Thursday, December 11, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 12/12 & 12/13

It is a day later than usual, but the Grand Ole Opry has finally posted the schedule for the shows this weekend. Looking at who is scheduled, it looks like a pretty good weekend for the Opry. I plan on being in Nashville this weekend and have plans to attend all 3 of the Opry shows.

The Friday Night Opry is highlighted by Opry members Marty Stuart, Joe Diffie and Dierks Bentley. Joining them will be guest artists Amber Digby and Sara Haze, along with Minton Sparks, who will be making her Opry debut. Don't know who Minton Sparks is? I have to admit that I did not know either until I looked her up. According to her website, "Minton Sparks fuses music, poetry, and her intoxicating gift of storytelling to paint word pictures of the rural South that put you square in the middle of the people and the places she knows like the back of her hand." To say the least, she should be interesting.

Also scheduled on Friday night is Ray Pillow, who has seen a big increase in his Opry appearances and hosting duties after years of having limited appearances. Jean Shepard is also scheduled. She missed last week so let's hope she is feeling well enough to appear.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature Opry member Emmylou Harris. For Emmylou, this will be her first Opry appearance of 2014, and probably her only 2014 Opry appearance. That seems to follow her pattern of appearing sometime during the Opry's Ryman run. I find that too bad as when Emmylou joined the Opry, I really expected more out of her as I really thought that when it came to the Opry, she got it. Also scheduled is Carrie Underwood, who does get it when it comes to the Opry. It has been mentioned before that Carrie has set a standard for the newer Opry members. With her pregnancy, I would think we won't see her at the Opry as much in the coming year, but I think we can all say that is a good reason. It is also nice to see Opry member Craig Morgan scheduled.

Guest artists scheduled include Kacey Musgraves, who has made a big impact on country music in 2014. Kree Harrison and The Henningsens round out the guests.

Friday December 12
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Sara Haze; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); Amber Digby; Joe Diffie
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Minton Sparks
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); Dierks Bentley

Saturday December 13
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); The Henningsens (Jimmy Dickens?)
7:30: Emmylou Harris (host); Kree Harrison; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Opry Square Dancers
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Kacey Musgraves; Craig Morgan
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Carrie Underwood
10:00: Emmylou Harris (host); Kree Harrison; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:30: Craig Morgan (host); The Henningsens; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Kacey Musgraves

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, December 11 & 12, 2009:

Friday December 11
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Chuck Wicks
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jack Greene; Vince Gill
8:00: Steve Wariner (host); Connie Smith; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Rascal Flatts

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Chuck Wicks
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Ray Pillow; Rascal Flatts
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Steve Wariner
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Stonewall Jackson; Vince Gill

Saturday December 12
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Trace Adkins
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Nanci Griffith
8:00: Marty Stuart (host); Dale Jett & Hello Stranger; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Nanci Griffith
10:00: Marty Stuart (host); Stu Phillips; Dale Jett & Hello Stranger; Connie Smith
10:30: Mike Snider (host); Trace Adkins; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Vince Gill

Now from 10 years ago this weekend, December 10 & 11, 2004:

Friday December 10
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jack Greene; Alicia Nugent
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Christy Sutherland; Del McCoury Band
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stonewall Jackson; Connie Smith; Marty Stuart
9:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Osborne Brothers; Buddy Jewell
9:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mel McDaniel; Chely Wright

Saturday December 11
1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band
7:00: Marty Stuart (host); Sugarland; Craig Morgan; George Jones
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jean Shepard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker; Connie Smith; Buddy Jewell

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); The Whites; George Jones
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Del McCoury Band; Connie Smith; Marty Stuart
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Stu Phillips; Osborne Brothers; Sugarland
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; Billy Walker; Buddy Jewell

Now from 20 years ago Saturday night, December 10, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis
6:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Oswald
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bill Carlisle; The Whites; Jim Ed Brown; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: 4 Guys (host); J.D. Sumner & The Stamps; Blackwood Quartet
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Johnny Russell; Connie Smith; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Billy Walker; Riders In The Sky; Jimmy C Newman

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); J.D. Sumner & The Stamps; Blackwood Quartet
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Riders In The Sky
10:15: Jimmy Dickens (host); Ricky Skaggs
10:30: Billy Walker (host); Roy Drusky
10:45: 4 Guys (host); Charlie Walker; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown; Stonewall Jackson
11:30: Johnny Russell (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mel McDaniel

Finally, from 40 years ago this weekend, Saturday December 14, 1974. What made this night so special is that early Opry star DeFord Bailey made a guest appearance.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): Truck Stop
Jim & Jesse: Paradise
Ernie Ashworth: Oh, Lonesome Me
Willis Brothers: Buying Popcorn

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Anderson (host): Everytime I Turn the Radio On
Bill Carlisle: Same Old Tale That the Crow Told Me
4 Guys: What About Me
Bill Anderson: Proof

7:00: Rudy's
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Billy Grammer: Wildwood Flower/Under the Double Eagle
Bob Luman: Let Me Make the Bright Lights Shine For You
Barbara Lea: May You Never Be Alone
Justin Tubb: Loving Arms
Porter Wagoner: Carolina Moonshiner
Billy Grammer: Whispering Hope
Porter Wagoner: Wake Up Jacob

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Stoney Cooper: Shackles and Chains
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Oswald: Little Darling
DeFord Bailey: Pan American Blues/Ain't Gonna Rain No More/Fox Chase
Carol Lee Cooper: Forgetting About You
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Grandpa & Ramona Jones: Jingle Bells
Connie Smith: I Got My Baby On My Mind
Stu Phillips: Let Me Love You All Over Again
Marty Stuart & Curley Seckler: Christmas Time's A'Coming
Grandpa & Ramona Jones: It Takes A Lot of Loving
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Charlie Nixon: Maggie Blues

