Monday, March 30, 2015

ETRS Closes Music Valley Drive Location/Midnight Jamboree Suspended

It has been announced that the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree has been suspended and the Ernest Tubb Record Shop Music Valley location has been closed.

If I did the link right, you can read the entire sad story at the site I have refererence above.

April Opry Highlights

Here are the important and historical events that have taken place regarding the Grand Ole Opry, or its members, during the month of April:

April 19, 1924: The WLS "National Barn Dance" was aired in Chicago for the first time. It was the first of the many weekly barn dance programs that would spring up across the country. Lulu Belle & Scotty, Bradley Kincaid and Gene Autry were among the successful performers who were part of that show. "The National Barn Dance" lasted until 1960 when WLS changed formats. By the way, WLS stood for "World's Largest Store" as Sears was the initial owner of that station.

April 17, 1926: Uncle Dave Macon becomes a regular member of the WSM Barn Dance, which would later be known as the Grand Ole Opry. At the age of 55, he was the first performer who would come to the show with a national reputation. In a way, his hiring would start the show on the path of becoming a group of professional entertainers instead of those who "came down from the hills for the weekend." Uncle Dave would remain an Opry member until his death on March 1, 1952 at the age of 81. He was one of the early members elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

April 30, 1932: The Dixieliners, which consisted of Kirk and Sam McGee, along with Arthur Smith, made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Arthur Smith had been performing on the Opry for several years, as had Sam and Kirk, when they decided to team up. They had a good reputatioin and within a short amount of time they had two ten-minute segments on the show. Arthur, however, had a drinking problem and in 1938 he was suspended from the Opry after missing several appearances. The Dixieliners made their final Opry appearance on January 14, 1939, after which Arthur Smith left. Sam and Kirk would continue on with the Opry for many more decades.

April 29, 1933: The Delmore Brothers, Rabon and Alton, made their first appearance on the Opry. They stayed as members until 1938 when they left for what they thought was a better opportunity. Alton would later write a book called "Truth is Stranger" that details their stay at the Opry and the issues between themselves and George D Hay and Harry Stone. After leaving the Opry, the Delmore Brothers moved around the country, appearing on various radio programs and making personal appearances. The eventually ended up at WLW in Cincinnati, where they got together with Merle Travis and Grandpa Jones to record under the name, "Browns Ferry Four." All four of these individuals would eventually be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, with The Delmore Brothers being elected in 2001. Their final Opry show was September 11, 1938, with their last song being "What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul."

April 15, 1933: Grand Ole Opry member Roy Clark was born in Meherrin, Virginia.

April 1, 1934: Grand Ole Opry member and the newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Jim Ed Brown was born in Sparkman, Arkansas.

April 15, 1937: Bob Luman was born in Texas. He gained fame as a member of the Louisiana Hayride and then came to Nashville, joining the Opry in 1965. When Bob was on the Hayride, his guitarist was James Burton, who would later join up with Ricky Nelson. When Bob joined the Opry, the younger fans loved him as he had a bit of rock n' roll to him. Bob passed away in 1978.

April 26, 1941: Ernest Tubb recorded "Walking the Floor Over You.' The recording took place in Dallas, Texas and was one of the first country recordings to feature an electric guitar. The success of the record would lead to Ernest to Nashville and the Opry, which he joined in 1943.

April 14, 1945: Upon the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a performance of "Taps" was played from the stage of the Opry. This marked the first time that a trumpet was played during an Opry performance. Buddy Harroll, part of Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys was the performer. While it was the right thing to do, it has been written that George D Hay was not thrilled.

April 6, 1946: Roy Acuff quit the Grand Ole Opry in a salary dispute. At the time, he was the host of "The Prince Albert Show" segment of the Opry that was broadcast on the NBC radio network. He was making $15.00 per night and asked for a raise to $100 a night. When WSM refused his demands, he left the show and went out to California for an extended tour. Roy never really talked about this episode in his Opry career. At the time, he was the Opry's biggest star and he knew that if he was out on the road he could make more money and have the time to film some movies. He wanted that recognized by both the Opry and the sponsor. Roy would eventually return to the Opry and when he did, was paid more than the union scale.

April 13, 1946: A week after Roy Acuff left the Opry, Red Foley became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and debuted as the host of "The Prince Albert Show" segment of the Opry. After Roy quit, William Esty and Company, which was the advertising agency that represented R.J. Reynolds Tabacco Company, which made Prince Albert chewing tabacco, undertook a broadly based survey to determine how best to replace Roy as the host of the show. Most listeners wanted the Opry to continue without changes but it was clear after all the questioning was done that a large portion of Opry fans wanted more music on the show, suggesting the need to replace Roy with a singer. Esty checked all the available data, which included record sales, jukebox plays and radio favorites, and it all pointed to Red Foley. Red would later say, "I guess I was never more scared than that night I replaced Roy Acuff. The people thought I was a Chicago slicker who had come to pass himself off as a country boy and bump Roy out of his job." Red, of course, was from Kentucky and he had a solid career as a country singer. Minnie Pearl would call Red, "the best looking thing I have ever seen." It is interesting to note that Red only hosted the Prince Albert portion of the Opry and did not do two segments as most of the Opry's performers did. Also when Roy returned to the Opry a year later, Red remained the Prince Albert host while Roy was given another segment. It should also be said that while Roy and Red got along, they were never the best of friends.

April 13, 1946: The same night that Red Foley came to the Opry, so did Chet Atkins, who was introduced on the Opry that night by Red. Chet later told the story, "I ran into Red in his manager's office. Actually, I had gone to Chicago to try to meet Foley. Anyway, I played a tune for him and sure enough he said, 'How'd you like to go to Nashville with me, Ches?' Dreams do come true sometimes." Chet stayed with Red for about six months, then he quit in his own dispute with Esty. Whne Chet was on the Opry a lot, he was never a member.

April 26, 1947: After leaving the Opry the previous year, Roy Acuff returned as the host of the "Royal Crown Cola Show." There is a story that Ernest Tubb and Harry Stone went to Roy, who was in a Nashville hospital, and told him the Opry might go under if he didn't come back. While there is no evidence to support that the Opry was in any kind of trouble, the words worked and Roy did come back, never to leave again.

