Thursday, January 28, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 1/29 & 1/30

The Grand Ole Opry finishes up the annual run of winter shows at the Ryman Auditorium this weekend with the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Overall, and even considering the line-up from last Friday when the snow totally destroyed the line-up, the overall quality of the shows has been very good. There have been some strong line-ups and we have seen a good group of Opry members. 

The Friday Night Opry will feature members Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin, Mike Snider, John Conlee, Hal Ketchum, Bill Anderson, Bobby Osborne, Craig Morgan and Jeannie Seely. It is nice to see Hal Ketchum back on the Opry for the first time since last January, and also nice that Craig Morgan is once again hosting a segment. They will be joined by guest artists Greg Bates, Lindsay Ell, Easton Corbin and The Steeldrivers, who will be closing out the show. 

Jeannie Seely, Bill Anderson and Mike Snider will also be appearing on Saturday night, joined by member Jesse McReynolds. The guests include JT Hodges, Roger's son Dean Miller, Jackie Lee, Holly Williams, Kathy Mattea, who I would like to see as an Opry member, Lee Brice, Striking Matches and Charles Esten. 

Friday January 29
7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Greg Bates; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); Lindsay Ell; Hal Ketchum
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Easton Corbin
8:45: Craig Morgan (host); Jeannie Seely; The Steeldrivers

Saturday January 30
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); JT Hodges; Dean Miller
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jackie Lee; Holly Williams
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Kathy Mattea; Opry Square 
Dancers; Lee Brice; Striking Matches; Charles Esten 

While it is nice to see 8 Opry members scheduled for Saturday, it is a little discerning to see just 4 for Saturday night, and only 3 segments.  

Before getting into the past Grand Ole Opry line-ups, I did want to mention the death of Sonny Louvin, Charlie's son, who passed away yesterday at the age of 62. Sonny and I had a few exchanges over the years, and while his approach was sometimes lacking, once you knew him he was a pretty nice person. If I remember right, back in the late 1970s and into the 1980s, Sonny played backup with Charlie on the Opry. I have no other details, but I did want to say that I am sorry he has passed away and prayers and thoughts go to the Louvin family. 

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago this weekend, January 28 & 29, 2011:

Friday January 28
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Brett Eldredge
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Darryl Worley
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); T.G. Sheppard; The Whites

Saturday January 29
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Frankie Ballard
7:30: The Whites (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Laura Bell Bundy
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Josh Thompson; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Trace Adkins (host); Carter's Chord; Toby Keith

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Frankie Ballard
10:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Laura Bell Bundy
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Stu Phillips; Josh Thompson; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Trace Adkins (host); Carter's Chord; Toby Keith

Now from ten years ago, January 27 & 28, 2006:

Friday January 27
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Wills
8:30: The Whites (host); Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band
9:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Ralph Stanley; Chely Wright
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Mountain Heart

Saturday January 28
1st show
6:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); The Whites; Ralph Stanley
7:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Mel McDaniel; Mandy Barnett
7:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band
8:00: Charlie Walker (host); Billy Walker; Raul Malo; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Buddy Jewell

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Raul Malo
10:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Mel McDaniel; Ralph Stanley
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Charlie Louvin; Mandy Barnett; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band
11:30: Ray Pillow (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Buddy Jewell

For this week's featured line-up, let's go back to the days at the Ryman Auditorium and to Saturday January 28, 1967. 

