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
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
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!!


  1. Those last few months of Roy Acuff's life we saw a lot of material from his gospel catalog. I think he knew the end was fast approaching.

  2. I, for one, am thrilled that Wanda Jackson will appear on the 'Opry.
    I have seen her twice here in Bloomington, Indiana, and she is one of the most genuine and unassuming entertainers I have ever seen.
    And, she can STILL sing.
    I personally think she gets way too much credit for her "party" songs, and way too little credit for her country songs.

  3. Well, I probably should wait until morning to comment, but here goes anyway.

    The 'Opry staff band stumbled big time on Wanda Jackson's first song, which is a rockabilly song.
    I guess that's an excuse of sorts.

    Band and back up singers sounded fine on Right or Wrong.
    Crowd ate Wanda up, and clearly wanted to hear an encore.
    Does the 'Opry EVER do encores any more?

    Have to mention that Wanda's husband of over 55 years, Wendell Goodman, died on a trip back from a Wanda appearance less than a month ago.
    Wanda is a trooper who deserved better from the 'Opry tonight.

    OK, I'll go to bed now, and probably be sorry tomorrow morning for all the mean things I said about my beloved Grand Old 'Opry.

  4. Nat,

    That band does not do the best job backing up the old timers and that to me is a Fisher design. Sometimes Capps and White can make a save but that's about it.

    As to encores, I think there is some prejudiced there. If you are a current radio thrill or outside country music it seems to be acceptable even when the crowd really isn't calling for it.

    It took a while to get from what the Opry was when Fisher started in '99 to where we are now and it will take a while to change the attitudes from those changes. I'm not suggesting a complete turn around for that is unreasonable and would probably nail the coffin shut. The Opry has become more relevant and mainstream and just as the Nashville sound broadened the appeal of country music in the 60' a little something we like or love was lost. I do hope they look back just a bit and will be less about reality TV star, "Nashville" and every kind of music outside of country and just maybe focus a little more on where they came from.

    Kinghtsville, IN

  5. Thanks Jim.

    Outside of the Wanda fiasco, I have to admit I personally have enjoyed the lineups more since Pete left.

    I liked Pete, and have to admit he did a fantastic job putting butts in seats, which is, at the end of the day, all the owners of the 'Opry really cares about.

    I do think the current management has done a nice job of using more 'Opry regulars, and while I was ticked at how they handled Wanda, it was great that they had her appear,

    It had to do Wanda some good to hear the tremendous response she got from the crowd.