Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 7/17 & 7/18

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-up for the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry and there are some interesting names that are set to appear this weekend.

First, Opry member and Hall of Famer Jean Shepard is scheduled for Saturday night. She has not appeared on the Opry in 2015 and it is nice to see her again on the schedule. The hope is that she is well enough to appear, not only this weekend, but in the future. They scheduled her in a segment with Jesse McReynolds, who has also missed the last couple of weeks. Jesse said that he wasn't feeling well but that he is much better and was able to celebrate his 86th birthday last week. I think by putting both of these artists together, the Opry is covering itself in case one cancels.

As far as other Opry members this weekend, Ray Pillow and Mike Snider are set to host segments both nights. Mike has kind of fallen out of the rotation of hosting a segment, so it is nice to see him back in that role. And it is always a treat to see Ray back on the Opry. Obviously, if they are having Ray and Mike hosting segments both nights, the pool of possible hosts is slim and many are out on the road this weekend. Other Opry members set for this weekend are Larry Gatlin and Bobby Osborne on Friday night and Jeannie Seely and Jan Howard on Saturday night. Oh no, I did not miss his name!! Vince Gill is set again for both shows this weekend. Outstanding!!

With such few Opry members scheduled this weekend, the guest artists will dominate. Set for both nights is Darryl Worley, while Greg Bates, T. Graham Brown, Home Free, Elizabeth Cook and The Steeldrivers are set for Friday night. Home Free is the newcomer on this list. They were the winner of season 4 of "The Sing Off" on NBC. They did not start out as a country group, but as members have changed, their musical direction has shifted into that style. T. Graham Brown used to be on the Opry a lot, but his recent appearances have been few and far. It is nice to see him back. The Steeldrivers are an exciting group that tends to go toward bluegrass and Elizabeth Cook is a very talented songwriter and singer.

Saturday night will feature Keith Anderson, Amber Digby, TG Sheppard and his wife Kelly Lang, Clare Bowen from "Nashville," and Sara Haze. That totals out to 14 on Saturday night. The artist I am looking most forward to is Amber Digby. Out of Texas, she always has done a great job and I was at the Opry for her last appearance. She is very talented and usually has her husband with her playing guitar.

Friday July 17
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Darryl Worley
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); Greg Bates; T. Graham Brown
8:15: Larry Gatlin (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Home Free
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Elizabeth Cook; The Steeldrivers

Saturday July 18
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Keith Anderson; Amber Digby
7:30: Mike Snider (host); TG Sheppard with Kelly Lang; Clare Bowen
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Jan Howard; Sara Haze; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jean Shepard; Jesse McReynolds; Darryl Worley

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of July 16 & 17, 2010. Both the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry were held at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday July 16
7:00: Marty Stuart (host); Rebecca Lynn Howard; Mary Chapin Carpenter
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mark Wills
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Jesse McReynolds; Jim Ed Brown; Jan Howard
8:45: Mel Tillis (host); Riders In The Sky; Kenyon Lockry

Saturday July 17
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Rebecca Lynn Howard; Mel Tillis
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Point Of Grace
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Stonewall Jackson; Lee Brice; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Jim Ed Brown; Rodney Crowell

As far as the Friday Night Opry, Mary Chapin Carpenter was not on the schedule and made a surprise appearance before heading to another venue in Nashville. That accounted for the five artists in the 8:15 segment as the line-up was shuffled around.

Now from ten years ago this weekend, July 15 & 16, 2005:

Friday July 15
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Walker; Maura O'Connell
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Mel McDaniel; Susan Haynes
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Kenny & Amanda Smith; Janie Fricke
9:00: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; Restless Heart
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Osborne Brothers; Mark Chesnutt

Saturday July 16
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Carlene Carter
7:00: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; The Wrights
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Mel McDaniel; The Isaacs
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Raul Malo; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker; Shawn King; T. Graham Brown

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Raul Malo
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Shawn King; The Isaacs
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stu Phillips; T. Graham Brown; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Billy Walker; Carlene Carter
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; The Wrights

Going back into the history of the Opry, it was on Saturday July 18, 1964 that Connie Smith made her first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Connie would continue to make guest appearances over the next year, and on August 8, she will be honored on her 50th anniversary as an Opry member.

