Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Grand Ole Opry 11/6 & 11/7

The Grand Ole Opry returns to the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville where they will be stationed for the next 3 months. For November and up to the week before Christmas, the Opry will run 2 shows on Saturday night before returning to the one show format through the end of January. Historically, the Ryman shows are pretty good, especially as you get closer to Christmas when a lot of the acts are in town and done traveling for the year. 

As far as this weekend, things get off to a very nice start as Old Crow Medicine Show will be featured on all 3 shows. They will close out the Opry each night, with the entire Saturday closing segment devoted to them. While I am not a fan of the "one act" segments, at least they have an Opry member doing it, and a very good one at that. Also appearing on all 3 shows will be Hall of Fame member Connie Smith, The Whites and Riders In The Sky. 

As far as additional Opry members this weekend, Friday night will feature Bobby Osborne, Joe Diffie, Ricky Skaggs and Trace Adkins. It is especially nice to see Joe in a hosting spot once again. The only additional Opry member scheduled for Saturday night is Jesse McReynolds, who is scheduled for both shows. 

Guests on Friday night include just 2, Lauren Alaina and Suzy Bogguss. I have to admit that Suzy is in my Top 5 as far as female vocalists. Scheduled for Saturday night are JT Hodges, The Willis Clan, Lindsay Ell, and making her Opry debut, Lindi Ortega. Lindi is from Toronto, Canada and now lives in Nashville. Her voice has been described as "a blend of Dolly Parton Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris." She calls playing the Opry "a dream come true" and in 2015 she won the CCMA Roots Artist of the Year Award for the second year in a row. Her latest album, "Faded Gloryville" was released this past summer. I wish I could tell you more, but she has not done a very good job keeping her website updated. As far as Lindsay Ell, when I was in Nashville for the birthday weekend, she sang for 24 straight hours in front of the Opry Shop on Broadway starting on Thursday evening at 11. The weather was wet and cold, but she was a trooper and hung in as she was helping to raise money for Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and supporting her new music. I spent some time on Friday watching and was impressed. 

Friday November 6
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Lauren Alaina; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Joe Diffie (host); The Whites; Suzy Bogguss
8:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); Trace Adkins
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Old Crow Medicine Show

Saturday November 7
1st show
7:00: Connie Smith (host); JT Hodges; Lindi Ortega
7:30: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Willis Clan
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Lindsay Ell; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Old Crow Medicine Show

2nd show
9:30: Connie Smith (host); JT Hodges; Lindi Ortega
10:00: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Willis Clan
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Lindsay Ell; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Old Crow Medicine Show

That comes out to 8 Opry members on Friday night and just 5 on Saturday night. Looking at the 2 nights this weekend, Friday is definitely the better of the two. 

A couple of health updates for everyone. Bill Anderson had cataract surgery a few weeks ago but suffered a health setback as he developed a bacterial infection. He had to cancel from the Opry last weekend and he also had to cancel inducting The Browns into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He explains more on his website and wrote about it in his monthly journal. He expects to be back at the Opry next week. And sorry to see that Tommy Overstreet passed away yesterday. While never an Opry member, he did perform on the show several times in the 1970s.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, November 5 & 6, 2010. This was the weekend that the Opry returned to the Ryman Auditorium for its winter run, which would last through January. 

Friday November 5
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider; Blaine Larsen
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Mountain Heart
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Holly Williams
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); The Whites; Connie Smith

Saturday November 6
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; James Wesley
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Point Of Grace
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); George Hamilton IV; Jim Brickman; Victoria Shaw; Robin Meade; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Montgomery Gentry

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; James Wesley
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Point Of Grace
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jim Brickman; Victoria Shaw; Robin Meade; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Montgomery Gentry

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of November 4 & 5, 2005:

Friday November 4
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Walker; The Peasall Sisters
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Danielle Peck
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Catherine Britt
9:00: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Mel McDaniel; Rhonda Vincent
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Daryle Singletary

Saturday November 5
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Julie Roberts
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Paulette Carlson
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Osborne Brothers; Suzy Bogguss
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeff Bates; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jack Greene; The Whites

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Julie Roberts
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Paulette Carlson
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Stu Phillips; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Osborne Brothers; Suzy Bogguss
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Jeff Bates

