Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 1/22 & 1/23

Before getting into the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this weekend, and they are a couple of good ones, a couple of thoughts: While not country music related, or associated with the Grand Ole Opry, the musical world lost a few legends over the past week that I wanted to remember. David Bowie was one of the superstars of my generation. A spectacular performer who influenced so many. He was a trend setter and a hit maker for decades and his death is a real lost for the musical world. Then came the news yesterday of the death of Glenn Frey, a co-founder of The Eagles. The Eagles started out as Linda Ronstadt's back-up band, but their talent and songwriting skills led them to bigger and better things. Their "Eagles Greatest Hits, 1971-1975" is the 2nd highest selling album of all time, behind Michael Jackson's "Thriller." While not country, Glenn influenced so many country artists including Vince Gill and Brad Paisley and while some will not admit it, the music of The Eagles sounds more country then what is played on the radio today. 

Dallas Taylor also passed away. Dallas was one of the founding members of what became Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Dallas was the drummer and was featured on the cover of "Teach Your Children." His CSNY days did not last long, but he was a respected studio drummer who worked with a variety of artists. Finally, there was Dale Griffin, the drummer and a founding member of Mott the Hopple. They were big in the late 1960s and early 1970s before breaking up in the early 1980s. As with other groups of that era, they also had a great influence on many others. 

As I mentioned, none of these 4 were country artists, but their music was far reaching and their deaths will leave a void in the music community. 

In better news, Mel Tillis seems on his way to recovery after emergency colon surgery earlier in the week, that was followed by reports that Mel was in critical condition. The following day, Mel's manager said the reports were overblown and that Mel was on his way to recovery. Surgery can be dangerous, especially when you are 83. Here is continuing best wishes to Mel Tillis and his continued recovery. 

Now, getting to the Opry for this weekend. They have really hit a home run for the Friday Night Opry. When you have Opry members Bill Anderson, Montgomery Gentry and Ricky Skaggs in the first segment of the show, you know it is going to be a good one. Other Opry members set to appear include Marty Stuart, Jesse McReynolds, Connie Smith, John Conlee, Mike Snider, Vince Gill and Josh Turner. Yep, 10 of the 12 artists scheduled to appear are Opry members, with only Lauren Alaina and Henry Cho as guests. 

While not as strong a line-up on Saturday night, it is still a good one. Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider, Bill Anderson and Vince Gill, all scheduled for Friday, are also set for Saturday, where they will be joined by members The Whites, Jeannie Seely, Bobby Osborne and Steve Wariner. That comes out to 8 Opry members, with 13 artists scheduled. The guests set to appear are Ray Scott, Carly Pearce, Josh Abbott Band, Jaida Dreyer and Kristian Bush. 

Here you go for this weekend:

Friday January 22
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Montgomery Gentry; Ricky Skaggs
7:30: Marty Stuart (host); Jesse McReynolds; Connie Smith
8:15: John Conlee (host); Lauren Alaina; Mike Snider
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Henry Cho; Josh Turner

Saturday January 23
7:00: John Conlee (host); Ray Scott; Mike Snider; The Whites
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Carly Pearce; Josh Abbott Band
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jaida Dreyer; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Steve Wariner; Kristian Bush

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of January 20 & 21, 2011:

Friday January 21
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Del McCoury Band
8:15: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Montgomery Gentry
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday January 22
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Thompson Square; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; The Whites

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of January 20 & 21, 2006:

Friday January 20
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); John Conlee; Connie Smith; George Hamilton IV; Buddy Jewell
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jack Greene
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mel McDaniel; Mike Snider; Darryl Worley
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; The Grascals

Saturday January 21
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Del McCoury Band
7:00: Vince Gill (host); Montgomery Gentry; The Crabb Family; Susan Haynes
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeannie Seely; The Whites; Aaron Tippin; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; John Conlee; Darryl Worley

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Mel McDaniel; Jimmy C Newman; Aaron Tippin
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; The Whites; Del McCoury Band
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; John Conlee; Montgomery Gentry
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Crabb Family; Darryl Worley

It was 22 years ago this weekend, Saturday January 22, that Hal Ketchum became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. 

Hal Ketchum was born in Greenwich, New York. As he was growing up, his father, Hal, was a fan of several country music legends, including Marty Robbins and Patsy Cline. Hal was even a member of the Buck Owen's fan club. He started playing drums at the age of 15, later switching to the guitar. Hal was not an overnight success in the music business, as he spent nearly 20 years as a carpenter and furniture builder before getting his break in the music business. 

