Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 5/1 & 5/2

The big weekend is upon us as Reba McEntire is returning to perform on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time since 2009, and for only the 2nd time since 1996. (no, I don't count her "walk-on" to invite Little Big Town to become Opry members). And as expected, Reba has been given the entire final segment to promote her new CD.

Since Reba last performed on the Opry, there have been a lot of changes that she might not be aware of. First, the entire Grand Ole Opry House backstage area as been remodeled as there was a flood in 2010 that seriously damaged that part of the Opry House. Next, she might notice a few more fans backstage as the Opry heavily promotes backstage tours now. And finally, since she last appeared, 7 new members have joined the Opry while 9 members have passed away. Not that it matters to Reba as I am sure she will be ushered into the Opry House right before she is set to perform and then quickly leaving. Now with all that said, as an Opry member, I am glad to see Reba back on the Opry. I know she is not one of the more loyal members, but she draws excitement when she comes and there will be a sold-out Opry House waiting for her. In her last appearance in 2009, she was also given a segment to herself, in fact the Opry that night added an extra segment to the show just for Reba, and she did 3 songs. I would expect about the same on Saturday night.

Joining Reba on Saturday night will be Opry members Larry Gatlin, Bobby Osborne, along with John Conlee, Mike Snider, Connie Smith and Jim Ed Brown, with all of that group also performing on the Friday Night Opry. Guest artists on Saturday night include Ray Scott, Lauren Alaina and Canaan Smith, all of whom have done the Opry previously.

The Friday Night Opry, in addition to those already mentioned, will include Opry members Ricky Skaggs, Riders In The Sky and The Whites. There is another appearance by Chris Janson, who within the past week was signed to a major record deal, along with EmiSunshine, who adds another Opry appearance to her resume. Other guest artists include Josh Thompson, Jenn Bostic and Jason Crabb.

Friday May 1
7:00: John Conlee (host); Josh Thompson; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jenn Bostic; Jason Crabb
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Jim Ed Brown; EmiSunshine
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Chris Janson

Saturday May 2
7:00: John Conlee (host); Ray Scott; Mike Snider
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Jim Ed Brown; Lauren Alaina
8:15: Larry Gatlin (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Canaan Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Reba McEntire

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, April 30 & May 1, 2010. The Saturday night show was the final show that took place at the Opry House prior to the flood that forced the Opry out of the Opry house until September.

Friday April 30
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Grascals
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV; Sarah Buxton
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; The Band Perry
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Mandy Barnett

Saturday May 1
7:00: The Whites (host); Connie Smith; The Grascals
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Ray Pillow; Blaine Larsen
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Chris Scruggs; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett

And from ten years ago, the weekend of April 29 & 30, 2010:

Friday April 29
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Alecia Nugent
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Jimmy Wayne
8:30: Pam Tillis (host); Hank Locklin; Osborne Brothers; Keni Thomas
9:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; George Canyon
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Lauren Lucas; Eddy Raven

Saturday April 30
1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Lane Turner
7:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jack Greene; Sherrie Austin
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Billy Walker; Stevens Sisters
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; George Canyon; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Pam Tillis (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Lane Turner
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Sherrie Austin
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Charlie Walker; Stevens Sisters; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Pam Tillis (host); Jimmy C Newman; George Canyon
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mandy Barnett

For this week's featured line-ups, there are two that I would like to share. The first is from 44 years ago, Saturday May 1, 1971 as this was the final night that Cousin Jody appeared on the Opry.

James Clell Summey was born on December 11, 1914 near Sevierville, Tennessee. It was said that he had a face that could only belong to a funny man, yet he was one of the greatest pioneers of the Dobro.

His career began playing dance music, but in 1933 , under the name of Tex Summey, he joined the Tennessee Crackerjacks, the group formed by Roy Acuff and he gave the group its distinctive sound. In October 1936, he traveled with the band to Chicago to record sides for the American Recording Company. Among the songs recorded were "The Old Speckled Bird" and "Wabash Cannonball." He was with the group when Roy made his Grand Ole Opry debut in October 1937 at the Dixie Tabernacle and was the first person to play the dobro on the Opry stage. When Roy made his first appearance as a member of the Opry in February 1938, he was with him. The following week, the name of the group was changed to the Smoky Mountain Boys.

In 1939, Summey along with bass player Red Jones felt that the band should play more Pop material, but Roy felt differently so they left the group. Summey began to play the steel guitar and became a member of Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys. It was then that his comedy skills surfaced. He joined up with Oral Rhodes as Odie and Jody. He then joined up with Lonzo and Oscar and was with them for many years, after which he performed as a solo act. Ill health forced him to retire from the Opry and he died of cancer in 1975.

Cousin Jody was a part of the Opry for 34 years and to remember Cousin Jody, here is the Opry line-up from May 1, 1971, his final night to perform on the Opry.

