Thursday, May 21, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 5/22 & 5/23

As we get ready to celebrate and honor those this Memorial Day weekend, the Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedule for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. In looking at the line-ups, Friday stands out as the better of the two nights this weekend.

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Connie Smith, Lorrie Morgan, Riders In The Sky, Jeannie Seely, Steve Wariner, Jesse McReynolds and the Oak Ridge Boys. That is ten Opry members all together. The only three guest artists on the line-up are Love and Theft, Sarah Darling and Jamey Johnson, three of the more frequent Opry guests so far this year.

A few of the Opry members scheduled on Friday night will also be part of Saturday's show, a group that includes Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Riders In The Sky and Lorrie Morgan. Other Opry members scheduled are The Whites, Jan Howard and Bobby Osborne. Jamey Johnson will be joining them, along with Greg Bates, Sara Haze, Exile and the ever frequent Chris Janson.

It is really nice to see Lorrie Morgan set for both shows again this weekend. This makes two weekends in a row for Lorrie and she is also set for a few more Opry shows in the coming weeks. Are we seeing a change in Lorrie and more Opry shows for her? It would be nice as she does bring light and talent to the Opry stage. Despite the comments by Mike Snider last weekend, he is back for both shows, including hosting a segment on Saturday night. It would appear that whatever comments he was making were meant to be in good humor, although I still think there was something that brought it on. Jan Howard makes it for a 2nd weekend in a row. It seems like since the first of the year, her appearances have really been cut down, so it is nice to see her back.

A couple of Opry members are still missing. Jean Shepard still has not made an appearance in 2015 and with the note on her facebook page that she was feeling better, it was hoped that she would be back soon. And Jim Ed Brown has been missing for almost a month. Hopefully it is not health related. There was a picture of him on his facebook page at the Hall of Fame with his family and based on the description, I was led to believe that it was taken this past week.

As I said, it looks like Friday is the better night this weekend and I will be listening for sure, sitting out by the campfire with WSM on the air.

Friday May 22
7:00: John Conlee (host); Love and Theft; Mike Snider
7:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Connie Smith
8:15: Lorrie Morgan (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely; Jamey Johnson
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Jesse McReynolds; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday May 23
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Greg Bates; The Whites
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Sara Haze; Exile

8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jamey Johnson; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chris Janson

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, May 21 & 22, 2010. The Friday Night Opry took place at the Ryman Auditorium while Saturday's Grand Ole Opry was performed at the War Memorial Auditorium.

Friday May 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jason Michael Carroll
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Joey+Rory; Gary Mule Deer
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jack Greene; Mountain Heart

Saturday May 22
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Bowling Family
7:30: John Conlee (host); George Hamilton IV; Laura Bell Bundy
8:15: Charley Pride (host); Jan Howard; Riders In The Sky; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Kathy Mattea

And from ten years ago this weekend, May 20 & 21, 2005:

Friday May 20
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Billy Walker; George Canyon
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Calvin Gilmore
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:30: John Conlee (host); Osborne Brothers; Neal McCoy

Saturday May 21
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; Hal Ketchum
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Daniels Band; Andy Griggs; Erika Jo; Mountain Heart
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Walker; Jeannie Seely; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Hal Ketchum; Connie Smith; Andy Griggs
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Billy Walker; Mountain Heart
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Jack Greene; Charlie Daniels Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Erika Jo
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band

For this week's featured line-up, here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from 67 years ago this weekend, Saturday May 22, 1948:

7:30: American Ace Coffee
Roy Acuff (host): We Planted Roses on Our Darling's Grave
Tommy Magness: Cacklin' Hen
Annie Lou and Danny: We're Making Money on the Farm
Jimmy Riddle: Silver Bells
Roy Acuff: Unloved and Unclaimed
Uncle Dave Macon and Dorris: Give Me Back the Money I Paid for a Wife
Jug Band: Polly Wolly Doodle
Roy and Gang: The Great Speckled Bird
Sonny Day: Lost Indian
Annie Lou and Danny: Little Green Valley
Oswald: Behind Those Walls of Grey
Roy and Gang: Were You There

8:00: Purina
Eddy Arnold (host): Texarkana Baby
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Bradley Kincaid: Two Little Orphans
Oklahoma Wranglers: Cool Water
Eddy Arnold: Don't That Moon Look Lonesome
Jamup and Honey: Jokes
Zeke Clements: Little Rock Arkansas
Bill Monroe: I'm Working on a Building
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Eddy Arnold: I'll Hold You in My Heart

