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!!!


  1. Sounds like a great weekend. I see that Friday's show has 13 acts instead of the usual 12. I think they're preparing for Trace Adkins to cancel an have Riders In The Sky fill in. Hopefully he doesn't cancel again. Wouldn't this be his first time hosting?

    About the 1950s show: Is the "Hal Smith" on the show the actor Hal Smith who played Otis on the Andy Griffith Show, or was he someone else?

  2. Kyle, I'm sure this Hal Smith was the well known Fiddler who was a Smoky Mountain Boy with Roy Acuff, prior to Howdy Forrester. He later became a record producer (and I believe) started Pamper records, which many artists wrote and recorded for, including Ray Price, Jan Howard, Wynn Stewart.etc.

    Ken Marvin is a name that sticks out to me in that lineup. He was the first "Lonzo" and later left the comedy duo. Byron, did he retain his Opry membership as a solo artist?

    Eddie Hill is a name you also do not hear much about these days. I never knew if he was an "official" Opry member or not either.

    1. Thanks David. I had seen the name previously on old Opry schedules, and wasnt able to find any info on another Hal Smith online. There were a couple times in the 80s when actor Hal Smith appeared on the Opry, and it made me wonder if they were the same person.

  3. Kyle Hal Smith played Otis Campbell on Andy Griffith Show .

    1. I know a Hal Smith played Otis on TAGS, but I was wondering if the same Hal Smith is the one who appeared on the Opry this week in 1953.

  4. David, Ken Marvin, aka Lloyd George, was not an Opry member after he left Lonzo and Oscar. He changed his name from Lloyd George to Ken Marvin when he began his solo career, and then later went back to Lloyd George. He later became a DJ and booking agent.

    In addition to being a fine singer, Eddie Hill was also a WSM DJ in the 1950s. He of course is often associated with the Louvin Brothers. And no, he was never an Opry member.

  5. Fred, Bismarck:

    Eddie was also associated with Johnnie & Jack, and co-wrote some songs with them & with Jack's brother Jim Anglin. One of those talented folks who, while never getting the big spotlight, made for the depth of the bench of the country scene in the 1950s.

  6. I forgot to mention that Dennis McCall, one of the Carol Lee Singers and more recently one of the Opry singers, has retired. And before anything thinks otherwise, this was his decision. I am not sure what year Dennis started with the Opry, but I know he goes back to at least the early 1980s. Good luck to Dennis!!

  7. Byron: I forgot that it had not been mentioned about Dennis retired. I believe they said 37 years when he and Bill Anderson were talking on stage. He said he was going to be a full time grandpa!

    Thanks for remembering Jan Howard. She has not had the biggest career of all the female singers in the business but she has made some good recordings in her time, especially those with Owen on Decca. Dig into those four or five Decca LP among others and you will find some good original recordings and covers as well. We all have our opinions and taste but if you have even a minimal interest in Jan and her music you should read her book that Byron mentioned. Jan has witnessed a lot in the music business and there are plenty of stories about Johnny and June and the Carters whom she worked on the road with for a time, Bill Anderson, Tammy Wynette, the Bare's and many others. There is also a lot more hardship beyond the loss of two precious sons.

    Knightsville, IN

  8. Jim, I am going to quote my late mother, who introduced me to country music. She read Jan's autobiography and said that Harlan Howard might be the greatest songwriter ever, but he was her candidate for the worst human being ever. Of course, that is Jan's account, and there are at least two sides to every story, but he didn't come off as all that lovable, I'll say that.

    Byron, thanks for sharing the news about Dennis. I'm sorry to hear it. And Dennis used to do something I found hysterical: the Carol Lee Singers would come on the old Warmup Show and Dennis would lead them in doing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," except he'd imitate Johnny Cash and do it to the tune of "Ring of Fire." It works!

  9. Before he came to the Opry full time, Dennis played bass and was the front man for Barbara Mandrell for many years starting in the mid-70's. He was incredibly funny on stage. And the McCall family is pretty much a country music dynasty to itself.

  10. Michael: Based on my reading of Jan's book I came away with the same thoughts as your mother. The father of the three boys didn't sound much better. And I agree there are two sides to every story. Jan never had a band either so she tells some real tales of working places pretty much alone. I will say that if for no other reason, reading the parts about loosing a son to a war and one to drugs and suicide (as I recall) are worth the price of the book.

