Thursday, August 17, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 8/18 & 8/19-Updated

Saturday shows have been rearranged with The Steel Woods added for both shows.

It will be a busy weekend for the Grand Ole Opry as there will be one show on Friday night, two shows on Saturday night, and then two more shows on Sunday night as the Opry will be taking advantage of the Monday eclipse.

First, looking at the Friday and Saturday shows, Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill returns and will be hosting segments on all 3 shows. He will be joined on each show by Opry member John Conlee. As to other members, Friday night will feature Connie Smith, Mike Snider, Jesse McReynolds, Riders In The Sky, and a rare Opry appearance by Hal Ketchum. Saturday night Vince and John will be joined by one of the Opry's newest members, Crystal Gayle, along with Bobby Osborne, Jeannie Seely and The Whites for both shows, along with Connie Smith on the early show and Riders In The Sky on the late show.

As to guest artists this weekend, Friday night will feature Phil Vassar, Moe Bandy, Flatt Lonesome, Brooke Eden, and making her Opry debut, Tegan Marie. Saturday night's guest list includes Janie Fricke and Jeff & Sheri Easter.

Friday August 18
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Moe Bandy; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); Tegan Marie; Flatt Lonesome
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Hal Ketchum
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Brooke Eden; Phil Vassar

Saturday August 19
1st show
7:00: Connie Smith (host); The Whites; Jeff & Sheri Easter
7:30: John Conlee (host); Janie Fricke; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Steel Woods; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Crystal Gayle

2nd show
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Jeff & Sheri Easter
10:00: John Conlee (host); Janie Fricke; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Steel Woods; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Crystal Gayle

As mentioned, this will be the Opry debut for Tegan Marie. Tegan was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2003 (yes, that will make her 14 this year). She began playing guitar at age 6, was writing music at age 8, and was performing nationally at the age of 11. Tegan has become a young star via YouTube. She has posted videos of herself performing songs such as Sara Evans' "Stronger," Maddie& Tae's "Shut Up and Fish," and Florida Georgia Line's "H.O.L.Y," which has had over 17 million views on various social media platforms. Who knows where her career will take her next, but as far as this weekend is concerned, she will be on the Friday Night Opry.

You will also notice that Connie Smith is only doing the first show on Saturday night. That is because she is the host this week of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, which tapes at 10:00. Thus, only time for one Opry show for Connie.

On Sunday night, the Grand Ole Opry is having two shows, taking advantage of the eclipse and all of the tourists who will be in Nashville, where there will be 100% coverage. Opry members scheduled include Jeannie Seely, Darius Rucker, Riders In The Sky and Little Big Town. Here is the line-up for those two shows:

1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely; Darius Rucker
7:30: The Sisterhood; Riders In The Sky
8:00: Wynonna; Charles Esten
8:30: Little Big Town

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely; Darius Rucker
10:00: The Sisterhood; Riders In The Sky
10:30: Wynonna; Charles Esten
11:00: Little Big Town

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of August 17 & 18, 2007:

Friday August 17
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Riders In The Sky; Jennifer Hanson
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Bluegrass Elvises
9:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; The Grascals
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jack Greene; Sawyer Brown

Saturday August 18
1st show
6:30: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard
7:00: Trisha Yearwood; Clint Black; Cole Deggs & The Lonesome; Cherryholmes
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Mel McDaniel; Trisha Yearwood
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Jean Shepard; Clint Black
10:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Stu Phillips; Cole Deggs & The Lonesome; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; The Whites; Cherryholmes

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of August 21 & 22, 1992:

Friday August 21
1st show
6:30: Jack Greene (host); The Osborne Brothers; Jeanne Pruett; Roy Drusky
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman; Stu Phillips; Skeeter Davis
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; The Whites
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Del Reeves; Jan Howard; The 4 Guys
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jim and Jesse; Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Ray Pillow; Charlie Walker; Del Reeves
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); The Osborne Brothers; David Houston; Carlisles
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis; Mike Snider; The 4 Guys; Jack Greene
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jim and Jesse; Connie Smith; Justin Tubb; Jeannie Seely
11:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); The Whites; Stu Phillips; Johnny Russell
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday August 22
1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jim and Jesse
6:45: Jack Greene (host); The Whites
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; The Osborne Brothers; The 4 Guys; Ray Pillow
7:30: Roy Clark (host); Jan Howard; Carlisles; Billy Joe Royal
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); The 4 Guys; Bill Anderson; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Louvin; Roy Drusky; Grandpa Jones; Jeannie Seely

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim and Jesse; Jeanne Pruett; David Houston; Billy Joe Royal
10:00: Roy Clark (host); Mike Snider
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Charlie Walker
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); The Osborne Brothers
10:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jack Greene; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites; Justin Tubb; The 4 Guys
11:30: Roy Drusky (host); Charlie Louvin; Carlisles; Johnny Russell

Finally, going back 44 years, here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry, Saturday August 18, 1973:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms/Rudy's
Bill Anderson (host): I Get the Fever
Jerry Hill & Linda Dahl: Whole Lotta Lovin'
Jimmy Gatley: Borrowed Angel
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life
The 4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Winds of A Dove
Sunday Sharpe: Stand By Your Man
Bill Anderson: Don't She Look Good

7:00: Rudy's
David Houston (host): She's All Woman
Ernie Ashworth: Mind Your Own Business
Penny DeHaven: Happiest Girl in the Whole USA
Shoji Tabuchi: Sally Goodin
David Houston: Good Things
Ernie Ashworth: Each Moment Spent with You
Penny DeHaven; Down in the Boondocks
David Houston: Hold that Tear
Shoji Tabuchi: Bile Them Cabbage Down

7:30: Standard Candy
Charlie Louvin (host): Bottom of the Fifth
Melba Montgomery: Got A Chance & I Took It
Doug Kershaw: Louisiana Man
Crook Brothers: Soldier's Joy
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: American Trilogy
Melba Montgomery: Pass Your Love Around
Doug Kershaw: Diggy Liggy Lo

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Skeeter Willis: Faded Love
Del Wood: Cajun Stripper/Gloryland March
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Jimmy Dickens: I'm Little But I'm Loud/We Could

8:30: Stephens
Hank Locklin (host): Today I Started Loving You Again
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Stan Hitchcock: The Same Old Way
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Goodin
Hank Locklin: Jonas P Jones
Marion Worth: He Thinks I Still Care
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Skeeter Willis: Listen to the Mockingbird
Melba Montgomery: Crawdad Song
Bill Anderson: Still
Willis Brothers: Cimarron
Melba Montgomery: Lonely Street
Bill Anderson: Po Folks

10:00: Fender
Charlie Louvin (host) w/Diane McCall: Something to Brag About
Jerry Hill & Linda Dahl: Whole Lotta Lovin'
Colonel Monero Loudermilk: Watermelon Swinging on the Vine

10:15: Union 76
David Houston (host): She's All Woman
Penny DeHaven: Landmark Tavern
Shoji Tabuchi: San Antonio Rose
David Houston: Almost Persuaded

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Jimmy Dickens: Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed
Roy Acuff: Just A Friend

10:45: Beech-Nut
Billy Grammer (host): Bonaparte's Retreat
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special/Today I Started Loving You Again
Crook Brothers: The Gray Eagle
Billy Grammer: I Know a Man

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Doug Kershaw: Diggy Liggy Lo/Battle of New Orleans
Sunday Sharpe: Everything I Touch Turns to Sugar
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Hank Locklin: Jonas P Jones
Doug Kershaw: Louisiana Man
Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
Hank Locklin: Please Help Me I'm Falling

11:30: Elm Hill
The 4 Guys (host): Cottonfields/Maria
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Stan Hitchcock: The Same Old Way/Just Call Me Lonsome
The 4 Guys: Down by the Lazy River

For 1973, it was a pretty slim collection of Opry members that night: Bill Anderson; The 4 Guys; David Houston; Ernie Ashworth; Charlie Louvin; Roy Acuff; Willis Brothers; Del Wood; Hank Locklin, and for one show Billy Grammer and Sam McGee. (Of course, the Crook Brothers and Fruit Jar Drinkers. (and no, Jimmy Dickens was not an Opry member in 1973).

As to a couple of others from that night:

Jerry Hill and Linda Dahl were from Colorado Springs, Colorado. They were on the Opry because they one first price in a talent contest in Colorado Springs, as the winner of that contest received an invitation to appear on the Grand Ole Opry.

Sunday Sharpe had a very limited career in country music. She was active in the mid-1970s and recorded one album for United Artists Records, "I'm Having Your Baby." She had a total of seven singles that reached the charts, with one, "I'm Having Your Baby" making it to the Top 20. And yes, that song was a female version of the Paul Anka hit, "You're Having My Baby."

Finally, Colonel Loudermilk, who was on Charlie Louvin's segment on the 2nd show was Charlie's father.

I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!









Monday, August 14, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 8/15

A very busy week coming up at the Grand Ole Opry with one show on Friday night, two shows on Saturday night, and then two more shows on Sunday night!!! Lots of big names coming in for the weekend, but before we get to that, there is a Tuesday Night Opry show to get through.

Tuesday August 15
7:00: Bill Anderson; Dailey & Vincent
7:30: Henry Cho; Tracy Lawrence
Intermission
8:15: Craig Morgan; Charlie Daniels Band
8:45: Dierks Bentley

A very nice Tuesday line-up

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August Opry Highlights

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!! And where has summer gone? I can't believe that August has begun and many children are returning to school. It has gone fast. I hope everyone is enjoying some great weather and warm temperatures, where ever you are. As usual, here are the important and historical events that have taken place in the history of the Grand Ole Opry, or regarding Opry members, during the month of August:

August 22, 1910: Country Music Hall of Fame member, and former Grand Ole Opry comedian, Rod Brasfield was born in Smithville, Mississippi. Rod joined the Opry in the late 1940s and was famous for his comedy routines with Minnie Pearl and June Carter, among others. Rod was a member of the Opry until he passed away in September 1958.

August 30, 1919: Muriel Ellen Deason, known professionally as Kitty Wells, was born in Nashville. Kitty, along with her husband Johnny Wright, were members of the Grand Ole Opry from the early 1950s until they left the show in December 1964 over a dispute regarding booking fees. Although they left the Opry cast, Kitty would come back to make a few guest appearances on the show. There are also some reports that she asked to rejoin the Opry cast in her later years, but the request was declined. Kitty passed away in July 2012.

