Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 7/31 & 8/1

Summer rolls on not only here in Ohio but also in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry. The schedule and line-ups are set for the two shows this weekend.

The Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature the same four hosts each night, hosting the same segments. Larry Gatlin (without Steve and Rudy), Riders In The Sky, Bill Anderson and Vince Gill are the hosts. And I know I am repeating myself, but it is really nice to have Vince back at the Opry this weekend after missing last week.

As far as additional Opry members on the schedule, Mike Snider is set for both nights, while Friday night will feature Jeannie Seely, Bobby Osborne, and The Whites. Saturday has Connie Smith, Jesse McReynolds, and one of my favorites, Patty Loveless on the schedule. Most of us are Patty Loveless fans and it would be nice to see her on the Opry more often. And as an added treat, Vince and Patty get the last 30 minutes to themselves on Saturday night.

As far as guest artists this weekend, both nights will feature Striking Matches, while on Friday night they will be joined by The Henningsens, Craig Wayne Boyd and Watkins Family Hour, while on Saturday night Shelly Skidmore and Jimmy Wayne are on.

The name on the guest list this week is Watkins Family Hour. They are led by Sara and Sean Watkins who have been part of Nickel Creek. They are joined by an all-star cast of singers and musicians, with their debut album released last week. They have been featured on numerous shows including "CBS This Morning." They play bluegrass and music by Grateful Dead and Fleetwood Mac among others. But actually their style fits right in at the Opry.

Friday July 31
7:00: Larry Gatlin (host); The Henningens; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jeannie Seely; Striking Matches
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Craig Wayne Boyd
8:45: Vince Gill (host); The Whites; Watkins Family Hour

Saturday August 1
7:00: Larry Gatlin (host); Shelly Skidmore; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy Wayne; Connie Smith
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Striking Matches; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Patty Loveless

The host of this week's Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will be T. Graham Brown. Just my opinion, but I thought that T. Graham would have made a nice addition to the Opry line-up this week.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, July 30 & 31, 2010. The shows both nights were held at the Ryman Auditorium as the renovation of the Grand Ole Opry House continued.

Friday July 30
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Cowan; Jan Howard
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds; Restless Heart
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; The Isaacs

Saturday July 31
7:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Tim O'Brien
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Ray Stevens; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Whites

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of July 29 & 30, 2005:

Friday July 29
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Billy Walker; Susan Haynes
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Claire Lynch
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; The Wrights
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; The Vanderbilt Kennedy Music Camp Performers; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:30: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Patty Loveless

Saturday July 30
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Pam Tillis (host); Blake Shelton; Alan Jackson; The Wrights
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; T. Graham Brown

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Wrights
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jack Greene; Alan Jackson
10:30: Pam Tillis (host); Charlie Louvin; Jim Ed Brown; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Blake Shelton
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Osborne Brothers; T. Graham Brown

An interesting name that shows up on this line-up and a few others from this time period is Susan Haynes, who seems to have disappeared. Susan was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972. She came to Nashville in 2005 and was signed to Epic Records. She released two singles with her best being, "Drinkin' In My Sunday Best" which went to just #51 on the country charts. By May 2006, her record deal was done and she has not appeared on the charts since. The Opry spotlighted her a few times but her career went nowhere.

For this week's featured line-up, it was 39 years ago this weekend, Saturday July 31, 1976 that former Grand Ole Opry member Don Williams performed on the Opry's Saturday night show for the first time since he became an Opry member. Don joined the Opry on April 23, 1976, which was a Friday night. His stay at the Opry was very short, with his final appearance coming on August 22, 1981. During his 5 years as an Opry member, he appeared just 9 times. And this was during the period of time when the Opry actually expected you to appear if you were a member.

