Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 7/7 & 7/8

The Grand Ole Opry has released the schedule for the two shows this weekend, The Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Both nights have pretty solid line-ups.

Grand Ole Opry members appearing on both shows this weekend include Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider (continuing to keep his streak alive), The Whites and Bill Anderson. In fact, each of those four will be hosting the same segments both nights. On Friday night, they will be joined by member Jesse McReynolds while on Saturday night the only other member appearing will be Bobby Osborne. That means just five Opry members each night.

Guest artists on Friday night include Elizabeth Cook, Lonesome River Band, Bryan White, Love and Theft, Jesse James Decker, Morgan Wallen (who will be making his Opry debut) and Lee Greenwood (who will be signing for fans in the Opry Shop. Saturday night's guest artists have Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys, Maggie Rose, the great T. Graham Brown, Adam Craig, Tommy Emmanuel and Chris Carmack.

Friday July 7
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; Lonesome River Band
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Bryan White; Love and Theft
8:15: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Jesse James Decker
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Morgan Wallen; Lee Greenwood

Saturday July 8
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Maggie Rose; T. Graham Brown
8:15: The Whites (host); Adam Craig; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Tommy Emmanuel; Chris Carmack

As mentioned, this will be the Opry debut for Morgan Wallen. Morgan was born in Sneedville, Tennessee. While in college he decided to pursue a career in music and completed on season 6 of the voice, where he was eliminated. In 2016, he signed to Big Loud Records. He released his debut single, "The Way I Talk" shortly afterward. In April 2017, he released a video version of the song. The single made it to #35 on the country charts. He has yet to release an album.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of July 6 & 7, 2007:

Friday July 6
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Megan Mullins
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Buddy Jewell
9:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mountain Heart
9:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; The Whites

Saturday July 7
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Gail Davies; Blaine Larsen
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jack Greene; Sherri Austin
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Dale Ann Bradley; Buddy Jewell
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Mountain Heart; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Louvin; Mel Tillis

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Sherri Austin; Buddy Jewell
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Blaine Larsen; Mountain Heart
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Dale Ann Bradley; Gail Davies; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Stu Phillips; Mel Tillis

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of July 10 & 11, 1992:

Friday July 10
1st show
6:30: Del Reeves (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jan Howard; Ernie Ashworth; Justin Tubb
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; The 4 Guys; The Carlisles
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Skeeter Davis; Osborn Brothers; Hank Locklin
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jeanne Pruett; Mike Snider
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Jack Greene; Ralph Stanley

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Stonewall Jackson; Wilma Lee Cooper; Gene Watson
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Charlie Walker; The Carlisles; Hank Locklin
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); The 4 Guys; Del Reeves; Mike Snider; Ralph Stanley
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Osborne Brothers; Jim Ed Brown
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Ray Pillow; Jeanne Pruett; Johnny Russell
12:05: Reverend Jimmie Snow

Saturday July 11
1st show
6:30; Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Skeeter Davis; Charlie Walker; Jack Greene; Hank Locklin
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Mike Snider; Melvin Sloan; Opry Square Dance Band; Ronna Reeves
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); The 4 Guys; Jimmy C Newman
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; The Carlisles; Stonewall Jackson

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Hank Locklin; Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeanne Pruett
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Ray Pillow
10:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider
10:45: Jack Greene (host); Ronna Reeves; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; George Hamilton IV; The Carlisles; The 4 Guys
11:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Johnny Russell

Finally, it was 45 years ago, Saturday July 8, 1972 that Barbara Mandrell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

Barbara Mandrell's first visit to the Grand Ole Opry was a career-defining moment. She had been in country music for nine years, touring with the Mandrell Family Band, but decided to take time off to enjoy her marriage to the band's drummer, Ken Dudney. "I had never been to Nashville when we went to the Opry," she remembered. "We had front-row seats in the balcony, and Dolly Parton was onstage at the moment I made that decision, to return to music. I was watching her and thinking, 'I can do this stuff. I love this stuff.' I turned to my dad and said, 'Dad, if you will manage me, I want to get back into the country music business,' And he said, 'Well, okay, I'd bet my last penny on you.'"

