Sunday, June 25, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 6/27 & Wednesday Night Opry 6/28

Every year, one of the highlights on the Grand Ole Opry calendar is when the ACM Lifting Lives Music Campers appear on the Opry. In the past Trace Adkins has performed with this group of special youngsters and this year, on the Tuesday Night Opry, it will be Chris Young. Also appearing on Tuesday night will be frequent Opry guest Chris Janson.

7:00: Connie Smith; Wade Hayes
7:30: Bill Anderson; Chris Janson
Intermission
8:15: Jim Lauderdale; Carly Pearce
8:45: Chris Young; ACM Lifting Lives Music Campers

The Wednesday Night Opry will feature another performance by CeCe Winans, along with the Charlie Daniels Band, Plus, another Opry appearance by one of the newest members, Crystal Gayle

7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Lindi Ortega
7:30: Drew Baldridge; Crystal Gayle
Intermission
8:15: The Swon Brothers; CeCe Winans
8:45: Charlie Daniels Band


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 6/23 & 6/24

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. One show each night, both with pretty solid line-ups.

Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for both nights include Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider (keeping his streak alive), Connie Smith, and the Grand Ole Opry's newest members, Dailey & Vincent, who continue to impress with the number of Opry appearances that they have been making. That group will be joined on Friday night by members Riders In The Sky and Jesse McReynolds, while on Saturday night, The Whites and Bobby Osborne are on the scheduled.

Among those making a guest appearance this weekend will be Mark Wills, who is scheduled for both nights. For Mark, this two appearances will be his 14th and 15th of the year. Only 11 of the Opry's 60+ members have appeared more. Even looking back several years, Mark has appeared on the Opry more than most of the members. While not the biggest star in country music, Mark has had a pretty nice career and it is good that he comes out and supports the Opry.

Additional guest artists on Friday night include Ashley Campbell, comedian Henry Cho, Brooke Eden, Kristian Bush and making his Opry debut, Jacob Davis. Saturday's guests include Mo Pitney, Maggie Rose, Robbie Fulks and Post Monroe.

As mentioned, this will be the Opry debut for Josh Davis. Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, he is a singer/songwriter currently signed to Black River Entertainment. He has opened for Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Sam Hunt and Kelsea Ballerini. "What I Wanna Be" is his debut single that was released this past spring.

Friday June 23
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Ashley Campbell; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Mark Wills
Intermission
8:15: Dailey & Vincent (host); Henry Cho; Jacob Davis
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Brooke Eden; Kristian Bush

Saturday June 24
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mo Pitney; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Maggie Rose; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
Intermission
8:15: Dailey & Vincent (host); Robbie Fulks; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Post Monroe; Mark Wills

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of June 22 & 23, 2007:

Friday June 22
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Jeff Bates
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Dusty Drake
9:00: Pam Tillis (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rissi Palmer
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Connie Smith; Marty Stuart

Saturday June 23
1st show
6:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Mel McDaniel; Jim Lauderdale
7:00: Pam Tillis (host); Jack Greene; David Ball
7:30: The Whites (host); T.G. Sheppard; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; Billy Dean; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); John England & The Western Singers; Jimmy Wayne

2nd show
9:30: Pam Tillis (host); The Whites; Billy Dean
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); John England & The Western Swingers; David Ball; Rebecca Lynn Howard
10:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jack Greene; Jimmy Wayne; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); T.G. Sheppard; Jim Lauderdale

Now from 25 years ago, June 26 & 27, 1992:

Friday June 26
1st show
6:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jean Shepard; Roy Drusky; The Carlisles; Wilma Lee Cooper
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Billy Walker; Ray Pillow; The 4 Guys
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Grandpa Jones; George Hamilton IV; Jeanne Pruett
8:00: Del Reeves (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites; Mario Martin
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Mike Snider; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Stu Phillips; Skeeter Davis; Billy Walker; The 4 Guys
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard; Grandpa Jones; George Hamilton IV
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Carlisles; Ray Pillow; Mario Martin; Jeanne Pruett
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider
11:30: Del Reeves (host); The Whites; Charlie Walker; Johnny Russell
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday June 27
1st show
6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Del Reeves; The Carlisles
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jeanne Pruett; Charlie Walker; Floyd Cramer
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Stu Phillips; Jan Howard; Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Roy Drusky; Connie Smith; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Skeeter Davis; Floyd Cramer
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Jeanne Pruett
10:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jack Greene
10:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Charlie Walker; Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Teddy Wilburn; Jan Howard; The Whites
11:30: Del Reeves (host); Connie Smith; The Carlisles; Mike Snider

(The Whites actually cancelled out on Saturday night. They were replaced by Stu Phillips on the 2nd show).

So who was Mario Martin, featured on both shows on Friday night?

Mario Martin is a vocalist and guitar player who now makes and markets his own brand of guitars. He started singing and playing at an early age at family gatherings, school functions and parties. At age 15, Mario was playing at local honky-tonks and clubs in the Macon, Georgia area. In 1990, he entered the "Country Showdown," a national talent competition sponsored by Tru Value Hardware and GMC trucks. He finished as first runner-up out of more than 1,000 contestants. Based on that contest, Mario received a record deal in 1991, with his first record released on the now defunct Nashville based DPI Records, the same label on which Hoyt Axton and Mel McDaniel recorded for. Within the course of several years, Mario released several more albums and was on the road opening for Ricky Skaggs, Tracy Lawrence, John Anderson and Lee Greenwood. By the end of 1993, DPI had gone out of business. Not giving up, Mario kept playing clubs, fairs and festivals as an independent artist. In 1995 he moved to Nashville to seek another record deal and play local country music clubs. Mario said, "Playing in Nashville, for the most part, doesn't pay the bills. There are too many gigging musicians. That is why I finally decided to chase my other, more lucrative, passion of working on guitars. After spending some time working for Fender Musical Instruments and Music Instrument Restoration Corporation, he went into business for himself and started his own company, The Guitar Mill. He has done well since.

And finally, it was on Saturday June 24, 1989 that some guy named Garth Brooks made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Jeannie Seely: Tell Me Again
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): Ashes of Love/Blue Moon of Kentucky/That's All Right
Jean Shepard: Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco/Charlie's Shoes

7:00: Shoney's
Jack Greene (host): There's A Whole Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know
Ray Pillow: 'Til the Best Comes Along
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
The Whites: Blue Letters/Follow the Leader
Jack Greene: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me

7:30: Standard Candy
Johnny Russell (host): In A Mansion Stands My Love
4 Guys: Turn Around; Look at Me/Kokomo
Garth Brooks: I'm Much Too Young to Feel this Damn Old/If Tomorrow Never Comes
Johnny Russell: Act Naturally

8:00: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle/Elvira
Roy Drusky: Wings of a Dove/One Day at a Time
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Bill Cheatham
Oswald: Black Smoke's A Risin'

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): The Call of the Wild
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Mike Snider: Ground Speed
Hank Snow: I Almost Lost My Mind

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jack Greene (host): Happy Tracks
4 Guys: I'm All Tied Up
Billy Walker: A Million and One
The Whites: Hangin' Around/Doing it By the Book
Jack Greene: The Last Letter

10:00: Little Debbie
Charlie Walker (host): A Way to Free Myself
Jean Shepard: Home in San Antone/Time Changes Everything/Roly Poly
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Bill Carlisle: Worried Man Blues
Roy Acuff: Back in the Country/I'll Fly Away

10:30: Pet Milk
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Garth Brooks: I'm Much Too Young to Feel this Damn Old/IF Tomorrow Never Comes
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou

10:45: B. C. Powder
Roy Drusky (host): Too Old to Die Young
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Dance all Night
Roy Drusky: Mansion Over the Hilltop

11:00: Coca-Cola
Ray Pillow (host): Too Many Memories
Jeannie Seely: One Step Away, From Coming Home/Why Doesn't he Just Leave Me Alone
Mike Snider: Look What They've Done to the Dominica Chicken
Ray Pillow: I'll Break Out Again Tonight

11:30: Creamette
Johnny Russell (host): Got No Reason Now for Going Home
Connie Smith: Walk Me to the Door/Why Don't You Love Me
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel/Buried Alive
Johnny Russell: Me & Bobby McGee

You will notice that Hank Snow only did the first show that Saturday night. Why, you might ask? Hank had a habit of going home between his segments. On that particular night, Hank was involved in a car accident, thus not making it back for the 2nd show.

