Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 2/13 & 2/14

Comments have been made regarding the quality of the Grand Ole Opry line-ups since the first of the year, and how strong the shows have been. The trend continues this weekend as again, the line-ups for the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry have been posted and the quality is very good.

Starting with the Friday Night Opry, guest artists include Jamey Johnson, who appeared on the Opry two weeks ago to a huge audience ovation. Jamey is someone who does appreciate traditional country music, sung in his own style. Also scheduled is former Opry member BJ Thomas. BJ joined the Opry on August 7, 1981. During that year he made 7 Opry appearances, followed by 8 in 1982 and then he was gone. BJ joined the Opry at a time when members were expected to appear and it was later written that BJ had no hard feelings toward the Opry, he just came to realize after becoming a member that the Opry just wasn't for him. But, even after leaving the cast, he has continued to make Opry appearances and is always well received. And it is nice to see The Mavericks back for another appearance, along with EmiSunshine and Love and Theft, who continue their string of Opry appearances.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature guest artists Chris Janson, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, who will also be hosting a mid-day show at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Chuck Wicks, along with "Nashville" star Charles Esten. No, I did not forgot Mo Pitney. This new, real country artist, is back for another appearance. There are a lot of folks behind this young man who feel he has everything it takes to become a country star. Let's hope. And then there is 21 year old Kelsea Ballerini, who will be making her Opry debut.

As far as Opry members this weekend, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson and Mike Snider are set for both nights, joined by Vince Gill, Del McCoury Band, Jeannie Seely and Riders In The Sky on Friday night, and by Connie Smith, The Whites and Jim Ed Brown on Saturday night. This makes 3 weekends in a row since Jim Ed has been back and he is getting back out on the road. Good to see.

Friday February 13
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Del McCoury Band; Riders In The Sky
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mike Snider; Jamey Johnson
8:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); BJ Thomas; Love and Theft
8:45: Vince Gill (host); EmiSunshine; The Mavericks

Saturday February 14
7:00: Opry Square Dancers; Connie Smith (host); Chris Janson; Mike Snider
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Kelsea Ballerini; The Whites
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers; Chuck Wicks
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Mo Pitney; Charles Esten

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, February 12 & 13, 2010:

Friday February 12
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); John Conlee; Jimmy C Newman; Restless Heart
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Elizabeth Cook; Rodney Crowell
8:00: Steve Wariner (host); Stu Phillips; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jean Shepard
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jack Greene; Connie Smith

Saturday February 13
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Joey+Rory
7:30: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jeannie Seely; T. Bubba Bechtol
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Luke Bryan; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mel Tillis (host); Ray Pillow: Jean Shepard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press

And from 10 years ago this weekend, February 11 & 12, 2005:

Friday February 11
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Mountain Heart
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Stu Phillips; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jeff Carson w/Lisa Brokop
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Rhonda Vincent
9:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Josh Turner; Gene Watson
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Chely Wright; T. Graham Brown

Saturday February 12
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; The Whites
7:00: Pam Tillis (host); Travis Tritt; Josh Turner; Tracy Lawrence
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Gene Watson

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Josh Turner
10:00: Pam Tillis (host); The Whites; Jim Ed Brown
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Stonewall Jackson; Travis Tritt; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Calvin Gilmore; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Tracy Lawrence
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Louvin; Gene Watson

For this week's feature line-up, it was on Saturday February 11, 1967 that the Four Guys made their first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. They were an immediate success which led to them becoming Opry members on April 13, 1967. The original Four Guys were Sam Wellington, Berl Lyons, Richard Garratt and Brent Burkett.

The week they first performed on the Grand Ole Opry, they were in Nashville and making an appearance on a local television show, "The Bobby Lord Show." They did well enough that they were booked on the noon show and later that afternoon on "The Ralph Emery Afternoon Show." It was during that show that Ott Devine, the Opry's manager, was sitting in the audience and was so impressed by The Four Guys, that he invited them to appeared on that week's Friday Night Opry. They were introduced by Stoney Cooper, who was hosting the segment and they sang, "Shenandoah." The audience responded with such applause that they came back out for an encore. Ott Devine greeted them as they came off stage and asked them what they were doing the next night. When the answer was nothing, they were invited back for Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. As happened on Friday night, The Four Guys were called back our for encores and were invited to for the next several weeks, until finally, they were asked to become members.

