Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 2/3 & 2/4

As the Grand Ole Opry finishes up its winter run at the Ryman Auditorium on Friday night, if you are looking for Opry members at the Grand Ole Opry this weekend, it will be slim pickings as the Friday Night Opry will have just 5 members performing, while Saturday has just 4 members listed.

The big attraction at the Opry this weekend will be Opry members Little Big Town, scheduled for the Friday Night Opry. They will be joined by Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider, The Whites and Bobby Osborne. Steve Wariner is the featured Opry member on Saturday night, joined by Jesse McReynolds, along with John Conlee and Mike Snider, holdovers from Friday night.

Guest artists this week on the Friday Night Opry include Mo Pitney, The Grascals, Mandy Barnett, Darryl Worley, Restless Heart, and making his Opry debut, Stephen Dorff. Saturday night's line-up includes Carly Pearce, TG Sheppard, Charlie Worsham, Runaway Jane, Eric Paslay, and making his Opry debut, Adam Craig.

Friday February 3
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mo Pitney; The Grascals
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Mandy Barnett; Darryl Worley
8:15: The Whites (host); Stephen Dorff; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Restless Heart
8:45: Little Big Town

Saturday February 4
7:00: John Conlee (host); Carly Pearce; Jesse McReynolds; Adam Craig; TG Sheppard
8:15: Mike Snider (host); Charlie Worsham; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Runaway Jane; Eric Paslay

Really hate to see just 3 segments on the Saturday night show.

As mentioned, this will be the Opry debut for Stephen Dorff and Adam Craig. Stephen Dorff is an actor who is starring in the new movie "Wheeler." In the movie, he plays the part of a country music singer who moves from Texas to Nashville hoping to become a star. He has starred in a number of movies and to prepare for this role, he spent considerable time in Nashville, playing at various clubs and working with various singers. There is a country music connection with Stephen as he is the brother of songwriter Andrew Dorff, who passed away last year. Andrew had written a number of songs, including No. 1 hits for Blake Shelton, Martina McBride, Hunter Hayes and Kenny Chesney, among others.

The other Opry newcomer is Adam Craig. Adam is originally from Tenino, Washington and has been in Nashville since 2004, originally coming as a songwriter. He has written a number of songs including "Whiskey on my Breath," sung by Love and Theft. He is currently signed to Stoney Creek Records and has released is self-titled debut LP and his debut single "Reckon."

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 5 years ago, the weekend of February 3 & 4, 2012:

Friday February 3
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Del McCoury Band; Edens Edge
7:30: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Charley Pride
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Oak Ridge Boys
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Keith Urban

Saturday February 4
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rhonda Vincent
7:30: Charley Pride (host); The Whites; Little Big Town
8:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds; Holly Williams; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Gary Morris; Diamond Rio

Now from 10 years ago, the weekend of February 2 & 3, 2007:

Friday February 2
8:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; George Hamilton IV; Del McCoury Band
8:30: Emmylou Harris (host); The Whites; John Starling & Carolina Star
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider; Joe Nichols
9:30: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jack Greene; Riders In The Sky

Saturday February 3
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Aaron Tippin
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Joe Nichols
7:30: Emmylou Harris (host); The Whites; John Starling & Carolina Star
8:00: Vince Gill (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Del McCoury Band; Asleep At The Wheel

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Jim Ed Brown; Aaron Tippin
10:00: Emmylou Harris (host); The Whites; John Starling & Carolina Star
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; Joe Nichols; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Del McCoury Band; Asleep At The Wheel

Finally, from 15 years ago, the weekend of February 1 & 2, 2002:

Friday February 1
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Bill Carlisle; Del McCoury Band
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Del Reeves; Jimmy C Newman; The Derailers; Jack Greene
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim & Jesse; Stonewall Jackson; Jim Ed Brown
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Josh Turner; Diamond Rio
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Gail Davies; T.G. Sheppard; Clint Black

Saturday February 2
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Jim Ed Brown
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Steve Holy; The Derailers; Osborne Brothers; Mickey Gilley
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Bill Carlisle; Billy Walker; Jack Greene; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Louvin; Elizabeth Cook; George Hamilton IV; John Conlee

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Jim Ed Brown
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Osborne Brothers
10:30: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Jim & Jesse: Jack Greene; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Steve Holy; Mickey Gilley
11:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Elizabeth Cook; Del Reeves; The Derailers

To finish it off for this week, let's go back 38 years to Saturday February 3, 1979:

1st show
6:00: Vietti
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jimmy Dickens: May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong with the Way that We're Doing It Now
Helen Cornelius: To Daddy
Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius: If the World Ran Out of Love Tonight

