Thursday, April 7, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 4/8 & 4/9

Before getting into the Opry line-ups for this weekend, I do want to acknowledge the passing of one of the all time country greats, Merle Haggard. We all knew he was in declining health and battling serious health issues, but his death still comes as a shock. He was not much for appearing on the Opry, but he did appear early in his career and then in one of his final appearances anywhere in the fall. His last Opry appearance was a surprise and the audience that night was shocked. As always, Merle delivered and received a standing ovation. Merle was called the "poet of the working man" and I think that is a fitting title for him. While all the details for his services have not been announced, I did see that Marty Stuart and Connie Smith both will be playing a prominent role. In fact, Connie cancelled all her Opry appearances this weekend. Merle will be another legend missed in country music and thoughts and prayers go to his family.  

Now for the lineups for the three shows this weekend. Let's just say that they are a little short on Opry members this weekend. While there are six members performing on Friday night, Saturday has just three on the first show and four on the second. Not that the line-ups are bad, they are just short as far as Opry members. 

Appearing on all three shows will be Jeannie Seely, Bill Anderson and Mike Snider. They will be joined on Friday by Riders In They Sky, Diamond Rio and Jesse McReynolds. On Saturday night, it will be just those three on the first show, with Bobby Osborne added for the second. And with just three Opry members on the first show, along with just three hosting members on the 2nd, that means we have reduced segments once again. I know on the original schedule Connie Smith was scheduled for all three shows, and hosting on each show, but with her cancelling due to the services for Merle Haggard, are we to believe that there were no other Opry member available to step in and host segments? Apparently not. 

As far as the non-members this weekend, Friday night will have Jackie Lee, Gary Morris, Mandy Barnett, Will Hoge, Alicia Witt and Kristian Bush. For Alicia, this will be her Opry debut, which is kind of surprising considering how long she has been around. Her film career goes back to "Dune" in 1984 and she has been in dozens of movies and television shows since then. While her recording career does not go back that far, she is considered a gifted pianist and has recorded several albums. In addition to performing on the Opry, she will also be making additional appearances around Nashville this weekend. 

On Saturday night, the first show will feature Eric Church, who gets the entire last segment to himself. No matter who it is, I just hate when the Opry turns over an entire segment on either the Friday or Saturday show to just one individual. If they want to do it on Tuesday or Wednesday night, that is fine. I just hate to see it on the traditional weekend shows. The other non-members for Saturday night, who unlike Eric will be appearing on both shows, are Darryl Worley, Suzy Bogguss, who is on my list of top three female vocalists, Jordan Rager, the great guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, and Phil Vassar.  

Friday April 8
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jackie Lee; Gary Morris
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Mandy Barnett; Diamond Rio
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Will Hoge
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Alicia Witt; Kristian Bush

Saturday April 9
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Darryl Worley; Suzy Bogguss
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jordan Rager; Tommy Emmanuel
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Phil Vassar; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Eric Church

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Darryl Worley; Suzy Bogguss
10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jordan Rager; Tommy Emmanuel; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Phil Vassar

That comes out to 12 acts on Friday night, of which 6 are Opry members and 9 acts for both shows on Saturday with just 3 Opry members on the first show and 4 on the 2nd. 

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of April 8 & 9, 2011:

Friday April 8
7:00: John Conlee (host); Riders In The Sky; Edens Edge
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Exile
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; T Graham Brown
8:45: Trace Adkins (host); The West Point Glee Club

Saturday April 9
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Elizabeth Cook
7:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stonewall Jackson; Joey+Rory; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mandy Barnett; Joe Diffie

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Elizabeth Cook
10:00: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds; Joey+Rory; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mandy Barnett; Joe Diffie

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of April 7 & 8, 2006: 

Friday April 7
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jean Shepard; Buddy Jewell
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Cherryholmes; Connie Smith
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Poco; Vince Gill 
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Chely Wright

Saturday April 8
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jimmy Wayne
7:00: Jean Shepard (host); Charlie Walker; Jimmy C Newman; Cherryholmes
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Billy Walker; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Trent Willmon
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Jeannie Seely; Buddy Jewell; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Vince Gill

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jimmy Wayne
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Vince Gill
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Stu Phillips; Cherryholmes; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Trent Willmon
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Buddy Jewell

Finally, from fifteen years ago, the weekend of April 6 & 7, 2001:

