Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 9/23 & 9/24

Before getting into the line-ups for this week, our thoughts and prayers are with Jean Shepard and her family. It was reported earlier this week that Jean is back in the hospital and surrounded by her family, as her health has taken a turn for the worse. As of today, she is in the intensive care unit. Jean made her final Grand Ole Opry appearance back in November, when she was honored for 60 years as a member of the Opry. She said that would be her final appearance as it was time to retire. Since then, she has been out and about, specifically at tapings of Larry's Country Diner, which is on RFD-TV. Many times they will show her sitting in the audience. Again, our thoughts and prayers go to Jean and her family. 

As far as the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this weekend, it is nice to see that both nights will be back to the format of actually having a host for each segment as John Conlee, The Whites, Connie Smith and Ricky Skaggs will be performing those duties on Friday night, with Mike Snider taking the place of Ricky on Saturday. They will be joined by fellow Opry members Bobby Osborne on Friday night with Jesse McReynolds and Country Music Hall of Fame member Ronnie Milsap on Saturday. That gives us 6 Opry members each night. 

Guest artists this weekend include Cassadee Pope, Striking Matches, T.G. Sheppard, Chris Lane, Lindsay Ell and Selah on Friday night, with Carly Pearce, Native Run, Jim Lauderdale, The Gascals and Bradley Walker set for Saturday. 

Friday September 23
7:00: John Conlee (host); Cassadee Pope; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Striking Matches; T.G. Sheppard
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chris Lane
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Lindsay Ell; Selah

Saturday September 24
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Carly Pearce; Jim Lauderdale
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Native Run; The Grascals
8:15: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Bradley Walker; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: John Conlee (host); Ronnie Milsap

The group that some may not recognize is Selah, who will be making their Grand Ole Opry debut on Friday night. Selah is a contemporary Christian trio consisting of Todd Smith, Allan Hall, and Amy Perry. They have won seven Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and have sold more than 4 million album and single units. They have been featured on numerous religious programs. The group has been around in various forms since 1997 and are very popular, performing most weekends at Christian churches around the country. As mentioned, this will be their Grand Ole Opry debut and from the video I saw, they are very excited to have been invited. 

Native Run has appeared on the Opry previously. They are a duo consisting of Rachel Beauregard and Bryan Dawley and are out of Virginia. Certainly not headliners as of yet, they have been making the club circuit as they continue to work their way into the music business. 

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of September 23 & 24, 2011. Saturday night's show featured a rare Opry appearance by Opry member Dolly Parton: 

Friday September 23
7:00: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Jimmy Wayne
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV; Katie Armiger
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Point Of Grace
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Mark Wills

Saturday September 24
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Bradley Gaskin
7:30: Jimmy  Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
8:15: Jean Shepard (host); Charlie McCoy; Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds; Dolly Parton

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of September 22 & 23, 2006. Saturday's 7:00 segment was televised, and as you will notice, there was no Opry host for that hour, nor any Opry members featured. 

Friday September 22
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; Taylor Ware
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jack Greene; Daryle Singletary
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Rockie Lynne
9:30: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; T. Graham Brown

Saturday September 23
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard
7:00: Pat Green; Danielle Peck; Big & Rich; Cowboy Troy; Rockie Lynne
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Alison Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Taylor Ware

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rockie Lynne
10:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Danielle Peck
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Jan Howard; Pat Green; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Cowboy Troy; Big & Rich
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Taylor Ware; Alison Brown

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday September 21, 1991: 

1st show:
6:30: Bonanza
Jimmy C Newman (host): Lafayette
Jim & Jesse: I'm Happy Everyday I Live
Jimmy C Newman: Down on the Bayou

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Bill Monroe (host): It's Mighty Dark for Me to Travel
Billy Grammer: Kentucky
Bill Monroe: Crying Holy Unto the Lord/Northern White Clouds

7:00: Shoney's
4 Guys (host): Swing Down Chariot
Skeeter Davis: If I Don't Have You
Hank Locklin: I Can't Stop Loving You
Riders In The Sky: Back on the Texas Plains
George Hamilton IV: I'm Using My Bible for a Road Map/Cabin in Gloryland
4 Guys: When You've Got A Good Woman, It Shows/May You Always

