Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 10/2 & 10/3-Grand Ole Opry 90th Birthday Bash

This is the big weekend for the Grand Ole Opry as this historic radio show will be celebrating it's 90th anniversary with their annual birthday bash. There will be 2 shows on Friday night and 2 Grand Ole Opry shows on Saturday evening. I will be headed down to Nashville in the morning and will be at all of the events. 

As I write this, the final line-up has not been posted, but what I can tell you is that among those scheduled to appear on Friday night are Opry members Little Big Town, Old Crow Medicine Show, Joe Diffie, Lorrie Morgan Diamond Rio and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, along with guest artist JT Hodges, who will be signing copies of the Opry's new CD, "Opry 9.0: Discoveries from the Circle, Vol 1."

Among those set to appear on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry are Opry members Carrie Underwood, Oak Ridge Boys, Trace Adkins, along with guests Charles Esten and Sam Palladio. In addition to the 2 Opry shows on Saturday, the Oak Ridge Boys will be performing on the Opry's annual birthday concert during the afternoon and stars from "Nashville" will be featured in the Opry Plaza, along with other artists. The weather is looking decent so it should be a great weekend. 

If I have computer access, I will get the entire line-up posted once it is official. But just going on the names that have been listed, it looks like one of the better birthday weekends in recent memory. 

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of October 1 & 2, 2010:

Friday October 1
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; Dierks Bentley
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Charley Pride; Neal McCoy
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); Stonewall Jackson; Sam Bush

Saturday October 2
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Band Perry
8:00: Charley Pride (host); Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Kevin Costner & Modern West

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys
10:00: Charley Pride (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene
10:30: Mike Snider (host); Grand Master Fiddle Champion; Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Kevin Costner & Modern West

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of September 30 and October 1, 2005. What made this weekend so special is that on Saturday, Dierks Bentley became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.  

Friday September 30
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Rhonda Vincent
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Little Big Town
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Shelly Fairchild
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mel McDaniel; Charlie Louvin; Marty Stuart
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Jason McCoy; Buddy Jewell

Saturday October 1
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Billy Walker; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Marty Stuart (host); Chely Wright; Chris Cagle; Dierks Bentley
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); John Conlee; Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Osborne Brothers

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Jeannie Seely; Chely Wright
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; John Conlee; Chris Cagle
10:30: Marty Stuart (host); Stonewall Jackson; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Dierks Bentley
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; T. Bubba Bechtol; Osborne Brothers

For this week's featured line-up, it was on Saturday October 2, 1982 that Doyle Wilburn made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. 1982 was already a rough year at the Opry as in August both Ernest Tubb and Marty Robbins made their final Opry appearances and now, as Doyle Wilburn was in the final stages of cancer that would claim his life several weeks later, he would appear for the final time.

Doyle Wilburn, along with his brother Teddy, first came to the Grand Ole Opry in 1940 after they won a talent contest in Arkansas and were brought to the attention of Roy Acuff. They were there for six months before child labor laws forced them to quit and return back home. They continued to perform and travel and in 1948 they became a part of the Louisiana Hayride. They were there until 1951 when the act disbanded and Doyle and Teddy joined the Army. While in the service, they performed with Webb Pierce and Faron Young. In 1953, after leaving the service and returning to Nashville, they became members of the Opry. In May 1954, they signed with Decca Records. In addition to their own careers, they were instrumental in the careers of Loretta Lynn and Patty Loveless. They also hosted the highly successful syndicated show, "The Wilburn Brothers Show" that was on the air from 1963-1974 and can still be seen on RFD-TV. After Doyle died in 1982, Teddy continued as a solo artist and Opry member until his death in 2003.

It is hard to believe that as successful as they were, the Wilburn Brothers did not have any #1 hits. Their highest chart success was "Trouble's Back in Town," "Roll Muddy River," "Which One Is to Blame," and "Sparkling Brown Eyes," each of which went to #4 on the country charts.

