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!!!


  1. Reba showing up at The Opry ..... must be the Apocalypse ...... about time!! Its hard for me to welcome members like her with open arms, for they do not support the show and tradition.

  2. Enjoyed learning about Cousin Jody..... first time I ever heard of him..... pretty cool.

  3. Fred, Bismarck:

    It's times like this that I regret not living in California, or in Alaska, so I could be further away when Reba plays the Opry.

  4. Fred, Bismarck:

    Nittannee, treat yourself to some good videos of Cousin Jody on Youtube, usually with Lonzo and Oscar, from the 1950s Opry TV shows. (Googling Lonzo and Oscar is probably the best bet.) You'll know who you're looking at right away!

  5. Just heard on WSM:

    Loretta Lynn had to cancel her Opry appearance tonight, so her sister, Crystal Gayle, will be taking her place.

  6. Yes, no Loretta Lynn tonight with Crystal Gayle replacing and also Mo Pitney is out, replaced by Wade Hayes. That really changes the complexion of the show tonight.

  7. Admittedly, the Classics show is different. But this speaks to the problems on Friday and Saturday night. Once upon a time, even if a big star canceled, there were enough other acts to keep anybody from noticing. Now it leaves a hole big enough for a tank to drive through. But it's good of the others to come in on short notice.

    As I think about it, it's worth a reminder who replaced Summey in the Smoky Mountain Boys when he left: The Bashful One.

  8. A change for Saturday night. Jim Ed Brown is out and Mike Snider has slid down to his spot. The Whites have been added where Mike would have been in the first segment.