6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): Release Me
Wilma Lee Cooper: Bucket to the South
Lonzo & Oscar: Cryin' Holy Unto the Lord
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Monroe (host): Mule Skinner Blues
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Ernie Ashworth: You Can't Pick A Rose in December
Bill Monroe: Big Mun

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol Slewfoot
Barbara Mandrell: Sleeping Single in A Double Bed/His Eye Is on the Sparrow
Billy Grammer: Papa & Mama
Ray Pillow: Texas
Del Wood: My Country
Willis Brothers: Bob
Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green, Green Grass of Home/On A Highway Headed South

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball/Tennessee Central No. 9/Sunshine Special
Jimmy C Newman: Happy Cajun
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Katy Hill
Roy Acuff: Jesus Will Outshine Them All

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb (host): Answer The Phone
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home
4 Guys: We Make Beautiful Music Together
Billy Walker: Lawyers
Connie Smith: Once A Day
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink on Me
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

8:30: Stephen's
Hank Snow (host): Golden Rocket
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Stu Phillips: Thank God She's Mine
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Ernest Tubb (host): Thanks A Lot
Jean Shepard: I Just Want to Sing My Song
Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius: You Don't Bring Me Flowers
Skeeter Davis: I'll Fly Away
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Lonzo & Oscar: Divorce No. 2
Wilma Lee Cooper: Coming Down from God

10:00: Fender
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Barbara Mandrell: If Loving You Is Wrong
Charlie Louvin: My Baby's Gone
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Porter Wagoner: I'm Gonna Act Right

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Connie Smith: Amazing Grace
Ernie Ashworth: I Can't Help It
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong with the Way that We're Doing It Now
Roy Acuff: When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again

10:30: Trailblazer
Grandpa Jones (host): Eight More Miles to Louisville
Stonewall Jackson: My Favorite Sin
Billy Grammer: Faded Love
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bill Monroe (host): My Sweet Blue Eyed Darling
Billy Walker: You Gave Me a Mountain
Osborne Brothers: Beneath Still Waters
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Mississippi Sawyer

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): There's A Fool Such As I
4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of A Dove
Jimmy C Newman: River Road
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hollow Poplar
Ray Pillow: Gone At Last
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Hank Snow: Geisha Girl

11:30: Acme
Wilburn Brothers (host): Country Honey
Jeanne Pruett: Hold to My Unchanging Love/Love Me/You Don't Need to Move a Mountain/A Poor Man's Woman/Satin Sheets
Stu Phillips: Crystal Chandeliers
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Wilburn Brothers: Because He Lives

I think it is safe to say that was an impressive night at the Opry. Not too many Opry members were missing. Anyways, it is always nice to look back and remember.

That covers it for this week. I hope everyone has a nice weekend and enjoy the Opry!!


  1. Always enjoy the lineups from the late 70s. I have a lot of these in my archives but very few song lists and it's always nice to be reminded of songs that I remember but may have forgotten about. The 1979 lineup is one I don't have. I would have been a few weeks away from my 17th birthday and spent most of my Saturday nights at the time going to ball games or running around with friends and not listening to the Opry as religiously as I had in earlier years. Still, I usually tuned in at least once on Saturday late in the evening to catch Marty Robbins or the Midnight Jamboree. I remember hearing Acuff do the Cannonball medley on several occasions but had forgotten about it. I guess it was something he did quite often during this time and would often do other numbers on the first show. After I moved to Nashville full time in 1982 I can never remember him doing anything but Wabash Cannonball on his first show until the end of his life. The medley was an interesting changeup as all three songs had the same basic rhythm (although I recall he had to speed up the Cannonball just a bit to do it). Barbara Mandrell doing "His Eye Is On the Sparrow" brought back some good memories as well. In the late 70s I would spend my summers working for a concert promoter out of Nashville and we did a lot of fair dates with Barbara and her band. I wasn't a huge fan of her music at the time but I loved watching Dennis McCall (one of the funniest guys to ever front a country band) try to crack her up onstage. Anyway, she was big concert draw at the time having just won the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year (and would win her first Entertainer award in 79), was right on the edge of moving up to superstar status and had the tightest band and the best show in country music and would usually close her show with this song. It was a great arrangement and always brought the crowd to her feet. I've heard her do it since but I always liked her 79 arrangement the best.

    On a personal note, you know I was an early fan of this blog and while I don't chime in unless I feel like I have something to contribute to the conversation, I usually check in several times a week and enjoy your perspective and commentary immensely. You jog a lot of nice memories of some fun times in my life and I sincerely appreciate your efforts and have enjoyed our cyber friendship! I hope one of these days we'll be in Nashville at the same time to hook up for dinner and what I know would be some great conversation!