    There are hundreds if not thousands of other women who could share the same story but few are in a position to write and sell a book about it.


  11. Wasn't it great to hear the Browns tonight. I think Jim Ed was even stronger tonight and I could really tell Maxine was joining in. What an applause. I can't believe they did not do more. It is so wonderful that this finally happened while they all could still enjoy it.

    I say and think this too often but I wonder how many of the current hit makers will be performing at 80 and still sound so good. You know what I'm thinking.........,most of them don't sound that good now! We saw Mel Tillis last night in Effingham, IL and he did 75 minutes including about 15 minutes spent in the audience and sang a couple songs while he was out there. Granted, his band helped him out in a few spots but he still sounds good. Then he stood and autographed for about an hour. So few of the true country entertainers left!

    I'm not trying to stir the pot. Just amazed at the Browns tonight.

    Knightsville, IN

  12. Fred, Bismarck:

    Yes, God bless our old hoofers. As fans, we have been so lucky. Fans of the future won't be able to believe some of our stories.

  13. Like Jim, I thought Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie did a great job. They did two songs, "Scarlet Ribbons" and "The 3 Bells." After they were done, there was a huge standing ovation, one of the loudest I have heard in years. Trace Adkins was the host for the segment and I thought he did a good job with the introduction. Nothing fancy, but he hit the high points.

    When you think about it, Friday may have been the last time that all three of the Browns will be on the Opry stage together again, although you never know. I was lucky to be there they night Jim Ed was honored for 50 years of Opry membership and I thought that night would be the last one. The medallion ceremony is usually in October, so assuming that their health is ok, all three will be there for that. That ceremony usually takes place on a Sunday evening, so maybe another Opry appearance that weekend? You never know.

  14. Last night I wasn't able to listen, so I'll get the archived version. But it appears that Maxine's problems are physical, and she still can be heard, that's for sure!

    Jim, I agree: Jan's story is one that many women can tell. She told it beautifully and I honor her for it.

    And I agree with you about the old hoofers. The older acts had to survive those incredible road trips before the touring bus and when they had to play and get those $15. It's a different world today and I don't begrudge today's stars any of it, but I do begrudge them that too many of them don't appreciate what the others went through. Their treatment of the Opry reflects that. I think of Vince Gill doing the show a few weeks ago when he should have been home in bed--he gets it. Young Mr. Paisley? We'll see.

  15. With Jim Ed Brown going into the Hall of Fame, another thought came into my head and it is in regards to Charlie Louvin. After Charlie was elected to the Hall in 2001, his Opry appearances started to be reduced, until they were down to a dozen or so each year. He often complained that it was because the Opry had to pay him more under the union contract because he was a Hall of Famer. It will be interesting to see if the same thing happens to Jim Ed. I

  16. I don't see that happening to Jim Ed. He still has a large following and has remained in very good shape vocally. No offense to Charlie Louvin fans but his voice in later years wasn't that great and his personality was not as engaging as Jim Ed's. The Hall of Fame didn't impact Bill Anderson's appearances nor Jimmy Dickens or Porter Wagoner. One thing all three had in common is that they were fan favorites who brought a lot of charisma to the stage. That translates into ticket sales and positive feedback from audiences.

  17. Byron,
    I was just on the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree page and I saw the following:


    I know that previously they announced in January that they would be broadcasting archived shows till April. Now, I dont even see a list of the archived shows for this weekend nor next. I wonder if after 68 years of the second longest running radio program, this is going to end. At any rate, it is sad.... I love the jamboree, and have always loved listening in after the Opry, or when in Nashville heading on over to the Troubadour Theater.

  18. I would love to see Brad Paisley back his words up on the Opry promotion video ...... the fact that he says what he says and then never shows up, makes me want to vommit.

  19. This isn't good. Mr. Tubb would be walking to floor over this.



    (We hope to return in May or June 2015)

  20. Nittannee1973, I share you feelings. Brad seems to take a lot of pride in the Opry, but we only see him twice a year. He has a lot of days off to appear on the Opry when he isn't touring or on TV, but he only does dates that he scheduled months in advance. If he wants to schedule shows in advance, he should at least try to schedule more than that.

