Thursday, July 9, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 7/10 & 7/11

The line-ups have been posted for the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry as summer continues in Nashville. Overall, some good shows this weekend, with Saturday looking the better of the two nights.

I know it is starting to sound like a broken record, but once again, we have Vince Gill scheduled for both nights, hosting the final segment. I know many of us wondered with the deaths of Jimmy C Newman, George Hamilton IV, Jimmy Dickens, and most recently, Jim Ed Brown, what Opry members would step up and respond with increased Opry appearances. I think it is safe to say that Vince, along with Larry Gatlin, have stepped up to the plate. Vince has always supported the Opry, no complaints here. But it is very nice to see increasing his appearances even more and supporting the show. Once again, he is setting an example for others of his generation.

He will be joined both nights by Opry members Bill Anderson, Connie Smith and Mike Snider. Friday night Joe Diffie gets another opportunity to host a segment. He did a nice job earlier this year in filling that role. Orpy member Bobby Osborne is also set for Friday night, while on Saturday, John Conlee, the Oak Ridge Boys and the great Ralph Stanley are set to appear.

As far as guest artists, one of my favorites, Suzy Bogguss is set for Saturday night, along with Austin Webb, Casey James, and "Nashville's" Jonathan Jackson. Friday night will be highlighted by Neal McCoy, along with Josh Thompson, Wade Hayes, JT Hodges, Cam, and the lovely Crystal Gayle, who would certainly make a great Opry member.

Friday July 10
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Josh Thompson; Mike Snider
7:30: Joe Diffie (host); Wade Hayes; Crystal Gayle
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Cam; JT Hodges
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Neal McCoy

Saturday July 11
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Austin Webb; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); Suzy Bogguss; Ralph Stanley
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Casey James; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jonathan Jackson; Oak Ridge Boys

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, July 9 & 10, 2010. Both shows took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday July 9
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Rebecca Lynn Howard
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Terri Clark
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Joe Diffie

Saturday July 10
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Andy Griggs
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Sam Bush
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jason & The long Road To Love; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Charlie Louvin; Connie Smith

And from ten years ago this weekend, July 8 & 9, 2005:

Friday July 8
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jean Shepard; Dale Watson
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jack Greene; Daryle Singletary
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Larry Sparks
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Louvin; Connie Smith; Josh Turner
9:30: John Conlee (host); Hank Locklin; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Terri Clark

Saturday July 9
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Elizabeth Cook
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman; Jason Aldean
7:30: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Carlene Carter
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Osborne Brothers; Marty Stuart; Vince Gill

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Jim Ed Brown; Jason Aldean
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; The Whites; Carlene Carter
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Jean Shepard; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Vince Gill
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Osborne Brothers; Mel McDaniel; Elizabeth Cook

For this week's look back in Opry history, here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from 51 years ago, Saturday July 11, 1964:

7:30: Luzianne
Porter Wagoner (host): Sorrow on the Rocks
Roy Drusky: Peel Me A Nanner
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Porter Wagoner: Life of the Party
Stringbean: Moonshine in Them Old Kentucky Hills
Margie Bowes: Overnight
Roy Drusky: Pick of the Week
Fiddle Tune: Ragtime Annie
Porter Wagoner: Howdy Neighbor, Howdy

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): (?)
Bill Anderson: (?)
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Crook Brothers: 8th of January
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)
Jean Shepard: (?)
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Low & Lonely
Lonzo & Oscar: There's A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Leroy Van Dyke: (?)
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Roy Acuff: The Precious Jewel
Bill Carlisle: Shanghai Rooster
Stonewall Jackson: (?)
Oswald: Black Smoke's A'Rollin

Roy Acuff: How Beautiful Heaven Must Be

9:00: Pet Milk
Faron Young (host):(?)
Jim & Jesse: (?)
Jimmy Newman: (?)
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill

Faron Young: (?)
Billy Grammer: (?)

Cates Sisters: (?)
Jim & Jesse: (?)
Faron Young: (?)

9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): Breakfast With the Blues
Glaser Brothers: Girl of Mine
Bill Monroe: (?)
Willis Brothers: Private Lee
Hank Snow: (?)
Sonny James: (?)
Cousin Jody: Lady Cop

Bill Monroe: (?)
Hank Snow: There's A Fool Such As I

10:00: Schick
Porter Wagoner (host): Misery Loves Company
Stringbean: String's A'Fishing
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand
Wagonmasters: Soldier's Joy

10:15: SSS Tonic
Billy Grammer (host): (?)
Roy Drusky: (?)
Margie Bowes: Understand Your Gal

Justin Tubb: Take A Letter Miss Gray
Billy Grammer: (?)

10:30: Harvey's
Flatt & Scruggs (host): (?)
Stonewall Jackson: (?)
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Flatt & Scruggs: (?)