7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Big Wind
Vern Gosdin: I'm Still Crazy, But I'm Not Over You/I Come to the Garden Alone
Lionel Cartwright: Leap of Faith/What Kind of Fool
Porter Wagoner: Dooley

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: Let's All Go Down to the River/I Saw the Light/Will the Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/Somebody Touched Me
Bill Carlisle: Worried Man Blues
Jan Howard: Why Lady Why
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham

8:30: Opryland
Hank Snow (host): Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
Roy Drusky: It's My Way of Loving You
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You
Billy Walker: Charlie's Shoes
Connie Smith: Walk Me to the Door
Hank Snow: The Third Man

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General Stores
Porter Wagoner (host): Wake Up, Jacob
4 Guys: Tennessee
Wilma Lee Cooper: Sweet Fern
Lionel Cartwright: Leap of Faith/I Watched It All on My Radio
Porter Wagoner: A Satisfied Mind

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Monroe (host): I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Jean Shepard: I'm Tied Around Your Finger
Bill Monroe: The Old Tennessee River

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Jim & Jesse: When I Dream About the Southland/Coming Down From God
Dan Kelly: Katy Hill

10:30: Pet Milk
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Vern Gosdin: I Come to the Garden Alone
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

10:45: B.C. Powder
Billy Walker (host): She's Got A Heartache in High Heel Shoes
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Rachel
Billy Walker: The Star

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): In the Misty Moonlight
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby on My Mind
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Riders In The Sky: The Saga of Pecos Bill/Blue Shadows on the Trail
Hank Snow: I'm Not at All Sorry for You

11:30: Creamette
Roy Drusky (host): As Long As I Live
Jan Howard: Wayfaring Stranger
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited Too Long
Johnny Russell: Got No Reason Now for Going Home
Roy Drusky: Don't It Make You Wanna Go Home

Many of you will remember the name Lionel Cartwright. Lionel came to Nashville from Glen Dale, West Virginia, and had a string of country hits in the late 1980's and early 1990's. He had 12 singles on the country charts, with his only #1 hit coming in 1991 with "Leap of Faith." After releasing no singles after 1992, he released "Free Me From Myself" in 2013 but it did not place on the charts. Currently Lionel is the Worship Pastor at HopePark Church in Nashville. 

To finish up, here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up from 50 years ago, Saturday September 24, 1966:

7:30: Luzianne
Jim Ed Brown (host): Yonder Comes a Sucker
Bill Carlisle: What Kinda Deal is This
Ernest Ashworth: At Ease Heart
Margie Bowes: Enough to Make A Woman Lose Her Mind
Jim Ed Brown: I Found A Taste of Heaven
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Ernest Ashworth: You Can't Pick A Rose In December
Margie Bowes: That Completely Destroys My Plans
Jim Ed Brown: Regular on My Mind

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Wonder If You're Lonesome Too
Billy Grammer: Unknown Soldier
Cousin Jody: Run, Please Run
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Flatt & Scruggs: Mama, You've Been on My Mind
Billy Grammer: Detroit City
Cousin Jake: Almost Persuaded #44

8:30: Stephens
Porter Wagoner (host): Old Slewfoot
Bill Monroe: John Henry
Jeannie Seely: It's Only Love
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Porter Wagoner: The Green, Green Grass of Home
Paul Martin: Geisha Girl
Bill Monroe: Rawhide

9:00: Pet Milk
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die
Glaser Brothers: The Last Thing on My Mind
Tommy Hunter: Tennessee Waltz
Lonzo & Oscar: I'm Moving On #2
Wilma Lee Cooper: A Hero's Death
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Calhoun Twins: Under Your Spell Again

9:30: Kellogg's 
Jimmy Newman (host): Jambalaya
Osborne Brothers: This Heart of Mine
Connie Smith: Alone With You
Curly Fox: Bill Bailey, Won't 'Cha Please Come Home
Jimmy Newman: Bring Your Heart Home
Stu Phillips: The Great El Tigrae
Osborne Brothers: Up This Hill & Down
Connie Smith: The Hurting's All Over
Jimmy Newman: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On

