Thursday, May 18, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 5/19 & 5/20

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the schedule for the shows this weekend, and there are three scheduled as Saturday night there will be two shows. Both nights have pretty solid line-ups.

Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for all three shows include Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider (keeping his streak of appearing on every Friday and Saturday night show alive), The Whites and Riders In The Sky. Joining that group on Friday night will be Opry members Diamond Rio and Bobby Osborne. Bobby, of course, will be appearing on the segment hosted by Diamond Rio, as he does each time both are scheduled on the same show. Joining Jeannie, Mike, The Whites and Riders on Saturday night will be Connie Smith, Jesse McReynolds, and one of the Opry's newest members, Crystal Gayle. Much like Dailey & Vincent, it would appear that Crystal is starting off her Opry membership in fine style.

Guest artist on Friday night include the great Moe Bandy. Joining Moe will be comedian Gary Mule Deer, the group Exile, along with The Swon Brothers, Clare Dunn and Morgan Evans. Saturday nights guest list has The Swon Brothers returning, along with Americana singer Elizabeth Cook, Chris Carmack. Striking Matches and Charlie Nagatani, making what has pretty much become an annual appearance on the Opry. Hard to believe that this great country music entertainer from Japan is now 81 years old.

Friday May 19
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Clare Dunn; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Gary Mule Deer; Exile
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Moe Bandy; The Swon Brothers
8:45: Diamond Rio (host); Morgan Evans; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press

Saturday May 20
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Swon Brothers
8:00: Connie Smith (host); Charlie Nagatani; Striking Matches; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Chris Carmack; Crystal Gayle

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; Mike Snider
10:00: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; The Swon Brothers
10:30: Connie Smith (host); Charlie Nagatani; Striking Matches; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Chris Carmack; Crystal Gayle

And yes, identical line-ups for both shows. Moe Bandy, who is scheduled for the Friday Night Opry, will be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of May 18 & 19, 2007:

Friday May 18
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Daryle Singletary
8:30: Jimmy  Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Nagatani; Megan Mullins
9:00: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Patty Loveless
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Gene Watson

Saturday May 19
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jeannie Seely
7:00: Marty Stuart (host); Patty Loveless; Opry Square Dancers; Dolly Parton; Porter Wagoner
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Mel Tillis

2nd show
9:30; Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; John Conlee; Mike Snider
10:00: Marty Stuart (host); Patty Loveless; Opry Square Dancers; Dolly Parton; Porter Wagoner
11:00: Jean Shepard (host); Connie Smith; Mel Tillis

That Saturday night was very special as that was the night that Porter Wagoner was honored upon his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Porter Wagoner first reached the country music charts in 1954. During the course of his career, he had 81 charting singles, including 29 Top 10 records and three No. 1's. Such key hits as "Misery Loves Company," "I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand," "The Cold Hard Facts of Life," "The Carroll County Accident," and "Green, Green Grass of Home" were all deeply rooted, hard-country classics. Porter brought them, and country music, to a massive and often new audience, through the most modern means then available, syndicated television.

"The Porter Wagoner Show" ran for an amazing 21 years, beginning in 1961, and reached more than 100 television markets; it was one of the most influential programs in country music history. And it was on that show that he introduced the world at large to the talents of Dolly Parton. Their unsurpassed, soulful duets yielded 14 Top 10 hits between 1967 and 1974, winning a Grammy for their indelible version of Jack Clement's "Just Someone I Used to Know" in 1969 and three consecutive CMA awards as Duo of the Year.

Porter was hardly new to broadcasting when his own show took to the air; he'd been singing on local Missouri radio at 15, and learned TV ropes from Red Foley as an early regular on the Springfield, Missouri based "Ozark Jubilee" show during the 1950s. Legendary RCA A&R man Steve Sholes had so much faith in him as a young singer that he allowed him four years to experiment until he found that fresh and lasting Porter "combination and ingredients" style. Porter continued to record, right up to his final year as he released "Wagonmaster," produced by Marty Stuart. His much read autobiography, "A Satisfied Mind: The Country Music Life of Porter Wagoner," tells a compelling story, but seems to keep needing new chapters. A moving and engaging singer and Opry host, always the showman, he was one of the Opry's most visible treasures.