Friday April 6
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeannie Seely; Bill Carlisle; Connie Smith
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Billy Walker; Elizabeth Cook; The Whites
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeanne Pruett; Mike Ireland; T G Sheppard
9:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Charlie Louvin; Mike Snider; Steve Wariner
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jack Greene; Brad Paisley

Saturday April 7
1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Mandy Barnett
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Stu Phillips; Elizabeth Cook; Billy Walker
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); T G Sheppard; Alison Krauss
8:00: Steve Wariner (host); Jeanne Pruett; Del Reeves; The Whites; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Leona Williams; Mike Snider; Gail Davies

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Stonewall Jackson; Jim Ed Brown
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Leona Williams; Billy Walker; Alison Krauss
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Del Reeves; T G Sheppard; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00; Steve Wariner (host); The Whites; Mike Snider; Mandy Barnett
11:30: Charlie Walker (host); Elizabeth Cook; Ray Pillow; Gail Davies

For this week's look back, and continuing the recent trend of highlighting the Grand Ole Opry's annual reunion shows, here is another. This one is from Saturday April 9, 1983:  

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Charlie Louvin (host): Let Her Go; God Bless Her
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Del Wood: Are You from Dixie

6:45: Rudy's
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Wilma Lee Cooper: A Daisy A Day
David Houston: Almost Persuaded
Grandpa Jones: Neighbors

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Pee Wee King: Tennessee Waltz
Duke of Paducah: Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas
Jim Ed Brown: I Don't Want to Have to Marry You
Skeeter Davis: I Gotta Know; I Gotta Know
Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule
Porter Wagoner: The Cowboy's Hat

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Jean Shepard: Too Many Rivers
Roy Drusky: What About You
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Lafayette
Bill Anderson: Thank You Darling for Loving Me

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Sid Harkreader: Amazing Grace/Mockingbird Breakdown/Red Wing/Easter Parade
Connie Smith: Till I Kissed Ya
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Forever and One Day
4 Guys: Ruby Red
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Paul Howard: Stay A Little Longer
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Hank Snow: Nevertheless, I'm In Love With You

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Jeannie Seely: He's All I Need
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Lonzo & Oscar: That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine
Porter Wagoner: The Cowboy's Hat

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Anderson (host): How Married Are You Mary Ann
Jean Shepard: Home in San Antonio/Time Changes Everything/Roly Poly
Pee Wee King: Slow Poke/Tennessee Waltz
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar

10:15: Sunbeam
Grandpa Jones (host): Mountain Dew
Billy Grammer: Blue Water
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): I Couldn't Believe It Was True
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Teddy Wilburn: Born to Love Me

10:45: Beech-Nut
Jim Ed Brown (host): Fools
Vic Willis Trio: You Feel Good All Over
Connie Smith: Satisfied
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Rachel

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): That Heart Belongs to Me
Hank Locklin: Tin Roof
Roy Drusky: Wings of A Dove
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Curly Fox: Alabama Jubilee
Kirk McGee: While I'm Away
Hank Snow: I've Done at Least One Thing That Was good In My Life

11:30: Hardee's
Jack Greene (host): Happy Tracks
4 Guys: Ruby Red
Paul Howard: Come On In Baby; The Boogie's Fine Tonight
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours/It's Too Late
Jack Greene: From Cotton to Satin

Not many old-timers returned that night as the list was limited to the Duke of Paducah, Pee Wee King, Sid Harkreader, Curly Fox and Paul Howard. Minnie Pearl was also scheduled, but cancelled, as did Zeke Clement and George Hamilton IV. 

That show was from 1983. Six years later, on Saturday April 8, 1989 there was another reunion show. Here was the line-up from that night: 

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Del Reeves (host): Bells of Southern Bell
Skeeter Davis: Jesus Is the Answer/He Will Be There
Del Reeves: There She Goes

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Monroe (host): Jerusalem Ridge
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Bill Monroe: I'm Working On A Building

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
4 Guys: How Married Are You Mary Ann
Ray Pillow: Lucky Me
Jean Shepard: Someone's Gotta Cry
Carl Butler: Don't Let Me Cross Over
Porter Wagoner: What Ain't To Be Just Might Happen

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Kitty Wells: Thank You for the Roses/It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels
Johnny Wright: I'm Saved
Jordanaires: That's All Right/Now Didn't It Rain
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Connie Smith: Walk Me to the Door
Charlie Louvin: I Still Miss Someone
Jack Greene: You Are My Treasure
Curly Fox: Alabama Jubilee/The Old Gray Mule
Opry Square Dance Band/ Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Ray Kirkland: Catfish John