April 3, 1948: The Louisiana Hayride started on KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana. Over the next decade, a large number of the Opry's new members came from the Hayride, earning it the reputation as a farm club for the Opry. The stars that come to Nashville from the show included David Houston, Billy Walker, Webb Pierce, Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. The Hayride also helped Elvis Presley start his career.

April 26, 1952: Martha Carson, the great gospel singer, joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. She came to the Opry on the strength of her hit, "Satisfied." She remained with the Opry until her first child was born in 1957 and then took a sabbatical, which included a year working in New York City. According to Martha, "I got a leave of absence from the Opry. I didn't quit and I wasn't fired. When I came back to Nashville, Opry manager Ott Devine said they had no openings. I never did go back. I never even got to be a guest." What a poor decision by Ott and the Opry management at that time.

April 18, 1953: Red Foley made his last Grand Ole Opry appearance as the host of "The Prince Albert Show." He would leave Nashville to work in television, eventually hosting the Ozark Jubilee. Red had numerous personal issues and when he decided to leave the Opry, management did not object. While many wondered about Red when he joined the Opry, he was one of the Opry's biggest stars and one of the more popular members. Nobody sang "Peace In the Valley" better than Red. After he left, the Prince Albert segment used rotating hosts instead of hiring a new permanent one.

April 4, 1959: Bill Anderson performs on the Opry for the first time. In July 1961 he would become an Opry member.

April 30, 1960: The WLS "National Barn Dance" aired its final show. At one time, this was a major competitor of the Opry and like the Opry, it was broadcast on a national basis. But like many other barn dance shows, it failed to survive as musical tastes changed.

April 30, 1966: Ray Pillow became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Ray's 49th year as a member. Ernest Tubb did the honors on the night that Ray was added to the cast. Though he is now on senior status and his Opry appearances have been reduced, he still does a great job hosting a segment and his voice is still smooth and solid.

April 22, 1967: The 4 Guys became members of the Opry. They came to the Opry from the Wheeling area and spent 33 years as Opry members before being fired by Pete Fisher in April 2000. The reason given for their termination was the fact that all of the original members of the group were no longer performing. For a number of years, the 4 Guys operated and performed at a very successful dinner theater in Nashville.

April 6, 1968: Following the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the city of Nashville imposed a curfew that forced the Opry to cancel that nights live show for the first and only time in their history (so claims WSM and the Opry). A previously taped show was aired. After being notified that the show was being cancelled, Roy Acuff, Sam and Kirk McGee, along with a few others, put on a makeshift show at a nearby square dance hall that afternoon for Opry fans who had come from out of town for the show.

April 6, 1968: On the same day as the Opry's cancelled show, Bud Wendall became the new General Manager of the Opry. He replaced Ott Devine, who had been the Opry's manager since 1959.

April 21, 1971: After taking a break to raise her childen, Connie Smith returned as a member of the Opry. Since the Opry considers Connie's Opry induction date as her original date in 1965, this will be her 50th year as an Opry member.

April 12, 1972: The first "Fan Fair" was held in Nashville. It was so successful that it would become an annual event where the fans could meet their favorite country music stars. It still takes place, although now it is called the "CMA Music Fest" and takes place in June.

April 27, 1972: Opryland opens for the 1st time. The park was an immediate hit and three years later the Opry House would be completed and the Grand Ole Opry would move to the park. Opryland shut down at the end of 1997, to be replaced by Opry Mills.

April 5, 1975: After having been suspended by the Opry in December 1973, Skeeter Davis returned to the Opry as an active member. Several Opry members had gone to Bud Wendall asking that she be allowed back.

April 23, 1976: Don Williams is introduced as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jeanne Pruett did the honors. As everyone knows, Don and the Opry experience didn't really work out and he left a few years later.

April 2, 1977: Vito Pellettieri worked his final show as the Opry's stage manager. He suffered a stroke several days later and on April 14 he passed away at the age of 87. While very few many have heard of Vito, he was probably one of the most influential people in the history of the Opry, so much so that he was never really replaced after he died. Years after his death, one veteran Opry member was quoted as saying, "I miss Vito. You know, we don't have a marshall anymore. What we have out there is a piece of paper in a box, with a list of the acts and when they're supposed to go on. But we don't have anybody encouraging us, goading us, giving us advice on how to do better. Nobody to jack us up." One of Vito's closest friends was Hank Snow and Hank writes about Vito extensively in his autobiography. For those who do not know, Vito was WSM's librarian and started as the Opry's stage manager in 1934. Vito was the one who set the Opry up on a schedule and assigned times and slots to the performers. He broke the show into segments with individual sponsors. Before that, it was a free-for-all, with the artists coming and going as they pleased. To show what the Opry members thought of Vito, in 1959 when it was announced that he faced mandatory retirement from both his positions at WSM (music librarian and stage manager), every one of the Opry's members signed a petition demanding that he be allowed to continue at the Opry. That November, during the annual disc jockey convention hosted by WSM, Opry performers staged a surprise program in Vito's honor. Roy Acuff made a lengthy speech which included the words, "He is one of the men who made the Opry what it is today." That was followed by a five minute standing ovation. By the way, Vito never owned a car or learned how to drive. In all his year's at the Opry and WSM, he took the bus.

April 13, 1981: Guy Willis of the Willis Brothers, died at the age of 65. The Willis Brothers consisted of Guy, Skeeter and Vic. They originally joined the Opry in June 1946, but left in 1948 to go on the road with Eddy Arnold. In 1960 they rejoined the Opry. Skeeter Willis died prior to Vic in 1976. After Skeeter died, Vic and Guy continued as a duo until Guy had to retire from performing in 1979 due to illness. After Guy retired, Vic formed the Vic Willis Trio and they were Opry members starting in 1979. They continued on the Opry until Vic died in a car accident in January 1995.

April 3, 1982: DeFord Bailey makes his final Grand Ole Opry appearance. He had been appearing during the annual Old-Timer's Nights over the past several years.

