Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 6/12 & 6/13

The CMA Music Festival is underway in Nashville and most of the country music artists are in town. There are free shows, the night time shows at the stadium, fan club breakfasts and lunches, autograph signings, legend shows and just about every other event you can think of. Over 80,000 fans are expected in town and a good number of them will be taking in the Grand Ole Opry this weekend. And as you would expect, both nights at the Opry offer very solid line-ups.

Scheduled for both Friday and Saturday night are Country Music Hall of Fame and Opry members Charley Pride, Mel Tillis and Vince Gill. Other Opry members joining them on Friday night include Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Mike Snider, The Whites, Bobby Osborne and Josh Turner. On Saturday night, they will be joined by Opry members Connie Smith, Jeannie Seely, Jesse McReynolds and Darius Rucker.

Guest artists set for Friday night include Love and Theft, Chuck Wicks and Mickey Gilley, while on Saturday night you have Clay Walker, Phil Vassar and Clare Bowen.

I am personally thrilled to see Mickey Gilley on the Opry this weekend. First, can you believe that he is 78 years old this year? It seems just a few years ago that Mickey was on the top of the charts. While not winning any CMA Awards, he has won several Academy of Country Music honors including Entertainer of the Year in 1976. In the course of his career, he has had 26 albums and 43 singles, 20 of which went to #1 on the charts. Sounds like a Hall of Fame career to me. Another act appearing this weekend is Clay Walker. Clay had a run of hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s and he has had several #1 records in his career.

Friday June 12
7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Mike Snider; Love and Theft
7:30: Charley Pride (host); The Whites; Chuck Wicks
8:15: Mel Tillis (host); Mickey Gilley
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Josh Turner

Saturday June 13-Matinee
3:00: Charles Esten; JT Hodges
3:30: Kristian Bush; Mark Wills
4:00: Morgan Evans; Jamie Lynn Spears
4:30: Chris Janson; Connie Smith

Saturday June 13
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Clay Walker
7:30: Charley Pride (host); Phil Vasar; Mel Tillis
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Clare Bowen
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Darius Rucker

Not taking anything away from either night, but it looks like Friday has the edge this weekend. It will be interesting to see if anyone else is possibly added for Friday or Saturday night. There is a slot in the 3rd segment on Friday and the 1st segment on Saturday. The last segment with Vince and Darius will probably stay as it is.

The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree returned last weekend with a taping at 10:00 for the midnight airing. This week's host will be Country Music Hall of Fame member Mel Tillis. It should be a great night.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, June 11 & 12, 2010. Both nights, along with the Saturday matinee, took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday June 11
7:00: John Conlee (host); George Hamilton IV; Jean Shepard; Rhonda Vincent
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Mark Wills
8:15: Roy Clark (host); Charlie Louvin; Mike Snider; The Whites
8:45: Charley Pride (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Connie Smith

Saturday June 12
3:00: The Whites; Mandy Barnett
3:30: Riders In The Sky; Joey+Rory
4:00: Jimmy C Newman; Pam Tillis
4:30: Jimmy Dickens; Mark Chesnutt

7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Riders In The Sky
7:30: Roy Clark (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; John Conlee
8:15: Mel Tillis (host); Stonewall Jackson; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Charley Pride (host); Mike Snider; Terri Clark

And from ten years ago, the weekend of June 10 & 11, 2005:

Friday June 10
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jimmy C Newman; Darrell Scott
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; George Hamilton IV; Jean Shepard; Mark Wills
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Charley Pride
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Carrie Underwood
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Ray Scott; Hank Locklin; Trisha Yearwood

Saturday June 11
Opry at the Ryman
3:00: Porter Wagoner; Mandy Barnett
3:30: Jimmy Dickens; Old Crow Medicine Show
4:00: Osborne Brothers; Sherrie Austin
4:30: Mike Snider; Rebecca Lynn Howard