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




Monday, June 19, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 6/20 & Wednesday Night Opry 6/21

As summer continues, so do the mid-week Grand Ole Opry shows. The Tuesday Night Opry will feature another appearance by the Opry's newest members, Dailey & Vincent, while Rhonda Vincent will be appearing on the Wednesday Night Opry, along with another appearance by CeCe Winans, who has been booked for each of the upcoming Wednesday night shows.

Tuesday June 20
7:00: Riders In The Sky; RaeLynn
7:30: T. Graham Brown; Chuck Wicks
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson; Danielle Bradbery
8:45: Dailey & Vincent; Kelsea Ballerini

Wednesday June 21
7:00: Rhonda Vincent; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Thompson Square; Eli Young Band
Intermission
8:15: Brett Eldredge; CeCe Winans; Charlie Daniels Band

It should be worth noting that Rhonda Vincent and Daryle Singletary have a new CD out together. I am sure they will be performing a number of songs from that CD.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 6/16 & 6/17

CMA Fest is done and gone for another year, and based on everything I read and heard, it was another success. Lots of events and some big crowds downtown. It was also a big week of Opry shows, with a lot of big names. Now that the festival is over, most of those artists have left town and are working at the various country music festivals that are going on around the country. That leaves the Opry with some interesting names for the shows this weekend.

Grand Ole Opry members appearing both nights include John Conlee, Mike Snider (who keeps his string going of not missing any weekend Opry shows so far in 2016), The Whites and Connie Smith. That group will be joined by Craig Morgan (who on his schedule as monthly Opry appearances listed through the fall) on Friday night, and Jesse McReynolds on Saturday night. A pretty slim list of five members each night.

Among the guests on Friday night is someone who I always have thought would make a good Opry member, and that is Kathy Mattea. I have always enjoyed her music and her background and each time she is on the Opry it is a treat. Joining her on Friday will be newcomer Ashley McBryde (who appeared last week on Marty Stuart's late night jam), Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith Band, Sundance Head, veteran Darryl Worley, and Linda Davis, who has been working with Kenny Rogers on his farewell tour.

Saturday night brings the legendary Wanda Jackson to the Opry stage. Wanda has appeared several times at the Opry during her legendary career and I am sure she will rock the house again. I saw her a few years ago when she hosted the Midnight Jamboree and she was amazing that night. Also scheduled is Jimmy Wayne, Exile, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, along with Angaleena Presley.

Friday June 16
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); Linda Davis; Darryl Worley
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Summer Brooke & The Mountain Faith Band; Sundance Head
8:45: Craig Morgan (host); Ashley McBryde; Kathy Mattea

Saturday June 17
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy Wayne; Exile
7:30: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: John Conlee (host); Wanda Jackson; Angaleena Presley

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of June 15 & 16, 2007:

Friday June 15
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider; Angela Hacker
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard; Little General Cloggers; Daryle Singletary
9:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Tommy Emmanuel; Cadillac Sky
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Tracy Byrd

Saturday June 16
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; John England & The Western Swingers
7:00: Brad Paisley
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; The Whites
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Tommy Emmanuel; Cadillac Sky; Hal Ketchum

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Brad Paisley
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Catherine Britt
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Tommy Emmanuel; Cadillac Sky
11:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Charlie Louvin; Jean Shepard; John England & The Western Swingers

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday June 20, 1992:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Porter Wagoner (host): Sugarfoot Rag
Charlie Louvin: My Baby's Gone
Porter Wagoner: You Old Love Letters

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water
Grandpa Jones: When the Bees are in the Hive

7:00: Shoney's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Don't Bother to Knock
David Houston: I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
Jeanne Pruett: I Oughta Feel Guilty
Billy Walker: Jesse
The Whites: Hangin' Around
Jim Ed Brown: Family Bible

7:30: Standard Candy
Jack Greene (host): My World Ain't Turning Yet
Jean Shepard: An Old Bridge that You Keep Burning
Vic Willis Trio: Colorado
Vince Gill: Take Your Memory With You When You Go/Look at Us
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/He Is My Everything

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
4 Guys: How Married Are You Mary Ann/We're Only Here for A Little While
Mike Snider: Ground Speed/Putting On the Dog
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Bill Cheatham
Roy Acuff: That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

8:30: Opryland
Hank Snow (host): Conscience, I'm Guilty
Roy Drusky: Jody & The Kid
Jan Howard: I Wish I Could Love Like that Much Again
Jimmy C Newman: Don't Say; Don't Say/Diggy Liggy Lo
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me
Tommy Varden: Cotton Eyed Joe

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Ray Pillow: Bubbles in My Beer
Ernie Ashworth: Each Moment Spent with You
Teddy Wilburn: Making Plans
Vince Gill: When I Call Your Name/Drifting Too Far From the Shore
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Going Down the Country
Stonewall Jackson: B.J. the D.J.
The Whites: Doing it by the Book
Grandpa Jones: It's Raining Here this Morning

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Charlie Louvin & Charles Whitstein: When I Stop Dreaming/Make Him A Soldier
Roy Acuff: Jesus Will Outshine them All/That's the Man I'm Looking For

10:30: Pet
Jim Ed Brown (host): Lyin' In Love with You
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jim Ed Brown: Scarlet Ribbons

10:45: B. C. Powder
Jack Greene (host): Try A Little Kindness
Charlie Nagatani: (?)
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Rachel
Jack Greene: Ever Since My Baby Went Away

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): White Silver Sands
4 Guys: Big River
Jean Shepard: Above & Beyond
Billy Walker: Coffee Brown Eyes
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
Hank Snow: Blueberry Hill

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Jan Howard: Heartaches by the Number
Roy Drusky: One Day at A Time
Mike Snider: Look What They've Done to the Dominica Hen/Dueling Banjos
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

Finally, while the Grand Ole Opry recognizes June 1, 1967 as the date Stu Phillips became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, it was actually 50 years ago, June 17, 1967 that Stu made his first appearance on the Opry as a member. Here is the line-up from the 2nd show that night:

9:30: Kellogg's
Charlie Louvin (host): See the Big Man Cry
Willis Brothers: Somebody Knows My Dog
Bob Luman: Why Don't You Leave Me Alone
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Charlie Louvin: How Great Thou Art
Bobby Lord: Life Can Have Meaning
Charlie Louvin: Off & On

10:00: Schick
Billy Grammer (host): Wabash Cannonball
Del Wood: Under the Double Eagle
Stringbean: The Big 'Un Got Away
Billy Grammer: Detroit City

10:15: Pure
Justin Tubb (host): You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Osborne Brothers: Roll Muddy River
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday

10:30: Buckley's
The Browns (host): Where Does the Good Times Go
Stu Phillips: (?)
The Browns: All of Me Belongs to You/The Fugitive

10:45: Newport
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: The Birds are Back to Sing
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bob Luman (host): Let's Think About Living
Marion Worth: You Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire on the Mountain
Duke of Paducah: Four Leaf Clover
Bob Luman: Memphis
Sam McGee: Amos Johnson Rag
Marion Worth: He Thinks I Still Care
Bob Luman: You Can Take the Boy from the Country

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): No Tears, Milady
Ernie Ashworth: At Ease Heart
Wilma Burgess: There Goes My Everything
Don Winters: Chime Bells
Marty Robbins: Tonight Carmen
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Begging to You/Bouquet of Roses/I Could Never be Ashamed of You/You Know How Talk Gets Around/Lovesick Blues/El Paso

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend and a very happy Father's Day to all of the fathers!!







