Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 1/30 & 1/31

It is going to be a great weekend at the Opry, if everything goes according to schedule, as Jim Ed Brown is scheduled for both the Friday Night Opry, and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. These will be Jim Ed's first Opry appearances since his cancer announcement in early fall 2014. Like many of you, I am surprised he has made it back. According to various reports, his cancer is in remission and he is doing much better.

One of Jim Ed's first public appearances was at the funeral service for Jimmy Dickens, where is was one of the pallbearers. After that, his new CD "In Style Again" came out and Jim Ed was being interviewed and featured in a lot of country music publications, USA Today and on various radio stations including WSM. His voice sounded a little weak and hoarse, but you could tell it was getting stronger as time went by. Earlier in the week, he had hinted that he was going to try to do the Opry this weekend, and those reports have come true. It will be great to have Jim Ed back on the Opry and it is sure a bonus to have him scheduled for both nights. In addition, on Saturday night he is still being advertised as signing copies of his new CD after the show in the Ryman lobby.

Joining Jim Ed on both nights will be Opry members Ricky Skaggs, Connie Smith, Mike Snider, Del McCoury Band and Riders In The Sky, along with guest artist Jamey Johnson, who I am personally happy to see back on the Opry.

Friday night they will be joined by Opry member Joe Diffie, who gets a hosting assignment. I know the question has come up if Joe has hosted a segment before, and I had thought he might have a few years ago, but I would have to check my records to make sure. If not, this would be his first time and I am sure he will do a fine job. Guest artists on Friday include Scotty McCreery and Love and Theft, who are set for a string of appearances over the next couple of months. While I don't see them becoming Opry members, you may remember this is the same pattern they used last year prior to Little Big Town being asked to join.

Saturday's show, in addition to those listed, will include guest artists Sara Haze, who fails to impress me, Mary Gauthier and the ever popular Willis Clan.

Friday January 30
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Love and Theft; Mike Snider
7:30: Joe Diffie (host); Del McCoury Band; Jamey Johnson
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Scotty McCreery
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jim Ed Brown; Old Crow Medicine Show

Saturday January 31
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Mike Snider; Mary Gauthier
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Sara Haze; Del McCoury Band
8:15: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Willis Clan; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jamey Johnson

Jean Shepard was on the original schedule when it was released on Tuesday, but has since been taken off. And as a reminder, at the Opry House on Saturday night will be a special TV taping for the "Nashville" show, featuring the cast members along with Opry member Reba McEntire. If nothing else, this again confirms two things: first, that Reba really does know where the Opry House is located and second, the Opry can still fill out a line-up without anyone from the "Nashville" television series. And as a reminder, the Opry goes back to the Opry House next weekend for a couple of big shows featuring Opry members Loretta Lynn and Diamond Rio, along with guest artists Lee Greenwood, Love and Theft and Clare Bowen and The Willis Clan.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, January 29 & 30, 2010:

Friday January 29
7:00: John Conlee (host); Billy Yates; Buddy Jewell
7:30: The Whites (host); Jan Howard; Ricky Skaggs
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Teea Goans; Jack Greene
8:30: Diamond Rio (host); Elizabeth Cook

Saturday January 30
7:00: The Whites (host); Cherryholmes
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Radney Foster
8:00: John Conlee (host); Gail Davies; Colt Ford; Opry Square Dancers; Jack Greene; Kathy Mattea

Yikes!! Before anyone complains about these shows, if my records are right and if not I know I will be corrected, there was a big snow storm in Nashville that Friday night which left the Opry scrambling to fill out the show. A lot of cancellations. If I remember right, the only reason Ricky Skaggs was on was because he drove The Whites to the Opry in his truck and came out to sing because of a few artists not being able to get in. I think that was also why Teea Goans was on. She was not originally scheduled.