Here is the running order from Saturday July 31, 1976, the first Saturday night performance for new Opry member Don Williams.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Big Midnight Special
Willis Brothers: Home on the Range
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nobody's Darling But Mine

6:45: Rudy's
George Hamilton IV (host): Country Music In My Soul
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
O.B. McClinton: Blanket on the Ground
George Hamilton IV: Early Morning Rain

7:00: Shoney's
Charlie Louvin (host) w/Pam Dickerson: Did You Ever
Billy Grammer: Detroit City
Justin Tubb: Cold Brown Bottle
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Charlie Louvin: Let's Put Our World Back Together/A Toast to Mama/Love Has to Die All By Itself/I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow/I Want a Happy Life
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Justin Tubb: Keep Me From Blowing Away

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Drusky (host): Second Hand Rose
Bob Luman: Neither One of Us
Don Williams: You're My Best Friend/Turn Out the Lights and Love Me Tonight
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Soldier's Joy
Bob Luman: A Satisfied Mind
Roy Drusky: I Really Don't Want to Know

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host) w/The Nashville Grass: Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone
4 Guys: Top of the World
Melba Montgomery: Lonely Street
Jim Mundy: Never Met A Girl I Didn't Like
Paul Warren: Orange Blossom Special
4 Guys: The Morning Sun
Melba Montgomery: Don't Let the Good Times Fool You
Lester Flatt: Great Big Woman and A Little Biddy Bottle of Wine

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Miller's Cave
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Ronnie Milsap: I'm A Stand By My Woman Man/Day Dreams About Night Things
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Jeanne Pruett: It Doesn't Hurt to Ask
Hank Snow: That's When He Dropped the World in My Hands

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Charlie Louvin (host): Will You Visit Me on Sundays/What Are Those Things
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Where is America Going
Bill Carlisle: Business Man
Charlie Louvin: Poison Red Berries
O.B. McClinton: I'm the Other One
Oswald: Dobro Chimes
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith

10:00: Fender
Roy Drusky (host): Fraulein
Willis Brothers: Ghost Riders in the Sky
Don Williams: I Recall a Gypsy Woman
Roy Drusky: Alone With You

10:15: Union 76
Billy Grammer (host): Under the Double Eagle
Melba Montgomery: Don't Keep Me Lonely Too Long
George Hamilton IV: Break My Mind
Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host)
Paul Warren: Black-Eyed Susie
Justin Tubb: Sweetwater Texas
Bob Luman: A Satisfied Mind
Lester Flatt: Mama Don't Allow It

10:45: Beech-Nut
4 Guys (host): Turn Your Radio On
Ronnie Milsap: What Goes on When the Sun Goes Down
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle
4 Guys: The Morning Sun

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Hello Love
Jim Mundy: Never Met A Girl I Didn't Like
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Hank Snow: Old Doc Brown
Jim Mundy: The River's Too Wide
Kirk McGee: The End of Forever
Hank Snow: Traveling Blues

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): El Paso City
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets/Break My Mind
Ronnie Robbins: Good Hearted Woman/The Bitter They Are
Marty Robbins; Cool Water/Love Me/Don't Worry/El Paso

Again, some interesting names on the Opry that night including Ronnie Milsap and Melba Montgomery. Those are two names that everyone should be familiar with. But what about Jim Mundy and O.B. McClinton?

Jim Mundy was born James White on February 8, 1934. His recording career, much of it with ABC Records, lasted from 1973 to 1979. He ended up with 10 singles that hit the charts, with the best being "The River's Too Wide," which was his first release and went to #13. He also was a commercial jingle singer and did work for Pillsbury, Union 76, Coca Cola and Miller Brewing. As far as I know, he is still alive, although I cannot confirm it as he kind of disappeared 1980.

O.B. McClinton is a name that should be familiar to many country music fans. He was born on April 25, 1940 and grew up in the Memphis, Tennessee area. His first love was R&B music but he was unable to get a record contract. He then tried country and was one of the first entertainers to market their album on television. His first chart success was in 1964 and he stayed on the charts until he died in 1987. "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You" was his biggest success, coming in at #37 on the carts. He nicknamed himself the "Chocolate Cowboy" which was also the title of one of his later albums. O.B. passed away from cancer on September 23, 1987.

Next weekend will be a big one at the Opry as on Saturday night, Connie Smith will be honored for 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. To mark the occasion, there will be two shows on Saturday night that will feature, in addition to Connie, Marty Stuart, Alison Krauss, The Cox Family, Mel Tillis and many more. It should be a great night at the Opry.

As far as the weekend, enjoy the Opry!!


  1. Fred, Bismarck:

    Re. the '76 show:

    It was sure nice to see Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper go out on top -- Stoney would die the following spring -- or at least riding the best album they had cut in years, and for the best label, Rounder Records. Three of their four songs that night were from that album, cut in April.