Apri 13, 1985: The Grand Ole Opry begins regular television broadcasts on The Nashville Network. The original shows were a half-hour, before eventually expanding to an hour. In 2001, the broadcast moved to Country Music Television and in 2003, moved to Great American Country. The first televised show was a special one hour edition and featured Roy Acuff as the host for the first half hour, with Connie Smith, Minnie Pearl and the 4 Guys as guests. The second half hour was hosted by Porter Wagoner and featured Dottie West, Jack Greene, the Crook Brothers and the Melvin Sloan Dancers. The original TNN shows were not scripted for television and were nothing more than the radio show with a camera. As a result, any times the timing was not right and the show ended on television either too early, in the middle of songs, or before there could be a sign-off.

April 22, 1989: Clint Black makes his first appearance on the Opry. In 1991, he would become a member.

April 20, 1991: Emmylou Harris begins a three night run at the Ryman Auditorium during which her recording of her "At The Ryman" album would take place. It marked one of the first uses of the Ryman for a performance since the Opry moved out in 1974. Due to the condition of the building, they were only able to use a portion of the seating. Those performances helped to spark the idea of renovating and reopening the Ryman.

April 2, 1994: On TNN's telecast of the Grand Ole Opry that night, an all-star bluegrass jam took place that featured Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Roy Husky, Jr., Marty Stuart, Alison Krauss and Earl Scruggs. Vince said that night, "That's what this place is all about. Nights that are like that."

April 12, 1997: Lewis Crook passed away in Nashville at the age of 87. The Crook Brothers joined the Opry on July 24, 1926. You could say they were original members. They remained at the Opry until 1988, a total of 62 years. Lewis was not with the Crook Brothers when they originally joined the WSM Barn Dance. He came along in 1928. After Herman Crook passed away, Lewis could continue for a few more years to make appearances with the Opry's Square Dance Band. Doing the math, that could have put Lewis at the Opry on and off for almost 69 years.

April 6, 1998: Former Opry member Tammy Wynette passed away in Nashville at the age of 55, after several years of declining health.

April 18, 1998: Diamond Rio became members of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be their 17th year as Opry members. Since they joined the cast, they have generally done a good job keeping up with their Opry appearances.

April 12, 1999: Lecil Martin, known as Boxcar Willie, passed away in Branson, Missouri at the age of 67. Boxcar joined the Opry in 1981 at the personal invitation of Roy Acuff.

April 17, 2004: The Judds made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

April 30, 2004: The Grand Ole Opry took to the road and sponsored the "Grand Ole Opry American Road Show," which took place in York, Pennsylvania. Those who took part in the show included Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Del McCoury Band and Rebecca Lynn Howard.

April 21, 2012: Keith Urban became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 3rd year as an Opry member. As with several other modern Opry members, Keith has made very few Opry visits since becoming a member.

April 26, 2013: The Grand Ole Opry dedicated the shows that weekend to Opry member George Jones, who had passed away. The guests included Montgomery Gentry, Brad Paisley and John Conlee.

Enjoy the Opry this month!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 3/27 &3/28

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend and it is looking like a very nice weekend that will be highlighted by the Opry's two newest members to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Jim Ed Brown w/The Browns and the Oak Ridge Boys.

On the Friday Night Opry, Jim Ed Brown will be joined by his sisters, Maxine and Bonnie and I am sure that the Opry will recognize their Hall of Fame election. During his speech at the announcement, Jim Ed gave special mention to the Grand Ole Opry including Ott Devine, Hal Durham, Bob Whittaker and Pete Fisher. A very nice jesture from someone who has been an Opry member or 52 years.

Jim Ed will also be appearing on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, and hosting the final segment that night will be the other Opry members elected to the Hall of Fame, the Oak Ridge Boys. Like Jim Ed and The Browns, the Oak Ridge Boys were long overdue for induction and it was nice to see that they finally got recognized. Brenda Lee did an excellent job with the introductions and in going over the achievements of those elected. And not to forget Grady Martin, the great guitarist, who also played on the Opry in the 1960s.

As far as other Opry members appearing this weekend, both nights will feature Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, John Conlee, Mike Snider and Riders In The Sky. Joining them on Friday night will be Bill Anderson, Diamond Rio, Bobby Osborne, Jeannie Seely and Trace Adkins. Hopefully Trace makes it this weekend as his previous scheduled appearances for 2015 resulted in Trace cancelling. And on Saturday night, Opry member Terri Clark will be making a visit, along with Connie Smith and The Whites.

As far as guest artists this weekend, there are some very solid names set to appear. Friday night will have Craig Campbell, Deana Carter and EmiSunshine. For EmiSunshine, this will be her 2nd Friday night in a row and she will again be signing her new CD in the Opry gift shop after the show. Saturday night will have Striking Matches, Kathy Mattea and Sturgill Simpson. I have always thought that Kathy would have made a fine Opry member and for those who haven't heard Sturgill before, he is the real thing. A classic voice who has really been making his mark in Americana music.

Friday March 27
7:00: John Conlee (host); Craig Campbell; Mike Snider
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Riders In The Sky; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Deana Carter
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; EmiSunshine
8:45: Trace Adkins (host); Jim Ed Brown w/The Browns; Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers

Saturday March 28
7:00: John Conlee (host); Terri Clark; Mike Snider
7:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Connie Smith; Kathy Mattea
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Striking Matches; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Jim Ed Brown; Sturgill Simpson

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, March 26 & 27, 2010:

Friday March 26
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Dale Ann Bradley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Matt Kennon
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Jamie O'Neal
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; The Quebe Sisters Band

Saturday March 27
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; John Anderson
7:30: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Jordyn Shellhart
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Dale Ann Bradley; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Bar D Wranglers; Charlie Daniels Band

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne; John Anderson
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jordyn Shellhart; Charlie Daniels Band
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; Alison Brown; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Connie Smith; Dale Ann Bradley

And from ten years ago this weekend, March 25 & 26, 2005:

Friday March 25
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Daryle Singletary
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Gene Watson
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith; Joe Diffie
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Riders In The Sky; Craig Morgan
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker; Jack Greene; Darryl Worley