Now from 10 years ago this weekend, January 28 & 29, 2005:

Friday January 28
7:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Brad Paisley
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Osborne Brothers; Mandy Barnett
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Louvin; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mark Wills
9:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Josh Turner; Restless Heart
9:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jack Greene; Jan Howard; Craig Morgan

Saturday January 29
1st show
6:30: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Christy Sutherland
7:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jack Greene; Connie Smith
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; George Hamilton IV; Trent Willmon
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker; Mark Wills; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Marty Stuart

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Christy Sutherland
10:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Billy Walker; Marty Stuart; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Osborne Brothers; Trent Willmon
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; Mark Wills

Finally, let's go back 15 years, to Saturday January 29, 2000:

1st show
6:30: Opryland Hotel/Banquet
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Billy Walker: Ashes of Love/Blue Moon of Kentucky/That's All Right
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Osborne Brothers: Take Me Home Country Roads
Porter Wagoner: On A Highway Headed South

7:00: Shoney's/Standard Candy
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Mark Chesnutt: Too Cold at Home/A Little Too Late
Ricky Van Shelton: Statue of A Fool/Matchbox/I Got A Hole In My Pocket
Stu Phillips: Colorado
Gene Watson: Pick the Wildwood Flower/Farewell Party
Charley Pride: Is Anybody Going to San Antone/Kiss An Angel Good Morning/I Can't Help It
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Liars 1; Believers 0
The Whites: Swing Down Sweet Chariot
Ricky Skaggs: Salty Dog Blues
Skeeter Davis: I'll Fly Away
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Rachel
Bill Anderson: Tips of My Fingers

8:30: Physician's Mutual
Jimmy Dickens (host): Out Behind the Barn
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings: By the Mark
Mike Snider: The Fur Coat
Lorrie Morgan: To Get to You/Angel
Jimmy Dickens: We Could

2nd show
9:30: Ryman Auditorium
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Lorrie Morgan: Don't Stop in My World/Crazy
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Ricky Van Shelton: Jack to A King
Porter Wagoner: When the Silver Eagle Meets the Great Speckled Bird/Sugarfoot Rag

10:00: Lincoln Mercury
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
Charlie Pride: Heartaches by the Numbers/My Woman; My Woman; My Wife/Crystal Chandeliers

10:15: Fluffo
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take an Old Cold Tater
Osborne Brothers: Sunny Side of the Mountain
Jimmy Dickens: I'd Rather Sleep in Peace then Know You're Gone

10:30: Ryman Auditorium
Jimmy C Newman (host): Good Deal, Lucille
Jeff Allen: (?)

10:45: Joggin In A Jug
Ricky Skaggs (host): Pig in A Pen
Gene Watson: Fourteen Caret Mind/Farewell Party
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Cherokee

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): Quits
Holly Dunn: There Goes My Heart Again
Mike Snider: If My Nose Was Runnin' Money
Mark Chesnutt: Too Cold At Home/A Little Too Late/Get A Wife
Bill Anderson: Still

11:30: Ryman Videos
Johnny Russell (host): Mountain Dew
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings: The Long Black Veil
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You

I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!


  1. It's great to hear that Jim Ed is back on the Opry. I knew he would overcome the cancer! I wish him well on his performance, and hope he keeps performing for a very long time.

    I was a bit surprised to see that Joe Diffie was hosting, as whenever he appears, he's usually the closing act. But I would assume that in the 22 years he has been a member, he should have been given hosting duties at least once.

    I was really hoping Jean Shepard would get the spot for the 3rd segment. She's only appeared once this month. I hope she's allright.
    I too am glad Jamey Johnson is back on the Opry. He seems to be the only one continuing "Outlaw Country."

    Finally, for some reason, I think Scotty McCreery looks a lot like young Roy Acuff. I wonder if anyone else sees the resemblance?

  2. Bryon, did you forget to mention Old Crow Medicine Show for Friday? Are they going to be on the show or did they cancel?