In 1981, he moved from New York for Austin, Texas. He worked on his songwriting skills in the various clubs and in 1986 he released "Threadbare Alibis," an album that featured 10 songs all written by Hal. It was also during this time period that Hal began making trips to Nashville. He eventually signed a publishing contract with Curb Records and in 1991 the single, "Small Town Saturday Night" launched his career. The song also helped his album, "Past the Point of Rescue" to reach gold status. The hits continued after that, including "Past the Point of Rescue," "Sure Love," "Mama Knows the Highway," "Hearts Are Gonna Role," and "Five O'Clock World."

Hal is not only an accomplished songwriter, singer and musician, but he also is an established painter, master carpenter and author, who writes short stories. 

Hal has admitted that he didn't know much about the Opry prior to his Opry debut in 1991. After that appearance he said, "There is an indescribable place on that stage where it feels like you are a part of history, a very fine history, and I really like that a lot. I felt the magic of the Opry the first time, and, so, I came to it in amazement." 

In 1998, Hal was diagnosed with a neurological disease that greatly affected his health. At one point, the disease affected him so much that he had to learn to walk and play the guitar all over again. And after being a steady presence at the Opry for a number of years, the disease got to the point where he was no longer able to perform. Thankfully, the past several years has seen Hal return to performing and while he has made very limited appearances, he has made it back to the Opry. 

Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from Saturday January 22, 1994, the night Hal Ketchum became a member of the Grand Ole Opry: 

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Jimmy Dickens (host): Out Behind the Barn
Skeeter Davis: Lovesick Blues
Jimmy Dickens: Another Bridge to Burn

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Little Pink
Jean Shepard & Ferlin Husky: A Dear John Letter
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Grandpa Jones: It's Raining Here this Morning

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Howdy Neighbor, Howdy
Bill Carlisle: Leave that Liar Alone
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Alison Krauss: I'm Blue; I'm Lonesome
Oswald: Euneta
Porter Wagoner: Sugarfoot Rag

7:30: Standard Candy
Marty Stuart (host): Burn Me Down
Hal Ketchum & Ferlin Husky: Wings of A Dove
Jan Howard: Rock Me Back to Little Rock
Vince Gill: When I Call Your Name
Hal Ketchum: Small Town Saturday Night
Marty Stuart: Kiss Me; I'm Gone

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Family Reunion
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Roy Drusky: Don't It Make You Want to Go Home
The Whites: Move it On Over
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durang's Hornpipe
Bill Anderson: Still

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Address Unknown
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come This Far to Say Goodbye
Jimmy C Newman: Allons A' Lafayette
Mike Snider: Lonesome Road Blues/The Fir Coat
Hank Snow: A Message From the Tradewinds

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Hal Ketchum: We Just Might Fall In Love/Small Town Saturday Night
Jean Shepard: Farewell Party
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/He Is My Everything
The Whites: Swing Down Chariot
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): What'll I Do With the Baby-O
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home

10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Vince Gill: Trying to Get Over You/A Pocket Full of Gold
Jimmy Dickens & Vince Gill: May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose

10:30: Opry Tours
Bill Anderson (host): Did She Mention My Name
John Conlee: Common Man
Alison Krauss: Dark Skies
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar

10:45: Opry Book
Marty Stuart (host): That's Country
Charlie Walker: Smoke, Smoke, Smoke
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Rachel
Marty Stuart: Kiss Me; I'm Gone

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Geisha Girl
Mark Collie & Marty Stuart: When the Sun Goes Down, I Go Crazy
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Billy Walker: You Gave Me a Mountain
Mike Snider: Little Maggie/Dueling Banjos
Hank Snow: The Third Man

11:30: General Jackson
4 Guys (host): If It's From the Country; It's Coming From the Heart
Connie Smith: I Never Once Stopped Loving You
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya
Johnny Russell: Ain't No Reason Now for Going Home
4 Guys: I Know; I Know

Congratulations to Hal Ketchum and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!


  1. One change for the Friday Night Opry: Connie Smith has been taken off the schedule. With the snow and general bad weather in Nashville and the Southeast, I would not be surprised if there are more changes in the line-up for tonight.

  2. I remember one blizzard where Ralph Emery said it was so bad, even Stonewall Jackson called to cancel. Stonewall Jackson. Hm. He used to be there all the time.

  3. What happened to tonight's schedule? Down to seven acts!

    Knightsville, IN

  4. Snow is what happened Jim!
    Bill Cody said if it keeps snowing in Nashville, Bill Anderson may have to do the entire show.

