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."



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 7/7 & 7/8

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

Grand Ole Opry members appearing on both shows this weekend include Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider (continuing to keep his streak alive), The Whites and Bill Anderson. In fact, each of those four will be hosting the same segments both nights. On Friday night, they will be joined by member Jesse McReynolds while on Saturday night the only other member appearing will be Bobby Osborne. That means just five Opry members each night.

Guest artists on Friday night include Elizabeth Cook, Lonesome River Band, Bryan White, Love and Theft, Jesse James Decker, Morgan Wallen (who will be making his Opry debut) and Lee Greenwood (who will be signing for fans in the Opry Shop. Saturday night's guest artists have Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys, Maggie Rose, the great T. Graham Brown, Adam Craig, Tommy Emmanuel and Chris Carmack.

Friday July 7
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; Lonesome River Band
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Bryan White; Love and Theft
Intermission
8:15: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jesse James Decker
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Morgan Wallen; Lee Greenwood

Saturday July 8
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Maggie Rose; T. Graham Brown
Intermission
8:15: The Whites (host); Adam Craig; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Tommy Emmanuel; Chris Carmack

As mentioned, this will be the Opry debut for Morgan Wallen. Morgan was born in Sneedville, Tennessee. While in college he decided to pursue a career in music and completed on season 6 of the voice, where he was eliminated. In 2016, he signed to Big Loud Records. He released his debut single, "The Way I Talk" shortly afterward. In April 2017, he released a video version of the song. The single made it to #35 on the country charts. He has yet to release an album.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of July 6 & 7, 2007:

Friday July 6
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Megan Mullins
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Buddy Jewell
9:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mountain Heart
9:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; The Whites

Saturday July 7
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Gail Davies; Blaine Larsen
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jack Greene; Sherri Austin
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Dale Ann Bradley; Buddy Jewell
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Mountain Heart; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Louvin; Mel Tillis

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Sherri Austin; Buddy Jewell
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Blaine Larsen; Mountain Heart
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Dale Ann Bradley; Gail Davies; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Stu Phillips; Mel Tillis

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of July 10 & 11, 1992:

Friday July 10
1st show
6:30: Del Reeves (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jan Howard; Ernie Ashworth; Justin Tubb
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; The 4 Guys; The Carlisles
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Skeeter Davis; Osborn Brothers; Hank Locklin
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jeanne Pruett; Mike Snider
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Jack Greene; Ralph Stanley

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Stonewall Jackson; Wilma Lee Cooper; Gene Watson
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Charlie Walker; The Carlisles; Hank Locklin
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); The 4 Guys; Del Reeves; Mike Snider; Ralph Stanley
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Osborne Brothers; Jim Ed Brown
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Ray Pillow; Jeanne Pruett; Johnny Russell
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday July 11
1st show
6:30; Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Skeeter Davis; Charlie Walker; Jack Greene; Hank Locklin
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Mike Snider; Melvin Sloan; Opry Square Dance Band; Ronna Reeves
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); The 4 Guys; Jimmy C Newman
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; The Carlisles; Stonewall Jackson

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Hank Locklin; Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeanne Pruett
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Ray Pillow
10:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider
10:45: Jack Greene (host); Ronna Reeves; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; George Hamilton IV; The Carlisles; The 4 Guys
11:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Johnny Russell

Finally, it was 45 years ago, Saturday July 8, 1972 that Barbara Mandrell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

Barbara Mandrell's first visit to the Grand Ole Opry was a career-defining moment. She had been in country music for nine years, touring with the Mandrell Family Band, but decided to take time off to enjoy her marriage to the band's drummer, Ken Dudney. "I had never been to Nashville when we went to the Opry," she remembered. "We had front-row seats in the balcony, and Dolly Parton was onstage at the moment I made that decision, to return to music. I was watching her and thinking, 'I can do this stuff. I love this stuff.' I turned to my dad and said, 'Dad, if you will manage me, I want to get back into the country music business,' And he said, 'Well, okay, I'd bet my last penny on you.'"

Barbara wasted no time in signing with major label Columbia Records in 1969 after she brought her father on as manager. She released "I've Been Loving You Too Long" under the tutelage of producer Billy Sherrill. While working with Sherrill she had several Top 40 hits and a duet with Opry member David Houston. In 1978, the singer moved to ABC/Dot, where producer Tom Collins brought Barbara her first No. 1, "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed." That team produced multiple hit singles and albums, including the pop crossover single "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right."

It was a brilliant move for the petite blonde; her father managed her throughout her career with numerous hit singles, multiple best-selling albums, a television variety series featuring her sisters, several movie roles, and an autobiography. Barbara received the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist honors twice. In 2009, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Barbara, who is now 68, is retired from performing. In the course of her career, she had 25 studio albums and 68 singles, 6 of which hit No. 1 on the country charts.

As with everything else involving the Opry, there is a discrepancy as to Barbara's actual Opry induction date. In the Opry Picture History Books, the date is given as July 29, 1972. However, in the information that I have, the date is actually July 8. Further, in looking at the line-up from July 29, Barbara is not listed as performing that night.

Here is the running order from Saturday July 8, 1972, the night Barbara Mandrell was introduced as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Billy Grammer (host): Wabash Cannonball
Oak Ridge Boys: (?)
Billy Grammer: Peace in the Valley

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): I Don't Mind Going Under
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Pete Stamper: (?)
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down

7:00: Luzianne
Tex Ritter (host): Green Grow the Lilacs
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore
Johnny Paycheck: Love Is A Good Thing
David Houston: Danny Boy
Tex Ritter: Lorena
Bobby Bare: Me & Bobby McGee

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Just A Friend
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Stu Phillips: I'd Rather Be Sorry
Crook Brothers: Lost Indian
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Barbara Mandrell: Show Me

8:00: Martha White
Del Reeves (host): Girl on the Billboard
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Doin' My Time
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Ronnie Dove: Right or Wrong
Del Reeves: The Best is Yet to Come
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: White Dove
Del Reeves: Philadelphia Fillies

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Bob Luman: When You Say Love
Marion Worth: For the Good Times
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Blackberry Blossom
Justin Tubb: Lodi
Mel Street: Borrowed Angel
Hank Snow: Geisha Girl

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Billy Grammer (host): Lonesome Road Blues
4 Guys: Shenandoah
David Houston: Soft, Sweet, & Warm
Shoji  Tabuchi: Rainbow in the Valley
Billy Grammer: What A Friend
Pete Stamper: (?)
David Houston: Jambalaya

10:00: Fender
Charlie Walker (host): Little Old Wine Drinker Me
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Johnny Paycheck: She's All I Got
Charlie Walker: I Don't Mind Going Under

10:15: Union 76
Tex Ritter (host): High Noon
Bobby Bare: Come Sundown
Tex Ritter: Fall Away

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Justin Tubb: Traveling Singing Man
Roy Acuff: Where Could I Go