7:30: Luzianne
Bill Anderson (host): Ride, Ride, Ride
Skeeter Davis: You Add Fuel to the Flame
George Hamilton IV: The Urge for Going
Del Wood: Down at Papa Joe's
Bill Anderson: Still
Jim Ed Brown: Regular on My Mind
Skeeter Davis: Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
Bill Anderson: Get While the Getting's Good

8:00: Martha White
Billy Walker (host): A Million & One
Charlie Louvin: Off & On
Justin Tubb: But Wait; There's More
Osborne Brothers: The Kind of Woman I Got
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Billy Walker: Bear With Me A Little Longer
Stringbean: Train 45
Margie Bowes: Enough to Make A Woman Lose Her Mind
Billy Walker: Cattle Call

8:30: Stephens
Bobby Lord (host): Room in the Corner of the House
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Tale That the Crow Told Me
Bob Luman: Hardly Anymore
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Bobby Lord: Fall Away
Jean Shepard: Heart, We Did All That We Could
Bobby Lord: The Streets of Baltimore
Grandpa Jones: Stop That Ticklin' Me

9:00: Pet Milk
Roy Acuff (host): Just A Friend
Bill Monroe: The Pretty Fair Maiden
Billy Grammer: The Real Thing
Lonzo & Oscar: Funny Way of Living In This Crazy Mixed Up World
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Dottie West: What's Come Over My Baby
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Instrumental
Roy Acuff: Glory's Coming; It Won't Be Long

9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): Hula Love
Willis Brothers: Bob
Marion Worth: There Goes My Everything
Curly Fox: K.C. Railroad Blues
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Hank Snow: The Count Down

10:00: Schick
Bill Anderson (host): I Get the Fever
George Hamilton IV: Truck Driving Man
Margie Bowes: There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
Stringbean: Nine Pound Hammer
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

10:15: Pure
Jim Ed Brown (host): A Taste of Heaven
Bill Carlisle: Doctor R.D.
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jim Ed Brown: You Can Have Her

10:30: Buckley's
Jean Shepard (host): Many Happy Hangovers to You
Charlie Louvin: He Can Be Found
Del Wood: Cajun Stripper
Grandpa Jones: Old Rattler Left Us Years Ago
Jean Shepard: It's A Man

10:45: Kent
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco
Osborne Brothers: The Kind of Woman I Got
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Bill Monroe: Panhandle Country
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Hank Snow: There's A Fool Such As I
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Bobby Bare: Detroit City
Sam McGee: Blackberry Blossom
Hank Snow: I'm Moving On

11:30: Lava
Gotta Travel On
Lonzo & Oscar: We're Getting the Hang Of It Now
Bob Luman: Memphis
Marion Worth: Touch My Heart
Billy Grammer: The Real Thing
Connie Smith: Walk Through this World
Curly Fox: Lost John
Bob Luman: Hardly Anymore
Billy Grammer: Under the Double Eagle

I don't think there were any complaints about this Opry line-up. Very solid with all Opry members. 

As always, I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Hold it! If I read this right, Jean Shepard hosted the 10:30 segment 39 years ago. Would she then have been the first woman to host a segment?

  2. That is the way I have it listed with Jean Shepard doing the opening and closing numbers of the segment. I know that the Opry always had the "policy" of females not hosting, but on occasion they would lead a segment. I seem to remember Barbara Mandrell and Dolly Parton doing it before it became official that they would host. I also remember that when a female would "lead" a segment, they were not called hosts and the Opry announcer would actually introduce the guests.

  3. We mentioned Curtis Potter passing the other day. Is only Opry appearance was Saturday December 4, 2010 on the Jimmy Dickens portion.

    Knightsville, IN

  4. Update on Mel Tills - From "The Boot," January 28, 2016:Country singer Pam Tillis has put out a call for prayers for her father, Mel Tillis, as he continues to recover from a recent surgery.

    “Dad is not healing as quickly as we would like …,” Pam Tillis writes on Facebook. “We ask for your continued prayers, and we’ll update everyone soon … He’s a trooper.”

    Mel Tillis underwent colon surgery at Nashville’s Centennial Medical Center on Jan. 8. Following the surgery, rumors began circulating that the country icon was in critical condition; however, the reports, which originated with tweets from fellow artists, were greatly exaggerated. At the time, Tillis’ publicist said that he was “on the road to recovery … doing fine and on the right track.”

