Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Grand Ole Opry 12/9 & 12/10

When you look at the posted Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this weekend and see Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and John Conlee scheduled for all 3 shows, you know it is going to be a good weekend in Nashville and that is what we have this weekend. December traditionally brings out some of the best Opry line-ups as the stars are home for Christmas, and the shows this weekend confirm it as both nights offer very solid line-ups.

The Friday Night Opry has a number of Opry members scheduled. In addition to Vince, Ricky and John, Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Connie Smith, Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin, Bobby Osborne, Terri Clark and The Whites are all scheduled. In fact, the only 2 non-Opry members are Jenn Bostic and The Steeldrivers.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, in addition to Vince, Ricky and John, has Mike Snider and The Whites also returning, in addition to Bill Anderson for both shows, and Jesse McReynolds for the 1st and Jeannie Seely for the 2nd. Guest artists scheduled include William Michael Morgan, Jo Dee Messina, Mindy Smith and Charles Esten.

It is nice to see Jo Dee on the schedule this weekend. Jo Dee came onto the country music scene with her first album in 1996. During the course of her career, she has released 5 studio albums, 1 Christmas album, and a number of Extended Plays. She has released a total of 24 singles, 6 of which hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The string of No. 1's began in 1997 with "Bye Bye," followed by "I'm Alright," "Stand Beside Me," "That's the Way," "Bring On the Rain," and her last No. 1 in 2005, "My Give a Damn's Busted." Her last charted single was "I'm Done" in 2008. She has continued to record and release songs since then but none of charted. She continues to tour and make personal appearances and personally, it is nice to see her back at the Opry.

Friday December 9
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mike Snider; Jenn Bostic
7:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; The Steeldrivers
8:15: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Terri Clark
8:45: Vince Gill (host); The Whites; Ricky Skaggs

Saturday December 10
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); William Michael Morgan; Mike Snider
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jo Dee Messina
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Mindy Smith; Charles Esten

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); William Michael Morgan; Mike Snider
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Jo Dee Messina
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Mindy Smith; Charles Esten

That comes out to 12 acts for the Friday Night Opry, of which 10 are Opry members (no, that is not a misprint) and 11 acts for each show on Saturday, of whom 7 are members of the Opry.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from five years ago, the weekend of December 9 & 10, 2011. The shows took place at the Ryman Auditorium.

Friday December 9
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Del McCoury Band; Mandy Barnett
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jack Greene; Diamond Rio
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Joey+Rory
8:45: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Darius Rucker

Saturday December 10
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Sarah Darling
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Eamonn McCrystal; Connie Smith
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Rhonda Vincent; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Del McCoury Band; Exile

2nd show
9:30; Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Sarah Darling
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Eamonn McCrystal; Connie Smith
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jean Shepard; Rhonda Vincent; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Del McCoury Band; Exile

Now from ten years ago, the weekend of December 8 & 9, 2006. Again, both nights the Opry was at the Ryman Auditorium with two shows each night.

Friday December 8
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; Marty Raybon
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:00: Diamond Rio (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jimmy C Newman
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Grand Ole Opry Band; Josh Turner

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Rebecca Lynn Howard
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Mel McDaniel; Marty Raybon
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Josh Turner
11:00: Diamond Rio (host); Stu Phillips: Grand Ole Opry Band; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press

Saturday December 9
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mel McDaniel; Lindsey Haun
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); J.D. Crowe & The New South; Rebecca Lynn Howard
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jack Greene; Old Crow Medicine Show
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Restless Heart; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Grand Ole Opry Band; Lee Greenwood

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Mel McDaniel; Lindsey Haun
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); J.D. Crowe & The New South; Rebecca Lynn Howard
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Charlie Louvin; Old Crow Medicine Show; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ray Pillow (host); Jack Greene; Restless Heart
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Grand Ole Opry Band; Lee Greenwood

A name from that line-up that a lot of folks may not recognize is Lindsey Haun. Lindsey is mostly known for her work as an actress and was on the HBO television series "True Blood." She was also featured on the Disney Channel and starred in the film "Broken Bridges." That movie, which was released in 2006, the same year that she was on the Opry, was with Toby Keith, who also signed her to his record label, Show Dog. She released two singles in her short musical career, "Stronger Than We Know," in 2005 and "Broken," in 2006. Since that time, she has been more involved in acting and directing.