8:30: Warren Paint & Color Co.
Ernest Tubb (host): Don't Flirt With Me
Lew Childre: Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet
Paul Howard: Breaking It Off a Little Too Far
String Beans: Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms
Ernest Tubb: Seaman's Blues
Grandpa Jones: Riding on That Train
Robert Lunn: I'm a Man Not a Mouse
Possum Hunters: Take Your Foot Out of the Mud
Ernest Tubb: Daisey Mae

9:00: Royal Crown
Roy Acuff (host): Sweeter Than the Flowers
Jimmy Riddle: My Little Gal
York Brothers: Look Before You Leap
Texas Ruby: Hold on Little Doggie
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Ravins Gap
Lonzo and Oscar: Cornbread and Lasses
Curly Fox: Deck of Cards
Roy Acuff: Life's Railway to Heaven
Oswald: Weary Lonesome Blues
Tommy Magness: Smoky Mountain Rag

9:30: Prince Albert
Red Foley (host): Television
Old Hickory Singers: Bicycle Built for Two
Cowboy Copas: Tennessee Waltz
Minnie Pearl: Jokes
Red Foley: I Love to Tell the Story
Cowboy Copas: Signed Sealed and Delivered
Rod Brasfield: Jokes
Wally Fowler: Keep on the Firing Line
Red Foley: Picking Up Pierces of a Broken Heart
Square Dancers: Blackberry Blossom

10:00: Wallrite
Bill Monroe (host) and Don: Molly and Ten Brooks
Bradley Kincaid: Blue Tail Fly
Bill and Doyle: Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong
Quartet: Remember the Cross
Benny Martin: Down Yonder

10:15: Weather House
Roy Acuff (host): Not a Word from Home
Uncle Dave Macon and Dorris: When You and I Were Young Maggie
Roy Acuff: Poem
Gang: There's a Beautiful House
Jug Band: Lazy Day

10:30: Fletcher Wilson
Texas Ruby: It's Over Forever
Curly Fox (host): Down Yonder
York Brothers: Bothered by the Blues
Curly and Ruby: Someone More Lonesome Than You

10:45: Martha White
Milton Estes (host): New Filipino Baby
Lew and String Beans: Foggy Mountain Top
Jimmy Selph: That Old Moon
Milton Estes: I'll Fly Away

11:00: Eddy Arnold Songbook
Eddy Arnold (host): Teardrops in My Heart
Grandpa Jones: Rosa Lee
Gully Jumpers: Ricketts Hornpipe
Eddy Arnold: You Only Want Me When You Are Lonesome
Eddy Arnold: Molly Darling

11:15: Gaylock Seat Covers
Ernest Tubb (host): Our Last Goodbye
Dot and Smokey: Golden River
Drake Brothers: My Best to You
Ernest Tubb: Yesterday's Tears

Lonzo and Oscar (host): Old Mother Nature
Cowboy Copas: Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me
Wally Fowler: I'm on My Way
Lonzo and Oscar: Poppin' Bubble Gum

Paul Howard (host): San Antonio Rose

Zeke Clements: Blue Mexico Skies
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Just Because
Robert Lunn: New River Train
Paul Howard: Please Don't Leave

What a show!!! And Roy Acuff on three different segments!!! And, even with all the artists and music, they got done on time. Back in those days, there was very little talk between the acts. They were quickly introduced and came out, did their song, and were gone. A lot different than today's Opry.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend and may everyone have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.


  1. Fred, Bismarck:

    To be brutal, who cares about Lorrie Morgan, except that she is George Morgan's daughter? What immortal music has she given us? She had a few radio hits, and now how many people can name them? If she makes a big night for the Opry, we're in tough shape.

  2. First, Jan Howard is out on Saturday night. No replacement set.

    Fred, I always appreciate your comments, but I for one do care about Lorrie Morgan, as I do with many other people. In my opinion, Lorrie has a good voice and has had a solid career in country music. I have seen her at the Opry many, many times, and she is always well received. Like others, I wish she was at the Opry more often and if the first several months of 2015 are any indication, she is coming out more. Lorrie has also had a tough life, with experiences that I don't wish upon anyone, losing a husband to start with.

    A few radio hits? I looked it up to be sure. I came up with just under 40 singles, 3 of which went to #1, and involved with almost 25 albums, either as a solo artist or part of a group. No, she probably hasn't given us any immortal music, but she has given us some good music.

  3. Sorry I missed last weeks shows what comments did Mike Snider make? It is interesting with his long absence last year and his lack of hosting since. - Bill

  4. I'm not Lorrie Morgan's biggest fan, but I think she has many dedicated fans, and her appearances are a big deal for a lot of folks. I hope she comes back often.

