Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 12/16 & 12/17

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, and the real surprise is that the Opry is only going with one show on Friday and Saturday night. I say that because each night will feature two of the Opry's biggest names: Little Big Town on Friday night and Brad Paisley on Saturday night. I would have assumed that they could have sold out both of the nights, especially considering that the shows are at the Ryman Auditorium, with the reduced capacity.

Joining Little Big Town on the Friday Night Opry will be Opry members Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson, John Conlee, Connie Smith and Mike Snider. That is a really nice group of members. That comes out to 8 Opry members.

Only 3 non-members are on the schedule. William Michael Morgan is a frequent guest at the Opry and he will be signing his new CD after the show. Recently he had the No. 1 in country music. Joining him will be Seth Ennis and Steve Cropper.

The very interesting name on the schedule is that of the legendary Steve Cropper. At the age of 75, Steve has been around a long time and has had a legendary career. He is a noted guitarist, songwriter and record producer, best known as the guitarist of the Stax Records house band, Booker T. & the M.G.'s. Among the groups that this group backed were Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas and Johnnie Taylor. Steve was also a member of the Blues Brothers Band. That is just a short list of the artists that Steve has performed with. In a recent survey by Rolling Stone magazine, he was ranked 39th on the list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Steve is not your typical Opry act. Considering that he is on the segment hosted by Vince Gill, I think we are going to be in for some great guitar work.

Also making his Opry debut on Friday night will be Seth Ennis. Unlike Steve Cropper, Seth is a newcomer to the music scene and he will be appearing on the Opry in support of his new single, "Woke Up in Nashville." He records for Arista Records.

On Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, joining Brad Paisley will be Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider, Connie Smith and Bill Anderson, each of whom is also scheduled for Friday night, and The Whites along with Bobby Osborne. Guests artists include Craig Campbell, Chris Carmack, Kelsea Ballerini and Chuck Wicks, each of whom have performed on the Opry previously.

Friday December 16
7:00: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Ricky Skaggs
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Little Big Town
8:15: John Conlee (host); Seth Ennis; Mike Snider
8:45: Vince Gill (host); William Michael Morgan; Steve Cropper

Saturday December 17
7:00: John Conlee (host); Craig Campbell; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Chris Carmack; Kelsea Ballerini
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chuck Wicks; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Brad Paisley

What is of some concern is Jesse McReynolds. He has cancelled the last 3 weeks and he was on the original schedule posted for this weekend, but it was quickly changed and Jesse was taking off.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of December 16 & 17, 2011. Both nights took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday December 16
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown; Joe Diffie
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; Steve Wariner
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Jesse McReynolds; Will Hoge
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites
(Connie Smith was originally scheduled of the last segment, but cancelled. Interesting that Mike Snider was hosting a segment, considering that John Conlee, Steve Wariner, Jim Ed Brown and Jeannie Seely were all on the line-up, and were more in the rotation of hosts than Mike).

Saturday December 17
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; The Grascals
7:30: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; Jimmy C Newman; John Conlee
8:15: Steve Wariner (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Keb' Mo'; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Emmylou Harris (host); Ella Mae Bowen; The Civil Wars

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of December 15 & 16, 2006, again from the Ryman Auditorium,

Friday December 15
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Diamond Rio; Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard
7:30: Emmylou Harris (host); Gillian Welch & David Rawlings; Buddy Miller
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mike Snider; Riders In The Sky; Vince Gill
8:30: John Conlee (host); Josh Turner; Charlie Daniels Band

Saturday December 16
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:00: Vince Gill (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Ashley Monroe
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy Wayne
8:00: Emmylou Harris (host); Buddy Miller; Gillian Welch & David Rawlings; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown; Del McCoury Band

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider
10:00: Vince Gill (host); Jeannie Seely; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Ashley Monroe
10:30: Emmylou Harris (host); Buddy Miller; Gillian Welch & David Rawlings; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy Wayne
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Grand Ole Opry Band; Del McCoury Band

And from 25 years ago, Saturday December 14, 1991:

1st show
6:30: Ponderosa
4 Guys (host): How Married Are You Mary Ann
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
4 Guys: Last Train to Glory

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Bill Monroe (host): Christmas Time's A' Comin'
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Bill Monroe: Life's Railway to Heaven

7:00: Shoney's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Winter Wonderland
Wilma Lee Cooper: Legend of the Dogwood Tree
Charlie Louvin: Where the Roses Never Fade
Riders In The Sky: How the Yodel was Born
Jean Shepard: I'm Tied Around Your Finger
Jim Ed Brown: When A Child is Born/Pop A Top

7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Stu Phillips: Great El Tigrae
Jan Howard: White Christmas
Wayne Newton: I Know So/Why Me, Lord
Porter Wagoner: (?)