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Stu Phillips (host): Let the Guitars Play
Peggy Little: I've Got to Have You
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Stu Phillips: El Tigrae

6:45: Rudy's
Willis Brothers (host): Bob
Justin Tubb: Big Fool of the Year
Willis Brothers: For the Good Times
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey

7:00: Luzianne
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of A Hillbilly Heaven/Boll Weevil
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nine Pound Hammer
Howdy Forrester: Billy in the Low Ground
Connie Eaton: Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Oswald: Columbus Stockade Blues
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Big Midnight Special
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Monroe (host): Molly & Tenbrooks
The Stonemans: Looking Out My Back Door
Joe & Rose Lee Maphis: If I'm Gonna Have Your Lovin'
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Bill Monroe: Wicked Path of Sin
The Stonemans: Orange Blossom Special
Joe & Rose Lee Maphis: If I'm Gonna Have Your Lovin'

8:00: Martha White
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Bill Carlisle: Shanghai Rooster
4 Guys: My Special Angel
Bobby Lewis: He Gives Us All His Love
Archie Campbell: Hey Waiter
Del Wood: Kentucky Turnpike
4 Guys: Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Marion Worth: How Great Thou Art
Charlie Walker: My Baby Used to Be That Way
Louie Roberts: Sandy/Cattle Call
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Devil's Dream
Marion Worth: Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Justin Tubb (host): Be Glad
Willis Brothers: Women's Liberation
Peggy Little: Son of A Preacher Man
Stringbean: Ruby
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Peggy Little: I've Got to Have You
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203

10:00: Fender
Stu Phillips (host): Me and Bobby McGee
Connie Eaton: Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey
Stu Phillips: For the Good Times

10:15: Union 76
Bill Monroe (host): I Haven't Seen Mary in Years
Tex Ritter: Wayward Wind
Joe & Rose Lee Maphis: Run that By Me One More Time
Bill Monroe: I'll Never Love No One Else But My Darling

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nobody's Darling But Mine
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark
Archie & Phil Campbell: Release Me

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Charlie Walker: My Baby Used to Be that Way
The Stonemans: White Lightening #2
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
Hank Snow: Bluebird Island
Charlie Walker: Tell Her Lies and Feed Her Candy
Sam McGee: Where the Roses Never Fade
Hank Snow: My Little Old Home Down In New Orleans

11:30: Elm Hill
4 Guys (host): Cottonfields/Maria
Marion Worth: Okie From Muskogee/How Great Thou Art
Louie Roberts: Sandy
Bobby Lewis: From Heaven to Heartache/He Gives Us All His Love
4 Guys: Sweet Caroline/One Pair of Hands

Finally, with Reba McEntire scheduled to appear on the Opry on Saturday night, I thought I would posted the line-up from the night that Reba made her first guest appearance on the Opry. She appeared only on the 2nd show. What is also of interest from this 1977 show is Dolly Parton hosting a segment on that 2nd show. So here it is, from Saturday September 17, 1977.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Bob Luman (host): Lonely Women Make Good Lovers
Dottsy: After Sweet Memories, Play Born to Lose
Bob Luman: A Satisfied Mind

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): Don't Stop In My World
Wilburn Brothers: Trouble's Back In Town
Billy Grammer: (?)/Tennessee Waltz
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Wilma Lee Cooper: Where Is America Going/No One Now
Del Wood: Wood-Cutter
Bill Carlisle: Elvira/I Was On My Way to the Show
Porter Wagoner: Tennessee Sunshine/Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green, Green Grass of Home

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jim & Jesse: Don't Ever Take Your Love From Me/Last Train to Clarksville
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Lafayette
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Roy Acuff: Where the Soul of Man Never Dies

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): Answer the Phone
Dolly Parton: Apple Jack/Me & Little Andy
Ernest Tubb: Half A Mind
Jimmy C Newman: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget/Diggy Liggy Lo

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
4 Guys: The Morning Sun/Don't It Make You Want to Go Home
Marion Worth: Just A Little Lovin'/Just An Old Love Turned Memory
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Hank Snow: Indian Love Call/I'm Moving On

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Big Wind
Billy Walker: Word Games/You Gave Me A Mountain
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Dottsy: Storms Never Last/I'll Be Your San Antone Rose
Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green Green Grass of Home/On A Highway Headed South

10:00: Fender
Ernest Tubb (host): Two Glasses Joe
Wilburn Brothers: Country Kind of Feelings/Because He Lives
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): I Couldn't Believe It Was True
Wilma Lee Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Roy Acuff: That's the Man I'm Looking For/Farther Along

10:30 Trailblazer
Dolly Parton (host): Joshua
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Tale That the Crow Told Me
Dolly Parton: Love Is Like A Butterfly

10:45: Beech-Nut
4 Guys (host): Mother Country Music
Reba McEntire: Invitation to the Blues
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Gray Eagle
4 Guys: Mariah

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): There's A Fool Such As I
Jim & Jesse: Just One of A Kind/Paradise
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Kirk McGee: Victory Rag/Freight Train
Hank Snow: Just A Faded Petal From A Beautiful Bouquet

11:30: Elm Hill
Jimmy C Newman (host): Jambalaya
Marion Worth: Fool #1/Mockingbird Hill
Johnny Carver: Living Next Door to Alice/Afternoon Delight
Jimmy C Newman: Diggy Liggy Lo

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tuesday Night Opry 4/28 & Opry Country Classics 4/30

I know I have not posted much regarding the Tuesday Night Opry shows or Opry Country Classics, but the line-ups that are posted for this week caught my eye and I thought I would post and offer a few comments.

Tuesday Night Opry, April 28
7:00: Bill Anderson; Love And Theft
7:30: Gretchen Peters; Dailey & Vincent
8:15: Jana Kramer; Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers
8:45: Pam Tillis; Brad Paisley; Tomi Fujiyama

Tomi Fujiyama is considered "Japan's First Lady of Country Music.." She started her career in country music in the late 1950s and in Japan she has released 21 singles and 7 albums. She first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1964, being introduced at that time by Bill Anderson. In the 1970s, she retired from performing to raise her family, however by the late 1980s, she was back recording and performing and 1997, she returned to Nashville and appeared on the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. Over the course of her career, she has made many trips to Nashville to record and to work with American country music artists. In other words, she is no stranger to the Grand Ole Opry.