The Four Guys, through numerous line-up changes, remained as Opry members until April 2000, when they were called into the office of new Opry general manager Pete Fisher and were fired. Sam Wellington has written that The Four Guys should have been retired as an act in June 1999 when he and Brent retired. As it was, The Four Guys were Opry members for 33 years and as popular as they were, they never had a hit single.

Here is the Opry running order from Saturday February 11, 1967, the first Grand Ole Opry appearance for The Four Guys:

7:30: Luzianne
Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Maxine Brown: I Heard the Bluebird Sing
Bob Luman: Hardly Anymore
Dottie West: What's Come Over My Baby
Justin Tubb: But Wait; There's More
Pete Drake: I'm Just A Guitar (Everybody Picks on Me)
Jim Ed Brown: You Can Have Her
Bob Luman: Come On and Sing
Jim Ed & Maxine Brown: Looking Back to See

8:00: Martha White
Wilburn Brothers (host): Hurt Her Once For Me
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Ray Pillow: I Like That Sorta Thing
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Wilburn Brothers: Just To Be Where You Are
Crook Brothers: Old Hen Cackle
Billy "Crash" Craddock: There Oughta Be A Law
Hank Locklin: Hasta Luego
Wilburn Brothers: All We Have For You, Mom

8:30: Stephens
Billy Walker (host): Things
Bill Carlisle: What Kind Of Keal Is This
Bobby Bare: Shame On Me
Archie Campbell: The Cockfight
Billy Walker: Anything Your Heart Desires
Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule
Bill Carlisle: The Great Snowman
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco

9:00: Pet Milk
Charlie Louvin (host): I Don't Love You Anymore
Ernie Ashworth: At Ease Heart
Margie Bowes: There Goes My Everything
Bluegrass Country Kin: Black Mountain Rag
Charlie Louvin: I Don't Want It
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Harold Weakley: Almost Persuaded
Ernie Ashworth: Pass Me Not
Charlie Louvin: Off and On

9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): The Golden Rocket
Cousin Jody: I Miss Him So
Jimmy Dickens: A Country Music Lover
Carter Family: Bye; Bye
Hank Snow: A Legend In My Time
4 Guys: Shenandoah
Carter Family: Once Around the Briar Patch
Hank Snow: Hula Love

10:00: Schick
Jim Ed Brown (host): w/Maxine Brown: Where Does the Good Times Go
Dottie West: It's My Way to Survive
Jim Ed Brown: You Can Have Her
Dottie West: All the World Is Lonely Now

10:15: Pure
Bob Luman (host): Let's Think About Living
Wilburn Brothers: I'm Gonna Tie One on Tonight
Hank Locklin: Hasta Luego
Bob Luman: Hardly Anymore

10:30: Buckley's
Bobby Bare (host): I Saw the Light
Del Wood: Cajun Stripper
Ray Pillow: Two Minus One Leaves Blue
Bobby Bare: Streets of Baltimore

10:45: Kent
Bill Carlisle (host): Shanghai Rooster
Justin Tubb: But Wait; There's More
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Bill Carlisle: Doctor R.D.

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Movin' On
Billy Walker: Bare With Me A Little Longer
Margie Bowes: Enough to Make A Woman Lose Her Mind
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Hank Snow: Confused With the Blues
Sam McGee: Under the Double Eagle
Jimmy Dickens: You Destroyed Me
Billy Walker: A Million and One
Hank Snow: Man Behind the Gun

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): Running Gun
Charlie Louvin: See the Big Man Cry
Ernie Ashworth: Sad Face
Curly Fox: Bill Bailey
Don Winters: Annie Lou
Cousin Jody: Run, Please, Run
Bluegrass Country Kin: Ol' Slewfoot
Marty Robbins: Devil Woman/The Shoe Goes on the Other Foot Tonight/Begging to You/El Paso

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Nice that BJ Thomas is back. He seems to be the only estranged opry member who continues to stop by from time to time. I'm a bit surprised they didn't give him the closing spot, considering he's arguably the biggest name on Friday's show.

