Thursday, March 3, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 3/4 & 3/5

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Both nights are looking pretty good, with a very nice line-up on Friday. 

As far as Grand Ole Opry members this weekend, Mike Snider, Bill Anderson, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites and Montgomery Gentry are scheduled for both nights. On Friday, they will be joined by John Conlee, Riders In The Sky, Lorrie Morgan, Bobby Osborne and Craig Morgan, while on Saturday it will be Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith and Jesse McReynolds completing the list. It is really nice to see Opry members Montgomery Gentry set for both nights, and after recently cancelling out, it is nice to see Craig Morgan back on the schedule. 

Among the guests artist on Friday night, there are just two: Rainey Qualley and Love and Theft. There are a few more Saturday night, as Crystal Gayle (who in my opinion should have been an Opry member years ago), William Michael Morgan (who really impressed me when I was at the Opry last month), John Berry (who had a very nice career a few years back) and making her Opry debut, Clare Dunn. 

Clare Dunn is from Colorado and has been receiving air play on "The Highway" on Sirius/XM radio. She has toured with Florida Georgia Line, Hank Williams, Jr and Keith Urban. She seems to have released four singles, none of which made the top half of the charts. I see that after the Opry on Saturday night, she will be signing copies of her LP. 

Friday March 4:
7:00: John Conlee (host); Rainey Qualley; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Love and Theft; Lorrie Morgan
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Craig Morgan
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Montgomery Gentry

Saturday March 5:
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); William Michael Morgan; Mike Snider
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Crystal Gayle
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; Clare Dunn; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); John Berry; Montgomery Gentry

That comes out to 12 acts each night, with 10 Opry members on Friday night and 8 members on Saturday. 

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago, the weekend of March 4 & 5, 2011:

Friday March 4
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Rodney Atkins
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Steep Canyon Rangers
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Blake Shelton
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30; Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Rodney Atkins
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Steep Canyon Rangers
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Blake Shelton
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Carrie Underwood

Saturday March 5
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; David Nail
7:30: John Conlee (host); Terri Clark; The Band Perry
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Blake Shelton; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Edens Edge; Brad Paisley

Now from 10 years ago, the weekend of March 3 & 4, 2006:

Friday March 3
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Walker; Rockie Lynne
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Chely Wright
9:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; T. Graham Brown
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Josh Turner

Saturday March 4
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jennifer Hanson
7:00: Steve Wariner (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Mel McDaniel
7:30 Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Jimmy C Newman; Trent Tomlinson
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Jeannie Seely; T. Graham Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Steve Wariner
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jack Greene; Jennifer Hanson
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Billy Walker; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Trent Tomlinson
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; T. Graham Brown

Finally, from 15 years ago, March 2, & 3, 2001:

Friday March 3
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Bill Carlisle; Del McCoury Band; Mandy Barnett
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Del Reeves; Osborne Brothers; Elizabeth Cook
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeanne Pruett; Jim & Jesse; Jimmy C Newman; Jack Greene
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Chad Austin; Mike Snider; Tim
9:30: John Conlee (host); Jeff Carson; Rhett Akins; Daryle Singletary

Saturday March 4
1st show
6:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Bill Carlisle; Charlie Louvin; Jim Ed Brown
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Billy Walker; Lonesome River Band
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Tim Rushlow; Jan Howard; Oak Ridge Boys
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers; Jimmy C Newman; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; Yankee Grey; The Lynns; Loretta Lynn

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Del Reeves; Tim Rushlow; Jim Ed Brown
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Billy Walker; Lonesome River Band; The Lynns; Loretta Lynn
10:30: John Conlee (host); Jim & Jesse; Oak Ridge Boys; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jeanne Pruett; Mike Snider; Yankee Grey
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Walker; Ray Pillow; Mandy Barnett

Looking back, it was 38 year ago this Saturday night, March 4, 1978, that PBS televised an entire Grand Ole Opry show for the first time. At the time, PBS was faced with ever increasing cuts in appropriations from the federal government and needed to expand the base of its subscribers. It needed to reach people for contributions it had never been able to reach before: grass-roots America, as it were. PBS could best do that, it was thought, with the Grand Ole Opry. Thus, on Saturday March 4, 1978, the Opry was fully on TV, carried coast to coast, just as it happened, on the PBS network. The only real concession to television came when PBS covered the radio commercials with backstage interviews and features. Even with that, a few of the entertainers got in plugs for the various sponsors and I know on a few of the tapes that I have seen, you could still faintly see parts of the backdrops. Also, it was reported that a few of the artists dressed extra nice for the television cameras. 