    Jimmy Dickens was one of his heroes and biggest influences, but for the last few years, whenever Tater was on, Brad was nowhere to be found. It's hard to believe that in 2013, when Tater was suffering from some major health issues, he appeared 4 times more than Brad! I couldn't believe that it took Brad 3 months to come visit the Opry to salute him. He was off touring for most of those 3 months, but didn't make the attempt to come. At Jimmy's memorial service, he said "Tater, we'll take it from here." Well, he's sure taking his sweet time to take it from here.
    I think Brad is a fine performer, but when it comes to the Opry, he doesn't keep up his part of the bargain. He says appearing on a weekend is something he'd rather do than anything else, although we never actually see him then.

    The Opry made the Tuesday shows so the bigger stars could have the chance to appear more often, but for the most part, that doesn't work out too well.

  21. This is some of the saddest news I have ever heard ...... Ernest Tubb is definitely walking the floor over this one ......................



    (We hope to return in May or June 2015)

    I have always said that once the jamboree went down hill the Opry would follow..... this breaks my heart.

  22. @Kyle, kills me to see the Jamboree stop at over 3,500 something consecutive performances, including archived shows.............. I am at a loss for words....... What kills me is that there is no announcement on WSM page, and The Ernest Tubb page must have just put it up because at teh start of the Opry it had not been updated..........

    THIS SUCKS!!!!

  23. Fred, Bismarck:

    I checked on the announcement, and it is as reported. Demoralization definitely appears to have set in. For instance, there has been no change to the photo section, including "Look who dropped by," in months.

    Very sad ... but the death of brick and mortar, like the death of downtowns and small towns, is something we've done to ourselves, in the name of convenience, better shopping or better bargains elsewhere. Turns out even an icon like the Ernest Tubb Record Shop is not immune.

  24. On my last several visits to Nashville, the inventory in both the Broadway and Music Valley Drive locations was pretty low. Last week, it looked like they had a little bit more inventory and some of the new releases, but no increase in the inventory of the classic artists. The Music Valley location was like a ghost town in the middle of Friday and Saturday afternoon. Only one employee working and they were closed up by 5.

    What I had been told in December was that David McCormick, the owner of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, was working hard at keeping the Jamboree going. There is cost behind it. Paying for the employees and the upkeep of the shop and theater, paying for the musicans and the radio time on WSM. The records that were being played and promoted were actually paid for. Also, he was having a harder time at getting artists to do the Midnight Jamboree. Not everyone wants to stay up late anymore and perform after midnight.
    Besides the inventory being low, the snack shop in the theater had been closed, just selling bottled water and drinks during the jamboree.

    I understand about not wanting to restock the inventory because of low sales, yet as a business operator myself, you have to have at least some inventory to sell. It's a fine line to balance and somewhere along the way, the lost their way.

    As far as this "fan club' people are trying to start, asking you to pay $75 to join and keep the shop and jamboree going, that is a good gesture but a poor idea. A one time fee is not going to get you anywhere. Support and buying merchandise will. Hopefully they come back this summer, although I have my doubts. It's sad.

  25. Mr. Fay,

    I know there are multiple Ernest Tubb Record Shop locations, but just to clarify, are you all saying that the Ernest Tubb store on Broadway is in trouble, or in danger of closing down? I would think that with the huge amount of tourists in Nashville these days, especially with the influx of tourism hat has accompanied the popularity of the Nashville TV show, it would have no trouble finding customers.

    I've been to the Opry once before, but have never seen the Midnight Jamboree. Please pardon my confusion of this subject.

  26. Yes, Jay, all locations of the Ernest Tubb Record Shops are in trouble, as is the Midnight Jamboree. The situation has been going since at least the fall of last year. As far as the Broadway shop in particular, yes there has always been a lot of foot traffic in the shop, and from my own personal observations, most of those stopping have been buying at least something. There seems great interest in the older material. You would think that they would at least keep that location stocked with inventory to sell, at least the popular items.

  27. Fred, Bismarck:

    Byron, I wonder if you have any insights into what may have happened. With the Jamboree, we know the big trouble was the early quit at the Opry. At the record store ... what? Too high-priced? That's what I always thought, especially for its mail-order in an Internet age.

