Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Grand Ole 6/19 & 6/20

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two weekend shows, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry.

In looking at Opry members scheduled this weekend, the highlight would be Hall of Fame member Vince Gill, who is hosting the final segment each night. I have previously mentioned that Vince has really picked up his Opry appearances so far in 2015. Counting this coming weekend, Vince will have made 13 Opry appearances, compared to 17 for all of 2014. And he has more scheduled. Joining Vince both nights as segment hosts will be Jeannie Seely and Riders In The Sky, who will be celebrating their 33rd year as Opry members.

The Friday Night Opry will feature members Connie Smith and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers. Much as Vince has picked up on his Opry appearances, so has Larry and his brothers. For Larry, this will mark his 30th appearance of 2015, and for Steve and Rudy, they will be making their 25th appearance. Considering that Steve and Rudy have been basically missing from the Opry for a decade, that is great to see. For Larry, who made 23 appearances in 2014, it is nice to see his increased participation in the show.

In addition to those already mentioned, Saturday night will also include Opry members Bobby Osborne, Jan Howard, Mike Snider and Ray Pillow, who will be hosting a segment.

As far as guest artists this weekend, both nights will feature frequent Opry guest Jimmy Wayne, while on Friday night he will be joined by Restless Heart, TG Sheppard, Lauren Alaina, Pure Prairie League and a return appearance by Carly Pearce. Vince Gill is a former member of Pure Prairie League so don't be surprised if Vince stays on stage and picks with them. Saturday night's guests include Mandy Barnett, Darryl Worley, Cedar Hill and another appearance by Ray Stevens.

Friday June 19
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Carly Pearce; Restless Heart
7:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Jimmy Wayne; Connie Smith
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); TG Sheppard; Lauren Alaina
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Pure Prairie League

Saturday June 20
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host);  Jimmy Wayne; Mike Snider
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Darryl Worley; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Cedar Hill; Ray Stevens

Cedar Hill is a traditional  bluegrass band that has been around since 1967.  It's members consist of Frank Ray, Jim Bunch, Pete Brown, Patti LaFleur and Shannon Cox and they work out of Missouri and Arkansas. They record for Blue Circle Records. I personally have never seen or heard the group so I am looking forward to see what they bring to the Opry this weekend.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of June 18 & 19, 2010: The shows both nights took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday June 18
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Chuck Mead
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Doyle Dykes
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Leroy Parnell; Joey+Rory
8:45: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; Charlie Daniels Band

Saturday June 19
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); The Whites; Restless Heart
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Robert David Hall; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jack Greene; Jo Dee Messina

And from ten years ago, the weekend of June 17 & 18, 2005:

Friday June 17
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; The Derailers
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Green; Little General Cloggers; Gene Watson
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Mel McDaniel; Chely Wright
9:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Osborne Brothers
9:30: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Daryle Singletary

Saturday June 18
1st show
6:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Connie Smith; Shawn Camp
7:00: Jean Shepard (host); Mel McDaniel; Sherrie Austin
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Matt Jenkins
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Walker; T. Bubba Bechtol; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Radney Foster

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Connie Smith; Sherrie Austin
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Mel McDaniel; Matt Jenkins
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Stu Phillips; T. Bubba Bechtol; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Radney Foster
11:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Ray Pillow; Charlie Nagatani; Shawn Camp

For this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history, it was 33 years ago this weekend, June 19, 1982 that the Riders In The Sky became members of the   Grand Ole Opry.

From the Grand Ole Opry Picture History Book:

Though they carry on a comedic tradition that harkens back to Grand Ole Opry humorists of the 1930s like the Duke of Paducah, Riders In The Sky's four members are also masterful musicians who became the first Opry cast members to fully represent the cowboy stylings that helped to put the "Western" in "Country & Western." The group got their start in 1977, when guitarist Doug "Ranger Doug" Green, a one-time member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys and country music journalist and historian, invited bassist Fred "Too Slim" Labour to join him for a gig at a Nashville nightclub. With Paul "Woody Paul" Chrisman on fiddle, the trio dubbed themselves Riders In The Sky. Their recorded debut, "Three on the Trail" (1979), showcased impeccable vocal and instrumental work in the mold of such Western music heroes, and Country Music Hall of Fame members, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and the Sons of the Pioneers, while their live shows added a strong dose of broad, quick-witted humor that had them poking gentle fun at one another and at aspects of the movie cowboy image. This combination led to their induction into the Opry's cast in 1982.