    The Opry really should make Jamey a member. Mo Pitney has been around for a few years, and seems to really do a good job, but for some reason, he hasn't been able to get any hits yet. Hopefully the big recording companies will tune in and notice Mo Pitney could be their next big star.

    I wonder if Jim Ed will be there for this valentine's day show. He was scheduled to host last year but didn't make it (probably to spend valentine's day with his wife). Marty Stuart is on tour this weekend while Connie is at home in Nashville. That's pretty stupid of him to leave his wife alone on valentine's day! I have a feeling he won't be hearing the end of that when he gets back!

  2. The Ernest Tubb Mid Day Jamboree? That's a good idea!

  3. Kyle, Marty is actually in my town doing a show on Friday night!!

    Also, I should have mentioned that in addition to Joe Mullins hosting the mid-day show at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Glenn Douglas Tubb is also hosting a live midnight jamboree at its usual time, which will be his annual show held in celebration of Ernest's birthday. This is scheduled to be the final live broadcast of the midnight jamboree until May 9, when again Glenn will be hosting the anniversary show for the record shop. After that, who knows.

  4. It was cold enough in Florida last Saturday that could actually pick up WSM on my radio so I was able to listen to the last part of the show...something I haven't done in years. Loretta Lynn sounded great and her band was hitting on all 8 cylinders. I don't know who was mixing the sound for broadcast but it was beautiful. And then....the show ended so abruptly that I was jolted out of my seat. The crowd was still cheering and Marty Roe basically says "Good night, folks" and the copyright notice played. It just really seemed awkward to me. Of course, having the Opry over before midnight still strikes me as odd.

  5. I can't believe the show is taking a 3 month break this early in the year! I sure hope it doesn't end anytime soon. Things seem to have really gone downhill with the jamboree since Justin Tubb passed away.

  6. There's a picture on the website of The Four Guys that says they appeared on the Opry in 2008. Do you know if they have made any more appearances on the show since then?

  7. No, that was their last appearance.

  8. I wish they would go back to doing those "Reunion Nights." Granted, Opry Country Classics includes some of the veterans who used to be members--Leroy Van Dyke, Jim Glaser, and so on. The 4 Guys could be part of that. But imagine this one: a segment with great sidemen from the Opry's past could have Curly Seckler (he's still among us), Bessyl Duhon, and Kayton Roberts. I would imagine Marty Stuart going for that one.

  9. That's a great idea. Leroy was on a couple years ago. Add to that list Norma Jean, Don Williams, Bobby Bare, Margie Bowes, Doug Kershaw, Hoot Hester, Don Everly, The Jordanaires, Kerry Marx, Willie Nelson, and carol lee cooper.

    It would also be nice to see Barbara Mandrell, Holly Dunn, Ricky Van Shelton, and Sonny James out of retirement for a show

  10. Kyle, you mention the reunion shows, also called Old-Timer's Night. The first one was on Saturday February 23, 1974, which was just a couple of weeks before the Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the new Grand Ole Opry House. That show also featured the return of Deford Bailey to the Opry for the first time since he had been fired by George D. Hay. I was going to post the show next week as it would have been 41 years ago next weekend since that first show, but I will go ahead and post it now:

    1st show
    6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
    Willis Brothers (host): Big Daddy
    Jim & Jesse: Paradise
    Willis Brothers: Truck Stop/Give Me 40 Acres

    6:45: Rudy's
    Roy Drusky (host): Second Hand Rose
    Jimmy C Newman: Potato Song
    Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
    Roy Drusky: Don't It Make You Want to Go Home

    7:00: Rudy's
    Roy Acuff (host): Whoa, Mule, Whoa
    Minnie Pearl
    Pee Wee King: Bonaparte's Retreat/Slowpoke
    Red Stewart: Tennessee Waltz
    Sid Hardreader: Mockingbird/How Beautiful Heaven Must Be
    Deford Bailey: Pan American/Fox Chase
    Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