  5. Well, Bill won't be doing the entire show as he has now cancelled. The list includes Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Lauren Alaina and Josh Turner. That last time the Opry was affected by heavy snow was the weekend of January 29 & 30, 2010. They show went on but with a pretty thin line-up.

    As of 6:10, we are looking at Montgomery Gentry, Jesse McReynolds, John Conlee, Mike Snider, Vince Gill and Henry Cho. Mike is a surprise as he usually flies into Nashville to do the Opry and Jesse lives out in Gallatin, which in bad weather can be a drive.

  6. New line-up for the Friday Night Opry:

    7:00: Montgomery Gentry; Jimmy Wayne
    7:30: Carly Pearce; Jeannie Seely
    8:15: John Conlee; Mike Snider
    8:45: Henry Cho; Vince Gill

    Set up similar to the Tuesday night shows and the matinee shows. Just too bad that the snow took away the majority of the heavy hitters tonight.

    As for Saturday night, everyone is still on board.

  7. Kind of sad really.
    Eddie Stubbs just said the Ryman is almost full. Apparently the crowd understands how special the 'Opry is.
    Hats off to the entertainers who figured out a way to honor their commitment, and to those who were willing to fill in on short notice.

  8. Wonder how it will affect tomorrow´s show

  9. Henry Cho makes me laugh LMAO!!!!!!

  10. One thing I miss from the Opry is the comedy of Minnie Pearly, Jerry Clower, etc.

  11. Speaking of comedy at the Opry, let us not forget Rod Brasfield, Sarie & Sally and good ol' Lazy Jim Day. (Oh! And Dr. Lew Childre, too!!)

  12. Despite the major snowfall in Nashville (I read that 10" of snow had fallen in the area where TG Sheppard lives) I would think those who were scheduled to appear, that couldn't, more than likely could not get out of their drive-ways, the Friday Night Opry was good. And really, should any of them risk life and limb for a 5 minute performance at the Opry? As much as I LOVE country music and for as much as I LOVE the Opry, my answer is stay home.

    And while it was very apparent that Vince Gill had a cold, he did a fabulous job of paying tribute to Glenn Frey. Every time Vince pays tribute to someone, he does a great, great job and last night was no exception.

    Tonight's Grand Ole Opry should be good, I'm sure snowplows are running full speed ahead ... for the three that probably exist in Nashville - :-) All the best to those on the East Coast, they are really getting dumped on. Many of us know what getting many inches of snow in one snowfall is like, looks beautiful, but not fun to shovel or drive in.

    Enjoy tonight's Opry ~


  13. Bill Anderson said on Facebook that he lives in the country at the bottom of a hill, so there was no way he could get there. Here's to those who could make it to the Ryman, and here's hoping those who couldn't will be able to get there another time.

  14. I know that Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs and most, of not all of The Whites, live out in Hendersonville. Jesse McReynolds is at in Gallatin. Both of those towns are about a 15-20 minute drive from downtown Nashville on a good day. Not sure where Josh Turner lives. I was impressed that Jeannie Seely drove in to do the show, and according to Eddie Stubbs, she picked up Carly Pearce on the way in. Neither one of those were scheduled.

    1. From Anonymous in Kingman:
      God Bless Jeannie Seely!!

    2. From Anonymous in Kingman:
      God Bless Jeannie Seely!!

    3. Whoops!!!!!
      Sorry folks, didn't mean to publish my comment twice!!
      Anonymous in Kingman

  15. Bill Anderson, Bobby Osborne and The Whites all did not make it Saturday night. Steve Wariner hosted Bill's segment and Jimmy Wayne replaced Bobby.

  16. and Vince Gill's singing of "Desperado" in tribute to Glenn Frey closed the show in spectacular fashion !!!!

    Dashmann - Flushing Michigan ( enjoying clear skies, a full moon and temps flirting with the 30's here !! )

  17. For those familiar with Heart of Texas recording artist, we have lost Curtis Potter who has recorded for them since 2005. He worked with many of the western swing oriented artist over the years and was front man for Hank Thompson. He helped start Step One Records with Ray Pennington. He was still recording and performing at age 75. He often appeared with Darrel McCall and Tony Booth in recent years and he appeared on the Opry sometime within the last couple of years. Take a look at Gene Watson's facebook page for more info.

    Knightsville, IN

  18. Vince Gill was just wonderfull, he had some songs with him I hadn't listen to bevore:-) on the Opry and the audience liked the songs very much...I wish that Larry Gatlin does more songs not usual....

  19. Sorry we have lost Curtis Potter ---- one of those wonderful artists I discovered on Willies Place and its predecessor on XM radio . And he performed real country music ??