Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 2/6 & 2/7

The Grand Ole Opry returns to the Opry House this weekend after enjoying the last three months at the Ryman Auditorium. Looking at the schedule for this weekend, Saturday looks like the better night as Opry member Loretta Lynn will be making a rare appearance on the Opry stage.

Joining Loretta on Saturday night will be "Nashville" star Clare Bowen and frequent Opry guest Lee Greenwood. I think I have mentioned before that in an interview that Lee did several years ago, he said that he was asked many years ago if he would like to become an Opry member and he turned it down due to his heavy touring schedule. However, he said that even though he turned down membership, Opry management told him that he could appear at the Opry whenever he wished. That was prior to Pete Fisher taking over management of the show, but it would appear that the agreement with Lee is still in place as he has found time to do the Opry several times each year.

Several Opry members are scheduled for both nights as Diamond Rio and Connie Smith are set to host segments both nights. Also scheduled both nights is Mike Snider and Jim Ed Brown, both of whom are hosting segments on Friday night. It was a pleasure to hear Jim Ed back on the Opry after a long battle with cancer and it is even better that he will be hosting a segment. The reviews were positive from last weekend and even though his voice is still a little weak, he sounded good. Also scheduled for both nights is guest artist Love and Theft. This duo has been on the Opry several times over the past few weeks and are set for a few more appearances before the end of the month.

Joining this group on the Friday Night Opry will be Chuck Mead, Emily West and The Willis Clan, along with Jackie Lee. Brandon Heath is also scheduled for another appearance, coming off a very impressive performance earlier in the year. Finally, Opry member Jean Shepard is scheduled. She has been scheduled a few times so far in 2015 and has cancelled each appearance. It will be interesting to see if she makes it this weekend.

Friday February 6
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Jackie Lee; Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Brandon Heath
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Love and Theft
8:45: Diamond Rio (host); Emily West; The Willis Clan

Saturday February 7
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Clare Bowen; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Lee Greenwood
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Jim Ed Brown; Love and Theft; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Diamond Rio (host); Loretta Lynn

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, February 5 & 6, 2010. This was the weekend that George Hamilton IV was recognized for 50 years as an Opry member, and a weekend that my wife and I were at the Opry. Pete Fisher did the honors on Saturday night with George and it was nicely done.

Friday February 5
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chris Young
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Keith Anderson
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jack Greene; Josh Turner

Saturday February 6
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Chris Young
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jimmy C Newman; Sandi Patty; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Oak Ridge Boys

And from 10 years ago this weekend, February 4 & 5, 2005:

Friday February 4
7:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Osborne Brothers
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Charlie Walker; Connie Smith; The Grascals
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Billy Walker; Jimmy C Newman; Carolyn Dawn Johnson
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Riders In The Sky; III Tyme Out
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mel McDaniel; Marty Stuart

Saturday February 5
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Brad Paisley (host); Lee Ann Womack; Carolyn Dawn Johnson; The Grascals
8:00: John Conlee (host); George Hamilton IV; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Sawyer Brown

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Osborne Brothers; Carolyn Dawn Johnson
10:00: Brad Paisley (host); Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; The Grascals
10:30: John Conlee (host); Billy Walker; Lee Ann Womack; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Connie Smith
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); George Hamilton IV; Sawyer Brown

For this week's featured line-up, it was on Friday February 6, 1976 that Ronnie Milsap became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Ronnie came to Nashville in 1973 and was signed by RCA. The hits started soon after that and within a few years, led Ronnie to the Opry. As he said, "Before I joined the Opry in 1976, Jeanne Pruett was always getting me to come out here and guest. Eventually she said, 'I think you need to join the Grand Ole Opry.' And I said, 'Well, how do you do that?' All of a sudden, one night I was over here and Mr. Roy Acuff came up to me in the hall and said, 'Hey, Ronnie, you want to be a member of the Opry?' I said, 'Yes, sir.' He said, 'Ok, then you're going to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry.'"

This will be Ronnie's 39th year as an Opry member and like many others, I just wish he was around more. When he plays the Opry, he always gets a great ovation from the audience and he seems to enjoy himself. Last year, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, a well deserved honor, and he is currently touring in what is being called a farewell tour.