Saturday March 26
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; Jeannie Seely; Hal Ketchum
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Trace Adkins; Craig Morgan; Oak Ridge Boys
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Keni Thomas; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Riders In The Sky; Jimmy Wayne

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; The Whites; Craig Morgan
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; John Conlee; Osborne Brothers; Trace Adkins
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; Hal Ketchum; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy Wayne; Oak Ridge Boys
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Keni Thomas

For this week's featured line-up, it was 44 years ago this Saturday night, March 27, 1971 that Jan Howard became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Many had thought that Jan was already an Opry member, joining in 1959. But that was not true. As Jan said, "I was a guest for years. I started guesting there when Ott Devine was manager and then Bill Anderson and I started working together in '65 and so I was part of the Bill Anderson show on the Opry. In the meantime, Bud Wendell became manager and I saw him at a party one Thursday night. He said, 'Well, I'll see you at the Opry tomorrow night.' And I said, No, I'm not going to be there. He said, 'What do you mean, you're not going to be there?' I said, I'm not a regular member and I just happen to not be booked. And he said, 'Well, you are going to be there!' And the next night, it was a Friday in March, I was made a regular member."

As mentioned, Jan first performed on the Opry in 1959, coming to Nashville from California. Her first solo single, "The One You Slip Around With" was a Top 10 hit and several publications named her their Most Promising Country Vocalist. In 1964, she signed with Decca Records and joined Bill Anderson's syndicated television and road show and sang with him regularly on the Opry. She and Bill had several duet hits including "For Loving You" which went to #1. It was also during this time that her biggest single record, "Evil on Your Mind" went to the Top 5 on the country charts.

In 1987, Jan wrote her autobiography "Sunshine and Shadow," an outstanding book that details her life, including the death of her son Jimmy in Vietnam, and the death of her youngest son David. Jan has received several awards for her work with the armed forces, mental health, the Veterans Administration, Vietnam veterans and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In 2005 she was elected to the Missouri Country Music Hall of Fame.

Here is the running order of the Opry, from Saturday March 27, 1971, the night Jan Howard became an official member of the Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Billy Walker (host): I Taught Her Everything She Knows
Ray Pillow: Grazin' In Greener Pastures
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Billy Walker: How Great Thou Art

6:45: Rudy's
Jack Greene (host): There's A Whole Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know
Jeannie Seely: Please Be My New Love
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely: Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

7:00: Luzianne
Bill Monroe (host): My Little Georgia Rose
Earl Scruggs Revue: Loraderjosp III Breakdown
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You
Ernie Ashworth: Jesus Is A Soul Man
James Monroe: Come With Me Up Happiness Hill
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Earl Scruggs Revue: Foggy Mountain Top
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Legend of the Dogwood Tree

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Grandpa Jones: Mountain Dew
Jan Howard: Evil on Your Mind
George Morgan: For the Good Times
Bill Anderson: Always Remember
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Grandpa Jones: Fair and Tender Ladies
Bill Anderson & Jan Howard: Someday We'll Be Together

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Loretta Lynn: I Wanna Be Free
Tex Ritter: The Men in My Little Girl's Life
Willis Brothers: Women's Liberation
Lonzo and Oscar: Crowded Song

8:30: Stephens
Porter Wagoner (host): The Carroll County Accident
Dolly Parton: Coming For to Carry Me Home
Stringbean: Hot Corn, Cold Corn
Tom T Hall: The Ballad of Forty Dollars
Porter Wagoner: The Last One to Touch Me
Hank Locklin: She's As Close As I Can Get
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking in My Sleep
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Better Move It On Home

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Anderson (host): You Can Change My World By Changing Your Mind
Willis Brothers: For the Good Times
Jan Howard: Were You There
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nobody's Darling But Mine
Ray Pillow: Working Man Blues
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

10:00: Fender
Bill Monroe (host): Little Joe
Earl Scruggs Revue: Bugle Call Rag
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie

10:15: Union 76
Billy Walker (host): When A Man Loves A Woman
Grandpa Jones: Dooley
Ernie Ashworth: Jesus is A Soul Man
Billy Walker: Make the World Go Away

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Jack Greene: There's A Whole Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Porter Wagoner (host): Big Wind
Dolly Parton: Joshua
Stringbean: Lonesome Road Blues
Crook Brothers: Arkansas Traveler
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Better Move It On Home

11:00: Coca-Cola
Tex Ritter (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Tex Ritter: High Noon
Loretta Lynn: I Wanna Be Free
Sam McGee: San Antonio Rose

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Lonzo and Oscar: There's A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Ronnie Robbins: Put Your Hand in the Hand/Today I Started Loving You Again
Marty Robbins: I Walk Alone/Don't Worry/A Heart Full of Love/Long, Gone Lonesome Blues
Marty Robbins & Ronnie Robbins: It Finally Happened.

Finally, I know there are many of you who like to go way back, so here is the line-up from Saturday March 28, 1953, 62 years ago this weekend:

7:30: Warren Paint
Roy Acuff (host): Coming From The Ball
Eddie Hill: Molasses
Roy Acuff: The Great Shining Light
Howdy Forrester: Ragtime Annie

7:45: American Ace
Roy Acuff (host): No Letter In The Mail
Tommy Sosebee: The Longer We're Together
Jimmy Riddle: Frankie and Johnny
Roy Acuff: It's Alright Now
Oswald: Good Old Mountain Dew

8:00: Martha White
Webb Pierce (host): You Scared The Love Right Out Of Me
Ray Price: Talk To Your Heart
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark
June Carter: Juke Box Blues
Marty Robbins: I Couldn't Keep From Crying
Moon Mullican: Cherokee Boogie
Webb Pierce: That's Me Without You
Carter Family: Sun's Gonna Shine In My Back Door
Ray Price: Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes
Fiddle: Fire On The Mountain

8:30: Prince Albert Show
Red Foley (host): Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Johnny and Jack: Heart Trouble
Square Dancers: Turkey In The Straw
Red Foley: No Tears In Heaven
Old Hickory Singers: When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Johnny and Jack: Three Ways of Knowing
String Bean: Uncle Pen
Red Foley: Forgive Me
Square Dancers: Wake Up Susan

