Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Grand Ole Opry 12/26 & 12/27

The Grand Ole Opry finishes out 2015 with two shows this weekend. Nothing really special lined up, but with a lot of the stars off enjoying the holiday with their families, they have managed to come up with a couple of decent shows.

The Friday Night Opry will feature guests artists Jim Lauderdale, Jeff Bates, TG Sheppard, Holly Williams and one of my favorites, Johnny Counterfit. Also scheduled, and staying around for Saturday night, is the ever present Chris Janson.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, in addition to Chris, will feature The Willis Clan, Kelleigh Bannen, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, along with "Nashville" star Charles Esten. As far as Opry members this weekend, nice to see Jean Shepard back on the schedule, along with John Conlee, Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider and Riders In The Sky, all of whom will be hosting both nights. Jan Howard was on the original schedule for the weekend but has been taken off.

Friday December 26
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Lauderdale; Jeff Bates
7:30: John Conlee (host); Johnny Counterfit; Lindsay Ell
8:15: Mike Snider (host); TG Sheppard; Holly Williams
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chris Janson

Saturday December 27
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Chris Janson; (Jimmy Dickens?)
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; The Willis Clan
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds; Kelleigh Bannen; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers; Charles Esten

As with most shows in 2014, both nights feature more guests than actual Opry members. And on one additional note, some have asked about Connie Smith. I saw that she, along with Marty, were at the funeral this past week for Dawn Sears. On the short video clip that I saw from a Nashville television station, she looked pretty good. Hopefully she returns to the Opry soon.

And now, here is the Grand Ole Opry posted line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, December 25 & 26, 2009:

Friday December 25
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Blaine Larsen
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jesse McReynolds; Elizabeth Cook
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Dailey & Vincent
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Charlie Louvin; T. Graham Brown

Saturday December 26
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Rebecca Lynn Howard
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Bobby Osborne &  The Rocky Top X-Press; Eddy Raven
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Dailey & Vincent; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Restless Heart

And from 10 years ago this weekend, December 24 & 25, 2004:

Friday December 24
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; T. Graham Brown
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Stonewall Jackson; Ray Pillow; Pinmonkey
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jack Greene; Rodney Atkins
9:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Sherrie Austin
9:30: Jean Shepard (host); Elizabeth Cook; Hal Bynum

Saturday December 25
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Pinmonkey
7:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Gail Davies; Melonie Cannon
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Elizabeth Cook; Opry Square Dancers
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Sherrie Austin
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Osborne Brothers; Mandy Barnett

To finish out 2014, here is the Opry line-up and running order 39 years ago this weekend, Saturday December 27, 1975.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Louvin (host): Columbus Stockade Blues
Stu Phillips: Only You Can Hush the Wind
Tim Stacy: The Bitter They Are
Charlie Louvin: See the Big Man Cry

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Monroe (host): Can't You Hear Me Calling
Skeeter Davis: Love Will Keep Us Together
David Houston: Almost Persuaded
Bill Monroe: Monroe's Blues

7:00: Shoney's
Ernest Tubb (host): If You Don't Quit Checking On Me
Barbara Mandrell: Standing Room Only
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Lonzo and Oscar: Lonesome Road Blues
Jimmy C Newman: Blue Lonely Winter
Ernie Ashworth: The High Cost of Living
Ernest Tubb: Another Story, Another Time, Another Place

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: Another Neon Night
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Billy In the Low Ground
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
Charlie McCoy: Lonesome Whistle
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): w/The Nashville Grass: Don't Let Your Deal Go Down
Dottie West: Back Home Again
Bob Luman: Someone to Give My Love To
Bill Charlisle: Have A Drink On Me
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Del Wood: The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise
Lester Flatt: Let the Church Roll On

8:30: Stephen's
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Billy Grammer: Family Man
Willis Brothers; Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Hank Snow: Waiting for A Train

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Monroe (host): Sitting In the Shade of An Old Willow Tree
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Stonewall Jackson: Washed My Hands In Muddy Water
Skeeter Davis: Let It Shine
David Houston: Almost Persuaded
Lonzo and Oscar: American Trilogy
Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love

10:00: Fender
Ernest Tubb (host): Slippin' Around
Charlie Louvin: I Just Want Out
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Charlie McCoy: Orange Blossom Special

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Old Time Sunshine Song
Barbara Mandrell: Satisfied
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Roy Acuff: Walk A Mile In Your Neighbor's Shoes

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Jean Shepard: Another Neon Night
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings Of A Dove
Jimmy C Newman: Deep Water
Charlie Nixon: Little Liza Jane

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): Sunrise
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Ernie Ashworth: Take Back Trembling Lips
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Old Joe Clark

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
Dottie West: Country Sunshine
Bob Luman: Let Me Make the Bright Lights Shine For You
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Kirk McGee: While I'm Away
Hank Snow: One Day At A Time

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Don't Worry
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets/My Baby's Gone
Jimmy Dickens: Sleeping At the Foot of the Bed
Del Wood: Leaning on the Everlasting Arm
Marty Robbins: Devil Woman/Love Me/Big Boss Man/I'll Step Aside/Long Gone Lonesome Blues/Eighteen Yellow Roses/My Woman, My Woman, My Wife/El Paso

What a great show that night and when you look back, how few artists from that night are still with us at the Opry today: Stu Phillips, Barbara Mandrell, Stonewall, Jean Shepard, Jimmy Dickens and Jeanne Pruett. And only Jean and Jimmy are active on the Opry today.

