Thursday, September 3, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 9/4 & 9/5

The Labor Day weekend is upon us which means that the vast majority of country music stars are out on the fair circuit this weekend. What that means at the Opry, and for the two shows this weekend, is a pretty ordinary line-up with a mix of Opry veterans and some younger newcomers.

The Opry veterans this weekend include Jeannie Seely, The Whites and Connie Smith for both nights, while they will be joined by Jesse McReynolds and Riders In The Sky on Friday, and on Saturday by Mike Snider and Bobby Osborne. In addition to Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Ralph Stanley is scheduled for both nights.

The star power this weekend will be supplied by Opry member Ricky Skaggs, who is scheduled for Saturday night, while we will see Pure Prairie League on Friday. This week's newcomer to the Opry is William Michael Morgan, and like many others starting in the business, we will see in a few years whether or not his career has any length to it.

On the positive side, it is always a pleasure to see Amber Digby on the Opry line-up. She is a true country music singer and to me, the real deal. I know others will disagree, but I do enjoy Elizabeth Cook. I always enjoy her on the Opry.

The rest of those scheduled are replaceable names, none of which are worth the $70 price of a prime ticket.

Friday September 4
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Josh Thompson; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jackie Lee; Emily West
8:15: The Whites (host); Amber Digby; Ralph Stanley
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Aubrey People; Pure Prairie League

Saturday September 5
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Scott; Ralph Stanley
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Elizabeth Cook; Green River Ordinance
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; William Michael Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Rhett Walker Band

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, September 3 & 4, 2010. The show both nights took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday September 3
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Billy Dean
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; The Grascals
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Exile
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Darryl Worley

Saturday September 4
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Ashton Shepherd
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; The Steeldrivers
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Shawn Camp; Connie Smith

And from ten years ago, the weekend of September 2 & 3, 2005:

Friday September 2
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Charlie Walker; David Ball
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Emerson Drive; John Berry
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Wrights; Josh Turner
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ralph Stanley; The Crabb Family

Saturday September 3
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Dale Ann Bradley & Coon Creek
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mark Collie
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Emerson Drive
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); John Conlee; The Wrights; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); Mel McDaniel; Rebecca Lynn Howard

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Mark Collie
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Billy Walker; Dale Ann Bradley & Coon Creek
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Emerson Drive; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Marty Stuart (host); John Conlee; The Wrights
11:30: Ray Pillow (host); Mel McDaniel; Rebecca Lynn Howard

For this week's featured line-up, let's go back 62 years to Saturday September 5, 1953. Check out the Opry line-up from that night:

7:30: Prince Albert
Ernest Tubb (host): You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Faron Young: Baby My Heart
Square Dancers: Sugar In The Gourd
Ernest Tubb: Stand By Me
Jordanaires: I'm So Glad Jesus Lifted Me
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Faron Young: Going Steady
String Bean: Ida Red
Ernest Tubb: My Wasted Past

8:00: Martha White
Carl Smith (host): Just Wait Til I Get You Alone
Bill Monroe: Rocky Road Blues
Johnny and Jack: South In New Orleans
June Carter: You Flopped When You Got Me Alone
Possum Hunters: Soldier's Joy
Kitty Wells: Honky Tonk Waltz
Carl Smith: Trade Mark
Carter Family: The Sun's Gonna Shine In My Back Door
Bill Monroe: Uncle Pen
Carl Smith: Don't Just Stand There

8:30: Royal Crown Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Lonesome Joe
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Molly Neely
George Morgan: I'll Furnish The Shoulder For You To Cry On
Pap and Jug Band: Darling Nellie Grey
Webb Pierce: It's Been So Long
Grandpa Jones: Are You From Dixie
Roy Acuff: Wait For The Light To Shine
Oswald: Roll On Buddy Roll On
Howdy Forrester: Say Old Man

9:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): I'm So Alone In A Crowd
Jimmy Dickens: Galvanized Wash Tub
Hank Snow: For Now and Always
Moon Mullican: Cherokee Boogie
Anita Carter: Why Should I Cry Over You
Lonzo and Oscar: Charming Betsy
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Ernest Tubb: Driftwood On The River
Chet Atkins: Sweet Georgia Brown
Jimmy Dickens: What About You