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Pins and Needles
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Texas Quicksand
George Morgan: Whispering Friends
Jenny Jenkins: To Be Selected
Jug Band: Uncle Eps's Got The Coon
Cowboy Copas: If Wishes Were Horses
Roy Acuff: Where Could I Go
Lonzo and Oscar: Kncok Kneed Susie
Oswald: John Hardy
Howdy Forrester: Arkansas Traveller

9:30: Martha White
Carl Smith (host): It's A Lovely, Lovely World
Jimmy Dickens: I'm Little But I'm Loud
Moon Mullican: Pipeliner Blues
Anita Carter: Cool, Cold, Colder
Possum Hunters: Bill Cheatham
Carl Smith: Our Hooneymoon
Jimmy Dickens: Galvanized Wash Tub
Chet Atkins: Fig Leaf Rag
Carl Smith: Are You Teasing Me
Hal Smith: Here and There

10:00: Wallrite
George Morgan (host): Lover's Quarrel
Eddie Hill: Hot Guitar
Kitty Wells: The Crying Steel Guitar
Tommy Sosebee: All Because of My Jealous Heart
Fiddle: Leather Britches

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
George Morgan (host): Rainbow In My Heart
Marty Robbins: Love Me or Leave Me
Johnny and Jack: Humming Bird
Autry Inman: That's All Right
Fiddle Tune: Turkey In The Straw

10:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Jimmy Dickens (host): You Don't Have No Love At All
Ray Price: Please Be Mine
Chet Atkins: Oh By Jingo
Duke Of Paducah: Comedy
June Carter: Kaw Liga
Lonzo and Oscar: Tell Me It Was Worth It
Foggy River Boys: Jesus Changed This Heart of Mine
Gully Jumpers: Soldier's Joy
Jimmy Dickens: My Heart's Bouquet
Fiddle Tune: Bully of The Town

11:00: O-Cello-O
Roy Acuff (host): The Great Speckled Bird
Ken Marvin: Uh Huh Honey
Jenny Jenkins: Matthew 24
Howdy Forrester: Blackberry Blossoms
Roy Acuff: Take My Hand Precious Lord

11:15: Dairimix
Carl Smith (host): The Kind of Love I'm Lookin' For
Johnny and Jack: Lonesome
String Bean: Pretty Polly
Carl Smith: Our Honeymoon
Hal Smith: Sugar In The Gourd

11:30: Hester Battery
Webb Pierce (host): I Haven't Got The Heart
Moon Mullican: Mean Mama
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Webb Pierce: The Last Waltz

11:45: ABC Chicks
Cowboy Copas (host): Doll of Clay
Sam and Kirk: Columbus Stockade Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Going Across The Sea
Cowboy Copas: Feelin Low
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Paddy On The Turnpike

Some great acts on the Opry that night including a few names that you don't hear about anymore.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Random Opry Thoughts/Country Music Hall of Fame

Since I was in Nashville over the weekend, attending the Opry and checking out a few other things, I didn't get the opportunity to respond to the comments that were made regarding the shows this past weekend. I did receive texts and facebook messages from several of my friends and blog readers, asking my thoughts about the Opry and the upcoming Hall of Fame announcement, and also offering comments on the pictures that I posted on my Facebook page (Byron Fay). In no particular order, here are a few of my thoughts and personal observations from this past weekend.

Let's start with Chris Janson. I don't particuarly care for him. I can't put my finger on it, but there is just something about him that I don't like. But that's ok, as there are other members of the Opry, and in country music, that I don't particuarly like either. I have seen him at the Opry several times and I will say that he is talented, has a lot of energy and gets very good crowd reaction, especially from the younger fans. And, based on his new single being #1 on iTunes this past Friday, perhaps he is ready to break out. Yes, he gets a little preachy at times, but so have others. Don't be surprised if he becomes an Opry member some day. Remember Brad Paisley and Josh Turner? When they first came to Nashville, the Opry took great interest in their careers and heavily promoted both of them. Brad and Josh, much like Chris, made dozens and dozens of Opry appearances before they finally hit it big. Once they did, an invitation to become a member followed. Don't be surprised if it happens in this case also.

And then there is Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers. First, it was nice to see all three there. The majority of the time, it is just Larry and Steve, with Norah Lee Allen filling in for Rudy. And yes, Larry has a lot of energy on stage. For those who were not there, when Larry opened on Friday night with "Houston," he was out in the audience dancing with several ladies, including an elderly lady with a handicap. When he and his brothers did the gospel number, they stood with their dad around the piano while their mother played. Considering how old Larry and his brothers are, their parents must be in the mid-80s, or close to it. On Saturday night, when Jim Ed Brown was singing "The Old Lamplighter," Larry was singing along with the Opry singers. Also on Saturday, the bit where he stopped "Houston" after he started and did the Elvis song was pre-planned. The band already had the sheet music and the stool was already out for Larry to sit on. What I really like about Larry is the time he has given the Opry over the past several years. He has been there more than the majority of the members, and that is nice to see.

It was nice to see Jim Ed Brown again on the Opry. He is looking pretty good and his voice seems to be getting stronger each week. He did make a couple of mistakes when announcing acts, such as saying it was the Nashville Square Dancers and the Nashville Square Dance Band, and his thoughts seemed a little scattered. But he did a nice job hosting the segments.

Holly Williams did an awesome job with the two ballads that she did, especially the second one each night, "June" which was dedicated to her grandparents (on her mother's side of the family). It was just her and her husband and their guitars. Well done.

Gary Morris was tremendous, as was Ray Stevens. Gary has such an outstanding voice, and the second number, "Faith and Freedom," which was done with the high school orchestra from Texas, received a standing ovation. Ray had the audience laughing away and his new song, "Taylor Swift is Stalkin' Me" was well received.

I have a hard time with child acts and on the Opry Friday night was EmiSunshine. All dressed up with make-up at the age of 10. I hope someone is watching out for her and saving her money. I think we all know what happens to most child acts when they grow up.