10:45: Beech-Nut
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Coming Down from God
Ronnie Dove: Okie from Muskogee
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Golden Rocket
Barbara Mandrell: Tonight My Baby's Coming Home
Stu Phillips: Crystal Chandeliers
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin Hen
Barbara Mandrell: Satisfied
Stu Phillips: A Castle; A Cabin
Sam McGee: Wheels
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again

11:30: Elm Hill
Del Reeves (host): Down in the Boondocks
Bob Luman: When You Say Love/Guitar Man/Heartbreak Hotel
Marion Worth: Faded Love
Mel Street: Borrowed Angel
Del Reeves: The Bells of Southern Bell/A Dime at A Time/Looking at the World Through a Windshield/Whole Lotta Shaking Going On

One artist that a few might recognize from that night was Ronnie Dove. Ronnie was born in 1935 in Herndon, Virginia. He began his singing career in Baltimore, forming a group, The Belltones. In 1959, after spending a few years traveling and performing along the East Coast, they recorded their debut single "Lover Boy." Ronnie's first solo single, "Sweeter Than Sugar" was released in 1964, but did not chart. His first chart success came later that year with "Say You," and he hit the Top 20 with "Right Or Wrong." In 1965, he had five singles on the charts. His success continued and in 1966 he began hosting a local television show in Baltimore, "The Ronnie Dove Show." In 1971, he signed with Decca Records, and his career moved more into country music. Throughout the 1970's, he would record for various independent labels, moving around frequently. While he has had health issues over the past several years, he is still active in the Baltimore area.

There you have it for this week. Congratulations to Barbara Mandrell on her 45th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry!!













Monday, July 3, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 7/4 & Wednesday Night Opry 7/5

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

Tuesday Night Opry, July 4
7:00: Jeannie Seely; Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
7:30: John Conlee; Martin Family Circus
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky; Smithfield
8:45: John Cowan w/Darin & Brook Aldridge; Mandy Barnett

Wednesday Night Opry, July 5
7:00: John Conlee; Josh Thompson
7:30: Riders In The Sky; The Isaacs
Intermission
8:15: The Whites; Ricky Skaggs
8:45: Josh Turner

A couple of very nice shows this week. I am sure there will be lots of patriotic music on Tuesday night. Also, nice to see another appearance by the Martin Family Circus. They did a great job this past Friday night with the Oak Ridge Boys on Elvira. An Opry moment for sure.

Happy Independence Day to all!!


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 6/30 & 7/1

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for both shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Pretty solid line-ups.

Grand Ole Opry members appearing both nights include John Conlee, Mike Snider (keeping his streak alive) and Riders In The Sky. They will be joined on Friday night by members Lorrie Morgan, Bill Anderson, Bobby Osborne, Crystal Gayle and the Oak Ridge Boys. Appearing on Saturday night will be Connie Smith, Jesse McReynolds, Montgomery Gentry and Jeannie Seely.

Guesting this weekend will be a pair of acts making their Opry debuts. The Martin Family Circus takes the stage on Friday night, while Nancy and Beth, otherwise known as Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hart will be performing on Saturday night.

Joining those artists will be Jackie Lee and Nashville star Charles Esten on Friday night, while Devin Dawson, the O'Connor Family Band with Mark O'Connor, and Exile are set for Saturday night.

Friday June 30
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jackie Lee; Mike Snider
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Riders In The Sky; Crystal Gayle
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charles Esten
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Martin Family Circus

Saturday July 1
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider; Devin Dawson
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; Montgomery Gentry
Intermission
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); O'Connor Band w/Mark O'Connor; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Nancy and Beth (featuring Megan Mullally & Stephanie Hunt; Exile

As mentioned, for Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt, this will be their Grand Ole Opry debut. Both Megan and Stephanie are noted for being actors. Megan starred in "Will & Grace" while Stephanie has been featured in "Friday Night Lights" and "Californication." They consider themselves musical misfits and play everything from jazz to George Jones. They also take their music very seriously. In April they released their self-titled debut album and are touring in support of it. As to the name, Nancy and Beth? They just made it up.

Also making their Opry debut on Friday night is the Martin Family Circus.

Just as one might imagine a circus to be — upbeat, unexpected, accomplished, and exciting — Martin Family Circus aims to bring that same joy and a room full of fun with their heartwarming and lively “music that makes you smile!” This self-contained vocal-driven melodic band of 2 parents and 4 kids packs a punch with their rich stack of family harmonies in a soaring blend, which Rolling Stone magazine calls “exuberant.” Representing four generations of musical heritage, Martin Family Circus delivers soulful family harmony, steeped in traditional roots.

“Our house has always been like a live jukebox, with an all-you-can-play selection of musical instruments,” says Jamie. “Music completely covers our lives, so our kids have never known a day without it.”

Fueled by a mutual passion for many genres and longing for a fun, family-friendly musical experience for their kids, Paul and Jamie began singing together in 2010 with their four children: March (now 19), Kell (16), Texas (11), and Tallant (10). Quickly realizing that the kids all showed an uncanny knack for hearing harmonies and pitch, as well as for playing instruments, they began performing shows together. They were soon dubbed Martin Family Circus by Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill, playfully teasing with them about their growing number of kids and the craziness that goes hand-in-hand with a large family.

So where did it all begin? Grammy-winning artist Paul Martin, lead singer/guitarist of country-pop group Exile, met and married Jamie Allen, daughter of Duane Allen of Country Music Hall of Fame members The Oak Ridge Boys. Their four children were exposed early to 4-generations of rich musical heritage, and they watched as each child showed God-given musical talents early on. Regional performances began to boom, leading to appearances on national television shows like The Oak Ridge Boys’ American Legion Christmas special, “The Marty Stuart Show,” “Country’s Family Reunion,” “Gaither Homecoming,” and “Larry’s Country Diner,” concerts at the US Library of Congress and the Country Music Cruise, performances at the Grand Ole Opry and fairs/festivals/performing arts centers across the eastern US, as well as singing the National Anthem for major sporting events, including the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs, and most recently invited by the First Lady to perform at The White House. After a rousing performance of “Elvira” to a packed house for the Oak Ridge Boys’ induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Billboard Magazine heralded them as “singing to the rafters,” getting a crowd of seasoned performers and music industry folks to their feet.

The Martin Family Circus’ newest CD project, Past, Present, Future, includes classic hits that inspired them to sing, current favorites that are inspiring them now, and some brand-new self-penned material that they hope will inspire a new generation.




