Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 3/6 & 3/7

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. While not as strong of shows as we have seen in the past several weeks, there are still some very interesting names listed and good quality line-ups.

The Friday Night Opry will feature guest artists Kristian Bush and Old Dominion. Another name you will see is the ever popular and present Chris Janson. And finally, Point Of Grace is scheduled. These three young ladies do a very nice job with their brand of Christian music and have enjoyed some success. Nice to see them back on the Opry.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature one of my favorite singers, Suzy Bogguss. If you haven't listened "Lucky", her Merle Haggard tribute album, you are missing a good one. She does an outstanding job with Merle's hits. Also scheduled on Saturday is Dailey & Vincent, another of the acts who many think would make great Opry members. They continue to have great success in bluegrass. Jonathan Jackson from "Nashville" is scheduled, as is another visit from Greg Bates and Jason Crabb.

As far as Opry members this weekend, Mike Snider, Jim Ed Brown, Bill Anderson and John Conlee are set for both nights. Friday night, they are joined by Ricky Skaggs and Lorrie Morgan, along with The Whites, Jeannie Seely and Bobby Osborne. Saturday night we have Connie Smith, Riders In The Sky, Jan Howard and Jesse McReynolds.

Friday March 6
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider; Chris Janson
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Jim Ed Brown; Point Of Grace
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Old Dominion
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jeannie Seely; Kristian Bush

Saturday March 7
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Mike Snider; Greg Bates
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jesse McReynolds; Jason Crabb
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Jonathan Jackson; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Suzy Bogguss; Dailey & Vincent

Again, as with last week, 13 artists are set for each show.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, March 5 & 6, 2010:

Friday March 5
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Chuck Wicks
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Marty Raybon
8:15: John Conlee (host); Riders In The Sky; Connie Smith; Mandy Barnett
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Montgomery Gentry

Saturday March 6
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; Emily West
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Little Texas; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jim Ed Brown; Sammy Kershaw

And from 10 years ago, the weekend of March 4 & 5, 2005:

Friday March 4
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Cowboy Crush; Stonewall Jackson; The Whites
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Katrina Elam
9:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Osborne Brothers; Buddy Jewell
9:30: John Conlee (host); George Hamilton IV; Mandy Barnett

Saturday March 5
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Buddy Jewell
7:00: Diamond Rio (host); Pat Green; Del McCoury Band; The Crabb Family
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Wade Hayes; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Jamie O'Neal

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Diamond Rio; Connie Smith
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Del McCoury Band; Buddy Jewell
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Billy Walker; Pat Green; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Wade Hayes; Jamie O'Neal
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Stu Phillips; The Crabb Family

For this week's featured line-up, it was on March 7, 1964 that Jim & Jesse, along with Ernie Ashworth, were introduced on the Opry stage as the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Ernie Ashworth came to Nashville from Huntsville, Alabama where he performed on radio station WBHP. By the age of 20, he had found success in Nashville as a songwriter and was signed by Acuff-Rose, where he wrote songs for Jimmy Dickens, Carl Smith, Johnny Horton, Wilma Lee Cooper and even, Paul Anka. Ernie received his first recording contract in 1955 but he was unable to come up with a hit and returned to Alabama. In 1960, Wesley Rose called him back to record once again and this time "Each Moment" was a success, reaching the Top 10. That was followed by "You Can't Pick a Rose in December." Three years later, Ernie had his career hit, "Talk Back Trembling Lips." The song went to #1 and was on the charts for 36 weeks. It was not only a country hit, but it also crossed over onto the pop charts. That song led to his invitation to join the Opry. While Ernie would enjoy a few more successful records, he never again saw the success that he had with his first #1. Later, Ernie would own radio stations in Ardmore and Gallatin, Tennessee and in 1992 he was elected to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Ernie passed away on March 2, 2009 at the age of 80.

Jim & Jesse McReynolds came to Nashville from Coeburn, Virginia. Coming from a family with a musical background, they signed with Capital Records in 1952. Their first Top 20 country hit came in 1967, three years after they joined the Opry, with "Diesel on My Tail." From then until the 1980s, they regularly made the country charts with a string of hits, most with a bluegrass flavor. In 1993 the duo were elected into the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Honor. Jim McReynolds passed away on December 31, 2002 and since then Jesse has continued as an active recording artist and as an Opry member. In 2014, Jesse celebrated 50 years as an Opry member.