It was my first time to see Pure Prairie League, one of the pioneers of country-rock, and a group that Vince Gill was part of at one time. They did "Aimee" which you would expect and the audience was singing along. And you know what? While not a country group, they sounded more country than most of what is on the radio today.

Among the others, John Conlee, The Whites, Jeannie Seely and Bobby Osborne all did solid jobs. Mike Snider was funny and kept things clean. His group is very, very talented. Shelley Skidmore is a nice young talent, both as a singer and as a songwriter, while The Henningsens did a nice job also. All in all, a pretty good weekend at the Opry.

Now a few thoughts on the Hall of Fame, which will announce the newest inductees on Wednesday morning. By now, all those who will be elected, or their families if deceased, have been notified. (Each year I am surprised that even with the advanced notice, the word never gets out. It also shows how much the media in Nashville cooperates with the Hall.) I am sure there are people out there checking concert schedules and artist's websites looking for clues. But remember, even if an act is out on tour, Nashville is a short airline flight from most of the United States.

Some have speculated that with Brenda Lee doing the announcement, there might be a connection. I doubt it and I would really be surprised if Brenda even knew at this point. Remember, this is just the announcement and not the actual induction. Brenda has been in this role before, as have Kix Brooks and Bill Anderson over the years. I guess if you wanted to speculate, let's consider the choices. It could be an act who's career began as a child. It could a group of females. It could be the Oak Ridge Boys, who Brenda has worked and recorded with. She made records for RCA, so it could be a member of the "A" team. You get the idea. There are lots of choices and good luck to everyone being considered.

For what it is worth, I did find it interesting that Larry Gatlin made a big deal about Ray Stevens not being in the Hall of Fame when doing the introduction of Ray on Saturday night.

Personally, I am still thinking Oak Ridge Boys, hoping for Jim Ed and the Browns, and as a musician, would like to see Jerry Reed go in.

Like I said, just some random thoughts..............

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 3/20 & 3/21

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. In looking at the line-ups, they certainly are not the strongest shows we have seen so far this year. Regardless, I will be in Nashville this weekend, attending the Opry both nights.

Both weekend shows will feature Opry members Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers. We have seen a lot of Larry around the Opry over the past several years, but not so much the brothers. It will be nice to see them all together. Other Opry members set for both shows are Jeannie Seely and Jim Ed Brown, both of whom will be hosting segments each night, and Mike Snider.

Joining those Opry members both nights will be guest artists Holly Williams, Shelley Skidmore and Steep Canyon Rangers. Holly has been around the Opry quite a few times, so we all know who she is. Shelley Skidmore has visited a few times. Not only is she a talented singer, but she also does a fine job with her songwriting. Steep Canyon Rangers are one of the more talented and popular bluegrass acts around. They are also the group that has backed up and performed with Steve Martin.

Set for Friday night are Opry members John Conlee and Bobby Osborne, along with Pure Prairie League, EmiSunshine and Chris Janson. Pure Prairie League will be a treat to see. This group, that formally had Vince Gill as a member, has one of the more popular sing-a-long songs from the past with "Amie." EmiSunshine has a new CD out that she will be signing at the Opry, and what can I say about Chris Janson. Lot's of energy, just not my style.

In addition to those already mentioned, Saturday night will feature Opry member The Whites, along with guest artists The Henningsens, Gary Morris and Ray Stevens. The Henningsens have been frequent guests at the Opry. It is really nice to see Gary Morris listed. Very popular in the 1980s, and a former Broadway star, Gary is one of the more talented singers of his generation. And what can you say about Ray Stevens. I case can be made for his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Known for his comedy, he has also written one of my favorite songs, "Everything is Beautiful." And he has just written a book, Ray Stevens' Nashville. Ray has recorded all types of music and has been successful in gospel, pop, country and comedy.

Friday March 20
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Shelley Skidmore; Mike Snider
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Holly Williams; Pure Prairie League
8:15: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; EmiSunshine
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Chris Janson; Steep Canyon Rangers

Saturday March 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Henningsens; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Shelley Skidmore; Gary Morris
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Ray Stevens; Steep Canyon Rangers

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of March 19 & 20, 2010:

Friday March 19
7:00: Marty Stuart (host); John Conlee; Riders In The Sky; Bobby Osborne
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Ricky Skaggs
8:15: Pam Tillis (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Mike Snider
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jaron & The Long Road To Love; Gene Watson

Saturday March 20
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Easton Corbin
7:30: Pam Tillis (host); Jesse McReynolds; John Conlee
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Ray Pillow; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Jack Greene; Trace Adkins

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Easton Corbin
10:00: Pam Tillis (host); John Conlee; Mike Snider
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Stu Phillips; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Jeannie Seely; Stu Phillips

And from ten years ago this weekend, March 18 & 19, 2005:

Friday March 18
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Catherine Britt
8:00: Steve Wariner (host); Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Ray Scott
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Chely Wright
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Craig Morgan

Saturday March 19
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Mel McDaniel; Lane Turner
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; The Whites; Hilljack
7:30: Steve Wariner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Suzy Bogguss
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Rebecca Lynn Howard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Jeff Bates

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; The Whites; Lane Turner
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mel McDaniel; Hilljack
10:30: Steve Wariner (host); Charlie Louvin; Suzy Bogguss; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Rebecca Lynn Howard
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Billy Walker; Jeff Bates

Finally, going back 34 years to Saturday March 21, 1981:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
George Hamilton IV (host): Break My Mind
Jeannie Seely & Jan Howard: I'll Be All Smiles Tonight
George Hamilton IV: Abilene

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): Word Games
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Jan Howard: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms/Rocky Top
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Country Music Has Gone to Town/Goin' Down the Road Feeling Good/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
Wilma Lee Cooper: Shackles & Chains
Vic Willis Trio: You Feel Good All Over
Charly McClain: Who's Cheatin' Who/Surround Me With Love
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name/Ole Slewfoot

7:30: Standard Candy
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Ray Pillow: Remember Me
David Houston: After All
Billy Grammer: Kentucky Waltz
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Old Joe Clark
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk of Coal
Connie Smith: Give Them All to Jesus
Roy Acuff: Once More
Connie Smith: Sing, Sing, Sing