    Also, I find it unbelievable that Reba is filming a show AT the Opry and is not scheduled to appear on the show itself. What a slap in the face! If there's any doubt on how she feels about the show, well, this should make it clear. I would be all in favor of removing her from the cast for that slight alone, much less her total of less than 20 appearances in her nearly 30 years of membership.

    1. Sorry for the misspelling - this posting is from "Chris"

  3. Chris,

    I agree. It's terrible that Reba only shows up to the Opry when TV crews are there. She doesn't have any concerts scheduled until February 23rd (a total of 9 Opry shows she could be part of in that time), yet we're not going to see her around the Opry house anytime soon, with the exception of the TV special.

    I am a big fan of Reba's music, but it's just plain disrespectful to not make an attempt to perform at an Opry show, especially when she doesn't have anything lined up for quite a while.

  4. Fred, Bismarck:

    A couple of the best lineups in years! I've filled my Saturday nights with other things in recent -- like 15 -- years, but will certainly check in with the Opry this weekend as I am able.

    Reba? Who's she?

  5. Byron,

    Is there anything in your note indicating that Del Reeves and Charlie Walker were scheduled for the 11:30 portion of the 2000 show above?

    Knightsville, IN

  6. Chris, I did forget to mention Old Crow Medicine Show in the paragraph I wrote on the Friday night show. Shame on me!!! One of my favorites and one of the Opry's newest members. Guess I was paying too much attention to Jim Ed and just forgot. And let me say, regarding Old Crow, nice to see them on the Opry this weekend and they are also listed as appearing the weekend of February 20 & 21.

    Jim, yes I do have both Del Reeves and Charlie Walker cancelling on that Saturday night.They were both scheduled for the final segment hosted by Johnny Russell.

    I know that many of us dump on Reba, Alan, and a few other of the Opry's members who are in town and don't find the time, or have it in their heart, to do the Opry. I know that when they joined the show, there was not set number of shows that they were asked to appear on. But it would be nice if they did come to the Opry once in a while. As for why they don't come, I guess you would have to ask them. I don't think it's a reflection of the current management as they were not at the Opry much under the old management either.

    1. Thanks for the clarification, Byron. I guess I could have checked the Opry's webpage myself, but I've just gotten accustomed to getting my updates from you! I rarely even take a look at the Opry website anymore. I just depend on you to let me who's going to be on the show (and who's not, in the case of Reba)!

  7. Byron,

    Thanks for the follow up on Del and Charlie. I had a couple names missing on the first show so I wasn't sure I had the right info on them.

    It's amazing how good that lineup still was. However, hard to believe that was 15 years ago.

    Knightsville, IN

  8. Thank you as always for these posts, I so enjoy reading them and they are a tremendous resource.

    I just wanted to drop off this link to last week's Billboard Mid Week Country Update, because on page 4, there is an interview with Jim Ed Brown. He talks about his health, his new music, the fate of RCA Studio A, and Pete Fisher/the Opry. Here's his very candid comment about the Opry:

    How are you feeling about the Opry? Pete Fisher has been there awhile and I feel like he’s got a really difficult job.

    He may be the longest-tenured manager we’ve had at the Opry. He has done a good job. I love the fact that the older people still have a chance out there to perform, but he’s also trying to keep the name of the Opry going. I don’t agree with all the people that he’s bringing on as new people, but evidently they’re doing a great job because it’s a full house all the time. And they’re adding shows. They’ve got Tuesday, sometimes Thursday, and Friday and Saturday. Their promotions are working.

  9. Byron can have fun with this one. The Solemn Old Judge technically left as manager in 1947, giving way to Jim Denny, so he was there for more than 21 years, but of course he was in and out of there and other people were heavily involved in running the place, most notably Harry Stone and of course Vito Pelleteri. Hal Durham was kicked upstairs in 1993, and I think he started managing the place when Opryland was being built, but he wasn't named "general manager" until 1978, if I remember correctly.

