Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 5/26 & 5/27

It's the Memorial Day weekend and the Grand Ole Opry has come up with two very nice shows, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. There are several highlights for this weekend, particularly on Saturday night when Country Music Hall of Fame member, and former Grand Ole Opry member, Bobby Bare, will be making an appearance. Bobby will also be signing in the Opry Shop after the show.

As to Grand Ole Opry members appearing this weekend, Connie Smith, Mike Snider, Bill Anderson and Riders In The Sky are scheduled for both nights. On Friday night they will be joined by Jesse McReynolds and Ricky Skaggs, while on Saturday night, Bobby Osborne, The Whites and Country Music Hall of Fame member Ronnie Milsap will join that group.

As to guest artists this weekend, there are some very good ones. Appearing both nights will be Tracy Lawrence. At one time, Tracy expressed the desire to be an Opry member some day. While I don't think that will be happening anytime soon, it is always nice when Tracy makes an appearance on the Opry stage. Also appearing will be Steven Curtis Chapman and Maggie Rose. Then you have the legendary Gene Watson and another artist who would love to be an Opry member, Chris Janson. Despite no membership, Chris continues to come out and support the show. His career continues to take off and I still think he will be an Opry members sooner rather than later.

Saturday night's guests, in addition to Bobby Bare and Tracy Lawrence, include Suzy Bogguss, the great Ray Stevens, and a fairly new group that has appeared on the Opry previously, The Railers.

Friday May 26
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Maggie Rose; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Tracy Lawrence
8:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); Steven Curtis Chapman
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Gene Watson; Chris Janson

Saturday May 27
7:00: Mike Snider (host); The Railers; Suzy Bogguss
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Tracy Lawrence; Bobby Bare
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Ray Stevens; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Ronnie Milsap

The Railers are based out of Nashville and the band is composed of brothers Jordan and Jonathan Lawson, along with Cassandra Lawson, wife of Jonathan. Originally known as Tin Cup Gypsy, the band changed their name to The Railers in 2012. In addition to headlining their own dates, the group has also opened for Sara Evans. In 2012 they signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing and a record deal with Warner Music Nashville. The group is currently promoting their newest project: 11:59 (Central Standard Time).

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of May 25 & 26, 2007:

Friday May 25
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Connie Smith; Keni Thomas
8:30: Jean Shepard (host); Del McCoury Band; Joe Diffie
9:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Walker; The Whites; Mandy Barnett
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Chesnutt

Saturday May 26
1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Keni Thomas
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mandy Barnett
7:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Connie Smith; Riders In The Sky

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Keni Thomas
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Riders In The Sky; Del McCoury Band
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Jack Greene; Mandy Barnett

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of May 29 & 30, 1992:

Friday May 29
1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jimmy C Newman; Ray Pillow; Roy Drusky; Skeeter Davis
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; Jimmy Dickens; The Whites; Joe Diffie
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Anderson; Jim and Jesse; Justin Tubb; Jack Greene
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Garth Brooks; Del Reeves
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; Jerry Clower; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; The 4 Guys; Billy Walker; Garth Brooks
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Grandpa Jones; Jim Ed Brown; Stonewall Jackson
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jimmy Dickens; Jerry Clower; Joe Diffie
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; Carlisles; Charlie Walker; Jim and Jesse
11:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Del Reeves; Johnny Russell
12:05: Rev. Jimmie Snow

Saturday May 30
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeanne Pruett
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Jim and Jesse; Jean Shepard; Mel McDaniel
7:30: Hank Snow (host); Jerry Clower; Charlie Louvin; Garth Brooks
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Bill Anderson; John Conlee; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Tom T Hall (host); The 4 Guys; The Whites; Osborne Brothers

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; Jimmy Dickens; Garth Brooks
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Connie Smith; Roy Drusky
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jack Greene
10:30: Tom T Hall (host); Billy Walker
10:45: Jerry Clower (host); Mel McDaniel; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); John Conlee; Jimmy C Newman; The 4 Guys; Carlisles
11:30: Charlie Walker (host); The Whites; Osborne Brothers; Charlie Louvin

From that night, Mel McDaniel cancelled out on Saturday night. Wilma Lee Cooper filled the spot on the 1st show, while Stonewall Jackson moved to his spot on the 2nd show. And Charles Whitstein performed as a duo with Charlie Louvin.

From 50 years ago, Saturday May 27, 1967, beginning with the 8:00 segment. (The 7:30 segment sponsored by Cordite featured Billy Walker and Ernie Ashworth).

8:00: Martha White
Bobby Lord (host): (?)
Jim and Jesse: (?)
Dottie West: (?)
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey
Bobby Lord: Look What You're Doing to You
Crook Brothers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Jim and Jesse: Truck Driving Man
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Bobby Lord: Hawkeye

8:30: Stephens
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Charlie Louvin: Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep
Norma Jean: You're Driving Me Out of My Mind
Lonzo & Oscar: New River Train #2
Porter Wagoner: Be Careful of Stones That You Throw
Charlie Louvin: On the Other Hand
Mac Magaha & Buck Trent: Goodbye Liza Jane
Bonnie Guitar: (?)
Porter Wagoner: The Cold Hard Facts of Life

9:00: Luzianne
Ernest Tubb (host): In the Jailhouse Now
Wilburn Brothers: Just to Be Where You Are
George Lindsay: Waiting in Your Welfare Line/Cottonfields
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Devil's Dream
Ernest Tubb: Yesterday's Winner is a Loser Today
Wilburn Brothers: Roarin' Again
Ernest Tubb: Jealous Lovin' Heart