Monday, June 12, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 6/13 & Wednesday Night Opry 6/14

Things should be getting back to normal in Nashville this week now that the CMA Music Festival has ended and, sorry to say, the Nashville Predators lost in the Stanley Cup finals. But now that summer is upon us, the Opry begins a few weeks of Opry shows on Wednesday night, while the Thursday night Opry Country Classics have ended the spring run and will be coming back in the fall.

Regarding the Tuesday Night Opry, Grand Ole Opry members Rascal Flatts and Clint Black will be making appearances. For Clint, this is a rescheduled appearance from earlier this year from which he had to cancel due to illness. Interesting that they have given Rascal Flatts the entire last segment, while Clint, who rarely appears at the Opry, gets the normal 15 minutes.

7:00: John Conlee; Drew Baldridge
7:30: Henry Cho; Connie Smith
Intermission
8:15: Carly Pearce; Clint Black
8:45: Rascal Flatts

The Wednesday Night Opry also has a pretty solid line-up:

7:00: Riders In The Sky; Ray Scott
7:30: Jo Smith; Restless Heart
Intermission
8:15: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Charlie Worsham
8:45: CeCe Winans; Ricky Skaggs


Saturday, June 10, 2017

June Opry Highlights

Welcome to the month of June and Summer!!! And as summer rolls around, vacation season goes into high gear which means lots of visitors to Nashville including those who come to town for the CMA Music Fest. As for the Grand Ole Opry, June has always been a busy month and here are the highlights and important events that have taken place regarding the Opry or its members, during the month of June.

June 17, 1910: Clyde Julian Foley was born in Blue Lick, Kentucky. Better known as Red, he joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1946, replacing Roy Acuff as the host of the Prince Albert portion of the show. He stayed at the Opry until 1954 when he left Nashville and went to Springfield, Missouri as the host of the Ozark Jubilee. When Red came to the Opry, it was specifically to host the Prince Albert portion and as such, he did not appear on any other segments of the Opry.

June 19, 1914: Lester Flatt was born in Overton County, Tennessee. Lester would become famous as a member of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, then later teaming up with Earl Scruggs in the highly successful Flatt & Scruggs duo. After a very successful run, Lester and Earl split due to creative differences, with Lester favoring a more traditional bluegrass sound. He then formed the Nashville Grass and continued with that group, and at the Opry, until his death in 1979. While on the Opry, Lester traditionally hosted the Martha White portion of the show.

June 17, 1916: David Akeman, better known as Stringbean, was born in Anniville, Kentucky. Stringbean had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for years, and was famous for his comedy and banjo playing. However, it was his role on Hee Haw that brought Stringbean his greatest fame to a national audience. Stringbean died in November 1973 when he, along with his wife Estelle, were murdered upon returning home from an Opry appearance.

June 28, 1924: George Morgan was born in Waverly, Tennessee. George spent several years in Ohio, specifically the Barberton area before becoming a star on the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree. In 1948 he came to Nashville and the Opry, as the replacement for Eddy Arnold, who had recently left the show. George would remain a popular Opry member until his death in 1975. On a historical note, it was George who hosted the final segment of the Friday Night Opry prior to the move to the new Grand Ole Opry House in March 1974. George, who is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, is also the father of current Opry member Lorrie Morgan.

June 19, 1926: DeFord Bailey made his debut on the WSM Barn Dance. DeFord was a member of the Grand Ole Opry until he was fired by Opry founder George D. Hay in 1941. His song, "Pan American Blues" would often be the opening number on the Opry's early broadcasts. After he was fired from the Opry, DeFord remained bitter toward WSM and the Opry for many years, and declined several invitations to come back and perform on the Opry. Finally, on February 23, 1974, he returned to the Opry for the Old-Timer's Night. He was introduced by Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl and received a great ovation. He would return for several more Opry appearances, making his final appearance in April 1982, several months prior to his death.

June 2, 1927: Carl Butler was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. Along with his wife Pearl, Carl had one of the biggest hits in the history of country music, "Don't Let Me Cross Over." Carl and Pearl were members of the Grand Ole Opry for several years in the early 1960's. He passed away in 1992.

June 23, 1929: Valarie June Carter was born in Maces Springs, Virginia. She, along with sisters Anita and Helen, and their mother Maybelle, came to the Opry in 1950. While June was not much of a singer, she was a fine comedian and often teamed with Rod Brasfield and Jimmy Dickens.

June 12, 1936: Dr. Humphrey Bate, founder and leader of the Possum Hunters, died at the age of 61. Following Uncle Jimmy Thompson, Dr. Bate is considered the Opry's 2nd original member. In fact, many historians feel that he may actually have been the first rural performer to have been featured on WSM. Either way, Dr. Bate and the Possum Hunters were an important part of the Opry and his contributions are often overlooked.

June 13, 1936: Because of the size of the crowds, the Opry moved to the Dixie Tabernacle, located on Fatherland Street in East Nashville. While sounding impressive, the Tabernacle was actually a very primitive facility with wooden benches, sawdust floors and no dressing rooms. It was basically an old barn that had sides which were opened during the summer to keep the air flowing thru. However, it did seat 3,500 and contributed to the growth of the Opry.

June 5, 1937: Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys became members of the Grand Ole Opry. Pee Wee was one of the first professional entertainers to join the show and he helped to bring a more professional look to the Opry as his Golden West Cowboys were one of the sharpest looking groups around. Pee Wee and the Opry's founder, George D. Hay had many disagreements as the founder felt that Pee Wee's group was not country enough. As mentioned, Pee Wee brought a lot of professionalism to the show including being the first act to be introduced with entry and exit music. Pee Wee stayed at the Opry for a number of years before leaving and moving to Louisville, Kentucky to work in television. He had a successful show that aired live in several markets including Louisville, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Chicago. Later becoming famous for the "Tennessee Waltz." Pee Wee would continue to make guest appearances on the Opry. His autobiography, "Hell-Bent for Music" is excellent and I highly recommend the book.

June 25, 1940: Republic Pictures released the movie "Grand Ole Opry" which starred Roy Acuff, George D. Hay and Uncle Dave Macon. It was considered a basic movie for the times and while it was no means an academy award winner, it offers a great look at an early Roy Acuff. Copies can still be found online.

June 5, 1943: The Grand Ole Opry moves to the Ryman Auditorium, which would become known as "The Mother Church of Country Music." The Opry would stay at the Ryman until March 1974, and since 1999 has made annual winter visits back. Many consider the Opry's years at the Ryman as the golden years of the Opry and the show had tremendous growth while at the Ryman. While many were sad to see the Opry leave in 1974, deteriorating conditions in the building and in downtown Nashville made the move a necessity.