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from Saturday October 2, 1982, the final appearance of Doyle Wilburn:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
4 Guys (host): I Don't Want Your Love Forever
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
4 Guys: Catfish John

6:45: Rudy's
Jack Greene (host): I've Still Got Room for One More Heartache
Lonzo & Oscar: Country Roads
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/Statue of A Fool

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Howdy Neighbor, Howdy
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Charlie Louvin: Mama's Angels
Jeannie Seely: You Don't Need Me, But You Will
R.E. Hardaway: New York City Song
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand/Ol' Slewfoot

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): Eight More Miles to Louisville
Charlie Walker: T For Texas
Jean Shepard: Alabama Jubilee
Ray Pillow: She's Doing It to Me Again
Billy Grammer: Homestead on the Farm
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Joe Carroll: Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jan Howard: You Don't Know Me
David Houston: Almost Persuaded
Stonewall Jackson: Life to Go
Wilburn Brothers: The Light House
Roy Acuff: Jesus Will Outshine Them All

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Right or Wrong
Vic Willis Trio: Old Flames
Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink on Me
Roy Drusky: What About You
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Howdy Neighbor, Howdy
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Jeannie Seely: I'm All Through Crying Over You
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Lonzo & Oscar: I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me
R.E. Hardaway: New York City Song
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Banjo Sam
Skeeter Davis: I'll Fly Away
Charlie Louvin: Northwind
Grandpa Jones: It's Raining Here This Morning

10:15: Sunbeam
Charlie Walker (host): San Antonio Rose
Jean Shepard: Too Many Rivers
Ray Pillow: One Too Many Memories
Charlie Walker: Waltz Across Texas

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Low & Lonely
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Roy Acuff: Farther Along

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
Billy Grammer: I'm Letting You Go
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Billy In the Low Ground
Roy Drusky: Blues In My Heart

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Down the Trail of Aching Hearts
Jan Howard: Where No One Stands Alone
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
David Houston: I'm Gonna Hire A Wino
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Hank Snow: Old Doc Brown

11:30: Hardee's
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Vic Willis Trio: Last Cheater's Waltz/Let It Be Me
Bill Carlisle: Same Ole Tale That the Crow Told Me
Bill/Sheila/Bill Carlisle, Jr: In the Pines
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk of Coal/Waterloo

Big congratulations to the Grand Ole Opry on it's 90th birthday weekend. I hope to see a few of you in Nashville this weekend.

Enjoy the Opry!!


  1. Here are the line-ups for the shows this weekend:

    1st show
    7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Joe Diffie; Jeannie Seely
    7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Jan Howard; JT Hodges; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
    8:00: Lorrie Morgan (host); Old Crow Medicine Show
    8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Little Big Town

    2nd show
    9:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Joe Diffie; Jeannie Seely
    10:00: Diamond Rio (host); JT Hodges; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
    10:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Old Crow Medicine Show
    11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Little Big Town

    1st show
    7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Oak Ridge Boys
    7:30: Charles Esten; Chris Carmack; Sam Palladio; Aubrey Peeples
    8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Trace Adkins; Opry Square Dancers
    8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Carrie Underwood

    2nd show
    9:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Oak Ridge Boys
    10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Carrie Underwood
    10:30: Charles Esten; Chris Carmack; Sam Palladio; Aubrey Peeples
    11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Trace Adkins

  2. From Anonymous in PA. Thanks Byron for the update. We cannot believe that they have allowed two complete segments of NON Opry yet "Nashville" stars to be part of this 90th anniversary. Plus they are giving them the Opry Plaza gig as well. We don't watch the show so this is a big disappointment. That would hae been slots for FOUR Opry members. By far, Friday night is the best. As I have previously said, this weekend we will be done celebrating the anniversaries - just not worth the trip and money on their dates (which have alternated in recent years) - we will go see the Opry on our time schedule. We will have probably have better shows by just picking a weekend and heading South. BTW, we will be in the gold circle and I have found your picture and hope to have a chance to meet you at one of the shows.