Since this is the final Opry shows for 2014, I will begin to put together my year in review, covering Opry appearances and other special events that took place in 2014. It usually takes a couple of weeks to put it together so look for it right after the first of the year.

Happy New Year and enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. We'll look forward to the year in review ....

    And sigh at the memory of the night in 1975 that THIRTY, if I counted correctly, members of the Opry performed. With Barbara Mandrell getting only one song on each show. Think about THAT.

  2. C'mon folks - Ike Jonson at the ETRS is as country as you are ever going to find anymore !!! Hope lots of folks are listening, and it sounds like a decent attendance !!!
    The Opry is what it is ----Jeannie, Mike, Conlee, Jesse and the Riders form the traditional side -- ( did I miss Jean Shepard or didn't she make it ?? ) ---but you had to like the Willis Clan even with the drums and Joe Mullins.
    My jury still out on Chris Janson - he seems self centered, Kalleigh Bannon has potential if she will do something that sounds like a real song and Charles Esten from "Nashville" doesn't seem to "get" the Opry yet.

    But by God we still have an Opry and it needs all our support and feedback !!!!

    Sometimes the music has changed to fit our wishes, and sometimes we have changed to accept some music we have first rejected. That is part of progress. Ol' Hank Williams was a revolutionary who at the time faced a tremendous amount of opposition to his music. Now his music is what a lot of us crave to hear yet.

    Be patient, support the Opry and be glad it is still here.

    Happy New Year all !!! And listen to the always exciting and brash Crows bring in 2015 with a flourish !!!!!!!

    Dashmann - Flushing, Michigan

  3. Fred, Bismarck:

    Dash, I knew ol' Hank was controversial personally, because of his drinking, but this is the first I've heard of opposition to his music. Tell us more.

    Speaking of good old music, I picked up on a gem on our local oldies show yesterday. If I heard it in 1956, I hadn't heard it since, yet it was a No. 14 hit, according to Wikipedia: "Waltz of the Angels," Lefty's song, by Wynn Stewart. It's available on Youtube; you owe it to yourself to check it out.

    Happy New Year to all!

  4. No Jimmy Dickens last night. Jean Shepard was missing also. Add that to Jan Howard taken off earlier in the week and that makes it a rough night for the legends.

    I really enjoy Joe Mullins and have for several years. He owns a few radio stations in southwest Ohio that play traditional country music. Your typical AM signals that don't travel far but I always pick up the signal on my trips south to Nashville.

    As far as Charles Esten, just remember that he is not a country music singer, he is an actor that is playing a role on a television show. I am sure that once the show leaves the air, that will be the last we see of Charles, and most of the other actors from the show on the Opry.

  5. The Tennessean just reported that The Potato is in critical care, he was admitted on Christmas Day, and that his family is asking for prayers.

  6. Charles Esten joined the Riders in the Sky on Cool Water, and it was an 'Opry moment that will hopefully be forgotten quickly.

    Pray for Little Jimmy Dickens. I know I am.

  7. Byron, I fully agree - I really do enjoy Joe Mullins too. I normally always listen to the Opry & when I think I might pass on it, if I see Joe Mullins on the line-up, I will be listening. They are really very good.

    Just reading about Little Jimmy Dickens on Facebook ~ thoughts & prayers going out to him & his family.


  8. Back from, just bought the mp3 "Waltz of the Angels" by Wynn Stewart.

    Good suggestion, Fred!

    True Country Music.

  9. The Potato was working as a DJ in Saginaw Michigan where I grew up when I grew up. That is when Roy Acuff came to town and "discovered" Jimmy . I do not actually remember hearing Jimmy, but country music became a big thing for me in about 1950, when I was 7, because WKNX aired about 3 hours of hillbilly music every afternoon hosted by Bob Dyer who just passed away this year. I think Tater was replaced by Dyer. My first concert was in 1950-51 at the old Saginaw Auditorium featuring the Hanks ---Snow and Williams, which I attended with my older sisters. Bill Anderson, whom I saw in 1963 at that old auditorium, is probably the only living artist who would remember playing there. Anyway, I do remember Saginaw was very proud of Tater when he hit it big in Nashville in the 50s. Forgive my rambling about the old days ---

    Dashmann - Flushing , Michigan

  10. To Fred - Bismarck; maybe I am over thinking Hank Williams outlaw type reception. It may have been
    more kind of like Marty Robbins using full drums and a couple horns on the Opry despite managements wishes -- hey who was going to kick marty off the Opry. if you remember how popular he was when he stretched the bounds in the 60's and 70's ????? I can tell you care as much about the Opry as I do friend ------peace ---

    Dashmann - Flushing, Michigan

  11. Fred, Bismarck:

    Dash, your rambling is not only forgiven but encouraged. More is always welcome.

    Your near contemporary, Fred

  12. Fred, Bismarck:

    I will say -- or try to say -- to Byron that I have had much trouble trying to post tonight. Is it me, or are others having the same problem? Thanks, F.

  13. Fred, thanks for the heads up. Not sure why it is happening but hopefully it corrects itself.

    And regarding Marty, he was fired once from the Opry. It only lasted a week until the mistake was realized.

  14. If we get mad at people around here for rambling, I expect to face summary execution! Here's to rambling--even rambling fever!

    Here's hoping The Potato will be ok.

    Marty was quite a character, and in one of the Opry histories, it talks about how he and the management feuded. That was in his younger days. As he got older he appears to have mellowed ... in some ways!