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Right or Wrong
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Stu Phillips: I Will
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: Hasn't It Been Good Together

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Country Music Has Gone to Town/Goin' Down the Road Feeling Good/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
4 Guys: (?)
Jeannie Seely: Since I Met Cha Boy
George Hamilton IV: Early Morning Rain
Charly McClain: Who's Cheatin' Who
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name/Ole Slewfoot/On A Highway Headed South

10:00: Little Debbie
Billy Walker (host): Cross the Brazos At Waco
Wilma Lee Cooper: Hallalujah We Shall Rise
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors

10:15: Sunbeam
Jack Greene (host): Your Love Takes Good Care of Me
Vic Willis Trio: Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle to You
Jan Howard: The Story of Hondo Crouch
Jack Greene: Sixty Days

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Connie Smith: When Love Dips His Love Into My Heart
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Roy Acuff: Farther Along

10:45: Beech-Nut
David Houston (host): Texas Ida Red
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Rachel
David Houston: After All

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Billy Grammer: Somebody Loves You
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Ray Pillow: Super Lady
Kirk McGee: While I'm Away
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: I Will

11:30: Bama
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Stu Phillips: Come Sundown/Great El Tigrae
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard/Rough Stuff
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'/Showboat

As I mentioned, I will be at the Opry this weekend and hopefully it will be an enjoyable weekend!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Grandpa Jones First Opry Appearance/50th Anniversary As An Opry Member

It was 69 years ago this weekend, March 16, 1946 that Grandpa Jones made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry and it was 18 years ago this weekend on March 15, 1997 that Grandpa celebrated 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Louis Marshall Jones was born on October 20, 1913 in Niagra, Henderson County, Kentucky. His family moved to Akron, Ohio where he performed on various radio stations and entered talent contests. In 1935 he hooked up with Bradley Kincaid in Clarksburg, West Virginia and it was then that he started appearing as Grandpa Jones. From there they went to Wheeling, West Virginia. After serving in the Army in World War II, he came to Nashville and appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1946. In 1978 he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Here is the TNN broadcast from March 15, 1997 when Grandpa Jones was honored for 50 years of Opry membership. Johnny Russell is the host, and the show featured Tommy Hunter, Connie Smith and Doyle Dykes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 3/13 & 3/14

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend. Once again, the Opry has come up with two very nice shows, highlighted by the appearance on Friday night by Opry member Trisha Yearwood, who will be celebrating 16 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. For Trisha, this will be her first Opry appearance since 2010, when she appeared one time. If you look at her total Opry appearances since she became a member in 1999, this will be her 25th appearance. That's 25 shows in 16 years!

Joining Trisha on the Friday Night Opry will be guest artists The Willis Clan and "Nashville" star Charles Esten. As far as Opry members, Steve Wariner, Jeannie Seely, Jesse McReynolds and The Whites are set for just Friday night, while Bill Anderson, Diamond Rio, Mike Snider, Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill are set for both nights. Interesting to see Bill leading off the Opry both nights as traditionally we see Bill during the 2nd half of the show. It is also nice to once again see Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill at the Opry, and as I have mentioned before, both of these folks have really stepped up their Opry appearances so for in 2015. And you will notice that when they have appeared, Ricky usually hosts the segment prior to intermission, while Vince handles the closing segment.

Joining that group on Saturday night will be Opry members Patty Loveless, Connie Smith and Bobby Osborne. It is really nice to see Patty back at the Opry. Joining them will be guest artists Rhett Walker Band and RaeLynn, both of whom have appeared previously. Finally, The Nashville Celts will be making their Opry debut.

Friday March 13
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Diamond Rio; Mike Snider
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; The Willis Clan
8:15: Steve Wariner (host); Jeannie Seely; Jesse McReynolds; Charles Esten
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Trisha Yearwood

Saturday March 14
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Rhett Walker Band; Mike Snider
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Connie Smith; The Nashville Cats
8:15: Diamond Rio (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; RaeLynn; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Patty Loveless

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

Friday March 12
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Billy Dean
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; The Grascals
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); George Hamilton IV; Jack Greene; Darius Rucker
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jim Ed Brown; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday March 13
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; David Nail
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Steel Magnolia
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jeannie Seely; Danny Gokey; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Joe Diffie

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); David Nail; The Whites
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jack Greene; Steel Magnolia
10:30: John Conlee (host); Charlie Louvin; Danny Gokey; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Joe Diffie

And from ten years ago this weekend, March 11 & 12, 2005:

Friday March 11
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jimmy C Newman; Jon Randall
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Riders In The Sky; Del McCoury Band
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Josh Turner
9:00: Pam Tillis (host); Charlie Walker; The Whites; Ralph Stanley
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Billy Walker; Jeannie Seely; Restless Heart

Saturday March 12
1st show
6:30: Nashville Irish Stepdancers; Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Bobby Pinson
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Del McCoury Band
7:30: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Larry Sparks
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Osborne Brothers; T. Graham Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Pam Tillis (host); Riders In The Sky; Josh Turner

2nd show
9:30: Nashville Irish Stepdancers; Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Bobby Pinson
10:30: Pam Tillis (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); Larry Sparks; Josh Turner
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; Osborne Brothers; T. Graham Brown

For this week's featured line-ups, there are two to feature. The first involves Trisha Yearwood, as it was on Saturday March 13, 1999 that Trisha became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Trisha was on the televised portion of the Opry in January from the Ryman Auditorium when Ricky Skaggs surprised her with an invitation to become a member.