Now looking back 25 years, here is the Opry running order from Saturday December 7, 1991:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Del Reeves (host): Be Glad
Mike Snider: What Child is This
Del Reeves: Lay A Little Lovin' On Me

6:45: Hall of Fame
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Jean Shepard: Bouquet of Roses
Jimmy C Newman: Cochon De Lait; Texas Cajun

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come This Far to Say Goodbye
The Whites: Love is A Rose
Oswald: Mountain Dew

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): It's Raining Here This Morning
Charlie Louvin: If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You
Johnny Russell: Ain't You Even Gonna Cry
Ramona Jones: Sail Away, Ladies

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Charlie Walker: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere
Riders In The Sky: Jingle, Jangle, Jingle
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sail Away Ladies
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way/Sleepin' At the Foot of the Bed

8:30: Opryland
Bill Anderson (host): Po Folks Christmas
4 Guys: Swing Down Chariot
Jan Howard: You Belong to Me
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Roy Drusky: Always
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Funky Grass Band
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Billy Walker: Tennessee Waltz
The Whites: Making Believe/Swing Down Chariot
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Melinda
Billy Grammer: The Old Spinning Wheel
David Houston: I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
Grandpa Jones: Jingle Bells

10:15: Sunbeam
Osborne Brothers (host): Midnight Flyer
Larry Boone: American Faces I Have Seen
Osborne Brothers: Beneath Still Waters

10:30: Pet Milk
Del Reeves (host): Six Days on the Road/Truck Driving Man
Jean Shepard: I Want to Go Where No One Knows Me
Del Reeves: You Win Again

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jimmy Dickens (host): Be and My Big Loud Mouth
Mike Snider: Road Blues
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar in the Goard
Jimmy Dickens: We Could

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
4 Guys: Big River
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Riders In The Sky: Back on the Texas Plains
Bill Anderson: Detroit City

11:30: Creamette
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
Jan Howard: Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Bill Carlisle: Leave that Liar Alone
Roy Drusky: It Is No Secret
Ray Pillow: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget
Charlie Walker: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere

Finally, to conclude this week's look back, here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up and running order from 50 years ago, Saturday December 10, 1966:

7:30: Luzianne
Roy Acuff (host): Tied Down
Charlie Louvin: I Catch Myself Still Loving You
George Hamilton IV: Early Morning Rain
Margie Bowes: Come On Home
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Osborne Brothers: The Kind of Woman I Got
Del Wood: Cajun Stripper
Charlie Louvin: Off & On

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Wonder If You're Lonesome Too
Bill Anderson: Ride, Ride, Ride
Marion Worth: Shake Me, I Rattle
Clark Kessinger: Sally Ann Johnson/Polka River Blues
Flatt & Scruggs: Houston
Crook Brothers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey

8:30: Stephens
Bobby Lord (host): Cash on the Barrel Head
Roy Drusky: White Lightening Express
Jean Shepard: Many Happy Hangovers to You
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Bobby Lord: Fall Away
Grandpa Jones: Little Ol' Gal A'Waiting
Dottie West: What's Come Over My Baby
Bill Carlisle: The Great Snowman
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Bobby Lord: When the Snow Falls

9:00: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): Lonesome Wind Blues
Loretta Lynn: You Ain't Woman Enough
Bobby Bare: Shame On Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Bill Monroe: Christmas Times A 'Comin'
Loretta Lynn: Don't Come Home A Drinkin'
Bobby Bare: The Deepening Snow
Bill Monroe: Panhandle Country/Blue Moon of Kentucky