Barbara wasted no time in signing with major label Columbia Records in 1969 after she brought her father on as manager. She released "I've Been Loving You Too Long" under the tutelage of producer Billy Sherrill. While working with Sherrill she had several Top 40 hits and a duet with Opry member David Houston. In 1978, the singer moved to ABC/Dot, where producer Tom Collins brought Barbara her first No. 1, "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed." That team produced multiple hit singles and albums, including the pop crossover single "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right."

It was a brilliant move for the petite blonde; her father managed her throughout her career with numerous hit singles, multiple best-selling albums, a television variety series featuring her sisters, several movie roles, and an autobiography. Barbara received the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist honors twice. In 2009, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Barbara, who is now 68, is retired from performing. In the course of her career, she had 25 studio albums and 68 singles, 6 of which hit No. 1 on the country charts.

As with everything else involving the Opry, there is a discrepancy as to Barbara's actual Opry induction date. In the Opry Picture History Books, the date is given as July 29, 1972. However, in the information that I have, the date is actually July 8. Further, in looking at the line-up from July 29, Barbara is not listed as performing that night.

Here is the running order from Saturday July 8, 1972, the night Barbara Mandrell was introduced as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Billy Grammer (host): Wabash Cannonball
Oak Ridge Boys: (?)
Billy Grammer: Peace in the Valley

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): I Don't Mind Going Under
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Pete Stamper: (?)
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down

7:00: Luzianne
Tex Ritter (host): Green Grow the Lilacs
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore
Johnny Paycheck: Love Is A Good Thing
David Houston: Danny Boy
Tex Ritter: Lorena
Bobby Bare: Me & Bobby McGee

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Just A Friend
4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Stu Phillips: I'd Rather Be Sorry
Crook Brothers: Lost Indian
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Barbara Mandrell: Show Me

8:00: Martha White
Del Reeves (host): Girl on the Billboard
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Doin' My Time
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Ronnie Dove: Right or Wrong
Del Reeves: The Best is Yet to Come
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: White Dove
Del Reeves: Philadelphia Fillies

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Bob Luman: When You Say Love
Marion Worth: For the Good Times
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Blackberry Blossom
Justin Tubb: Lodi
Mel Street: Borrowed Angel
Hank Snow: Geisha Girl

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Billy Grammer (host): Lonesome Road Blues
4 Guys: Shenandoah
David Houston: Soft, Sweet, & Warm
Shoji  Tabuchi: Rainbow in the Valley
Billy Grammer: What A Friend
Pete Stamper: (?)
David Houston: Jambalaya

10:00: Fender
Charlie Walker (host): Little Old Wine Drinker Me
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Johnny Paycheck: She's All I Got
Charlie Walker: I Don't Mind Going Under

10:15: Union 76
Tex Ritter (host): High Noon
Bobby Bare: Come Sundown
Tex Ritter: Fall Away

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Justin Tubb: Traveling Singing Man
Roy Acuff: Where Could I Go

10:45: Beech-Nut
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Coming Down from God
Ronnie Dove: Okie from Muskogee
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Golden Rocket
Barbara Mandrell: Tonight My Baby's Coming Home
Stu Phillips: Crystal Chandeliers
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin Hen
Barbara Mandrell: Satisfied
Stu Phillips: A Castle; A Cabin
Sam McGee: Wheels
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again

11:30: Elm Hill
Del Reeves (host): Down in the Boondocks
Bob Luman: When You Say Love/Guitar Man/Heartbreak Hotel
Marion Worth: Faded Love
Mel Street: Borrowed Angel
Del Reeves: The Bells of Southern Bell/A Dime at A Time/Looking at the World Through a Windshield/Whole Lotta Shaking Going On