8:30: Music Valley Drive
Hank Snow (host): The Call of the Wild
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/I'm Moving On/Wabash Cannonball/Night Train to Memphis
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
Zeke Clements: Fiddlin' Sam
Hank Snow: The Prisoner's Song

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): You Gotta Have A License
4 Guys: What'll You Do About Me
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Sawyer Brown: This Missing You Heart of Mine/Betty's Bein' Bad
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name

10:00: Little Debbie
Jack Greene (host): Midnight Tennessee Woman
Roy Drusky: Wings of A Dove
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/Statue of A Fool

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

10:30: Pet Milk
Grandpa Jones (host): Darby's Run
Jean Shepard: Seven Lonely Days
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Grandpa Jones: My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

10:45: B. C. Powder
Charlie Walker (host): Does Ft Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Jan Howard: Take Me As I Am or Let Me Go
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Old Joe Clark
Charlie Walker: Take Me Back to Tulsa

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Brand on My Heart
Osborne Brothers: Your Love is Like A Flower
Curly Fox: Listening to the Mockingbird
Charlie Louvin: Sweet Beulahland
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Hank Snow: Snow in Hawaii

11:30: Creamette
Boxcar Willie (host): Wreck of the Old 97
Connie Smith: The Key's In the Mailbox
David Houston: Almost Persuaded
Zeke Clements: Coal Mines
Johnny Russell: Act Naturally/Me & Bobby McGee
Boxcar Willie: Jesus, I Need to Talk to You

That reunion show only attracted Carl Butler, Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright, the Jordanaires, Curly Fox and Zeke Clements. You would think that considering the number of ex-Opry members still alive at that time, they could have attracted a few more. 

As always, enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. I am hearing that the Friday Night Opry is going to be a tribute to Merle Haggard.

  2. and the today's Opry Country Classics too!!:-)

  3. I wonder if that was The Duke of Paducahs last Opry appearance?

  4. David, I did a "quick" look at the reunion shows from 84,85 and 86, and I don't see the Duke listed on any of those, so this very well might have been Whitey's last appearance.

  5. Some questions Whitey Ford and Rod Brasfields inclusion in the Hall of Fame. I do not. We forget how big a roll comedy was in county shows during the 1940s and 1950s. It was expected to have a comedian.And other than Minnie Pearl none was bigger than The Duke Of Paducah and Brasfield. And both worked close with Roy Acuff, whom I'm certain helped to get them elected.

  6. (Info from the LA Times and other sources) The Duke of Paducah, a well known Grand Ole Opry humorist, is dead at age 85. The entertainer, whose real name was Benjamin Francis (Whitey) Ford, died Friday (June 20, 1986) at St. Thomas Hospital (Nashville) after being in failing health for several months.
    Ford was known for his garish green outfits and his popular tag line ("I'm goin' back to the wagon, boys, these shoes are killin' me.") that was an old-fashioned complaint from a country boy forced to dress for the city.
    He had only a third-grade education, so he joked that he came from the "university of hard knocks." He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1918. During his Navy service he learned to play the banjo and earned his nickname because of his blonde hair. After his discharge in 1922, he joined McGinty's Oklahoma Cowboy Band, a Dixieland jazz group, as a banjo player. The group later changed its name to Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys and appeared in a few Hollywood film shorts.
    He appeared on the original Gene Autry radio show on station WLS in Chicago and on the WLS Barn Dance show. He also spent nine years as the star and master of ceremonies on "The Plantation Party," a nationally broadcast music and comedy show on NBC radio.
    Ford was a short, stocky man who played banjo when he wasn't telling homespun tales in a drawling monotone. He performed as a regular cast member of the Grand Ole Opry from 1942 to 1958.