It is very nice to see Brad Paisley making another Opry appearance. In the past several years, it seems that it takes a special occasion to get Brad to the Opry, so it is nice to see him stopping by on what appears to be a regular Tuesday night show. Other Opry members include Bill Anderson, Pam Tillis and another appearance by Larry and The Gatlin Brothers. Love And Theft, Dailey & Vincent, Gretchen Peters and Jana Kramer have all appeared on the Opry numerous times.

Opry Country Classics, Thursday April 30:

Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Loretta Lynn
Mo Pitney, Ray Pillow, Rhonda Vincent

A solid line-up for this week's show. Anytime you can get Loretta Lynn to the Opry, you know it will be a great night. And nice to see Ray Pillow doing the classics show. Add Rhonda Vincent, the queen of bluegrass, and Mo Pitney, one of the bright young talents in the business, and you have the makings of a great evening.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 4/24 & 4/25-Updated

Who else knew that Randy Travis got married last month? It sure caught me by surprise.

Happy Thursday morning to all. The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend. I know several times I have praised the Opry for the quality of the line-ups they have had since the first of the year. A lot of the Opry's more popular members have been showing up including Brad Paisley (and he actually is coming back next week), and several appearances by Charlie Daniels, Terri Clark, Joe Diffie, Craig Morgan, Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan and the Oak Ridge Boys. We are seeing more appearances by Del McCoury, Old Crow Medicine Show, Diamond Rio, Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill, and even Trisha Yearwood has shown up. There are upcoming appearances scheduled by Loretta Lynn and of course, Reba next weekend. It would appear that the Opry is off to a fine start for their 90th year.

You know that they can't keep it up every week, and this weekend is one of those that I think the quality is a bit down from the previous weeks. They are still decent shows, not just what I would call an "A" level.

As far as Opry members this weekend, the biggest name is Ricky Skaggs, who is set to host on both nights. Joining him on Friday and Saturday will be Jeannie Seely and Connie Smith, The Whites (who will be hosting on Saturday night) and  Mike Snider who will be hosting a segment on Friday night. For Mike, who used to be in the regular rotation of segment hosts, this will be just his 3rd time hosting this year. Other Opry members set for this weekend include Bobby Osborne on Friday night and Jesse McReynolds on Saturday. A pretty thin showing by the membership this weekend.

As far as guest artists on Friday night, Mary Gauthier, Exile and Darryl Worley are scheduled. Those three are no strangers to the Opry. High Valley is a Canadian Christian music duo who will be appearing as guests of Ricky Skaggs. And then you have Michael Ray who will be making his Grand Ole Opry debut, thanks in part to the AT&T U-verse country deep series.

Saturday night will include return appearances by Austin Webb, Striking Matches and JT Hodges. Zane Williams, who is out of Texas, and if my records are right, will be making his Opry debut.

Friday April 24
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; The Henningsens
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Mary Gauthier; Darryl Worley
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Michael Ray
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); High Valley; Exile

Saturday April 25
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Austin Webb; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Janelle Arthur; Jimmy Wayne
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; JT Hodges; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Zane Williams; Striking Matches

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of April 23 & 24, 2010:

Friday April 23
7:00: Pam Tillis (host); John Conlee; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; The Steeldrivers
8:15: Marty Stuart (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jack Greene; Connie Smith
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Stonewall Jackson; Charlie Daniels Band

Saturday April 24
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Jaron & The Long Road To Love
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith; Point Of Grace
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Joe Diffie; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Loretta Lynn

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Loretta Lynn
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jaron & The Long Road To Love
10:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jan Howard; Point Of Grace; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Joe Diffie

And from ten years ago, the weekend of April 22 & 23, 2005:

Friday April 22
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Jessi Alexander
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Osborne Brothers; Jack Greene; Sherrie Austin
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; Mel McDaniel; Ralph Stanley
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jon Randall; Riders In The Sky; Connie Smith
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; T. Graham Brown

Saturday April 23
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jeannie Seely; Joe Nichols
7:00: Dolly Parton (host); Jo Dee Messina; Hanna-McEuen; The Grascals
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; Riders In The Sky; Connie Smith Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Catherine Britt; Ralph Stanley

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Osborne Brothers; Jo Dee Messina
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; The Grascals; Dolly Parton
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Mel McDaniel; Ralph Stanley; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); George Hamilton IV; Connie Smith; Hanna-McEuen
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Stu Phillips; Jack Greene; Catherine Britt

For this week's featured line-up, I have one to share from 68 years ago, Saturday April 26, 1947. This line-up will give you a good indication of what an Opry show line-up looked like back in those days.