10:00: Schick
Bill Monroe (host): Uncle Pen
Margie Bowes: Enough to Make A Woman Lose Her Mind
Archie Campbell: Scarlet Ribbons
Richard Greene: Orange Blossom Special

10:15: Pure
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Don't Get Above Your Raisin
Ernest Ashworth: Mind Your Own Business
Calhoun Twins: Don't Tell Me Wife
Flatt & Scruggs: Mama, You've Been on My Mind

10:30: Harvey's
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Bill Carlisle: Take This Country Music & Shove It
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Porter Wagoner: Skid Row Joe

10:45: Newport
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: It Started Again
Tommy Hunter: A Legend In My Time
Crook Brothers: Liberty

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jimmy Newman (host): Artificial Rose
Glaser Brothers: Molly Darling
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
Jimmy Newman: A Fallen Star
Lonzo & Oscar: I Worship the Ground You Walk On
Paul Martin: Seed of Doubt

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): Ribbon of Darkness
Osborne Brothers: Making Plans
Connie Smith: Paper Roses
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey
Don Winters: Chime Bells
Curly Fox: Twilight Waltz
Osborne Brothers: Yesterday's Gone
Marty Robbins: The Shoe Goes on the Other Foot Tonight/Bouquet of Roses/I Could Never Be Ashamed of You/Take These Chains from My Heart/Lovesick Blues/El Paso/Begging to You

It was nice to see the name Tommy Hunter on the Opry that night. Tommy was Canada's #1 country music star and was often referred to as "Canada's Country Gentleman." Tommy was born on March 20, 1937 in London, Ontario. He was most famous in the United States as the host of "The Tommy Hunter Show" which began as a radio program in 1960 and then moved to CBC Television in 1965. In 1983, TNN began airing the show in this country, running it until it ended on CBC in 1992. Many of Tommy's shows would feature a country star from the states and among those who appeared on his show were Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, The Judds, pretty much every member of the Opry and of course, Canada's own, Hank Snow. Tommy would come to Nashville several times a year, appear on the Opry and recruit stars to come up to Canada to appear on his show. After his show was cancelled, Tommy continued touring with his band, "The Travelling Men" until retiring in 2012. There is a great website,, that has some great information on Tommy, who is now retired.  

I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!!


  1. I'm pretty sure the Paul Martin who appeared on the show in 1966 is the same Paul Martin I knew back in the early 80s. At the time, he was a recording artist and engineer at Shelby Singleton's studio down on Belmont Blvd. I was working a couple of days a week in the Opry tour department at the time and it was one of the stops of the Opry's "Homes of the Stars" tours and the whole point of the stop was to see an actual recording studio and meet an actual recording this case Paul Martin who would give a brief tour of the studio and hawk Paul Martin records and other albums on Singleton's Plantation label. Frankly, I always thought that our lunch stop at the Green Hills Cafeteria was a more legitimate attraction (the BEST chicken and wild rice platter was a Green Hills landmark for years and I was profoundly saddened when it closed). A lot of my students are now moving to Nashville to work for production companies there and when I'm in town I'll sometimes take them for a drive on the old tour route through downtown, over to Music Row, out to Centennial Park, past Vanderbilt, Belmont and Lipscomb Universities, down to where Granny White's old cabin used to be (her grave is still in a median off of Granny White Pike) and on south to Brentwood before coming back up Franklin Road to "Millionaire's Row" and the Governor's Mansion. But it makes me kind of sad that for the most part they've never heard of any of the stars who lived in the homes along that route. Even sadder to think that most of the stars...Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Minnie Pearl, Webb Pierce...are all gone now.

  2. Jean Shepard is now in hospice care.

  3. I have a Billy Walker LP Live August 1, 1981 at Jamboree USA in Wheeling and Lionel Cartwright performed a couple of songs as part of the house band! Those who remember the TNN days will recall he also appeared on I40 Paradise, one of the shows that featured some music and some acting with a loose plot. I think my favorite song he had out was Like Father, Like Son.

    Knightsville, IN

  4. I just heard Jean passed away. RIP dear lady.