    In his 50-year career, Ford appeared with medicine shows, stage presentations, burlesque, dramatic tent shows and vaudeville. His outfit included a green hat, a green coat with brass buttons, green pants, a red bow tie and high button shoes.
    "You can't get any cornier than I look on stage," he told a reporter in 1970. "I work the fact hard that I do a cornball act. . . . It's been good to me."
    While broadcasting over St. Louis radio KWK in the mid-1930s, Ford acquired his Duke of Paducah stage name, earlier invented by humorist Irvin S. Cobb. [Cobb was an American author, humorist, editor and columnist from Paducah, Kentucky who relocated to New York in 1904, living there for the remainder of his life. He wrote for the New York World, Joseph Pulitzer's newspaper, as the highest paid staff reporter in the United States. Cobb also wrote more than 60 books and 300 short stories.]
    Benjamin Ford was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in February 1986. Eventually many of Ford’s jokes found their way to Hee Haw, after the producers bought Ford’s huge joke collection. (Reportedly 450,000 jokes in all, filed under numerous categories) - Frank Apperson

    1. Frank, thanks for posting about The Duke of Paducah. There is a funny story that is out there regarding Archie Campbell, Hee Haw and The Duke. As I am sure most people know, Archie Campbell was one of the main comedy and joke writers on Hee Haw. That was one of the reasons he was hired for the show. Archie kept coming up with all that great material, claiming credit for all of it. Supposedly it later came out that Archie had either bought The Duke of Paducah's joke file, or "borrowed" it for the show. If true, it is too bad that when The Duke was still alive that Archie didn't give him the credit.

    2. Thanks Byron, that is a most interesting story about Archie. And it's a shame that there doesn't appear to be much video of the Duke in action. To me, it seems like he is almost forgotten today. And as always, keep up the good work Byron. - Frank A.

  7. I have read quite a bit recently how ill Merle Haggard has been, fighting pneumonia since December, that's an awfully long time, but due to his age and other health issues, he lost a lung to cancer, I thought he'd be okay in the next month or so. So Wednesday came an all too soon announcement of another country music singer's death .. to hear it was Merle Haggard, I just started shaking my head because really, there are no words on this one. His death is a significant one, his death is one of the last nails in the coffin for traditional country music. Not many left, folks - Willie, Kris, Dolly, Loretta, Bill Anderson, Jean Shepard - a few more, but not many and that will close the door to traditional country music as we have come to know and love for all these years.

    Wednesday evening, I listened to the Eddie Stubbs Show. It had been planned for Marty Stuart and Chris Scruggs (Marty's new bass and steel guitar player) to be Eddie's in-studio guests.

    Eddie played Merle Haggard music for the first hour of his show and after the 8pm news/weather report, Marty and Chris were with Eddie and for the next four hours, they talked, they laughed, the discussed Merle's life, his death, his music, Marty revealed some of the line-up for his Late Night Jam that more or less kicks off Fan Fair, June 8th, Marty's upcoming album, Chris Scruggs' instrumental work, Marty's tv show and the evening, which was one of the best night's of the Eddie Stubbs show, turned out to be another anointed night, as Eddie always says.

    Marty received a call informing him and Connie of Merle's passing and unbeknownst to Marty, Merle had pre-planned his funeral, wanting Marty to officiate in the private service and Connie Smith was requested to sing "Precious Memories" and Marty and Connie were asked to sing "Silver Wings." Quite the honor. Marty was told that Merle was on his Silver Eagle at his home in California, with his family surrounding him, that is where he wanted to pass away, on his bus. That revelation brought caught myself and Eddie by surprise and Eddie interrupted Marty, who kept on talking, asking Marty if he had heard correctly? Merle passed away on his bus? Yes, that's right Eddie, Marty replied. Eddie asked if Merle was in his room in the back of the bus, no, he was laying down, in the front of the bus, Marty replied. Marty said, that's where he wanted to pass away. And I certainly agree when Marty said, versus dying in a hospital he wanted to leave Earth on his bus ... and so he did. These people spend so much time on those rolling homes, that I can see where they consider the bus their home, because really they are their homes away from home. So that is where Merle Haggard went to the other side, on his bus. Good for him, to the end, writing it his way.


  8. Because I have never been one to be able to say anything in ten words or less, here is my remaining thoughts on Merle Haggard.

    I wish I had taken notes, for five straight hours I listened to so many words that by midnight I was overwhelmed (and at that, the three of them went over to 12:05a - which never happens) - in fact, at 12:04, Marty said "I see Marcia tapping her foot, she waiting to get on the air." So by 12:05 the evening had officially come to an end. I am sure they could have sat there another 3 hours and told even more stories. I am going to say that Chris Scruggs, for his young age of 32, is very well versed, articulate, very smart to go along with all the talent he possesses and I am very impressed with him and all that he said. For those who did not hear this interview, I wish you had, Eddie played a great deal of music of all of Merle's musical hero's; Hank Snow, Lefty Frizzell, Jimmie Rogers, Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb and Wynn Stewart, and the last song Eddie played was by Wynn Stewart. I don't remember the name of it, while it was not "It's Such a Pretty World" it was a great song. I have to introduce myself to Wynn Stewart music. Connie Smith loves his music and that is good enough for me.