8:00: Purina
Oklahoma Wranglers: Mocking Bird
Eddy Arnold: When You Cry You Cry Alone
Crook Brothers: Bile Dem Cabbage Down
Annie Lou and Danny: Hear Dem Bells
Eddy Arnold: No One To Cry To
Honey Wildes: Jokes
Oklahoma Wranglers: I'd Love to Be a Cowboy But I Am Afraid of Cows
Lonzo and Oscar: Cornbread and Lasses
Eddy Arnold: What Is Life Without Love
Roy Wiggins: Memories of You

8:30: Warren Paint & Color Co.
Lew Childre: Hog Calling Blues
Paul Howard: Stay A Little Longer
Bill Monroe: Kentucky Waltz
Milton Estes: Casey Jones
Clyde Moody: Foggy River
Lew and String Beans: Walking in My Sleep
Chubby Wise: Down Yonder
Jimmy Selph: That's Why I Worry
Robert Lunn: Grandfather's Clock
Possum Hunters: Green Back Dollar

9:00: Royal Crown
Golden West Cowboys: Steel Guitar Rag
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Tennessee Waggoner
Cowboy Copas: Texas Red
Jack and Johnnie: Unloved and Unclaimed
Bradley Kincaid: Old Smokey
York Brothers: Rainbow at Midnight
Golden West Cowboys: Texas Playboy Rag
Cowboy Copas: Filipino Baby
Jack and Johnnie: Sing Tom Kitty
Shorty Boyd: Orange Blossom Special

9:30: Prince Albert
Red Foley: Night Train to Memphis
Square Dance: Skip to My Lou
Old Hickory Quartet: When You Wore a Tulip
Rod Brasfield: Jokes
Judy Martin: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Red Foley: Jole Blon
Fowler Quartet: I've Got That Old Time Religion in My Heart
Grandpa Jones: John Henry
Salty Holmes: I Want My Mama
Red Foley: Lay Down Your Soul
Square Dance: Wake Up Susan

10:00: Wallrite
Earl Scruggs: Dear Old Dixie
Lester: Rainbow of My Dreams
Kirk McGee: Where the Rippling Waters Flow
Quartet: That Home Above
Lester and Bill: Toy Heart

10:15: Weather House
Paul Howard: My Life's Been a Pleasure
Lew and String Beans: My Darling Nellie Gray
Clyde Moody: Rose of Alamo
Possum Hunters: Off to Charleston
Paul Howard: Please Don't Leave

10:30: Cherokee Mills
Oklahoma Wranglers: Wrangler Boogie
Bradley Kincaid: Just Plain Folks
Marie and Clyde: I'm Sorry If I Caused You to Cry
Oklahoma Wranglers: Missouri

10:45: Southern Woodenware
Golden West Cowboys: Things Are Going to Be Different Around Here
Bill Monroe: Goodbye Old Pal
Crook Brothers: Searching for a Grave
Golden West Cowboys: Southland Polka

11:00: Eddy Arnold Songbook
Eddy Arnold: No Children Allowed
Lily Belle: Be My Darling
Lonzo and Oscar: I'll Never Be Single Again
Eddy Arnold: I Love No One But You

11:15: Ernest Tubb Songbook
Ernest Tubb: There's Going to Be Some Changes Made Around Here
Short Brothers: You Have Gotta Pay the Fiddler If You Dance
Jerry: Farewell
Ernest Tubb: I Wonder Why You Said Goodbye

11:30: Saf Kill
Wally Fowler: Texas Red
York Brothers: Let's Talk It Over
Gully Jumpers: Chinese Breakdown
Johnny and Jack: The Life That Has Been Ruined
Wally Fowler: Waiting for the Call to Glory

11:45: Michigan Bulb
Milton Estes: Somebody Else's Trouble
Jimmy Walker: Dust on the Bible
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Rubber Dolly
Milton Estes: Sorry

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 4/17 & 4/18

My thanks to those who follow the blog in allowing me a week off. I spent the week in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. And I have to confess that I did not listen to any of the Opry last weekend.

While I was in the area last week, I did stop at the Pigeon Forge location of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. While the inventory was about half of what it was in September, there was still more merchandise at that location then at the Nashville shops I visited in March. The two ladies who were working did not have much to say and the shop was slow, which is actually typical for the area. And as others have discovered, the Ernest Tubb website is now down. The last announcement on the site was that the Midnight Jamboree would resume in June. At this point, it might be wishful thinking. The main problem is WSM taking the Midnight Jamboree off the air due to non-payment of broadcast fees. What is ironic about this situation is that back when Justin Tubb ran the shops, it was WSM that had to pay them extra money for taking their air time because of the Opry running past midnight most Saturday nights, causing the Midnight Jamboree to start late. Apparently the air time at midnight was more expensive then later in the early hours of Sunday morning, which meant that the record shop was paying more than they should have been. Hopefully the situation will resolve itself as I do think there is a place in country music for the Midnight Jamboree.

I also want to offer, as have others, my prayers and thoughts to Marty Stuart and his family over the lost of his father the past week. I know that he had been in failing health over the past several years, which is a tough burden on anyone.

Now let's get to this weekend's Opry shows, starting with the Friday Night Opry. Opry member, and Country Music Hall of Famer, Mel Tillis will be appearing and hosting the final segment. He will be joined by Opry members Connie Smith, Mike Snider, Bill Anderson, Jan Howard, Bobby Osborne, Riders In The Sky and Del McCoury Band, with the latter two also appearing on Saturday night. Guest artists for Friday include a return appearance by Milton Sparks. I was at the Opry in December when she made her Opry debut and she did a nice job. She is a comedian and storyteller. It is also nice to see Wade Hayes scheduled, along with Greg Bates and Lindsay Ell, both of whom have appeared on the Opry numerous times. And let's not forget future Opry member Chris Janson. He is also set for Saturday night, and yes, I still believe he will be an Opry member some day.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, in addition to Riders In The Sky, Del McCoury and Chris Janson, will feature Opry members Jeannie Seely, The Whites, Jesse McReynolds and Ray Pillow. It is nice to see Ray on the Opry's schedule and this will be his first Opry appearance of 2015. And as usual when he appears, he will be hosting.