August 8, 1921: Webb Pierce was born in West Monroe, Louisiana. Webb first appeared on the Opry in 1952, and joined the cast shortly after. He was an Opry member for a very short period of time as he figured out he was losing out on a lot of money by not appearing on the road on Saturday nights. Webb would come back and make an occasional appearance in his later years. In 2001, after his death, Webb was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

August 28, 1925: The great guitarist Billy Grammer was born in Benton, Illinois. Billy joined the Opry in 1959 and was as well known for his guitar playing as he was for his singing. His career song was "Gotta Travel On." Billy remained a member of the Opry until his death in August 2011.

August 12, 1927: The man known as "The Wagonmaster," Porter Wagoner was born in West Plains, Missouri. Porter came to the Opry in 1957 from the Ozark Jubilee, and he would remain a very popular Opry member until his death in October 2007, shortly after celebrating 50 years as a member of the Opry. During his long career, this Hall of Fame member had over 80 singles on the country charts and was instrumental in the career of a number of country music artists, including Norma Jean, Dolly Parton, Mel Tillis, Buck Trent and Patty Loveless, among others. Even to this day, Porter is missed at the Opry.

August 29, 1927: Jimmy C Newman was born in High Point, Louisiana. Jimmy joined the Opry in August 1956 and along with his Cajun Band, was a very popular member of the Opry. You could always count on a bouncy, cajun sound whenever Jimmy appeared on the Opry. Jimmy passed away in June 2014 after a short illness.

August 4, 1931: Former Grand Ole Opry manager Hal Durham was born in McMinnville, Tennessee. After the Grand Ole Opry moved to Opryland and the new Grand Ole Opry House, Hal was asked by newly promoted Opry general manager Bud Wendall to come and help him out. It worked out pretty well and soon Hal was running the Opry. He received the official title of general manager in 1978 and would hold that position for the next 15 years. It should be noted that it was under Hal's direction attendance requirements were relaxed, and a number of members were added to the cast with no commitment to the show. After a long retirement, Hal passed away in March 2009.

March 20, 1935: Justin Tubb was born in San Antonio, Texas. Justin would follow in the footsteps of his famous father Ernest and became a successful country music singer, along with being a fine songwriter. Justin became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955, at the age of 20. At the time he was the Opry's youngest member. Justin remained with the Opry until his sudden death in January 1998.

August 14, 1941: Constance June Meador was born in Elkhart, Indiana. Better known as Connie Smith, she joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1965, left for a few years, then returned for good. In 2015 she celebrated 50 years as a member of the Opry, and sounds as great as ever.

August 11, 1946: Grand Ole Opry member John Conlee was born in Versallies, Kentucky. John, who has one of the unique voices in country music, joined the Opry in 1981 and remains a very active member of the cast.

August 11, 1952: Hank Williams was fired as a member of the Grand Ole Opry by Opry manager Jim Denny. Hank was fired because it was determined that his behavior and personal habits were detrimental to the Opry, and country music in general. Hank was very upset and disappointed at being fired and had hoped that one day he could return as an Opry member. However, Hank passed away and his Opry return never took place.

August 16, 1952: Grandpa Jones, who had left Nashville for a short period of time, rejoined the cast of the Opry. Grandpa had first joined the show in the 1940s.

August 29, 1953: James Clell Summey, known professionally as Cousin Jody officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jody first came to the Opry in 1938 as a part of Roy Acuff's group. He also performed with Pee Wee King and Eddy Arnold. While he appeared on the Opry many times as a solo artist, he also appeared with Lonzo & Oscar. While he was noted for his comedy skills, Jody was also a fabulous dobro player, and in fact it was Jody who first played the dobro on the Opry and helped to define the Acuff sound. Cousin Jody stayed as a member of the Opry until the early 1970s, when health issues forced him to retire. He passed away in August 1975.

August 14, 1954: Ernest Tubb took a leave of absence from the Grand Ole Opry. He was gone for a couple of months, returning in November of that year. What is strange about this is that while he was gone from the Opry, Ernest still hosted the Midnight Jamboree each week. Several reasons and rumors were given as to the reason for not appearing on the Opry, with health related issues being the most common.

August 28, 1954: Stringbean, or "String Beans" as he was referred to during this period of time, left the cast of the Grand Ole Opry to join the Ramblin' Tommy Scott Show. He was gone for just a short period of time and returned to the Opry, where he would remain until his death in November 1973.

August 4, 1956: As best as can be determined, Jimmy C Newman became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Except for a very brief period of time when Jimmy was absent from the show, Jimmy would remain with the Opry until his death in 2014. On a side note, when Jimmy first joined the Opry, the "C" was missing as at that point he had not dedicated himself to the cajun sound that he would later become famous for.

August 11, 1956: This is the date that George Jones first became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The dates have changed numerous times over the years as George would come and go from the Opry. Among other dates listed in various editions of the Grand Ole Opry History Picture Book are August 4, 1956; January 4, 1969 (he did rejoin the cast on that date after previously leaving), and in the 1979 edition of the book, a 1973 date is listed. Not that it all mattered as George wasn't on the Opry all that often, but whenever he did George received a great ovation.

August 22, 1957: Former Grand Ole Opry member Holly Dunn was born in San Antonio. Texas. Holly was an Opry member for a number of years before retiring and leaving Nashville in 2003. After she left town, the Opry dropped her as a member. Holly passed away in November 2016 after a battle with cancer.

August 4, 1959: Skeeter Davis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. With the exception for a period on time in the 1970s when she was suspended from the Opry's cast, Skeeter was an Opry member until her death in 2004. Skeeter, who's biggest hit was "The End of the World" make her final Opry appearance in 2002, after which declining health forced her into retirement. Skeeter was always bouncy when on the Opry and brought a smile to a lot of faces.

August 8, 1959: Jim Reeves rejoined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Jim first joined the Opry in 1955. He had left the show a year earlier because of the demands on his career.

August 26, 1961: Future Grand Ole Opry member Ray Pillow made his debut on the Opry. Ray made a great impression and was invited back for more appearances, which eventually led to Ray becoming an Opry member in April 1966.

August 10, 1963: Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie, known collectively as The Browns, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. While Maxine and Bonnie left the act in 1967 due to family considerations, Jim Ed continued on as a solo member. Over the years, Maxine and Bonnie would return for guest appearances and it was always a special treat when they did. Jim Ed was an Opry member for over 50 years, before passing away in 2015. Bonnie passed away in 2016, while Maxine continues to go strong. In 2015, The Browns were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

August 23, 1963: Former Grand Ole Opry member Milton Estes died at the age of 49. Milton was originally a member of Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys and served as the groups announcer.

August 27, 1963: Former Grand Ole Opry manager Jim Denny passed away from cancer at the age of 52. When he became the Opry's manager, Jim was the first WSM employee to specifically be given that role. During his time with the Opry, he brought dozens of new members to the show including Webb Pierce, who would later be his partner in Cedarwood Publishing, one of the first music publishing companies to locate in Nashville. It was the success of Cedarwood that led to Jim leaving the Opry as WSM management viewed it as a conflict of interest. In 1966, Jim Denny was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

August 8, 1964: The Osborne Brothers, Bobby and Sonny, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. While both are still considered members of the Grand Ole Opry, Sonny retired from performing in 2005, at which time Bobby continued with his own group, The Rocky Top X-Press. On this same date, Dottie West became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Dottie, who each year is in the discussion for the Country Music Hall of Fame and has yet to be elected, passed away in September 1991.

August 14, 1965: Bobby Bare became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Bobby stayed as an Opry member until March 1974, when he quit the cast as the show moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. Bobby, who is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, recently released a new album and still will occasionally show up at the Opry House.

August 21, 1965: After changing the date several different times, this seems to be the date that the Opry recognizes as to when Connie Smith became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Originally the Opry listed the date as in June, then switched to the August date. What is interesting in either case is that Connie did not appear on the Opry on this date, but actually first appeared as on Opry member a month later, in September. Regardless, this will be Connie's 52nd year as an Opry member.

August 28, 1965: After suffering serious injuries seven weeks earlier in a car accident, Roy Acuff returned to the Opry stage.

August 17, 1967: Charlie Walker became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Charlie, who is a member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame, came to the Opry from Texas, where he launched his very successful recording career. Charlie was always a very active member of the Opry, and continued to perform on the show until his death in September 2008.

August 5, 1968: Grand Ole Opry member Terri Clark was born in Montreal, Canada. As a Canadian, she would join Hank Snow and Stu Phillips as the only Opry members from the land up north.

August 12, 1972: David Houston became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. David was another of the artists who came to Nashville, and the Opry, via the Louisiana Hayride. His signature song was the great classic, "Almost Persuaded" which spent weeks at No. 1 on the country charts. David remained an Opry member until he passed away in November 1993.

August 21, 1975: Grand Ole Opry member, and on of the original members, Sam McGee died in a tractor accident on his farm in Tennessee. He was 81. Along with his brother Kirk, he first performed on the WSM Barn Dance in 1926. During his time at the Opry, Sam would appear with various individuals and groups including the Dixieliners. Sam was the first Opry member to use an electric guitar on the show, after which George D. Hay told him to put it back in the case, take it home, and not bring it back.

August 11, 1976: Roy Acuff returned to the Grand Ole Opry stage after suffering a heart attack earlier in the year.

August 11, 1979: Guy Willis, a member of The Willis Brothers, made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Along with his brothers Skeeter and Guy, The Willis Brothers joined the Opry in 1946, left to tour with Eddy Arnold, and returned in 1957.

August 7, 1981: B.J. Thomas became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. However, he did not remain with the Opry for very long, leaving just several years later. For B.J., Opry membership just did not turn out the way he thought it would.

August 22, 1981: Don Williams made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Don joined the cast in 1976, and much like B.J. Thomas a little later, found out that Opry membership just wasn't what he expected.

August 14, 1982: Grand Ole Opry legend Ernest Tubb made his final appearance on the Opry. Suffering from emphysema, Ernest had a difficult time breathing, which made singing very difficult. Not only was this his final Opry appearance, but it was also the final night that Ernest hosted the Midnight Jamboree. After his final appearances in Nashville, he made one more short, final tour in November before retiring and spending his remaining years at his home in Nashville.

August 28, 1982: Just two weeks after the final Opry appearance by Ernest Tubb, Marty Robbins performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the final time. Marty had been a fixture as the host of the 11:30 segment of the show for years. Marty, who suffered from heart issues, would pass away in December.