And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of June 29 & 30, 2007:

Friday June 29
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Mandy Barnett
8:30: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Rhonda Vincent
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Vanderbilt Kennedy Music Camp Performers; Lady Antebellum
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Joe Nichols

Saturday June 30
1st show
6:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Dale Watson
7:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Josh Turner; Jennifer Hanson; Montgomery Gentry
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Mandy Barnett

2nd show
9:30: Hal Ketchum (host); The Whites; Jennifer Hanson
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Montgomery Gentry
10:30: Ray Pillow (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Josh Turner; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Dale Watson; Mandy Barnett

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of July 3 & 4, 1992:

Friday July 3
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Roy Drusky; The 4 Guys; Charlie Walker
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Skeeter Davis; Billy Dean
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Grandpa Jones; Jeanne Pruett; Wilma Lee Cooper
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jack Greene; The Carlisles; Mike Snider
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Jimmy Dickens; Teddy Wilburn

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Stonewall Jackson; Billy Dean
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Anderson; Grandpa Jones
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); The 4 Guys; Charlie Walker; Mike Snider
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jeanne Pruett; Justin Tubb; Jim Ed Brown; The Carlisles
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Teddy Wilburn; Jack Greene
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday July 4
1st show
6:30: The 4 Guys (host); Jeannie Seely
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard
7:00: Jack Greene (host); Jeanne Pruett; Charlie Walker; Mike Snider
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Alison Krauss; Johnny Russell
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Stonewall Jackson; Bill Anderson; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Louvin; Skeeter Davis; Jim Ed Brown; Jan Howard

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Stonewall Jackson; Alison Krauss
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jack Greene; Wilma Lee Cooper
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Mike Snider
10:30: The 4 Guys (host); Jeannie Seely
10:45: Bill Anderson (host); Justin Tubb; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Roy Drusky; Jan Howard; The Carlisles; Jeanne Pruett
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Skeeter Davis; Charlie Louvin; Johnny Russell

And from 50 years ago, Saturday July 1, 1967. What made this night special is that Lonzo & Oscar appeared on the Opry and it was a new "Lonzo" as Dave Hooten replaced Johnny Sullivan.

Rare are  the performers who have been able to burlesque or satire Country musicians successfully as in the case of Lonzo and Oscar. Born Rollin Sullivan and Dave Hooten, they are the only duo who were on the Grand Ole Opry that was able to get by with poking fun at their colleagues and the music they sing seriously.

For Rollin and Dave, the road to stardom was rocky. Originally the team was composed of Ken Marvin and Oscar (Rollin) and they made their debut on Radio WTJS, Jackson, Tennessee, shortly before World War II. At that time, they recorded the tune "I'm My Own Grandpa." Shortly after this, Ken withdrew from the act and Rollin's brother, Johnny Sullivan, became a full-time member. For several years they traveled throughout the world with Eddy Arnold's show, and it was Eddy who came up with the name of Lonzo and Oscar. They continued on to new heights as a comedy team making hundreds of television films and records. They also appeared on Network telecasts such as "The Kate Smith Show," "Dave Garroway Show," and "Ed Sullivan's Show." They have also worked extensively with many syndicated television shows originating in Nashville. In addition, their comic stylings graced numerous transcriptions and Armed Forces radio shows.

Tragedy struck in 1967 when Johnny (Lonzo) died of a heart-attack while driving a tractor on his farm near Goodlettsville, Tennessee. As agreed before his death, "The show must go on," thereby Dave Hooten was asked to replace the void left by Johnny's death.

Oscar Sullivan joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1942, and Lonzo & Oscar remained members of the Opry until October October 19, 1985, when Rollin  (Oscar) Sullivan made the decision to retire. Rollin passed away in 2012, while Dave Hooten, at last report, is still alive. While Rollin retired from the Opry, he still remained active, performing at times with various Lonzos. David continued as a solo act, with minor success.

Here is the line-up from the 2nd show that night:

9:30: Kellogg's
Charlie Louvin (host): See the Big Man Cry
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
George Hamilton IV: Break My Mind
4 Guys: Shenandoah
Charlie Louvin: I Forgot to Cry
Stringbean: Cumberland Gap
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen
Bill Carlisle: Take This Country Music and Shove It
Charlie Louvin: Here Comes Someone's Heartaches

10:00: Schick
Ernest Tubb (host): In the Jailhouse Now
Jim & Jesse: Ballad of Thunder Road
Del Wood: 12th St. Rag
Ernest Tubb: Yesterday's Winner is a Loser Today

10:15: Pure
Glaser Brothers (host): The Last Thing on My Mind
Margie Bowes: Making Believe
Cousin Jody: A Thousand and One Nights
Glaser Brothers: The Eyes of Love

10:30: Buckley's
Roy Acuff (host): Please Come Back, Little Pal
Lonzo & Oscar: Moving On #2
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird/Pins & Needles

10:45: Newport
Bob Luman (host): Let's Think About Living
Marion Worth: Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Bob Luman: Why Don't You Leave Me Alone

11:00: Coca-Cola
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Big Midnight Special
Stu Phillips: Vin Rose
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
4 Guys: Ruby, Don't Take Your Guns to Town
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: You're Never Very Far From My Mind
Sam & Kirk McGee: I Don't Love Nobody
Harold Weakley: To Russia with Care
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die

11:30: Lava
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Glaser Brothers: Gone on the Other Hand
Harold Morrison: I'm a Bluebird
June Stearns: Tear for Tear
Archie Campbell: Mommy's Little Angel &  Daddy's Pride and Joy
Johnny Carver: It's Such a Pretty World Today
Glaser Brothers: The Eyes of Love
Archie Campbell: Most Richly Blessed

Finally, it is always special when Johnny Cash visited the Opry and he did just that on Friday July 1, 1988. He appeared on the 2nd show that night. And on the following night, Saturday July 2, former Opry member Webb Pierce made a guest appearance, appearing on the televised TNN segment with Lynn Anderson, and hosted by Hank Snow.

Friday July 1, 1988
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); The 4 Guys; Jeannie Seely; Roy Drusky; Skeeter Davis
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeanne Pruett; Stonewall Jackson; Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith; Del Reeves
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard; Jim & Jesse; Randy Travis
8:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jack Greene; The Whites; Osborne Brothers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Lorrie Morgan; Billy Walker; Hank Locklin; Bill Carlisle

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Ray Pillow; Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); The 4 Guys; Charlie Walker; Wilma Lee Cooper; Justin Tubb
10:30: Roy Acuff (host); Jim & Jesse; Johnny Cash
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy Dickens; The Whites
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Hank Locklin; Osborne Brothers; Johnny Russell

Saturday July 2, 1988
1st show
6:30: The 4 Guys (host); Lorrie Morgan
6:45: Billy Walker (host); Jean Shepard
7:00: Jack Greene (host); Connie Smith; Jim & Jesse; Hank Locklin; Coon Creek Girls
7:30: Hank Snow (host); Lynn Anderson; Webb Pierce
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Jan Howard; Del Reeves; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Charlie Walker (host); Skeeter Davis; Charlie Louvin; Roy Drusky; Jeannie Seely

2nd show
9:30: Jack Greene (host); Jeanne Pruett; Ray Pillow; Wilma Lee Cooper; Lynn Anderson
10:00: Stonewall Jackson (host); The 4 Guys
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; Dan Kelly
10:30: Jim & Jesse (host); Bill Carlisle
10:45: Roy Drusky (host); Webb Pierce; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jan Howard; Justin Tubb; Hank Locklin; Del Reeves
11:30: Charlie Walker (host); Jeannie Seely; Charlie Louvin; Skeeter Davis; Cotton Ivy

And in case anyone forgot who Cotton Ivy was, his actual name was Lamarse Howard Ivy, who was born on May 15, 1930 in Decatur County, Tennessee. He was known as a humorist and comedian, but in real life, he served as a Democrat in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1985-1989, after which he served as Tennessee's Commissioner of Agriculture. At last report, he is still alive at the age of 87.