Here is the running order of the 1st televised Grand Ole Opry show, March 4, 1978:

1st show
6:00: Vietti
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime at a Time/
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
George Hamilton IV: Cornbread, Beans & Sweet Potato Pie
Lonzo & Oscar: When the Fields in the Valleys turn Green
Billy Grammer: Birth of the Blues
Willis Brothers: Boots & Saddles
Del Reeves: Folsom Prison Blues/Margaritaville

6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jimmy C Newman (host): Diggy Liggy Lo
Jean Shepard: The Things That Might Have Been/It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels/You Win Again/A Dear John Letter
Del Wood: Alabama Jubilee/Down Yonder
Bessyl Duhon: Opryland Special

6:45: Rudy's 
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Skeeter Davis: I'll Fly Away
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Archie Campbell: A.C. in N.Y. Last July

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Big Wind's A' Comin'
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Don Williams: Some Broken Hearts Never Mend/I've Got A Winner In You
Wilburn Brothers: Because He Lives
Don Gibson: Oh, Lonesome Me
Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green, Green Grass of Home/Ol' Slewfoot

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Minnie Pearl: Careless Love
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah
Crook Brothers/ Tennessee Travelers: Lafayette
Roy Acuff: How Beautiful Heaven Must Be

8:00: Martha White
Bill Monroe (host): Sweet Blue Eyed Darling
Stu Phillips: She Thinks I Still Care
Jan Howard: Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Charlie Louvin: Warm, Warm, Woman
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong With the Way that We're Doing it Now
Wilma Lee Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Bill Monroe: Crying Holy Unto the Lord

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Ronnie Milsap: Stand By My Woman Man/What Goes On When the Sun Goes Down/Day Dreams About Night Things/A Legend in My Time
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbin Ridge
Hank Snow: I've Done At Least One Thing That Was Good In My Life

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Jean Shepard: If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time
George Hamilton IV: Only the Best
Archie Campbell: The Interview
Osborne Brothers: Midnight Flyer
Willis Brothers: Bob
Porter Wagoner: Tennessee Saturday Night/On A Highway Headed South

10:00: Fender
Bill Monroe (host): Mary Jane, Won't You Be Mine
Ronnie Milsap: What A Difference You've Made In My Life/Let Your Love Be Your Pillow
Bill Monroe & Kenny Baker: The Lucky Lady

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Don Williams: Amanda/You're My Best Friend
Billy Grammer: Georgiana Moon
Roy Acuff & Howdy Forrester: Cotton-Eyed Joe

10:30: Trailblazer
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Skeeter Davis: He Will Be There
Del Wood: Just Because
Jimmy C Newman: Big Bayou

10:45: Beech-Nut
Wilburn Brothers (host): Country Kind of Feelings
Stu Phillips: I'd Rather Be Sorry
Jan Howard: Better Off Alone
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Tangled Mind
Justin Tubb: You'd Never Be happy With Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin Hen
Wilma Lee Cooper: Bury Me Beneath the Willow
Kirk McGee: The Waltz You Saved For Me/Freight Train
Hank Snow: Once More, You're Mine Again

11:30: Elm Hill
Charlie Louvin(host): Let's Put Our World Back Together/A Toast to Mama/Love Has to Die All by Itself/I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow
Jeanne Pruett: Break My Mind/A Poor Man's Woman
Bill Carlisle: Amazing Grace
4 Guys: When Will I Be Loved
Charlie Louvin: Warm, Warm Woman

The PBS show was so successful that it was done again in 1979, 1980 and 1981. Over the past several weeks, clips of a few of the performances from the PBS shows have started showing up on YouTube. None so far from that first year and I know many of us have been hoping a tape would show up somewhere of that initial year. It would be a nice Opry historical piece to have. 

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!!


  1. I wonder if Roy Acuff played fiddle on 10:15 segment of the 1978 show; both Roy and Howdy are listed as playing "Cotton-Eyed Joe."

  2. I remember us watching, my mother being enthralled since she hadn't been able to see the Opry and loved country music--and instilled that love in me. And I wish I remembered more of it, and had a tape of the whole thing. Thanks as always, Byron.


