Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 9/9 & 9/10

Before getting into the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this weekend, an update on Loretta Lynn. If you have not heard, Loretta fell last weekend at her home and was forced to cancel an appearance at her ranch last Saturday night. She was taken to the hospital, checked out and everything was reported as ok. Today it was announced that Loretta has to cancel a number of upcoming concerts, including an appearance scheduled for next Friday night at the Opry. Apparently she needs to have some minor surgery. Her spokesperson specifically stated in the press release, that contrary to rumors, Loretta did not suffer a broken hip or other broken bones. Here is hoping for a full recovery for Loretta and our thoughts are with her as she has her upcoming surgery. While it is stated as minor surgery, there is nothing minor when you are over 80 years in age. 

As to the Opry this weekend, the line-ups are up and while there is nothing outstanding scheduled for this weekend, the two shows are both pretty solid. Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for both nights include Connie Smith, Mike Snider (who will be hosting segments each night), and The Whites. On Friday night, they will be joined by members Jesse McReynolds and Riders In The Sky, while on Saturday, Jeannie Seely, Bill Anderson and Bobby Osborne will be joining the group. That all adds up to 5 Opry members on Friday and 6 on Saturday. 

Friday night as a very solid list of guest artists scheduled, with Billy Ray Cyrus leading the way. He will be joined by Crystal Gayle, who should have been an Opry member a long time ago, Glen's daughter, Ashley Campbell, Restless Heart, Jason Crabb, Kristian Bush, and making his Grand Ole Opry debut, Sean McConnell. 

Saturday night, it will be Maggie Rose, Sara Haze, Ben Caver, John Berry, JT Hodges and Jimmy Wayne scheduled. While a solid list, the edge this weekend goes to the Friday night show. 

Friday September 9
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Ashley Campbell; Restless Heart
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jason Crabb; Kristian Bush
8:15: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Billy Ray Cyrus
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Sean McConnell; Crystal Gayle

Saturday September 10
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Maggie Rose; The Whites
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Sara Haze & Ben Caver; John Berry
8:15: Connie Smith (host); JT Hodges; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jimmy Wayne

As mentioned, for Sean McConnell, this will be his Grand Ole Opry debut. Sean has been around for a while and has released 10 independent albums. Currently he is touring in support of his new album that was released in July on Rounder Records. He originally is from Boston, before moving with his family to Georgia and then to Tennessee where he attended MTSU as music business student. Besides recording his own music, he also has been writing for Warner/Chappell music and has had songs recorded by Brothers Osborne, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, and his music has been a part of the "Nashville" program. Rather than country, his music seems to fall into Americana. 

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of September 9 & 10, 2011:

Friday September 9
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; The Black Lillies
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jack Greene; Collin Raye
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; The McClymonts
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jim Ed Brown; Exile

Saturday September 10
7:00: The Whites (host); Jimmy C Newman; Randy Montana
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett
8:15: Ray Pillow (host); Stonewall Jackson; Russell Moore & III Tyme Out; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Danny Gokey

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of September 8 & 9, 2006:

Friday September 8
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Julie Roberts
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Buddy Jewell
9:30: John Conlee (host); Larry Stephenson Band; Andy Griggs

Saturday September 9
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Elizabeth Cook
7:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Del McCoury Band
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark McGuinn
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; John Berry

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Elizabeth Cook
10:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jimmy C Newman; Del McCoury Band
10:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mark McGuinn; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Ray Pillow; Jack Greene; John Berry

Finally from twenty-five years ago, Saturday September 7, 1991:

1st show
6:30: Del Reeves (host); Johnny Russell
6:45: Billy Walker (host); Skeeter Davis
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Wilma Lee Cooper; Rob Crosby
7:30: Hank Snow (host); Linda Davis; Joe Diffie
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard; Bill Carlisle; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Charlie Walker (host); The Whites; Jeannie Seely; Larry Boone

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Teddy Wilburn; Ernie Ashworth; Rob Crosby
10:00: Del Reeves (host); Billy Walker
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Skeeter Davis
10:30: Ray Pillow (host); Joe Diffie
10:45: Jimmy C Newman (host); Linda Davis; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Justin Tubb; Larry Boone
11:30: Charlie Walker (host); Jeannie Seely; Bill Carlisle; Johnny Russell

For the featured line-up this week, it was on Saturday September 9, 1989 that Grand Ole Opry member Del Wood made her final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. 

The following is the biographical information about Del that was printed in one of the later editions of the Grand Ole Opry WSM Picture History Book:

During the past ten years, Nashville has built up a reputation for itself as Music City, USA, by virtue of the steady stream of hits that pour from its studios over the airwaves and into record stores across America. Most people would therefore be surprised to hear that the first gold record cut in Nashville was recorded more than 25 years ago and that Country Song Round-up magazine still hails it as the biggest selling instrumental of all time. That record was "Down Yonder" and the artist who recorded it was pianist Del Wood. 

Although she has been featured on the Grand Ole Opry since 1953, Del does not consider herself primarily a country-style pianist. "I'm still in the category of ragtime playing," she points out. "Critics have called my playing 'honky-tonk,' 'jazzy country,' and 'dixie pop,' but I personally do not look for new labels. It's just self-expression for me." In analyzing her keyboard style, Del observes, "I've found no one who can duplicate my exact style. I am not big on chords, except for bounce rhythm arrangement: I would much rather rely on a lot of left-hand bass runs which I counter with a great deal of fast melody playing on the high right-hand keys. I use every key on the piano in producing the fullest and most diversified sound I can possibly create."