To remember both Ernie Ashworth and Jim & Jesse, here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from that night 51 years ago, March 7, 1964:

7:30: Luzianne
Jimmy Newman (host): Alligator Man
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Marion Worth: You Took Him Off My Hands
Stringbean: Little Pink
Jimmy Newman: D.J. For A Day
Del Wood: Waiting for the Robert E Lee
Merle Kilgore: (?)
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Jimmy Newman: Six Days on the Road

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): (?)
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Glaser Brothers: (?)
Ernest Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)
Ray Pillow: (?)
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Glaser Brothers: (?)
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Low and Lonely
June Stearn: (?)
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Roy Acuff: The End of the World
Hank Williams, Jr: Long Gone Lonesome Blues
Oswald: My Curly Headed Baby
Howdy Forrester: Soldier's Joy
Roy Acuff: Mother's Only Sleeping

9:00: Pet Milk
Ernest Tubb (host): (?)
Jean Shepard: (?)
Billy Walker: Forever
Jim & Jesse: (?)
Ernest Tubb: (?)
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Ida Red
Cousin Jody: I Suffered More Than You'll Ever Know
Jean Shepard: (?)
Ernest Tubb: (?)

9:30: Kellogg's
Leroy Van Dyke (host): (?)
Carter Family (?)
The Browns (?)
Willis Brothers: Big Daddy
Leroy Van Dyke (?)
Dottie West (?)
Carter Family (?)
The Browns (?)
Leroy Van Dyke: (?)

10:00: Schick
Wilburn Brothers (host) (?)
Jimmy Newman: The Mover
Stringbean: (?)
Wilburn Brothers: (?)

10:15: SSS Tonic
Flatt & Scruggs (host): (?)
Marion Worth: He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not
Del Wood: Queenie of the Town
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)

10:30: Harvey's
Roy Acuff (host): (?)
Skeeter Davis: He Says the Same Things to Me
Ernest Ashworth: A Week in the County Jail
Roy Acuff: (?)
Howdy Forrester & Jimmy Riddle: Black Mountain Rag

10:45: Ford
Ernest Tubb (host): (?)
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Wanna Be Loved
Crook Brothers: Lafayette
Ernest Tubb: (?)
Stoney Cooper: Canadian Reel

11:00: Coca-Cola
Leroy Van Dyke (host): (?)
Jean Shepard: (?)
Billy Walker: Charlie's Shoes
Glaser Brothers: (?)
Leroy Van Dyke: (?)
Hank Williams, Jr: Cold, Cold, Heart
Sam McGee: Dear Old Southern Home
Glaser Brothers: (?)
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Leroy Van Dyke: (?)

11:30: Gretsch Guitars
Marty Robbins (host): (?)
The Browns: (?)
Willis Brothers: Private Lee
Jim & Jesse: (?)
Marty Robbins: (?)
Cousin Jody: Cripple Creek
Don Winters: (?)
Willis Brothers: Everlovin' Dixieland
Marty Robbins: (?)

Interesting to see Ray Pillow and Dottie West appearing as guest artists, as they were not Opry members as of yet. Also an appearance by Hank Williams, Jr.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. They did a nice tribute to Little Jimmy Dickens on last night's episode of Nashville. They showed a picture of LJD inducting Raina James to the Opry at the beginning of the episode, and later on, when they were at the Opry, Vince Gill mentioned "it's too bad Jimmy couldn't be here." Opry member Lorrie Morgan also made a brief appearance on the episode, and Opry manager Pete Fisher made an uncredited cameo from the wings of the Opry.

    And if I'm not mistaken, I believe they wrote a dedication to JImmy in the closing credits of the show.

  2. That sad thing is that there are many people who think "Nashville" is real and that Raina is an actual Opry member.

    1. It's crazy. Even an actual Opry member like Pam Tillis thinks it's real:


  3. That's OK Fayfare, as long as they buy tickets to the real thing!

  4. Heard today that Wade Jessen from "Willie's Roadhouse" evening shift passed away suddenly this morning. He had a great knowledge of the Opry and Country Music in General.

  5. Lorrie Morgan will not be at tonight's Friday Night Opry. Before anyone comments further, as this will be her 2nd cancellation in the last month, she is under the weather.

  6. Reba was just announced for the May 5th Tuesday night show.

  7. I'm glad to hear that. It seems that the Opry is finally starting to "fit her image" again. I'm looking forward to hearing her.

    I'm hoping that Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, and Travis Tritt will follow in Reba's footsteps and return.

    1. I wouldn't get my hopes up. Via information provided by Byron, Reba has made less than 20 appearance on the Opry stage for actual Opry shows in her nearly 30 years of membership. In fact, she was in Nashville, AT the Opry house filming a segment for the TV show Nashville at the end of January but did NOT perform on an Opry show itself. So she was in Nashville that weekend, but yet could not find time to perform on an actual Opry show. If she actually fulfills her May date at the Opry, her record would indicate that might be her last appearance of a few more years! With regard to Dolly, Garth, and Travis - well, I think they have somehow completely blocked the Opry from their minds or, since they've been gone so long, maybe they think the show is no longer in existence!

  8. Fred, Bismarck:

    I think it's somewhat of a travesty that a Tuesday show counts as an Opry appearance. I suppose some people come to Nashville for a whole week and take in the Tuesday, Friday and Saturday shows. Many more, I suspect, come just for the weekend; if they are going to see their heroes, it will have to be on a Friday or Saturday night.

    When somebody like Reba uses what is probably an off night in her schedule anyway to throw the Opry a bone, I am not impressed or eternally grateful. Given the history, I'm pretty sure it's something she's doing for Reba, not for Opry and its fans.

    1. wonder how much of that Tuesday "Opry" show at the Opry House came about for entertainment to the conferences and conventions at the Hotel? the classic one in the summer at the Ryman was most likely added for the tourist season because of the numbers and to keep business at the Ryman

  9. Fred, I'm with you in that I'm sure Reba is doing this for some particular promotional reason. She doesn't care about the Opry in the least, and she has shown it. The same is true of the others mentioned above.

    And I would rather that they do Friday and Saturday night. But, frankly, I'm glad that those who do the Tuesday Night Opry are there for that. Remember, once upon a time, a lot of members didn't even think of the Friday Night Opry as a real show. Unless I'm mistaken, Ernest Tubb didn't do it at all and Hank Snow only did it after he retired from the road.

  10. Folks,

    Look at your calendar. May 2nd is a Saturday, not a Tuesday. Know the facts before you complain.

    Yes, I'm certain this Opry appearance is a tie-in with Reba's new album release, but I fail to see how a sell-out show is bad for the Opry.

    Also, before you jump to conclusions about how the Opry appearance is "helping" Reba's career... How so? The Opry isn't on television anymore. The venues Reba plays on the road hold many more patrons than the Opry house. Yes, it is a radio show, but how many people actually purchase what they hear? And how many people actually tune in? WSM claims that the radio signal reaches parts of Canada, which I find to be insane. I find that it barely reaches parts of Greater Nashville.

    Just some things to ponder.


    1. I don't see where anyone was complaining about a sell-out being bad for the Opry nor did I see anyone making the argument that an Opry appearance was helping out Reba's career. To which posts are you referring? What I DO see are people voicing their frustration with Reba's commitment to the Opry, or, rather, the lack the thereof. She's never had it, not even when she was a younger member and not nearly as famous as she is now.

      And, the Opry does reach parts of Canada. That's been well-documented in the past. So, that claim is not invalid.

    2. Should have said that claim "is invalid".

    3. @Leonard ~ I live in NW suburban Chicago & there are many nights I am able to listen to Eddie Stubbs on two of my house radio's AND my Sony Walkman (yes, 1-AA battery is all that is needed.) Many winter nights WSM comes in crystal clear, some nights it is full of static, clears up or fades in & out & other nights, it doesn't come in at all. I am also able to get WSM in my car radio at night.

      When I am away from home many nights I am able to get WGN-AM radio (50,000 watt radio station here in Chicago) especially when in Nashville.

      Two Chicago am sports radio stations come in on my car radio & also on my Sony Walkman when I am in West Central Wisconsin, where cows well outnumber people.