    One from the album entitled WILMA LEE AND STONEY COOPER they didn't sing -- and I wonder if any of our other Fayfarers are acquainted with it -- is "Starlit Heaven," an unforgettable 5-minute performance that, for me, froze the Coopers' sound in time forever.

  2. About O.B. He and Ralph Emery were close, and Ralph wrote very movingly about him in his first book.

  3. I attended the Opry in summer of 1996 ? when Don Williams appeared and was fantastic. His voice that night was reminiscent of JD Sumners in resonance and deepness. Trying to fix the exact date is problematic for me, but Dale Watson was on the Opry and also on the plaza. Rhonda Vincent's newly formed bluegrass band was on and Eddie Stubbs was also pretty new to WSM at the time.

    Dashmann - Flushing , Michigan

  4. Again trying to fix that date of Don Williams on the Opry, Larry Stephenson was on the Ernest Tubb Record Shop show and Eddie Stubbs brought and played his fiddle on that show. Old Crow Medicine Show was also on the Opry, maybe for their first time. Can anyone fix that date exactly ???

    Dashman; Flushing, Michigan

  5. Going through the years and the records, I do not have Don Williams or Old Crow Medicine Show listed as being on the Opry in 1995, 1996 or 1997. On Old Crow's website, it states that they did not come to Nashville until 2000. Old Crow's first Opry show was on January 13, 2001 and Don Williams was not on that night as I do have the line-up for that evening.

    Dashman, perhaps you are confusing Old Crow with another group? I know all of our memories fade over time. But just for you my friend, I will continue to dig and see if I can nail down when Don Williams came back on the Opry for a guest appearance. I would guess that it was during one of the televised portions.

    1. Checking back on my old calendars, it has to be June 23 or 24, 2000. Can you verify that ? Ain't it funny how time slips away ??? Unrelated - sad to see Buddy Emmons pass. His steel guitar breaks on Ray Prices "Night Life" are still classic !!

      Dashmann - Flushing , Michigan

    2. Found it Dashmann. It was Saturday June 24, 2000. Here is the running line-up from that night:

      1st show
      6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Billy Walker; Dale Watson
      7:00: Johnny Russell (host); Jim Nabors; Billy Gilman
      7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Del Reeves; Don Williams; Pam Tillis
      8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; Mike Snider; Rogers Legacy; Opry Square Dance Band
      8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Holly Dunn; Jim Ed Brown; Joni Harms

      2nd show
      9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Nabors; Pam Tillis
      10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Billy Walker; Ricky Skaggs; Billy Gilman
      10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Holly Dunn; Jimmy C Newman; Matt King; Opry Square Dance Band
      11:00: The Whites (host); Rogers Legacy; Don Williams
      11:30: Charlie Walker (host); Joni Harms; Mike Snider; Jim Ed Brown

      There were still quarter hour segments in the usual spot but the hosts handled the entire half hour.

      On the first show, Don had one song and did, "I'll Be Faithful to You." On the 2nd show he did " Louisiana Saturday Night" "One True Friend" and "It Must Be Love." Hope that brings back a memory.

  6. Another country great just died. Opry guest Lynn Anderson passed away last night. She was a great talent, and I enjoyed her appearance on Opry Classics last year.

  7. Fred, Bismarck:

    Buddy Emmons! He was Ernest Tubb's first pedal steel man, and sure helped E.T. with airplay and the charts starting with "Half a Mind" in 1958. Some diplomacy must have been required on E.T.'s part, because always before his uncontested lead instrument had been the electric guitar, and he had a pretty good hand in Billy Byrd!

    Previously, Buddy -- so young -- had been outstanding with Little Jimmy Dickens.

    I always thought Ernest's "great band" was headed by Byrd and Emmons, rather than the later combo to which the title is usually applied.

  8. Byron; We stayed at the Opryland hotel that trip. Thought the Crows were on the Opry, but it looks like not.
    I definitely saw them though because they were playing in the WSM hotel studio on the Matthew Gillen(sp?)
    show probably Friday night after the Opry. I watched them thru the windows of the studio. Gillen seemed to be sick a lot until we didn't hear him at all anymore. Always wondered if there was more to the story of him disappearing. He always had a lot of live music on his shows.
    Dashmann - Flushing, Michigan