  28. Wow, that is very troubling news.

    As I said, it is hard for me to accept that the shop (especially the Broadway location) would be struggling. Besides the fact that Nashville is experiencing a tourism boom, it is also the home of a thriving independent record store culture, as well as being one of the epicenters of the modern vinyl revival, which seems to grow bigger each year. Last time I visited the Ernest Tubb location on Broadway, I was pleased to see that they now have a small vinyl section, but I wonder if they cold expand even more in that direction. The store's management might not be interested in selling used records, but I know a lot of crate-diggers and record collectors (including young people) who are interested in buying them. Classic country records seem to be quite popular at other record stores in town such as Grimey’s, and the Fond Object in East Nashville. And reissued vinyl records by artists such as Johnny Cash always sell like hotcakes.

    Another thing I think Ernest Tubb's needs to do to keep in order to keep in step with the times is to step up their game in the social media department. Whether anyone likes it or not, that is the direction the world is moving in, and having an active web presence seems to be essential for independent businesses these days. I noticed that the store doesn't have a Twitter or Instagram account, and although they do have a Facebook page, it hasn't been updated in months. I think they could build a large online presence on a website like Instagram quickly and easily, simply by posting pictures of new records and CDs that come into the shop, shots of customers posing with the albums they purchase, photos of famous people who drop by the store (like the ones they have on their website, which few people probably see.) They could post pictures of the Midnight Jamboree in progress, or even have additional special events and in-store performances. The main thing I’m trying to put across here is that one would think that finding news ways to do business and connect with folks online would be much more important in this day and age than focusing on the mail-order music business, which seems more like a relic of the 20th century at this point.

    Speaking of young folks again, if it is getting more difficult to find people who are willing to stay up and play the Jamboree at midnight, why not focus on younger artists? As with the Opry, there are a lot of good, young independent artists who could be featured more, and maybe their more youthful fanbases would be more willing to stay up late. I really hope the Midnight Jamboree can be saved. I know the idea is to have it every week, but maybe it could be set aside as a special event that happens at the Broadway location only during the months that the Opry is at the Ryman, or something along the lines. Personally, I would rather have it live on in a limited capacity than not at all.

    I apologize for the length of my post. I am passionate about Nashville and country music and I kind of get carried away sometimes, ha ha.

  29. Fred, I wish I could. All I can tell you is that when I was there in the fall, the foot traffic was way down, but that also could be because of low inventory. My other thought is that they have done very little advertising over the years, mostly on WSM. They may be trying to live off their name and reputation instead of looking for new customers. If the Johnny Cash Museum can come up with enough money to sponsor an Opry segment, you would think the Ernest Tubb Record Shop could also, at least during the winter months when the Cash Museum does not sponsor a segment. Perhaps ETRS could take the spot then.

    We all know the problems at the Midnight Jamboree. One Opry show, Opry at the Ryman, poor choices for hosts that result in small crowds and you could add a few more to the list. Even in the past year with the right host it has been standing room only.

    I know it sounds like rambling and repeating the same old stuff, but really there is no easy answer. As I said, I think there is a market for this type of shop. Lots of people like the older classic country music and the reissues of albums. But, when you play around with the jamboree, having repeat shows some weeks, live shows other weeks, not announcing hosts until the day before the jamboree, and you can see why there are some issues.

  30. I wonder how the mail order business is doing? How many people are shopping on the website?

    I know at least once a year I order from them. Only maybe a couple hundred dollars or so. I also know sometimes I can find it a bit cheaper elsewhere but I like to give them some of my business. Since I am mostly into old vinyl I don' t purchase that many CD's.

    I must say that the right host on the Jamboree would cause me to drive to Nashville more than the Opry most weekends. To be fair, overall, the Opry shows have been pretty good since the first of the year considering the days we are now living in!

    Knightsville, IN

  31. Fred, Bismarck:

    Thanks, Byron. Whatever, I do wish the record shop well. It and David McCormick have been great and loyal friends to real country music over many years.

    Jim, other things being equal, mail-order should be booming. It was the founding reason for the shop, and now has the convenience of Internet ordering going for it. Jay could have a point about the additional necessity of "social media." I have no use for those myself, but I'm not exactly in the mainstream, either.

    In earlier remarks, I did not mean to characterize the shop as overpriced, overall. They can be fair on many items. One area that does require you to be wary, and to shop around, is those luxury box sets. ETRS can be $100 over some of the competition, and I don't feel I owe the memory of E.T. that.