    To even think someone could leave the walls of San Quentin prison and have the doors swing open to enter the Country Music Hall of Fame in the span of 35 years, one just cannot think that big. And it also tells me that we, as human beings, can achieve greatness even after very rocky starts in life. But one has to really want to leave behind the rocky road and Merle Haggard did just that - he left one road behind for quite another.

    My condolences to Merle's wife, children, family, friends and to all of the country music community. This is a profound loss in the world of country music and the music industry itself. In my opinion, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Sr. were the two most prolific songwriters in all of country music. There are other great, great writers, Jimmie Rogers, Harland Howard, Bill Anderson, Mel Tillis, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Bob DiPero and I think more than half of George Strait's discography was written by Dean Dillion and Connie Smith has recorded over 70 Dallas Frazier penned songs, these are a just a few great songwriters and I am taking absolutely nothing away from any of them, but Hank Sr. and Merle Haggard are the best God has given us. I am happy to have lived at a time when we have had the privilege of being a part of some of the best country music ever. NOTHING today comes even close to what we have been given all these years.

    I am happy that tonight's Friday Night Opry will be paying tribute to "The Hag."

    Monday, April 11th, Eddie will pay tribute to Merle Haggard and it will find me sitting, once again, behind my computer for another five hours.

    Here's to the best ... Merle Haggard. May he rest in peace.


  9. And two things I totally forgot and should not have - my sympathies go out to "The Stranger's" - I am sure they are really missing their boss right about now.

    And I did not mention what a great musician Merle was. A great guitar and fiddle player.


  10. Thanks Jeanene so much for your comments.
    Great job of capturing the special character of the evening.
    I heard the show until about midnight (11:00 Nashville time), and sort of faded into the night after that!
    Agree 100% with your comments, and agree that it was indeed an "anointed evening."

  11. Jeanene, as always, thanks for the great post and review of Marty's interview on Eddie's show. I was unable to listen but thanks to you, I feel that I did. Marty has such a love and respect for the history of country music and as fans, we should appreciate his commitment to collect and save so many of the artifacts from artists who have passed away or are retired. Not everyone would take the time or expense to do something like that. Thanks again.

    And for those who were unable to listen, it was a very good Friday Night Opry.

  12. I thought Jesse McReynolds did a great job on "Lonesome Fugitive", perhaps the best of the night.

    Knightsville, IN

  13. I like Larry Gatlins version of "Fightin side of me" from Opry Country Classics:-)

  14. is anybody having some podcasts from 2010 opry shows?

  15. Byron and Nat, thank you for your kind words. I sure do wish I had taken notes Wednesday evening, actually, I wish WSM would archive that interview, but they don't do that.

    Marty never ran up the radio charts, such as his good friend Travis Tritt, or Garth, Reba, Vince, and/or Alan but Marty has total vision and he's an old soul. You are right Byron, he's the one that is totally interested and invested and has dedicated his life in preserving country music, the cowboy boots and Nudie suits and everything else he has found in thrift stores or has been given by family members of country singers who have passed on. His massive collection is worth more than $1M. So he's taken his career in a whole different direction with his tv show and his country music collection, he's an active board member of the Country Music Foundation and if I am not mistaken he was president of it for six straight years.

    Luckily for him, and for the times, John and Hilda Stuart okayed for others to "raise him up." The likes of the Sullivan Family, Roland White, Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash. GREAT people, who could ask for anything more? Marty is always totally engaged when being spoken to or asked a question. I have had many chances to get a hug, picture with and an autograph from Marty, he is a warm and friendly person by nature. 99% of pictures I see of him, always finds a smile on his face. He just LOVES what he does.

    And another story Marty told was of Lefty Frizzell's guitar - we all know what it looks like, yep, that one. With his name across the top of the How it was in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and I'm a little unclear how it occurred, the next thing he knew it, the offer for Merle Haggard to buy it ... the cost? Oh a mere $300,000.00 Merle said, that was too much money, Marty talked to Merle about it and assured Merle he (Marty) had the money to buy it if he wanted, Merle said no, it's too much money. From what I understood, Marty spoke to Merle again about it, and in the end, Merle made "a deal" and he took it home and according to Marty, Merle did not pay $300,000.00 for it. My understanding is upon Merle's death, the guitar was to go back to the Country Music Hall of Fame - Merle Haggard may have been an outlaw, but he revered that building and what it stood for and the day Connie Smith was inducted, the only one she wanted to induct her was Merle Haggard and he drove from California to Nashville on his bus to do the honors.

