Thursday, September 15, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 9/16 & 9/17

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend, and I want to start out out by offering my congratulations and thanks to Steve Buchanan, Pete Fisher, and the rest of the Grand Ole Opry's management. Thanks to their great effort and hard work, they were able to get three Grand Ole Opry members to perform this coming Saturday night! Yep, that is correct. Out of 62 members, only Mike Snider, The Whites and Bobby Osborne are scheduled. As you would expect with just three members appearing, the show will not have the traditional segments with hosts. Instead, the format will be much like the Tuesday and Wednesday shows with eight acts broken into 15 minute segments for each one. Hopefully, between now and Saturday night, the line-up will get filled out, but I am not holding out much hope. 

As to the rest of the Saturday night line-up, Craig Wayne Boyd, Mary Sarah, Mark Wills, T. Graham Brown and Charles Esten fill out the show. I think everyone can agree that is a pretty thin line-up and I have to question whether it is worth the ticket price that is being charged. I know some weeks are better at the Opry than others; this is one of those weeks. 

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry members Riders In The Sky, Connie Smith, Jesse McReynolds, along with Mike Snider and The Whites. Guest artists include Daryle Singletary, Kelleigh Bannen, Darryl Worley, Tara Thompson, Mark Wills, Aaron Lewis and Mountain Heart. At least this guess them a full line-up for Friday night. 

Friday September 16
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Daryle Singletary; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Kelleigh Bannen; Darryl Worley
8:15: The Whites (host); Tara Thompson; Mark Wills
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Aaron Lewis; Mountain Faith

Saturday September 17
7:00: Mike Snider; Craig Wayne Boyd
7:30: Mary Sarah; Mark Wills
8:15: The Whites; T. Graham Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charles Esten

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of September 16 & 17, 2011:

Friday September 16
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Lauderdale
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); George Hamilton IV; Dailey & Vincent
8:15: Pam Tillis (host); Riders In The Sky; Gene Watson
8:45: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Montgomery Gentry

Saturday September 17
7:00: Pam Tillis (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Billy Yates; Will Hoge
8:15: Steve Wariner (host); Kristin Chenoweth; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jesse McReynolds; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Boxcars

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of September 15 & 16, 2006: 

Friday September 15
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); John Conlee; Jimmy Wayne
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mandy Barnett
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Buddy Jewell
9:30: Diamond Rio (host); Jean Shepard; Connie Smith

Saturday September 16
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Jamey Johnson
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jim Ed Brown; Erika Jo
7:30: Hal Ketchum (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Suzy Bogguss
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Walker; Heartland; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Trace Adkins (host); Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jamey Johnson
10:00: Trace Adkins (host); Jim Ed Brown; Erika Jo
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Charlie Louvin; Suzy Bogguss; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Heartland
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett

Finally going back twenty five years ago, Saturday September 14, 1991:

1st show
6:30: Boxcar Willie (host); Justin Tubb
6:45: Jack Greene; Charlie Louvin
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Stu Phillips; Vic Willis Trio
7:30: 4 Guys (host); Hank Locklin; Mac Wiseman
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); The Whites; Charlie Walker; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Ray Pillow; Wilma Lee Cooper; Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); 4 Guys; Charlie Louvin; Bill Carlisle; Ray Pillow
10:00: Boxcar Willie (host); Skeeter Davis
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Vic Willis Trio
10:30: Jack Greene (host); Mac Wiseman; Roger Miller
10:45: Roy Drusky (host); Stu Phillips; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Justin Tubb; Mike Snider
11:30: Charlie Walker (host); Jeannie Seely; Hank Locklin; Johnny Russell

For the featured line-up this week, it was 49 years ago this weekend, Saturday September 16, 1967 that Jeannie Seely became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. 

Jeannie Seely's mother said that Jeannie was just four years old when she learned to stretch up, turn the knob on her family's big console radio to 650 WSM and keep it there. Jeannie is still on the dial at 650 WSM, performing regularly on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. 

By age 11, she was performing on a weekly radio show in nearby Meadville, Pennsylvania, and a few years later was on TV in Erie. Years of playing auditoriums, small clubs, and country music parks followed. She moved to California and worked as a secretary with Liberty and Imperial Records in Hollywood before coming to Nashville in 1965 at the urging of Opry member Dottie West. "I didn't know enough to go there yet," Jeannie remembers telling Dottie. The more experienced singer responded, "Jeannie, that's where you go to learn." 

