As most know, I was at the Grand Ole Opry this past weekend for the induction of Dailey & Vincent as the Opry's newest members. While I will offer my observations later this week, I did want to make one observation regarding the Friday Night Opry and how it was put together.
First there was Jeannie Seely. A classic country music singer who in September will celebrate 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She was followed by Craig Campbell, one of the young, male singers in country music who already has had a presence on the country charts. Next up was Jesse McReynolds, a member of the Opry for over 50 years and a bluegrass legend. He played two instrumental numbers on his fiddle. The first segment alone had a lot of variety in it, something for everyone.
The next segment featured the comedy and string band music from Mike Snider. He brought on Brooke Eden, a very young female trying to make a career in country music. She was followed by Montgomery Gentry, one of the hot duos in country music from the past decade. They brought a lot of energy to the stage. Like the first segment, a lot of variety in the second segment.
The third segment was hosted by Riders In The Sky. Cowboy and Western music, along with a bit of comedy. Rhiannon Giddens was next. Originally a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, she is an amazing talent. Sang some soulful, basic Americana/bluegrass/folk music (in other words, hard to characterize her). Henry Cho, a non-country comedian finished out the segment.
Finally, Connie Smith hosted the final slot. A Hall of Fame member who sings classic country with a bit of gospel. A great voice and a legend. She brought out Old Crow Medicine Show. Again, they are hard to put into any one category. A bit of bluegrass, string band, country, instrumental, Americana. A crowd favorite with "Wagon Wheel."
When you add it all up, and look how each act was booked and slotted, there was something for everyone on that show. From classic country to young country. Bluegrass to today's hot hits. Comedy and string band music. And that is what has made the Opry a great show over the years.
Now for the Tuesday Night Opry, March 14:
7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Jimmy Wayne; Thompson Square
8:15: Jeannie Seely; Charles Esten
8:45: Rascal Flatts
Opry Country Classics, Thursday March 16:
Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Pam Tillis
Also appearing: Mo Pitney; The Gatlin Brothers; Jim Lauderdale; Mandy Barnett