10:45: Newport
Roy Acuff (host): Little Pal
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Wilburn Brothers: (?)
Roy Acuff: Glorybound Train

Howdy & Jimmy: Cowbell Polka

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Glaser Brothers: (?)
Lonzo & Oscar: (?)
Leroy Van Dyke: (?)
Hank Snow: Muy Filipino Rose

Jean Shepard: (?)
Bill Anderson: (?)

Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Hank Snow: South Bound

11:30: Lava
Faron Young (host): (?)
Bill Monroe: (?)
Jimmy Newman: Summer Skies & Golden Sand

Willis Brothers: (?)
Faron Young: (?)
Sonny James: (?)
Cousin Jody: (?)
Jim & Jesse: (?)
Faron Young: (?)

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. If I'm correct, in 1964, 29 members performing, including 11 Hall of Famers and some who should be.

    So here's to Vince Gill. I checked a couple of sites of other Opry members who certainly can be doing summer touring--as we would expect them to be doing. I'm not mentioning those who are booked. Pam Tillis and Diamond Rio and Rascal Flatts could have been there at least on Friday night. Steve Wariner apparently isn't touring. Brad Paisley is listed as not touring until July 17, but of course we know how devoted he is to carrying on for his friend Jimmy Dickens. Trace Adkins isn't booked until the 16th or Alison Krauss and Alan Jackson until the 17th or Reba McEntire until the 18th or Josh Turner until the 24th. Dolly Parton is off almost the entire month, but she doesn't show up at the Opry unless she has to hawk a new CD or something. Now, if maybe TWO of them would have taken the time this weekend, how much better the shows would have been. But they don't care about the Opry, and Pete Fisher doesn't care that they don't care, so, there we are.

  2. I'm certainly not defending Mr. Fisher, but I would say he has done more in his time at the Opry to work with the bigger name members to get them to the Opry. While I'd love to have some of the 70s & 80s line ups again with 20-22 Opry members per show, at the time it did seem to get stale whenever we'd go to Nashville and see the same regulars without any of the bigger names. One he took over, we could usually always count on at least one of the non regular members to be on the show when we went. I think Pete makes much more of an effort to coordinate schedules with record companies, PR firms, etc., even if it does mean Reba's only there to promote her new CD that they're giving away, Dolly is there for an album release, or they're performing on a Tuesday night, etc. And honestly, while I love to play armchair quarterback, Pete is really between a rock and hard place with some of those members you mentioned -- he can't do much about it if they don't appear and just having them continued to be associated as Opry members probably helps the overall show versus dropping them from the roster. He got George Jones on usually at least once a year and he definitely deserves props for that amazing 75th Anniversary weekend (which I was fortunate to be at all three shows)... my only real complaint that I've stated before is that I wish he'd go back to the traditional 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday night shows, make more room for more acts and make it a longer show for us to enjoy. (oldtimeopry)

  3. Oldtime, I actually share your sympathies on this issue. I should have been clearer. I don't think Pete Fisher properly respects Opry members, period. It isn't just a matter of getting the ones I mentioned to appear; it's also that he doesn't want a lot of the old-timers around there. I am less opposed to changes around the Opry than a lot of us who love it, because it does need to adapt to the times. Now, you mention the longer show. I love the idea, but we've talked on here about the costs of doing a half-hour segment--I wonder, too, about how in our society attention spans are much shorter than they used to be. A four-hour show would be too much for a lot of people today (though not for you and me!).

    And I don't mind if Reba and Dolly show up to promote something. That's part of the Opry, too. But I've had enough of the likes of Brad Paisley telling me in advertisements how much the Opry means to them. To cite a decidedly non-Opry type, Michael Corleone in "The Godfather," I'd say to Brad, "It insults my intelligence."

  4. No argument with you on any of the points you make Michael. I had the chance to personally know well several of our now deceased Opry favorites who were totally humiliated, disrespected and thrown away by management. Not mention how it still pains me that Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright and Earl Scruggs all apparently asked to return to the roster and were denied membership. And, I completely agree how disappointing that Brad Paisley would rather play with the Rolling Stones than give us 10 appearances on the Opry every year. I feel the same way when Garth (and I'm a Garth fan) says he'll give up his Opry membership over his cold dead body but makes one appearance in the last how many years? But then, I'm sitting here reminding myself that there have always been artists who felt like they got "too big" for the Opry (Eddy Arnold, Webb Pierce, Jim Reeves, Ferlin Husky) and sought greener pastures. At least though they left the Opry and didn't just give the fans lip service. And I sure don't know how some of the MIA Opry members actually feel about the current management. I've heard stories about Josh Turner not feeling welcomed at times or Loretta Lynn asking what has the Opry done for me lately? I honestly think we're moving away from the Opry even having members, which is why Fisher is being so slow adding new members.