June 6, 1944: D-Day and the day that Grant Turner began working at WSM radio. Grant, who would become known as the "Dean" of Opry announcers, would remain at WSM and the Opry until his death in October 1991. Grant, who is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, also hosted served as an announcer for the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, and did the Opry's warm-up show.

June 17, 1944: The Poe Sisters, Ruth and Nellie, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. Their idols were the Delmore Brothers, and George D. Hay would often refer to them as the "female Delmore Brothers." The Poe Sisters performed regionally in the Northeast before coming to Nashville and the Opry. However, their time at the Opry was very short. They originally left the Opry in 1945 when Ruth got married. They were gone for a few months, then came back, however in August 1946 they left again, this time for good.

June 17, 1944: On the same night as the Poe Sisters, Rod Brasfield made his Grand Ole Opry debut.

June 11, 1949: Hank Williams made his Grand Ole Opry debut. The performance was one for the ages as Hank was called back for a reported six encores, an Opry record that still stands to this day. The song that inspired the encores was "Lovesick Blues." Jimmy Dickens, who was there that night, would often say that it was the greatest Opry performance he had ever seen.

June 12, 1954: Ferlin Husky became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Ferlin would stay as an Opry member until December 1964 when he was fired for failing to make the required number of Opry appearances. Like a few of the others who were terminated, Ferlin would not rejoin the cast but would return for guest appearances.

June 1, 1957: As part of the youth movement that was taking place at the Opry, the Everly Brothers became Opry members. The Everly Brothers did not stay long however, as they were destined for bigger and better things.

June 13, 1959: Roy Drusky became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Roy came to Nashville and the Opry from Atlanta, Georgia and would remain an Opry member until his death in September 2004. In my opinion, Roy had one of the smoothest voices in country music and was a terrific ballad singer.

June 17, 1959: Grand Ole Opry member Loretta Lynn Morgan, better known as Lorrie, was born. And no, she was not named after Loretta Lynn.

June 14, 1961: Opry member Patsy Cline was seriously injured in an automobile accident in Nashville. It would take Patsy almost eight months to recover from the injuries, which left a scar on her forehead. Because of that scar, Patsy would wear a wig just about ever time she performed after that accident.

June 29, 1963: Jim Reeves made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jim joined the Opry in 1955, coming to Nashville from the Louisiana Hayride. At the time he left the Opry, Jim felt that he had outgrown the show and was already moving toward a more uptown, contemporary sound.

June 8, 1964: Alton Delmore died at the age of 55 in Huntsville, Alabama. The Delmore Brothers were early members of the Opry, performing on the show in the 1930's. Their influence would carry on for many years and in 2001 they were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

June 12, 1965: Tex Ritter became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. When Tex joined the cast, he was at the tail end of his great western movie career and many wondered why Tex would want to come to Nashville and be a part of the Opry. Tex surprised everyone, becoming one of the Opry's more popular members and becoming very involved in the Nashville community. For a period of time, he co-hosted the overnight radio program with Ralph Emery on WSM. Tex, who was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1964, was one of the early leaders and founding members of the Country Music Association and his wife was considered one of the Opry's ambassadors. Tex passed away from a heart attack in January 1974.

June 20, 1965: Ira Louvin, the older brother of Charlie Louvin and one half of the duo, the Louvin Brothers, was killed in an automobile accident. One of the greatest duos in country music history, the Louvin Brothers were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

June 25, 1966: Grand Ole Opry member Willie Nelson made his final appearance as a member of the Opry. Willie joined the Opry in November 1964, but things were not working out well for Willie in Nashville, so he left for his home state of Texas. While in Texas, Willie developed a new look and sound and became one of the biggest acts in the history of country music. While never coming back to the Opry as a member, Willie has made several guest appearances.

June 1, 1967: Stu Phillips became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Stu's 50th year as an Opry member, and along with Hank Snow and Terri Clark, are the only two Opry members to join the cast from Canada. While June 1st is recognized as the date Stu joined, Stu did not make his first appearance as an Opry member until June 17.

June 28, 1974: Former Beatles member Paul McCarthy is introduced on the stage of the Opry by Roy Acuff. Paul did not perform but was visiting Nashville as part of a vacation with his family.

June 28, 1974: On that same night, Grand Ole Opry member George Morgan made his final Opry appearance. Included on the show that night was his daughter Lorrie, and they performed a duet together, "Smile for Me." Shortly afterwards, George passed away after suffering a heart attack.

June 17, 1978: Marty Robbins drove his new custom-made Panther Deville onto the stage of the Opry. In a moment of good humor, Roy Acuff found a security guard who wrote out a parking ticket to Marty.

June 20, 1980: Boxcar Willie made his Grand Ole Opry debut. Boxcar would later become a member of the Opry.

June 19, 1982: Riders In The Sky became members of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be their 35th year as Opry members. They remain the only members of the Opry keeping the sound of western music alive on the Opry stage.

June 9, 1984: Following in the footsteps of her father, Lorrie Morgan became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Lorrie's 33rd year as a member. Lorrie made her Opry debut at the age of 13, singing "Paper Roses."

June 18, 1984: Former Grand Ole Opry member Paul Howard passed away at the age of 75 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Paul joined the Opry in 1942 with his group, the Arkansas Cotton Pickers. The group included Grady Martin and Hank Garland and specialized in western music. Paul stayed with the Opry though the 1940's. He did return later for several of the Opry's reunion shows.

June 20, 1986: Whitey Ford, the Duke of Paducah, died at the age of 85. Whitey joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1942 and remained a member of the Opry until 1959, when he left to pursue other career opportunities. Like others who left the cast, Whitey would return for numerous appearances. Along with Minnie Pearl, Whitey was the featured comedian on the Prince Albert shows before he was replaced by Rod Brasfield. After Rod joined, Whitey was shifted to other segments. In 1986, the year he died, Whitey was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

June 4, 1988: Herman Crook, the last living link to the start of the WSM Barn Dance and the Grand Ole Opry, performed on the Opry for the final time. Herman was a part of the Opry for 62 years, first appearing in 1926. Herman was a harmonica player and was a part of the Crook Brothers, the last true string band to appear on the Opry. Over the years, the Possum Hunters, Gully Jumpers and the Fruit Jar Drinkers would disappear, with members from those groups merged into the others, until only the Crook Brothers were left. Herman passed away the following week on June 10, after which the Crook Brothers name would disappear from the Opry line-ups.

June 10, 1988: Ricky Van Shelton became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Now retired, this will be Ricky's 29th year as a member of the Opry's cast.

June 11, 1988: Patty Loveless became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. At one time, Patty was a part of the Wilburn Brother's television show and performed as part of Porter Wagoner's show. Many times she has talked about how much Porter helped and influenced her career. And on the night she joined, it was Porter who inducted her.

June 11, 1988: On the same night that Patty Loveless became an Opry member, future Opry member Holly Dunn made her Opry debut.

June 24, 1989: Garth Brooks made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Garth would become an Opry member the following year.

June 2, 1990: Mike Snider became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 27th year as an Opry member. Mike is a great comedian and also a great banjo player and leads a string band that plays the type of music that the Opry was founded on. In fact, these days Mike is much more serious about the music than the comedy.