    7:30: Standard Candy
    Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
    David Houston: I Love You; I Love You; I Love You
    Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
    Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
    Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter/Scarlet Ribbons; The Three Bells
    David Houston: Good Things
    Billy Grammer: How Great Thou Art

    8:00: Martha White
    Lester Flatt (host): Salty Dog Blues
    Grandpa & Ramona Jones: Heading South With Nashville On My Mind
    Charlie Louvin: Little Reasons/Will You Visit Me on Sundays/What Are Those Things
    Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Shall Not Be Moved
    Bill Carlisle: Same Old Tale That the Crow Told Me
    Lester Flatt: Is Anybody Going North to Cincinnati
    Grandpa Jones: You Don't Love Me Like You Used To Do
    Lester Flatt: Train 45

    8:30: Stephens
    Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
    Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
    Charlie Walker: Wanting My Woman Again
    Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
    Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
    Jean Shepard: At The Time
    Hank Snow: I'm Moving On

    2nd show
    9:30: Kellogg's
    Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
    Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
    Clyde Moody: I Know What It Means to Be Lonesome
    Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule/Listen to the Mockingbird

    10:00: Fender
    David Houston (host): Living In A House Full of Love
    Charlie Louvin: You're My Wife/She's My Woman
    David Houston: Almost Persuaded

    10:15: Union 76
    Jimmy C Newman (host): Jambalaya
    Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Couldn't Care Less
    Jim & Jesse: Paradise
    Jimmy C Newman: Cry, Cry Darling

    10:30: Trailblazer
    Lester Flatt (host): Nine Pound Hammer
    Grandpa Jones: Ol' Rattler Left Us Years Ago
    Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
    Lester Flatt: Homestead on the Farm

    10:45: Beech-Nut
    Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
    Jim Ed Brown: Sometimes Sunshine
    Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Soldier's Joy
    Billy Grammer: Just A Closer Walk With Thee

    11:00: Coca-Cola
    Hank Snow (host): Hello Love
    Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
    Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
    Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink On Me
    Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
    Hank Snow: Paper Roses

    11:30: Elm Hill
    Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
    Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down/Wanting My Woman Again
    Justin Tubb: Texas Dance Hall Girl/Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
    Ronnie Robbins: Broke Down and Alone
    Marty Robbins: I'm Wanting To/Don't Worry/Big Boss Man/They'll Never Take Her Love From Me/Love Me/I Couldn't Believe It Was True/Driftwood on the River/I'll Step Aside/El Paso

    As you can see, that first reunion show only brought a few back, bur over the next decade the reunion shows would feature return appearances by Deford Bailey, Pee Wee King and Curly Fox, but they would also be joined by Margie Bowes, Alcyone Beasley, Duke of Paducah and others. There were rather successful.

  11. They look like they were great shows. Now their reunion shows are just ones where people considered "current members" finally appear!

    Even though he hasn't retired, BJ Thomas returning on Friday is somewhat of a mini-reunion show.

    Michael was the one who mentioned the reunion shows, but I still appreciate seeing the reunion schedule.

  12. Along with B.J. Thomas, other former Opry members who appear occasionally are Leroy Van Dyke, Bobby Bare and Norma Jean. The only other former members I can even think of living are Sonny James, Jim & Chuck Glaser, Rusty Kershaw, Willie Nelson, Holly Dunn, Don Williams, Margie Bowes, Ray Walker (of the Jordanaires), how ever many of "The Four Guys" you want to count and David Hooten (the last "Lonzo", if he was officially a member? Byron may know). There may be more, but that's all I can think of without doing more research. To my knowledge, Mac Wiseman was never a member, but certainly was there for much of the 1940's and 1950's.
    If you look at the last five years or so we have lost many former members in death; Ferlin Husky, Eddy Arnold, Slim Whitman, Ray Price, Kitty Wells, Johnnie Wright, Oscar Sullivan, Earl Scruggs, Tompall Glaser, Little Jimmie Sizemore, Gordon Stoker (of the Jordanaires)..etc..
    And some of the former members appear more than current members. You could have a reunion show alone with Tom T. Hall, Travis Tritt, Ricky Van Shelton, Barbara Mandrell, Jeanne Pruett, Sonny Osborne, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire. I realize some of those are "retired", and that makes me question is it fare they still get to claim Opry membership, when Hall of Famers such as Kitty Wells and Earl Scruggs along with Johnnie Wright wanted reinstated as members, but were refused.