There you have it for this week. Happy July 4th to everyone and I hope each one of you enjoys the Opry this weekend!!





Sunday, June 25, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 6/27 & Wednesday Night Opry 6/28

Every year, one of the highlights on the Grand Ole Opry calendar is when the ACM Lifting Lives Music Campers appear on the Opry. In the past Trace Adkins has performed with this group of special youngsters and this year, on the Tuesday Night Opry, it will be Chris Young. Also appearing on Tuesday night will be frequent Opry guest Chris Janson.

7:00: Connie Smith; Wade Hayes
7:30: Bill Anderson; Chris Janson
Intermission
8:15: Jim Lauderdale; Carly Pearce
8:45: Chris Young; ACM Lifting Lives Music Campers

The Wednesday Night Opry will feature another performance by CeCe Winans, along with the Charlie Daniels Band, Plus, another Opry appearance by one of the newest members, Crystal Gayle

7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Lindi Ortega
7:30: Drew Baldridge; Crystal Gayle
Intermission
8:15: The Swon Brothers; CeCe Winans
8:45: Charlie Daniels Band


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 6/23 & 6/24

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. One show each night, both with pretty solid line-ups.

Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for both nights include Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider (keeping his streak alive), Connie Smith, and the Grand Ole Opry's newest members, Dailey & Vincent, who continue to impress with the number of Opry appearances that they have been making. That group will be joined on Friday night by members Riders In The Sky and Jesse McReynolds, while on Saturday night, The Whites and Bobby Osborne are on the scheduled.

Among those making a guest appearance this weekend will be Mark Wills, who is scheduled for both nights. For Mark, this two appearances will be his 14th and 15th of the year. Only 11 of the Opry's 60+ members have appeared more. Even looking back several years, Mark has appeared on the Opry more than most of the members. While not the biggest star in country music, Mark has had a pretty nice career and it is good that he comes out and supports the Opry.

Additional guest artists on Friday night include Ashley Campbell, comedian Henry Cho, Brooke Eden, Kristian Bush and making his Opry debut, Jacob Davis. Saturday's guests include Mo Pitney, Maggie Rose, Robbie Fulks and Post Monroe.

As mentioned, this will be the Opry debut for Josh Davis. Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, he is a singer/songwriter currently signed to Black River Entertainment. He has opened for Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Sam Hunt and Kelsea Ballerini. "What I Wanna Be" is his debut single that was released this past spring.

Friday June 23
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Ashley Campbell; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Mark Wills
Intermission
8:15: Dailey & Vincent (host); Henry Cho; Jacob Davis
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Brooke Eden; Kristian Bush

Saturday June 24
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mo Pitney; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Maggie Rose; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
Intermission
8:15: Dailey & Vincent (host); Robbie Fulks; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Post Monroe; Mark Wills

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of June 22 & 23, 2007:

Friday June 22
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jeff Bates
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Dusty Drake
9:00: Pam Tillis (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rissi Palmer
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Marty Stuart

Saturday June 23
1st show
6:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Mel McDaniel; Jim Lauderdale
7:00: Pam Tillis (host); Jack Greene; David Ball
7:30: The Whites (host); T.G. Sheppard; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; Billy Dean; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); John England & The Western Singers; Jimmy Wayne

2nd show
9:30: Pam Tillis (host); The Whites; Billy Dean
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); John England & The Western Swingers; David Ball; Rebecca Lynn Howard
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jack Greene; Jimmy Wayne; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); T.G. Sheppard; Jim Lauderdale

Now from 25 years ago, June 26 & 27, 1992:

Friday June 26
1st show
6:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; Roy Drusky; The Carlisles; Wilma Lee Cooper
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Billy Walker; Ray Pillow; The 4 Guys
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Grandpa Jones; George Hamilton IV; Jeanne Pruett
8:00: Del Reeves (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites; Mario Martin
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Mike Snider; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Stu Phillips; Skeeter Davis; Billy Walker; The 4 Guys
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard; Grandpa Jones; George Hamilton IV
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Carlisles; Ray Pillow; Mario Martin; Jeanne Pruett
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider
11:30: Del Reeves (host); The Whites; Charlie Walker; Johnny Russell
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday June 27
1st show
6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Del Reeves; The Carlisles
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jeanne Pruett; Charlie Walker; Floyd Cramer
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Stu Phillips; Jan Howard; Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Roy Drusky; Connie Smith; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Skeeter Davis; Floyd Cramer
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Jeanne Pruett
10:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jack Greene
10:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Charlie Walker; Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Teddy Wilburn; Jan Howard; The Whites
11:30: Del Reeves (host); Connie Smith; The Carlisles; Mike Snider

(The Whites actually cancelled out on Saturday night. They were replaced by Stu Phillips on the 2nd show).

So who was Mario Martin, featured on both shows on Friday night?

Mario Martin is a vocalist and guitar player who now makes and markets his own brand of guitars. He started singing and playing at an early age at family gatherings, school functions and parties. At age 15, Mario was playing at local honky-tonks and clubs in the Macon, Georgia area. In 1990, he entered the "Country Showdown," a national talent competition sponsored by Tru Value Hardware and GMC trucks. He finished as first runner-up out of more than 1,000 contestants. Based on that contest, Mario received a record deal in 1991, with his first record released on the now defunct Nashville based DPI Records, the same label on which Hoyt Axton and Mel McDaniel recorded for. Within the course of several years, Mario released several more albums and was on the road opening for Ricky Skaggs, Tracy Lawrence, John Anderson and Lee Greenwood. By the end of 1993, DPI had gone out of business. Not giving up, Mario kept playing clubs, fairs and festivals as an independent artist. In 1995 he moved to Nashville to seek another record deal and play local country music clubs. Mario said, "Playing in Nashville, for the most part, doesn't pay the bills. There are too many gigging musicians. That is why I finally decided to chase my other, more lucrative, passion of working on guitars. After spending some time working for Fender Musical Instruments and Music Instrument Restoration Corporation, he went into business for himself and started his own company, The Guitar Mill. He has done well since.