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/He Is My Everything/Satisfied
Connie Smith: You've Got Me Right Where You Want Me/Louisiana Man
Charlie Walker: Drinking Champagne/San Antonio Rose
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Liberty

8:30: Opryland
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Osborne Brothers: Low & Lonely
Roy Drusky: Have I Stayed Away Too Long
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream
Mike Snider: The Fur Coat
Bill Anderson: Mama Sang A Song

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Wayne Newton: I Know, So/Why Me Lord
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

10:00: Little Debbie
Jim Ed Brown (host): Winter Wonderland
Osborne Brothers: A World of Forgotten People
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
4 Guys: My Special Angel

10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): Traveling Down this Lonesome Road
Stonewall Jackson: Side Steppin' the Blues
Bill Monroe: Rawhide

10:45: B. C. Powder
Jack Greene (host): My Cherokee Rose
Riders In The Sky: Back in the Saddle Again
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Blackberry Blossom
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): Po Folks Christmas
Charlie Louvin: Must You Throw Dirt In My Face
Jean Shepard: Virginia, You've Taken My Man
Justin Tubb: You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Mike Snider: Shuckin' the Corn
Bill Anderson: Still

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Lafayette
Roy Drusky: Welcome to My World
Connie Smith: The Key's in the Mailbox
Johnny Russell: Good Hearted Woman
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou

For the special look this week, it was on Saturday December 16, 2000 that Brad Paisley was surprised while on stage performing as a guest on the Grand Ole Opry, by Jeannie Seely and Jimmy Dickens, during a segment hosted by Bill Anderson, with an invitation to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. As Jimmy told Brad, "dreams do come true." The actual induction would take place in February, but it was 16 years ago that the invitation to Brad was given.

1st show
6:30: WSM On Line
Jeannie Seely (host): Winter Wonderland
The Whites: The Light at the Stable
Bill Carlisle: Stay A Little Longer
Dale Watson: Santa In MY Semi/When You Look in Blue
Jeannie Seely: Shake Me; I Rattle

7:00: Shoney's
John Conlee (host): Pretty Paper
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou
Charlie Louvin: The Friendly Beasts
Billy Walker: Jesus Walks In/Charlie's Shoes
John Conlee: I'm Only in It For the Love/Rose Colored Glasses

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Po Folks Christmas
Jessica Andrews: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Ralph Stanley: Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
Brad Paisley: We Danced/Baby In A Manger

8:00: Martha White
Riders In The Sky (host): Ride Along
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Holly Dunn: Daddy's Hands
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Riders In The Sky: Woody's Round-Up/Happy Trails to You

8:30: Physicians Mutual
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed
Wilma Lee Cooper: Coming Down from God
Mike Snider: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
Mandy Barnett: Hurt
Joe Diffie: Leroy, the Red-Necked Reindeer/Wrap Me In Your Love
Jimmy Dickens: There's No Place Like Home on Christmas

2nd show
9:30: WSM On-Line
Jeannie Seely (host): Winter Wonderland
The Whites: The Light at the Stable
Dale Watson: First Time & Last Times
Joe Diffie: Leroy, the Red-Necked Reindeer/Behind Closed Doors

10:00: Lincoln-Mercury/Opry At The Ryman
Jimmy Dickens (host): Mountain Dew
Wilma Lee Cooper: Amazing Grace
Mike Snider: If My Nose Was Runnin' Money
Jessica Andrews: Christmas Once Again/Who I Am
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way

10:30: Folex/Joggin' In A Jug
John Conlee (host): Friday Night Blues
Osborne Brothers: Head Over Heels in Love With You
Holly Dunn: Devil Stand Back
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sugar in the Goard
John Conlee: As Long As I'm Rockin' With You

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): Christmas In Your Arms
Ralph Stanley: Mary, Merry Christmas/Rawhide
Brad Paisley: He Didn't Have to Be There/The Old Rugged Cross
Bill Anderson: Still

11:30: 75th Anniversary
Riders In The Sky (host): Christmas Time's A' Comin'
Ray Pillow: I Wonder Who's Missing You Now
Charlie Walker: White Christmas
Mandy Barnett: Words
Riders In The Sky: I'll Be Home for Christmas/Happy Trails to You

When Brad Paisley was inducted into the Opry in 2001, George Jones wrote a letter that was read to the crowd. "I am counting on you to carry on the tradition," George wrote, "and make folks sit up and listen to what good country music should sound like." It doesn't seem to matter how many modern elements Brad brings to his music, between his rock-influenced guitar-shredding skills, state-of-the-art touring visuals and topical songs like "Online" and "Welcome to the Future," there's something about his attitude that also speaks to tradition.

"You don't last long here," Brad has said of the Opry, "if you're anything other than humble and down-to-earth." Those adjectives fit Brad to a tee, even though he's sold millions of albums and seems incapable of releasing a single that doesn't leave an indelible mark.

The small town West Virginia native became known as a teenager on Wheeling's celebrated weekly Jamboree USA show. A post-collegiate songwriting deal quickly led to a record deal, and his second single, "He Didn't Have To Be," became his first No. 1 in 1999. He's won male vocalist awards multiple times from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association, for which he was also served as multiple year co-host. He's also a winner in his personal life, married to actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, who, along with their two sons, inspires plenty of songs, be they humorous, romantic, or both.

Congratulations to Brad Paisley and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!