June 7, 1991: Alan Jackson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Alan's 26th year as an Opry member. This will be a big year for Alan as later this year he will become one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

June 14, 1991: Future Grand Ole Opry member Clint Black made his Opry debut.

June 15, 1991: Grand Ole Opry legend Minnie Pearl made her last appearance associated with an Opry sponsored show. That night she performed in Joliet, Illinois. Several days later, she suffered a massive stroke that ended her performing days.

June 3, 1994: The Ryman Auditorium reopened for the first time since the building was renovated as Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion was broadcast live from the auditorium. After the Opry left in 1974, the building sat basically empty, with the public being allowed in for self guided tours. After a performance and live album by Emmylou Harris, Gaylord Entertainment saw the value and importance of renovating the building. It is now one of Nashville's great treasures and one of the best decisions that Gaylord ever made.

June 3, 1994: Former Grand Ole Opry member Wally Fowler passed away at the age of 77. Wally came to Nashville in 1948 with his Oak Ridge Quartet and was a part of the Opry until 1950. During the time they were at the Opry, the Oak Ridge Quartet was featured on the Prince Albert portion of the show and Wally would many times host the final Opry segment. Over time, the Oak Ridge Quartet would become the Oak Ridge Boys, and the focus of the group would go from gospel to country. By then, Wally had long left the group. Coming full circle, the Oak Ridge Boys have become Opry members.

June 4, 1994: Former Opry member Zeke Clements died at the age of 82. Zeke came to the Opry in the 1930's as a member of the Bronco Busters, which were led by Texas Ruby.

June 17, 1994: Sarah Wilson of Sarie and Sallie, who were Opry members from 1934-1939, passed away at the age of 97. And yes, they were really sisters, Edna Wilson and Margaret Waters.

June 23, 1995: Current WSM personality and Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs became an Opry announcer.

June 29, 1999: Pete Fisher became the general manager of the Grand Ole Opry, the first person hired specifically for that position. Pete would remain with the Opry until January 2017 when he left to become the head of the Academy of Country Music.

June 10, 2000: The Grand Ole Opry introduced a new Opry backdrop. The new state of the art lighting replaced the old red barn that had been used in various forms since the Opry moved to the Opry House in 1974. It was reported at the time that the old backdrop was being donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame, however if it has, it has never been put on display.

June 17, 2000: The Opry begins streaming shows live on the internet, giving those around the world an opportunity to listen to the show live. For many, it was the first chance to hear the show without static interference.

June 14, 2003: While Trace Adkins was making a guest appearance on the Opry, Jimmy Dickens came out with a ladder, climbed it and asked Trace if he would like to become a member of the Opry's cast. Trace, of course, said yes, and was inducted several months later.

June 12, 2004: Terri Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be her 13th year as an Opry member, and was the third person from Canada to join the cast.

June 9, 2007: Mel Tillis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, being introduced on the Opry's stage by his daughter Pam. This will be his 10th year as an Opry member. Mel has not been on the Opry in over a year as he continues to recover from a serious illness. Mel had actually been a part of the Opry before, as a member of Porter Wagoner's Wagonmasters and there is a belief that Mel was actually asked to become an individual member during that same time period, accepted but then backed out. He even made it into one edition of the Opry's History Picture Book as a member. However, it wasn't until 2007 that it became official.

June 6, 2008: The 4 Guys made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, in what would prove to be their final Opry appearance. They had been fired from the Opry in 2000 as all of the original members of the group had moved on or retired. They were introduced that night by Bill Anderson and received a nice response from the audience.

June 28, 2008: This was the final night that the Grand Ole Opry began its Saturday night first show at 6:30. The following week, the show was scheduled for 7:00, where it has been since. The show length was also cut 30 minutes, down to a two hours show.

June 23, 2009: Montgomery Gentry became members of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be their 8th year as Opry members. This popular duo were brought to the show upon the recommendation of fellow Opry member Charlie Daniels, who had joined the cast the previous year.

June 15, 2013: Patty Loveless was honored upon her 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Vince Gill was the host for the segment, which finished with "Go Rest High On That Mountain." A great moment and night at the Opry.

June 6, 2014: Long time Grand Ole Opry member Jimmy C Newman made his final Opry appearance. Jimmy joined the Opry in 1948. He passed away several weeks later.

June 11, 2015: Grand Ole Opry member, and newly elected Country Music Hall of Fame member, Jim Ed Brown passed away. Jim Ed had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 50 years and had one of the great voices in country music.

June 19, 2015: Garth Brooks made a surprise appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, his first Opry appearance since he inducted Carrie Underwood as an Opry member in 2008, and his first singing appearance on the Opry since 2005. He was joined by his wife Trisha Yearwood.

June 23, 2016: Grand Ole Opry member Ralph Stanley passed away after a period of declining health. Ralph joined the Opry cast in 2000.

June 2, 2017: Grand Ole Opry member Stu Phillips was honored for 50 years of Opry membership. Stu joined the Opry on June 1, 1967. As part of this appearance, Stu gave a very emotional tribute to those who had helped him during his career.






Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 6/9 & 6/10

The CMA Music Festival is well underway in Nashville and as is usually the case, the weekend of the Music Fest features some of the stronger Grand Ole Opry line-ups of the year, This weekend is no exception as both the Friday Night Opry, Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, and Saturday afternoon's Opry Country Classics all feature very solid line-ups.

It will be a special weekend for Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame member Charley Pride, as he will be featured on all three shows this weekend. Charley doesn't get up to Nashville often enough, and it is always a treat to hear Charley on the Opry.

On Friday night, Charley will be joined by fellow Opry members Jeannie Seely, Ricky Skaggs, Riders In The Sky, Bobby Osborne, Connie Smith, Mike Snider, Oak Ridge Boys and Josh Turner. A very solid group of members. Besides Charley, Jeannie, Mike and the Riders will also be on Saturday night's show, joined by members Montgomery Gentry, The Whites and Jesse McReynolds.

Guest artists on the Friday Night Opry will be Brandy Clark, who will also be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night, and Scotty McCreery. Saturday's guests include the sensational Sara Evans, and the legendary Gene Watson, along with Eric Paslay and William Michael Morgan.

Friday June 9
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Brandy Clark; Ricky Skaggs
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Scotty McCreery
Intermission
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Mike Snider; Charley Pride
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Josh Turner

Saturday June 10
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Gene Watson; Eric Paslay
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Charley Pride; Montgomery Gentry
Intermission
8:15: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; William Michael Morgan; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Sara Evans

Opry Country Classics will have a Saturday afternoon matinee with Charley Pride as the spotlight artist, and a very solid group of artists also scheduled on the show, including Bobby Bare, Crystal Gayle and Gene Watson.

Opry Country Classics: Saturday June 10
3:00-5:00
Host: Bill Cody
Spotlight Artist: Charley Pride
Also Appearing: Bobby Bare; Ashley Campbell; Crystal Gayle; Gene Watson

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of June 8 & 9, 2007:

Friday June 8
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Riders In The Sky; Jack Greene; Emerson Drive
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Terri Clark
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Pam Tillis; Charley Pride
9:30: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Joe Nichols

Saturday June 9
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Hal Ketchum; Jim Ed Brown
7:00: Pam Tillis (host); Darryl Worley; Carolina Rain; Mel Tillis
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mike Snider; Connie Smith; Riders In The Sky
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jeannie Seely; Charley Pride

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; Darryl Worley
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider; Charley Pride
10:30: Pam Tillis (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mel Tillis
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely; Carolina Rain

It was during the first show that Saturday night that Mel Tillis became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. 2007 was a special year for Mel as besides becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Mel was also elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Mel Tillis has had an amazing career. Not only a great singer, but he is a noted songwriter, comedian and actor. Mel has said that if he hadn't been so busy with his career, he might have become an Opry member sooner. "I always wanted to be a member of the Opry," Mel once told interviewer Edward Morris, "but I was always gone. I was doing the Johnny Carson show, the Merv Griffin show, the Mike Douglas show; every show you could name; the Dean Martin show, Hollywood Squares, and 13 movies. I just didn't have the time to commit to being a member."