    As for Mike Snider,here's my take on the story, understanding that fayfare is "in the know," and I'm just guessing.
    Connie Smith bragged on his comedic efforts and talked about how he brings several talented musicians with him. Mike told a few jokes, which were well received, then made mention of the fact that he "could only fine one great musician tonight," the staff band fiddler. He noted that the others "went where they could get more money." He said he wasn't much of a star himself, or he would be off with them.
    Connie Smith then joked that she had received a call from Pete Fisher and that Mike had made his last 'Opry appearance, and she was sorry that Hatch print didn't even have a chance to print up a poster about it.
    I THINK it was all in fun, but I sensed perhaps a touch of sarcasm in his voice talking about the lack of pay and his own standing in the 'Opry's eyes.
    Just a wild guess, but I would speculate that he really enjoys performing string music with his "big band" and doesn't enjoy telling as many jokes as he used to. All speculation on my part.
    I wasn't there, so can't really say.

  5. Fred, I understand how you feel in this sense: I am not a fan of several Opry members past and present. But I honor those who make the effort to appear (as in Ms. Underwood). I see Little Big Town is doing three shows in the next month or so; that gives me hope for them. And while my affection for Lorrie Morgan had more to do with my desire some years ago for her to be the mother of my children (I got over that; I guess she did, too), she has had a fine career and done well; so, I'm happy that she's showing up.

    I also am going to go out on a limb and say I've always marveled that her father got into the Hall of Fame but, even more, got in when he did, in 1998, ahead of a LOT of other people who were, frankly, more deserving.

    As for Mike Snider, I'm reminded that Vic Willis was long active in the Nashville musicians union and made some snarky comments about his pay, but not from the stage.

  6. Michael;

    Don't give up, Michael. It's never too late for dreams to come true in certain situations, if you understand what I'm saying.

  7. Let me just say that I have met Mike just once. It was in the balcony at the Ryman about 10 years ago, during one of the Opry's shows there. He was just standing up there by himself, so I walked over and said hi. He mentioned that the dressing rooms were crowded so he came up here to watch the show for a bit and he did mention how amazed he was at the sound quality. He did sign my program before leaving and said thanks for coming to the Opry. That has been my only encounter with him.

    As far as what he says on the Opry stage, and there have been a few comments that have gotten him in trouble, I think the issue is that he says something that might not be funny to the average person, but tries to make a joke out of it, if that makes sense. To him, calling Bobby Osborne Jr. fat was funny; to Bobby Osborne Jr., and a few others, it was not. Saying something about how the Opry pays his band might have been funny to Mike, maybe not so to Pete Fisher or a few others. Just because you sing funny songs and tell some funny jokes, doesn't mean everything you say is funny. Again, if that makes sense.

    I will say that I have always been impressed with Mike's musical abilities and with the band he brings, and in many ways I enjoy the music more than the jokes. And I applaud Pete Fisher for allowing Mike to keep string band music alive at the Opry. Most weeks, he is the only one playing that type of music.

    The funny thing about Vic Willis is that I am told many times that he reminded Opry management that he was the head of the musicians union, which helped to make sure that he always got whatever Opry appearances he wanted.

    Mike, I will agree that the election of George Morgan to the Hall of Fame did surprise me. I don't remember all the specifics of that election, but I never thought Lorrie, even in her prime, had the pull among the voters to get her Dad elected. I might be wrong in that aspect, but George obviously had a lot of support. Not saying he doesn't deserve to be in the Hall, but like you, the timing kind of had me scratching my head.

  8. Nat, thanks, but now I'm spoken for. But then again, so is Lorrie!

    Byron, I don't mean it unkindly when I say that we know the Hall of Fame can be a popularity contest--Minnie Pearl lobbied hard for Rod Brasfield, and who didn't love Minnie Pearl? George Morgan was a fine entertainer and all that, but he also was very popular with people in the industry because he was a tremendous person, very helpful to other artists (Jimmy C. Newman said Morgan calmed him down a lot before his debut) and amusing to others (he was doing the same for Tom T. Hall and, as he had his arm around him, untuned T's guitar, so that, as T described it, he hit a note and it sounded like a screen door). As we know, some people who trod on some toes (not to name names, Webb Pierce and Faron Young) were kept out longer than they should have been, and others who got out early and didn't hang out with the Tootsie's crowd (not to name names, Sonny James) had to wait longer than they should have. But life is never simple, as Lorrie's lapse in judgment toward me makes clear ....