Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 1/23 &1/24

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedule for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Overall, the shows look pretty solid.

Among the Opry members scheduled this weekend, Vince Gill, Connie Smith, Mike Snider and Riders In The Sky are set for both nights. This weekend will mark the Opry's 7th and 8th shows of the year and Vince will have appeared at 4 of them. A very nice way to start out the year. Joining these 3 on Friday night will be Opry members Bill Anderson, Jesse McReynolds and The Whites. As far as guest artists, we have a host of Opry regulars, along with one who used to be on the Opry quite often but not so much lately. The regulars include J.T. Hodges, Sarah Darling, Jimmy Wayne and The Henningsens, while the other artist is one of my personal favorites, T. Graham Brown.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, in addition to those already listed, will include Opry members Montgomery Gentry, Bobby Osborne, Jeannie Seely and Stu Phillips. For both Montgomery Gentry and Stu, it will be their first appearances of the year, and for Stu it will be his first time back at the Opry since the birthday weekend in October. What is interesting is that Stu is listed as the only artist besides Connie Smith on the 3rd segment and I have to believe that someone else will be added. Guest artists on Saturday include Greg Bates and Katie Armiger.

Friday January 23
7:00: Connie Smith (host); J.T. Hodges; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Sarah Darling; T. Graham Brown
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jimmy Wayne
8:45: Vince Gill (host); The Whites; The Henningsens

Saturday January 24
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Greg Bates; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Katie Arminger
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Stu Phillips; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Montgomery Gentry

And now, here is the Grand Ole Opry posted line-up from 5 years ago, the weekend of January 22 & 23, 2010:

Friday January 22
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jeannie Seely; Riders In The Sky; Clay Walker
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Darryl Worley
8:00: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Point Of Grace
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Blake Shelton

Saturday January 23
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Lorrie Morgan
7:30: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jack Greene; Chuck Wicks
8:00: Marty Stuart (host); Charlie Louvin; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ronnie Milsap (host); The Whites; Mike Snider

And from 10 years ago this weekend, January 21 & 22, 2005:

Friday January 21
7:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Osborne Brothers; Amy Dalley
8:00: George Hamilton IV (host); The Whites; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jan Howard; Mel McDaniel; Trent Wilmon
9:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Walker; T. Bubba Bechtol; Ralph Stanley
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jimmy Wayne

Saturday January 22
1st show
6:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Mel McDaniel; Ralph Stanley
7:00: Steve Wariner (host); Montgomery Gentry; Jeff Bates; Julie Roberts
8:00: Vince Gill (host); Billy Walker; T. Bubba Bechtol; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Marty Stuart w/Marvis Staples

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Osborne Brothers; Jeff Bates
10:00: Steve Wariner (host); George Hamilton IV; Jack Greene; Ralph Stanley
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; Marty Stuart w/Marvis Staples; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Stu Phillips; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Julie Roberts
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stonewall Jackson; Billy Walker; T. Bubba Bechtol

For this week's featured line-up, it was on Saturday January 25, 1992 that Emmylou Harris became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Emmylou was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in North Carolina and Virginia. During the 1960s, she began following the folk movement, artists such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. She moved to Greenwich Village in 1967 and released her first record in 1969. She spent time touring and recording with Gram Parsons, who passed away in 1973. In 1975, she recorded her first major album, "Pieces of the Sky." Her Hot Band included James Burton, Albert Lee, Rodney Crowell and Ricky Skaggs. Over her career, she would have 10 gold albums and has won 12 Grammy Awards. In 2008 she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Emmylou has always worked to preserve the history of country music and it was through her efforts that many of today's fans became familiar with the Louvin Brothers and their music. "If I Could Only Win Your Love", the great Louvin Brothers classic was one of her 27 Top 10 songs.

The night she joined the Opry, Emmylou said, "Music is like food, sustenance. You certainly don't do it for the spotlight. You do it for the amazing exhilaration of singing, the feeling of the music going through you." Emmylou is one of those artists who when they joined the Opry, I thought she "got it" and would be there much more often then she appears. I have seen her at the Opry several times and she always seems to have fun and enjoys herself. She is always well received by the audience. Living in Nashville and with her love of traditional country music, it would be nice if she would appear at the Opry more then just 2 or 3 times a year.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from Saturday January 25, 1992, the night Emmylou Harris became the Opry's newest member:

1st show
6:30: Opry Tours
Boxcar Willie (host): Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/I'm Movin' On/Gotta Travel On/Night Train to Memphis
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Boxcar Willie: Cowboys and Horses; Hobos and Trains

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
4 Guys: Tennessee
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): You Gotta Have a License
John Conlee: I Don't Remember Loving You
Osborne Brothers: Nearer My God to Thee
Lorrie Morgan: Except for Monday/Autumn's Not That Cold
Porter Wagoner: Walk Up, Jacob

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Vince Gill: Take You Memory With You When You Go/When I Call Your Name/Drifting Too Far From the Shore
Emmylou Harris: Walls of Time/Blue Kentucky Girl

8:00: Martha White
Bill Monroe (host): Nine Pound Hammer
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
The Whites: Doing It By the Book
Del Reeves: There She Goes
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Monroe & Tom Ewing: Body and Soul

8:30: Opryland
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
Jim Ed Brown: The Three Bells
Jimmy C Newman: Mottland
Riders In The Sky: Blue Shadows on the Trail
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
Bill Anderson: Still

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues
Emmylou Harris: Guitar Town
Emmylou Harris & Vince Gill: If You Needed Me
Porter Wagoner: Misery Loves Company
Wagonmasters: (?)

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Ol' Rattler
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Dreamed About Mama Last Night
Grandpa & Mark Jones: Arkansas Traveler

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Once More
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore
George Hamilton IV: I'm Using My Bible For a Roadmap/Cabin in Gloryland
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): True Life Blues
Roy Drusky: Too Old to Die Young
Boxcar Willie: Hobo Heaven
Bill Monroe: I'm Working on a Building

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Vince Gill & Patty Loveless: When I Call Your Name
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Lafayette
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): You Can Have Her
Osborne Brothers: Low and Lonely
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Stonewall Jackson: Side-Steppin' the Blues
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Bill Anderson: Still

11:30: Creamettes
Charlie Walker (host): Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Riders In The Sky: How Does He Yodel
The Whites: Swing Down Chariot
Johnny Russell: No One Will Ever Know
Charlie Walker: Take Me Back to Tulsa

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. Although Stu hasn't been singing too well this past year, it's great to see him back on the Opry. Holly WIlliams was added to his segment. As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, only Katie Arminger has been scheduled as a guest for the 2nd portion of the Saturday night Opry.

    Considering Jim Ed Brown has been out & about a lot lately, has been doing a lot of interviews, and because his new album just came out (which the opry has been promoting very well on their facebook page), I think it may be possible that he will be a surprise guest!

    Or, because of Dixie Hall's death, maybe Tom T. Hall may come out of retirement and pay tribute to her.


  2. This is great news!

    Maybe he really will be back on the Opry quite soon:


  3. Noticing that Hank Snow was absent from that 1992 show I looked ahead in my notes and found that he returned on Friday February 14 after being gone about two and half months. He had a auto accident and which resulted in a total knee cap replacement.

    Thanks for posting this again Byron. Made me look and discover something I had forgot.

    Nice to see Stu Phillips back at the Opry and I wish him luck and a good performance.

    Jim Ed's new CD is great and Bonnie sounds great on his single release "When the Sun Says Hello to the Mountain". I was a bit surprised at the number of up tempo songs on the CD but is so great to hear new recordings by such a great veteran artist. Sure hope he is back on the Opry soon.

    Knightsville, IN

  4. While I think we would all like to see Tom T Hall back at the Opry, he has said many times that he is not coming back. And I take him at his word.

    While Jim Ed sounded pretty good in the interviews that he did this week, I think he mentioned that his voice is still not up to shape for any singing and he is still a ways off. That said, it is still very encouraging that he has been out and about and that he is able to promote his new CD.

  5. One other comment about Stu Phillips. In my younger days, I never really cared for Stu. I viewed him as just another of the Opry members who took up space and shouldn't really be there. However, over the years by opinion has greatly changed. He had such a pure voice and when I started to listen more to his ballads, I came to appreciate what a great ballad singer he was. A very smooth voice and as I was to find out, a fine gentleman.

    I know his voice is not even close to what it once was, as we have heard in his last several Opry appearances. At the birthday bash this past year, when he was on both shows, the first show in particular was very bad. He could have easily called it a day and went home. But he was back for the second show and sounded much better. And I will say that those attending that night were very nice to him and appreciated the effort.

    I am sure that we will not see Stu at the Opry more than a half dozen times this year, if that. But I will listen each time he is on and apprreciate another of the veterans who will give it his best effort. And I know that those attending will also appreciate seeing Stu perform.