    1. Don Everly is also alive. A short lived Opry member.

  13. David B, the last I saw of Chuck Glaser was a photo of him with Jim in a wheelchair--I don't know what kind of shape he is in. Sonny James had some vocal cord/throat issues and that helped him decide to quit, though it would be nice if he'd walk out and take a bow. The last I heard, Margie Bowes was in poor health. And you're right about Mac Wiseman having been a sideman--he worked for Mr. Monroe, and I believe he may now be the last person alive, or he certainly is one of the last people alive, who was performing on the Opry the night Hank Williams made his debut. Another mini-reunion: Bonnie Brown joining Jim Ed the other night.

    And thank you all for chiming in on this!

  14. Yes, I forgot about Maxine and Bonnie Brown being living former members.

  15. The annual reunion shows that started in 1974 lasted until the early 1990s. After that, they pretty much fizzled out as many of the old-timers had passed away. In fact, for the 1991 show all they could gather up were Margie Bowes, Zeke Clements, Faron Young and Pee Wee King, who was the one artist that seemed to hit every show. He lived up in Louisville and always enjoyed coming down for the Opry.

    I don't think this is a complete list, but those who did appear on the reunion shows included Pee Wee King, Deford Bailey, Sid Harkreader, Curly Fox, Clyde Moody, Duke of Paducah, Alcoynne Beasley, Zeke Clements, Maybelle Carter, Clyde and Marie Dilleah, Jack Shook, Paul Howard, Faron Young, Margie Bowes, Jordainaires, Ferlin Husky, Redd Stewart, Honey Wilds, Sarie (from Sarie and Sallie). There might have been a couple of others, but that is most of them. Most of the Opry's former members did come back to perform as guest artists at some point, just not on the reunion shows.

  16. Whatever happened to Roy Acuff Jr? I am curious as to what he did after his music career was over.

    Interesting to see that Bill Carlisle hosted in the 1967 lineup. I don't think I've seen him as host before.

  17. Looks like no Mike Snider tonight as Jamey Johnson was Bill's only guest. And Jamey did an outstanding job and had Bill join him on "Give It Away."

  18. Surprised mike snider didnt come. Hopefully he will be back tomorrow.

    Jamey did a great job as usual. And it was great to hear BJ Thomas back onstage. But with jamey and BJ doing 3 songs each, maybe they had to cut his portion.

    I had never heard the mavericks before tonight. I never thought country and big band could be put together, but they did and were great.

    It was funny to hear Vince Gill making friends with Emisunshine (but downright weird when he said he was going to strip.)

  19. Fred, Bismarck:

    Ricky Skaggs was fabulous tonight, with "Toy Heart" and another Bill Monroe number I didn't recognize, "Why, Oh Why, Did You Want Her" (if that's the correct title). On display were the musicianship and stage personality that put him head and shoulders above Randy Travis, in my opinion, for the Hall of Fame -- not to mention that he was years ahead of Travis in the country revival and has lasted years past him.

    The Whites were great with "Big Wheel," less so with the Kitty Wells snoozer, "Making Believe." In between was Kelsey Ballerini, whose effusions of youthful angst might be interesting to kids but is ancient history to anybody who has acquired even one gray hair.

  20. tough to improve on the Whites doing a Kitty Wells song - I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder ---
    much better than the melody-less offerings of Kelsey Ballerini and Chuck Wicks. Do they have any concept of verse and chorus ???? And what can you say about having Jim Ed back ???? precious !!
    Dashmann, Flushing, Mich