Here is the running order from 51 years ago, July 18, 1964:

7:30: Luzianne
Bill Anderson (host): Po Folks
The Browns: The Wayward Wind
Gordon Terry: Wild Honey
Del Wood: Mocking Bird
Bill Anderson: Five Little Fingers
Connie Smith: I Can Stand It
Jimmy Gateley: (?)
The Browns: Then I'll Stop Loving You
Bill Anderson: Still

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy Newman (host): Alligator Man
Jean Shepard: Two Little Boys
Carl Butler: I'm Hanging Up the Phone
Crazy Elmer: Comedy
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Jimmy Newman: Summer Skies and Golden Sands
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Carl Butler: Don't Let Me Cross Over
Jimmy Newman: A Fallen Star

8:30: Stephens
Leroy Van Dyke (host): Your Money
Marion Worth: You Took Him Off My Hands
Sonny James: Ask Marie
Bill Carlisle: Shanghai Rooster
Leroy Van Dyke: Auctioneer
Stan Hitchcock: Looking Through A Teardrop
Marion Worth: Crazy Arms
Sonny James: The Minute Your Gone
Leroy Van Dyke: Walk On By

9:00: Pet Milk
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Billy Grammer: Detroit City
George Hamilton IV: Abilene
Oswald: Roll On, Buddy, Roll On
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
June Stearn: (?)
Billy Grammer: Beautiful Isle of Somewhere
George Hamilton IV: (?)
Roy Acuff: Glorybound Train

9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): Ninety Miles an Hour, Down A Dead End Street
Carter Family: Wildwood Flower
Roy Drusky: Pick of the Week
Willis Brothers: Gonna Buy Me A Jukebox
June Carter: Comedy
Hank Snow: Why Do You Punish Me
Carter Family: (?)
Roy Drusky: Yesterday
Hank Snow: Caribbean

10:00: Schick
Jimmy Newman (host): Bayou Talk
The Browns: Yesterday's Gone
Jean Shepard: Hillbilly Fever
Jimmy Newman: The Mover

10:15: SSS Tonic
Sonny James (host): Jenny Lou
Marion Worth: The Hands You're Holding Now
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Sonny James: Ask Marie

10:30: Harvey's
Leroy Van Dyke (host): All the Boys Are Talking
Del Wood: Pony Boy
George Hamilton IV: Three Steps to the Phone
Leroy Van Dyke: Dim Dark Corner

10:45: Newport
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Crook Brothers: New Five Cents
Carl Butler: (?)
Roy Acuff: Lights in the Valley

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
The Browns: The 3 Bells
Billy Grammer: (?)
June Carter: Comedy
Hank Snow: (?)
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Carter Family: Foggy Mountain Top
Billy Grammer: (?)
Hank Snow: (?)

11:30: Lava
Roy Drusky (host): Peel Me A Nanner
Willis Brothers: Private Lee
George Hamilton IV: (?)
Crazy Elmer: Comedy
Roy Drusky: Another
Connie Smith: (?)
Willis Brothers: Big Daddy
George Hamilton IV: (?)
Roy Drusky: (?)

Interesting that on her first night, Connie was on the opening segment and the closing segment. And of course, it was Bill Anderson who first introduced her on the Opry.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. It is great to see Jean Shepard on the lineup. Lets hope she feels well enough to appear. I'm also glad that Jan Howard is appearing so soon again after appearing on the 4th and doing a great job with "I am". I have to wonder and Byron can probably tell us, when was the last time Ray Pillow and Jean Shepard sang a duet on the Opry. You may remember their 1966 duet LP on Capitol. One of the releases was "I'll take the Dog".

    Glad to hear someone else likes Amber Digby. She is one of the names I have brought up when writing to Pete Fisher and I commend him for having her on more often in the past year or so. Also good to see her on during the weekend shows as she seems to appear on the week night shows more often. I could be off a little on that fact. I know that the Opry has to have all styles of today's country but the hardcore Texas country of the likes of Price, Tubb and Walker is scarce these days and that is what she brings to the stage. Now, if they would only give a few other younger Texas artist of this style a chance.

    Sadly, I agree that you can tell they are desperate for host and artist this weekend when you look at the lineup. But, that Is good for folks like me clinging to the veterans who are left.

