Thursday, September 17, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 9/18 & 9/19

It took a little longer than usual, put the Grand Ole Opry finally put out the line-up for the shows this weekend. Makes me wonder if maybe they had a little trouble filling out both nights.

When you look at the line-ups for this weekend, there are a few names of interest. The Friday Night Opry has guest artists The Willis Clan, Jim Lauderdale, Phil Vassar, and from "Nashville" Chris Carmack. Some very solid names but nobody who I would call a standout star. As far as Opry members, Ralph Stanley makes another Opry appearance, his 2nd weekend there in a month. He will be joined by Opry veteran Ray Pillow, along with fellow Opry members Connie Smith, Mike Snider, Jeannie Seely, Riders In The Sky, Bobby Osborne and John Conlee. As you can see by the list, it is the usual veterans.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry has Connie Smith, Mike Snider, Jeannie Seely and Riders In The Sky holding over from Friday night, joined by The Whites, Jan Howard and Jesse McReynolds. "Nashville" is represented by Clare Bowen. Other guests include The Quebe Sisters, the every popular Jimmy Wayne, frequent Opry guest Darryl Worley and a lady who I think would make a great Opry member, Kathy Mattea.

Friday September 18
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Mike Snider
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Lauderdale; Phil Vassar
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chris Carmack
8:45: John Conlee (host); Ralph Stanley; The Willis Clan

Saturday September 19
7:00: Connie Smith (host); The Whites; The Quebe Sisters
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy Wayne; Kathy Mattea
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jan Howard; Darryl Worley; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Clare Bowen

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, September 17 & 18, 2010. Both shows were held at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday September 17
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Wills
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Doyle Dykes
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Sawyer Brown
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Stu Phillips; John Conlee; The Whites

Saturday September 18
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Whitney Duncan
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Rebecca Lynn Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:15: The Whites (host); Stonewall Jackson; Chuck Mead; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: George Hamilton IV (host); Jesse McReynolds; Dolly Parton

Now from ten years ago, September 16 & 17, 2005:

Friday September 16
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Chely Wright
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Ryan Shupe & The Rubber Band
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jan Howard; Osborne Brothers; Peasall Sisters
9:00: Roy Clark (host); The Whites; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:30: Charlie Walker (host); Connie Smith; Restless Heart

Saturday September 17
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mandy Barnett
7:00: Roy Clark (host); Rhonda Vincent; Billy Dean; George Canyon; Loretta Lynn
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; The Whites; Keni Thomas; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Dan Seals

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Loretta Lynn
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; Mandy Barnett; George Canyon
10:30: Roy Clark (host); The Whites; Keni Thomas; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; Rhonda Vincent
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Billy Walker; Dan Seals

Finally, it was on Saturday September 20, 1997 that Johnny Paycheck was invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Donald Eugene Lytle was born on May 31, 1938 in Greenfield, Ohio. He was taking part in talent contests before the age of ten. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, he toured and recorded with a number of country music legends including George Jones, Ray Price, Faron Young and Roger Miller. His first chart success as a solo artist was in 1960, under the name of Donny Young. In 1964, he changed his name to Johnny Paycheck and his first charted hit, "A-11" followed a year later. He played it as a pretty straight country artist until the early 1970s when he became part of the outlaw movement with Willie and Waylon and changed his appearance and image to fit the movement. He took the outlaw image a little bit too far and in 1985 he was sentenced to prison for shooting a man at a bar in Hillsboro, Ohio. He was at rock bottom in his career as along with the prison sentence, he had a drug and alcohol addition. Twenty-Two months later, he was released from prison and made a vow to change his ways. In November 1997, thanks to the efforts of several, including Johnny Russell, he received the invitation to join the Opry.

He became an official member on November 8, 1997, however his Opry career was short as illness over took him. He was only able to make 7 Opry appearances in 1997 and 7 more in 1998 before being forced to retire due to emphysema and respiratory issues. When Johnny passed away in February 2003, there was no money for a funeral and George Jones noted the burial site and paid for his funeral.

During the course of his career, he released 64 singles, with his only #1 record being "Take This Job and Shove It" in 1977. He had Top 10 hits with "She's All I Got," "Someone to Give My Love To," "Mr. Lovemaker," "Song and Dance Man," "Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets," "I'm the Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised," and "Friend, Lover, Wife." He was also a noted songwriter, with his credits including "Apartment #9," a huge hit for Tammy Wynette.

Here is the running order from Saturday September 20, 1997, the night Johnny Paycheck was asked to join the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Bill Anderson (host): Family Reunion
Bill Carlisle: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
Bill Anderson: Orange Blossom Special

6:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Grandpa Jones (host): Fifteen Cents Is All I Got
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Grandpa Jones: Eight More Miles to Louisville

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): 'Ol Slewfoot
Jeanne Pruett: Back to Back
The Whites: San Antonio Rose
Ray Pillow: Cinderella
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou
Kristy Lynn: Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine
Porter Wagoner: Sugarfoot Rag

7:30: Standard Candy
Steve Wariner (host): On Life's Highway
Country Rose Barbie: You're Looking at Country
Johnny Paycheck: Love's On Fire Again/The Old Violin/A-11
Steve Wariner: Big Old Empty House

8:00: Martha White
Jack Greene (host): Walking on New Grass
Hal Ketchum: I Know Where Love Lives/Stay Forever
Wilma Lee Cooper: Matthew 24
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durango's Hornpipe
Jack Greene: Follow Me

8:30: Clifty Farms
John Conlee (host): Friday Night Blues
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Jean Shepard: Live and Let Live
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down/Smoke, Smoke, Smoke
John Conlee: I Don't Remember Loving You

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Coming
Oswald: Mansion on the Hill
Wilma Lee Cooper: Coming Down From God
Jeanne Pruett: A Poor Man's Woman
Country Rose Barbie: You're Looking At Country
Porter Wagoner & Kristi Lynn: Milwaukee, Here I Come
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

10:00: Massy Ferguson
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Hal Ketchum: The Way She Loves Me
Grandpa Jones: Any Old Time

10:15: Banquet
Steve Wariner (host): On Life's Highway
Roy Drusky: Jody and The Kid
Steve Wariner: A Big Old Empty House

10:30: Purnell's
Jean Shepard (host): I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Stu Phillips: Colorado
Jean Shepard & Jeannie Seely: Live and Let Live/Farewell Party

Jimmy C Newman (host): LaCajun Band
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): Did She Mention My Name
The Whites: Hanging Around/He Took Your Place
Johnny Paycheck: Love's on Fire Again/The Old Violin
Bill Anderson: The Unicorn

11:30: Opry Book
John Conlee (host): Common Man
Jeannie Seely: Burning that Old Memory/Too Far Gone
Billy Walker: Come A Little Bit Closer/Jesus Walks In
John Conlee: Rose Colored Glasses

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!!


  1. Forgot to add in the update that Jan Howard has been taken off Saturday night with no replacement, while The Henningsens were added on the vacant spot on Friday night.


  3. Bill Anderson was on the road this weekend. He played the Bluegate Theater in Shipshewanna, Indiana Thursday and Friday night. The place seats 325 and both nights were very very close to sold out. We attended the Friday show and there were maybe 8-10 empty seats. This is a very intimate setting. Bill only had three band members with him, James Freeze on bass, Ziggy Johnson on keyboard and Cotton Payne on drums. Bill played his recently returned Grammer guitar.

    The show lasted one hour and forty-five minutes with Bill performing eighteen songs and Ziggy playing Last Date on the Keyboard. Having his Grammer guitar back has added a new section to his show or at least it did last night. He explained the events that led to him getting the guitar back and then performed three songs that he felt sure he had written using it for accompaniment. He performed "Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep", "Once a Day" and "Peel Me a Nanner".

    About half the crowd stayed for autographs and photo's. We have seen Bill in concert at least eight times and this may have been the best yet. We enjoy hearing him relate the stories behind the songs even if we have heard them before and at this show he did very few songs without telling some kind of story. The theater owners invited him back next October!

    If you are a fan of Bill's but have never seen him in "full" concert as Eddie Stubbs would say, I encourage you to go see him if he come to a town near you. Very few performers are still out there performing that have contributed so much to country music.

    Knightsville, IN

  4. Great report Jim. Thanks. It has been probably 15 years (at least) since I saw bill give a full concert and it was well worth the money.

  5. I have seen Bill Anderson a half dozen or so times in the last decade and he never fails to put on a terrific show. I especially appreciate that he varies the show and so each time is a fresh experience. He's done Q&A and requests at various times and varies his set list. When you have close to 60 years of hits (his own and those written for others) to draw from, that provides lots of options!

    As he approaches 80 (hard to believe, isn't it?) he's slowed a bit on the travels so I encourage anyone who hasn't seen him to catch his act the next time he's booked at your local casino or performance venue.