Looking at Opry members scheduled for this weekend, the Friday Night Opry will feature Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Diamond Rio, Bobby Osborne, Bill Anderson, The Whites, Vince Gill and Connie Smith. Bill and Mike will also be appearing on Saturday night, where they will be joined by John Conlee, Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin, Riders In The Sky and scheduled after an absence of about a month, Jesse McReynolds.
Non-members scheduled for Friday night include frequent Opry guests Carly Pearce, Mandy Barnett and Chris Janson. In the case of Chris, this will be another in the long line of guest appearances that he continues to make at the Opry. As to High Valley, this Canadian duo has appeared on the Opry before. These brothers, Brad and Curtis Rempel have been around for a number of years, and while they have been successful in Canada, their United States career has yet to fully take off.
There are a few more guests appearing on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry and that list includes Smithfield, The Loving Mary Band, Brandy Clark, Kristian Bush and Radney Foster. All very good.
The interesting name of that group, and making their Opry debut, is The Loving Mary Band. The Loving Mary Band is based out of Nashville, Tennessee and the members include Rebecca Lynn Howard, Suzie McNeil, Marti Frederiksen, Elisha Hoffman, Andrew Mactaggart and Sarah Tomek. If the name Rebecca Lynn Howard sounds familiar, that is because it is. She spent several years as a singer/songwriter, winning several Grammy Awards and nominated for several ACM Awards. Her biggest hit, "Forgive" reached No. 12 on the country charts in 2002, For a number of years she was a frequent guest on the Opry and I thought she did a fine job. While Rebecca is the best known member of the group, the others have all had their own success as songwriters, performers or musicians.
If traditional country is what you are looking for, The Loving Mary Band is not for you. They describe themselves as Country/Rock, and list their influences as Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, The Who and Tom Petty, among others. On the country side, they do list Loretta Lynn. It should be an interesting appearance.
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Carly Pearce; Mike Snider
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mandy Barnett
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; High Valley
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; Chris Janson
Saturday January 7
7:00: John Conlee (host); Smithfield; Mike Snider
7:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Loving Mary Band
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Brandy Clark; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Kristian Bush; Radney Foster
For those keeping score at home, that comes out to 12 acts on Friday night, 8 of whom are Opry members, and 11 acts on Saturday with 6 Opry members.
The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree continues with live shows taping at 10:00 at the Texas Troubadour Theater and the host this week will be Eddy Raven.
And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago, the weekend of January 6 & 7, 2012:
Friday January 6
7:00: John Conlee (host); Connie Smith; Danny Gokey
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Doyle Dykes
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Jim Ed Brown; Ralph Stanley
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Diamond Rio
Saturday January 7
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Andy Gibson
7:30: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; Connie Smith; Bo Bice
8:15: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; Edens Edge; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Doyle Dykes
Now from 10 years ago, the weekend of January 5 & 6, 2007:
Friday January 5
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Blaine Larsen
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Jim Lauderdale
9:00: Jeannie Seely (host); George Hamilton IV; Mountain Heart
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Gene Watson
Saturday January 6
6:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Connie Smith; Mountain Heart
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Blaine Larsen
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charlie Daniels Band
8:00: Pam Tillis (host); Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Trace Adkins
9:30: Jean Shepard (host); Connie Smith; Mountain Heart
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Daniels Band
10:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Stu Phillips; Trace Adkins; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Pam Tillis (host); Jim Ed Brown; Blaine Larsen
Finally, going back to Saturday January 7, 1995, Hank Snow celebrated his 45th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
You generally picture a country and western performer as a product of the South or Southwest and generally this is true. The exception to this rule is Hank Snow. Snow, a consistently red hot Grand Ole Opry star, is from North of the Border, Novia Scotia, where he was born, reared and worked at various jobs, until deciding to become an entertainer.
A one-time sailor, ex-lumberjack and former stevedore and cowboy, Snow traveled a path strewn with mental and physical setbacks, and overcame parental objection to become a world-known talented artist. Hank was punching cattle on the Canadian plains by day and entertaining fellow cowpokes by night when he landed his first professional job with Radio Station CHNS in Halifax.
Bitten by the entertainment germ, Snow soon organized his "Rainbow Ranch Boys" and branched out as "The Singing Ranger." Progress came gradually and Snow was signed for a feature spot on the established "Canadian Farm Hour." Simultaneously he was contracted to record on RCA-Victor's Canadian label. Hank's platters, best sellers in the provinces and Australia, were not released in the USA until 1949, to coincide with his first American tour. Snow's debut in the USA boomed his popularity for personal appearances and records. By 1950, Snow had worked his way upward to a starring role on the Grand Ole Opry, as association which has proven mutually beneficial. In 1957 he celebrated his 20th anniversary as a recording star with RCA-Victor.