9:30: Warren Paint
Roy Acuff (host): Tennessee Central No. 9
Lew Childre: El Rancho Grande
Cowboy Copas: Gone and Left Me Blues
Roy Acuff: Just To Ease My Worried Mind
Howdy Forrester: Cripple Creek

9:45: American Ace
Roy Acuff (host): Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
Marty Robbins: Sing Me Something Sentimental
Jimmy Riddle: Casey Jones
Roy Acuff: Drifting Too Far From The Shore
Oswald: Blue Ridge Mountain Blues

10:00: Wallrite
George Morgan (host): Everything Rolled Into One
Bill and Jimmy Martin: Cabin of Love
Webb Pierce: I'm Walking The Dog
George Morgan: Crying In The Chapel
Don Slayman: Fire On The Mountain

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
Hank Snow (host): Golden Rocket
Faron Young: I Can't Wait
Bill Monroe: I'll See You In Church Next Sunday
Hank Snow: A Fool Such As I
Fiddle Tune: Ricketts Hornpipe

10:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb (host): Let's Say Goodbye Like We Said Hello
Jimmy Dickens: Bessie The Heifer
Jordanaires: My Rock
Duke Of Paducah: Comedy
June Carter: Kawliga
Lonzo and Oscar: Hole In The Bottom of The Sea
Ernest Tubb: Fortune In Memory
Chet Atkins: Rainbow
Jimmy Dickens: Asleep At The Foot of The Bed
Fiddle Tune: Old Joe Clark

11:00: O-Cello-O
Howdy Forrester: Liberty
Marty Robbins: I'll Go On Alone
Roy Acuff (host): No One Will Ever Know
Bobby Hebbs: Mr. Spoons
Roy Acuff: Jesus Died For Me

11:15: Darimix
Carl Smith (host): Hey Joe
Johnny and Jack: Poison Love
String Bean: John Henry
Gully Jumpers: Old Joe Clark
Carl Smith: This Orchid Means Goodbye

11:30: Hester Battery
Hank Snow (host): Message From The Tradewinds
Lew Childre: Maple On The Hill
Moon Mullican: A Thousand and One Sleepless Nights
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Hank Snow: Honeymoon On A Rocket Ship

11:45: Grand Ole Opry
Cowboy Copas (host): Filipino Baby
Sam and Kirk McGee: Goodbye and So Long To You
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Going Home To Julie
Grandpa Jones: Good Old Mountain Dew
Cowboy Copas: Love Me Now

Enjoy the Opry this weekend and please had a safe Labor Day!!


  1. I am also glad to see Amber Digby on the lineup. I wonder why she is one of the Texas bunch that has gotten some exposure over the past couple of years? I'm thinking this is about 6-8 times now she has been on if you count the week night shows.

    I sure would like to hear Hank Snow do Honeymoon on a Rocket ship on that '53 show. Can't say I have ever heard it live. Dad had that 45 and it is one of the first Hank Snow songs we heard and small kids. Hank's guitar work is fantastic!

    Knightsville, IN

  2. Well, the line-up for Saturday night has really changed. The short version is that Ricky Skaggs is out and Carly Pearce has been added. What we now have is:

    7:00: Jeannie Seely; Ray Scott; Ralph Stanley
    7:30: Mike Snider; Carly Pearce; Green River Ordinance
    8:15: The Whites; Bobby Osborne; Elizabeth Cook; Square Dancers
    8:45: Connie Smith; William Michael Morgan; Rhett Walker Band

  3. Which makes that 1953 lineup all the greater, I guess.

  4. Fred, Bismarck:

    To paraphrase Bill Monroe, what would you give in exchange for that 1953 lineup?

    The bidding starts at today's $70 ticket price. But I'm pretty sure it would get run up much higher!

  5. Is $70 the lowest ticket cost, or the highest for an Opry ticket these days?

    Also, I was wondering about what's been going on with Jean Shepard? She has not been on the Opry this year apparently due to illness, yet according to the promos for the upcoming Daily & Vincent Show, she seems to be a regular on that series. Has she just left the Opry for good?