    1. Thanks Barry. And you are correct concerning Roy and the Cannonball. When he did the 3 numbers as part of the opening, he did portions of each song and did speed up the Cannonball, at least on the tapes that I have. It seemed like once he got into the mid 80s, it was strictly the Cannonball that he did on the first show.

  2. Great job as always, and I had a question: what was the evolution of the Willis Brothers, and when WERE they Opry members? I think there were some different times and memberships involved?

    1. Mike, the Willis Brothers (Vic, Guy and Skeeter) originally joined the Opry in 1946 (most reports say in June) as the Oklahoma Wranglers. They left in 1949 to tour with Eddy Arnold. When that ended in a few years later, they joined the Ozark Jubilee and were a part of other Hayride shows, including WLW in Cincinnati.

      They rejoined the Opry, as the Willis Brothers, in 1960. Skeeter passed away in 1976 and Guy in 1981, although he retired in 1979 due to health reasons. In November 1979, Vic formed the Vic Willis Trio, and continued as an Opry member. He passed away in January 1995 from a car accident.

    2. Thanks, Byron. I've always been confused about who did what when!

      It's interesting how the Opry went through some periods where they were adding a lot of members, and then did less. If I'm right, in 1960, new members were Billy Walker, Hank Locklin, George IV, Patsy Cline, Bobby Lord, and the Willis Brothers. The next year, only Bill Anderson ... and there was a story I read about Merle Travis joining the Opry, but apparently that never happened.

      Unless I'm wrong, which is always a possibility, if not a probability!

  3. Fred, Bismarck:

    Barry: You had "something to contribute" here, in spades.

    Speaking of Mandrell, hers was one of the very last singles I bot when there were still record stores and vinyl. This one and the last were significant because they were by artists I had precious few entries by before.

    But real country music was (and is) where you find it. The two last entries to my '45' collection were, to the best of my memory, "Child Support," by Mandrell, and -- whoa! -- "Daddy and Home," the Jimmie Rodgers song, as done by Tanya Tucker.

    Yes, that 1979 lineup is a classic!

  4. I know most all who post here are thankful they were around in years past to hear and experience the Opry members that we will never see the likes of again. Or, have the chance to see or hear some of the performances through radio or tv rebroadcast, you tube or videos.

    Some of the things I heard last night reaffirm my respect and appreciation for the the artist of the far and not so far past. How fortunate we were to have so many perform for so many years. And we need to cherish those you are still around performing for us. On there worst days they still out perform some of these new people.

    During one performance on the second half last night, I thought I had tuned into a bee keepers convention. I also heard a lot flat singing and picking.

    Okay, some of the old timers did and do the same thing. But they are not in the prime of life or their careers. To me that is so different.

    Yet, the audience seems to approve. So, I guess for the survival of the Opry it is a good thing. Like Fred often says, I've got my old recordings and records I can always listen to. I can turn those people that bother me down but I just can't believe what passes for good entertainment these days.

    My point to all the rambling, we have been so blessed to experience great Opry and country artist of years past. And we should be thankful for and seek out the music of the legends and new artist that still make good music and support them all we can. They are out the doing their thing, they just don't get a lot of attention.

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Fred, Bismarck:

      Jim, I'm one of those who -- oh, along about 1979 -- complacently thought these wonderful old guys and gals would go on forever. Or never let myself think that they were mortal like the rest of us. Or realized -- perhaps most important -- that their successors were not in place or coming up.

      Now we're sadder but wiser. At least we can say we were there, even had our modest share of the glory.

      Thanks for the thought, painful as it is.

    2. Fred,

      My brother and I feel so lucky that we were able to get oout and meet and see so many of these folks starting in the late 80's when we were still wet behind the ears. And it is a tribute to those who started on the 30's and 40's and were still out there doing their thing some 40 years later.


  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Try again with my name attached......
    I have no problem with new talent appearing on the 'Opry.
    I'm very tired of new "no-talent" appearing on the 'Opry.
    Do anybody bother to listen to these folks in person before they let them appear on the 'Opry, or do they just get the latest act that is selling on I-Tunes (where the music is all pretty much computer-generated)???
    Some of the singing this weekend was just plain sad.....

  7. DOES anybody, not "do anybody."
    Shouldn't post when I'm fired up....

  8. Fred, Bismarck,

    That's OK, Nat. We knowed what you meant!

  9. I seen on Facebook tonight an Opry sponsored Randy Travis tribute? Is this right Byron? Anyway, I was surprised to see Jan Howard on stage performing with others.

    1. The Opry was not one of the sponsors but did participate in a pretty big way. Quite a few of the members were there and they participated in a group singing of "I'll Fly Away." And yes, I did see also that Jan was there. And Pat, thanks for posting the link to the article.

  10. David B., Here is the best wright-up I could find on last night's Randy Travis tribute: