Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 10/7 & 10/8-91st Birthday Weekend

It's that time of year as this weekend the Grand Ole Opry will be celebrating their 91st birthday. The actual date is the end of November, however years ago the Opry began having an annual Country Music Disc Jockey Convention and as part of the festivities, the Opry began celebrating it's birthday. While the DJ convention no longer takes place, the Opry continues to celebrate, though not on the scale that they did years ago. As usual, I will be headed to Nashville later today for the weekend. 

While the line-ups have not been posted as of yet, there are a few names that I can pass along: 

For the Thursday night Opry Country Classics Show, Larry Gatlin will be the host and the spotlight artist is Connie Smith. Among those scheduled to perform on The Gatlin Brothers, William Michael Morgan, Rhonda Vincent and Gene Watson. This might be the best show of the weekend!!

The Friday Night Opry, with one show, has Opry members Ricky Skaggs, Joe Diffie, Connie Smith and Mike Snider, along with guest artists Lee Brice, Bryan White, Ashley Monroe and Chuck Wicks. And still more to be announced. 

The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night has two shows, with Opry member Brad Paisley headlining both shows. Opry members joining him, so far, include Connie Smith, Mike Snider and Riders In The Sky, along with guests Mo Pitney and The Secret Sisters. 

There will also be the Opry Plaza party all day Saturday, with Crystal Gayle doing the Saturday afternoon birthday concert. Others performing in the plaza include Carson Peters and Iron Mountain, Janelle Arthur and Ben & Sara. Somehow, as it has been in the past, one or two of these acts many end up doing the Opry on Saturday night. 

Hopefully it is a good weekend and next week I will pass along any information I have received, including the news of the big price hikes for Opry tickets in 2017.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of October 7 & 8. 2011. It was the Opry's 86th birthday weekend and on Saturday night, Rascal Flatts became the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. 

Friday October 7
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jason Michael Carroll
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Crystal Bowersox
8:15: Charley Pride (host); Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Connie Smith; The Whites

Saturday October 8
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Charley Pride
8:00: Craig Morgan; Ronnie Dunn; Rascal Flatts

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV: Ronnie Dunn; Vince Gill
10:00: Charley Pride (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Craig Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Rascal Flatts

Following the previous year's 85th birthday weekend which featured Roy Clark, Taylor Swift and Dolly Parton among others, the 1st show on Saturday night was perhaps one of the worst birthday shows ever. Just 9 acts and televised portion featured just three, one of whom was Ronnie Dunn and the other being Rascal Flatts, who became new members. Unfortunately, this birthday weekend was the start of a trend for the birthday weekends that has continued. 

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of October 6 & 7, 2006:

Friday October 6
8:00: The Whites (host); Jack Greene
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel
9:00: Jean Shepard (host); T.G. Sheppard; Raul Malo
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chely Wright

Saturday October 7
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Dierks Bentley; Chris Young; Raul Malo; Loretta Lynn
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; T.G. Sheppard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: The Whites (host); Mel McDaniel; Daryle Singletary

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Loretta Lynn
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stu Phillips; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chris Young
10:30: The Whites (host); Jack Greene; Raul Malo; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); T.G. Sheppard; Dierks Bentley
11:30: Ray Pillow (host); Mel McDaniel; Daryle Singletary

And from 25 years ago, Saturday October 5, 1991. This was night of the Grand Ole Opry's 66th birthday show: 

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Bill Monroe (host): I'm Going Back to Old Kentucky
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Bill Monroe: Dark As the Night; Blue As the Day

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
George Hamilton IV: Till I Can Gain Control Again
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Charlie Walker: Drinking Champagne

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Funky Grass Band
Wilma Lee Cooper: Ghost Train
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Roy Drusky: The Last Farewell
Osborne Brothers: Kentucky

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: You've Got Me Right Where You Want Me
Jim Ed Brown: Just for Old Time Sake
Vince Gill: Little Liza Jane/When I Call Your Name
Grand Ole Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Jim & Jesse: When I Dream About the Southland
The Whites: Doing it By the Book
Bill Anderson: Still/Southern Fried
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sugar In the Goard
Grandpa Jones: Gooseberry Pie

8:30: Opryland
Hank Snow (host): Address Unknown
4 Guys: Way Down Deep
Del Reeves: A Dozen Pair of Boots
Mike Snider: Old Joe Clark/Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): You Gotta Have A License
Osborne Brothers: Tennessee Hound Dog
Ray Pillow: The Days When You Were Still In Love With Me
Vince Gill: Look at Us/Crying Holy Unto the Lord/When I Call Your Name
Porter Wagoner: Big Wind

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Kitty Clyde
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Roy Drusky: Mississippi
Grandpa Jones: Tritzem Yodel

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Low & Lonely
Connie Smith: The Keys in the Mailbox/Satisfied
Grand Ole Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

10:30: Pet Milk
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime At a Time/Looking at the World Through A Windshield
David Houston: I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
Del Reeves: Lay A Little Lovin' On Me

10:45: B.C. Powder
Bill Monroe (host): Mary Jane, Won't You Be Mine
Charlie Walker: Drinking Champagne
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Monroe: Wicked Path of Sin

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): White Silver Sands
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
4 Guys: We're Only Here for A Little While
Jim & Jesse: The Flower in the Desert
Hank Snow: That Lucky Old Sun

11:30: Creamette
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
The Whites: Love Is A Rose
Jeannie Seely: I'll Be Around When It's Over
Mike Snider: Foggy Mountain Breakdown/Putting on the Dog
Bill Anderson: Deck of Cards

For the featured line-up this week, let's go back to Saturday October 7, 1989 when country music legend Buck Owens made a rare appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. You could say that Opry fans got a real treat that night as not only was Buck featured, but a young Garth Brooks was also on the Opry schedule. 

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Jimmy C Newman (host): Don't Say; Don't Say
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jimmy C Newman: Diggy Liggy Lo
Bessyl Duhon: Texa Cajun

6:45: Rudy's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
The Browns: Here Today & Gone Tomorrow/The 3 Bells

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Jean Shepard: I Thought of You/It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels/You Win Again/A Dear John Letter
Jim & Jesse: When I Dream About the Southland
Ray Pillow: Bubbles in My Beer
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Porter Wagoner: Wake Up Jacob

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy Dickens (host): I'm Little But I'm Loud
Garth Brooks: If Tomorrow Never Comes
Jeannie Seely: One Bad Old Memory
Buck Owens: Act Naturally/The Streets of Bakersfield
Jimmy Dickens: My Eyes Are Jealous/Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: Then & Only Then/Louisiana Man
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top/Rank Strangers/Kentucky
David Houston: Almost Persuaded
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Roy Drusky: You Always Hurt the One You Love
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Jan Howard; The One You Slip Around With
Charlie Louvin: Til the End
Hank Snow: Among My Souvenirs

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): On a Highway Headed South
Buck Owens: I'm Gonna Have Love One More Time/Tiger by the Tail/Together Again/Act Naturally 
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chuck of Coal
Porter Wagoner: Sugar Foot Rag

10:00: Little Debbie
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Jim Ed Brown: Morning

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Just A Friend
Jim & Jesse: I'm Happy Everyday I Live/Paradise

10:30: Pet Milk
Jimmy Dickens (host): John Henry
Garth Brooks: If Tomorrow Never Comes/We Bury the Hatchet But Leave the Handle Sticking Out
Jimmy Dickens: Take Me As I Am, or Let Me Go

10:45: B.C. Powder
Osborne Brothers (host): Georgia Mules & Country Boys
Charlie Walker: Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Golden Slippers
Steve Thomas: Sally Goodin

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Vanishing Breed
Connie Smith: You've Got Me Right Where You Want Me
Ray Pillow: Stranger Things Have Happened
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Roy Drusky: There'll Never Be Anyone Else But You For Me
Hank Snow: Ol' Shep

11:30: Creamette
Johnny Russell: Got No Reason Now for Going Home
Bill Carlisle: Same Old Tale That the Crow Told Me
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
David Houston: Livin' In A House Full of Love
Jan Howard: Wind Beneath my Winds
Johnny Russell: No One Will Ever Know

What a great night for the Opry and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend. 

Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry!!!!


  1. Oh Byron, how we wish for the good ole opry days. . .hope you have a good weekend. My thoughts so far about this anniversary - yawn. After another disappointing anniversary last year (the 90th no less), we made the decision to discontinue going for the anniversary weekend. We can still go to the Opry, on our schedule, and probably see a better show at another time. One of our highlights last year was meeting you and having a great discussion about the Opry over the years - we were on the same page. We may listen in, for old times sake. Keep the commentaries coming; you may still be right about Chris Janson, they will just do it on the weekend like they did Rascal Flats. (from Anonymous in PA)

  2. Sadly, there will be a change to Friday's line-up; Bryan White's Father was killed in an automobile accident Wednesday.

  3. Geez, the anniversary weekend and they are giving a full segment to Brad Paisley in both Saturday shows; all of those Opry Members and other country music entertainers and that's what they are giving the audience for their expensive tickets !! I like Brad but why night show-case others as well.

    1. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, I suspect if there were enough members willing to show, the Opry would make room for them all.

  4. This weekend would be a great time to add Crystal Gayle to the roster of Opry members!

  5. They won't be putting Crystal Gayle on this weekend; she is only doing the matinee (which has always been an Opry member in the past) and she is NOT even on the Fri or Sat evening shows !

  6. The Opry has become a complete joke. We're happy now to get five or six Opry members on a Saturday night and a "Birthday Celebration" like this? Go count how many members were on the 75th anniversary for comparison. Maybe it's a sign of the times. I can't see the Opry ever coming back to its glory days.

  7. Boy I'm really out of touch and over the hill. In my opinion I just heard what cave men must have sounded like trying to make what we might eventually call music and the crowd just loved it. I always knew I was a square!

    Just so hard for me to appreciate some of the things that pass for good music or entertainment these days.

    Knightsville, IN