A recording contract with Monument Records gave Jeannie her first hit in 1966 with "Don't Touch Me," which went to the top of the charts and earned her a Grammy Award. One year later, the singer who became famous as "Miss Country Soul" fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a member of the Opry cast. More hits followed, including "I'll Love You More (Than You Need)," "Can I Sleep in Your Arms," and "Lucky Ladies." Jeannie briefly worked as duet partner of Porter Wagoner and had a successful touring and recording partnership with fellow Opry member Jack Greene resulting in multiple award nominations and such hits as the Top 10 single "Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You." Jeannie also is a successful songwriter, having written Faron Young's No. 1 hit, "Leavin' and Sayin' Goodbye," a BMI award-winner. She also had songs cut by Dottie West, Connie Smith, Willie Nelson, and Ray Price.

Known for her plainspoken ways and sharp sense of humor, Jeannie published a book of witticisms, "Pieces of a Puzzled Mind," in 1989. She continues to tour, record, and work on new stage material, preferably for the Opry stage she calls home.
(Courtesy Grand Ole Opry Family Album 90th Anniversary)

And now, in honor of Jeannie Seely's 49th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, here is the running order from Saturday September 16, 1967, the night Jeannie became a member of the Grand Ole Opry: 

6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Ernie Ashworth (host): A Week in the County Jail
Paul Moore: Cold, Cold Heart
Spider Wilson: Wildwood Flower
Ernie Ashworth: My Love for You

6:45: Rudy's
George Hamilton IV (host): Break My Mind
Jerri Lynn: Ain't Had No Lovin'
Jerry Whitehurst: Hey, Good Looking
George Hamilton IV: The Urge for Going

7:00: Luzianne
Bill Anderson (host): Get While the Getting's Good
4 Guys: Swing Down, Chariot
Tammy Wynette: You Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
Bill Anderson: No One's Gonna Hurt You Anymore
Duke of Paducah: Four-Leaf Clover
4 Guys: Walking in the Sunshine
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

7:30: Standard Candy
Billy Grammer (host): Mabel, You Have Been A Friend to Me
Willis Brothers: A 6 Ft 2 by 4
Stringbean: Gonna Make Myself A Name
Margie Bowes: Man Around the House
Billy Grammer: The Real Thing
Harold Weakley: Since Never
Billy Grammer: Pennsylvania Polka
Willis Brothers: Chattanooga Shoe Shine Box
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On

8:00: Martha White
Wilburn Brothers (host): It's Another World
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Dottie West: Like A Fool
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Wilburn Brothers: You're Standing in the Way
Pete Sayers: Little Darling Pal of Mine
Justin Tubb & Dottie West: Love Is No Excuse
Dottie West: Paper Mansions

8:30: Stephens
Roy Drusky (host): Rainbows & Roses
Grandpa Jones: Mountain Dew
Hugh X Lewis: You're So Cold I'm Turning Blue
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Roy Drusky: White Lightning Express
Opry Staff Band: Speeding West
Grandpa Jones: Everything Had Going For Me is Gone
Jeannie Seely: Don't You Every Get Tired of Hurting Me
Roy Drusky: Anymore

9:30: Kellogg's
Tex Ritter (host): Boll Weevil
Willis Brothers: Big Daddy's Alabamy Bound
Dottie West: Funny, Familiar, Forgotten Feelings
Hank Williams, Jr: There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight/Wedding Bells/Mansion on the Hill/Half as Much/Lovesick Blues
Tex Ritter: Working Man's Prayer
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham

10:00: Schick
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Stringbean: Gonna Make Myself a Name
Margie Bowes: Making Believe
Billy Grammer: Mabel, You Have Been A Friend to Me

10:15: Pure
Roy Drusky (host): Peel Me A Nanner
Grandpa Jones: Dear Old Sunny South By the Sea
George Hamilton IV: Break My Mind
Roy Drusky: New Lips

10:30: Buckley's
Ernie Ashworth (host): My Love For You
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Ernie Ashworth: Sad Face
Willis Brothers: Bob/God Walks These Hills With Me

10:45: Newport
Wilburn Brothers (host): Goody, Goody, Gumdrop
Justin Tubb: Take A Letter Miss Gray
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Wilburn Brothers: Knoxville Girl

11:00: Coca-Cola
Tex Ritter (host): Green Grow the Lilacs
4 Guys: Shenandoah
Jeannie Seely: I Fall to Pieces
Hank Williams, Jr: Long Gone Lonesome Blues/(?)/Can't Take It/I'm In No Condition to Try to Love Again/I'm Nobody's Child
Tex Ritter: Just Beyond the Moon
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Gray Eagle
Jeannie Seely: Darling, Are You Ever Coming Home
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of A Hillbilly Heaven