    Marty told about two dates that are forever burned in his memory - April 5, 2015, the day his dad passed away and one year later on April 6, 2016, the day Merle Haggard died. In an interview Marty did a while back, he said how terribly, terribly hard it was for him when Johnny Cash died. Johnny was a mentor, his boss at one time, his father-in-law for a few years, his next door neighbor, and when Johnny died he leaned on Merle Haggard and how Merle held him up. Marty said that Merle Haggard knew how to be a real friend. Today it was up to Marty and Connie to hold everyone up and I'm sure they did a warm and gracious job of it. Rest in Peace Merle Haggard ~

  16. Great reading here..... I didint get to listen in due to the 6 hour time diference and having to wake up for work the next day, but I hope I can hear the podcast some time.

  17. How about Jerry Clower? He was just as big as Duke of Paducah or Rod Brasfield.

  18. I am sure everyone knows by now that Eric Church was very liberal with his time last night. Not only did he have an entire half hour segment to himself, but he ran over by almost a half hour. The 2nd show didn't get underway until 10. As did most of the performers last night, Eric did a little tribute to Merle Haggard as part of his time on stage.

    1. As much as I don't care for Eric Church - That's nice to hear. The Opry is so patterned and each show seems to be an identical copy of the last these days. It's nice to have something out of the norm.

  19. I'm no big fan of the half hour to one performer idea.
    Often they don't even fill the half hour, and the show is even shorter than the ridiculous two hour current 'Opry.
    But if the "half hour folks" are as willing to entertain as Eric Church was, to sincerely honor legends, and to put on a one hour mini-concert, I'm all in.
    The folks who came got a GREAT show, thanks to Eric Church.

    1. Couldn't agree more, Nat. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a traditionalist through and through, but there are some artists out there today I really do like - Eric Church is one of them.

      My question is, wouldn't Opry management indicate to him that his time was up at the 30 minutes or maybe 40 minutes? Or do they really have no control over that? I have no idea, that's why I am asking.

      Eric Church seems to be a bit of an "outsider." Have to hand it to him, isn't that what Merle, Waylon, Willie and Johnny did all those years and Willie is still going strong?

      And I fully agree with @Leonard too - a cookie-cutter Opry, every time it's on. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but every now and then it has to be shaken up a bit and there are those artists that will do just that, as we heard Saturday evening. I thought he was just great. And I was impressed with all the artists who sang a "Hag" song, Church did Footlights and The Way I Am - LOVE The Way I Am.

      I saw a partial video of Chris Janson singing "My Favorite Memory" in tribute to Merle - oh boy, it.was.great. The person who taped and posted the song only got half of it, darn, it was SO good.

      Tonight, Eddie Stubbs has his 5-hour tribute to Merle Haggard ~ looking forward to all the music.


  20. I attended the Tuesday night Opry tonight. Brad Paisley was given a 30 minute segment. Brad used 15 minutes and then surprised the audience by presenting Rock legend John Fogarty from CCR fame. The remaining time was used by John who sang 3 CCR songs while Brad played the guitar. The show ended with John singing Proud Mary. While the music was excellent (and I like many different genres of music), is the Opry now a place for Rock legends?? I fear the Opry will not be a country music show music show in the near future. Ant thoughts????

    1. @Kevin ~ as for me, I loved hearing John Fogerty on the Opry stage. Is he country? Not at all, but many of the so-called country acts out there today, who are invited to the Opry stage, aren't country either.

      I'd rather have 15 fabulous minutes of one of the all time rocker greats and know he's a rock artist than have all those so-called country acts only pretending to BE country artists and they so aren't.


    2. What Jeanene said. I enjoyed it!
      Fogerty is and was a lot more "country" than most of what passes for country music on today's radio.
      At least he didn't mention dirt roads, tailgates, or partyin'.

    3. Kevin, part of the problem is that the Opry features so few of its members, and so many people who really shouldn't be on it, that having on John Fogerty--and I think it was great--loses some of its meaning. When Porter Wagoner invited James Brown, it was very controversial, and Porter said it's good to shake things up now and then. The problem with today's Opry management is that they have no interest in NOT shaking things up.