August 24, 1984: Rock artist Neil Young made his debut on the Opry stage. While he is best known for his rock appearances, and being a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Neil has written a number of country music songs.

August 22, 1987: Roy Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Roy's 30th year as an Opry member. While he is getting up there in age, Roy still comes out to the Opry once in a while, and songs great.

August 29, 1987: Grand Ole Opry member Archie Campbell passed away in a Knoxville, Tennessee hospital at the age of 73. He had been in declining health, dealing with heart issues. Archie joined the Opry in 1958 and achieved some of his greatest success as a member of the cast of Hee Haw. Archie was known for his comedy and story telling and often used one of the Opry's announcers as his straight man. In his later years, Archie would make most of his Opry appearances in the winter months, spending the prime tourist season performing at his theater in Gatlinburg.

August 10, 1991: Vince Gill became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 26th year as an Opry member. On the night he joined, he was introduced by Roy Acuff. Over the years, Vince has made known his love of the Opry and has challenged others of his generation to support the show.

August 30, 1991: On her way to the Friday Night Opry, Dottie West was involved in a serious car accident at the entrance to Opryland, which would ultimately prove to be fatal. While Dottie put up a struggle and went through several surgeries, she would pass away a week later.

August 31, 1995: Former Grand Ole Opry and WSM announcer David Stone passed away at the age of 93. Along with his brother Harry, David helped to change to focus of the Opry from a regional show into a nationally recognized professional one. He helped to bring such artists, and professionals, as Pee Wee King, Roy Acuff, and Eddy Arnold to the Opry.

August 9, 1996: Hank Snow returned to the Grand Ole Opry for the first time that year. He had been suffering from respiratory issues. He performed three songs that night, including the hit, "I Don't Hurt Anymore." Hank would make just a few more Opry appearances before retiring the following month.

August 24, 1998: Grand Ole Opry member Jerry Clower died in a Jackson, Mississippi hospital after undergoing open heart surgery. He was 71. Jerry joined the Opry in November 1973, the last member to join the cast before the show moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. A great comedian and storyteller, Jerry was loved by many.

August 26, 2000: Pam Tillis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. For Pam, this will be her 17th year as an Opry member.

August 18, 2001: The Grand Ole Opry moved the televised portion of the Opry from TNN to CMT, as TNN changed into Spike TV and changed their focus away from country music. The first show on CMT featured Vince Gill, who celebrated 10 years as an Opry member. Also appearing that night were Steve Wariner, Sonya Isaacs, Jimmy C. Newman, Brad Paisley, Elizabeth Cook and Loretta Lynn. Quite an impressive line-up for the televised portion.

August 10, 2002: During the televised portion of the Grand Ole Opry on CMT, the Dixie Chicks announced that Porter Wagoner and Bill Carlisle had been elected as the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Personally, I have always felt that the Hall of Fame did an injustice to both Porter and Bill by having the Dixie Chicks make the announcement as part of an Opry show. Nothing again the Dixie Chicks, I just thought the Hall of Fame should have made a bigger deal out of the announcement. In Porter's case, it was long overdue. It is still fun going back an looking at the tape of that night as Porter looked like he was biting his tongue and holding back what I think he really wanted to say.

August 23, 2002: Grand Ole Opry member Del Reeves made his final appearance on the Opry. Del entered a period of declining health that led to his retirement from the Opry. As with so many others of that generation, Del suffered from respiratory issues and emphysema, which would lead to his death several years later.

August 31, 2002: The Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 4,000 Saturday night broadcast. The Opry did a tribute to Minnie Pearl that featured Clint Black, Barbara Mandrell, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Steve Wariner.

August 23, 2003: Trace Adkins became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 14th year as an Opry member. On the night of his induction, his idol Ronnie Milsap did the honors, assisted by Lorrie Morgan.

August 25, 2010: In a special ceremony, Brad Paisley and Jimmy Dickens sang, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" as the historic center piece of wood was returned to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House after being damaged in the historic flood of May 2010. Thanks to extensive repair and renovation, the center circle was restored to its former condition.

August 6, 2011: The Oak Ridge Boys became members of the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry had wanted the quartet as members for years, however they had always declined due to their heavy touring schedule. However, 6 years ago the Oak Ridge Boys felt the time was right and they accepted the offer by Jimmy Dickens to join the cast. On the night they joined, the group sang, "Bobby Sue," "Amazing Grace," and of course, "Elvira." Every time they are on the Opry, they never fail to receive a standing ovation.

August 13, 2011: Vince Gill celebrated 20 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, in a show dedicated to Grand Ole Opry member Billy Grammer, who had passed away earlier in the week. Joining Vince that night, who opened the show performing Billy's great hit, "Gotta Travel On" were Amy Grant, Martina McBride, and Emmylou Harris, among others.

August 7, 2014: Earl White, the last remaining member of the Crook Brothers square dance band, passed away after a short illness. After the passing of Herman Crook, and then Lewis Crook, Earl continued as the fiddle player for the square dancers, joined by Charlie Collins before he passed away.

August 8, 2015: Connie Smith is honored for 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Marty Stuart hosted a one hour segment of the show, which included Connie singing her monster hit, "Once A Day."

August 13, 2016: Vince Gill was honored upon his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Vince hosted two shows that night, both of which lasted over 3 hours. Vince as on stage the entire night, with both shows featuring Bill Anderson, Ashley Monroe, Rodney Crowell, Charlie Worsham, and of course, his wife, Amy Grant. As someone who was there, it was a spectacular night.













Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 8/11 & 8/12

Before getting into the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this weekend, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the death of Country Music Hall of Fame member Glen Campbell. While not a shock, it still was somewhat of a surprise when hearing the news. While Glen was never a member of the Opry, he did appear several times. What I find amazing is that he didn't make his first Opry appearance until November 5, 1983, well after the peak of his career. Prior to the Tuesday Night Opry, Bill Cody read a tribute to Glen, which was very nicely done.

Now to the Opry for this weekend:

The Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will be highlighted this weekend by two of the Opry's newest, and more popular members, as Dailey & Vincent and Old Crow Medicine Show will be appearing both nights. They will be joined by Mike Snider (keeping his consecutive Friday and Saturday night streak alive), along with Hall of Fame member Connie Smith. Joining that group on Friday night will be members Bill Anderson and Bobby Osborne, while Lorrie Morgan, The Whites and Jesse McReynolds will be making Saturday appearances.

Guest artists this weekend include Carlene Carter, Clare Bowen, Chuck Wicks, Bailey Bryan and Dick Hardwick on Friday night. Dick Hardwick will also be on Saturday's show, along with Mandy Barnett, Wade Hayes and Devin Dawson.

Dick Hardwick is a name that might not be familiar to everyone. On his website, Dick is described as "a corporate comedian who can provide clean corporate comedy entertainment for your company's conventions, meetings, and special events. Dick Hardwick is one of the most sought-after corporate and special event comedians in the country. Dick is known for his quick wit, 'off-the-wall-sense-of-humor' and ability to know what works for any audience each and every time he hits the stage. Dick is comfortable moderating a corporate awards banquet or serving as host of an outdoor concert at Atlanta Motor Speedway with 250,000 attendees." He is very popular and had made several CD's of his material. He has also appeared with Reba and Johnny Mathis, along with numerous other special events.

Friday August 11
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Carlene Carter; Clare Bowen
7:30: Dailey & Vincent (host); Dick Hardwick; Chuck Wicks
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bailey Bryan; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Old Crow Medicine Show

Saturday August 12
7:00: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Mandy Barnett
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Dick Hardwick; Wade Hayes
Intermission
8:15: Dailey & Vincent (host); Jesse McReynolds; Devin Dawson; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Old Crow Medicine Show

That comes out to 6 Opry members on Friday night and 7 on Saturday night. At least it is better than last weekend.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of August 10 & 11, 2007:

Friday August 10
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Gary Mule Deer; John Cowan
9:00: John Conlee (host); The Stamps Quartet; Danielle Peck
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Buddy Jewell

Saturday August 11
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Ashley Monroe
7:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Rissi Palmer; Chris Young
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Andy Griggs; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: John Conlee (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Loretta Lynn

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Loretta Lynn
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Ashley Monroe; Charlie Louvin; Mandy Barnett
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Rissi Palmer; Chris Young; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); T. Bubba Bechtol; Andy Griggs

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday August 15, 1992:

1st show
6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
6:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jeannie Seely
7:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jeanne Pruett; Charlie Louvin; Del Reeves; Billy  Walker
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Justin Tubb; The Whites; Alison Krauss
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The 4 Guys; Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; George Hamilton IV

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Stonewall Jackson; Bill Carlisle; Alison Krauss
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Roy Drusky; David Houston
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); The 4 Guys; June Webb
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites
10:45: Jack Greene (host); Jan Howard; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard; Charlie Louvin & Charles Whitstein; Ray Pillow
11:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jim Ed Brown; Connie Smith; Johnny Russell

Finally, it was on Saturday August 12, 1972 that David Houston became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Charles David Houston was born on December 9, 1935 in Bossier City, Louisiana. He was a descendant of Sam Houston, the first president of the Republic of Texas and Confederate General Robert E. Lee. His godfather was 1920s pop singer Gene Austin. His first professional appearance was at the age of 10 on the Louisiana Hayride

David was one of the earliest artists with National Recording Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1963, he rose to national stardom with "Mountain of Love," not the same song recorded later by Charley Pride. The song went to No. 2 on the Billboard charts. In 1965 he recorded "Livin' in a House Full of Love" and it also did very well on the charts. In 1966 he recorded his breakthrough hit "Almost Persuaded." The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and spent nine weeks in that position. In 1967, he was awarded two Grammy Awards for Best Country & Western Recording and Best Country & Western Performance, Male.

That song began a string of Top 5 singles for David that lasted through 1973 and included six more No. 1 hits: "With One Exception," "You Mean the World to Me," "Have a Little Faith," "Already It's Heaven," and "Baby, Baby ( I Know You're A Lady" which reached the top spot in 1970. His other No. 1 was a duet with Tammy Wynette, "My Elusive Dreams." In addition to his duets with Tammy, he also recorded with Barbara Mandrell early in her career. His last Top 10 record was "Can't You Feel It," released in 1974. Although there were no more chart topping records, he continued to record through the 1980s.

David Houston died at the age of 57 on November 30, 1993 after suffering a brain aneurysm in Bossier City, where he is buried.

