Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 5/29 & 5/30

Rounding out the month of May and entering the summer season, the Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. There are some interesting names listed for both nights, including a few folks that you might not have heard of before.

One of those is Cam. Camaron Ochs, who goes by Cam, is from California and she records for Arista records. Her first album, "Welcome to Cam Country" has recently been released. She has been touring nationally in support of her new CD, and she will be making her debut performance on the Friday Night Opry.

Another newcomer making her Opry debut this weekend will be Carly Pearce. She is scheduled for Saturday night. What I find interesting is that her Opry debut is "with support from essence cosmetics." Obviously some cross promotion going on to get her on the show. She is currently on tour with Lucy Hale, playing what I would call fairly small venues.

As far as names you might, and should recognize, the Friday Night Opry will feature the newest Opry members Little Big Town. Nice to see them coming out, and they are also set for a few more shows in the near future. Joining them will be Vince Gill and Pam Tillis, along with Riders In The Sky, Mike Snider and Bill Anderson, each of those also set for Saturday night. For Bill Anderson, it is a return to the Opry stage after his recent skin cancer surgery that put him out for a few weeks.

Besides Cam, other guest artists on Friday night include the great Gene Watson, Fiddlin' Carson Peters Band, David Nail and comedian Henry Cho. It is really nice to see Gene back on the Opry stage.

Besides those Opry members also named, Saturday night will also include Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith, Jesse McReynolds, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. Guest artists on Saturday night, besides Carly Pearce, include the ever popular Jimmy Wayne, Restless Heart and John Anderson, who is appearing and touring in support of his new CD.

What it all means is that the Opry has two nights of shows this weekend with a lot of variety. There are newcomers, Hall of Fame members, comedians, bluegrass greats and country music legends. It should be a nice weekend at the Opry.

Friday May 29
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Gene Watson; Fiddlin' Carson Peters Band
7:30: Pam Tillis (host); Mike Snider; David Nail
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Cam; Henry Cho
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Little Big Town

Saturday May 30
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy Wayne; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Carly Pearce; Connie Smith
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; John Anderson; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Restless Heart

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, May 28 & 29, 2010. Both shows were held at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday May 28
7:00: Mel Tillis (host); Riders In The Sky; John Conlee
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; John Michael Montgomery
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Old Crow Medicine Show
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Lee Greenwood

Saturday May 29
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rebecca Lynn Howard
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); John Conlee; Dan Tyminski & Ronnie Bowman
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Exile; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jaron & The Long Road To Love; The Whites

Now from ten years ago, May 27 & 28, 2005:

Friday May 27
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jean Shepard; Mountain Heart
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; George Hamilton IV; Keith Anderson
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Ricky Skaggs
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Susan Haynes; Doyle Dykes
9:30: Pam Tillis (host); Jimmy C Newman; Joe Nichols

Saturday May 28
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; David Ball
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Billy Walker; Doyle Dykes; Rebecca Lynn Howard
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jean Shepard; Mandy Barnett
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Daryle Singletary; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Mike Snider; Jack Greene; Jeff Hanna & Jimmie Fadden of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Mike Snider; David Ball
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV; Doyle Dykes; Rebecca Lynn Howard
10:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Jeff Hanna & Jimmie Fadden of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Connie Smith; Mandy Barnett
11:30: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Daryle Singletary

For this weeks featured line-up, I go back 58 years, to Saturday June 1, 1957. One show held at the Ryman Auditorium:

7:30: Nabisco
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Ladell Sisters: Gonna Find Me A Blue Bird
Oswald: The Girls Don't Pay Me No Mind
Roy Acuff: Drifting Too Far From The Shore

7:45: American Ace
Jordanaires: Theme
Faron Young (host): I'm Gonna Live Some Before I Die
Odie & Jody: Unpucker
Porter Wagoner: Good Morning Neighbor
Faron Young: Shrine Of St. Cecilia
Fiddle Tune: Old Joe Clark

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): No Doubt About It
Jim Reeves: Four Walls
Everly Brothers: Bye Bye Love
June & Smokey: Comedy
Flatt & Scruggs: Six White Horses
Justin Tubb: Pepper Hot Baby
Jim Reeves: According To My Heart
Possum Hunters: Billy In The Low Ground
Everly Brothers: I Wonder If I Care As Much
Flatt & Scruggs: Earl's Breakdown

8:30: Prince Albert
Ray Price (host): Crazy Arms
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Merle Travis: Sixteen Tons
Fiddle Tune: Mississippi Sawyer
Ray Price: In The Garden
Chet Atkins: Country Gentleman
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Jimmy Dean: Happy Child
Stringbean: Lonesome Road Blues
Ray Price: I've Got A New Heartache
Fiddle Tune: Katy Hill