The weekend Ronnie joined the Opry, he appeared on the Friday Night Opry, where he officially became a member, and on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Here is the running order of Saturday's show, February 7, 1976:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line/(?)
Billy Grammer: That's Life/God Will Take Care of You

6:45: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Curly-Headed Baby
Skeeter Davis: Love Will Keep Us Together
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Tramp on the Street

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Barbara Mandrell: Standing Room Only
Roy Drusky: Sunrise
Ernie Ashworth: Wichita Woman
Barbara Mandrell: Steel Guitar Rag
Roy Drusky: One Day at A Time
Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life/The Carroll County Accident/Green, Green Grass of Home

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Don Gibson: Sweet Dreams
Marion Worth: You Win Again
Justin Tubb: Looking Back to See
Roy Acuff: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Gray Eagle
Don Gibson: Oh, Lonesome Me

8:00: Martha White
Osborne Brothers (host): Smokey Mountain Smoke
Grandpa Jones: Ball Headed End of the Broom
Connie Smith: 'Til I Kissed Ya
Charlie Louvin & Pam Dickinson: Don't It Seem to Rain A Lot In Our Lives
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Ronnie Milsap: Day Dreams
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Brush Arbour: White Line
Hank Snow: The Next Voice You Hear

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Roy Drusky (host): Alone With You
Willis Brothers: Bob
Don Gibson: I Can't Stop Loving You
Skeeter Davis: One Tin Soldier
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Don Gibson: Blue, Blue Day
Roy Drusky: Bouquet of Roses

10:00: Fender
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Sunshine
Barbara Mandrell: Satisfied
Del Wood: The Entertainer
Porter Wagoner: The Last One to Touch Me

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Traveling the Highway Alone
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Heartbreak Street
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird/I Saw the Light

10:30: Trailblazer
Grandpa Jones (host): Nashville On My Mind
Osborne Brothers: Smokey Mountain Smoke
Billy Grammer: That's Life
Grandpa Jones: Make Me A Pallet Down on the Floor

10:45: Beech-Nut
Hank Locklin (host): The Sweetest Mistake I Ever Made
Connie Smith: 'Til I Kissed Ya
Crook Brothers/Smokey Mountain Cloggers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Tangled Mind
Stu Phillips: Only You Can Hush the Wind
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Ernie Ashworth: Wichita Woman
Kirk McGee: My Darling Rose Malone
Hank Snow: Mary Ann Regrets

11:30: Elm Hill
Charlie Louvin (host): I Just Want Out
Jeanne Pruett: Break My Mind/Satin Sheets
Ronnie Milsap: Lovesick Blues/Just in Case/Day Dreams
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Charlie Louvin & Pam Dickinson: If I Could Only Win Your Love

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Since this is a new thread I'll mention again that I have been told Jim Ed will be on with Eddie Stubbs this evening.

    Knightsville, IN

  2. I wouldn't just say Jim Ed merely did a good job. I thought he did an excellent job last week, and I'm glad he's back hosting. Hopefully he'll kick off his portion by asking the audience to...."Pop A Top Again!" It's nice that Loretta is back. I wonder why she's only on it about once a year? I didn't know Lee had been asked to be a member. I hope that one day his name will actually be added to the list of members.

    You've said before that in the 1980s, members didn't have a set number of appearances. BJ Thomas was made a member back in 1981, but for some reason he is no longer listed as a member. He still visits at least once a year (and is scheduled to be back next week). Is there a reason why his membership was revoked?

  3. Sometimes I wonder if Jean actually cancelled those appearances, or the Opry accidentally had her on the schedule then took her off (not actually asking Jean to be on that night).

    In last week's case, the portion Jean was "scheduled" on had 2 other guests on the portion. And with T. Graham Brown on 1 schedule list and not the other but still appearing, not to mention an Opry gallery of photos dedicated to Little Jimmy Dickens "1910-2014" I think the internet people at the Opry are just making mistakes.