And finally, it was on Saturday June 24, 1989 that some guy named Garth Brooks made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Jeannie Seely: Tell Me Again
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): Ashes of Love/Blue Moon of Kentucky/That's All Right
Jean Shepard: Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco/Charlie's Shoes

7:00: Shoney's
Jack Greene (host): There's A Whole Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know
Ray Pillow: 'Til the Best Comes Along
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
The Whites: Blue Letters/Follow the Leader
Jack Greene: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me

7:30: Standard Candy
Johnny Russell (host): In A Mansion Stands My Love
4 Guys: Turn Around; Look at Me/Kokomo
Garth Brooks: I'm Much Too Young to Feel this Damn Old/If Tomorrow Never Comes
Johnny Russell: Act Naturally

8:00: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle/Elvira
Roy Drusky: Wings of a Dove/One Day at a Time
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Bill Cheatham
Oswald: Black Smoke's A Risin'

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): The Call of the Wild
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Mike Snider: Ground Speed
Hank Snow: I Almost Lost My Mind

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jack Greene (host): Happy Tracks
4 Guys: I'm All Tied Up
Billy Walker: A Million and One
The Whites: Hangin' Around/Doing it By the Book
Jack Greene: The Last Letter

10:00: Little Debbie
Charlie Walker (host): A Way to Free Myself
Jean Shepard: Home in San Antone/Time Changes Everything/Roly Poly
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Bill Carlisle: Worried Man Blues
Roy Acuff: Back in the Country/I'll Fly Away

10:30: Pet Milk
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Garth Brooks: I'm Much Too Young to Feel this Damn Old/IF Tomorrow Never Comes
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou

10:45: B. C. Powder
Roy Drusky (host): Too Old to Die Young
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Dance all Night
Roy Drusky: Mansion Over the Hilltop

11:00: Coca-Cola
Ray Pillow (host): Too Many Memories
Jeannie Seely: One Step Away, From Coming Home/Why Doesn't he Just Leave Me Alone
Mike Snider: Look What They've Done to the Dominica Chicken
Ray Pillow: I'll Break Out Again Tonight

11:30: Creamette
Johnny Russell (host): Got No Reason Now for Going Home
Connie Smith: Walk Me to the Door/Why Don't You Love Me
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel/Buried Alive
Johnny Russell: Me & Bobby McGee

You will notice that Hank Snow only did the first show that Saturday night. Why, you might ask? Hank had a habit of going home between his segments. On that particular night, Hank was involved in a car accident, thus not making it back for the 2nd show.

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




Monday, June 19, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 6/20 & Wednesday Night Opry 6/21

As summer continues, so do the mid-week Grand Ole Opry shows. The Tuesday Night Opry will feature another appearance by the Opry's newest members, Dailey & Vincent, while Rhonda Vincent will be appearing on the Wednesday Night Opry, along with another appearance by CeCe Winans, who has been booked for each of the upcoming Wednesday night shows.

Tuesday June 20
7:00: Riders In The Sky; RaeLynn
7:30: T. Graham Brown; Chuck Wicks
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson; Danielle Bradbery
8:45: Dailey & Vincent; Kelsea Ballerini

Wednesday June 21
7:00: Rhonda Vincent; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Thompson Square; Eli Young Band
Intermission
8:15: Brett Eldredge; CeCe Winans; Charlie Daniels Band

It should be worth noting that Rhonda Vincent and Daryle Singletary have a new CD out together. I am sure they will be performing a number of songs from that CD.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 6/16 & 6/17

CMA Fest is done and gone for another year, and based on everything I read and heard, it was another success. Lots of events and some big crowds downtown. It was also a big week of Opry shows, with a lot of big names. Now that the festival is over, most of those artists have left town and are working at the various country music festivals that are going on around the country. That leaves the Opry with some interesting names for the shows this weekend.

Grand Ole Opry members appearing both nights include John Conlee, Mike Snider (who keeps his string going of not missing any weekend Opry shows so far in 2016), The Whites and Connie Smith. That group will be joined by Craig Morgan (who on his schedule as monthly Opry appearances listed through the fall) on Friday night, and Jesse McReynolds on Saturday night. A pretty slim list of five members each night.

Among the guests on Friday night is someone who I always have thought would make a good Opry member, and that is Kathy Mattea. I have always enjoyed her music and her background and each time she is on the Opry it is a treat. Joining her on Friday will be newcomer Ashley McBryde (who appeared last week on Marty Stuart's late night jam), Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith Band, Sundance Head, veteran Darryl Worley, and Linda Davis, who has been working with Kenny Rogers on his farewell tour.

Saturday night brings the legendary Wanda Jackson to the Opry stage. Wanda has appeared several times at the Opry during her legendary career and I am sure she will rock the house again. I saw her a few years ago when she hosted the Midnight Jamboree and she was amazing that night. Also scheduled is Jimmy Wayne, Exile, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, along with Angaleena Presley.

Friday June 16
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Linda Davis; Darryl Worley
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Summer Brooke & The Mountain Faith Band; Sundance Head
8:45: Craig Morgan (host); Ashley McBryde; Kathy Mattea

Saturday June 17
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy Wayne; Exile
7:30: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: John Conlee (host); Wanda Jackson; Angaleena Presley

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of June 15 & 16, 2007:

Friday June 15
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider; Angela Hacker
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; Little General Cloggers; Daryle Singletary
9:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Tommy Emmanuel; Cadillac Sky
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Tracy Byrd

Saturday June 16
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; John England & The Western Swingers
7:00: Brad Paisley
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; The Whites
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Tommy Emmanuel; Cadillac Sky; Hal Ketchum

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Brad Paisley
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Catherine Britt
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Tommy Emmanuel; Cadillac Sky
11:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Charlie Louvin; Jean Shepard; John England & The Western Swingers

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday June 20, 1992:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Porter Wagoner (host): Sugarfoot Rag
Charlie Louvin: My Baby's Gone
Porter Wagoner: You Old Love Letters

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water
Grandpa Jones: When the Bees are in the Hive

7:00: Shoney's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Don't Bother to Knock
David Houston: I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
Jeanne Pruett: I Oughta Feel Guilty
Billy Walker: Jesse
The Whites: Hangin' Around
Jim Ed Brown: Family Bible

7:30: Standard Candy
Jack Greene (host): My World Ain't Turning Yet
Jean Shepard: An Old Bridge that You Keep Burning
Vic Willis Trio: Colorado
Vince Gill: Take Your Memory With You When You Go/Look at Us
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/He Is My Everything

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
4 Guys: How Married Are You Mary Ann/We're Only Here for A Little While
Mike Snider: Ground Speed/Putting On the Dog
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Bill Cheatham
Roy Acuff: That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

8:30: Opryland
Hank Snow (host): Conscience, I'm Guilty
Roy Drusky: Jody & The Kid
Jan Howard: I Wish I Could Love Like that Much Again
Jimmy C Newman: Don't Say; Don't Say/Diggy Liggy Lo
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me
Tommy Varden: Cotton Eyed Joe

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Ray Pillow: Bubbles in My Beer
Ernie Ashworth: Each Moment Spent with You
Teddy Wilburn: Making Plans
Vince Gill: When I Call Your Name/Drifting Too Far From the Shore
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Going Down the Country
Stonewall Jackson: B.J. the D.J.
The Whites: Doing it by the Book
Grandpa Jones: It's Raining Here this Morning

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Charlie Louvin & Charles Whitstein: When I Stop Dreaming/Make Him A Soldier
Roy Acuff: Jesus Will Outshine them All/That's the Man I'm Looking For

10:30: Pet
Jim Ed Brown (host): Lyin' In Love with You
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jim Ed Brown: Scarlet Ribbons