Guest artists on Saturday night include a return visit by Ray Stevens, who appeared at the Opry in March. He is promoting his new book and CD. Someone who I always thought would make a good Opry member, Crystal Gayle is also scheduled. Sarah Darling is listed as is Chris August, who is a contempory Christian singer. And there is another appearance set for EmiSunshine, who seems to have made the Opry a second home since the first of the year.

Friday April 17
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Greg Bates; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Lindsay Ell; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Wade Hayes; Milton Sparks
8:45: Mel Tillis (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chris Janson

Saturday April 18
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Sarah Darling; Del McCoury Band
7:30: The Whites (host); Chris August; Ray Stevens
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Jesse McReynolds; EmiSunshine; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Chris Janson; Crystal Gayle

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, April 16 & 17, 2010:

Friday April 16
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Ralph Stanley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Daryle Singletary
8:15: Diamond Rio (host); Stonewall Jackson; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Dailey & Vincent

Saturday April 17
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Ralph Stanley; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); Jim Ed Brown; Dailey & Vincent; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Ralph Stanley; Daryle Singletary
10:00: Marty Stuart (host); Jean Shepard; Dailey & Vincent
10:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Charlie Louvin; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites

And from ten years ago, the weekend of April 15 & 16, 2005:

Friday April 15
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Trent Willmon
8:00: John Conlee (host); Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard; Hanna-McEuen
8:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jim Ed Brown; IIIrd Tyme Out
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Pinson; The Whites
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Mel McDaniel; Buddy Jewell

Saturday April 16
1st show
6:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Bobby Pinson
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman; Hanna-McEuen
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Billy Walker; Osborne Brothers; The Whites
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Trent Willmon; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Larry Gatlin

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Bobby Pinson
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Larry Gatlin
10:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Billy Walker; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Hanna-McEuen
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Trent Willmon

For this week's featured line-up, it was 17 years ago this Saturday, April 18, 1998 that Diamond Rio became members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Diamond Rio, consisting of Marty Roe, Jimmy Olander, Gene Johnson, Dan Truman, Dana Williams and Brian Prout, made their first Opry appearance in October 1991 and when they joined the Opry, they were the first group to join since The Whites in 1984. During their careers, they have won numerous awards from the Country Music Association and from the Academy of Country Music, and have had more than 20 Top 10 singles.

Diamond Rio were originally known as the Tennessee River Boys, a group that performed on a regular basis in the Opryland theme park. During the late 1980s, membership in the group changed as several members left and others joined. In 1991, their first single, "Meet in the Middle" went to No. 1 on the charts and their career took off from there. Their 2001 hit ballad "One More Day" became a key song of healing after the September 11 terrorist attacks. In 2004, they were awarded the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award for their work on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. While their hit making days are behind them, they remain a popular road band and are always well received at the Opry.

Here is the running order of the Opry from Saturday April 18, 1998, the night that Diamond Rio joined the Opry's cast:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Jimmy C Newman (host): Diggy-Liggy Lo
Bill Carlisle: (?)
Jimmy C Newman: Jole Blon

6:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Jean Shepard (host): Love's Gonna Live Here
Wilma Lee Cooper: I'm Picking Up the Pieces
Jean Shepard: Tennessee Waltz

7:00: Shoney's
Vince Gill (host): The Cold Gray Light of Dawn
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You
Skeeter Davis; I Can't Stay Mad at You
George Hamilton IV: We Will Meet Again
Jack Greene: My World Ain't Turning Yet
Vince Gill: My Pretty Little Adriana/Whenever You Come Around

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy Dickens (host): Me and My Big Loud Mouth
Chonda Pierce: Comedy
Charlie Louvin: When I Stop Dreaming
Diamond Rio: Meet In the Middle/Tennessee
Jimmy Dickens: I'd Rather Sleep In Peace Than Know You're Gone

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Ida Red
Porter Wagoner: A Satisfied Mind
Porter Wagoner & Kristi Lynn: Dooley

8:30: Fan Fair
Johnny Russell (host): Folsom Prison Blues
Charlie Walker: Smoke, Smoke, Smoke
Jeannie Seely: Making Believe
The Whites: Doing it By the Book
Johnny Russell: Wabash Cannonball

2nd show
9:30: Opry Book
Porter Wagoner (host): Freight Train Boogie
Oswald: Mansion on the Hill
Jack Greene: Satisfaction
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'
Jeanne Pruett: A Poor Man's Woman
Porter Wagoner & Kristi Lynn: If Teardrops Were Pennies/Head on Over to the Twist and Shout

10:00: Opry Book
Jimmy C Newman (host): Good Deal, Lucille
Jan Howard: I Wish I Could Love that Much Again
Kenny Sears: Orange Blossom Special
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

10:15: Banquet
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Vince Gill: Two Worlds Apart
Jimmy Dickens: I Love Lucy Brown

10:30: Purnell's
4 Guys (host): The Grundy County Auction
Jean Shepard: When Two Worlds Collide
4 Guys: Shendandoah

10:45: Opry Book/Opry Cruise
Billy Walker (host): Don't Stop In My World
Roy Drusky: Waltz of the Angels
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durang's Hornpipe
Billy Walker: Blue Suede Shoes