Porter was born on August 12, 1927 in West Plains, Missouri. In 2002, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, an honor that should have taken place years earlier. While he was honored on that Saturday night in May, Porter's actual Opry induction date was February 23, 1957, however ill health forced the postponement of honoring Porter. Sadly, Porter would pass away later that same year, October 28, 2007 from lung cancer. For those of us who remember seeing and watching the show that May night, it was one of the best hours that the Opry has produced.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 25 years ago, the weekend of May 22 & 23, 1992:

Friday May 22
1st show
6:30: Tom T Hall (host); Roy Drusky; Skeeter Davis; Billy Walker; Wilma Lee Cooper
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jeannie Seely; Osborne Brothers; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Jim and Jesse; Connie Smith; Justin Tubb
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; The Whites; Mike Snider
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Jan Howard; The 4 Guys

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Osborne Brothers; David Houston; Jeanne Pruett
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Stonewall Jackson; Tom T Hall
10:30; Jimmy Dickens (host); Ray Pillow; Jim and Jesse; Hank Locklin; The Carlisles
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The 4 Guys; Connie Smith; The Whites; Jimmy C Newman
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Jan Howard; Charlie Walker; Mike Snider
12:05; Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday May 23
1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jeanne Pruett
6:45: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Jimmy C Newman; Jack Greene; Wilma Lee Cooper
7:30: Tom T Hall (host); The Whites; Stu Phillips; Martina McBride
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Anderson; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Osborne Brothers; Jim Ed Brown; The 4 Guys; Hank Locklin

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; David Houston; Tom T Hall
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Charlie Walker; Roy Drusky
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Mike Snider
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Ray Pillow; The Carlisles
10:45: Jimmy Dickens (host); Martina McBride; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Osborne Brothers; Justin Tubb; The Whites; Jack Greene
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Hank Locklin; The 4 Guys

That was the posted line-up from that night. The only change was Justin Tubb cancelling.

Finally, going back 50 years to Saturday May 20, 1967:

7:30: Cordite
Bobby Lord (host): On & On Goes the Hurt
Willis Brothers: Bob
Bob Luman: You Can Take the Boy from the Country
Bill Carlisle: Rough Stuff
Bobby Lord: Look What You're Doing to You
Ernie Ashworth: The D.J. Cried
Margie Bowes: Big City
Willis Brothers: Ghost Riders In the Sky
Bobby Lord: Out Behind the Barn

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Salty Dog Blues
Charlie Louvin: Apartment No. 9
Grandpa Jones: Root, Hog, Root
George Hamilton IV: Urge for Going
Flatt & Scruggs: Roustabout
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Connie Smith: I'll Come Runnin'
Flatt & Scruggs: Nashville Cats
Paul Warren: Katy Hill

8:30: Stephens
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Jean Shepard: Life Turned Him that Way
Glaser Brothers: Gone on the Other Hand
Archie Campbell: The Cockfight
Hank Locklin: Hasta Luego
Lonzo & Oscar: I'm Getting the Hang of it Now
Justin Tubb: But Wait; There's More
Hank Locklin: Nashville Women

9:00: Luzianne
Roy Acuff (host): Just a Friend
George Morgan: I Couldn't See
Wilma Lee Cooper: You're Never Very Far from My Mind
4 Guys: Walk Thru this World With Me
Roy Acuff: The End of the World
Marion Worth: Especially You
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen

9:30: Kellogg's
Jim Ed Brown host): You Can Have Her
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Ray Pillow: Thank You, Ma'am
Calhoun Twins: A Bad Girl Is A Good Enough for Me
Jim Ed Brown: The Love of the Common People
Harold Weakley: Pain A Picture of My World
Ray Pillow: (?)
Jim Ed Brown: Pop A Top

10:00: Schick
Bobby Lord (host): Blue Moon of Kentucky
Bill Carlisle: What Kinda Deal is This
George Hamilton IV: Early Morning Rain
Ernie Ashworth: I'm Just an Empty Place
Bobby Lord: Look What You're Doing to You

10:15: Pure
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Don't Get Above Your Raisings
Grandpa Jones: Dark As A Dungeon
Margie Bowes: When Its Over
Glaser Brothers: A Girl Like You
Flatt & Scruggs: It Was Only the Wind

10:30: Buckley's
Charlie Louvin (host): On the Other Hand
Connie Smith: Love's Gonna Live Here
Bob Luman: Memphis
Connie Smith: The Family Bible
Charlie Louvin: I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby/My Baby's Gone

10:45: Kent
George Morgan (host): Look at the Lonely
Lonzo & Oscar: Charming Betsy
Norma Gale: Ava Marie
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark

11:00: Coca-Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: The Birds are Back to Sing
4 Guys: Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire on the Mountain
Roy Acuff: Lonely Mound of Clay
Jean Shepard: Happy Tracks
Sam McGee: These Boots are Made for Walking
Onie Wheeler: I Saw Mom with God Last Night
Howdy Forrester: Sally Goodin

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): No Tears, Milady
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Hank Locklin: Please Help Me, I'm Falling
Jim Ed Brown: Hold Me; Thrill Me; Kiss Me
Don Winters: Jambalaya
Marion Worth: I Can't Help It
Ray Pillow: Ride, Ride, Ride
Marty Robbins: The Shoe Goes on the Other Foot Tonight/Begging to You/Don't Worry