8:30: Stephens
Roy Drusky (host): Second Hand Rose
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Late
Mel Tillis: Heart Over Mind
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Roy Drusky: The Bitter They Are, The Harder They Fall
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Mel Tillis: Memory Maker/Sawmill

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Anderson (host): (?)
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Jim & Jesse: Love Is A Fading Rose
Bill Anderson: City Lights
Ernie Ashworth: Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
Mary Lou Turner: Poor Sweet Baby
Bill Anderson: Everytime I Turn the Radio On

10:00: Fender
Bob Luman (host): Kaw-Liga
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Justin Tubb: Sunshine Lady
Bob Luman: Six Days on the Road

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Back in the Country
Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love
Roy Acuff: Turn Your Radio On

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): A Great Big Woman and A Little Biddy Bottle of Wine
Grandpa Jones: Heading South
Connie Smith: Dallas
Lester Flatt: Homestead on the Farm/Foggy Mountain Breakdown

10:45: Beech-Nut
4 Guys (host): Down By the Lazy River
Stoney Cooper: To My Mansion in the Sky
Crook Brothers: Soldier's Joy
4 Guys: Let Me Be There

11:00: Coca-Cola
Roy Drusky (host): Dixie Lily
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Mel Tillis: Life Turned Her That Way/Ruby, Don't Take Your Guns to Town
Roy Drusky: All For the Love Of A Girl/Three Hearts In A Tangle/Somewhere My Love
Sam McGee: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Harold Weakley: Legend In My Mind
Roy Drusky: Anymore

11:30: Elm Hill
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me and You and A Dog Named Boo
Ronnie Robbins: If We Make It Through December/If You Love Me Let Me Know
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Late
Stu Phillips: She Thinks I Still Care/Let Me Love You All Over Again
Stonewall Jackson: Washed My Hands In Muddy Water/Don't Be Angry/Waterloo

Finally, here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, December 16:

7:00: Jeannie Seely; The Railers
7:30: Kristian Bush; Dailey & Vincent
8:15: Bill Anderson; Lennon & Maisy
8:45: Hunter Hayes

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!! As usual, if I hear or see anything I will have a wrap up next week.


  1. and still no Connie Smith - any new info on her health?

  2. About that 1974 lineup: It's really cool to see that Connie Smith was on the Martha White portion with her teenage future husband Marty Stuart. I was in college at the time and got a chance to see Lester Flatt, Marty, and the Nashville Grass (along with Mac Wiseman) do a show on our campus.
    As for Mel Tillis, that was after his alleged first membership on the Opry. He is listed as a former member in the 1975 History Picture Book.
    Regarding the current Opry: I am sick of the "stars" of the Nashville TV show. Their presence is actually a deterrent when it comes to my own plans of returning to Nashville. I'm not saying they don't have talent, but if I want to see them, I can watch ABC. They're actors!
    However, I sure do like hearing Ray Pillow play the Opry.

  3. Danny, I could not agree more with you about the Nashville TV show "stars."
    They may all be wonderful people, but a few of them have close to zero talent when it comes to singing and performing on stage.

  4. Fred, Bismarck:

    What a horrible half-hour, just-concluded, with Emmylou! I tuned in -- which I rarely do anymore -- because of her, which I will not do again.

    Her singing and arrangements were sloppy, and who asked her to do Merle Haggard anyhow? For "Cowgirl," she inflicted Kree Harrison on us (again), who was not even properly miked.

    Harrison herself typifies what is wrong with most music on the Opry these days. Talent (I suppose) of sorts ... but, whatever the music is, it isn't country!

    Bobby Osborne ought to hang it up, and the so-called Square Dance Band ... !

    Maybe being there makes all the difference, and I hope Byron had a good time. I'll look forward to his report.

  5. Fred, Bismarck:

    Please allow me to apologize for the intemperance of the above remarks. I'm afraid I let my frustration get the better of me.

    I will say, I thought Emmylou "mailed it in" -- her show was even short by two minutes (which time would have allowed for a verse and the chorus of "Christmas Time's A-Comin' "). And that I wonder if the reason for Rocky Top Express is to keep Bobby's sons employed. (If Bobby's going to do only one song, does it have to be "Rocky Top" week after week?)

  6. We only listened to the Carrie Underwood portion in the first show and then the entire second show (via SiriusXM in the car); frankly, the only standout in all we heard was wonderful Bill Anderson.

  7. Let me say that it was a great weekend in Nashville and at the Opry and I will post my observations Monday evening in a separate post.

  8. Fayfare:

    Glad you had a great weekend in Nashville. I have often commented on how a show that seems so ordinary over the internet feed can be magical when you're in attendance.
    Looking forward to your comments.

  9. A couple of items not directly Opry related but I feel worth mentioning.

    Not sure if anyone has heard but Dawn Sears, wife of Opry fiddler Kenny Sears, passed away last Thursday the 11th of lung cancer. She was 53. She was a member of the Time Jumpers and also worked with Vince Gill.

    And over the weekend I happened to catch Janie Price on the Mike Huckabee show on Fox talking about Ray and the last Recording Session. Nothing we didn't know but nice to see Ray, Janie and the last project getting Nation TV exposure! I would think the segment is online somewhere!

    Looking forward to Byron's report.

    Knightsville, IN

  10. Thank you Anonymous for posting about Dawn Sears - we had not heard the sad news; she had such an absolutely beautiful voice. The last info we knew was about the fundraiser she was coordinating for end of November. Our last time to hear her was with Vince Gill in February 2014 in Lancaster, PA.