11:00: Coca-Cola
Johnny Russell: Good Heated Woman
Ray Pillow: Cinderella
Stu Phillips: Only God
Diamond Rio: Dig A Little Deeper/Walking in Jerusalem Just Like John

11:30: Turbo Nutrition
Jeannie Seely (host): Speaking of the Devil
Charlie Walker: Right or Wrong/Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
The Whites: Swing Down, Chariot
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me

Finally, I want to mention a line-up featuring Connie Smith. Connie joined the Opry in 1965 and in September she will be celebrating 50 years as an Opry member. However, like several others, she has not been an Opry member that entire time. In the late 1960s, she left the Opry. Depending on the source of the information, she was either fired for not making the required number of appearances, or she stepped away for a while to raise her young children. Regardless, she was gone for about four years and it was on Saturday April 17, 1971 that she returned to the Opry.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria/Sweet Caroline
Jim Ed Brown: Morning

6:45: Rudy's
Ray Pillow (host): She Learned to Be A Waitress(From Sitting Home Waiting On Me)
Del Wood: Psychadelic Mockingbird
Bobby Lewis: He Gives Us All His Love
Ray Pillow: You Don't Care What Happens To Me

7:00: Luzianne
Billy Grammer (host): Mountain Dew
Earl Scruggs Revue: Fireball Mail
Justin Tubb: I'm Going Back to Louisiana
Joe and Rose Lee Maphis: If I've Gotta Have Your Lovin'
Billy Grammer: Just A Close Walk With Thee
Earl Scruggs Revue: The Girl From the North Country
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's a Sunday
Joe and Rose Lee Maphis: Alabama Jubilee

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Skeeter Davis: Bus Fare to Kentucky
Stringbean: Eight More Miles to Louisville
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Roy Acuff: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Skeeter Davis: Amazing Grace
Stringbean: Hot Corn, Cold Corn

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): In the Jailhouse Now
Hank Locklin: She's As Close As I Can Get
Connie Smith: Louisiana Man
Floyd Tillman: Slipping Around
Ernest Tubb: One Sweet Hello
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Connie Smith: Once A Day

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Vanishing Breed
Bob Luman: Mona Lisa
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Lost Indian
Hank Snow: So Goes My Heart
Harold Weakley: Crazy Arms
Bob Luman: Sing the Blues To Daddy
Hank Snow: Tammy

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Looking Back to See
4 Guys: One Pair of Hands
Justin Tubb: Free Born Man
Del Wood: Wesley's Tune
Jim Ed Brown: Angel's Sunday
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Jim Ed Brown: Morning

10:00: Fender
Hank Locklin (host): Please Help Me I'm Falling
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Bobby Lewis: He Gives Us All His Lov
Hank Locklin: She's As Close As I Can Get

10:15: Union 76
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Skeeter Davis: Bus Fare to Kentucky
Joe and Rose Lee Maphis: Honey, Be My Honey Bee
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): I Saw the Light
Ray Pillow: The Waitress
Floyd Tillman: Daisy May
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Ernest Tubb (host): You Don't Have to Be A Baby to Cry
Leon Boulanger: San Antonio Rose
Crook Brothers: Sally Ann
Ernest Tubb: Another Story

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Im Moving On
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Take me Back to Tulsa
Hank Snow: Tangled Mind
Connie Smith: I Never Once Stopped Loving You
Sam McGee: Wheels
Hank Snow: Mississippi River Blues

11:30: Elm Hill
Charlie Louvin (host): Will You Visit Me On Sundays
Bob Luman: Sing the Blues to Daddy
Diane McCall: Help Me Make it Through the Night
Charlie Louvin: Love Has to Die All By Itself
Bob Luman: I Got A Woman
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: Did You Ever/Something to Brag About

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 4/10 & 4/11

Usually I start off with the sentence that the Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend and then I list the line-ups. However this week, I am taking some vacation time and I think for the first time since I started the blog, I probably will be unable to post the line-ups since I am not sure I will have computer access. Hopefully everyone will understand that even an Opry fan needs a week off!!

Anyways, what I can tell you is that based on the Opry website, the Friday Night Opry will include an appearance by Opry members Marty Stuart, John Conlee and Joe Diffie, with guest appearances by Mark Wills and Darryl Worley. Mark will also be signing copies of his new CD at the Opry shop downtown during the afternoon, while John Conlee will be signing at the Opry after the show.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature Opry members Charlie Daniels and Craig Morgan. It is nice to see Charlie at the Opry on a Saturday night as most of his recent appearances seem to be taking place on the Tuesday night show. Guest artists listed include Striking Matches and Kristian Bush, along with a return appearance by Mark Wills. This time it will be Kristian doing the signing as he will be at the downtown shop during the afternoon and signing at the Opry after the show on Saturday.

Hopefully the rest of the line-ups for the two nights are filled out with some good entertainment.

On another note, the news continues to change regarding the Ernest Tubb Record Shop and the Midnight Jamboree. Originally set to resume on Saturday May 2, the website is now listing June 6 as the new date. I think one of the things that needs to happen before it gets back on the air, at least on WSM, is that they need to clear up how the ETRS is going to get caught up on the payments they owe WSM. Obviously with WSM pulling the show off the air due to non-payment, it is not going to get back on unless that is settled. And while rumors have been out there that the show could resume back downtown at the Broadway shop, there has still been no mention of a location, if and when it does come back. This will be something to watch over the next several weeks.

