Thursday, May 26, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 5/27 & 5/28

Welcome to Memorial Day weekend and what many consider the unofficial start of summer. Holiday weekends are traditionally a tough time at the Opry as many of the Opry's members are out on the road. But for this holiday weekend, the Opry has come up with a couple of pretty nice line-ups. 

Vince Gill leads the group of Opry members who will be appearing both Friday and Saturday night. He will be joined both nights by members Mike Snider, John Conlee, Connie Smith and Riders In The Sky. Joining that group on Friday will be Joe Diffie, who is also hosting a segment, and Bobby Osborne. Saturday night, Opry members The Whites and Jesse McReynolds are set to appear. 

As far as guest artists this weekend, Chris Janson will be making another appearance. Chris continues to excite Opry audiences with his passion and enthusiasm each time he appears. Veterans Restless Heart and John Berry are also scheduled, in addition to Striking Matches and Johnny Counterfit, who is someone that you never know what to expect. Saturday night will feature John Thompson, Craig Wayne Boyd, William Michael Morgan, The Grascals and The Secret Sisters. 

Friday May 27
7:00: John Conlee (host); Striking Matches; Mike Snider
7:30: Joe Diffie (host); Johnny Counterfit; Restless Heart
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; John Berry
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; Chris Janson

Saturday May 28
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Josh Thompson; The Whites
7:30: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider: The Secret Sisters
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Craig Wayne Boyd; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); William Michael Morgan; The Grascals

That comes out to 12 acts for each show, of whom 7 are Opry members. 

And now, there is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of May 27 & 28, 2011:

Friday May 27
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Sunny Sweeney
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jake Owen
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Heidi Newfield
8:45: Vince Gill (host); The Whites; Lee Greenwood

Saturday May 28
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Johnny Counterfit; Sarah Jarosz
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Josh Turner; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Jean Shepard; Connie Smith

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of May 26 & 27, 2006:

Friday May 26
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; David Ball
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Walker; Ricky Skaggs
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Jean Shepard; Mandy Barnett
9:30: Marty Stuart (host); Earl Scruggs; John Conlee; Mel McDaniel

Saturday May 27
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Rhonda Vincent
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Darryl Worley; Rockie Lynne; Chely Wright
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeannie Seely; Jimmy C Newman; Cherryholmes; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; The Whites; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Rhonda Vincent
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Rockie Lynne
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Darryl Worley; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; Chely Wright
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Cherryholmes; Charlie Louvin; Mandy Barnett

Finally, from fifteen years ago, May 25 & 26, 2001:

Friday May 25
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Bill Carlisle; Mandy Barnett
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Charlie Walker; Matt King; Jack Greene
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Stu Phillips; Billy Walker; Jim Ed Brown
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Andy Griggs; George Lindsay
9:30: John Conlee (host); Del McCoury Band; Brad Paisley

Saturday May 26 
1st show
6:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); The Whites; Bill Carlisle; Craig Morgan; Osborne Brothers
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Stonewall Jackson; Billy Walker; Matt King
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); George Lindsay; Lee Greenwood
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Mandy Barnett; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Del Reeves; Jack Greene; Andy Griggs

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Osborne Brothers; Craig Morgan
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Del Reeves; Jack Greene
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Charlie Louvin; Mandy Barnett; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); George Lindsay; Lee Greenwood
11:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Matt King; Ray Pillow; And Griggs

Looking back, here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up and running order from 44 years ago, Saturday May 27, 1972:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Justin Tubb (host): Lodi
Ernie Ashworth: Wanted Man
Jimmy Capps & Spider Wilson: Buckaroo
Justin Tubb: Traveling Singing Man

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Penny DeHaven: Down In the Boondocks
Charlie Moore: Leaving Detroit; Heading South
Billy Grammer: Whispering Hope

7:00: Luzianne
George Morgan (host): Easy Loving
Wilma Lee Cooper: You're Never Very Far From My Mind
Stringbean: Lonesome Road Blues
Joe & Rose Lee Maphis: Honey, Be My Honey Bee
George Morgan: To Get to You
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Couldn't Care Less
Stringbean: Hot Corn; Cold Corn
Joe Maphis: Under the Double Eagle

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Earl Scruggs Revue: Nashville Skyline Rag
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Crook Brothers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Roy Acuff: Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain
Earl Scruggs Revue: The Banks of the Ohio
Willis Brothers: Buying Popcorn

8:00: Martha White
Hank Locklin (host): Please Help Me, I'm Falling
Grandpa Jones: Dooley
Connie Smith: You & Your Sweet Love
Del Wood: Gloryland March
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Grandpa Jones: The Valley of the Never Do No Good
Connie Smith: He Touched Me

8:30: Stephens
Ernest Tubb (host): Waiting For A Train
Stu Phillips: That's A Chance I'll Have to Take
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking In My Sleep
Wayne Hammond: To Get to You
Stu Phillips: Help Me Make It Through the Night
4 Guys: Shenandoah
Ernest Tubb: Say Something Nice to Sara

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Justin Tubb (host): Looking Back to See
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Wilma Lee Cooper: Satisfied
Stringbean: Train 45
Justin Tubb: Traveling Singing Man
Willis Brothers: Bob
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Birds Are Back
Stringbean: The Battle of New Orleans

10:00: Fender
George Morgan (host): Candy Kisses
Charlie Moore: Legend of the Rebel Soldier
Del Wood: Gloryland March
George Morgan: To Get to You