For this week's look back at past Grand Ole Opry shows, let's go back 24 years to Saturday November 7, 1992:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Bill Monroe (host): When the Golden Leaves Begin to Fall
Riders In The Sky: Miss Molly
Bill Monroe: Precious Memories

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Ol' Rattler
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You
Grandpa & Mark Jones: Arkansas Traveler

7:00: Shoney's
Jimmy Dickens (host): Family Reunion
Del Reeves: The Race is On
Jean Shepard: Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me
4 Guys: Swing Down, Chariot/May You Find Yourself in Heaven
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Jimmy Dickens: Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed

7:30: Standard Candy
Jim Ed Brown (host): Mariah
Jan Howard: Ozark Mountain Jubilee
The Whites: Hangin' Around
Eddy Raven: I'm Gonna Get You/Thank God for Kids
Jim Ed Brown: When A Child Is Born/Looking Back to See

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Jim & Jesse: Headin' West
Oswald: Dobro Chimes
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Bill Anderson: Deck of Cards
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Bill Cheatham

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Breakfast With the Blues
Jeannie Seely: Another Bridge to Burn
Roy Drusky: Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
Mike Snider: Dueling Banjos
Teddy Wilburn: Making Plans
Hank Snow: I've Done at Least One Thing That Was Good in My Life

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take an Old Cold Tater
Wilma Lee Cooper: A Hero's Death
The Whites: There's A Higher Power
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Stonewall Jackson: Smoke Along the Track
Jimmy Dickens: I Love Lucy Brown

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Anderson (host): But You Know I Love You
Eddy Raven: He's Got You; I've Got Mexico
Bill Anderson: Still

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Bill Monroe (host): My Little Georgia Rose
Mike Snider: Bells of St. Mary's
Bill Monroe: Then Take Courage Un Tomorrow

10:30: Randy Travis Enterprises
Grandpa Jones (host): Going Down the Country
4 Guys: Farther Along
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Grandpa & Mark Jones: Cripple Creek

10:45: B.C. Powder
Riders In The Sky (host): When Payday Rolls Around
David Houston: I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Riders In The Sky: Riding Down the Canyon

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Snowbird
Jim & Jesse: It's A Lonesome Feeling
Roy Drusky: Go Bring My Children Home
Skeeter Davis: 'Taint Nice
Justin Tubb: You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Hank Snow: My First Night Alone

11:30: Creamette
Charlie Walker (host): Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You
Teddy Wilburn: Arkansas
Johnny Russell: In A Mansion Stands My Love/He'll Have to Go
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down

Enjoy the Opry at the Ryman this weekend!!


  1. it's sad that they didn't schedule Stonewall Jackson to perform this weekend, considering this week marks both his 59th opry anniversary, and on friday it's his 83rd birthday. The Opry has said it has been trying to get its members to come on so they can give them a special art piece, but week after week they decide not to have him on the show. They could easily manage to fit him in on the Saturday show during the square dancers segment, but more likely than not, if one of the bluegrass members isn't in that spot, it's going to stay empty.

  2. Fred, Bismarck:

    Gaylord, Ryman Hospitalities, whoever, must have met the minimum requirements of its settlement with Stonewall and are now letting him twist in the wind. In a way, although I love Stonewall, I understand. Somehow, things are never the same after you sue your employer.

  3. I'm afraid that Jesse McReynolds is going to appear without the Virginia Boys (and girl) Saturday night.
    The house band just doesn't do a good job with Bluegrass.

    Hope I'm wrong.

  4. Byron,

    Thanks for the update on Bill Anderson. I check out his site but sometimes I forget to look at the fan page where he posts info so I did not know about the hospital stay. Too bad he did not get to be at the HOF event.

    Speaking of the HOF, when they first moved the ceremony and announcement away from the CMA show I was disappointed and frustrated. Looking back, it was such a blessing. At least for now, the inductees do not have to be a part of that mess. Sorry but at 50 this crusty old such and such can't stand the thought of setting through that show just to see the new HOF member come up and wave to the crowd. The fact that the show has become such a production and so political is disgraceful and and a black eye to what country music used to represent. As I always say though, maybe it truly is a reflection of the times and 50 years from now people can listen if they care to and find out just where our society was placing it's values and what was important in our lives. I'll stop there to NOT make this political and be disrespectful to the blog and the readers.