  6. I have always enjoyed Stu Phillips. He is one of those good singers that gets overlooked because he never had that much chart success which is very likely because he was in tall grass on RCA in his earlier days and didn't get the promotion the likes of Porter, Hank Snow, Eddy Arnold, Bobby Bare and others were getting. Do you remember the song "The Note in Box Number 9"? Grant Turner had a talking part in it introducing Stu in the middle of the song.

    Between albums, CD's and singles we probably have 75-100 recordings by Stu and they are all good to great. The songs he chose to sing have always been meaningful and told good stories. You may remember about ten years or so ago he did a CD with many of the Opry staff band and the Carol Lee Singers. "Only God" was one of the cuts which he performed often on the Opry. I always liked his version of "There Must be Another Way to Say Goodbye"

    I look at some of the new unknowns that appear on the Opry today and try to consider what the opinion was 40/50 years ago about folks like Stu, Ray Pillow, Marion Worth and others. Were they the Jimmy Wayne's of today or did overall record sales and jukebox plays make them more substantial artist and give them a much greater following and fan base? I'd like to think so.

    Regardless, Stu, Ray, Jan, Jeannie and some of the others have done a good job supporting the bigger names at the Opry and making a more complete and better overall show over the past 25 years or so. I'm glad they came.

    Knightsville, IN

  7. Fred, Bismarck:

    Well said by Jim. Any kind of music depends on the journeymen and women as well as the stars. Among other useful things, they give us a measuring stick by which to identify the true greats. No music would be possible without them.

  8. The Opry has two line-ups posted for this weekend. On the one, T. Graham Brown has been removed, so assuming he has cancelled. On the other, he is still listed. You would think that they could keep their line-ups straight.

  9. Some sad news from up here in Flint, Michigan. Julia Mainer, widow of Wade Mainer passed away at the age of 95 yesterday. They were wonderful folks, having been pioneers in the Bluegrass field way back in the 30s and 40s. Wade last performed on the Opry when he was right around 100 years old and did a great job. I hope some other folks still remember that night.

    Dashmann - Flushing, Michigan

  10. Dashmann, thanks for the sad news. Based on the fact that Wade turned 100 in 2007 (if I have the date right), somewhere around that time would have been his Opry appearance. I will have to check my line-ups to see if I can find the date. If anyone else has it, please feel free to share.

  11. For those who listened on Saturday night, Stu Phillips was on. His voice was a little hoarse and he apologized saying that he has had voice issues for the past six months. The audience gave him a long and loud ovation when he was done, and you could tell that he was moved.

    On a funny note, Connie Smith, who was hosting the segment, completed her song and went right into introducing Holly Williams. My first thought was that Stu didn't make it. Then you could hear someone say something to her, and he started to go to a commercial. No, it was not time for a commercial, she was reminded that Stu Phillips was next. She then went into a very long introduction of Stu, and a good introduction at that. Shows that the Opry remains unscripted.

    Finally, Vince Gill sounded horrible last night. He was sick and in his words, sounded more like Barry White. He hung in there and finished up with a duet with Holly Williams. No, I am not critical of Vince. I am glad he still made the effort.

  12. I heard what Connie did and started laughing, in part because she was so frequently on Mr. Acuff's segment, and he did things like that, including once to her on the TV portion when then-Vice President George Bush was visiting the Opry, and Mr. Acuff decided to change the running order of the show. As he explained, it was HIS segment. And so it was.

    Stu did sound hoarse, but clearly the audience appreciated the veterans. And I kind of wish Vince had stuck with instrumentals last night, but as he said, he's gotten a big house by sounding like a girl, and this is his chance to prove he's a guy!

  13. I thought Stu sounded very good compared to the past few times he's been on. His voice is coming back just as Vince's is starting to go.

    I'm glad that the audience appreciated Stu's performance, and I hope Pete Fisher saw that and is considering having him on more often.

    Overall, another entertaining (and memorable) performance of the Saturday Night Opry!

  14. Kyle, to be fair, Vince said he was sick and should have been home in bed. I honor him for playing through it, but I'm thinking more chicken soup might have been in order!

  15. I was only joking. I thought vince still sounded pretty good as far as singing goes, but didnt have the "girl" voice he is known for. It is very admirable that he kept his promise and showed up.

  16. Sorry, Kyle, I should have known better, but I thought maybe you hadn't heard him say he was sick.