9:00: Jefferson Island
Jordanaires: Theme
Jimmy Dickens (host): Happy Heartaches
Bill Monroe: Fallen Star
Del Wood: Rockin 88
T. Texas Tyler: Oklahoma Hills
Louvin Brothers: Don't Laugh
Jimmy Dickens: I Never Had The Blues
Jordanaires: Sugaree
Bill Monroe: Cheyenne
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hollow Poplar
Louvin Brothers: The First One To Love You
Jimmy Dickens: Big Sandy

9:30: Stephens
Lonzo & Oscar: Theme
Hank Snow (host): Music Making Mama
Porter Wagoner: Who Will It Be
Lonzo & Oscar: Charming Betsy
Ladell Sisters: Nighty Nine Ways
Hank Snow: Marriage And Divorce
Maybelle Carter: Gold Watch And Chain
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Porter Wagoner: Uncle Pen
Hank Snow: Rumba Boogie

10:00: Wall-Rite
Roy Acuff (host): Streamlined Cannon Ball
Justin Tubb: You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Stringbean: Fireball Mail
Roy Acuff: If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again
Howdy Forrester: Money Musk

10:15: Delited
Ladell Sisters: Theme
Ray Price (host): Wasted Words
Odie & Jody: Georgiana Waltz
Ladell Sisters: Love Letters In The Sand
Ray Price: You Done Me Wrong
Fiddle Tune: Soldier's Joy

10:30: Hester Battery
Jim Reeves (host): I Know That You Know
Flatt & Scruggs: Salty Dog Blues
June Carter: Comedy
Jim Reeves: Waiting For A Train
Fiddle Tune: Turkey In The Straw

10:45: De Con
Faron Young (host): Until I Met You
Louvin Brothers: You're Running Wild
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Faron Young: I'll Be Satisfield With Love
Fiddle Tune: Cacklin Hen

11:00: Coca Cola
Jordanaires: Theme
Hank Snow (host): Honey Moon On A Rocket Ship
Everly Brothers: Bye Bye Love
Del Wood: After Five
Bill Monroe: Sitting Alone In the Moonlight
Lonzo & Oscar: Blondes Blondes Blondes
Hank Snow: Conscience I'm Guilty
Chet Atkins: Martingale
Mother Maybelle: Wildwood Flower
Gully Jumpers: Leather Britches
Everly Brothers: I Wonder If I Care As Much
Hank Snow: Rumba Boogie

11:30: Jamison
Jordainaires: Theme
Jimmy Dickens (host): Cornbread And Buttermilk
T. Texas Tyler: Old Blue
Stonewall Jackson: Stop Your Naggin Hoss
Jimmy Dickens: What About Me
Fiddle Tune: Old Joe Clark

11:45: Sustaining
Porter Wagoner (host): Uncle Pen
Sam & Kirk McGee: I Was Sort Of Wondering
Merle Travis: John Henry
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fruit Jar Breakdown
Porter Wagoner: What Would You Do

I am sure there were no complaints about this show!!

And finally, here is the line-up for the Tuesday Night Opry, June 2:

7:00: Larry Gatlin; Chase Bryant
7:30: Pam Tillis; Jeremy Camp
8:15: Gloriana; Gary Mule Deer
8:45: Rascal Flatts

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Fred, Bismarck:

    Loved that 1957 lineup. Altho country was a-wash in countrypolitan, the acts largely kept 'er country. Hank Snow stuck to his good oldies, ignoring "My Arms are a House," his current release and Chet Atkins' ill-advised attempt to make him a pop singer. (The flip, "Tangled Mind," turned out to be the hit, an enduring song that Hank sang for the next 40 years.)

    Ray Price didn't give us HIS one and only pop entry from that year -- the defection would come years later -- the second "I'll be There." (His next release, "My Shoes," etc., established him as one of hard country's heroes in a hard time.)

    Faron Young dutifully did his first two pop releases, but also a couple of his good oldies. Ditto Jim Reeves, who did "Four Walls" but also "Waiting for a Train" and "According to My Heart," two of his earlier, solid country, releases.

    An incongruous note was Bill Monroe doing Owen Bradley's bright idea, "Fallen Star," the pop hit by Ferlin Husky and Jimmy C. Newman. Thank goodness Bill's flirtation with the charts was a brief one.

    As always, thank you to Byron for all the memories and food for thought.

  2. Fred,

    For what it's worth, Mr. Monroe did a couple of Jimmy C. Newman's other early ones, most notably, "Cry, Cry, Darlin'," which pleased Jimmy C. no end.