  4. It's Hall of Fame time again.My picks this time around are [VETERANS;Hank,Jr.June Carter Cash,or Bradley Kincaid] [MODERN ERA;Alan Jackson,Tanya Tucker or Randy Travis] [SONGWRITER;Dallas Frazier or Buddy Killen] who is going to be your pick for 2015?

  5. Just guessing on Jean, and I might be wrong, but perhaps some of why she has not been at the Opry was because the Opry was at the Ryman. I know in Porter's later years, he generally avoided doing the Opry when it was downtown in January. It's just a more difficult situation with the parking and the limited number of dressing rooms on various floors. Jean was down there last month attending the Greg Allman concert. And yes, I will say that the Opry hasn't been doing the greatest job updating the line-ups on the website.

    As far as BJ Thomas, he was an Opry member then gave up his Opry membership. Like Don Williams, who joined the Opry in the 1070s and then left, they basically found out that the Opry wasn't for them. And actually when they joined, it was still during the period when a member was actually supposed to be there, It wasn't until later in the 1980s that the no-commitment members started to join, which if I remember right actually started with Reba.

    Jesse McReynolds is missing again from the Opry as he is hospitalized and undergoing tests. Jesse posted on facebook today that he did not have a stroke but there might have some nerve damage. He said he is in good hands with his doctors.

    Yes, it is Hall of Fame time again and I will offer my thoughts in the upcoming weeks and starting a thread. This year the rotating category is for the musician.

    I will not be able to catch Jim Ed Brown on Eddie's show so I hope someone will update if there is any news to report.

  6. the musician category would be either Mark O'Connor or Billy Byrd.

  7. Fred, Bismarck:

    I'd love the recognition for Billy Byrd, who really defined the Troubador sound for all time. E.T.'s "greatest band" was supposed to be the one that followed in the 1960s, headed by Leon Rhodes and Buddy Charlton, but I never could see it.

    By then, E.T. was doing more dances than pure concerts, and I suppose the later band, with its numerous swing arrangements, was perfect for that. For the E.T. sound that commenced with his addition of pedal steel in 1957, give me Billy Byrd and Buddy Emmons every time. (Billy's sound, of course, going back with E.T. much further than that.)

  8. Fred, Bismarck:

    The Byrd/Emmons band also happened to coincide with, in my opinion, Ernest's absolute peak as a vocalist. His voice was, to me, more expressive than it ever had been or would be again. Check out the singles from the late 1950s, and the album, "The Importance of Being Ernest."

  9. Fred, Bismarck:

    Also, for completeness, "The Ernest Tubb Story." (Sorry for the fragmentation.)

  10. Byron: I did listen to Jim Ed last night on Eddie Stubb's show. Great interview, lots of great stories. He said Bonnie will be performing with him this weekend on the Opry and he plans to do his first roadshow of the year on Tuesday at the Florida State Fair. (oldtimeopry)

  11. Thanks for clearing things up about B.J. Thomas. Sorry to hear Jesse McReynolds is in the hospital.

    I just checked the schedule tonight, and it seems that Jean Shepard has again been taken off of the Opry schedule, and has been replaced by Jan Howard.

    This year with Jean Shepard is beginning similar to how 2013 was with Jimmy Dickens. I hope she manages to do more than 8 appearances this year (which was Jimmy's amount that year). I hope she's feeling well.

  12. I assume that Lee Greenwood is going to be on the Opry saturday night. On the drop down schedule, he is still listed but on the printed schedule he is not. Go figure!!! Of course, it was the same deal a few weeks back with T. Graham Brown. You would think that as a professional multi-million dollar organization that they could get the schedule right!

  13. Not sure if anyone saw this or not, but Randy Travis was backstage at the Opry last night, along with Rhonda Vincent. I posted a picture of Randy and Loretta on my facebook page. He was on the side of the stage as she came off. Nice to see that Randy is well enough to travel to Nashville from Texas. I do not know how long he has been up north.

    Also last night, a very nice job by Jim Ed Brown, who was joined by his sister Bonnie.

  14. that's great!

    An appearance on the side of the stage is still an appearance! Hopefully he'll be taking center stage at the Opry sometime soon!