    Get better and back tot he Opry Whisper!

    Knightsville, IN

  5. I know there have been a few times in the past that Jesse has appeared without his group and has usually played a mandolin solo during those appearances, but he always sounds so much better with his group.

    Fred, I don't know what the deal is with Stonewall. I know a few months back he cancelled a hosting appearance on the Midnight Jamboree, so I hope his health is ok. Sometimes it is so hard to get any information on some of these older artists who are not on social media or do not have websites, or have websites that are never updated. I know there are more than a few of us who would really like to know what kind of settlement he made with what was then Gaylord.


    This blog's commenters are pretty good at bemoaning the state of country music today (myself included).
    But last night, Chris Stapleton was the MVP of the CMA awards show, and believe me, he's the kind of guy country music has needed for a long time. Steel guitars and all, had trouble getting a record deal (too country), and is not being played on country radio all at all. Bet he will be now!

    Good for Chris, and good for traditional country msuic!

  7. Nat, I agree. There were a lot of hater posting messages on Facebook last night about the show. I did not watch all of it, but caught most of it. Whether we like it or not, country music has changed and the next generation has arrived. Some of it is good, some isn't. And you can debate what country is or isn't. What I do know is that I saw some good performances last night.

  8. A reminder that nearly 30 years ago, Lionel Richie appeared on the CMA's and Johnny Russell asked Irving Waugh, who oversaw the show, why Michael Jackson hadn't been on. The CMA's have almost always included people who shouldn't be on there, and that includes award winners. Today, though, I'd even be happy to see Oliver Newton-John (bless you, Mr. Acuff).

  9. Not to change the subject, but i liked Lauren Alaina when she was on American Idol.

  10. A Jan Howard update: It was posted on her Facebook page that she has broken her back and is currently in a rehab facility and doing fine.

    1. Wow! It said she was maintaining her sense of humor. That's a good sign. I have faith she'll bounce back!

      Knightsville, IN

    2. Anonymous in Kingman: Check out this version of 'Blues, Stay Away from Me,' recorded by Jean in April, 1960. It's a knockout!

  11. An update about Jean Shepard: she did an interview for the Tennessean this week talking about her 60th anniversary, and some sad news about possibly retiring:

    1. Kyle: Thanks for that information. I did not have time to read all of it yet but did listen to the one interview clip. Nice to know she is planning to be there.

      I remember setting in the audience at Renfro Valley, Kentucky in August 2013 while she performed and said that this might be her last show date. I had tears in my eyes as I was taking photo's. She was on a package show with Jim Ed Brown, Jan Howard and Stonewall Jackson that night. I'm not sure she has worked any dates since then. She was scheduled to go to Sandstone, MN and appear on Midwest Country but sent Hawk Jr. instead.

      Knightsville, IN

    2. I know her health has been balky, and she may not have a choice. But I have to mention this. In 1985, she celebrated her 30th--hard to believe she was only halfway (or less) through her tenure. She said on that occasions she would be retiring within a couple of years. It will depend on her condition, but if she can continue, she will.

  12. I just got a promotional email form the Opry but no mention of Jean Shepard. Maybe they feel it is to uncertain to promote this far out. Vince is supposed to be there on the 21st!

    Knightsville, IN

  13. Why is it that every time I hear Lauren Alaina on the Opry that I want to throw something at the radio?

    1. Anonymous in Kingman: Time to hope and pray that Jean can be there for her 60th anniversary at the Opry. As for Lauren Alaina, Jean Shepard has more talent in her little finger than this representative of today's country music can ever muster up!!

    2. I like a majority of the younger artists, but hearing her sing "Georgia Peach" tonight just didn't do it for me. And then the attempt at jokes. Wow!! Just a bad performance all the way around.

    3. Anonymous in Kingman: I like some of the younger artists, too. Definitely like Jamey Johnson, Lindsay Ell and Chris Janson. Regarding Alaina's attempt at humour, I'm reminded of a quote from W.C. Fields, “Comedy is a business. A serious business with only one purpose—to make people laugh.” Byron, keep up the good work on the blog!

  14. Wow, interesting to hear you say that, I didn't hear her and just tuned in while Bobby was on. I usually feel that way at least once every Friday and Saturday night! :)

    Knightsville, IN