While I don't have this week's line-ups to post, I do have others and now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, April 11 & 12, 2010:

Friday April 9
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Infamous Stringdusters
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Ashton Shepherd
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; T. Graham Brown
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Gene Watson

Saturday April 10
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Emerson Drive
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Jack Greene; Jerrod Niemann
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Steve Wariner (host); John Conlee; Connie Smith; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Emerson Drive; Mandy Barnett
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jerrod Niemann
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); John Conlee; Connie Smith

And from ten years ago, the weekend of April 8 & 9, 2005:

Friday April 8
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Keith Anderson
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; T. Graham Brown
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Charlie Louvin; Billy Walker; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Craig Morgan
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Shelly Fairchild; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Saturday April 9
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
7:00: Vince Gill (host); Joe Nichols; Rebecca Lynn Howard; Loretta Lynn
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; Jean Shepard; Malibu Storm; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Jeannie Seely; Craig Morgan

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Loretta Lynn
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Rebecca Lynn Howard
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Jean Shepard; Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Joe Nichols
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; Malibu Storm

Finally, from 33 years ago this weekend, April 9 & 10, 1982:

Friday April 9
7:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jeannie Seely; Stonewall Jackson
8:00: Billy Walker (host); Skeeter Davis; Ernie Ashworth
8:30: Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; Four Guys
9:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Billy Grammer; Wilma Lee Cooper
9:30: Del Reeves (host); Charlie Louvin; Bill Carlisle; Justin Tubb
10:00: Charlie Walker (host); David Houston; Riders In The Sky
10:30: Jerry Clower (host); Stu Phillips; Vic Willis Trio

Saturday April 10
1st show
6:30: Billy Walker (host); Connie Smith
6:45: David Houston (host); Jeannie Seely; Ernie Ashworth
7:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Skeeter Davis; Billy Grammer; Wilma Lee Cooper; Bill Carlisle
7:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Charlie Louvin; Stu Phillips; Stonewall Jackson; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Minnie Pearl; Don Gibson
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeanne Pruett; Four Guys; Justin Tubb; Reba McEntire; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Four Guys; Jean Shepard; Billy Walker; Skeeter Davis
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Connie Smith; David Houston
10:15: Charlie Walker (host); Jeannie Seely
10:30: Roy Acuff (host); Vic Willis Trio
10:45: Stonewall Jackson (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jeanne Pruett; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Justin Tubb; Kirk McGee
11:30: Charlie Louvin (host); Reba McEntire; Bill Carlisle

I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend. I probably will not be in an area where I will be able to listen so I am sure my fellow Opry fans will let me know if anything takes place that I need to know. Have a great week and thanks again for letting me take a little time off. I'll be back next week.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 4/3 & 4/4

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.

As far as Opry members this weekend, Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers are again set for both shows this weekend. This will make three weekends in a row that Larry and the brothers have performed on the Opry, and that is great to see. You can say what you want about Larry, but he brings a lot of energy to the show. And speaking of energy, Chris Janson is also set for both shows this weekend. Larry and Chris are both in the closing segments each night and they could bring down the house. I will say that it is nice to see that Chris is finally acheiving some success after years in the business.

Also set for both nights are Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider, Bill Anderson and Riders In The Sky. On Friday night, they will be joined by Connie Smith and Jesse McReynolds. Jesse has missed the last couple of weeks, so it will be good to see him back at the Opry. Also joining that group will be recent Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Ed Brown. Saturday night, Opry members Jeannie Seely and The Whites are on the schedule.

As far as guest artists this weekend, in addition to Chris Janson, Friday night will feature Will Hoge and Lauren Alaina. Will Hoge will be signing copies of his new CD after the show. I know when Sunny Sweeney was on a few weeks ago, she had Will as her special guest. Maybe she will return the favor this weekend. Saturday night will feature Casey James, Mo Pitney, Rhiannon Giddens and Charles Esten, from the "Nashville" show. Rhiannon, who is one of the founding members of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is appearing in support of her new solo CD and will be signing copies after the Opry. And it is nice to see Mo Pitney back on the Opry.

Friday April 3
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Lauren Alaina; Jim Ed Brown
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Will Hoge
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Connie Smith; Chris Janson

Saturday April 4
7:00: John Conlee (host); Casey James; Mike Snider
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Mo Pitney
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Rhiannon Giddens; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Chris Janson; Charles Esten

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, April 2 & 3, 2010:

Friday April 2
7:00: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Lee Brice
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Holly Williams
8:45: Vince Gill (host); The Whites; The Time Jumpers

Saturday April 3
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Lee Brice
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Restless Heart
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Stonewall Jackson; Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); The Whites; Connie Smith

And from ten years ago, the weekend of April 1 & 2, 2005:

Friday April 1
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Billy Walker; Trent Willmon
8:00: John Conlee (host); Blue Country; Charley Pride
8:30: Jean Shepard (host); Osborne Brothers; Emerson Drive
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Mark Wills
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Mountain Heart

Saturday April 2
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Mark Wills
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jack Greene; David Lee Murphy
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jimmy C Newman; Emerson Drive
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard; Josh Turner; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Charley Pride

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; David Lee Murphy
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Mark Wills
10:30: John Conlee (host); Stu Phillips; Charley Pride; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Emerson Drive
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; Josh Turner

For this week's featured line-up, it was on Saturday April 5, 1975 that Skeeter Davis returned as an Opry member after being suspended from the show in December 1973 for comments she made while performing on the Opry that evening.