  3. Anyone know who R.E. Hardaway was? His name shows up in the 1982 lineup, but I've never heard of him or the "New York City Song."

  4. If I recall correctly, R.E. Hardaway was a member of Porter Wagoner's band. I don't remember what he played, either bass or lead I think.

    Knightsville, IN

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Anonymous in Kingman: R.E. Hardaway played the drums for Porter.

    3. Anonymous in Kingman:
      R.E. had at least one 45rpm single out in 1980 on the TRX label. The "A" side was 'Cheers.' The "B" side was a Mickey Newbury tune entitled 'Darlin' Take Care of Yourself.' (this song was also recorded by Tammy Wynette). I don't believe 'Cheers' ever charted.

    4. PL: You're welcome. - Anonymous in Kingman

  5. Anonymous in PA: Ditto the entire half hour segment for the "Nashville" stars. What a waste in terms of true country music.
    But you know, as much as I hate to admit it, that blasted show has probably done more good things lately for the 'Opry itself than anything else has.


  7. For me the Gatlins ate the highlight of the shows, hope they are not on autopilot....Houston/ Brocken Lady and All the Gold.
    But yes, the overall lineup is very " nothing really special"!!!

  8. Should start a petition online at change.org to get this "Nashville" series garbage off the Opry; especially on weekends of historical importance such as this. If they want to record their stars at the Opry House do it outside of Opry Shows with oublic extras, and stop disgracing this american institution with the t.v. series.

  9. On an ordinary weekend, the Nashville stars being on would be acceptable, but on the Opry's 90th birthday weekend, deciding to have them do their own portion is just inexcusable. There are several Opry members available for this weekend, among them being Garth Brooks & trisha Yearwood, who would've been a big attraction for the Opry birthday weekend. It's sad that Montgomery Gentry cancelled their saturday performance due to Eddie Montgomery's son's passing. Rather than get an Opry member to fill their absence, they decided to load up on Nashville stars for the weekend. Why not have a special "Old Timers Night" for Saturday, and get Stonewall Jackson, Stu Phillips, Ray Pillow, and some estranged members to appear? If I were in charge of the Opry, I would make the birthday weekend "members only" shows, because that seems to me like the only sensible thing to have.

    Hopefully there will be some special surprise this weekend, though it isn't very likely. Honestly, I think the Opry Country Classics was more of a birthday celebration of real country than both of the nights this weekend.

    I'm really surprised Mike Snider & Jesse McReynolds aren't on this weekend. They're on just about every show. I thought for sure they'd make appearances this week.

  10. Obviously with me being in Nashville, I will withhold my comments until I get back Sunday night. Then I will post my thoughts on the entire weekend.

  11. It must be hard to find good hosts.
    Diamond Rio just said "nice job Jan Brown" when Jan Howard was done performing.
    Nice job!

    1. I thought Diamond Rio did a great job as hosts tonight, but it was weird that they called her Jan Brown! But most likely they were thinking of Jim Ed Brown (who they mentioned near the end of their segment).

      But a few months back, Mel Tillis introduced Mickey Gilley as Leroy Van Dyke!

    2. Mr. Acuff and Grandpa Jones live! The night he debuted, a certain "storyteller" was introduced by Mr. Acuff as "Tom P. Hay." Grandpa once introduced someone as "that guy, right there."

      Apropos of "Jan Brown," a couple of times, Del Reeves referred to "Teddy Doyle."

  12. what was that odd background noise at the end of the first Friday show? Was that fireworks going off?

    1. for the anniversary shows, they release a lot of balloons on to the stage and then when the cake and song are done they have to break them - that is the noise you heard, lots of stomping on balloons !!

  13. As someone who is at both shows last night I thought they were both excellent. Certainly much much better than last year. All the acts performed very well in the audience responded. Yes the noise that was heard on the radio were the balloons being broken. More comments to come.

  14. Maybe because the Nashville TV show is drawing new attention to the Opry and Nashvilee, it make sense to do what they are doing tonight. However, being the old foggy I'm becoming, I find a bit disgraceful to celebrate 90 years of the Opry with an entire half hour totally run and performed with actors from a TV show.