10:15: Union 76
Billy Grammer (host): Bonaparte's Retreat
Earl Scruggs Revue: Lonesome Road Blues/T For Texas
Billy Grammer: Just A Closer Walk With Thee

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Grandpa Jones: Living In A Coal Can
Howdy Forrester: Bill Cheatham
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Ernest Tubb (host): I'll Step Aside
Joe & Rose Lee Maphis: Run That By Me One More Time
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

11:00: Coca-Cola
Stu Phillips (host): Crystal Chandeliers
Penny DeHaven: Down In the Boondocks
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Penny DeHaven: Crying In the Rain
Sam McGee: San Antonio Rose
Stu Phillips: A Castle; A Cabin

11:30: Elm Hill
Hank Locklin (host): Country Hall of Fame
Connie Smith: Just One Time
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah/Turn Your Radio On
Hank Locklin: Jealous Heart
Connie Smith: Too Far From Calvary
Hank Locklin: Bouquet of Roses

There you have it. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!

Have a safe Memorial Day!!


  1. Byron, As always, thank you for this wonderful blog! Never get tired of going through all of the wonderful info and comments about the Opry! To you and yours, enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend! Frank Apperson

  2. It was another great Friday Night Opry last night. I do have to ask the question, "What else does Chris Janson have to do to get an invitation to become the Opry's newest member?" He turned in another exciting and stellar performance last night. While I realize not everyone likes Chris, or his music, he loves the Opry and I think if he became a member, we could count on him actually being there.

    Which brings up the question, "When will the Opry induct its newest member and who will it be?" Little Big Town was the last and it has been just about 2 years since they joined. Personally, I still can't believe that the Opry went through its 90th year without adding anyone.

    1. I totally agree with you Byron ~ the very first time I heard Chris Janson on the Opry, I was totally impressed with him and he has only gotten better. In fact last night, Vince Gill raved about Chris's "Holdin' Her" song, actually predicting that song would be voted "Song of the Year" at the CMA's - that's mighty big praise (and early prediction) coming from someone who has won every award known to man except Female Vocalist of the Year. I love that song and Chris sings it just so great, so we'll see if Vince Gill can spot an award winning song or not. ha!

      I am wondering if Pete Fisher is "cooling it" when it comes to invitations/inductions into the family, maybe even HE figures, why bother since the majority of "my flock" can't manage to show up most of the time, maybe they will sporadically. Two years since Little Big Town's induction is a long time.

      Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend everyone. :-)


  3. Fred, Bismarck:

    Trying to anticipate Pete Fisher has proven just about impossible. He has given us so little to work from by way of patterns.

    One pattern may be his refusal -- the despair of Byron and others on here -- to tap the obvious candidates, frequent guests. Maybe because he can already have them as often as he wants and sees no need to formalize the relationship? (And one day have them hanging around after they have worn out their welcome?)

  4. Byron is absolutely correct.
    In my view, letting Chris Janson appear on the 'Opry well over a hundred times and then not inviting him to become a member is absolutely pitiful.

  5. If you look at the website, they list BOTH members and guests. Sadly, membership doesn't seem to matter as much as it used to.

    I was running through my head. IF I'm right--and Byron will know--the Opry had a few dry spells--no new members in 1968 and I don't THINK there were any in 1970 or, interestingly, 1974, the year of the move. In the late 1970s, I don't think anyone new was added from Don Williams in 1977 to Tom T. Hall in 1980--the Vic Willis Trio was a regrouping of the brothers, and the Melvin Sloan Dancers were the renamed Tennessee Travelers after Ralph's death.

  6. Mike, you are right on that point. The Opry really went through a dry spell in the late 1970s even into the 1980s. And those he was adding in the 80s, were already causing some grief as to their commitment to the Opry. I think that might have been one of the reasons Hal Durham lifted the appearance requirement down to nothing as he needed, and wanted, some of the younger stars to join the Opry, but was meeting a lot of resistance. The floodgates on this issue really opened up wide with Reba in 85/86 and Randy Travis at the end of 86. In 87, there was Roy Clark in August and then nothing until Ricky Van Shelton and Patty Loveless in June 88, and Garth in October 90. Then the gates really opened up.

    I may be wrong on this, but perhaps it is a financial reason in not adding a new member. I would assume that each Opry member is covered by the union contract and by having guest artists instead of members appearing, it may actually be saving the Opry and Ryman Hospitalities a few dollars in benefits. We already know that is one of the reasons they cut back the number of artists per show, staff band members, etc.

    On the other hand, Pete and management just might be thinking that things are going pretty well right now, why add anyone at all?

    1. Anonymous in Kingman - Corporate America strikes again - watchin' that ol' bottom line!!

  7. Just found out about this new documentary about country music. - Frank Apperson

  8. Two things - first,the price of the tickets for the Grand Ole Opry have gone up but the shows for the $$ have not improved, sadly we are getting a lot less for the cost (oh but they are saving money); second, the Ken Burns documentary on country music will not be released until 2018, he does an outstanding job on every production, surely he will start with the beginnings, but wonder where the cut off ends and how he covers the "modern" era - will it be a true picture; I did read once that they managed to record Jimmy Dickens input before his passing. Hopefully the documentary will cover other than the "Opry".

  9. Yes, the documentary is going to cover much more than just the Opry. The Tennessean posted a very nice article about it last week and in the article it listed the Country Music Hall of Fame members he has interviewed so far and the list is long and impressive. Ken Burns himself is not saying anything about the project, but others are talking. 2018 is the goal but it could even take into 2019 to have it completed.