Thursday, May 19, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 5/20 & 5/21

The Grand Ole Opry has announced the schedule for the four shows this weekend. Yes, that is correct as the Opry has scheduled two shows for Friday and Saturday night. The reason? An appearance this weekend by Grand Ole Opry member Carrie Underwood, who is scheduled for all four shows. 

I have written about Carrie Underwood and her commitment to the Opry before but it needs repeating. In today's world of the Opry, when a new member comes on, Pete Fisher asks for a commitment of 10 appearances each year. Carrie joined in 2008, and that year she made 9 appearances. Since then, her record is as follows: 2009-10; 2010-6; 2011 & 2012-8; 2013, 2014 and 2015-10. For 2016, these are her first 4 appearances and she has 2 more scheduled in June. That will put her up to 6. There is no doubt she will get close to the magic number of 10 again this year. This is from a person who had a baby last year and has been touring heavily. (in fact, she was in Cleveland last night). You compare her record with Keith Urban, who hasn't been on the Opry since 2014 and since he joined in 2012, has made just 10 total appearances, or Blake Shelton, who since 2012 has appeared just 7 times. The attendance for a few others, including Trisha Yearwood, who joined in 1999 is even worse. (and I didn't even include those who joined prior to Pete taking over when there was no commitment, which I think some of the artists took as no commitment). While I know that not everyone is a Carrie fan, I think we all appreciate that she does take time to do the Opry. 

As far as other Opry members this weekend, Mike Snider and Bill Anderson will also be on all 4 shows, while Friday night will include John Conlee, Riders In The Sky, Jesse McReynolds (1st show only) and Bobby Osborne (2nd show only). Saturday night, it will be Connie Smith and The Whites joining Mike, Bill and Carrie. 

The big name guest artist on Friday night is Toby Keith. Toby has appeared on the Opry before and I am sure he will be well received. Exile and Daryle Singletary will join Toby along with Charles Esten from the recently cancelled Nashville show. Speaking of Nashville, the word on the street is that it is going into world-wide syndication and that the show producers are shopping it around to another network, probably on cable. There is interest in the show if the costs can be brought down. 

Saturday night's guest artists include Exile, as they are appearing on all 4 weekend shows, bluegrass group Mountain Heart and Maren Morris, a young female country singer making her Opry debut. She currently tours with Keith Urban and is touring in support of new music. Finally, Dallas Wayne is making a guest Opry appearance. In addition to being a host on Sirius/XM satellite radio, Dallas is also a fine country music singer. It will be nice hearing him on the Opry. 

Friday May 20
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); Daryle Singletary; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Exile; Charles Esten
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Toby Keith
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Daryle Singletary; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: John Conlee (host); Carrie Underwood
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Exile; Charles Esten
11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Toby Keith

Saturday May 21
1st show
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Mike Snider; Maren Morris
7:30: The Whites (host); Exile
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Dallas Wayne; Mountain Heart; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Connie Smith (host); Maren Morris
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Carrie Underwood
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Dallas Wayne; Mountain Heart; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: The Whites (host); Exile

That comes out to 10 acts for each show on Friday night, with Jesse McReynolds and Bobby Osborne the only non-repeats. Of the 10, 6 are Opry members. On Saturday night, it is just 9 for each show, of whom 5 are Opry members. 

Now what is interesting is that on Saturday night, Dallas Wayne is scheduled to be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. The website is still listing the taping of the jamboree at 10:00. With Dallas scheduled to appear on the 10:30 segment of the Opry, it will be interesting to see how he pulls that off. I am also a little surprised that the Opry didn't work with him more regarding the schedule. 

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

Friday May 20
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Rhonda Vincent
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds; Mark Wills
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Dierks Bentley
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Mike Snider; Patty Loveless

Saturday May 21
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; James Wesley
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Gene Watson
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Bo Bice; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Patty Loveless

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of May 19 & 20, 2006:

Friday May 19
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Trent Willmon
8:30: John Conlee (host); Jack Greene; Wylie & The Wild West
9:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; T. Graham Brown
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Susan Haynes; Mountain Heart

Saturday May 20
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Lane Turner
7:00: Pam Tillis (host); Catherine Britt; Del McCoury Band
7:30: John Conlee (host); Elizabeth Cook; Wylie & The Wild West
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Stu Phillips; T. Graham Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Andy Griggs

2nd show
9:30: Pam Tillis (host); The Whites; Catherine Britt
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Lane Turner; Del McCoury Band
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; T. Graham Brown; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Wylie & The Wild West
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; Charlie Nagatani; Andy Griggs

Finally, from fifteen years ago, the weekend of May 18 & 19, 2001:

Friday May 18
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Bill Carlisle; The Whites
8:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeanne Pruett; Billy Walker; Tammy Cochran
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stu Phillips; Hot Club of Cowtown; Mel McDaniel