Grand Ole Opry 1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; John Arthur Martinez; Mike Snider
7:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Joe Diffie; Blaine Larsen; Keith Anderson; Charley Pride
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeannie Seely; Paul Brandt Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Keith Anderson; Hal Ketchum
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Craig Morgan
10:30: Alison Krauss (host); & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas; Jean Shepard; Charley Pride; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Louvin; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Joe Diffie
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); John Arthur Martinez; Jim Ed Brown; Blaine Larsen

Finally, it was 50 years ago this weekend, Saturday June 12, 1965 that Tex Ritter became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The following is from the Opry History-Picture Book, 1972:

Few names have sparked the imagination or permeated the entertainment industry as has that of Tex Ritter. His career spanning every major entertainment medium.

Born in Murvaul, Panola County, Texas, Tex learned the rawhide arts of ranching, riding, and roping from practical experience. Influenced by his father's knowledge of the cowboy and the old time community singings, Tex Ritter was destined to sing the story of the American cowboy. In fact, Tex Ritter has become the embodiment of the American West and the singing cowboy. Few personalities in the history of the American stage have attained the heights that Tex enjoys.

Early in his career, Tex moved to New York City. Signing a recording contract first with Columbia, then Decca, Tex brought the West to the East, and took the New York entertainment scene by storm. Immediately Tex starred in his own radio shows which included: "The Lone Star Rangers," "Tex Ritter's Campfire," and "Cowboy Tom's Roundup." After starring in the Broadway production, "Green Grow The Lilacs," which was to become later the hit production, "Oklahoma," Tex moved to Hollywood. During his twelve years as a leading screen hero, he starred in seventy-eight films. In 1941 when Capital Records was created, Tex was one of the first to sign. He has appeared on numerous television shows and one of his most thrilling experiences came when he sang the title song and background music to the Academy Award winning movie, "High Noon."

Tex is married to one of his film leading ladies, the former Dorothy Fay. They have two sons. Like the western cowboy which he has made so famous, Tex Ritter has become a living legend in his own time.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry, Saturday June 12, 1965, the night Tex Ritter became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

7:30: Luzianne
Bobby Lord (host): A Room in the Corner of the House
Marion Worth: The Answer to the Question
Ernest Ashworth: Love Has Come My Way
Lonzo & Oscar: There's A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Bobby Lord: I'm Going Home Next Summer
Osborne Brothers: Fair & Tender Ladies
Bobby Lord: Hawkeye

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Freight Train Blues
Tex Ritter: Deck of Cards
Wilburn Brothers: Making Plans
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Tex Ritter: Boll Weevil

8:30: Stephens
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Border
Norma Jean: Go, Cat, Go
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
Stringbean: Hot Corn; Cold Corn
Porter Wagoner: A Satisfied Mind
Mac Magaha & Buck Trent: Katy Hill
Speck Rhodes: The Little Shirt My Mother Made For Me
Norma Jean: Foggy Mountain Top
Del Wood: Cattle Call
Porter Wagoner: I'm Gonna Feed You Now

9:00: Pet Milk
Sonny James (host): I'll Keep Holding On
The Browns: You Can't Grow Peaches on a Cherry Tree
George Hamilton IV: Truck Driving Man
Johnny Cash: Orange Blossom Special
Johnny Cash & The Statler Brothers: Mr. Garfield
Statler Brothers: Go On Home, Billy Christian
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Take Me Back to Tulsa
Sonny James: Young Love
Jim Ed Brown: I Heard From A Memory Last Night

9:30: Kellogg's
Billy Walker (host): Cross the Brazos at Waco
Willis Brothers: A 6 Foot, 2 by 4
June Carter & The Statler Brothers: I Want You Again
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Margie Bowes: Big City
Curly Fox: Casey Jones
Willis Brothers: Private Lee
Billy Walker: Come A Little Bit Closer