Success has come to Hank Snow, yet he remembers cold, wet nights as a cabin boy on a North Atlantic freighter. He recalls lonesome nights in the snow as a cattlehand. Yet withal he basically remains the same eagerly ambitious youngster who unloaded a shipload of corn to earn enough money to buy his first guitar. Yes, as the lyrics of his biggest hit go, Hank Snow is still "Moving On." Hank's other best-sellers include, "I Went to Your Wedding," "The Gold Rush Is Over," "I Don't Hurt Anymore," "Rumba Boogie," "Now and Then There's a Fool Such As I," "Music Making Mama from Memphis" and many others.
Hank and his wife Minnie and their son, Jimmy Rodgers Snow, live in Madison, where the star's hobby is raising thoroughbred horses, the price of his stable being "Shawnee," and Indian pony.
(From Vol. 1, No. 1 of the WSM Grand Ole Opry History-Picture Book published in 1957).
Clarence Eugene "Hank" Snow was born on May 9, 1914 and passed away on December 20, 1999, just two weeks short of his 50th anniversary as an Opry member. In the course of his career, he recorded 46 studio albums and 89 singles on the Billboard charts beginning in 1950 and up until 1980. Of those singles, 7 reached #1. Those included "I'm Moving On," "The Golden Rocket," "The Rumba Boggie," "I Don't Hurt Anymore," "Let Me Go, Lover!." "I've Been Everywhere," and "Hello Love." 24 more of his singles charted in the Top 10.
What makes 1995 so special is that it was Hank's last full year performing on the Opry. By the end of the year, respiratory problems set in and his final Opry appearances took place in September 1996. As he began a period of declining health, Hank retired to his Rainbow Ranch.
Here is the running order of the Grand Ole Opry from Saturday January 7, 1995, the night of Hank Snow's 45th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry:
6:30: GHS Strings
Bill Monroe (host): Life's Highway
Wilma Lee Cooper: Loving You
Bill Monroe: Wheel Hoss/Cryin' Holy Unto the Lord
6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Ol' Rattler
Charlie Louvin: Let Her Go; God Bless Her
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Jan Howard: Under Your Spell Again
Jimmy Dickens: Me & My Big Loud Mouth/Another Bridge to Burn
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home
Porter Wagoner & Colene Walters: Burning the Midnight Oil
7:30: Standard Candy
Ricky Skaggs (host): Highway 40 Blues
John Conlee: Let the Good Times Roll
Crossman Quartet: I'm Gonna Take A Trip
The Isaacs: It's Just Like Him/Look Over the Beautiful Fields
Ricky Skaggs: You're Running Wild
8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fired
Jack Greene: Every Since My Baby Went Away
Jack Green Band Members: Happy Birthday Jack
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
The Whites: There's A Higher Power
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Snow Flake Reel
Bill Anderson: Still
Hank Snow (host): Conscience, I'm Guilty
Jim Ed Brown: Will the Circle Be Unbroken/I Saw the Light/I'll Fly Away/Gone at Last
Jeannie Seely: Happy Anniversary to Hank/Don't Touch Me
Mike Snider: Black Jack/The Fur Coat
Hank Snow: Brand on My Heart
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Freight Train Boogie
Jim & Jesse: Headin' West
Oswald: I'll Be All Smiles Tonight
Stu Phillips: Crystal Chandeliers
Ricky Skaggs: Uncle Pen
Porter Wagoner & Colene Walters: The Last Thing on My Mind
Colene Walters: Alone With You
Porter Wagoner: Big Wind
Bill Monroe (host): Blue Moon of Kentucky
Roy Drusky: Family Bible
Bill Monroe: Foggy Mountain Breakdown/Sweet Blue Eyed Darling/The Gold Rush
10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Grandpa Jones (host): Banjo Sam
The Isaacs: Peace Like A River
George McCormick: Satisfied
10:30: Gruhn Guitar
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleepin' At the Foot of the Bed
Mike Snider: Soldier's Joy/Angeline the Baker/Old Molly Hare/Battle Cry of Freedom/Get Your Hand of My Knee & Load the Cannon
Jimmy Dickens: Out Behind the Barn
10:45: Fairfield Communities
Bill Anderson (host): I Get the Fever
Jack Greene; Forever, My Darling
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Golden Slippers
Bill Anderson: A World of Make Believe
Hank Snow (host): The Prisoner's Song
Charlie Walker: Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging/When He Leaves You
Hank Snow: I Almost Lost My Mind
11:30: Cates Pickles
Billy Walker (host): Come a Little Bit Closer
John Conlee: Lady Lay Down/I'm Only In It For the Love
Johnny Russell: Ain't 'Cha Even Gonna Cry
Billy Walker: Adam's Side
There you have it for this week. I hope 2017 is off to a great start for everyone and as I always say, "Enjoy the Opry this Weekend!!"