9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Billy Yates; Ricky Skaggs
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Mike Snider; Charley Pride

Saturday May 19
1st show
6:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; Bill Carlisle; Billy Yates
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; The Whites; Elizabeth Cook; Mel McDaniel
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Chalee Tennison; Mandy Barnett; Charley Pride
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Charlie Walker; Osborne Brothers; Sherrie Austin; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Dean Miller; Cindy Moore; Kitty Wells

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Mel McDaniel
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Ray Pillow; Billy Yates; Elizabeth Cook
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Charlie Walker; Mandy Barnett; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Charlie Louvin; Osborne Brothers; Charley Pride
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Sherrie Austin; Dean Miller; Chalee Tennison; Cindy Moore

For this week's look back into Grand Ole Opry history, let's go way, way back. 67 years back to be exact, to Saturday May 21, 1949. Remember during that year, the Opry was around for just 24 years. 

7:30: American Ace Coffee
Roy Acuff (host): Little Moses
Tommy Magness: Florida Blues
Dot & Smokey: I'll Never Let You Go
Jimmy Riddle: Wreck of The Old Ninety Seven
Roy Acuff: Brother Take Warning
Uncle Dave Macon & Dorris: Walking In My Sleep
Jug Band: Uncle Eph
Roy Acuff: Mother's Not Dead She's Only Sleeping
Joe Zinkas: She's My Curly Headed Baby
Oswald: You Are My Sunshine

8:00: Purina Show
Bill Monroe (host): Train 45
Mel & Stan: Jimmy Brown The News Boy
George Morgan: Are The Roses of Yesterday Still Blooming
Robert Lunn: Milk'em In The Morning
Blue Grass Quartet: I've Been Waiting
Uncle Dave Macon & Dorris: Take Me Back To Tulsa
Velma & Hal: Blue Eyes Crying in The Rain
George Morgan: Don't Make Sorry
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Mississippi Sawyer
Bill Monroe: Goodbye Old Pal

8:30: Prince Albert
Red Foley (host): Just Because
Bill Monroe: I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling
Rod Brasfield: Jokes
Red Foley: I Just Can't Keep From Crying
Fowler Quartet: Keep On The Firing Line
Bill Monroe: To Be Selected
Minnie Pearl: Jokes
Old Hickory Singers: Carry Me Back To Old Virginia
Red Foley: Old Shep
Square Dance: Wake Up Susan

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Possum Hunters: Off To Charleston
Roy Acuff (host): Stay A Little Longer
Jamup & Honey: Jokes
Jimmy Riddle: St. Louis Blues
Jimmy Dickens: I'll Be Back A Sunday
Jug Band: Mountain Maw
Lonzo & Oscar: Tickle A Tom Cat's Tail
Rachel & Oswald: Little Darling
Roy Acuff: Shake Hands With Mother Again
Jimmy Dickens: Country Boy
Tommy Magness: Fire In The Mountain

9:30: Warren Paint
Lew Childre: I'm Saving Up Coupons
Ernest Tubb (host): I'm A Long Gone Daddy
String Beans: Rose of Old Kentucky
George Morgan: To Be Selected
Crook Brothers: Hop Light Ladies
Ernest Tubb: Have You Ever Been Lonely
Bradley Kincaid: Ain't We Crazy
George Morgan: To Be Selected
Don Davis: Bye Bye Blues
Ernest Tubb: Daisey Mae

10:00: Wallrite
Bill (host) & Don: White House Blues
Shenandoah Trio: Steel Guitar Blues
Mel & Stan: God's River of Blessing
Blue Grass Quartet: Remember The Cross
Bill Monroe: When The Cactus Are In Bloom

10:15: Gaylark: 
Roy Acuff (host): Cindy
Uncle Dave Macon & Dorris & Kirk: Listen To The Mocking Bird
Roy Acuff: Poem
Bill & Gang: Turn Your Radio On
Tommy Magness: Kicking Mule

10:30: Royal Flour
Milton Estes (host): Red Rosey Cheeks and Big Brown Eyes
Jimmy Dickens: I Wish I Had A Nickle
Jimmy Selph: Don't Rob Another Mans Castle
Milton Estes: When God Dips His Love In My Heart

10:45: Dr. Le Gear
Lew Childre (host): Hog Calling Blues
Bradley Kincaid: Old Smokey
String Beans: Big Ball In Town
Lew & String: Maggie
Mark McGarr: China Boy

George Morgan (host): I Love None But You
Velma: Tomorrow Is Just Another Day
Gully Jumpers: New Five Cents
George Morgan: Ages and Ages Ago
Hal Smith: Mountain Rag

Ernest Tubb (host): I'll Get Along Somehow
Butter Ball: Where The Old Red River Flows
Drake Brothers: Columbus Stockade
Ernest Tubb: There Is No Room In MY Heart For The Blues

Jimmy Dickens (host): I'm Fading Fast With The Time
Lonzo & Oscar: Boll Weevil
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Jimmy Dickens: Pennies For Papa
Zeb Turner: Get and Get

Wally Fowler (host): Lead Me To The Rock
Robert Lunn: Snake Bite Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Lonesome Road Blues
Wally Fowler: You Must Come In At The Door
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fishers Hornpipe

Note: The spellings are as they were listed in the program and yes, there were no sponsors listed for any of the segments after 11:00.