11:30: Lava
Bob Luman (host): Let's Think About Living
Osborne Brothers: Roll, Muddy River
Jerry Greene: Turn the World Around the Other Way
Tammy Wynette: I Don't Wanna Play House
Bob Luman: You Can Take the Boy From the Country
Harold Weakley: Since Never
Osborne Brothers: Making Plans
Bob Luman: Memphis

Congratulations again to Jeannie Seely on her 49th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry!! And as always, I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend. 


  1. Pete and Steve a relatively young men. They will outlast the veteran members that keep the show going in the format we all love and remember. Once they are out of the way we can have our three or four act show that would better satisfy folks like the two women Byron set beside a while back who were disappointed that the show was not like "Nashville". Further, when are we going to start a Opry reality show or "America's got talent for the Opry"!

    Again, like Fred, glad I have all the tapes from over the years to listen to in my golden years!

    Sad to say but I'll try to see my favorites on the concert trail. Going to see John Conlee in Terre Haute this Friday. Jeannie Seely was there in July. Will see Whisper in Shipshewanna, Indiana next month. I'll spend the money to drive to those shows instead of going to the Opry. I don't like that for I feel I am being disloyal but it is reality.

    Enough of my rant!


  2. Fred, Bismarck:

    I would add my appreciation for Jeannie's professional help to Ernest Tubb and Little Jimmie Dickens in the twilight of their careers. She wrote a couple of damn fine songs for Ernest for his first album with First Generation, and you'll find a couple of pictures of her in the studio with Little Jimmie on the back of his "Country Music Hall of Fame" LP.

  3. From a little bit of research, there's not really that many members available this weekend. Just about every regular Opry host is doing a tour date this saturday, and the others are traveling to a tour date for the next day.But the Opry should have members scheduled in advance like how other concerts are.
    The Saturday Night Opry shouldn't be like the tuesday shows. Last month we had the first Opry show completely dedicated to & hosted by 1 person. This month, we have what I believe is the first saturday show hosted by nobody!

    Even though many of the members are busy this weekend, I see that Steve Wariner, Jesse Mcreynolds, Ray Pillow, Stonewall Jackson, Stu Phillips, Alison Krauss, and Patty Loveless aren't performing saturday, so why not give them a call to come on down?

    I'm really surprised the Opry doesn't do what they did last time when they were short on members, and have the whites host a segment and mike snider host the other, then add a few more guests to give the performance more bulk. That seems like the more logical idea.....

    But if this were a logical world, men would ride side saddle....

  4. Kyle, I agree with your thoughts. And why not Jesse McReynolds on Saturday night, which would give them another member. I am somewhat surprised that a call wasn't made to Ray Pillow, who seems to be their go-to guy when they need a host, but maybe they did and Ray was busy with other activities. As far as Stu Phillips, I think he is about retired.

    The fall is a busy time for a lot of the Opry's members as fair season is underway and a lot of the county and community fairs book country music acts, especially the veteran acts. But I do think they could have found another 4 artists to fill out the show, even if they were not Opry members, to make it a more traditional Opry show.

    1. I think Stu Phillips is retired too, but I still keep hoping he'll be back on the show again. I remembered last year around this time when there was a show similarly with a terribly thin lineup, and partially from due to your open letter, the opry was saved by Merle Haggard! Well, its about one year later, and Merle wasnt able to save the show this time. But the unusual thing is, he did make an appearance tonight, through a performance T graham brown did of "Big City."

      The show tonight was a good one even though it was low on members (Mark Wills, t graham brown and charles esten seem to be more like members every time) I still have to be a little nitpicky about how the show strayed from its traditional weekend format, and seemed to end abruptly. But its much, much better to have an oddly formatted saturday night opry than to have no Opry at all.

  5. John Conlee performed in Terre Haute, Indiana Friday night. He performed for one hour and forty minutes and did almost two dozen songs. His only rest was about five minutes to let his four piece band perform. He sounds great and I tend to forget how many good songs he has recorded and just how many hits he had.

    Knightsville, IN

  6. Fred, Bismarck:

    I always gave Conlee credit for quality, thoughtful, well-written songs (Old School, I Don't Remember Loving You, Common Man, etc.) He didn't waste your time with those dime-a-dozen "weepers."