9:30: Kellogg's
Roy Acuff (host): Tied Down
4 Guys: Walking in the Sunshine
Marion Worth: Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Roger Miller: King of the Road/Dang Me
Marion Worth: Walk Through this World With Me
Roy Acuff: Somebody Touched Me

10:00: Schick
Charlie Louvin (host): See the Big Man Cry
Cousin Jody: Listen to the Mockingbird
Ernie Ashworth: Mind Your Own Business
Charlie Louvin: Off & On

10:15: Pure
Wilburn Brothers (host): Hurt Her Once for Me
Billy Walker: Del Rio
Debbie Lori Kay: Ride; Ride; Ride

10:30: Buckley's
Porter Wagoner (host): If I Could Only Start Over
Norma Jean: Conscience, Keep An Eye On Me
Porter Wagoner: The Cold Hard Facts of Life
Speck Rhodes: Sweet Fern

10:45: Kent
Ernest Tubb (host): Thanks A Lot
Dottie West: Paper Mansions
Crook Brothers: (?)
Ernest Tubb: Another Story; Another Time; Another Place

11:00: Coca-Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Freight Train Blues
Bobby Lord: Look What You're Doing to You
Lonzo & Oscar: Crawdad Song
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Roy Acuff: (?)
Oswald: The Girl I Love Don't Pay Me No Mind
Sam McGee: Steel Guitar Rag
Bobby Lord: Life Can Have Meaning
Onie Wheeler: Water Your Flower

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Marion Worth: Touch My Heart
4 Guys: Walk Through This World With Me
Bonnie Guitar: This Train/Freight Train/Night Train to Memphis
Don Winters: Cattle Call
Harold Weakley: Paint A Picture of My World
Marion Worth: Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
Marty Robbins: Devil Woman
Bobby Sykes: Living In A Wonderful World of Women
Marty Robbins: Bouquet of Roses

A couple of interesting items from that night: Roy Acuff did not sing Wabash Cannonball or Great Speckled Bird. Those were probably Roy's two biggest songs, and most played on the Opry, however there were nights when Roy would mix it up and add a few other numbers. And, a guest appearance by George Lindsay, more familiar as "Goober" from the Andy Griffith Show, and Roger Miller.

Two female singers from that night that might not ring a bell with a lot of people: Debbie Lori Kay, who appeared earlier that year on the Opry and someone I had previously written about, and then there was Bonnie Guitar.

Bonnie Buckingham was born March 25, 1923 in Seattle, Washington. Not only was she a singer, but she was also a very successful session musician, and she was also known as a producer and successful businesswoman. She was best remembered for her 1957 cross over pop-country hit "Dark Moon." In the late 1950's, she started Dolton Records, which was the label that launched the careers of The Fleetwoods and The Ventures. Later, she was part owner of Jerden Records.

In the 1960's, she recorded for Dot Records and released a series of country music albums. Her first Top 10 country hit was "I'm Living in Two Worlds" which went to No. 9 on the charts. A number of singles followed including "A Woman in Love" which went to #4 on the charts in 1967, and would be her highest charted song. She followed that with Top 10 songs "Stop the Song" and "I Believe in Love" her final Top 10 recording, released in 1968.  In the 1970's she recorded for Columbia Records and MCA Records with limited success. In 1980, she was back on the charts with "Honey on the Moon." She continued to perform until 1996, when Bonnie announced her retirement. However, in 2014, she began producing and writing music again. At the age of 92, she still occasionally performs on weekends with her band.

There you have it for this week. As always, I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend and I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend!!


  1. While I love the Whites, it's weird and quite sad for me as a huge HUGE fan that Milsap isn't getting the majority of the final segment! That more than likely means 2 songs and done!
    Mr. Accuff said years ago that the opry wasn't built around one big star even when one showed up, but in the last few years, and I think very smartly they have built shows around names. Ronnie is third on the list of most #1s in country music history, and isn't on as much as he once was. So when he is, give him the full segment which is what they have been doing in the last few years. Perhaps the point will not even matter and he'll do more than just 2. As he should.

  2. That May 30, 1992, show included one of the funnier things I remember from watching the TNN telecasts. When Garth was done, Hank Snow came out and started to make the usual comment--"Ladies and gentlemen, Garth Brooks, a terrific young singer," or whatever it was, and Garth ran back over and kissed him on the cheek. The audience roared and, well, Mr. Snow was a little surprised. Then he said, "I'll never wash my face again."

  3. Definitely a good weekend line-up!

  4. bobby Bare was just wonderful!! Love him so much, pleas come back soon to the Opry:-)

  5. I don't mean for this to be political at all but I'm proud of Bill Anderson and the Opry for moments like his last performance tonight and those of others who cross the Opry stage. They are always respectful of our country, the military and other traditions. I leave it at that so not to walk on any toes.

    This weekend makes me think of Jan Howard and her two sons that served as well as Charlie Walker and others. Of course both Jesse and Bobby served in the military as well.

    Knightsville, IN

  6. Listening to both Opry shows this weekend, in my opinion, they were two of the better ones lately. Tracy Lawrence was very impressive both nights. Bobby Bare, Ray Stevens and Ronnie Milsap all nailed it on Saturday night. As Jim mentioned, Bill Anderson did a great job with "This Old Army Hat."

    The only one missing was Bobby Osborne, and my understanding is that he cancelled due to the heavy storms in Kentucky.

    It is always a nice weekend when you can hear many of the legends of country music, including Gene Watson, Connie Smith, Jesse McReynolds and Ricky Skaggs among others.