Trisha has had a varied career as she has not only made her mark as a very successful singer, but she has appeared in several movies and television shows, and has been the author of several cooking books. She was the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1997 and 1998 and has won three Grammy Awards. Her debut single in 1991 "She's in Love with the Boy" went to #1 on the country charts. Over the coarse of she career, she has released ten albums and has had 43 singles, seven of which went to #1. Much like many of the Opry members who joined the cast in the 1990s, her Opry appearances have been few.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry 16 years ago this Saturday, March 13, 1999, the night Trisha Yearwood became an Opry member.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Skeeter Davis: I'll Fly Away
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya/Cajun Stripper

6:45: National Corvette Museum
Jim Ed Brown (host): Looking Back to See/Morning/Pop A Top/ The Three Bells

7:00: Shoney's/Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited Too Long
Janie Fricke: Bouncing Back/Don't Worry 'Bout Me Baby
Porter Wagoner: Fireball Mail/Night Train to Memphis/ Cabin In Gloryland
Rick Wayne: On the Line
Randy Scruggs: Black Mountain Rag
Steve Wariner: Holes in the Floor of Heaven
Trisha Yearwood: Living on the Wrong Side of Memphis/She's In Love With the Boy/Sweet Dreams

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): No Fair Falling in Love
Marty Stuart: Southern Accent
John Prine: Paradise
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail Me Ship Alone
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Rachel
Bill Anderson: Still

8:30: Physicians Mutual
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Ricky Skaggs: Little Maggie
The Whites: I Hear the Wind A' Blowing
Vince Gill: Pretty Little Adrianna/When I Call Your Name

2nd show
9:30: Bluegreen Vacation Resort Development
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jimmy C Newman: A Good Deal, Lucille
Trisha Yearwood: A Perfect Love/How Do I Live/She's In Love With the Boy
Porter Wagoner: I'll Fly Away

10:00: Lincoln-Mercury
Vince Gill (host): Don't Come Crying To Me
Randy Scruggs: Soldiers Joy
Vince Gill: Whenever You Come Around

10:15: Ray Stevens Show
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Mike Snider & Marty Stuart: Rawhide
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her that Way

Marty Stuart (host): Doin' My Time
John Prine: Grandpa Was A Carpenter
John Prine & Marty Stuart: Angel From Montgomery

10:45: Jogging In A Jug
Ricky Skaggs (host): I'm Lost and I'll Never Find the Way
Jean Shepard: Tennessee Waltz
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durang's Hornpipe
Ricky Skaggs: Connemara

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): Po' Folks
Holly Dunn: Daddy's Hands
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues
Jeannie Seely: Make the World Go Away
Billy Walker: Come A Little Bit Closer
Bill Anderson: The Paper

11:30: Opry Book
Johnny Russell (host): Folsom Prison Blues
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Del Reeves: Splish; Splash/Answer the Phone/Hound Dog
Stonewall Jackson: A Wound Time Can't Erase
Johnny Russell: Wabash Cannonball

A very nice Opry show that night!!

For the second line-up, it was on Saturday March 14, 1981 that the Grand Ole Opry was televised for a final time on PBS. PBS first televised an Opry show in 1978 as a fundraiser and it was such a success that they came back to the Opry for the next four years. After the 1981 show, PBS decided to go in a different direction. The final show in 1981 started at 6:00 and the first show ended at 9:08. The second show started at 9:38 but did not end until 1:20, well after PBS ended that night's broadcast. Why did it last so late? Well, let's just say it was thanks to Marty Robbins. The final segment, hosted by Marty, started at 12:09 and did not end until 1:20. As you will be able to see by the songs that Marty sang, he pretty much turned it into a concert at the end of the night.

Here is the running order 35 years ago, Saturday March 14, 1981, the final Opry show televised by PBS.

1st show
6:00: Vietti
Tom T Hall (host): The Year That Clayton Delaney Died
Skeeter Davis: The Rose
Jack Greene: She's the Rock I'm Leaning On
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/Orange Blossom Special/Wabash Cannonball/Night Train to Memphis
Lonzo & Oscar: Whatever Happened to Saturday Night
Tom T Hall: Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine

6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Del Reeves (host): Be Glad
Billy Grammer: Somebody Loves You
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Del Reeves: A Dozen Pair of Boots

6:45: Rudy's
Ernest Tubb (host): Walking the Floor Over You
Jeannie Seely: Roarin' and Runnin'
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Ernest Tubb: Answer the Phone

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'all Come
Jan Howard: The Story of Hondo Crouch
Jimmy C Newman & Wade Landrey: Orange Blossom Special
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Legend of the Dogwood Tree
Charlie Louvin Will You Visit Me On Sundays
Porter Wagoner: Trouble In Amen Corner

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): Are You From Dixie
Jean Shepard: Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Osborne Brothers: I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Liberty
Grandpa Jones: Fair and Tender Ladies

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Minnie Pearl: Careless Love
Don Gibson: I Can't Stop Loving You/Oh, Lonesome Me
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Paper Roses
Jerry Clower: Nugene Ledbetter Tells A Lie
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: Before the Next Teardrop Falls
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbin Ridge

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Ernest Tubb (host): Let's Say Goodbye Like We Said Hello
Tom T Hall: They All Knew Me
4 Guys: Mama Rocked Us to Sleep With Country Music
Jack Greene: I'll Be There
Connie Smith: Give Them All to Jesus
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

10:00: Little Debbie
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Del Reeves: I Would Like to See You Again
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Porter Wagoner: Everything I've Always Wanted

10:15: Sunbeam
Grandpa Jones (host): Baptism of Jesse Taylor
Jean Shepard: Chime Bells
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
Grandpa Jones: Neighbors

Roy Acuff (host): Down in Union County
Minnie Pearl: Jealous Hearted Me
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chuck of Coal
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Martha White
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Osborne Brothers: Strangers
Vic Willis Trio: American Trilogy
Crrok Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Cried A Mile
Billy Walker: You Gave Me A Mountain
Jerry Clower: Uncle Versie's Trial
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
David Houston: Texas Ida Red
Kirk McGee: Milk 'em In the Evening Blue
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: Check

11:30: Bama
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Charlie Louvin: Ten Years; Three Kids, Tow Loves To Late
Stu Phillips: I Will
Marty Robbins: Tonight Carmen/Don't Worry/That's All Right/I Don't Know Why
Marty Robbins & Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Marty Robbins: Completely Out of Love/Love Me/Among My Souvenirs/El Paso City/Jumper Cable Man/Beyond the Reef/An Evening Prayer/Devil Woman/El Paso

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!