One artist that a few might recognize from that night was Ronnie Dove. Ronnie was born in 1935 in Herndon, Virginia. He began his singing career in Baltimore, forming a group, The Belltones. In 1959, after spending a few years traveling and performing along the East Coast, they recorded their debut single "Lover Boy." Ronnie's first solo single, "Sweeter Than Sugar" was released in 1964, but did not chart. His first chart success came later that year with "Say You," and he hit the Top 20 with "Right Or Wrong." In 1965, he had five singles on the charts. His success continued and in 1966 he began hosting a local television show in Baltimore, "The Ronnie Dove Show." In 1971, he signed with Decca Records, and his career moved more into country music. Throughout the 1970's, he would record for various independent labels, moving around frequently. While he has had health issues over the past several years, he is still active in the Baltimore area.

There you have it for this week. Congratulations to Barbara Mandrell on her 45th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry!!


  1. I know Barbara doesn't perform anymore, but it seems to me that folks like her, Tom T. Hall, Jeanne Pruitt, etc. could still host the occasional segment if they wish to retain their Opry membership. I'm sure folks would still enjoy seeing them even if they don't sing anymore.


  2. Of what benefit is it to those "retired" performers to continue their membership with the Grand Ole Opry?

  3. From what I understand, there are some benefits to continue their membership, or at the very least to be put on "senior status." I have been told that some of it is insurance related. Other than that, I would guess that it is just the prestige of saying that they are an Opry member.

    Of those who don't appear, I think Barbara Mandrell and Jeanne Pruett do visit the Opry on occasion, backstage. However, Ricky Van Shelton lives in Virginia and is retired, while Tom T Hall is retired from performing. Obviously they are not coming back, so I would tend to agree that they should be dropped as Opry members.

    1. Don't forget Sonny Osborne as well.

    2. In the past when a performer "retired", they lost Opry status. This was the case with longtime members, Lew Childre, Robert Lunn, Cousin Jody, Oscar Sullivan and maybe others without digging deep into it. Obviously there are exceptions in cases like Minnie Pearl, Hank Snow, Del Reeves, Ernest Tubb and Wilma Lee Cooper-all health decline. But I believe Ernest may have been the first exception there. Childre and Jody started a decline in health and neither one lived long after leaving the Opry. They probably should not have been dropped from the roll.

  4. Change for Friday night. Bryan White is out with strep throat. T. Graham Brown has been added.

  5. Sorry folks but I can only take so much some nights. To be considerate as I can be I won't begin to name the act I'm listening to right now. I admit I have a hard time enjoying some of the new music but I can accept it if the act has talent and can sing. However, when you are singing and sound like your are in pain during the entire performance or have a stomach problem or a mouth full of something I can't take it.

    I recall how a great singer used to put all the feeling in one word of his song like his mentor ET had told him and others they should do. Remember Jack Greene when he got to that line "And the HURT in his eyes would show" in Statue Of A Fool and he would break his voice on the word hurt. That was feeling. What I just heard was full of pain but not feeling or emotion.

    The second performance isn't going any better. I guess I'm to out of touch to recognize talent these days. Sadly, this kind of performance on the Opry these days is what keeps me away. So sad because there is still much to enjoy. Even as recent a performer as T Grahm Brown shames some of the folks trying to entertain these days. When he was new I didn't appreciate T as much as I do these days. He sounds pretty darn good to me and seems like a great guy!

    Okay, off my soap box. Just hits me every so often and I can't take it.

    Knightsville, IN

  6. For those who will be listening to the Grand Ole Opry tonight, Arkansas legendary fiddler and fiddle maker Violet Hensley will be on tonight, featured on the 7:30 segment hosted by Mike Snider. So what you ask? How about the fact that she is 100 years old. Yes, 100!! And still out there entertaining.

  7. Just listened to a re-broadcast of the Friday Night Opry - agree completely with Jim (Knightsville IN) !!