9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): The Count Down
Skeeter Davis: Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
Chubby Wise: Lee Highway Blues
June Carter: I Pitched My Tent on the Old Camp Ground
Hank Snow: Christmas Roses
Maybelle Carter: The Bells of St. Mary's
Lonzo & Oscar: There's A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Hank Snow: My Blue-Eyed Elaine

10:00: Schick
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
George Hamilton IV: Steel Railroad Blues
Margie Bowes: Enough to Make a Woman Lose Her Mind
Roy Acuff: The Precious Jewel

10:15: Pure
Charlie Louvin (host): See the Big Man Cry
Grandpa Jones: Kentucky
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Charlie Louvin: Off & On

10:30: Harvey's
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Cabin on the Hill
Del Wood: Melinda
Clark Kessinger: (?) (?)

10:45: Newport
Bill Anderson (host): I Get the Fever
Loretta Lynn: The Heck with Old Santa Claus
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Bill Anderson: The First Mrs. Jones

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Rumba Boogie
Bill Monroe: Watson Blues
Bobby Lord: Lonely Street
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Take Me Back to Tulsa
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile
Lonzo & Oscar: New River Train #2
Skeeter Davis: These Boots Are Made For Walking
Kirk McGee: Milk Cow Blues
Hank Snow: Rockin' Rollin' Ocean

11:30: Lava
Roy Drusky (host): Strangers
Bill Carlisle: Dr. R.D.
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore
Marion Worth: All That You'll Ever Get
Harold Weakley: Almost Persuaded
Cousin Jody: Wabash Cannonball
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Bobby Bare: Detroit City
Roy Drusky & Marion Worth: Making Believe

A name from that night that some might not recognize is Clark Kessinger. Clark was described as an "American old-time fiddler" from South Hills, West Virginia. He was born in 1896 and came from a family of fiddlers. After serving in the Navy during World War I, Clark teamed up with his nephew Luches Kessinger and they had their own radio program on WOBU in Charleston. In 1928, the pair traveled to Ashland, Kentucky to audition for James O'Keefe, a talent agent for the Brunswick-Balke-Collender recording company. They were hired and called themselves the Kessinger Brothers. They recorded a number of tunes and in the late 1920's, the Kessinger Brothers were the best selling act on Brunswick Records. Following a last recording session in 1930, he retired as a recording artist. The Kessinger Brothers did continue to appear on radio programs, country dances and clubs. At the same time, Clark worked as a painter, a job that he would hold more most of his life. Luches died in 1944 and the Kessinger Brothers came to an end. Then in 1963, Clark was rediscovered by folk music promoter Ken Davidson, who persuaded Clark to return to the music scene and he was soon competing in area fiddling contests. In August 1964, he formed a string band in Galax, Virginia with Gene Meade and Wayne Hauser. The band recorded for Folk Promotions Records with several recordings released. He would continue to record for the label for the next several years, but by 1971, he was on a new label that had just started, Rounder Records. However, shortly after his initial recordings for Rounder, Clark had a stroke and collapsed at a fiddler's convention in Virginia, leaving him unable to continue to play the fiddle. Rounder did release those early recordings as "Clark Kessinger: Old-Time Music With Fiddle and Guitar." Clark passed away in 1975.

Have a great weekend and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry.


  1. Fred, Bismarck:

    Thanks for the background on Clark Kessinger, Byron. You can still get his music on County CD-2713, from County Sales, the excellent mail-order house in Floyd, Va. (Google it.)

  2. Those lineups from 25 and 50 years ago ... sigh. Interesting that Mr. Acuff AND Mr. Snow were off in 1991--health issues, I would suspect.

    1. I believe that was the Saturday night Roy Acuff was in Washington DC, receiving the Kennedy Center honors. I have always heard he said "do I have to miss the Opry if I get this award?"
      Bill Monroe, Chet Atkins, Emmylou Harris, Mark O'Conner and Steve Wariner were there for the tribute.
      The show is usually taped in the first part of December, and airs after Christmas.
      With Monroe and Acuff both missing I would say this was the case.