10:45: B. C. Powder
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Charlie Nagatani: (?)
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Rachel
Jack Greene: Ever Since My Baby Went Away

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): White Silver Sands
4 Guys: Big River
Jean Shepard: Above & Beyond
Billy Walker: Coffee Brown Eyes
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
Hank Snow: Blueberry Hill

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Jan Howard: Heartaches by the Number
Roy Drusky: One Day at A Time
Mike Snider: Look What They've Done to the Dominica Hen/Dueling Banjos
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

Finally, while the Grand Ole Opry recognizes June 1, 1967 as the date Stu Phillips became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, it was actually 50 years ago, June 17, 1967 that Stu made his first appearance on the Opry as a member. Here is the line-up from the 2nd show that night:

9:30: Kellogg's
Charlie Louvin (host): See the Big Man Cry
Willis Brothers: Somebody Knows My Dog
Bob Luman: Why Don't You Leave Me Alone
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Charlie Louvin: How Great Thou Art
Bobby Lord: Life Can Have Meaning
Charlie Louvin: Off & On

10:00: Schick
Billy Grammer (host): Wabash Cannonball
Del Wood: Under the Double Eagle
Stringbean: The Big 'Un Got Away
Billy Grammer: Detroit City

10:15: Pure
Justin Tubb (host): You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Osborne Brothers: Roll Muddy River
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday

10:30: Buckley's
The Browns (host): Where Does the Good Times Go
Stu Phillips: (?)
The Browns: All of Me Belongs to You/The Fugitive

10:45: Newport
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: The Birds are Back to Sing
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bob Luman (host): Let's Think About Living
Marion Worth: You Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire on the Mountain
Duke of Paducah: Four Leaf Clover
Bob Luman: Memphis
Sam McGee: Amos Johnson Rag
Marion Worth: He Thinks I Still Care
Bob Luman: You Can Take the Boy from the Country

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): No Tears, Milady
Ernie Ashworth: At Ease Heart
Wilma Burgess: There Goes My Everything
Don Winters: Chime Bells
Marty Robbins: Tonight Carmen
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Begging to You/Bouquet of Roses/I Could Never be Ashamed of You/You Know How Talk Gets Around/Lovesick Blues/El Paso

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend and a very happy Father's Day to all of the fathers!!







Monday, June 12, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 6/13 & Wednesday Night Opry 6/14

Things should be getting back to normal in Nashville this week now that the CMA Music Festival has ended and, sorry to say, the Nashville Predators lost in the Stanley Cup finals. But now that summer is upon us, the Opry begins a few weeks of Opry shows on Wednesday night, while the Thursday night Opry Country Classics have ended the spring run and will be coming back in the fall.

Regarding the Tuesday Night Opry, Grand Ole Opry members Rascal Flatts and Clint Black will be making appearances. For Clint, this is a rescheduled appearance from earlier this year from which he had to cancel due to illness. Interesting that they have given Rascal Flatts the entire last segment, while Clint, who rarely appears at the Opry, gets the normal 15 minutes.

7:00: John Conlee; Drew Baldridge
7:30: Henry Cho; Connie Smith
Intermission
8:15: Carly Pearce; Clint Black
8:45: Rascal Flatts

The Wednesday Night Opry also has a pretty solid line-up:

7:00: Riders In The Sky; Ray Scott
7:30: Jo Smith; Restless Heart
Intermission
8:15: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Charlie Worsham
8:45: CeCe Winans; Ricky Skaggs


Saturday, June 10, 2017

June Opry Highlights

Welcome to the month of June and Summer!!! And as summer rolls around, vacation season goes into high gear which means lots of visitors to Nashville including those who come to town for the CMA Music Fest. As for the Grand Ole Opry, June has always been a busy month and here are the highlights and important events that have taken place regarding the Opry or its members, during the month of June.

June 17, 1910: Clyde Julian Foley was born in Blue Lick, Kentucky. Better known as Red, he joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1946, replacing Roy Acuff as the host of the Prince Albert portion of the show. He stayed at the Opry until 1954 when he left Nashville and went to Springfield, Missouri as the host of the Ozark Jubilee. When Red came to the Opry, it was specifically to host the Prince Albert portion and as such, he did not appear on any other segments of the Opry.

June 19, 1914: Lester Flatt was born in Overton County, Tennessee. Lester would become famous as a member of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, then later teaming up with Earl Scruggs in the highly successful Flatt & Scruggs duo. After a very successful run, Lester and Earl split due to creative differences, with Lester favoring a more traditional bluegrass sound. He then formed the Nashville Grass and continued with that group, and at the Opry, until his death in 1979. While on the Opry, Lester traditionally hosted the Martha White portion of the show.

June 17, 1916: David Akeman, better known as Stringbean, was born in Anniville, Kentucky. Stringbean had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for years, and was famous for his comedy and banjo playing. However, it was his role on Hee Haw that brought Stringbean his greatest fame to a national audience. Stringbean died in November 1973 when he, along with his wife Estelle, were murdered upon returning home from an Opry appearance.

June 28, 1924: George Morgan was born in Waverly, Tennessee. George spent several years in Ohio, specifically the Barberton area before becoming a star on the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree. In 1948 he came to Nashville and the Opry, as the replacement for Eddy Arnold, who had recently left the show. George would remain a popular Opry member until his death in 1975. On a historical note, it was George who hosted the final segment of the Friday Night Opry prior to the move to the new Grand Ole Opry House in March 1974. George, who is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, is also the father of current Opry member Lorrie Morgan.

June 19, 1926: DeFord Bailey made his debut on the WSM Barn Dance. DeFord was a member of the Grand Ole Opry until he was fired by Opry founder George D. Hay in 1941. His song, "Pan American Blues" would often be the opening number on the Opry's early broadcasts. After he was fired from the Opry, DeFord remained bitter toward WSM and the Opry for many years, and declined several invitations to come back and perform on the Opry. Finally, on February 23, 1974, he returned to the Opry for the Old-Timer's Night. He was introduced by Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl and received a great ovation. He would return for several more Opry appearances, making his final appearance in April 1982, several months prior to his death.

June 2, 1927: Carl Butler was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. Along with his wife Pearl, Carl had one of the biggest hits in the history of country music, "Don't Let Me Cross Over." Carl and Pearl were members of the Grand Ole Opry for several years in the early 1960's. He passed away in 1992.

June 23, 1929: Valarie June Carter was born in Maces Springs, Virginia. She, along with sisters Anita and Helen, and their mother Maybelle, came to the Opry in 1950. While June was not much of a singer, she was a fine comedian and often teamed with Rod Brasfield and Jimmy Dickens.

June 12, 1936: Dr. Humphrey Bate, founder and leader of the Possum Hunters, died at the age of 61. Following Uncle Jimmy Thompson, Dr. Bate is considered the Opry's 2nd original member. In fact, many historians feel that he may actually have been the first rural performer to have been featured on WSM. Either way, Dr. Bate and the Possum Hunters were an important part of the Opry and his contributions are often overlooked.