  4. Home VCRs were pretty new and still pretty expensive in 1978. Tapes from that first televised Opry are probably rare and in questionable shape. But what a thrill to watch the actual Opry live, without much extra fanfare, and including all the "little and traditional" acts that made the Opry what it was for so long.

    Dashmann - Flushing, Michigan

  5. My picks for the Hall of Fame are Hank Jr.,June Carter Cash,Alan Jackson,Randy Travis,Tanya Tucker,Wilburn Brothers.End of story

    1. I'm really surprised June Carter Cash hasn't been inducted into the hall of fame yet. Hopefully I can do an epilogue to that story and say Johnny Horton & Johnny Paycheck also really deserve an induction as well.

  6. I always love Hall of Fame discussion. As I have been said, there are so many deserving and so few elected. Not to say anything negative about any performer, but I think if June Carter was going to get in, it would have been around the time "Walk the Line" came out and her career was more in the news.

  7. I think it`s between Ricky Skaggs Randy Travis and Alan Jackson in the Modern category I would be surprised if anyone other than those 3 men got in from that Modern category this year I think with Kenny Rogers Ronnie Milsap and The Oak Ridge Boys all now inducted I think it`s between those 3 men in that Modern category this year

  8. Fred, Bismarck:

    Re. the Hall: I think it's really amazing it's able to keep a lid on the process as it does. And around gossipy old Nashville, at that. We don't even know who's in the running. Last year, Mac Wiseman came totally out of left field. Must be lazy reportage in that town.

  9. Sad News:
    Joey Feek, of country duo Joey + Rory, dies at 40 after cancer battle -
    Anonymous in Kingman


  11. I knew the day would come when we would hear the sad news that Joey Feek had passed away from cancer.

    I have followed these two since they had their daughter, Indiana, and then throughout their journey of Joey's battle with cancer. I have read Rory's sweet, sweet words on his blog about two wonderful human beings that faced enormous adversity in their lives. Joey lived for as many years as she was supposed to, as sad as that sounds, since she was only 40 years old. But she and Rory lived and loved deeply and with enough faith for a couple million people.

    For me, they were:

    I for inspirational
    B for brave
    C for courageous
    L for loving and now
    H for Heaven which is where Joey lives on

    Rest in Peace Joey, and may Rory and his daughters find peace and comfort in the memories they share of one of the strongest woman I know of. A beautiful human being inside and out ... though much more on the inside. They showed and taught the world how to live with humility and grace during very tough, tough times and what it means to live and love til death did them part. What a couple.


    1. Jeanene, well said and that you so much for posting.

      I was lucky enough to have seen Joey+Rory at the Opry several times. They were a very good duo and the recognition that they have received in the last several months is well worth it. I am so sorry that much of the success came at the end of her life, but she was able to live long enough to see many of her dreams come true and also to feel and see the love of her fans. God Bless the family during this difficult time.

  12. Robert A Bevington Indpls IndMarch 6, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    Very nice tribute to Joey Feek on the Friday night opry from John Conlee who dedicated his signature song Rose Colored Glasses to her

  13. Robert A Bevington Indpls IndMarch 6, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Byron, Do you know when the Opry movie " American Saturday night, live from the Grand Ole Opry" will be on DVD? I Thought it was supposed to be in Theatre's in February but then I saw where it was out in December of 2015. Unfortunatly, Indianapolis wasn't one of the sights that got the movie.

    1. Robert, I have not heard. For what it is worth, the movie didn't make it to Canton either.

    2. From OpryFan1925 - Hasn't made it to Los Angeles, either!

  14. Wade Mainer,bluegrass pioneer [b.1907-d.2011] should be in the Country Music Hall of Fame or the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.One or the other---maybe both.

  15. Agree on Wade Mainer who just passed away a couple years ago at over 100 years old. He was one of the first with the Bluegrass sound and made a wonderful appearance on the Opry at about 94 years old. He and his wife Julia were fine folks who lived in Genesee County, Michigan, as I do now. He left Kentucky and professional music to work at GM in Flint ( when the water was good ) to make a living. But Wade and Julia were always active locally promoting and playing Bluegrass. When you drove by Wades house, you knew where it was because he had driveway markers with personally made giant wooden banjos to define it. Maybe they are in Heaven and have finally found a place to sit down and relax unlike their song " I Can't Sit Down " ----

    Dashmann - Flushing, Michigan

  16. PBS television has a special coming up on Loretta Lynn.
    Check your local listings!