    In response to Pam Tillis’ Facebook post, Mel Tillis’ publicist tells Country Rebel simply that the singer has been in the hospital since his surgery.

    Mel Tillis rose to fame in the 1970s and was inducted into both the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. The 83-year-old has been touring regularly recently; he was scheduled to be part of the week-long Country Music Cruise earlier this month, but was replaced in the lineup by Bobby Bare due to his surgery.
    In 2014, Tillis underwent emergency heart surgery.

    From Frank Apperson

    1. Thanks for the update Frank. Here is hoping for the best for Mel and the family. Any surgery on an 83 year old can be a serious situation.

    2. Anytime. We're all praying for Mel!

      Frank A.

  5. In more positive news: Bonnie Brown is cancer free! Maxine Brown posted that update on facebook. It's great to hear of something good happening in her life after some recent family tragedies she's had to deal with lately.

    1. Glad to hear that Bonnie is cancer free!

      Frank Apperson

  6. For those who missed it, Eddie Stubbs and Vince Gill had a big announcement today. Vince will be celebrating 25 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday August 13. There will be 2 shows that night. I would imagine that will be one of the biggest nights of the year at the Opry and I already have my ticket for both shows.

  7. Regarding the Jean Shepard hosting, that was Buckley's Record Shop portion of the Opry. Each week an Opry member would have an album or 2 featured on that portion and would normally sing 2 songs from the featured album(s). On that segment, there would often be a hosting member who normally didn't host.

  8. Considering making my first trip to the Opry next weekend. Anyone have tips about good/bad seats, places to stay (preferably within walking distance of the honky tonks), things to do, etc.? Specifically, do the seats on the far side still allow a decent view of the whole stage, or would it be better to sit further back but toward the center of the stage?

    1. Joe, enjoy your trip to the Opry next weekend. Hopefully you have a good evening as I see that Roy Clark, Ricky Skaggs and Little Big Town are among those being advertised. The Opry is back at the Grand Ole Opry House starting next week so in the Opryland area there really isn't anything in true walking distance to the Opry House unless you consider the mall. Across the street is The Nashville Palace and John A's. Really not much else in that area. You really have to go downtown on Broadway for all the honky tonks, and yes, they are still all there in the area around the Ryman.

      As far as seating in the Opry House, the close you get, the more limited the view is of the stage. You can see the artists just fine as they are down in front, but you will not be able to see the backdrop or most of the band members. There are video screens so you can see everything by looking up at those. Personally, I would sit back a little bit in the center versus on the side. Anything in section 3, 4 or 5 will give you a good seat. And remember if you sit in the balcony, you are no longer allowed to go down to the lower level and up to the stage to take pictures. Have fun and enjoy.

    2. Actually what I meant was that if you are sitting on the sides, the view is more limited.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Appreciate the tips. I ended up getting a midtown/music row hotel as the downtown ones were too expensive for my budget. With the amount of parking at the Opry I don't mind driving there and back, but didn't want to be driving around downtown. I'll be going to Friday night's show and am excited to see Little Big Town, Joe Diffie, and especially Restless Heart. Those 3 are great representatives of 3 "eras" of country music (80s, 90s, current) that I like. Maybe there will be a surprise or 2 with it being the first show of the season back at the Opry House. Going to try and get tickets for the Bluebird Cafe Saturday and then wander around downtown Sunday, although I'll do 2 nights downtown if Bluebird sells out before I can get tickets. I also did end up with an up close but way to the side seat for Friday. As long as you can see the artists I think it'll work out.

      Open to any "must-visit" establishments, especially any that specialize in 80s and 90s country.

  9. I would have been thrilled to attend Friday's 'Opry.
    Tonight's is probably the weakest in months (my opinion).
    Four 'Opry members?

  10. Minor correction to my previous comment.
    Holly Williams can single–handedly rescue a show!
    "Waiting on June" is a CLASSIC and the kind of song the 'Opry needs more of.
    Now for the "dare to dance game" from Dollar General....