    Knightsville, IN

  2. Mandy Barnett has been added to the opening segment on Friday night.

  3. Does anyone know when was Jim Ed Brown's final Opry performance?

  4. Jim Ed Brown's final Opry performance was on April 11, 2015, as a guest on the 8:45 portion hosted by Charlie Daniels. Jim Ed performed two songs: "In Style Again" and "The Three Bells". The video of his final song, "The Three Bells", is posted on the Opry youtube channel.

  5. Thanks Robert.

    Jim, I can't find anywhere the last time Jean Shepard and Ray Pillow sang together on the Opry. I would guess it has been decades.

  6. Vince Gill is an absolute gentleman and wonderful talent - his tribute tonight was wonderful.

  7. Well, no Jean Shepard tonight. Other than that, I was a very good show. Vince Gill was his usual great self, Mike Snider and Jan Howard both did a fine job and Ray Pillow did a nice job hosting. I could have done without Sara Haze and Clare Bowen, but that is just my personal taste. It was an enjoyable night to listen.

  8. Bobby Osborne sounded awful on the radio Friday night - what was the problem ???? Am I being too picky ????

    Dashmann - Flushing, Mich

  9. what happened to Vince's first song - we were listening on XM and it just cut off !! agree Fayfare, Sara Haze and Clare Bowen could have stayed home; plus didn't really care for Keith Anderson either; Mike Snider actually was shortchanged both nights - his last song was really for the curtain to close; Jesse McReynolds should have been given two songs (if the so-called guests get two then surely someone of his caliber should also get two).

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  11. Dashmann, I believe that was Bobby Osborne Jr. singing Friday night. I was listening while driving but I'm pretty sure they did an instrumental and then Bobby's son sang lead on Rocky Top as he has done several other times on the Opry.

  12. mll06041965 - Bobby Jr was awful --- yow --- and the announcer - I think Larry Gatlin made it seem so great ---am I wrong ??? and I love Bobby, even though I wish he would can the Rocky Top thing once in a while. Dashmann - Flushing , Mich

  13. I agree on Sara, Clare and Keith. It has been over 10 years since Anderson's BIG chart success at #8. Just so much noise and hum drum melodies, or no melody to all of the proceeding!

    Oh well, can't expect to have it both ways. Who is Amber Digby to most in the crowd. Certainly no mainstream chart success for her but I'm thrilled to hear her on the Opry so I guess I should except the others as long as they keep allowing someone like her on occasionally. Jeannie Seely did a great introduction and Amber went over very well considering see did such hardcore old songs. I will say thanks to Fisher and crew for having her on again. Always complaining so I should say thanks once in a while.

    If Jesse and Jean were both scheduled that meant two songs in the first section of the last portion so why would Jesse not get the second song that would have been for Jean, Hey, more profit with one less performance to pay for! Maybe? Sure wish Jean could have made it.

    I didn't get to hear the Friday night show, had storms and power outage! Will listen to archive later.

    Knightsville, IN

  14. Regarding the XM stream, the same thing happened to me. Actually, I got hit 2 ways. For some reason, the WSM stream stopped working on my phone during Ray Pillow's last song. That ended that for the night and since it is summer up here in Ohio, the WSM signal was not coming in. So, I went over to XM to listen to the Opry on the delay. It came in fine and I got to listen to Ray again. But, you are right. When Vince started to sing "Look at Us", it skipped over to Vince introducing Jesse McReynolds. That was why I wasn't sure at first if Jean was on or not. Not sure what happened. And of course, it happened to Vince and not one of the others.

    I did not listen on Friday night so not sure but I do know that last week or the week before, Bobby Osborne had a very hoarse voice.

    As far as Amber Digby, I have seen her on the Opry and in my mind, she is the real deal.

  15. Sometimes I have to listen on XM and they can really be disappointing. I listen to the Opry to hear the conversation and introductions as much as the music. They have a terrible habit of editing out important dialogue. Grumbling again but it always seems to happen to the people I care about and not the Nashville TV folks or some of the Top 40 radio newbies.

    I'm sure the people doing the editing have now idea who some of these folks are. If I remember correct Mac Wiseman actually did three songs when he was on several months ago but they only wired two.

    Knightsville, IN

  16. Jim, I'm with you.
    XM butchers the 'Opry, but at least they offer an alternative to no 'Opry at all.

  17. I've been listening thru Tune In radio and no problem so far

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