For the Riders, who became a quartet when they "promoted" longtime accordionist Joey "The Cowpolka King" Miskulin to full membership, the mission of keeping the cowboy style alive has led to exhaustive touring, a long-running radio show, and a long string of popular recordings, including two soundtrack companion CDs (Wood's Roundup featuring Riders In The Sky, for Toy Story 2, and Monsters Inc.:Scream Factory Favorites) that earned the group Grammy awards in 2001 and 2003. Along the way, Riders In The Sky have earned multiple awards, including six Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year trophies and membership in the organization's Hall of Fame, the Academy of Western Artists' Western Music Group of the Year award (five times), and a presence on both the Country Music Foundation's Walkway of Stars and the Walk of Western Stars in Newhall, California.

Today, the Riders continue to delight audiences at the Opry House and elsewhere, more than justifying Billboard jounalist Jim Bessman's characterization of them as one of "the most historically significant acts in the history of American music."

Congratulations to the Riders In The Sky for 33 years of Opry membership and here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from Saturday June 19, 1982, the night Riders In The Sky officially became members of the Opry.

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry

6:45: Rudy's
Jack Greene (host): Walking on New Grass
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

7:00: Shoney's
Ernest Tubb (host): Letters Have No Arms
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Bobby Lord: Fall Away
Riders In The Sky: How the Yodel Was Born/Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Jack Leonard: Back on My Mind Again
Ernest Tubb: Rainbow at Midnight

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Jean Shepard: Cryin' My Heart Out Over You/Slipping Away
Wilburn Brothers: Making Plans
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Rachel
Grandpa Jones: Four Stoned Walls & A Ceiling/What'll I Do With the Baby-O

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Lonzo & Oscar: All the Gold in California
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Connie Smith: I Just Had You On My Mind/Once A Day
Roy Acuff: Stream Line Cannonball

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Storms Never Last
4 Guys: I Think About Your Loving All the Time
Ray Pillow: She's Doing it to Me Again
Roy Drusky: Have I Stayed Away Too Long
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Hank Snow: I Have You & That's Enough For Me

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Ernest Tubb (host): Have You Ever Been Lonely
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Del Wood: Just Because/Bill Bailey/Beer Barrel Polka
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin/Ol' Chunk of Coal
Jack Leonard: Lone Star Beer & Bob Wills Music
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): The Banjo Is the Instrument For Me
Jeanne Pruett: It's Too Late/Temporarily Yours
Grandpa Jones: There's A Grave in the Wave of the Ocean

10:15: Sunbeam
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Justin Tubb: Take A Letter Miss Gray
Jack Greene: Yours For the Taking/There Goes My Everything

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Down in Union County
Riders In The Sky: (?)/Turkey in the Straw/Chicken Reel/Devil's Dream
Roy Acuff: In the Center of the Opry Stage/I Saw the Light

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): Second Hand Rose
Connie Smith: Lovin' You Baby
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Mississippi Sawyer
Roy Drusky: Blues in My Heart

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Right or Wrong
Jean Shepard: Alabama Jubilee
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Wilburn Brothers: Release Me
Lonzo & Oscar/Eldridge Brothers: Little Cabin Home on the Hill
Kirk McGee: While I'm Away
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me

11:30: Bama
4 Guys (host): I Think About Your Loving All the Time
Bill Carlisle/Sheila & Bill Carlisle, Jr: Have A Drink on Me/In the Pines
Ray Pillow: All You Have to Do Is Comeback Home/Remember Me
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot

The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree this Saturday night will be hosted by former Opry Staff Band member Tim Atwood. He has been working on various side projects with a number of country music artists. The taping starts at 10:00 for broadcast at Midnight on WSM. Next week the scheduled host is Connie Smith.

Congratulations to the Riders In The Sky and enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. Great to hear Trisha Yearwood making a surprise appearance (with a certain guitar player named Garth Brooks joining her)! Its nice that they remembered Jim Ed Brown during their performance. I hope they come back on more often in the near future.

  2. Thanks Kyle. You beat me to it. For those who did not listen, Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks made a surprise appearance on the Friday Night Opry. They were on Vince Gill's final segment and did a number of classic duets, and remembered Jim Ed Brown. Very nice to see.