Del, the only native of Nashville to have earned a regular spot on the Grand Ole Opry, traces her musical roots back to her childhood. "My folks bought me a piano for my fifth birthday," she recalls, "and had me start attending weekly lessons with a private teacher. I studied formally from the time I was five until I was seventeen and I practiced the classics for many years, although bluegrass and mountain music were parts of my heritage since I was born and raised in Nashville. For example, the late Moon Mulligan was a performer I greatly admired; he was one of the first country keyboard performers, and he paved the way for later artists like Floyd Cramer and me. I also enjoyed listening to recordings by Joe 'Fingers' Carr, but of course, that goes back a few years. As you can see, liking classical music does not exclude you from enjoying country music as well."

Del (her real name is Adelaide Hazelwood) has been dubbed the "Queen of the Ivories" by her co-stars at the Opry, and is frequently named "Best Female Instrumentalist" by music polls. "Down Yonder" was only one of several big records for Del. With over twenty albums and sixty singles to her credit, her fame has spread internationally. She has appeared on numerous network TV shows, and spent a ten week tour of Viet Nam as the featured act in a group sent to entertain servicemen in 1968. In 1984, Del appeared in the movie "Rhinestone" with Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone. Del was cast as a piano player, naturally, with the Wild Possum Band. Del spends her spare time canning jams, jellies, and preserves for which she was won many cooking awards. She also enjoys gardening and flower arranging, and spending enjoyable moments with son Wesley. 
(From the Grand Ole Opry WSM Picture History Book)

Polly Adelaide Hendricks Hazelwood, known professionally as Del Wood, was born on February 22, 1920 in Nashville, Tennessee and spent her entire life living in the Nashville area. Her hit "Down Yonder" which was released in 1951, sold over one million copies and was certified as a gold record. The success of the recording led to her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, which took place in February 1952. By 1953, she was an Opry member. While she never again matched the commercial success of "Down Yonder" Del had a very successful recording career though the 1960s. On October 3, 1989, Del passed away at the age of 69 after suffering a stroke. 

Here is the running order from Saturday September 9, 1989, the last night that Del Wood appeared on the Grand Ole Opry: 

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Jeannie Seely: I'll Be Around, When It's Over
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Anderson (host): Before I Met You
Stu Phillips: Blue Canadian Rockies
Bill Anderson: A World of Make Believe

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Del Reeves: Bad News
Ray Pillow: I Guess He Knows Something I Don't Know
Dottie West: Are You Happy Baby/Together Again
Porter Wagoner: Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff

7:30: Standard Candy
4 Guys (host): Baby, You Look Good to me Tonight
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Charley Pride: Amy's Eyes/Mountain of Love/There Goes My Everything
4 Guys: My Special Angel

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby on My Mind/Once A Day
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band/Cajun Stripper
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Patti on the Turnpike
Roy Acuff: Once More

8:30: Music Valley Drive
Hank Snow (host): Mama Tried
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Hank Snow: I'm Not At All Sorry For You

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): (?)
Wilma Lee Cooper: I'm Picking Up the Pieces
Stu Phillips: If Loving You Means Anything
Dottie West: Country Sunshine
Ray Pillow: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget
Porter Wagoner: What Ain't To Be Just Might Happen/Y'All Come

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Anderson (host): Son of the South
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Bill Anderson: Still

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Charley Pride: Amy's Eyes/Mountain of Love/Kiss An Angel Good Morning

10:30: Pet Milk
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars In the Jukebox/A Dime At A Time/Looking at the World Through A Windshield
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Del Reeves: There She Goes

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jimmy C Newman (host): Pistol Packin' Mama
Connie Smith: Your Cheatin' Heart
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durham's Bull
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun Honey

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Skeeter Davis: Silver Threads & Golden Needles
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong With the Way That We're Doing it Now
Hank Snow: Among My Souvenirs

11:30: Creamette
4 Guys (host): Tennessee
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Bill Carlisle: Happy Birthday Sheila/Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Charlie Louvin: New Dreams & Sunshine
4 Guys: I'm All Tied Up

It was nice to see that on Del's final night on the Opry that she happened to be scheduled for the televised portion of the show on TNN. 

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


  1. Just a little tidbit about Roy Acuff's first show 9-9-89. Oswald was not with Roy this night. I did not note but assume Joe Edwards filled in on guitar. Onie Wheeler's daughter Karen came out and blew the train whistle during the Cannonball. I also show that Mr. Acuff did a bit of I Saw the Light after Once More.

    Knightsville, IN

    1. As always Jim, thanks for filling in the blanks and any information that I missed. I don't keep track of everything!!!! Any idea why Oz was not on that night?

    2. Byron,

      The only additional info I have is that I show Oswald was back on the following Friday which was Roy's 86th birthday. I show on that night that Minnie was there and Roy and Minnie went over to visit with Ralph on Nashville Now between shows.

      Enjoy your time off!

      Knightsville, IN

  2. I can't help it, I haven't said much in a while about the state of performers on the Opry but after the past couple nights I can't help it.

    For one thing, I think I just heard a song written by Mr. Ed the talking horse, "Moon, Spoon, Spittoon". And sour singing! Maybe I'm confused. Has the Opry really gone back to it's roots? In the early days, some of the folks singing the old folk ballads were not very smooth or not on key sometimes. Not saying they were all that way but as great as Uncle Dave was you can't really say he had a great voice or was a great singer. I think there is a great difference between Uncle Dave and the like of those days and those doing the singing today. They knew they were not the crooners or great singers of the day and that was not what they were selling. These folks today think they are great singers! Wow!

    Maybe I'm spoiled by the years of folks like Marty, George Morgan and Jones, The Browns, Hank Snow, and so so many others. I just can't believe what passes for good singing and gets good applause these days.

    Like Fred would say, at least I've got my Cd, LP's and Opry recordings!

    In a cranky mood tonight I guess.

    Knightsville, IN