Mel moved to Nashville as an aspiring songwriter in 1957 after Webb Pierce had a Top 5 hit with "I'm Tired," a song Mel says Webb first heard Ray Price singing backstage at the Opry. Pierce also had a hit with Mel's "I Ain't Never," and soon, Mel was writing hits for all sorts of singers including Bobby Bare ("Detroit City"), Ray Price ("Heart Over Mind" and "Burning Memories"), Jack Greene ("All the Time"), and Kenny Rogers and the First Edition (Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town") just to name a few. At the same time, Mel launched a recording career that has yielded more than 50 Top 40 hits, including chart-toppers like his own version of "I Ain't Never," "Coca Cola Cowboy," "Good Woman Blues," and "Southern Rains." In 1976, the Country Music Association named him Entertainer of the Year. Mel also stepped out of the country music world and tried his hand at acting. He appeared in several television movie and the feature films "Every Which Way But Loose," "W.W. & The Dixie Dance Kings" and "Uphill All the Way."

In 1999, Broadcast Media Inc.(BMI) named Mel the Songwriter of the Decade for two decades and in 2001 he was the recipient of the Golden Voice Entertainer Award. and the Golden R.O.P.E, Songwriter Award. In 2009, he was named to the Florida Artist Hall of Fame and in 2010 he was awarded the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music. And in 2012 he received the National Medal of Arts from the President of the United States.

Sadly, in January 2016 Mel had a serious health issue that has prevented him from performing since. At last word, Mel was at his home in Ocala, Florida receiving in-home care. Earlier this year, his daughter Pam wrote, "There are no foreseeable personal appearances, as of now. He misses his fans as much as they miss him. I miss performing with him very much, particularly at Christmas as I reminisce about all the family Christmas shows we did over the years. I play his music as people walk into my own concerts."

While it will appear that Mel will not be at the Opry to celebrate his 10th year as an Opry member, congratulations go to Mel, as do all of our thoughts.

Now here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 25 years ago, the weekend of June 12 & 13, 1992:

Friday June 12
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; Del Reeves
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The 4 Guys; Jan Howard
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Grandpa Jones; Charlie Walker; Jimmy C Newman
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Connie Smith; Jack Greene; Jim Ed Brown
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Billy Walker; George Hamilton IV

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeanne Pruett; Wilma Lee Cooper; Ray Pillow
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Anderson; Grandpa Jones
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); The 4 Guys; Hank Locklin; Jeannie Seely; The Carlisles
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith: Jack Greene; Jimmy C Newman; Justin Tubb
11:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; George Hamilton IV; Johnny Russell
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday June 13
1st show
6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Hank Locklin; The Carlisles
7:00: Jack Greene (host); Skeeter Davis; George Hamilton; The 4 Guys; Jean Shepard
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Shenandoah; Hal Ketchum
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); The Whites; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Roy Drusky; Jan Howard; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; Shenandoah; Alan Jackson
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeanne Pruett; The Carlisles
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Jean Shepard
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Hal Ketchum
10:45: The 4 Guys (host); Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith; Roy Drusky; Justin Tubb; Jack Greene
11:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Charlie Walker; Jan Howard; The Whites

Finally, it was 33 years ago, Saturday June 9, 1984 that Lorrie Morgan became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

"You can't imagine how it felt the night I became a member of the Opry," Lorrie Morgan says. "The first time I could really call this place home. I couldn't stop shaking or trembling or crying." That Saturday night more than 30 years ago might have been Lorrie's first night as an official member, but it certainly wasn't her first night at the Grand Ole Opry. Lorrie grew up backstage at the Opry, the daughter of Country Music Hall of Famer George Morgan, a 26-year member known everywhere for his smash 1949 hit "Candy Kisses."

Born in 1959, Lorrie made her Opry stage debut early, introduced at the Ryman Auditorium by her proud father. "My little 13-year-old knees were absolutely knocking," she recalls. "But Dad was standing there right beside me with big tears in his eyes, and those people gave me a standing ovation. I thought, this is what I'm doing the rest of my life. This was a dream of my dad's long before it was my dream. I have all of this because of Dad. We're very blessed to be a musical family here at the Grand Ole Opry. What more could you ask for?"

George Morgan died when Lorrie was 16, but she still carries in her heart two pieces of advice left her: "Never say, I can't," and "Always remember your manners." Morgan's vocal style, combining country sincerity and pop sophistication, really took off in 1989 with the emotion-filled hit "Dear Me." She won a CMA award in 1990 for her work with her late husband, Keith Whitley, the great country traditionalist who had died the year before. Subsequent albums "Leave the Light On," "Something in Red" and "Watch Me" all sold more than a million copies.

Throughout her career, Morgan says, she has thought of the Opry as home. "The Opry gave me my start in country music. It's a place we all need to go from time to time to remember why we're here and what gave us the opportunity to be here.'

During the course of her career, Lorrie has released 13 albums and 10 compilation albums. She has released 38 singles, 3 of which went to No. 1 on the charts: "Five Minutes," What Part of No," and "I Didn't Know My Strength." Interesting, one of her most famous songs, and my wife's personal favorite, "Something in Red" only made it to No. 14. Lorrie has had a very solid career in country music, and while her hit making days are behind her, she has maintained her voice and still does a great job each time she is on the Opry.

Here is the running order from Saturday June 9, 1984, the night Lorrie Morgan became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Connie Smith: Had a Dream
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water

6:45: Rudy's
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime at a Time/Looking at the World through a Windshield
Jeannie Seely: You Sweet Lies Just Turned Down My Sheets Again
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me

7:00: Shoney's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Lying in Love with You
Billy Grammer: Homestead on the Farm
Skeeter Davis: Turning Away
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Jean Shepard: Virginia
Jim Ed Brown: Pop A Top

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Po Folks
Lorrie Morgan: Candy Kisses/Stand By Your Man
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Bill Anderson: Still

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
The Whites: Forever You/Swing Down Chariot
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin
Jeanne Pruett: Back to Back
Howdy Forester: (?)
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Forever and One Day
Dottie West: It's High Time/I Fall to Pieces/Sweet Dreams
4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah
Roy Drusky: The Last Farewell
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Hank Snow: I Don't Hurt Anymore

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
4 Guys: How Married Are You Mary Ann
Jeannie Seely: When You Heart's Been Stepped On
Del Reeves: Good Hearted Woman
Wilma Lee Cooper: A Daisy A Day
Jim Ed Brown: You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Anderson (host): I Love You Drops
Jan Howard: Lord, I Hope this Day is Good
Ray Pillow: Julie Loved Boston More Than Me
Bill Anderson: Southern Fried

10:15: Sunbeam
Billy Walker (host): Cross the Brazos at Waco
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy
Skeeter Davis: Turning Away
Billy Walker: He Sang the Songs about El Paso

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Roy Thackerson: Eighth of January

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): Don't It Make You Want to Go
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Gray Eagle
Roy Drusky: One Day at a Time

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Dottie West: It's High Time/Here Comes My Baby
The Whites: Hanging Around
Jerry Douglas: Cincinnati Rag
Hank Snow: Born for You

11:30: Quincy's
Stonewall Jackson (host): Why I'm Walking
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard/Oh, What a Party
Lorrie Morgan: What I've Got in Mind/Crazy
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chunk of Coal

Congratulations again to Lorrie Morgan and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!