    As a marketer and PR pro myself, I think management has been very short sighted on what they possess historically and what they could build going forward. It's almost as if they've given up on the radio audience and are looking solely at the in house audience. They're just content to take the record labels money and the tour bus crowd and put on a concert. It's hard to be a fan of the Opry when it's only on the air two hours and if you live on the west coast that means it goes off at 7:15 p.m. The Opry not only lost a lot of its southern charm but also cut off some important relationships (because they wanted longer-term sponsorship agreements) with companies whose advertising dollars would have helped financed the longer show, heard around the world online! I still cannot believe they didn't try to keep the relationships with Martha White, Coca Cola and Standard Candy. And why aren't they working harder to cultivate the relationship/cross marketing with IBMA or the Americana Music Association? These artists are building their own followings without the help or promotion of labels. (Still shocks me the Opry had the good sense to add Old Crow Medicine Show, but they haven't added Sturgill Simpson or Daily & Vincent, etc.) New York record companies masquerading as "country" labels and the top 10 charts are dying a slow and painful death and dragging down our beloved country music with them. (oldtimeopry)

  5. Oldtimeopry, I am with you all the way. As I say, I don't mind all change, but they are losing what made the show work--they are, to use the term used in TV, jumping the shark. Obviously, money can't attract the people we mentioned, but I wonder how many of them do feel they aren't really welcome or don't have a reason to be there. I read in one history that Marty Robbins was saying what Loretta Lynn said almost 60 years ago and briefly was gone, but everything was patched up. Families will squabble. But when 10 percent of the members are in on a Saturday night, it's just ridiculous. And I think of how George Hamilton IV would do backstage tours, but wouldn't be on stage. WHAT?

  6. On August 1, Dolly Parton is doing a benefit for The Opry Trust Fund at The Ryman. No, it is not an Opry appearance, but she does appear and/or help the Opry when asked.

  7. I'm sorry, but I can find nothing bad to say about Dolly Parton, even though I wish she would appear on the 'Opry more often.

    "After tickets to Dolly Parton’s first full Nashville headlining show in 12 years sold out nearly immediately, fans now have a second chance at snagging seats. The country icon announced June 29 there would be a second Dolly: Pure and Simple show on August 1, 2015 at the historic Ryman Auditorium, and it will benefit the Opry Trust Fund."
    "The first show July 31 is a benefit for the W. O. Smith Music School in Nashville via the Dustin Wells Foundation."

  8. Nat and Anon, I honor Dolly for doing that. I honor Dolly as one of the greats and as a pioneer, and having more talent in one of those long fingernails than most of today's Billboard top 20 have in their whole bodies. And maybe Pete Fisher just doesn't want her or Reba or Garth or Clint or the others around the Opry because their presence might cause ticket sales. I don't know. But I do know that even 30 years ago, Dolly wasn't doing the Opry, and that was true of others. We can blame Hal Durham for setting the precedent of allowing it, but the last time I looked, the Opry members in question were adults capable of making their own decisions.

  9. Not to take anything away from the Dolly Parton discussion, but I did want to mention that long time Opry stage manager Tim Thompson is retiring. Tonight is his last night at the Opry after 42 years. He will be missed.

    And yes, it would be nice if a few of the Opry's missing members would come around more often. The Opry fans would enjoy having them there and I bet they would have fun doing the Opry.

  10. The Opry was doing really well tonight until Jonathan Jackson !!!! and now his daughter is singing !!!! UGH ! Really enjoyed hearing Ralph Stanley again; wow, 88 and still going - presume they are still touring as well; loved his Grandson introducing his "PaPaw".

    1. My husband and I thought the show last night was terrific. The inclusion of Jonathan Jackson's daughter on her tenth birthday was a true Opry "moment". Her stage presence, and her clear, sweet voice speak of a great future if she chooses it. But the tears in Jonathan's eyes when she sang were authentic and moving. We may be able to say someday, "we were there when..."

  11. Wow! Tim Thompson has been there a long time. Byron, did he succeed Vito in the job, or gradually move into it? If he succeeded Vito, that means that, really, the Opry has had only two stage managers in its history, since Vito really created the job.

    I didn't get to hear tonight's show after Connie's opening number. I'm sorry I missed Dr. Ralph. I'm glad I missed the guests.

  12. Both Mike Snider and John Conlee brought Tim on stage and he was mentioned by a few of the other artists. I know it was mentioned that he had started at the Ryman as an usher, so that would have had to have been when the Opry was in its last year or two at the Ryman. I think it was also mentioned that he had been the Opry's stage manager since 1986. So there would have been someone else between Tim and Vito.

    Ralph did a great job. They did "Rank Strangers" and "Man of Constant Sorrow." I also thought in the introduction that they said Ralph Stanley II was playing with the group, so that would have made for three generations of the Stanley family on stage. As far as the guests, I admit that I am a big Suzy Bogguss fan and I thought she did a great job.

    On a final note, Lee Greenwood joined the Oak Ridge Boys last night on Bobbi Sue.