Here is the running order from 45 years ago, the night David Houston became an Opry member:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die
Ernie Ashworth: My Love for You
Wilma Lee Cooper: Philadelphia Lawyer

6:45: Rudy's
Stu Phillips (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Diane Jordan: He's All I Got
Stu Phillips: Welcome to My World

7:00: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): When A Man Loves A Woman
Stringbean: Hillbilly Fever
Del Wood: Standing Room Only
Billy Walker: Gone Our Endless Love
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Del Wood: Down at Papa Joe's
Billy Walker: Bouquet of Roses/Smokey Places/You Gave Me A Mountain

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Bill Carlisle: Worried Man Blues
Karen Wheeler: The First Time for Us
Crook Brothers: Liberty
Roy Acuff: Wreck on the Highway
Bill Carlisle: What Kinda Deal is This
Karen Wheeler: Delta Dawn
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

8:00: Martha White
Tex Ritter (host): Wayward Wind
David Houston: Almost Persuaded
Shoji Tabuchi: San Antonio Rose/Old Joe Clark/Devil's Dream; Black Mountain Rag
Tex Ritter: Lorena
David Houston: Soft; Sweet; and Warm

8:30: Stephens
Billy Grammer (host): Bonaparte's Retreat
Ray Pillow: Haven't You Heard
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Billy Grammer: Jesus Is A Soul Man
Ray Pillow: Excuse Me, I Think I've Got a Heartache
4 Guys: Shenandoah

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Stu Phillips (host): Help Me Make it Through the Night
Ernie Ashworth: Wanted Man
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Diane Jordan: The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA
Stu Phillips: I'd Rather be Sorry
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Del Wood: Gloryland March
Stu Phillips: Welcome to My World

10:00: Fender
Billy Walker (host): Cross the Brazos at Waco
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Billy Walker: A Million and One/Charlie's Shoes

10:15: Union 76
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): There's A Big Wheel
Ray Pillow: Excuse Me
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You/Coming Down from God

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): No Letter in the Mail
Karen Wheeler: The First Time for Us/There's A Friend in the Way
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

11:00: Coca-Cola
Tex Ritter (host): Fall Away
David Houston: Baby; Baby
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Tex Ritter: High Noon
David Houston: Living In A House Full of Love
Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because

11:30:
Marty Robbins (host): I Walk Alone
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah/Sweet Yesterday
Ronnie Robbins: Mama Tried/Love of the Common People
Marty Robbins: Begging to You/Don't Worry/Big Boss Man/To Get to You/Singing the Blues

Diane Jordan, Karen Wheeler and Shoji Tabuchi all appeared that night. What is interesting is that Diane Jordan appeared on Stu Phillip's segments and at the time, Diane was doing some shows with Stu at Opryland; Karen Wheeler, who replaced Connie Smith that night, appeared on Roy Acuff's segments and of course, was the daughter of Onie Wheeler, and Shoji Tabuchi appeared on the segment with David Houston, and he was working with David at the time. So a couple of connections there.

There you have it for this week and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry!!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 8/8 & Wednesday Night Opry 8/9

Here are the line-ups for the mid-week Opry shows:

Tuesday August 8
7:00: John Conlee; Carly Pearce
7:30: The Whites; Walker McGuire
Intermission
8:15: William Michael Morgan; The Steel Woods
8:45: Bobby Bones; Dailey & Vincent

Wednesday August 9
7:00: Bill Anderson; Michael Ray
7:30: Jeannie Seely; Easton Corbin
Intermission
8:15: Will Hoge; Luke Combs
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 8/4 & 8/5

Summer rolls on and so does the Grand Ole Opry with two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Both shows are at 7:00.

Looking at the line-ups, there are a couple of names that bring a smile to my face. On the Friday Night Opry, Suzy Bogguss will be making an appearance. Personally, I have always enjoyed Suzy and her music and she is another of the females who I thought would have made a good Opry member. Also appearing on Friday night will be Steven Curtis Chapman, who is the host of Sam's Place, the gospel music show that takes place on Sunday night at the Ryman Auditorium. Saturday night, it will be the Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires show as this couple will be appearing. Also making a guest appearance will be The McCrary Sisters, who will be joined by Opry member Steve Wariner.

As to Grand Ole Opry members appearing this weekend, both nights will feature Riders In The Sky, Jeannie Seely and Dailey & Vincent hosting segments, along with Mike Snider. Since joining the Opry cast in March, this will be appearance number 13 & 14 for this popular bluegrass duo. All I can say to that is we finally have new Opry members who understand what it is to be a member. As to Mike, he continues his streak of not missing a Friday or Saturday show in 2017, the only Opry member who can make that claim.

Other Opry members appearing on Friday night include Jesse McReynolds and Connie Smith, while on Saturday night, it will be The Whites and Steve Wariner appearing. That all adds up to 6 Opry members each night.

Among the guest artists on Friday night will be Mark Wills, who will be making Opry appearance #18. Although he is not an Opry member, and I am not sure he should, he does appear more than a majority of the members. I guess it is nice that he answers the phone when the Opry has a slot to fill. Also guesting will be Shelly Fairchild and Trent Harmon. Saturday night, besides those already mentioned, David Ball returns to the Opry, along with Jerrod Niemann.

Friday August 4
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Shelly Fairchild; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mike Snider; Mark Wills
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Trent Harmon; Suzy Bogguss
8:45: Dailey & Vincent (host); Steven Curtis Chapman

Saturday August 5
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); David Ball; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Amanda Shires; Jason Isbell
Intermission
8:15: Steve Wariner (host); The McCrary Sisters; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Dailey & Vincent (host); The Whites; Jerrod Niemann

While she will not be making her Opry debut, it has been a few years since Shelly Fairchild performed on the Opry. Shelly is from Clinton, Mississippi, and began performing at an early age at church as in her high school's choir. She attended Mississippi College and while there, performed in several local stage shows. In 2004, she signed with Columbia Records, and her debut album "Ride" was released in 2005. She toured with Rascal Flatts and Blake Shelton, however, after having limited success, she was dropped by Columbia in 2005. She later signed with Stroudavarious Records. Her latest single "Mississippi Turnpike" was released this year.

For those who might not be familiar with The McCrary Sisters, they are a Christian gospel music quartet that is from Nashville. The group formed in 2010 and consists of sisters Beverly Ann, Deborah Dianne, Regina Avonette, and Alfreda McCrary. The sisters are daughters of a former Baptist preacher, Samuel McCrary, who was a founding member of The Fairfield Four. Their first recording, "Our Journey" was released in 2010. That was followed by "All the Way" in 2013 and "Let's Go," released in 2015. In addition to performing on the Opry on Saturday night, they will also be on Sam's Place, the gospel show that takes place at the Ryman Auditorium on Sunday night.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of August 3 & 4, 2007:

Friday August 3
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); The Whites; Sarah Johns
9:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Gail Davies; Diamond Rio
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Karen Peck & New River

Saturday August 4
1st show
6:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Mel McDaniel; Rebecca Lynn Howard
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Chely Wright
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); George Hamilton IV; Lady Antebellum
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jake Owen; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; The Whites

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rebecca Lynn Howard
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; The Whites; Chely Wright
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; Jake Owen; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); George Hamilton IV; Lady Antebellum

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of August 7 & 8, 1992:

Friday August 7
1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); The 4 Guys; Jan Howard; Roy Drusky
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim and Jesse; Skeeter Davis
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard; Carlisles; Ray Pillow
8:00: Jack Greene (host); Jeanne Pruett
8:30: Hank Snow (host); George Hamilton IV; Jeannie Seely; Sally Mountain Show

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Mike Snider
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); The 4 Guys; Jim and Jesse; Jean Shepard
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis; Stonewall Jackson; David Houston
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Carlisles; Jeanne Pruett; Jack Greene
11:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Sally Mountain Show; Johnny Russell; Mike Snider
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday August 8
1st show
6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow
6:45: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jim Ed Brown
7:00: Jack Greene (host); Jean Shepard; David Houston; The Whites; Jeanne Pruett
7:30: Bill Monroe (host); Vic Willis Trio; Stonewall Jackson; Connie Smith
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); The 4 Guys; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jan Howard; Roy Drusky; Wilma Lee Cooper; Carlisles

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard
10:00: Charlie Walker (host); George Hamilton IV
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Jack Greene
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jeannie Seely
10:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith; Carlisles; Vic Willis Trio
11:30: The 4 Guys (host); Jan Howard; Roy Drusky; Mike Snider

Just to follow up, here is the actual running order of the Saturday night shows:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Porter Wagoner (host); Dooley
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
Porter Wagoner: Your Old Love Letters/Ol' Slewfoot

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Jim Ed Brown: Morning
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya/Texa-Cajun

7:00: Shoney's
Jack Greene: (host): Happy Tracks
Jean Shepard: I Don't See How I Can Make it With You Gone
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
The Whites: Hangin' Around
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/He is My Everything/Satisfied

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Monroe (host): Shady Grove
Vic Willis Trio: Shenandoah
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby on My Mind/You've Got Me Right Where You Want Me/Once A Day
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky/Cryin' Holy Unto the Lord

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
4 Guys: New Looks from an Old Lover/Chord Buster's March
Mike Snider: Pick Away/Putting on the Dog
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Roy Acuff: No Letter in the Mail

8:30: Opryland
Hank Snow (host): Storms Never Last
Jan Howard: Slow Burning Memory
Roy Drusky: There'll Never Be Anyone Else But You for Me
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Unclouded Day
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Tale that the Crow Told Me
Hank Snow: Teardrops in My Heart

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Sugarfoot Rag
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Jimmy C Newman: Lafayette
Jean Shepard: I'm Alright (I Just Had You on My Mind)/Let's All Go Down to the River/I Saw the Light/Will the Circle be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/Somebody Touched Me
Porter Wagoner: I've Enjoyed as Much  of this as I Can Stand/Big Wind

10:00: Little Debbie
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
George Hamilton IV: Til I Can Gain Control Again
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze my Sharmon/Pick Me Up on Your Way Down

10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
Roy Acuff (host): Night Train to Memphis
Jack Greene: Satisfaction/There Goes My Everything/He Is My Everything
Dan Kelly: Turkey Buzzard

10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): There's An Old, Old House
Roy Drusky: All for the Love of a Girl
Bill Monroe: Then Take Courage Unto Tomorrow

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jim Ed Brown (host): Lyin' In Love with You
The Whites: Doing It By the Book
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Snow Flake Real
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Bummin' Around
Vic Willis Trio: Colorado
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Connie Smith: Hey, Good Lookin'/You're Cheating Heart
Hank Snow: Mary Ann Regrets

11:30: Creamette
4 Guys (host): Real Love Making Night
Jan Howard: Somebody's Always Saying Goodbye/Why Lady Why
Mike Snider: (?)/Staten Island Hornpipe/Dueling Banjos
4 Guys: When You Got a Good Woman, It Shows

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 8/1 & Wednesday Night Opry 8/2

Summer continues and welcome to August. Can the end of summer be coming so soon? Let's hope it lasts a little while longer.