  10. Here we go regarding the managers of the Opry:

    We know that George D Hay started it all on November 28, 1925. In 1930, Harry Stone, who had joined WSM as an announcer in 1928, was promoted into Hay's position as program director. Hay was demoted to announcing the Opry, writing the press releases for the show and doing some work with WSM's Artist Service Bureau. Harry, along with his brother David, moved the show into a more professionally run operation. Harry was around until 1950. Jim Denny followed and he was the Opry's manager from 1951-1956. Denny had started with WSM much earlier and actually was running the concession business at the Opry prior to his promotion. D. Kilpatrick followed and was there from 1956-1959. He was not one of the more successful managers and came to the Opry from outside of WSM. He felt at the time that the Opry was in big trouble, thanks to rock and roll, and based on attendance, he was right. He brought in younger acts as a way to combat the trend away from the Opry. He was fired and followed by Ott Devine, who was there from 1959-1968. Bud Wendall, who was working under Irving Waugh at the time, was up next and he was in charge from 1968-1974. This was in the beginning stages of the planning for Opryland and the new Opry House, and Irving wanted someone there who he could trust, and Ott was not that person. Hal Durham, who worked under Bud, replaced Bud when he was placed in charge of the entire Opryland complex, which did include the Opry. Bud, of course, eventually moved up to be president of Gaylord. Hal was in charge from 1974-1993. He was the one who actually relaxed the Opry's attendance requirements and signed Randy Travis, Reba, Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Garth and Vince as Opry members. When he picked them as members, there was no requirement for any set number of appearances. Hal was followed by Bob Whittaker in 1993, and he was there until he retired, being replaced by Pete Fisher in 1999. As with D. Kilpatrick, Pete was the only other Opry manager to be hired from outside of WSM.

  11. So it seems that Hal Durham currently holds the record as the longest running opry manager, although it's possible Pete might have the record if he stays on for 5 more years.

    In some ways, Hal's idea to set no requirement for appearances backfired, while many times it turned out great, as he recruited members like Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, John Conlee, Riders In The Sky, Mike Snider, The Whites and Lorrie Morgan, among others, who have appeared quite often through the years.

    Pete has set the "10 appearances" requirement, and only has managed to get 4 members he personally invited to the opry who have appeared his "required" 10 times per year.

    Although I agree with Jim Ed that the show has a full house (though I wasn't around before Pete's taking over to know if it ever didn't have a full house), the number of members on the stage has greatly decreased from the other manager's tenures, although they have a very long list of current members.

  12. We can all lament the way Pete Fisher does things, and I've done my fair share.
    But a whole lot of people pay a whole lot of money to see the 'Opry as it is currently set up.
    The 'Opry is tremendously successful in the eyes of the buying public, and that's ultimately what really matters (unfortunately).
    I personally think the lineups lately have been very good.

  13. Nat, I agree that so far in 2015, the line-ups have been pretty strong.

    A couple of comments, if I may: Yes, the Opry is doing very well with attendance and is selling out most shows. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, they are currently at the Ryman Auditorium, which holds half the capacity of the Opry House. Secondly, there is only one show each night, versus the two shows they had back years ago. Thirdly, the Opry has tied itself into the many conventions that are in Nashville and at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Last Friday, for example, most of those in attendance were from the Mary Kay cosmetics convention. Hopefully those attending with these conventions will come back with their families.

    We all know back in the period from the 1980s-2000s, that the winter attendance at the Opry was pretty poor. I still remember one January night when there might have been 500 people at the Opry House for the 2nd show on a Saturday night. There was also a March night that included Vince Gill and Lorrie Morgan a few years back where the first show was about half full and the 2nd show had maybe 250 people there. That was the night I went up in the balcony and counted around 100 people. And I think we all remember back in the winter months at the Opry House when you only needed to buy a ticket for the 1st show as they let you in free for the 2nd.