I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. Wow! That 1949 lineup ... that's just a few weeks before Hank Williams's debut, and if I'm correct, the only person left who was on stage that night is Mac Wiseman.

  2. I love seeing Bradley Kincaid in that lineup. It's sad his influence has been lost to time. One of the few acts to have been part of the WLS National Barn Dance and the Opry. He helped spread country music throughout the New England states; published songbooks; and was proberly and one point a bigger star than Jimmie Rodgers. Personally, I believe he should have became a Hall Of Famer before Pop Stoneman and DeFord Bailey.

    1. Bradley Kincaid is one of those people who will never get his just due unless the CMA brings back its posthumous induction category. The Wilburn Brothers, Dottie West, The Carter Sisters and Jerry Reed are in the same boat. I can name a dozen artists and business people who are not in the Hall of Fame simply because they had the bad taste to pass on. The CMA likes it's big annual party and I guess it spoils the fun if the guest of honor can't be there in person. Just my 2 cents.

    2. Totally agree. Seems like the songwriters and musians are the execption, and they lack. Imagine Bob Wills records without Tommy Duncan, and the same with Buck Owens and Don Rich. Or a Saturday night Roy Acuff appereance without Bashful Brother Oswald. All three need enshrined. And then there is Jenny Lou Carson, the most successful country songwriter of the 1940s with the expection of Cindy Walker.

    3. Barry, Bradley Kincaid also was the one who said to a young performer, "You look like an old grandpa." It stuck with Louis Marshall Jones. I believe Bradley Kincaid also gave him his boots. Mentors often go in AFTER their students--consider Dolly and Porter, for example. But how Bradley Kincaid is not in there ....

      David B, now they have the instrumentalist category and, if you think about it, Don Rich and Bashful could go in there?

    4. Mike, I know you asked David the question, but if you don't mind, I will throw in my two cents. Since they started the musician category, they have so far inducted:

      2015-Grady Martin
      2012-Harold "Pig" Robbins
      2009-Charlie McCoy
      2006-Harold Bradley
      2003-Floyd Cramer

      Go back to the mass induction of 2001 and not one musician was inducted in that group. Before that, to have found a true musician inducted, you would have to go back to 1973 and Chet Atkins, although he was considered a musician/record producer

      I guess my point is that so far the musician category has favored 100% of the time, Nashville based, primarily studio musicians. There is nothing wrong with that as that was a talented bunch with more to go. But the category is called "Recording and/or Studio Musician." I think the voters have forgotten the touring part of that category, which is pretty much were Don Rich and Oswald would fall into. Hopefully in 2 years they will remember.

    5. Byron, your two cents are worth more than any dollars I might have! Thanks.

  3. Ops, I am sorry. I meant to say that the category is named, "Recording and/or Touring Musician." Sorry about that.

  4. On the Hall of Fame which artists do you guys see going in from the Modern and Veterans Categories within the next 10 years?

  5. When I was at the Opry in February, I did the backstage tour and the guide was explicit in stating that the 10 show per year commitment is not current. He said that the Opry management works with each artist's management to determine an appropriate commitment that is just between those parties. I know I see the 10 shows/year thrown around a lot, but doesn't seem it is correct, at least anymore. Of course, it could also be the Opry's story of "saving face" to the public about why certain members are no shows.

  6. Hi Joe, and thanks for the comment. And I am glad you got down to the Opry and did the backstage tour. I am sure what the guide said, which I am sure was from their script, was the Opry's way of explaining why most of the members hardly ever appear on the Opry. I can tell you, from first hand sources, that any new member who has joined the Opry since Pete Fisher took over as the general manager in 1999, is asked to commit to 10 appearances each year. I can also tell you that there is no contract holding the artists accountable. Years back, prior to Pete Fisher taking over, both Hal Durham and Bob Whitaker both invited artists to become Opry members with no commitment at all, which is one reason why you see the likes of Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Reba and others, hardly ever on the Opry. I will say overall, those invited to join by Pete have done a much better job being at the Opry. He has missed on a few, but overall his record is actually better than Hal and Bob's.

    1. I am rarely inclined to give Pete Fisher credit, and he has missed on several, but at least he has tried. And here's to Carrie Underwood for being true to it.