Line-ups have been posted for the two mid-week show.

Tuesday August 1
7:00: John Conlee; Craig Campbell
7:30: Ellie Holcomb; Diamond Rio
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson; Dailey & Vincent
8:45: Chris Young

4 Opry members for the Tuesday show, and nice to see another Opry appearance by Dailey & Vincent, the Opry's newest members. Looks like the featured attraction will be Chris Young. Nice to see him back on the Opry so soon.

Wednesday August 2
7:00: Riders In The Sky; Maggie Rose
7:30: Mo Pitney; Linda Davis
Intermission
8:15: Trent Tomlinson; Martin Family Circus
8:45: Del McCoury Band; Chris Janson

Just 2 Opry members on the Wednesday night show, and one who would love to become a member. Nice to see another appearance by the Martin Family Circus. They have really impressed during their past ones.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 7/28 & 7/29

Another week of Grand Ole Opry shows as we continue to roll through summer. Another pretty solid line-up for both the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry.

Grand Ole Opry members appearing both nights include Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider (keeping his 2017 streak alive); Connie Smith and The Whites. They will be joined by Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne and Ricky Skaggs on Friday, while on Saturday night it will be just those four. Interesting that this weekend they have scheduled Jesse and Bobby for the same night as usually you will see them opposite of each other.

As to guest artists, the list for Friday night has Darryl Worley, Wade Hayes, Easton Corbin, Mickey Guyton and Point Of Grace. Saturday night, it will be Keith Anderson, TG Sheppard, Ashley Campbell, Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy, The Grascals, Chonda Pierce and making their Opry debut, Sons Of The Palomino, who are made up of a group of Nashville songwriters and session players.

Friday July 28
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Darryl Worley; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Wade Hayes; Easton Corbin
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mickey Guyton
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Point Of Grace

Saturday July 29
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Keith Anderson; TG Sheppard
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Ashley Campbell; Charlie McCoy
Intermission
8:15: The Whites (host); The Grascals; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Chonda Pierce; Sons Of The Palomino

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of July 27 & 28, 2007:

Friday July 27
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; David Lee Murphy
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Elizabeth Cook
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown; Charley Pride
9:30: John Conlee (host); Jack Greene; Mountain Heart

Saturday July 28
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; John Cowan
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene
7:30: John Conlee (host); Jim Ed Brown; John Berry
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; T.G. Sheppard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Charley Pride

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; John Conlee; T.G. Sheppard
10:30: Charley Pride (host); Jim Ed Brown; John Berry; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Charley Pride

And now from 25 years ago, the weekend of July 31 & August 1, 1992

Friday July 31
1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown; Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; David Houston
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; Del Reeves; Connie Smith; Charlie Walker
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); The 4 Guys; Bill Anderson; Justin Tubb
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jan Howard; Mike Snider; Jeanne Pruett
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jack Greene; Jeannie Seely

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Connie Smith; Stonewall Jackson; Wilma Lee Cooper
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); David Houston; Jim Ed Brown; Grandpa Jones
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Del Reeves; Carlisles; The 4 Guys
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy Dickens; Jeanne Pruett; Charlie Walker
11:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Jack Greene; Mike Snider
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday August 1
1st show
6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim ed Brown
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Jimmy Dickens
7:00: Jack Greene (host); Skeeter Davis; Stonewall Jackson; The 4 Guys
7:30: Billy Walker (host); David Houston; Ernie Ashworth; Holly Dunn
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Mike Snider; Jeanne Pruett; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Louvin; Del Reeves; Jan Howard; Roy Drusky

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Walker; Wilma Lee Cooper; Ray Pillow; Holly Dunn
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Mike Snider
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jack Greene
10:45: Del Reeves (host); The 4 Guys; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jeanne Pruett; Carlisles; David Houston; Charlie Louvin
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Roy Drusky; Jan Howard; Johnny Russell

Finally, going back 67 years to Saturday July 29, 1950:

7:30: American Ace Coffee
Roy Acuff (host): Freight Train Blues
Benny Martin: Black Mountain Rag
Lonzo and Oscar: Old Mother Nature
Jimmy Riddle: Steamboat Bill
Roy Acuff: The Great Judgement Morning
Uncle Dave Macon: Go Long Mule
Jug Band: Old McDonald Had A Farm
Roy Acuff: Shake Hands With Mother Again
Joe Zinkas: Washington & Lee Swing
Rachel and Oswald: Columbus Stockade Blues

8:00: Purina
Cowboy Copas (host): Down In Nashville, Tennessee
Bill Monroe : Blue and Lonesome Too
Possum Hunters: Sleepy Lou
Hank Williams: To Be Announced
Whitey Ford: Gags
Cowboy Copas: I Love You Because
Bill Monroe: The Lord Will Call
Hank Snow: I'm Moving On
Rudy Lyle: Shenandoah Valley Breakdown
Trio: Where Could I Go

8:30: Prince Albert
Red Foley (host): Freight Train Boogie
Rod Brasfield: Gags
Jimmy Dickens: If It Ain't One Thing It's Another
Jordanairres: Jesus Is A Rock
Red Foley: No Tears In Heaven
Old Hickory Quartet: I Want A Girl
Minnie Pearl: Gags
Jimmy Dickens: Just When I Needed You
String Beans: Get Things Ready For Me
Red Foley: Bury Me Beneath The Willows
Square Dance: Soldiers Joy

9:00: Royal Crown
Jimmy Riddle: Alexanders Ragtime Band
Roy Acuff (host): Leaf of Love
Lonzo and Oscar: Love Is Sweet But Oh How Bitter
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
Jamup and Honey: Gags
Bob Eaton: The Texas Swing
Jug Band: If You Knew Susie
Roy Acuff: Crying Holy
Carl Smith: Guilty Conscience
Rachel and Oswald: Roll On Buddy

9:30: Martha White Flower
Ernest Tubb (host): Daisy May
Anita: I'm Fading Fast
Chester Atkins: Steel Guitar Rag
Jimmy Dickens: Country Boy
June: Blues In My Heart
Crook Brothers: 8th of January
Ernest Tubb: Girl Spells Trouble
Maybelle and Trio: I've Never Been Sorry
Jimmy Dickens: Out Of Business
Ernest Tubb: Till The End Of The World

10:00: Wallrite
Bill Monroe (host): The Old Fiddler
Hank Snow: I'm Gonna Bid My Blues Goodbye
Uncle Dave Macon: Sweet Forget Me Not
Bill Monroe: Lord Protect My Soul
Bill Monroe: Raw Hide

10:15: Warren Paint & Color Co.
Hank Williams (host): Dear John
Lew Childre: Hang Out The Front Door Key
Hank Williams: My Son Called Another Man Daddy
String Beans: Free A Little Bird
Hank Williams: My Sweet Love Ain't Around

10:30: Darimix
Roy Acuff (host): The Great Speckled Bird
Annie Lou and Danny: Bonapartes Retreat
Roy Acuff: Poem
Gang: Where Could I Go
Benny Martin: Billy In The Low Ground

10:45: Dr. Le Gear
Cowboy Copas (host): Steppin Out
Sam and Kirk: I Wish I Had A Nickle
Lazy Jim Day: Singing The News
Cowboy Copas: The Postman Just Passes Me By
Trio: Prairie Lullabye

11:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb (host): I Know My Baby Loves Me
Jimmy Dickens: I had To Turn Around And Get Married
Jordanairres: Go Where I Send Thee
June: Oh For Crying Out Loud
Ernest Tubb: Soldiers Last Letter
Chet Atkins: Gallopin
Carl Smith: Lonely Heart
Maybelle and Trio: Wildwood Flower
Jimmy Dickens: Lovin Lies

11:30-
Hank Snow (host): Somewhere Along Lifes Highway
Lonzo and Oscar: John Henry
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Hank Snow: Deep Within This Broken Heart Of Mine
Crook Brothers: Ida Red

11:45-
Bill Monroe (host): Shady Grove
Bob Eaton: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Fruit Jar Drinkers: To Be Announced
Trio: Cabin Of Love
Red Taylor: Sally Goodin

Finally, saw that WSM has hired sports talk show host George Plaster, who has been on numerous stations in Nashville over the past 20 years, including early in his career, WSM. From what I have learned, he will have a Sunday night show and it will not affect any other programming on WSM.

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!







Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 7/25 & Wednesday Night Opry 7/26

After the excitement of last week's Tuesday Night Opry, things get back to normal this week with one show on Tuesday night, along with the one show on Wednesday night. While lacking "superstars" both nights feature some nice artists.

Tuesday July 25
7:00: Jeannie Seely; Sundance Head
7:30: Mandy Barnett; LOCASH
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky; Kristian Bush
8:45: Michael Ray; Del McCoury Band

Wednesday July 26
7:00: Connie Smith; Jackie Lee
7:30: Rhonda Vincent; Aaron Lewis
Intermission
8:15: The Whites; Henry Cho
8:45: John Berry; Scotty McCreery

There you have it. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 7/21 & 7/22

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Both nights feature pretty solid line-ups.

Grand Ole Opry members appearing both nights include Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Connie Smith and Ricky Skaggs (all of whom will be hosting segments on both nights), along with The Whites. Friday night, they will be joined by Joe Diffie and Jesse McReynolds, while on Saturday night Bobby Osborne will be joining the group.

As to guest artists this weekend, it is a pretty solid line-up. Exile, Mark Wills and Charlie Worsham are scheduled for both nights, while Johnny Lee, The Secret Sisters join them on Friday night, and Sylvia and LOCASH are on the schedule for Saturday.

Sylvia, by the way, will be on the Opry to mark the occasion of the 35th anniversary of her smash hit "Nobody" being released and going to No. 1 on the country music charts.