    I am glad attendance is doing very well. The Opry needs the fans to succeed. And as much as I miss the two shows on Saturday night, they have probably made the right decision going with the single shows, unless demand is there for a second show, and adding shows on the week nights. It gives more fans a chance to attend the show and the members more chances to do the Opry.

  14. Well said Fayfare. I feel like I was fortunate to start attending the Opry regularly around 1987 at the tail-end of the Golden Era (Acuff, Pearl, Snow, Monroe.) I haven't and don't always agree with Mr. Fisher but I don't question that he had/has a tough job trying to help the Opry survive. Would I like to see more veterans and traditional artists on the Opry, yes and yes. Do I think it's pitiful when there are only four or five Opry members and only 12 artists total on the Grand Ole Opry in one show -- DEFINITELY. I know that even though looking back and some of the lineups that featured all Opry stars, it's easy for me to get nostalgic. But I do think things got pretty stale certainly under Hal Durham continuing into Bob Whittaker. There for a while in the mid 90s it was almost the same show week after week. When Fisher came along I remember how much better the shows seemed to get in terms of the effort he was putting in to getting some of the bigger Opry names to appear and supplementing with some higher profile guests. As more of the veterans have passed away, I have to admit that the Opry will never be the same and Mr. Fisher has to find a way to put butts in seats. Country radio has created SUCH a disconnect between what what most of us would consider country music, we're left with aging higher profile stars from the 80s and brand new no-name artists who are available most weekends to play the Opry. I have no problem giving new artists the chance to play the Opry, I just wish Mr. Fisher would move the Saturday night show back to 8 p.m. (where it was back in the 50s & 60s) and program a four hour show with more artists and more variety that carried us to midnight. I really miss being able to get in bed, turn the lights off and listen to the Opry until midnight. A lot of times, the Opry is off the air by the time I'm finished with my Saturday night plans. I know it all comes down to controlling costs and the more artists the more costs but I sure would think today's ticket price would justify a longer show with more artists. That would also give us more veterans, enough room for the new country artists and a home for more bluegrass and Americana artists -- people like Justin Townes Earle, Parker Milsap, Sturgill Simpson etc. that are really generating a buzz and following. (And if you haven't heard of Otis Gibbs, go check him out). And I don't think the four hour show would alter the Opry historically since 8 to midnight was the running time for many years. (Give some of the artists two spots)... same audience, stay as as you like or buy a ticket and come in at 10 p.m. if you like. And imagine how that would help the Ernest Tubb Record Shop... Think about all those people who go to the Austin City Limits Music Festival if they could see their favorite Americana act on the Opry then stay over to hear Sturgill Simpson on the Midnight Jamboree!! Just my opinion and wishful thinking. (oldtimeopry)

  15. I have heard Jim Ed Brown sing "The 3 Bells" hundreds of times. It never sounded better than it did tonight. A very emotional moment at the Opry and a well deserving standing ovation. Welcome back Jim Ed to the Opry.

    And for those who did not listen tonight, he was a great Opry show.

  16. Fred, Bismarck:

    Good, creative thinking by oldtimeopry; would there were more of that in the Opry's front office. It's such a wide, deep world of country music out there still, and the Opry offers us such thin slices of it.

  17. Some thoughts on the Friday Night Opry:

    Connie Smith did a nice job hosting the first segment. She introduced Love and Theft and they were fine. Mike Snider brought his Old-Time String Band with him and they brought that old time Opry sound back to the Opry stage. They always do a nice job and are well received. I have noticed that over the past month, Mike seems to have been taken out of the rotation of those who host segments. He has only hosted once since the first of the year. Maybe management is getting tired at the way he is reading the notes given to him.

    Joe Diffie hosted the second segment and he admitted it was his first time hosting. A few little mistakes and a couple of attempts at a joke. You could tell he was nervous. Del McCoury and his group were outstanding, as always, One of my Opry favorites. It was very nice to have Jamey Johnson back on the Opry last night. A couple of nice ballads. What an outstanding voice he has, truly country.