June 13, 1936: Because of the size of the crowds, the Opry moved to the Dixie Tabernacle, located on Fatherland Street in East Nashville. While sounding impressive, the Tabernacle was actually a very primitive facility with wooden benches, sawdust floors and no dressing rooms. It was basically an old barn that had sides which were opened during the summer to keep the air flowing thru. However, it did seat 3,500 and contributed to the growth of the Opry.

June 5, 1937: Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys became members of the Grand Ole Opry. Pee Wee was one of the first professional entertainers to join the show and he helped to bring a more professional look to the Opry as his Golden West Cowboys were one of the sharpest looking groups around. Pee Wee and the Opry's founder, George D. Hay had many disagreements as the founder felt that Pee Wee's group was not country enough. As mentioned, Pee Wee brought a lot of professionalism to the show including being the first act to be introduced with entry and exit music. Pee Wee stayed at the Opry for a number of years before leaving and moving to Louisville, Kentucky to work in television. He had a successful show that aired live in several markets including Louisville, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Chicago. Later becoming famous for the "Tennessee Waltz." Pee Wee would continue to make guest appearances on the Opry. His autobiography, "Hell-Bent for Music" is excellent and I highly recommend the book.

June 25, 1940: Republic Pictures released the movie "Grand Ole Opry" which starred Roy Acuff, George D. Hay and Uncle Dave Macon. It was considered a basic movie for the times and while it was no means an academy award winner, it offers a great look at an early Roy Acuff. Copies can still be found online.

June 5, 1943: The Grand Ole Opry moves to the Ryman Auditorium, which would become known as "The Mother Church of Country Music." The Opry would stay at the Ryman until March 1974, and since 1999 has made annual winter visits back. Many consider the Opry's years at the Ryman as the golden years of the Opry and the show had tremendous growth while at the Ryman. While many were sad to see the Opry leave in 1974, deteriorating conditions in the building and in downtown Nashville made the move a necessity.

June 6, 1944: D-Day and the day that Grant Turner began working at WSM radio. Grant, who would become known as the "Dean" of Opry announcers, would remain at WSM and the Opry until his death in October 1991. Grant, who is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, also hosted served as an announcer for the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, and did the Opry's warm-up show.

June 17, 1944: The Poe Sisters, Ruth and Nellie, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. Their idols were the Delmore Brothers, and George D. Hay would often refer to them as the "female Delmore Brothers." The Poe Sisters performed regionally in the Northeast before coming to Nashville and the Opry. However, their time at the Opry was very short. They originally left the Opry in 1945 when Ruth got married. They were gone for a few months, then came back, however in August 1946 they left again, this time for good.

June 17, 1944: On the same night as the Poe Sisters, Rod Brasfield made his Grand Ole Opry debut.

June 11, 1949: Hank Williams made his Grand Ole Opry debut. The performance was one for the ages as Hank was called back for a reported six encores, an Opry record that still stands to this day. The song that inspired the encores was "Lovesick Blues." Jimmy Dickens, who was there that night, would often say that it was the greatest Opry performance he had ever seen.

June 12, 1954: Ferlin Husky became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Ferlin would stay as an Opry member until December 1964 when he was fired for failing to make the required number of Opry appearances. Like a few of the others who were terminated, Ferlin would not rejoin the cast but would return for guest appearances.

June 1, 1957: As part of the youth movement that was taking place at the Opry, the Everly Brothers became Opry members. The Everly Brothers did not stay long however, as they were destined for bigger and better things.

June 13, 1959: Roy Drusky became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Roy came to Nashville and the Opry from Atlanta, Georgia and would remain an Opry member until his death in September 2004. In my opinion, Roy had one of the smoothest voices in country music and was a terrific ballad singer.

June 17, 1959: Grand Ole Opry member Loretta Lynn Morgan, better known as Lorrie, was born. And no, she was not named after Loretta Lynn.

June 14, 1961: Opry member Patsy Cline was seriously injured in an automobile accident in Nashville. It would take Patsy almost eight months to recover from the injuries, which left a scar on her forehead. Because of that scar, Patsy would wear a wig just about ever time she performed after that accident.

June 29, 1963: Jim Reeves made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jim joined the Opry in 1955, coming to Nashville from the Louisiana Hayride. At the time he left the Opry, Jim felt that he had outgrown the show and was already moving toward a more uptown, contemporary sound.

June 8, 1964: Alton Delmore died at the age of 55 in Huntsville, Alabama. The Delmore Brothers were early members of the Opry, performing on the show in the 1930's. Their influence would carry on for many years and in 2001 they were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

June 12, 1965: Tex Ritter became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. When Tex joined the cast, he was at the tail end of his great western movie career and many wondered why Tex would want to come to Nashville and be a part of the Opry. Tex surprised everyone, becoming one of the Opry's more popular members and becoming very involved in the Nashville community. For a period of time, he co-hosted the overnight radio program with Ralph Emery on WSM. Tex, who was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1964, was one of the early leaders and founding members of the Country Music Association and his wife was considered one of the Opry's ambassadors. Tex passed away from a heart attack in January 1974.

June 20, 1965: Ira Louvin, the older brother of Charlie Louvin and one half of the duo, the Louvin Brothers, was killed in an automobile accident. One of the greatest duos in country music history, the Louvin Brothers were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

June 25, 1966: Grand Ole Opry member Willie Nelson made his final appearance as a member of the Opry. Willie joined the Opry in November 1964, but things were not working out well for Willie in Nashville, so he left for his home state of Texas. While in Texas, Willie developed a new look and sound and became one of the biggest acts in the history of country music. While never coming back to the Opry as a member, Willie has made several guest appearances.

June 1, 1967: Stu Phillips became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Stu's 50th year as an Opry member, and along with Hank Snow and Terri Clark, are the only two Opry members to join the cast from Canada. While June 1st is recognized as the date Stu joined, Stu did not make his first appearance as an Opry member until June 17.

June 28, 1974: Former Beatles member Paul McCarthy is introduced on the stage of the Opry by Roy Acuff. Paul did not perform but was visiting Nashville as part of a vacation with his family.

June 28, 1974: On that same night, Grand Ole Opry member George Morgan made his final Opry appearance. Included on the show that night was his daughter Lorrie, and they performed a duet together, "Smile for Me." Shortly afterwards, George passed away after suffering a heart attack.

June 17, 1978: Marty Robbins drove his new custom-made Panther Deville onto the stage of the Opry. In a moment of good humor, Roy Acuff found a security guard who wrote out a parking ticket to Marty.

June 20, 1980: Boxcar Willie made his Grand Ole Opry debut. Boxcar would later become a member of the Opry.

June 19, 1982: Riders In The Sky became members of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be their 35th year as Opry members. They remain the only members of the Opry keeping the sound of western music alive on the Opry stage.

June 9, 1984: Following in the footsteps of her father, Lorrie Morgan became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Lorrie's 33rd year as a member. Lorrie made her Opry debut at the age of 13, singing "Paper Roses."