    I'm also reminded of something I've said on here before but you may not have seen. When I was in NYC for grad school, Fordham had a long-running country radio show hosted by a guy named Paul Bain, who stuck to real country. One night he played Randy Travis and got calls complaining that he was putting on new people. He unloaded a lecture about what matters is whether it's country, and then played part of a Gene Autry song that was absolutely awful. He literally pulled it off the turntable so you could hear the needle go across and said Gene Autry was a great country singer but he wasn't going to play garbage if he recorded garbage.

    So I guess what we come to is that Chet and Owen could try to make pop singers out of country singers, but if they sound country, it just doesn't matter. They will sound country, and silly.

  3. People now buy rides in the Indy 500 race, so I guess it was just a matter of time until folks bought an appearance on the 'Opry.

  4. Nat, to be fair, Cohen Williams at Martha White told WSM he would pull his sponsorship unless the Opry added Flatt and Scruggs, whom Mr. Monroe was determined to keep off. As Mike Snider said, welcome to the Opry, the only show in the world where you have to pay to get in and then you have to listen to commercials! Of course, in the old days, the commercials were entertaining and part of the show.

  5. Fred, Bismarck:

    Michael, right you are about "Cry, Cry, Darlin'." This was included in his groundbreaking "Knee Deep in Bluegrass" album, where it sounded a somewhat incongruous note. Decca also had Bill do "Four Walls," which (checking my discography) I see was paired with "Star" as a single.

    Checking up on myself -- increasingly, a good idea -- I see that what I was pinning on Owen Bradley was the work of his predecessor, Paul Cohen. As far back as 1951, Cohen had Bill lay down a few tracks with non-bluegrass studio musicians, including Grady Martin, with the predictable dismal results.

    Nothing, or not much, against Cohen. Although he would pop it up once in a while, notably with Red Foley -- who probably did not object very strongly -- he produced many of the very greatest country tracks of the first half of the 1950s, including those wonderful Kitty Wells-Red Foley and Wells-Webb Pierce duets.

    Memories! (Nothing like this place for those.)

  6. Fred, I think experimenting is a good thing--the McReynolds did "Berry Pickin' in the Country" and Jesse recently did a Grateful Dead salute; Jerry Garcia once said all he ever dreamed of in life was of being a Bluegrass Boy. Mac Wiseman did a Gordon Lightfoot album, but did the songs as bluegrass. I think it's fine to try some new things, but I also think of something Lawrence Welk said: "Music changes. I don't." Well, John Conlee has used saxes and the like on his songs, but he couldn't sound anything but country no matter what. So, fiddle around a bit, so to speak, but remember where you came from and what got you there--and hope your producer does, obviously!

  7. Fred, Bismarck:

    Speaking of change and experimentation, Michael:

    An intriguing quote from Bill Monroe somewhere, probably the Smith biography, had him musing about a wholly new and different kind of music he had had in mind all these years but had never pursued because of bluegrass. Think of it: Perhaps, if he had lived long enough, he would have been the "father" of TWO new American musics!

    He gave no clue as to what this second music may have been about. (It's also possible he was only having a little fun with his interviewer.)

    Experimentation, you bet; it all depends on the quality of the fruits. (And whether there's enough of country in them to interest your fans.) Two of my all-time favorite Ernest Tubb performances -- at the time, and after 55 years -- are two black songs, by Chuck Willis, released as successive singles in 1958-59: "What Am I Living For" and "I Cried a Tear."

    In his Tubb bio, Ronnie Pugh makes these sound like the gropings of an artist who has temporarily lost his way, but I don't think so. Tubb was just coming off of his biggest record in years, "Half a Mind," had a hot new steel man in Buddy Emmons, and seemed to have fresh wind in his sails, if anything.

  8. I remember reading that Mr. Monroe once said he had so many songs in his head that he wanted to write, he didn't have time for all of them. Knowing him, he really did have something else in mind.

    I have thought that more people in their line of work should do some different things. Think of Hank Snow doing calypso stuff, for example. I know from teaching that when you do the same thing over and over again, you can get a little dry.

    1. Its the Ricky Nelson "Garden Party" thing, where an artist can get boxed in to doing the same few songs over and over. Can you imagine being Bill Monroe and having to perform "Uncle Pen" every day and sometimes twice a day for 30 years????? These are highly creative people who crave to grow and improve over the past. Can you blame them for frustration at times ????

      Dashmann - Flushing, Michigan

  9. For those who were not able to listen last night, the last segment with Vince Gill was outstanding. He ended the show with himself, Amy Grant, Fiddlin' Carson Peters, Cam and Little Big Town on stage singing "Go Rest High on that Mountain." An outstanding way to end the night.

    1. Fully agree with you on how Vince Gill ended the Friday Night Opry show, Byron. As always, OUTSTANDING when he sings that song!!! And adding Amy Grant, Fiddlin' Carson Peters, Cam & Little Big Town was the icing on the cake. In my opinion, Vince Gill is as great as Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, George Jones AND Ray Price.