    After the intermission it was Riders In The Sky, who introduced Bobby Osborne and Scotty McCreery. Bobby did "Rocky Top" as usual and each time I hear Scotty on the Opry, I really appreciate him. His second song was "Hello Darling" the great Conway Twitty song and he pulled it off very well. Being from North Carolina, I think he really gets what the Opry is all about and he has appeared several times over the past couple of years.

    The final segment was the highlight of the night and what a segment it was. Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder were on fire. They came out smoking and playing it fast. (He even got in a Martha White plug). Jim Ed Brown talked for a few moments about how much he appreciated the prayers and support he has received. He did The 3 Bells, and even with a little hoarse voice, it sounded great. You could tell that the voice is not quite there yet, and who knows if it will ever be. But he sounded great and received a long standing ovation. All I can say about Old Crow Medicine Show is, wow!! I really hope that they continue to come and support the Opry. Their music is hard to define: old time string, bluegrass, Americana, whatever. The younger fans enjoy them and the older fans really feel they belong on the Opry. Picking up from where Ricky left off, they didn't slow it down one notch. And they have fun doing it.

    The Friday Night Opry was a great show, one of the Opry's best this year. Not sure what tonight will bring, but will be listening to find out.

  18. Unfortunately, I had to leave while Old Crow was at full throttle, but they sounded great. A fine show, as today's shows go. I have to listen on the computer, and do something else while it's on, but for some reason I had some trouble seeing the screen while Jim Ed was on. I wonder what that was ....

  19. Fred, Bismarck:

    I had to miss last night, and am grateful for all the comments by others.

    Re. hosting, I must admit surprise that it should give any of these people trouble. What do they do on the road, fronting their own acts?

    It's true -- and more's the pity -- that the last 20-30 years have given us more and more acts who think they've done their job when they just go out there and grace us with their music, and forget a little interaction with the folks and show of personality. (Who knows, maybe they don't have any.)

    Those of us lucky enough to have cut our teeth on people like Faron Young and Marty Robbins know better.

  20. Fred, it's interesting. I think I recall Vince Gill talking about how nervous he was about hosting on the Opry. Obviously, he was at ease hosting the CMA Awards, but the Opry means more to him. Some of it is that when they do their shows on the road, the schedule may be tight, but they aren't necessarily getting on and off in 30 minutes, cuing the sponsors, and that sort of thing. Then there was the Bill Monroe method. The first time he hosted on TNN. He finished his song and very elaborately bowed his head toward Hairl Hensley, and that meant Hairl could do the commercial. I'll never forget my surprise when he hosted another time and at the end of his song he said, "Now it's time for the commercial." By comparison, there's a You Tube clip of Marty hosting and singing on one of the PBS telecasts for about 15 minutes. He was scared to death when he became a member and by the end, I think he wanted to do his songs from the audience!

  21. Fred, Bismarck:

    Interesting indeed, Michael. Roy Acuff talked about salesmanship: This singer was able to "sell" a song, this singer wasn't. (And he occasionally named names!). Obviously, Brother Acuff was a salesman in spades!

    Monroe had that arch personality that intimidated many people, as Minnie Pearl talked about. On stage -- at least until he softened some as an old man -- he was a statue. (Chit-chat? Forget it.) He let his music do the talking, and that was it.

    The music of most modern artists who give us the aloof treatment doesn't have as much to say as Monroe's. So you get the crappy music AND the lousy host.

    Am I showing my age, or what?

  22. Fred,

    If you think about Mr. Acuff's performances, he used to be in medicine shows. There's an element of that and old-fashioned vaudeville in what he did--and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible, because I completely agree with you. As for Mr. Monroe, absolutely, and that was, I suspect, another reason he was so upset about Lester and Earl leaving him: Lester was a terrific emcee. But remember that in his early days, Mr. Monroe also brought along comedians and a baseball team.

    And you're not showing your age, because then I'd be showing mine!