June 18, 1984: Former Grand Ole Opry member Paul Howard passed away at the age of 75 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Paul joined the Opry in 1942 with his group, the Arkansas Cotton Pickers. The group included Grady Martin and Hank Garland and specialized in western music. Paul stayed with the Opry though the 1940's. He did return later for several of the Opry's reunion shows.

June 20, 1986: Whitey Ford, the Duke of Paducah, died at the age of 85. Whitey joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1942 and remained a member of the Opry until 1959, when he left to pursue other career opportunities. Like others who left the cast, Whitey would return for numerous appearances. Along with Minnie Pearl, Whitey was the featured comedian on the Prince Albert shows before he was replaced by Rod Brasfield. After Rod joined, Whitey was shifted to other segments. In 1986, the year he died, Whitey was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

June 4, 1988: Herman Crook, the last living link to the start of the WSM Barn Dance and the Grand Ole Opry, performed on the Opry for the final time. Herman was a part of the Opry for 62 years, first appearing in 1926. Herman was a harmonica player and was a part of the Crook Brothers, the last true string band to appear on the Opry. Over the years, the Possum Hunters, Gully Jumpers and the Fruit Jar Drinkers would disappear, with members from those groups merged into the others, until only the Crook Brothers were left. Herman passed away the following week on June 10, after which the Crook Brothers name would disappear from the Opry line-ups.

June 10, 1988: Ricky Van Shelton became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Now retired, this will be Ricky's 29th year as a member of the Opry's cast.

June 11, 1988: Patty Loveless became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. At one time, Patty was a part of the Wilburn Brother's television show and performed as part of Porter Wagoner's show. Many times she has talked about how much Porter helped and influenced her career. And on the night she joined, it was Porter who inducted her.

June 11, 1988: On the same night that Patty Loveless became an Opry member, future Opry member Holly Dunn made her Opry debut.

June 24, 1989: Garth Brooks made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Garth would become an Opry member the following year.

June 2, 1990: Mike Snider became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 27th year as an Opry member. Mike is a great comedian and also a great banjo player and leads a string band that plays the type of music that the Opry was founded on. In fact, these days Mike is much more serious about the music than the comedy.

June 7, 1991: Alan Jackson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Alan's 26th year as an Opry member. This will be a big year for Alan as later this year he will become one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

June 14, 1991: Future Grand Ole Opry member Clint Black made his Opry debut.

June 15, 1991: Grand Ole Opry legend Minnie Pearl made her last appearance associated with an Opry sponsored show. That night she performed in Joliet, Illinois. Several days later, she suffered a massive stroke that ended her performing days.

June 3, 1994: The Ryman Auditorium reopened for the first time since the building was renovated as Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion was broadcast live from the auditorium. After the Opry left in 1974, the building sat basically empty, with the public being allowed in for self guided tours. After a performance and live album by Emmylou Harris, Gaylord Entertainment saw the value and importance of renovating the building. It is now one of Nashville's great treasures and one of the best decisions that Gaylord ever made.

June 3, 1994: Former Grand Ole Opry member Wally Fowler passed away at the age of 77. Wally came to Nashville in 1948 with his Oak Ridge Quartet and was a part of the Opry until 1950. During the time they were at the Opry, the Oak Ridge Quartet was featured on the Prince Albert portion of the show and Wally would many times host the final Opry segment. Over time, the Oak Ridge Quartet would become the Oak Ridge Boys, and the focus of the group would go from gospel to country. By then, Wally had long left the group. Coming full circle, the Oak Ridge Boys have become Opry members.

June 4, 1994: Former Opry member Zeke Clements died at the age of 82. Zeke came to the Opry in the 1930's as a member of the Bronco Busters, which were led by Texas Ruby.

June 17, 1994: Sarah Wilson of Sarie and Sallie, who were Opry members from 1934-1939, passed away at the age of 97. And yes, they were really sisters, Edna Wilson and Margaret Waters.

June 23, 1995: Current WSM personality and Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs became an Opry announcer.

June 29, 1999: Pete Fisher became the general manager of the Grand Ole Opry, the first person hired specifically for that position. Pete would remain with the Opry until January 2017 when he left to become the head of the Academy of Country Music.

June 10, 2000: The Grand Ole Opry introduced a new Opry backdrop. The new state of the art lighting replaced the old red barn that had been used in various forms since the Opry moved to the Opry House in 1974. It was reported at the time that the old backdrop was being donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame, however if it has, it has never been put on display.

June 17, 2000: The Opry begins streaming shows live on the internet, giving those around the world an opportunity to listen to the show live. For many, it was the first chance to hear the show without static interference.

June 14, 2003: While Trace Adkins was making a guest appearance on the Opry, Jimmy Dickens came out with a ladder, climbed it and asked Trace if he would like to become a member of the Opry's cast. Trace, of course, said yes, and was inducted several months later.

June 12, 2004: Terri Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 13th year as an Opry member, and was the third person from Canada to join the cast.

June 9, 2007: Mel Tillis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, being introduced on the Opry's stage by his daughter Pam. This will be his 10th year as an Opry member. Mel has not been on the Opry in over a year as he continues to recover from a serious illness. Mel had actually been a part of the Opry before, as a member of Porter Wagoner's Wagonmasters and there is a belief that Mel was actually asked to become an individual member during that same time period, accepted but then backed out. He even made it into one edition of the Opry's History Picture Book as a member. However, it wasn't until 2007 that it became official.

June 6, 2008: The 4 Guys made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, in what would prove to be their final Opry appearance. They had been fired from the Opry in 2000 as all of the original members of the group had moved on or retired. They were introduced that night by Bill Anderson and received a nice response from the audience.

June 28, 2008: This was the final night that the Grand Ole Opry began its Saturday night first show at 6:30. The following week, the show was scheduled for 7:00, where it has been since. The show length was also cut 30 minutes, down to a two hours show.

June 23, 2009: Montgomery Gentry became members of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be their 8th year as Opry members. This popular duo were brought to the show upon the recommendation of fellow Opry member Charlie Daniels, who had joined the cast the previous year.

June 15, 2013: Patty Loveless was honored upon her 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Vince Gill was the host for the segment, which finished with "Go Rest High On That Mountain." A great moment and night at the Opry.

June 6, 2014: Long time Grand Ole Opry member Jimmy C Newman made his final Opry appearance. Jimmy joined the Opry in 1948. He passed away several weeks later.

June 11, 2015: Grand Ole Opry member, and newly elected Country Music Hall of Fame member, Jim Ed Brown passed away. Jim Ed had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 50 years and had one of the great voices in country music.

June 19, 2015: Garth Brooks made a surprise appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, his first Opry appearance since he inducted Carrie Underwood as an Opry member in 2008, and his first singing appearance on the Opry since 2005. He was joined by his wife Trisha Yearwood.

June 23, 2016: Grand Ole Opry member Ralph Stanley passed away after a period of declining health. Ralph joined the Opry cast in 2000.

June 2, 2017: Grand Ole Opry member Stu Phillips was honored for 50 years of Opry membership. Stu joined the Opry on June 1, 1967. As part of this appearance, Stu gave a very emotional tribute to those who had helped him during his career.