and weekend ~


  9. I hope the artists appearing on both shows Saturday night as well as repeat artists from the Friday night show remember many folks like me, coming from Michigan buy tickets for all 3 shows, and would prefer to see the artists do different songs each show for the 2 nights. Sometimes the 2nd show on Saturday is a near repeat of the 1st show, which is disappointing to those who travel far distances , but attend both shows. The veteran Opry regulars seem to get that most of the time, but the special guest big name performers who draw the fair weather Opry fans sometimes don't. Hank Snow could go almost a year without repeating a song. Some could stand to remember that.

    Dashmann -- Flushing , Michigan

  10. I am also thankful for this blog and the people who post here.

    Jim, it took the Opry long enough, but I was so glad that Oswald became a member. He had only a 56-year tryout! I can understand that they didn't want to keep all of the Smoky Mountain Boys, but I wish they had at least while Os performed.

    Jeanene, you're right. Marty gets better each year. Now we just need to get him to the Opry more often.

    Dashmann, you're right, but there also are people who really want to hear a particular song, and I wonder how many people do go to all three shows in a weekend. I suspect if Mr. Acuff hadn't opened with "Wabash Cannonball," there might have been a riot. But today so many artists are "programmed" to say and do certain things--they aren't natural, and they can't adapt. Then there was Mr. Snow, who sang different things, I suspect, just to be contrary!

  11. Michael;
    I miss the Little Ranger, as Marty Robbins used to refer to him, bad hairpiece and all. He and his band were always dressed professionally and performed with great class. Hank wasn't my favorite singer, but there was just something about him that was special. And whatever happened to the gorgeous an sexy Kelly Foxton ???????? Hank could surprise you sometimes.

    Dashmann - Flushing , Michigan

  12. Dashmann, I defer to Byron, who shares my love for Mr. Snow. But if you haven't read his autobiography, while it can be maddening, it's fascinating. And I think of something that Bobby Bare said. You may recall his interview show on TNN. Everybody was laid back and relaxed. One day he had on Mr. Monroe. He said at the moment they were supposed to arrive, there was a knock on the door. He opened it, and in walked Mr. Monroe and his band, all dressed to the nines, instruments strapped on, ready to go. Professional. How times have changed.

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  14. Dashmann, enjoy the Opry this weekend.

    I did notice that Jan Howard has cancelled out for the 2nd show on Saturday, and as is normal at the Opry when a veteran cancels, has not been replaced. Jean Shepard is scheduled for just the 1st show on Saturday and based on her slot, it will be one song and then done. What harm would it have done the Opry management to hold over Jean for the 2nd show to fill Jan's slot? None except for the few hundred dollars it would have cost to pay Jean. But then again, she is a veteran Opry member and that is pretty much the attitude toward these legends.

  15. Fred, Bismarck:

    Dashmann, Kelly Foxton is still out there, surgery-enhanced and snuggling as close to the military as she can. You can Google her web site. For me, she and Hank made a somewhat embarrassing match and music that was not that memorable.

  16. As far as I know, Marty isn't doing a 7th season of his show.


    1. Hi A.B. - oh no ... if I may ask, where did you hear that Marty isn't doing a 7th season of his show? I have not seen nor have I read anything one way or another. Thanks & have a nice day. :-)


    2. I've only seen posts on Facebook about it.


  17. Last note on Kelly Foxton.
    I remember her being on with Hank just before Marty Robbins was commandeering the 11:30 portion of the Opry one night, as he usually did.
    Marty wondered if she was gone yet and only referred to her as "Fox".
    Kind of neat and a little out of character for Marty.
    You really missed something if you never saw Marty take over the final segment of the Opry for sometimes over an hour. What an entertainer he was !!!!

    Dashmann - Flushing, Michigan

  18. Dashmann, if you go to You Tube and type in Marty Robbins Opry, two of the videos that come up highest are about 15 minutes each. One is from 1971 and another from around 1980 when PBS televised the Opry. On the latter one, he and Tony Lyons (I believe) are going at it about how much time he has. It was something special. I read that the Willis Brothers used to get mad at him because they sang the theme song for his segment and would have to stay until he finished, so they finally recorded a version of it so they could just cut him off on WSM, but he would keep going on stage.