Friday July 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Johnny Lee; Exile
7:30: Mike Snider (host); The Secret Sisters; Joe Diffie
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; Mark Wills
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Charlie Worsham

Saturday July 22
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mark Wills; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Sylvia; Charlie Worsham
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); LOCASH; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Exile

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of July 20 & 21, 2007:

Friday July 20
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; T. Graham Brown
8:30: Jean Shepard (host); The Whites; Ashley Monroe
9:00: Roy Clark (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jack Greene; Cherryholmes

Saturday July 21
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; The Derailers
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Jeff Bates
7:30: Roy Clark (host); Jean Shepard; Riders In The Sky
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Luke Bryan; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown; Hal Ketchum

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Hal Ketchum
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Jeff Bates
10:30: Roy Clark (host); Jim Ed Brown; Luke Bryan; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; The Derailers

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of July 23 & 24, 1992:

Friday July 23
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jeannie Seely; Roy Drusky; Del Reeves
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; Jack Greene; Dixiana; Jeanne Pruett
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Carlisles; Skeeter Davis; The 4 Guys
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jimmy Dickens; Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Ray Pillow; Jean Shepard; The Whites

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Justin Tubb; Billy Walker; Dixiana
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Osborne Brothers; Jan Howard; Charlie Walker
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Mike Snider; Carlisles; Jeanne Pruett; Bill Anderson
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; The 4 Guys; Jack Greene
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Walker; Johnny Russell
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday July 24
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeannie Seely
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Carlisles; Charlie Walker; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow; The 4 Guys
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy Dickens; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Billy Walker; Del Reeves; Jeanne Pruett; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Roy Drusky; Jeannie Seely; Justin Tubb; Vic Willis Trio
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jan Howard; Charlie Walker
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Carlisles
10:30: Del Reeves (host); Mike Snider
10:45: Jimmy C Newman (host); Skeeter Davis; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; The 4 Guys; The Whites
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeanne Pruett; Jim Ed Brown; Johnny Russell

That was the posted line-up. The only cancellation was Justin Tubb.

Finally it was 44 years ago, Saturday July 21, 1973 that Jeanne Pruett became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

While Jeanne Pruett has enjoyed worldwide success with dozens of singles, the three-week chart-topper "Satin Sheets" earned her 1973 Song, Single, and Album of the Year nominations from the Country Music Association and continues to define her career. One of 10 children born to a full-time Alabama farmer and part-time cotton mill worker, Jeanne moved to Nashville in 1956. Jeanne also worked as a songwriter for Marty Robbins Enterprises. Marty recorded several of Jeanne's songs including the hits "Count Me Out" and "Love Me." Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty and others also covered Jeanne's songs. "It is easier to be accepted in the music business by your peers as a performer after you have proven yourself as a writer," she says. "The acceptance of fans is another thing. You sell them after you have gone into the studio and come up with the best you have." She first won their acceptance in 1971 with the single "Hold to My Unchanging Love." Her own version of "Love Me" reached the Top 40 but those records just set the stage for what was to come.

"Satin Sheets" hit country radio in March 1973, aided by 1,600 pieces of pink satin fabric that Jeanne cut by hand and sent to radio programmers and music executives across the nation. The international hit topped the country charts that May. A few weeks later, Jeanne became an official Opry member, the last vocalist to join the show before it moved from the Ryman to the Grand Ole Opry House. Jeanne's subsequent hits included "I'm Your Woman," "You Don't Need To Move a Mountain," and "Welcome to the Sunshine (Sweet Baby Jane)." In 1983 alone, she had three Top 10 hits: "Back to Back," "Temporarily Yours," and "It's Too Late."

"I can remember the first time that Ott Devine called me and invited me to come on the Opry," Jeanne said. "I think probably Chet Atkins twisted his arm. Anyway, Ott called me and it just surprised me so much. I knew that if I didn't say yes that first time, there might not be a second time. So immediately I said yes and then started scurrying around looking for a suitable attire. That goes back to '64 or '65, around in there."

Jeanne became what she described as "the only semi-regular" who was not a cast member. Jeanne said, "Actually, as it turned out, I had been a member of the Opry for almost a year before I could get inducted. Dolly Parton wanted so badly to introduce me as the new member of the Opry, but he schedule and mine conflicted and we just couldn't seem to find a time to arrange the introduction. Anyway, I finally 'joined' on July 21, 1973. And Dolly did introduce me."

Jeanne Pruett is now retired and her last schedule Opry appearance came on June 9, 2001. In 2013, on the occasion of her 40th anniversary as an Opry member, Jeanne did come out on stage at the invitation of Jeannie Seely.

Here is the running order from Saturday July 21, 1973, the night that Jeanne Pruett joined the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms/Rudy's
Tex Ritter (host): Boll Weevil
4 Guys: Turn Around; Look at Me
Tex Ritter: Fall Away/There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder
Ernie Ashworth: My Love for You
Tex Ritter: High Noon

7:00: Rudy's
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Hank Williams, Jr: Hank/Your Cheating Heart
Sandi Burnette: Stand By Your Man
Hank Williams, Jr: Cajun Baby
Sandi Burnette: Delta Dawn

7:30: Standard Candy
Osborne Brothers (host): Rocky Top
Jean Shepard: Virginia
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Osborne Brothers: You Win Again/Today I Started Loving You Again
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Osborne Brothers: Ruby

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Wake Up, Jacob
Dolly Parton: Traveling Man
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: If Teardrops Were Pennies
Porter Wagoner: Katy Did
Jeanne Pruett: Love Me
Dolly Parton: Joshua

8:30: Stephens
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Arlene Harden: Special Day
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Goodin
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special
Arlene Harden: Walk With Me, Jimmy
Billy Grammer: Peace in the Valley

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Tex Ritter (host): Wayward Wind
Bob Luman: When You Say Love
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Sandi Burnette: Stand By Your Man
Bob Luman: Honky-Tonk Man
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven

10:00: Fender
Osborne Brothers (host): Midnight Flyer
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Osborne Brothers: Nine Pound Hammer

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Stringbean: Hillbilly Fever
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:30: Trailblazer
Porter Wagoner (host): Wake Up, Jacob
Dolly Parton: Traveling Man
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: If Teardrops Were Pennies/Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man

10:45: Beechnut
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special

11:00: Coca-Cola
4 Guys (host): Cottonfields/Maria
Arlene Harden: Special Day
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of a Dove
Arlene Harden: Will You Walk With Me, Jimmy
Sam McGee: When the Wagon Was New
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On

11:30: Elm Hill'
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Louie Roberts: How Great Thou Art/Just A Little Lovin'/Anytime/Bouquet of Roses/Cattle Call
Don Winters: Jambalaya
Marty Robbins: I Walk Alone/They'll Never Take Her Love from Me/Big Boss Man/Love Me/Don't Worry/I'll Step Aside/Letters Have No Arms/Long Gone Lonesome Blue

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!




Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 7/18 & Wednesday Night Opry 7/19

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the three mid-week shows. Yes, three shows this week as the Tuesday Night Opry will have two performances, thanks to a stellar line-up. Besides Opry members Darius Rucker, Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Diamond Rio and Bill Anderson on the line-up, it is also very nice to see Vince Gill once again at the Opry. Vince, who usually is one of the Opry's more reliable members, has not been on the Opry since February. Now that he appears to be finished with The Eagles reunion for the rest of the year, perhaps we will see more of Vince on upcoming shows.

Tuesday July 18
1st show
7:00: Diamond Rio; Tracy Lawrence; Bill Anderson; Darius Rucker
8:00: Martina McBride; Vince Gill; Dierks Bentley

2nd show
9:30: Diamond Rio; Martina McBride; Tracy Lawrence
10:30: Bill Anderson; Darius Rucker; Vince Gill

As to Wednesday night, just one show and the line-up is not as impressive. The featured attraction will be Opry members the Oak Ridge Boys, joined by Del McCoury and Riders In The Sky. Also scheduled is Levi Hummon, who will be making his Opry debut.

Wednesday July 19
7:00: Jeannie Seely; A Thousand Horses
7:30: Levi Hummon; Del McCoury Band
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky; Brooke Eden
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys

When the Grand Ole Opry began, it was a single Saturday night show. Then it added the Friday Night Frolics, which was a studio show and considered second class compared to the Saturday night show. By the end of the 1960's, the Opry was running the Friday Night show at the Ryman, and had added a second Saturday night show. Next came the opening of Opryland in the mid-1970's. During the months that Opryland was open, a second Friday night show was added, along with matinee shows pretty much every day of the week. The matinee shows featured a combination of Opry members, such as Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, The 4 Guys and Jack Greene among a host of others, with Hank Snow added to the mix later in the 1980's. Rounding out those line-ups were park performers. Then came the closing of Opryland, and with it, the matinee shows ended. To compensate for that, a Tuesday Night Opry was added, along with a Thursday night classics show. With all these changes and added shows, there was one constant, and that was the fact that the Saturday night Grand Ole Opry was the "big" show, the one that was most important to the members. But it would appear that times have changed.

Back in the day, when member appearances were counted, the only shows that mattered were the Friday and Saturday night shows. The members could appear on as many matinee performances that they wanted, but they were not considered "real" Opry shows. Now, in today's world, any Opry appearance counts, no matter what day or night of the week it is, and with that change, it would appear that the weekend Opry shows have suffered. You need to look no further than the line-ups for the shows this past weekend and compare them to the line-up for Tuesday night. Or almost any recent Tuesday night for that matter. As the Opry has added more week night shows, which have included not only Tuesday night, but also Wednesday, Thursday and now an upcoming Sunday night, many of the Opry's biggest names have forsaken the weekend shows in favor of appearing during the week.

I am not going to name any names, but there are a few of the Opry's members who have made the majority of their appearances on the mid-week shows, ignoring for the most part the weekend. Now, I do appreciate that these members are appearing on the Opry, and I know many have concert appearances on the weekends and other obligations, but by ignoring the weekend shows, it seems to me that the Friday and Saturday shows have become watered down and have less significance than they once did.

While I personally believe that the Opry shows have improved since Pete Fisher left and Sally Williams has taken over, I would like to see Saturday's Grand Ole Opry become the "big" show once again, the one that is important to the members, the ones that the fans want to be at. Mid-week shows are nice, and I am glad they are being supported, but let's remember the roots of the Opry and get a few more of the Opry's bigger names to not only appear mid-week, but also on the weekends.

Thoughts?




Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 7/14 & 7/15

Your trusted Grand Ole Opry reporter will be taking a few days off for a short vacation.  As I write this, the Opry has not posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend. However, based on advance word, there are a few artists that I can mention who will be at the Opry this weekend:

The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry member Lorrie Morgan, along with guest artists Jamey Johnson, Country Music Hall of Fame members Bobby Bare and  Jimmy Fortune, Carly Pearce and Walker McGuire.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will again feature Opry member Lorrie Morgan, along with Amber Digby, The Steel Woods and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

I know, kind of a short list but I am sure once it is all filled in, it will be a great night at the Opry.