Norma Gale appeared on the 10:45 segment in place of Justin Tubb. So who was Norma Gale? She was a country music artist from Moncton, New Brunswick who was inducted into the New Brunswick Country Hall of Fame on October 25, 2008. She was born in Moncton in 1945 and was a Gold Record recording artist and songwriter. She began her career at age 12, singing at local jamborees for 50 cents a night, During her early career, she appeared on several occasions on The Bunkhouse Boys TV show and as a full time vocalist with Val Surette and The Night Hawks & Roger Cormier's Brunswick Playboys. After winning a talent contest with her sister Linda, she became a regular vocalist on a local radio station and appeared on TV before she was 18. She became a popular bass player and performer with country music artists such as Bobby Bare, Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings, Dottie West, Loretta Lynn, Bill Anderson and many others at the famous Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. She appeared on the Grand Ole Opry on two occasions in 1967-68. Norma traveled the world and entertained in 40 states, Greenland, Philippines, Japan, Viet Nam and Korea. In the 1990s, Norma was a bass player and singer in the famous June Pasher Band in Toronto and performed for several years every Saturday afternoon at OV's Country Club, until the untimely death of June in 2002. Norma then moved on with her own popular band, Norma Gale & Friends until ill health forced her to retire. Norma had two albums during her long career, "January, April and Me" and "April's Food Cake." She was awarded two gold albums from the recording industry, attaining 55,000 copies for each album. She also had a number of single releases, including "The Wedding," "Too Much of You," "So Far From You," "My Picture Province," and "What More Can I Say." While not making much of an impact in the United States, Norma Gale had a pretty solid, and busy career in Canada.

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


  1. That Saturday May 23, 1992, Norma Jean was in town. She did the Midnite Jamboree! I do not recall nor did I note any mention of her on the Opry>

    Knightsville, IN

  2. I am sorry but whoever the Striking Matches are, what they performed on the Grand Ole Opry last night was NOT country music - not even close! They allowed them 2 "songs" and Charlie Nagatani FROM Japan only got one - what's up with that? Still waiting for the better changes under new management. . . .

  3. Please take this for the sarcasm that it is. You just don't know good music when you hear it! The audience approved! They were on the world famous Grand Ole Opry. How can you question that!

    That guitar playing or frailing sounds like a cat caught in a blender.

    As Fred in Bismark often says, sometimes you just have to turn to your CD or record collection. Country as we knew it and liked it is in the minority today. Not dead but certainly not mainstream.

    I agree that Charlie did a good job as usual and he does not sound like he is 81. Makes the trip from Japan to do one song, that is love and dedication. Oh, sorry, he got to do the same song twice, what am I thinking.

    Hang in there

    Knightsville, IN

  4. The 7pm show on Saturday, May 20 was my first time at the Opry, and I'm trying to reconstruct the setlist. Could anyone who was there help me fill in the blanks? I have checked the WSM archives and they only posted the late show from May 20, not the early show, and the setlists do differ. Thanks!

    Jeannie Seely: My Window Faces The South [by Jerry Livingston, Abner Silver, and Mitchell Parish]

    Elizabeth Cook: Blue Moon Of Kentucky [by Bill Monroe], White Freightliner Blues [by Townes Van Zandt]

    Mike Snider: __________

    Jeannie Seely: Who Needs You

    The Whites: __________

    Jesse McReynolds And The Virginia Boys And Girls: __________, The Wayfaring Stranger [traditional]

    The Swon Brothers: Don’t Call Me, Dwight Trashed

    The Whites: Keep On The Sunny Side [by Ada Blenkhorn and J. Howard Entwisle]

    Connie Smith And The Sundowners: __________

    Charlie Nagatani: Squaws Along The Yukon [Hank Thompson]

    Striking Matches: Not Fade Away [by Buddy Holly], Make A Liar Out Of Me

    Connie Smith And The Sundowners: _________

    Riders In The Sky [Douglas B. Green a.k.a. Ranger Doug, Paul Chrisman a.k.a. Woody Paul, Fred LaBour a.k.a. Too Slim, and Jeff Taylor]: _________

    Chris Carmack: New San Antonio Rose [by Bob Wills], Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down [by Kris Kristofferson]

    Crystal Gayle [with Peggy Sue Wright]: Green Door [by Bob Davie and Marvin Moore] Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue [by Richard Leigh]

    Riders In The Sky [Douglas B. Green a.k.a. Ranger Doug, Paul Chrisman a.k.a. Woody Paul, Fred LaBour a.k.a. Too Slim, and Jeff Taylor]: __________, Happy Trails [by Dale Evans]