In her book, "Bus Fare To Kentucky, Skeeter wrote, "I would call the Opry each week to ask if I was scheduled, but Bud Wendell would tell me not to come in. I asked if they had fired me. He said they would just call it a suspension. I didn't really know what taht meant but I found out. Suspended means you just hang in space and wait."

She further wrote, "Perhaps the unkindest cut of all came from the many Opry artists who used my misfortune to further their own media coverage through their interviews with the papers. Many of them said that I should know the Opry stage isn't for religion or politics. That I should know better. That I shouldn't speak for all of them. Anyone who heard me that night or listened to the tape of that night's performance would know that I was only speaking for myself. Teddy Wilburn knew what I said. When he heard the tape, he found it hard to believe that this one incident had been blown so far out of proportion. I've tried to forgive and forget, that's for sure. I love Teddy so much because he did come and talk with me about it; he was not one of the people who relied on hearsay about the doings of others."

"As the battle was being fought, my personal situation was still generating ill will at the Opry and with the police department. Lieutenant Ezell (a Nashville police officer and Opry security member) insisted that I apologize to the police department-publicly. The day I had scheduled my public apology, the papers carried it as a footnote on the front page beneath the caption, 'Jesus on the Front Page,' complete with a wallet-sized photo of me at the Opry microphone. The headlines of the paper that day read, 'Five Nashville Police Indicted on Vice Charges.' With this new development exposed, I found it impossible to apologize. I found that I did not owe an apology to anyone. I just held up the headline of the paper, believing that it spoke for itself. My action was not done with malice or bad intent. I was paying the price for not giving in to the demands of those who would control me."

After the suspension, Skeeter went on a trip to Africa. When she returned to America and Nashville, she found the situation unchanged. She still wasn't scheduled for the Opry and when she called she was told they would call her. Attorneys contacted her, suggesting that she should sue the Opry for violation of her right to free speech, but she declined those offers.

Finally, she was told she could come back to the Opry. Again from Skeeter, "My return to the Opry stage demonstrated my forgiveness of the Opry management and theirs for me. Mr. Hal Durham was the manager of the Opry now, Bud Wendell having been promoted to another position. After my first song that first evening back, many of the artists made gestures of welcoming me back. I confessed to them that their negative comments had injured me personally, especially when they spoke without knowledge of what I had really said that night. I heard of the positive efforts made to redress the situation by my friends Jean Shepard, Kirk McGee, George Hamilton IV and Teddy Wilburn. To them I am truly grateful, as I am to others who many have supported me during those long months of loss."

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry, Saturday April 5, 1975, the night Skeeter Davis made her return:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Louvin (host): Freight Train Boogie
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Charlie Louvin: When You Have to Fly Alone/See The Big Man Cry

6:45: Rudy's
Ray Pillow (host): Countryfied
Stu Phillips: She Thinks I Still Care
Del Wood: The Entertainer
Ray Pillow: The Simple Things In Life

7:00: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Lonesome Road Blues
Skeeter Davis: I Can't Help It
Lonzo & Oscar: When I Stop Dreaming
Ernie Ashworth: The High Cost of Living
Skeeter Davis: Bus Fare to Kentucky
Becky Gallion: Green Back Dollar
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

7:30: Standard Candy
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Jimmy C Newman: Thibodeaux Cajun Band
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Jim & Jesse: Ashes of Love
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Old Joe Clark
Jimmy C Newman: Before the Last Teardrop Falls
Charlie Walker: Lucille

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Justin Tubb: Sunshine Lady
Roy Acuff: Carry Me Back to the Mountains
Jeanne Pruett: Hold To My Unchanging Love/Love Me/You Don't Need to Move A Mountain/Satin Sheets
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: There's A Big Wheel

8:30: Stephens
Jack Greene (host) & Jeannie Seely: If You're Going Down
Jeannie Seely: Catfish John
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
4 Guys: Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: He Can Be Mine

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
4 Guys (host): What About Me
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Bill Carlisle: Rough Stuff
Marion Worth: The Hands You're Holding Now
Ray Pillow: She's Doing It To Me Again
Del Wood: Alabama Jubilee
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria

10:00: Fender
Charlie Walker (host): Stay A Little Longer
Skeeter Davis: I Believe In Music
Lonzo & Oscar: Mountain Dew
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper

10:15: Union 76
Stu Phillips (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Rosemary Clooney: Half As Much

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Back in the Country
Jim & Jesse: Paradise
Billy Grammer: Peace In The Valley
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Big Midnight Special
Justin Tubb: Loving Arms
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jack Greene (host) & Jeannie Seely: Take Me Home Country Roads
Jeannie Seely: The First Time
Jimmy C Newman: Potato Song
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: Delta Dirt
Sam McGee: Victor Rag

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Don't Worry
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy/Welcome to the Sunshine
Ronnie Robbins: Mama Tried/If You Love Me Let Me Know
Marty Robbins: Love Me/I'm Wanting To/Devil Woman/El Paso/Ka-Lu-A

Interesting that the artists that Skeeter named specifically for helping her get back on the Opry, Jean Shepard, Kirk McGee, Teddy Wilburn and George Hamilton IV, none were scheduled on the Opry that night. This was also the first night that Skeeter performed in the new Opry House.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend and a very Happy Easter to All!!