      Funny how the airwaves work ~

      As far as Reba's Opry appearance in May, could be a "commercial" for her upcoming residency in Las Vegas with Brooks & Dunn. Don't really care about Reba one way or another. She rarely plays the Opry, so for this one night, who cares, I don't. As far as I am concerned, she isn't a member - members join in the fun & music on that wonderful Opry stage, she does not. I'm happy listening to Mo Pitney, Chris Jansen & happy am I when Old Crow Medicine Show is appearing.

      I was very shocked & saddened to learn about Wade Jessen's passing a couple of days ago. Always thought he had one of the coolest names & voices on radio. Loved listening to his "Rear View" program on Willie's Roadhouse. Many years ago I listened to his classic country program very early on a Sunday morning on WSM-FM - not AM, FM. Sad, so young, 53 y/o. My condolences to his family & may he rest in peace.


    4. Also, in reading Byron's blog from the end of February a few minutes ago, regarding the different cable channels that carried the Grand Ole Opry .... there were two women named Katie on two different country music channels.

      Katie Cook works at CMT & the other is Katie Haas, who worked at TNN: The Nashville Network some 20 plus years ago on Video Morning with Al Wynter - Katie Haas was just terrific & so funny. In my opinion, the day TNN: The Nashville Network became Spike TV was the day Nashville would ever have another successful cable tv channel coming out of it. CMT has always been a crap cable channel as far as I am concerned. GAC started out great when it originated from Denver back in the mid to later 90's, once relocated to Nashville & all slicked up, this channel, in the end, went the way of CMT ... thank God for Patrick Gottsch for having a whole lot of smarts in providing some country music programming for country music fans on his RFD-TV but don't look for the Opry on any cable channel any time soon. Personally, for as angry as I was for about three years after the Opry was no longer televised, I'm now happy just listening to it on my computer & I'll leave it at that.


  11. I'm from WI. I was able to hear WSM fairly well in the car at around 5:45 PM the other day and it wasn't even dark out yet!

    Trisha Yearwood is scheduled for the Opry on 3/13. Opry calendar says "some discounts not valid for this show." It's also her 16th Opry anniversary. Anyone think Trisha's husband will make a surprise appearance?


  12. On a perfect weather night, at the perfect time, you can hear WSM in parts of Canada. Not every night and not always clear. Most nights after dark, in northeast Ohio it comes in pretty good and I am only across Lake Erie from Canada.

    As far as Trisha's husband showing up, all I can say that in the past when she has done the Opry, he generally has not been there.

    Finally, since Reba is a hot topic, just my thoughts. No, the Opry is not helping Reba's career. I think we can all agree that the days of the Opry making or breaking a country star ended many decades ago. It is nice that Reba is doing the Opry and it is nice the Opry is doing a cross promotion of her new CD. You ticket plus $10 gets you one. And as I write this, if it is not a sell-out for what will probably be her 3 songs, it is pretty close.

    I think the issue, and not only with Reba but the others such as Travis, Alan, Clint, Garth and the list the fact that they decided to become Opry members. That to me means that at one time the Opry meant something to them. I wish it still did. You would have to ask them. What I do know is that many Opry members either do not appear at all, or very rarely. It would be nice that as a member, they would perform there once in a while, not once in a "great" while.

  13. Just recently I listened to the 'Opry on my rental car's radio all the way from State College to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
    That signal TRAVELS, and I have no doubt it can often reach Canada.

    Oh, I'm glad Reba is coming whatever her motives.
    Also wish she and all of the other superstars would show up a lot more often.

  14. After dark and when the weather's even the slightest bit chilly the WSM sigmal comes in strong and clear in Central Florida.

  15. A couple of notes. Connie Smith didn't host the first segment but showed up on the second segment hosted by Riders in the Sky; no explanation given. Jim Ed Brown hosted and mentioned that he missed the Friday Night Opry because he had to go to the hospital with a coughing spell that doctors told him was due to all of the "junk" inside him from the radiation, but he said he'd beat that. He sounded a little less raspy than when he first performed. He also laughed a couple of times while he was singing, so he was having a good time.

    Jan Howard sounded good and Jesse McReynolds was picking just fine. Bill Anderson dedicated "Golden Guitar" to, as he called him, "Opry Glen" Thompson. And Dailey & Vincent need to be members along with the other Vincent in bluegrass.