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!!


  1. Have a great trip, Byron. We look forward to your update.

    Not the strongest lineup in 1981, but I'd take it any time over what's going on now!

    For Christmas, a friend gave me the CD and DVD of Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers. They are wonderful. Apropos of another guest, I'll never forget the night Gary Morris was a guest and sang an aria, which received respectful applause--what a voice, of course. And then Tom T. Hall said that that was the first time there had been grand opera on the Grand Ole Opry (did he know that's how The Solemn Old Judge ad-libbed the name?), and maybe you weren't sure about it, but it was sure better than rock and roll.

  2. It's great to see Pure Prairie League again. Ever since I heard them for the first time when they appeared in January, "Amie" has been stuck in my head ever since.

    It's always great to see Ray Stevens on the show. It's too bad they only have him on these days when he's promoting something. I remember last week that you posted an opry show that was sponsored by "Ray Stevens Show."

    It was nice while it lasted, but I guess there won't be anymore 13 act shows this year!

    About the 2010 show: Did Stu Phillips really perform twice on the 2nd show?

    Have fun at the Opry this weekend! It's too bad you aren't going to be at the big Tuesday night show (which some people are saying is the 90th anniversary show).

  3. I'm very happy to see Larry and his brothers on the lineup.
    I only hope they do something other than the Houston/ All the Gold/ Bitter they pilot show.
    They had so many wonderfull titles in the 70s and 80's and Larry for shure can remember the words to the songs.
    Let's see and hope!

  4. Kyle, not only is it surprising the Stu did both shows on that 2010 line-up, if you remember, he did both shows this past October during the birthday weekend on Saturday night.

    And yes, the Tuesday Night Opry is the kick-off for the Opry's 90th birthday celebration, which will last until December with some special shows including the birthday weekend in October.

  5. How about those two Tuesday shows?
    I heard Brad Paisley say "we'll take it from here" at Little Jim's funeral.
    Maybe he really will!
    Hope springs eternal....

    1. He said that at Tater's funeral, but I'm not too sure if he will live up to it, considering he was actually off of touring for most of the last 3 months and didn't show up. I was quite shocked when he didn't stop by the actual Opry program to do a special tribute to Jimmy within a month of his passing.

      The Opry has Brad Paisley featured in a commercial saying "I'd rather do the Opry on a weekend than anything else," yet he's only seen on the Opry twice a year, and only then on a Tuesday!

      I hope Brad Paisley proves me wrong and becomes a more frequent Opry performer this year or next year, because it's great to see him on.

  6. Hey Guys The 2015 Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductees Will Be Announced On Wednesday

  7. all right the country music hall of inductees announced Wednesday Mar.25th I can hardly wait to see who the inductees will be.

  8. If Chris Janson can make it about the music, and less christian revivial testimony that would be great. So annoying.......
    Dont get me wrong, I like hearing gospel music on the Opry..... Porter Wagoner, Acuff, Sonny James, etc. they would all do a sacred hymn, but this guy Janson needs to be reined in some. Just make it about the music, please.

    Hope the Hall Of Fame gets it right next week....... JIm Ed Brown... pleaseeeeeee!!!!!!

    1. It may be a bit annoying to hear his "Christian revival testimony," but I thought his performance of that song last night was probably the best time I've heard him perform it, probably because the Opry finally decided to have the backup singers accompany him. I think the reason he performs that song every time he is on the Opry is because God saved him, and believes that by telling his story to the viewers will make an impact on others. I think that's very admirable of him.But I don't think you need to worry about being annoyed. After all, his newest song just hit number one, and I think that means he won't be on the Opry as often as he has been, and instead on tour a lot more.

      And I'm rooting for Jim Ed Brown too! I also hope they especially don't overlook Johnny Horton, Dottie West, George IV, Jimmy C., Keith Whitley, John Denver, and the Oak Ridge Boys again!

  9. Also, so sad to keep seeing the Midnite Jamboree programming acrhived shows instead of live music. I guess the one show on Saturday nite at the Opry has much to to do with that...... a bummer. I still listen to the archived shows, as WSM has taken away the Golden Era of The Opry Program on Saturdays that used to run between the OPry and Jamboree.........

  10. Nittannee : I miss the golden era shows too. Glad I have a lot of tapes from the 70s , 80s and 90s to get me through that.

    Dashmann ; Flushing, Michigan

  11. Fred, Bismarck:

    Perhaps WSM and/or the Opry decided the contrast between the glorious past and dismal present was too unflattering.

  12. I think you're on to something Fred.
    Today's 'Opry sounds better to me when I don't have the old shows to line up against it.

  13. I just had a crazy HoF guess. Brenda Lee is hosting it on Wed. Didn't she start as a kid or teen in the business? Who in modern era got their start as kids or teens in the business? Marty, Tanya, and Ricky. Lorrie kind of also. I bet it's one of those four.


  14. Here is a few thoughts from tonight's show. I really like Holly Williams. To me, there is a realness about her. Does anyone think there is a possibility of her being asked to join the Opry? I also enjoyed Gary Morris and Ray Stevens. Gary Morris is the personification of class and Ray Stevens is a wonderful entertainer. His song, "Taylor Swift Is Watching Me" is great. No one else but Ray could pull that off without looking strange. I have always appreciated the talent of Larry Gatlin. But why does he feel the need to bring the "smart aleck" tone to the stage. This attitude of "hey, look at me, I am really something" gets old very quickly. I think he would be well advised to do away with the part of his personality on stage.

  15. Fred, Bismarck:

    I second Bruce re. Larry Gatlin. As with Chris Janson, his overbearing stage presence suggests drugs or an ego out of control.

  16. I love Larry much, but he is really too enthusiastic sometimes, the greather problem for me is the Houston/ All the Gold/ Bitter they are, harder they pilot shows.

  17. I'll take Larry and/or Chris any time over Nashville series stars, or guys with baseball hats on backwards (wearing casual clothes) singing about parties, tailgates, beer, and dirt roads.
    Larry and/or Chris have personalities, even if they can be a little over the top at times.
    Give me over the top whencompared to a robotic mechanical presentation every single time.