  1. It is not part of the Saturday night in 1991 but my notes from that weekend show that Bob Hope was at the Opry that Friday and came out long enough to say hello!

    Knightsville, IN

  2. slightly off topic - but Opry Member Dolly Parton has certainly proved again her warm and caring heart and business acumen for the people hurting in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains - the telethon came off better than I expected when you think about the short notice of putting it together and the fact that CMT would not broadcast it - GAC and other production people came to the rescue - and they raised a ton of $$$$

  3. Not sure if this has anything to do with his being away from the opry, but, according to a newsday article, jesse mcreynolds will guest star on the season premiere of "Nashville."

  4. I will be attending the Friday night opry this week. I bought my ticket before Little Big Town was added. After they were added a second Friday show was scheduled and I bought a ticket. A week later the opry called, and said the second Friday show was canceled due to a conflict with artist scheduling.

  5. I know that Nashville tapes a lot of their show in Nashville and have been taping for a while so it is possible that the show Jesse will be on was taped a while ago. Also, it might have been taped during one of Jesse's Opry performances. Will have to watch and see. Like others, I hope there is nothing seriously wrong with Jesse.

    On other subject regarding tomorrow night's Opry, there is a Twitter feed posted by "Madame Tussauds Nash" which is set to open at Opry Mills in the spring which says, "Who's excited for tomorrow night's Opry at the Ryman? Concert goers may have a special little treat during the performance. Stay tuned!"

    I am sure it is some kind of cross-promotion between the Opry and the new "World Class Wax Attraction." Who knows? Maybe a unveiling a wax figure of Jimmy Dickens?

    1. Byron,

      according to the article, jesse is in an acting role, playing a blind man.

      And as much as Id love for tater or minnie or mr. Roy to be in a madame tussauds, my prediction is that brad paisley will be unveiled in wax. After all, hes there that night, and is a current big name.

  6. I saw an interview w Jesse promoting his appearance at a concert in Knoxville honoring Arthur Q Smith on 12/9: A Also Madam Tussads unveiled their first figure recently which was Minnie Pearl and they had her family riding around Nashville:!-Madame-Tussauds-Nashville-Introduces-Minnie-Pearl. (Oldtimeopry)


    An unbelievable sad story coming out of Nashville today involving Benny Birchfield, the husband of the late Jean Shepard. 2 people killed in a stabbing at the home Benny and Jean owned and Benny seriously injured. Prayers and thoughts.

  8. As speculated, at the Opry last night Bill Anderson and Brad Paisley took part in a ceremony where a wax figure of Jimmy Dickens was unveiled. It will be part of the new exhibit opening in the Spring.

    2 very nice Opry shows this past weekend, the kind of shows I would spend money to see. Nice to see the Opry closing out the year on a high note.

  9. From what I saw on Nashville news they found Benny in the front yard. They did not mention names. Also saw the wax figure on Nashville news and it looks good but it looks more like Jimmy in the early 50's than in the 60's as Brad or someone said.

    I thought the first portion of the Friday night show was superb with Marty, Connie, Chris and Ricky.

    Knightsville, IN

  10. What's the latest on Benny Birchfield ? I'm guessing the Hawkins girl mentioned in the article is actually Jean and Hawkshaw's grand daughter.

    I also heard today Canadian country legend and star of Hee Haw, Gordie Tapp, has died at 94.

  11. Read today that Benny has been released from the hospital. Yes, that is Jean and Hawkshaw's granddaughter and I read that she had been living with her grandparents for the past year helping to take care of Jean through her illness and continued to live with Benny after Jean died.

    I was actually surprised to hear of the death of Gordie Tapp. For some reason, I had thought he had passed away a few years ago.

  12. Byron, I thought the same thing when Gordie Tapp's death came up on Facebook, which sometimes puts up old obituaries. But I guess not. I noticed the Hollywood Reporter said he appeared in 90 episodes of Hee Haw between 1969 and 1978, and wrote for 78 of those shows. Really? How could they miss by that much?

    Good to hear that Benny is out of the hospital. What a terrible story.

  13. Sounds like a sad situation that took place at Benny and Jean's place. I saw a report on the Nashville news just a little while ago.

    I remember taking pictures of Jean and Iccy May(not sure of spelling) on the Opry stage around 2000 when she was about three I think. Byron, if you look back at the photos you will find them among those of Jean.

    Thoughts and prayers go out to Benny and the family. This will be a hard Christmas for all of them and I'm sure for many of their Opry friends as well.

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Jim, thanks for sharing your memory. It really is a sad situation and I am sure it is even tougher during the Christmas season. Thanks for mentioning the photos and I will be sure to go back through and look.

  14. I saw a report on Gordie Tapp out of Canada and there was no mention of Tommy Hunter. I found that strange because I thought they worked a lot together including Tommy's show. But, the most the anchors had to say was about the clip of Garth Brooks on Hee Haw so they really didn't know or care about Gordie.


  15. Fred, Bismarck:

    A new (5:20 p.m.) story in the Tennessean follows the logic of the wounds and survivor. Benny discovered the killer attacking his granddaughter with a knife and shot him, while getting stabbed himself.