Sunday, June 4, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 6/6 & Thursday Night Opry 6/8

The CMA Music Festival, or Fan Fair as us "old-timers" still like to call it, gets underway later this week in Nashville. While not an official event, the Tuesday Night Opry has turned into one of the kick-off events for the week. As with most previous years, the Tuesday night shows will be highlighted by Grand Ole Opry member Carrie Underwood, and with the National Hockey League Stanley Cup playoffs off that night, she just happens to be available.

1st show
7:00: Diamond Rio; Frankie Ballard
7:30: Bill Anderson; Del McCoury Band
8:00: Margo Price; Dustin Lynch
8:30: Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Diamond Rio; Frankie Ballard
10:00: Carrie Underwood
10:30: Bill Anderson; Del McCoury Band
11:00: Margo Price; Dustin Lynch

Two pretty nice shows, but not as much star power as we have seen in the past with these Tuesday night CMA shows. But the Opry has compensated for that by adding a special Thursday Night Opry this week, with a very nice line-up highlighted by Opry member Blake Shelton. Just one show, but a good one.

7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers; Tracy Lawrence
7:30: Sundance Head; Steve Wariner
Intermission
8:15: Trace Adkins; Oak Ridge Boys
8:45: Blake Shelton

Finally, let's not forget Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam, taking place on Wednesday June 7, starting at 10:00. That line-up includes:

Marty Stuart
The Wild Feathers
Rhiannon Giddens
Ashley McBryde
Tommy Emmanuel
Connie Smith & The Sundowners
Grand Ole Opry Square Dancers
Gary Mule Deer

And of course, usually a few special unannounced guests show up.

Enjoy the week of great shows!!




Thursday, June 1, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 6/2 & 6/3

It will be a special night on Saturday June 3, as Grand Ole Opry member Stu Phillips will be recognized upon his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Montreal native Stu Phillips grew up in Calgary, Alberta, in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, where he wrote many of his early songs. He grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry on a small crystal radio set and fell in love with the show and country music in general. Stu formed his own band at an early age, establishing a following at local events as well as working part-time for a radio station. His position as a radio announcer led to other jobs, including producer, engineer, and disc jockey.

On the air, Stu was host to a variety of shows in Canada, including "Stu for Breakfast," "Town and Country," and "Cowtown Jamboree." From radio, Stu moved to television, first as host of "The Outrider," then hosted "Red River Jamboree," a major Saturday night show on the CBC network. In addition to his TV work, Stu began to enjoy recording success with his "Echos of the Canadian Foothills" album. After four more years with the CBC, Stu set his sights on Music City, moving to Nashville in 1965. He started working for a local morning TV show and that year signed with RCA Records. With Chet Atkins producing, Stu began hitting the country charts with such tunes as "Bracero," "The Great El Tigre," "Vin Rose," and "Juanita Jones."

Stu joined the Opry in 1967 after making some 20 guest appearances. Stu has toured extensively in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, where his records received the equivalent of gold records. In 1993, Germany's Bear Family Records released a CD featuring 35 songs from his early Canadian albums. That same year, Stu was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. After more than 31 years after joining the Grand Ole Opry, Stu Phillips became an American citizen. Having lived in the U.S. longer than his native Canada, Stu celebrated American citizenship with his wife, Aldona, on the Opry stage during the Fourth of July weekend in 1998. "Our lives imply evolved over the years and took a new direction," he said. "Whenever I traveled overseas, I used to think of Canada as my home. After moving to Nashville, our lives became integrated into this land with all its comforts. Now, whenever I travel overseas, home is Tennessee, where I live." Stu also has become a minister in the Episcopal Church, receiving his divinity degree from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

Stu's official Grand Ole Opry induction date is listed as June 1, 1967, however his first show as a member of the Opry was actually Saturday June 17th. Now 84 years old, Stu is basically retired from performing and in fact, he hasn't made an Opry appearance since January 24, 2015.

Joining Stu Saturday night will be Grand Ole Opry members The Whites, Mike Snider, Jeannie Seely, Bill Anderson, Jesse McReynolds, Diamond Rio and Riders In The Sky. Most of those, including Jeannie, Mike, Riders, The Whites, and Bill are also scheduled on Friday night, where they will be joined by Opry members Lorrie Morgan and Bobby Osborne. Overall, a nice collection of Opry veterans scheduled for this weekend.

Guest artists on Friday include Mandy Barnett, Aaron Lewis, Johnny Counterfit, John McEuen & Friends, and The Isaacs. Saturday night's guest list is a little smaller, with Smithfield, Keith Anderson, Mark Wills and Jeanne Robertson. For those not familiar with Jeanne, she has appeared on the Opry before, actually on one of the shows that I attended. She is a motivational speaker and humorist, who in 1963 was Miss North Carolina. She is a very good story teller.

Friday June 2
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mandy Barnett; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Aaron Lewis
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Johnny Counterfit; John McEuen & Friends
8:45: Lorrie Morgan (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Isaacs

Saturday June 3
7:00: The Whites (host); Smithfield; Mike Snider
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Stu Phillips; Keith Anderson
Intermission
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jeanne Robertson; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Diamond Rio (host); Riders In The Sky; Mark Wills

That comes out to 7 Opry members on Friday night and 8 on Saturday. And for those interested, Mark Willis will also be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, taping at 10:00 following the Opry.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of June 1 & 2, 2007:

Friday June 1
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Little Texas
8:30: John Conlee (host); Ray Pillow; Dukes of Hazzard Cast
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown; Raul Malo
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Sarah Buxton

Saturday June 2
1st show
6:30: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Elizabeth Cook
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); The Whites; Mark Wills
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; George Hamilton IV; Jack Greene; Sarah Johns
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Stu Phillips; Raul Malo; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; Keith Anderson

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Mark Wills
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); George Hamilton IV; Sarah Johns; Raul Malo
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Jack Greene; Elizabeth Cook; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Connie Smith; Keith Anderson

One person from that weekend who seems to have disappeared is Sarah Johns. Sarah was born in Pollard, Kentucky, and attended the University of Kentucky. After touring with Toby Keith, in 2006, she was signed to BNA Records and released her first album, "Big Love in a Small Town." There were two singles from that album that made the country charts, with "The One in the Middle" peaking at No. 39. After the limited success of that debut album, Sarah largely faded away. This June 2nd appearance was Sarah's Grand Ole Opry debut.