As usual, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of July 13 & 14, 2007:

Friday July 13
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Mel McDaniel; Jean Shepard; Chris Young
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Whites; Jimmy Wayne
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Walker; Connie Smith; The Grascals
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Alecia Nugent; Gene Watson

Saturday July 14
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Chuck Mead
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jack Greene; Blue Country
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; Lee Roy Parnell
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Alecia Nugent; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Restless Heart

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites; Lee Roy Parnell
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; Blue Country
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jim Ed Brown; Chuck Mead; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Alecia Nugent; Restless Heart

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of July 17 & 18, 1992:

Friday July 17
1st show
6;30: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown; Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; The 4 Guys
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jeanne Pruett; Charlie Walker; Ray Pillow
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim and Jesse; Connie Smith
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jimmy Dickens; Del Reeves; The Whites
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jan Howard; Justin Tubb; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Carlisles; Charlie Louvin; Billy Walker; Jim and Jesse
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Grandpa Jones; Skeeter Davis; The 4 Guys
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jeanne Pruett; Ray Pillow; Jimmy C Newman; Stonewall Jackson
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Connie Smith; Jim Ed Brown; The Whites
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Del Reeves; Mike Snider
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday July 18
1st show
6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow
7:00: Billy Walker (host); Charlie Louvin; Jeanne Pruett; Carlisles; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Del Reeves; Jeannie Seely; Eddy Raven
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Charlie Walker; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; Stonewall Jackson; the 4 Guys; Mark Brine

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Billy Walker Charlie Louvin; Roy Drusky
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown; Charlie Walker
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Carlisles
10:30: Del Reeves (host); Jeanne Pruett
10:45: Jimmy Dickens (host); Eddy Raven; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Stonewall Jackson; Justin Tubb; The Whites; Mark Brine
11:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); The 4 Guys; Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider

What is also interesting regarding the Opry in 1992, was the number of shows that they were putting on weekly with Opryland open, In addition to the weekend shows, the Opry was running a Saturday and Sunday matinee, along with Tuesday and Thursday matinee shows. Each show started at 3:00 and were two hour shows. For this particular week, each matinee show featured Roy Acuff and Porter Wagoner, among others. What is amazing with Roy Acuff is that he was in the final months of his life and did 8 Opry shows that week!!!

Mark Brine, a name that might not be familiar to some, was featured on both Saturday night shows. Mark grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts and started his musical career at the age of 13. After being a part of several local groups in the New England area, Mark moved to Nashville in 1974, as he became more interested in traditional country music, specifically that of Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. It took a while, but he eventually signed with Door Knob Records and in 1978 he released three singles, "Hello Lady," "Coming Home to Love," and "Words." In 1979, he switched to Society Records, again with limited success and in 1985 he left Nashville and moved to Baltimore. In 1992, Resigned Records released his single, "New Blue Yodel," and when Hank Snow heard it, he invited Mark to appear on the Grand Ole Opry, which he did on this particular night.

Finally, it was Saturday July 14, 1973 that The Glaser Brothers, Tompall, Chuck and Jim, made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Often referred to as Tompall & The Glasers, the group came to Nashville in 1959, from their home state of Nebraska. The brothers were known for their tight harmonies and the perfect blend of their voices. Their big break came in 1957 when they appeared on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Show, and attracted the attention of Marty Robbins. Marty signed them as backup singers on his albums and also as solo artists for his label, with their first single "Five Penny Nickel" released in 1958.

Between 1960 and 1975 the trio recorded ten studio albums and had nine singles on the country charts and was considered one of the most awarded groups in country music. From 1973 to 1978, they went their own separate ways, which each brother pursuing individual interests. They reunited in 1979 and released several singles and two albums, with "Loving Her Was Easier" reaching No. 2 on the Billboard charts. The brothers also had their own publishing company, with John Hartford as one of their songwriters. In 1970, they opened their own studio in Nashville, "Hillbilly Central" which became one of the homes for the outlaw movement that took place in country music.

In 1990, the brothers were asked to reunite for one final show at the Grand Ole Opry, at the personal invitation of Hank Snow, who was being honored for 40 years of Opry membership. Despite the differences between the brothers, they performed to perfection at what turned out to be their final show (you can find it on YouTube, and it is a classic to watch).

Tompall passed away in 2013, Chuck is now retired, and Jim continues to perform on occasion.

Here is the running order from their final night as Opry members, July 14, 1973:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Charlie Walker: Soft Lips & Hard Liquor
Joe Edwards: Old Joe Clark

6:45: Rudy's
Justin Tubb (host): Lodi
Del Wood: Standing Room Only
Judy Bryte: Wabash Cannonball
Justin Tubb: Texas Dance Hall Girl

7:00: Rudy's
George Jones (host): White Lightening
Tammy Wynette: Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria
Harold Morrison: Dueling Banjo
Patsy Sledd: Noting Can Stop My Loving You
George Jones: A Picture of Me Without You
Tammy Wynette: Stand By Your Man
4 Guys: Sing Me Back Home/I'll Fly Away/Jambalaya/She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain/You Are My Sunshine/Shutters & Boards
George Jones & Tammy Wynette: We Go Together

7:30: Standard Candy
Tex Ritter (host): Fall Away
Stringbean: Cripple Creek
Willis Brothers: Cimarron
Crook Brothers: Liberty
Tex Ritter: Green Grow the Lilacs
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Charlie Louvin: Funny Man
Jimmy C Newman: Back Pocket Money
Penny DeHaven: This Time
Lester Flatt: The Girl I Love Don't Pay Me No Mind
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: Did You Ever
Jimmy C Newman: Diggy Liggy Lo
Marty Stuart: Roanoke

8:30: Stephens
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
Mary Lou Turner: I Am Woman
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life
Mary Lou Turner: Take Me Home, Country Roads
Johnny Carver: You Really Haven't Changed
Bill Anderson: All the Lonely Women in the World

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Tex Ritter (host): Boll Weevil
Willis Brothers: There Goes the Farm
Charlie Walker: The Lord Knows I'm Drinking
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Tex Ritter: The Streets of Laredo
Judy Bryte: The Wreck of the Old 97
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Tex Ritter: High Noon

10:00: Fender
Charlie Louvin (host): Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink on Me/Rusty Old Halo
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: American Trilogy

10:15: Union 76
George Jones (host): She Thinks I Still Care
Tammy Wynette: Kids Say the Darndest Things
Harold Morrison: Dueling Banjo
Pasty Sledd: Pass Me By
George Jones/Tammy Wynette/Harold Morrison/Pasty Sled: Let's All Go Down to the River

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Country Boy
Stringbean: Pretty Polly
Del Wood: Gloryland March
Lester Flatt & Marty Stuart: The Bluebirds are Singing for Me

10:45: Beechnut
Bill Anderson (host): If You Can Live With It
Mary Lou Turner: The Shelter of Your Eyes
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Bill Anderson: The Corner of Your Life

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jimmy C Newman (host): Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of A Dove
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Take Me Back to Tulsa
Jimmy C Newman: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
Jimmy C Newman: Jole Blon

11:30: Elm Hill
Glaser Brothers (host): Release Me/Then I Turned and Walked Away Slowly/Many Tears Ago/You Win Again/Bouquet of Roses/There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Penny DeHaven: Down in the Boondocks
Glaser Brothers: Rings
Johnny Carver: You Really Haven't Changed
Penny DeHaven: The Love of Your Life
Glaser Brothers: Faded Love/Rose of Old Pawnee/Just A Girl I Used to Know/I'll Hold You in My Heart/More & More

As you can see, the Glaser Brothers finished strong as they left the Opry and went their separate ways.

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry!!




Kayton Roberts

I just wanted to pass along the news that the legendary Kayton Roberts, who was a part of Hank Snow's Rainbow Ranch Boys for a number of years, suffered a serious stroke and is in the hospital. I know that the family would appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 7/11 & Wednesday Night Opry 7/12

The line-ups have been posted for this week's mid-week Opry shows. Both nights are pretty solid, with Tuesday night highlighted by a guest appearance by Chris Young, and Wednesday night featuring another Opry appearance by Chris Janson.

Tuesday July 11
7:00: Connie Smith; Sundance Head
7:30: Bill Anderson; Town Mountain
Intermission
8:15: TG Sheppard; Brandy Clark
8:45: Chris Young

Wednesday July 12
7:00: John Conlee; Runaway June
7:30: Collin Raye; Jason Crabb
Intermission
8:15: The Whites; Emily West
8:45: The Grascals; Chris Janson

Saturday, July 8, 2017

July Opry Highlights

Welcome to July and the heart of summer. 4th of July, picnics and family vacations are all on the menu, with some of those vacations taking place in Nashville and at the Grand Ole Opry. Here are the historical and interesting notes regarding the Grand Ole Opry, or with Opry members, that have taken place during the month of July:

July 15, 1913: Lloyd Estel was born in Adams County, Ohio. Better known as Cowboy Copas, he joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1946. He would remain an Opry member until his death in 1963.

July 27, 1925: Former Grand Ole Opry member Annie Lou Dill was born, Along with her husband Danny, they were known as "The Sweethearts of Country Music." Annie Lou and Danny were members of the Opry from the late 1940s through the mid 1950s. They remained a popular duo into the 1960s. However Annie Lou and Danny divorced, at which point the act became history. Annie passed away in January 1982.

July 24, 1926: The Crook Brothers, led by Herman Crook, made their first appearance on the WSM Barn Dance. Considered one of the Opry's original members, the Crook Brothers would remain a part of the Opry until the death of Herman in July 1988. That adds up to 62 years at the Opry, usually accompanying the square dancers.

July 7, 1927: The late Charlie Louvin was born in Section, Alabama. Charles Loudermilk was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 50 years. Along with his brother Ira, Charlie was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Charlie passed away on January 26, 2011.

July 9, 1929: Grand Ole Opry member Jesse McReynolds was born in Coeburn, Virginia. One of the true legends in bluegrass music, Jim and Jesse joined the Opry in 1964. Following the death of Jim McReynolds on December 31, 2002, Jesse has continued on at the Opry and at the age of 88 sounds as good as ever.

July 7, 1930: Doyle Wilburn was born in Hardy, Arkansas. Along with his brother Teddy, the Wilburn Brothers were long time members of the Opry.