10:00: Schick
Bobby Lord (host): Take the Bucket to the Well
Osborne Brothers: I Know What It Means to Be Lonesome
Del Wood: Waiting for the Robert E. Lee
Bobby Lord: Life Can Have Meaning

10:15: Mary Carter
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
June Stearn: Once A Day
Stringbean: Moonshine in Them Old Kentucky Hills
Roy Acuff: Glorybound Train

10:30: Harvey's
Sonny James (host): You're The Only World I Know
Tex Ritter: Green Grow the Lilacs
Sonny James: What'll They Do to My Darling

10:45: Newport
Wilburn Brothers (host): I'm Gonna Tie One On Tonight
Marion Worth: Go On Home
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Wilburn Brothers: Steal Away

11:00: Coca-Cola
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Coming
The Browns: Jackson
Norma Jean: Lonesome Number One
Johnny Cash: Understand Your Man
Johnny Cash & June Carter: Were You There/Amen
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire on the Mountain
Jim Ed Brown: Just to Satisfy You
Sam & Kirk McGee: If I Had My Life to Live Over
Porter Wagoner: I'll Go Down Swinging

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): El Paso
Willis Brothers: Ghost Riders in the Sky
Curly Fox: Fifty Years Ago
Margie Bowes: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me
Don Winters: Chime Bells
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Margie Bowes: Jambalaya
Marty Robbins: Ribbon of Darkness/Singing the Blues/Lovesick Blues/Begging to You

Tex was born on January 12, 1905 and remained an Opry member until he passed away on January 2, 1974. In 1964 he became just the fifth person to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 1970 he entered the Republican primary to be the United States Senator from Tennessee, but was defeated. Tex loved the University of Southern California and was a big follower of the USC football team. While many were surprised that Tex would move to Tennessee and become a member of the Opry, he would eventually become one of the Opry's most loyal and popular members and his wife Dorothy would become the Opry's official greeter. And let's not forget that Tex also hosted the WSM overnight radio program with Ralph Emery.

Tex was a true American and Opry legend who brought the western sound to the Opry stage. A stage that he loved to perform on.

On a final note, please continue to keep Jim Ed Brown and his family in your prayers and thoughts.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. Looks like a great lineup for this week. Friday's show is somewhat like a Branson entertainers reunion night, because Mickey Gilley, Charley Pride, Mel Tillis, and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers have all performed at their own theaters there through the years.

    Clare Bowen has been removed from the Saturday night show. Hopefully those 2 spots on the saturday show will be able to be filled hopefully by some Opry members, rather than some guest artists. We haven't seen Stonewall Jackson yet this year. Perhaps he might stop by this week.

    It's really sad to hear about Jim Ed Brown's cancer returning. I'm praying he recovers again.

  2. I am surprised there is not a second show on Saturday night,

  3. Just look and salivate at that beautiful 5 hour show in 1965 !!!!! If you made the considerable effort to attend the Opry from somewhere like Michigan you were rewarded with a fantastic lengthy show despite the incomplete interstate highway system which made you drive past the numerous fireworks vendors on local roads leading into Nashville at that time. It would be very difficult if I was a youngster nowdays to fall in love with the Opry like I did in the 60's listening to those 5 hour shows on WSM.

    Dashmann - Flushing, Michigan

  4. I'm wondering why in 2015 former regular guests like Billy Yates or Daryle Singletary never played the opry?

  5. The Opry has updated the line-ups for this weekend. On Friday night, Eric Paslay has been added to the 3rd segment hosted by Mel Tillis. On Saturday night, Sunny Sweeney has been added to the 1st segment hosted by Connie Smith, while Clare Bowen has cancelled and has been replaced by Chris Janson.

  6. I love Charley Pride but he just does not handle being "host" very well; and what happened with Mel Tillis introducing Leroy VanDyke instead of Mickey Gilley?? All of those who commented or musically tributed to Jim Ed Brown were very good.