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday June 6, 1992:

1st show
6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Charlie Walker; Del Reeves
7:00: Tom T Hall (host); Ray Pillow; Jeanne Pruett; Billy Grammer; Skeeter Davis
7:30: Bill Monroe (host); Brooks & Dunn; Randy Travis
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); 4 Guys; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Louvin; Jeannie Seely; Hank Locklin; Jack Greene

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Billy Walker; Brooks & Dunn
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Stonewall Jackson; Bill Carlisle
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Jim Ed Brown
10:30: Tom T Hall (host); Roy Drusky
10:45: Bill Monroe (host); Del Reeves; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Louvin; Billy Grammer; 4 Guys
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Hank Locklin; Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider

And from 50 years ago, Saturday June 3, 1967:

7:00: Luzianne
George Morgan (host): I Couldn't See
Lonzo & Oscar: Country Music Time
Harold Weakley: Paint a Picture of My World
Cousin Jody: Mockingbird
George Morgan: Look at the Lonely
Lonzo & Oscar: Things Look Silly Until You Understand
George Morgan: Almost

7:30: Cordite
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Willis Brothers: Bob
Claude Gray: I Never had the One I Wanted
Margie Bowes: There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
Jim Ed Brown: I'm Just A Country Boy
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon

8:00: Martha White
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): The Birds are Back to Sing
4 Guys: Walk Through this World With Me
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark
Charlie Louvin: On the Other Hand
Wilma Lee Cooper: You're Never Very Far From My Heart
4 Guys: The Green, Green Grass of Home
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Bill Monroe: Live & Let Live
Ed Bruce: Walker's Woods
Duke of Paducah: The World is Waiting for the Sunrise
Roy Acuff: The End of the World
Bill Monroe: My Little Georgia Rose
Oswald: Dobro Chimes

9:30: Kellogg's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Willis Brothers: Big Daddy's Alabamy Bound
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Carter Family w/June Carter: Bye, Bye
Jim Ed Brown: You Can Have Her
Carter Family: Wildwood Flower
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Jim Ed Brown: He'll Have to Go/Four Walls

10:00: Schick
Bill Carlisle (host): I Was on My Way to the Show
Bob Luman: Memphis
Del Wood: Cajun Stripper
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted

10:15: Pure
Roy Acuff (host): Ball Knob, Arkansas
Wilma Lee Cooper: You're Never Very Far From My Heart
Oswald: (?)
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:30: Buckley's
Charlie Louvin (host): As Long As There's A Sunday
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey
Margie Bowes: Big City
Charlie Louvin: Turn Around

10:45: Kent
Bill Monroe (host): Uncle Pen
Lonzo & Oscar: The Bicycle Song
Crook Brothers: Lafayette
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky/Lonesome Road Blues

11:00: Coca-Cola
Wilburn Brothers (host): Hurt Her Once for Me
Loretta Lynn: If You're Not Gone Too Long
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
Jack Webb: Bottle, Turn Her Off & Turn Me On
Duke of Paducah: If You Knew Susie
Teddy Wilburn & Loretta Lynn: Sweet Thang
Sam McGee: Railroad Blues
Wilburn Brothers: Roarin' Again

11:30: Lava
Roy Drusky (host): White Lightening Express
4 Guys: Walking in the Sunshine
Harold Weakley: AX 2218
Lorene Mann: Have You Ever Wanted To
Roy Drusky: The World is Round
Ed Bruce: I'm Getting Better
4 Guys: Mariah
Roy Drusky: New Lips

So who remembers Lorene Mann, who performed on the closing segment?

Lillian Lorene Mann was born on January 7, 1937 and was a singer/songwriter. She moved to Nashville in 1956 and wrote "Left to Right" which was a Top 10 hit for Kitty Wells. She also wrote "Don't Go Near the Indians," by Rex Allen, which reached #4 in 1962; "Something Precious," recorded by Skeeter Davis and hitting #23 on the charts; and "My Wife's House," a hit sang by Jerry Wallace that reached #9 in 1974. Between 1965 and 1969 she recorded for RCA Records. She recorded two duet albums, one with Justin Tubb in 1966 and then with Archie Campbell in 1968. Her only solo album, "A Mann Named Lorene" was released in 1969. She also appeared in several moves and television shows. Lorene passed away on May 24, 2013, after suffering as stroke earlier that week, at the age of 76.

Finally, I thought I would throw an additional line-up to everyone this week. This one goes back to Saturday June 4, 1977 and featured a rare appearance by, at the time, Grand Ole Opry member Don Williams. Don had joined the Opry on April 23, 1976 and was gone by 1981. In the case of Don, Opry membership just wasn't what he thought it would be.

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jack Greene (host) w/Jeannie Seely: You're Gonna Need A Cowboy for a While
Jeannie Seely: We're Still Hangin' In There. Ain't We Jesus
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

6:45: Rudy's
Bob Luman (host): Getting Back to Norma
Wilburn Brothers: Get All Excited
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Bob Luman: A Satisfied Mind

7:00: Shoney's
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Jean Shepard: Loving You Comes Easy/If You've Got the Money; I've Got the Time
Stu Phillips: To Get to You/Have A Nice Day
Wilma Lee Cooper: Walking My Lord Up Calvary's Hill
Billy Grammer: Wildwood Flower

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby on My Mind/He Touched Me
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Lafayette
Oswald: Mountain Dew
Roy Acuff: Uncloudy Day

8:00: Martha White
4 Guys (host): Mariah
Don Williams: Some Broken Hearts Never Mend/Till the Rivers All Run Dry
Skeeter Davis: It Wasn't Got Who Made Honky Tonk Angels/He Will Be There
Ronnie Robbins: Helen
4 Guys: Love, Love, Love

8:30: Stephens
Billy Walker (host): San Antonio Rose
Justin Tubb: Cold Brown Bottle/No Relief in Sight
Melba Montgomery: Never Ending Love Affair
Melba Montgomery & George Owens: We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cracklin Hen
Billy Walker: How Great Thou Art

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Jack Greene (host): w/Jeannie Seely: The Life of A Rodeo Cowboy
Jeannie Seely: We're Still Hangin' In There, Ain't We Jesus
Justin Tubb: You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Hank Cochran: Make the World Go Away
Jeanne Pruett: I'm Living A Lie/Satin Sheets
Jack Greene; Statue of A Fool

10:00: Fender
Bob Luman (host): A Satisfied Mind
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Wilma Lee Cooper; White Dove
Bob Luman: Guitar Man from Bowling Green

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): I Couldn't Believe It Was True
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Roy Acuff: Carry Me Back to the Mountains

10:30: Trailblazer
Billy Grammer (host): I Saw Your Face in the Moon
Connie Smith: The Key's in the Mailbox
Reg Lindsay: Give Me Liberty or Give Me Love
Billy Grammer: Did You Think to Pray

10:45: Beechnut
4 Guys (host): When Will I Be Loved
Skeeter Davis: It's Love That I Feel
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle
4 Guys: Just Enough to Keep Me Hangin' On

11:00: Coca-Cola
Billy Walker (host): Word Games
Don Williams: You're My Best Friend/Turn Out the Light & Love Me Tonight/Amanda
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors
Kirk McGee: Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
Billy Walker: Tumbling Tumbleweeds

11:30: Elm Hill
Stu Phillips (host): Release Me
Melba Montgomery: (?)/One of These Days
Ronnie Robbins: The Door is Always Open/Helen
Stu Phillips: To Get to You

One final name from that night, Reg Lindsay, who appeared on the 10:30 segment. Reginald John Lindsay was born in July 1929 in Waverley, Australia. Not only a singer, but Reg was also a multi-instrumentalist who played the banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and harmonica. It is said that he wrote more than five hundred songs during his fifty-year career in music. He starred in several Australian television shows, including "The Reg Lindsay Country Hour" and "Country Homestead." He won three Golden Guitar Awards and four Logie Awards. In 1974, he became the first Australian to appear on the Grand Ole Opry and in 1977 was inducted into Australia's Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1989 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. Reg passed away on August 5, 2008.

There you have it for this week. Once again, congratulations to Stu Phillips and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!