July 14, 1932: The great Del Reeves was born in Sparta, North Carolina. Del joined the Grand Ole Opry in October 1966 and was an Opry member until his death in 2007. Del had one of the great personalities in country music and did a variety of impressions, including those of Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash and Hank Snow.

July 4, 1934: Over 8,000 people showed up for an all-day Opry sponsored show in West Tennessee. The show featured Opry stars Uncle Dave Macon, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, the Gully Jumpers and the Crook Brothers. As a result of the success of this show, Opry founder George D. Hay started the Artists Service Bureau, which would become the official booking agency for Opry members. In the future, this organization would cause some issues at the Opry, and eventually would lead to several Opry members, including Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright, leaving the Opry.

July 4, 1937: Ray Pillow was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. Ray came to the Opry in 1966 and has been a member of the Opry since. Ray is considered one of the real nice guys in country music.

July 19, 1937: The late George Hamilton IV was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. George was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 54 years before passing away in September 2014.

July 11, 1939: The Grand Ole Opry moved to the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville. They would stay at the War Memorial for just a few years as the type of crowd that came to Opry shows was not the ones that the operators of the building wanted to see. The Opry moved to War Memorial from the Dixie Tabernacle, which held more people but was in deplorable condition. Because of the lower capacity, which was listed as 2,200, the Opry decided to charge an admission fee of 25 cents, which did not stop the crowds from coming to the show. War Memorial Auditorium still stands in Nashville and is used. In 2010, when the Grand Ole Opry House was flooded, several Opry shows were relocated there.

July 6, 1940: Jeannie Seely, known as "Miss Country Soul" was born in Titusville, Pennsylvania. In September, Jeannie will celebrate 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. as she joined the cast in September 1967.

July 15, 1944: Country Music Hall of Fame member Rod Brasfield became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Rod was hired to replace comedian Whitey Ford, the Duke of Paducah, on the Prince Albert portion of the show, which was broadcast on the NBC radio network. Rod was hired after Whitey got into a contract dispute with R.J. Reynolds and their advertising agency, which sponsored the segment. Rod was very successful, often teaming with fellow comedian Minnie Pearl. Rod was not only a great comedian, but was also an excellent actor. He was featured in the movie, "A Face In the Crowd" which starred Andy Griffith. Rod remained a member of the Opry until passing away in September 1958.

July 24, 1948: Roy Acuff announced that he was running for Governor of Tennessee. He decided to run after the current Governor made some poor comments regarding country music. As a Republican in Tennessee in 1948, Roy really didn't stand much of a chance, and he lost the election by a wide margin. It was said that his campaign rallies drew large crowds that enjoyed the music and special guests, but would leave once the political speeches started.

July 21, 1951: Left Frizzell made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Lefty would later become an Opry member, but he was gone pretty quickly. Lefty would later say that it just didn't work out and that the Opry wasn't the dream that he thought it would be.

July 5, 1952: Ralph Sloan and The Tennessee Travelers became members of the Grand Ole Opry. The group was formed in 1949 and they were originally called the Cedar Hill Square Dancers. Ralph passed away in 1980 after which his brother Melvin Sloan took over the group, changing the name to the Melvin Sloan Dancers. Melvin has since retired himself and the group is now simply called the Opry Square Dancers.

July 9, 1952: Grand Ole Opry members Carl Smith and June Carter were married. The marriage only lasted a few years as Carl expected June to give up her career to become a full time wife and mother. While the marriage was short, it did produce a daughter, Rebecca Carlene Smith, better known as Carlene Carter. After the marriage ended, June would go on to remarry two more times, with her final marriage being to Johnny Cash, while Carl would have a very successful marriage with Goldie Hill, who did retire from performing after being married to Carl.

July 18, 1954: Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Skaggs was born in Cordell, Kentucky. Ricky joined the Opry cast in May 1982.

July 2, 1955: According to various reports, Patsy Cline made her first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. She would later become an Opry member.

July 7, 1956: Johnny Cash made his first guest appearance on the Opry.

July 28, 1956: Just three weeks after making his Grand Ole Opry debut, Johnny Cash became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Johnny would remain an Opry member until 1958, when he left Nashville and moved to California. Even though he gave it up, Johnny was always welcomed as a guest artist whenever he was in Nashville, and he would especially appear if June Carter was around. It was during one such performance in 1965, while under the influence of drugs, that Johnny kicked out the Opry stage lights and was told not to come back. He stayed away for a few years, but by the late 1960s, he was back. Toward the end of his life, Roy Acuff reportedly asked Johnny to once again become an Opry member, but Johnny declined.

July 24, 1957: Grand Ole Opry member Pam Tillis was born in Plant City, Florida.

July 12, 1961: Bill Anderson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 56th year as an Opry member. Bill made his first Opry appearance in 1958 and would guest several times before being asked by Opry manager Ott Devine to become a member. Now approaching the age of 80, Bill still appears regularly on the Opry and always receives a great response from the audience.

July 18, 1964: Connie Smith made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Connie joined the cast the following year and this will be her 52nd year as an Opry member.

July 31, 1964: Jim Reeves, along with Dean Manual, died in a plane crash just outside of Nashville. Jim was just 39. While he was not an Opry member at the time of his death, giving it up a few years earlier, Jim was very successful while an Opry member. However, as the focus of his career changed, he felt that the Opry was no longer for him.

July 10, 1965: Roy Acuff was seriously injured in a car accident near Sparta, Tennessee. Roy suffered two pelvic fractures, a broken collarbone and several broken ribs. Also injured in the crash were Shot Jackson and June Stearns. Roy would be out of action for about a month, returning to the Opry in August.

July 26, 1966: Opry member Martina McBride was born in Sharon, Kansas.

July 1, 1967: Dave Hooten replaced Johnny "Lonzo" Sullivan as part of Lonzo and Oscar. Johnny had recently passed away and it was agreed before his death that Roland "Oscar" Sullivan would continue with the act.

July 24, 1971: Country and Western music legend Patsy Montana made her first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

July 8, 1972: Barbara Mandrell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. While some accounts, including the Grand Ole Opry, list her induction date as July 29, this was actually the night that Barbara was announced as a member. Now retired, Barbara is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

July 14, 1973: Tompall, Chuck, and Jim, the Glaser Brothers, made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry. The brothers, who often had creative differences, decided to go their separate ways, They would reunite several years later, but then broke up for good. But, at the personal invitation of  Hank Snow, the brothers appeared on the Opry one final time, in January 1990 at a show honoring Hank for 40 years of Opry membership. The brothers were awesome that night and you can see the video of the performance on YouTube. That night was the final night that they would appear together.

July 21, 1973: Just over a year after Barbara Mandrell joined the Opry cast, Jeanne Pruett became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Like Barbara, Jeanne is now retired. This will be her 44th year as an Opry member. Jeanne was the last singing member of the cast to join the show before it left the Ryman Auditorium (of course, Jerry Clower joined after Jeanne but he was known as a comedian). On the night of her induction, Dolly Parton handled the honors.

July 7, 1975: Grand Ole Opry member George Morgan passed away in a Nashville hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was just 51. George joined the Opry in 1948 as the replacement for Eddy Arnold. He left the Opry in 1956 to star on a television show, but returned in 1959. George's daughter Lorrie followed in his footsteps as an Opry member.

July 24, 1976: Bobby Lord made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Bobby came to the Opry in 1960 from the Ozark Jubilee. After leaving the Opry, Bobby went into semi-retirement, living in Florida and working in real estate. He later hosted a sportsman show on TNN. Although he gave up his Opry membership, Bobby would continue to make occasional Opry appearances when he was up in the Nashville area.

July 4, 1980: Future Diamond Rio member Dana Williams made his first Opry appearance as a bass player for Jimmy C Newman.

July 5, 1980: John Conlee made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry.

July 2, 1982: Former Grand Ole Opry member DeFord Bailey died in Nashville at the age of 82. DeFord was one of the first members of the WSM Barn Dance, but was fired in 1941 by Opry founder George D. Hay. Various reasons were given for the firing, but it would appear that race was the major reason. For years he refused invitations to return to the Opry, however in February 1974 he returned for the annual reunion show. He was well received and would make a few more reunion shows before passing away. DeFord is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

July 1, 1983: Gaylord Broadcasting Company purchased the Grand Ole Opry, WSM radio and the entire Opryland complex from American General Corporation. Even though it was called Gaylord Broadcasting, it was actually Edward Gaylord and his wife Thelma who were the actual owners. At the time, Gaylord owned "Hee Haw" and other major media outlets. The price was rumored to have been between $250 and $350 million. The Opry was for sale at the time because of the purchase of National Life and Accident Company and the new owners, American General, had no interest in owning the Opry or Opryland. It was Roy Acuff who convinced Edward Gaylord that the Opryland properties were perfect for him to buy and add to his company. Over time, Gaylord Broadcasting would become Gaylord Entertainment and is now known as Ryman Hospitalities.

July 6, 1985: Johnny Russell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Johnny would remain a very popular and loyal member of the Opry until passing away on July 3, 2001 after a period of declining health. One of the most talented performers in country music, Johnny was a singer, songwriter and comedian. After joining the Opry, Johnny would normally appear on the 11:30 segment, telling funny stories and singing serious songs. I was privileged one day to have met Johnny at Opryland and to spend a little bit of time with him.

July 3, 1996: Alison Krauss became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 21st year as an Opry member. At the time she joined, she was the Opry's youngest member. Alison has won more Grammy Awards then any other female country music, or bluegrass singer.

July 6, 2002: Melvin Sloan, leader of the Melvin Sloan Dancers, retired.

July 5, 2008: Ending a long standing tradition, the start time of Saturday's early Grand Ole Opry show was changed from 6:30 to 7:00, resulting in a two hour show. This followed the change of the late Saturday show being cut to two hours the previous January. There was no reason given for the change, and no, there was no price reduction on account of the shorter show.

July 15, 2008: Future Grand Ole Opry member Darius Rucker made his first guest appearance on the Opry, singing "Don't Think I Don't Think About It."

July 8, 2011: Jimmy Dickens made a surprise appearance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry to ask the Oak Ridge Boys if they would like to become the Opry's newest members. Of course, the Oak Ridge Boys said yes, and later this year they will celebrate their 6th year as Opry members.

July 3, 2013: Alison Krauss celebrates 20 years of Opry membership. As part of the show that night, she does a duet with Jamey Johnson on "Make the World Go Away."