  3. Good to know I can schedule my bathroom breaks during "All the gold " and "Rocky Top " .
    Flushing Dashmann

  4. The one item that I do question in this line-up, as with the one last week, is why Jesse is on just the 1st show on Saturday and Jeannie on the 2nd. Seems to me that both clearly could have been scheduled for both. Not like there isn't room for them. It was the same deal with Jesse last week, just scheduled for 1 show on a 2 show night. However, Jesse ended up cancelling last week.

    1. Fred, Bismarck:

      Agree strongly; why should a customer be cheated out of an artist, perhaps a favorite, just because his ticket is for the "wrong" show that night?

      It's not that there isn't the slack to shoehorn in everybody, as they surely did in the old days, when the bills were really crowded. (Just got in off the road? We can still work you in on the 11:30 segment.)

      More arbitrariness from Pete Fisher.

  5. Update: Opry member Terri Clark has cancelled for Friday night and replaced by Elizabeth Cook.

    1. Even though i like Terri Clark, it was good to hear Elizabeth Cook. Bob

  6. sure hope Jesse is ok ---- you can never question his commitment to the Opry over the years --- one of our best remaining treasures ---- Flushing Mich Dashmann

  7. We haven't bothered to listen-in for a while - this looks like a good weekend to turn the Opry back on. Hope Jesse McReynolds is there and although I know it is probably fruitless, hope they let him have 2 songs - the audiences love him. We were fortunate to see "Jim & Jesse" numerous times over the years - a class act.

  8. A 2nd update to the line-up, this time for Saturday. Jesse has cancelled from the 1st show, replaced by Jeannie Seely, who is now scheduled for both.

  9. David B, I bow to you. I'd forgotten about that.

    1. Country Music was ignored for the first 13 years of the Kennedy Center Awards. In reality, in addition of Acuff the award, Bill Monroe, Minnie Pearl, Kitty Wells, Eddy Arnold and Tennessee Ernie Ford should have as well. But that didn't happen and they skipped a generation went strait to Cash, Loretta, Willie, Haggard, Jones and Dolly. I would think Charley Pride and Kenny Rogers will receive it soon and then they'll move on to Reba and Strait and Garth. At any rate it's the highest honor to any artist and few country performers obtain it. And for the record, no bluegrass artist has ever received it.

  10. David:

    You are correct, 12-7-91 was the night that Mr. Acuff was in D.C.

    According to my notes, Hank Snow was home recuperating from surgery on his leg from a auto accident he had on the way to Opry the previous Friday night. I believe Barry has made some comments about Hank's driving in the past!

    I wonder if there were some changes on the first show in 1991? I show that Billy Grammer performed on Porter's show, not Connie. Then, I did not show Charlie Walker with Jimmy at 8:00! You have the songs so I know what you have is correct but I'm thinking mine might be what was scheduled. Did you have any notes on schedule change on the first show?

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Oh, yes. I do remember the auto accident and that he limped noticeably after that, but I wasn't sure when it was. And he had a horrible accident early in his Opry career that nearly killed him.

    2. Michael,

      As a recall, Hank had a woman in the car when he had that early wreck and it was not Min! Do you recall that to be the case? I'd have to pull the book! I do recall photo's of him in his robe with head bandaged replying to fan mail that was all over the room!

      Knightsville, IN

  11. Jim: I don't see anything written in the notes for that night. I doubled checked what I had and what I listed is what I had from 1991. Not saying that one of us isn't wrong. What I don't have off hand is the posted line-up from that night so it is possible that there were changes in the order of the show after the line-up was posted. But I have no note that it was.

  12. Jim, it was a woman who he said he had dropped off earlier coming back from a gig, and that he ran out of the house and drove off when Minnie told him one of their animals was dying--I think one of the dogs; I don't think it was Shawnee. That photo did appear in his book.