    1. It was $74 for a ticket (in the balcony) and backstage tour ( I went last week).

  6. Interesting that Mr. Roy hosted 4 segments during the evening, 3 distinctive segments if you count the 9:30 and 9:45 segments as one. Dashmann; Flushing, Michigan

  7. Kyle, $70.50 is the prime seating price. For an adult, the price gradually decreases depending on the section, to $42, and those seats have limited view in the upper balcony wings. It is no longer a cheap show to attend but the Opry doesn't seem to have a problem selling the tickets.

    Jean apparently has been out and about and yes, she has been at some of the tapings for Larry's Country Diner. As far as her health, my policy is that unless an artist puts it out there what his or her health issues are, if any, I will not comment. Other than Jean thanking her fans on her Facebook page and saying that she has been feeling better, she has not made any other comments.

    The other thing to notice on that 1953 line-up is that Hank Snow was not a host or segment star on the first segment that he was on and on the 2nd show, he got the 11:30 segment for 15 minutes, not the traditional 11:00 that he would have for much of his career. The Opry was so loaded that night, and when you consider that Hank had just joined the Opry in 1950, he was still considered a newcomer at that time.

  8. I recognize all of the names from that 1953 lineup, but Bobby Hebbs. Anyone know details on him?

  9. I wonder if any of the artist complain about those drums on the Opry? You get a good singer like Amber Digby on there doing a ballad and it sounds like the muppets are backing her because of that drum.

    I enjoyed the Riders tonight. Took me back to the 80's when they were new members, They used to do both songs often in those earlier days. I really like Woody's voice and I think the melody and his fiddle in that piece is great.

    Knightsville, IN

  10. David, I had to do a little research to make sure the information I had was right. The Grand Ole Opry program that night, of which I have a copy of, has him listed as Bobby Hebbs, but it would appear that it is actually Bobby Hebb, who was an American R&B/Soul singer, musician, songwriter, recording artist, best known for his 1966 hit "Sunny," which I am sure most people remember.

    He was born in 1938, which would have made him 15 the night he was on the Opry. You might ask, is that right? Well, here is the connection: Bobby and his older brother Harold performed on a TV show in Nashville hosted my Owen Bradley. This appearance was brought to the attention of Roy Acuff, and this led to a job with Roy's band. He played the spoons and other instruments.

    If you notice on that 1953 line-up, he was Acuff's segment and played spoons.

    After "Sunny" he continued in the music business and living in Nashville, until he passed away on August 3, 2010 from lung cancer.

  11. I wondered if it wasn't Bobby Hebb mentioned as performing in 1953, but I did the math and figured that at 15 he would have been too young.
    Around 1969 or so, Bobby Hebb came to Purdue to perform at the Purdue Union Building. I was lucky, and got to give him a ride from our fraternity (where he got a free meal) to the Union Building.
    I mentioned country music. He told me he enjoyed Nashville, and that he was a big fan of Grady Martin's guitar work.
    Wish I had asked him more about working for Roy Acuff, but I wasn't aware of that connection at the time.

  12. Didn't Bobby Hebb do the Opry here in the last five or six years?

    Knightsville, IN

  13. I was in Nashville this past weekend and went to the Saturday night show. Ricky Skaggs didn't play

    They switched the lineup a bit so Connie Smith ended up being the last host of the night. I enjoyed seeing her but wanted to hear her sing Once A Day.

    My favorite of the night was William Michael Morgan, who sang two great songs. I liked Carly Pearce too.

    Ralph Stanely looked very very frail, but it was nice to see him and the other singers with him.

    Then I toured the backstage and really enjoyed it. Overall I had a great time and can't wait to go back some day!

  14. I have a question about Jean Shepard who I so love and miss as I listen to the WSM broadcasts. I know she is older but is she unable to perform or what is the backstory to her situation. I am a Grand Ole Opry fan and recall when I was a child on many a Saturday night the radio that always rested on the wooden buffet in the dining room would not only be turned on but equally important physically turned in such a fashion to best be able to hear WSM radio. The Grand Ole Opry was best able to be received in the cold months in our Hancock, Wisconsin home–as anyone who understands radio signals knows. It was always getting the radio in just the right location and also using When I was a child on many a Saturday night the radio that always rested on the wooden buffet in the dining room would not only be turned on but equally important physically turned in such a fashion to best be able to hear WSM radio. Thanks for the weekly work on this blog site. Gregory Humphrey, Madison WI