    And I hope those at the Opry house got more out of the video of artist saying "I like the Opry" than I did. So far no gray hairs saying what it means to them.

    Last night I thought Bobby Osborne did good with Pathway to Teardrops and went over well.

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Hi Jim ...

      These last few nights of Opry shows have been just so fabulous.

      The reason why some of the cast of the tv show, Nashville, is on for 30 minutes is, if I am not mistaken, Montgomery-Gentry was supposed to be part of tonight's two shows. But because of the sudden passing of Eddie Montgomery's son last week, they of course, cancelled. At least, that's what I thought I remember seeing about two weeks ago on some email that I received from the Grand Ole Opry announcing the acts for the Birthday Bash, which, I totally agree with Byron's thoughts on this year's shows. I was at last year's celebration & the show my sister, friend & I attended, was very disappointing, though Trace Adkins was one of the Opry members there last year & tonight he announced he would be at the 100th, which tells me that he is willing to attend every birthday celebration. That tells me he loves being a member as much as he says he is.

      As far as the video of artists saying "I like the Opry" - more are young, not many "grey hairs" left AND/OR those more seasoned members aren't coming to the Opry half as much as they once did. It is just my opinion, that no matter what Pete Fisher thinks WE think, he is going to do whatever he feels is necessary to fill seats.

      I am now looking forward to the two Tuesday Night Opry shows .... GREAT line-up. Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Del McCoury Band, The Gatlin Brothers, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert & Kristian Bush (formerly of Sugarland.)

      Looking forward to Byron's post on his Nashville trip ~


    2. Jeanen,

      I agree Fisher is going to do whatever it takes to fill seats and rightfully so, that is his job and he is doing a good job.

      Months ago when we were wondering what this night would look like I had said it would be nice to honor the long time members that remained for this would be there last big anniversary. I see no way the few I am thinking of will be able to perform or even be around for 100.

      I understand we must look forward but we must also respect where we have been and I did not get any feeling of that tonight. I love the Opry and am happy that Fisher and team are keeping it going doing whatever it takes. I am not criticizing anyone for not feeling the way I do. Tonight was a good star packed show and really what it should probably look like most weekends with different faces but as a birthday show for such a great milestone it just didn't seem to honor that milestone.

      Kudos to Trace Adkins for his performance on the Don Williams song and remembering one of his inspirations. However, the crowds response to that performance to me says it all about how the show is these days. The crowd would rather hear the more rowdy performances and the more pop oriented music. So, Fisher is giving them what they want and hopefully that will keep the Opry going to 100 and beyond.

      I totally agree about the weeknight shows. They are harder for me to hear during the week but I listen to them at work during the week and often find them more fulfilling than the actual Opry show.

      I too look forward to Byron's report.

      Knightsville, IN

    3. Montgomery Gentry was supposed to be on, until that terrible tragedy. And that does make sense that the nashville segment took their place. However, before the full schedule was released for saturday's show, 3 Nashville stars were already on the lineup with Montgomery Gentry (however, this was after the death in the family, so the website guy might have forgotten to take them off the schedule).

      Also, I understand that Pete is trying to fill the seats by having the "Nashville" show and having younger members promoting the Opry. But I feel he's pulling a "bait and switch" technique, by saying that all these big stars will be on every week, when in reality, most of the shows have the senior members and a lot of guest artists that haven't made it big. I like that some of these newer members recorded these extremely kind messages about the Opry, but I wish they would physically be on the stage to show their appreciation rather than appear once and say they love the Opry but never appear the rest of the year.

      They didn't have the "grey hairs" in the video because they're not as recognizable to country fans these days as the younger stars are. More people would be able to identify Carrie Underwood instead of Jeannie Seely, and more would know Brad Paisley instead of Bill Anderson.

  15. I must be forbitten to sing the exact same lineup on two shows the same day....like the Gatlins:-( Do they not remember more of the songs?