Thursday, October 26, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 10/27 & 10/28

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the three shows this weekend, which will be the final weekend shows for this year at the Grand Ole Opry House. Beginning next weekend, the Opry moves downtown to the Ryman Auditorium and will return to the Opry House beginning in February.

The big news this weekend is that the Opry is going to honor Bill Anderson on Saturday night with a birthday salute in honor of Bill's 80th birthday, which will take place on November 1st. Personally, I am very happy that the Opry is doing this. I think we can all remember that when Jimmy Dickens was alive, they seemed to honor Jimmy every year on his birthday and Opry anniversary date and I can also remember when the Opry had the 80th birthday show for George Jones. It is nice that they are recognizing other Opry members also and I hope it is the start of a trend. And let's not forget that Bill has been an Opry member for 56 years and the argument can be made that he is one of the greatest all-around country artists of all time; when you consider his recording, songwriting, book writing, and television show hosting career. He has really done it all.

Saturday night is the only night for Bill at the Opry this weekend, however there are a number of Grand Ole Opry members who will be appearing both nights: John Conlee, Mike Snider, Riders In The Sky, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. Joining that group on Friday night will be members Diamond Rio and Bobby Osborne, while in addition to Bill on Saturday night, Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith and Steve Wariner will be appearing.

Guest artists this weekend include the iconic Sons of the Pioneers on Friday night, joining Mark Wills (scheduled for both nights), Jeanne Robertson and Point of Grace. On Saturday night, in addition to Mark, Mo Pitney and newly inducted Hall of Fame member Don Schlitz will be performing. For Don, this will be his Grand Ole Opry debut.

Friday October 27
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Mark Wills; Sons of the Pioneers
8:15: Diamond Rio (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jeanne Robertson
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Point of Grace

Saturday October 28
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mo Pitney; Mike Snider
7:30: Steve Wariner (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mark Wills; Don Schlitz

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Mo Pitney; Mike Snider
10:00: Steve Wariner (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mark Wills; Don Schlitz

As mentioned, Don Schlitz is one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, having been formally inducted last Sunday night along with Alan Jackson and Jerry Reed. Don, who is 65, is from Durham, North Carolina and has won two Grammys and four ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year awards. He also has won several Song of the Year awards from the Country Music Association. In addition to the Country Music Hall of Fame, he is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

His first big hit as a songwriter was Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler." Among other songs written by Don have been "Forever and Ever, Amen" recorded by Randy Travis and "When You Say Nothing at All," a hit for Keith Whitley. Many will also recognize these song titles, all written by Don Schlitz: "40 Hour Week (For A Livin')," "Crazy from the Heart," "Daddy's Come Around,' "The Greatest," "He Thinks He'll Keep Her," "I Feel Lucky." "I Watched It All (On My Radio)," and "On the Other Hand." Those are just a few of the dozens and dozens he has written.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of October 26 & 27, 2007:

Friday October 26
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; George Hamilton IV; Little Texas
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Del McCoury Band
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Craig Morgan
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Walker; Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Daniels Band

Saturday October 27
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
7:00: Vince Gill (host); Josh Turner; Rissi Palmer; Del McCoury Band
8:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Mandy Barnett; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Daryle Singletary

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jeannie Seely; Rissi Palmer
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Mel McDaniel; Mandy Barnett; Del McCoury Band
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Daryle Singletary; Josh Turner

The Saturday night show was special as it was the night that Josh Turner became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Combining respect for country music's traditions with a contemporary edge has made Josh Turner one of the industry's most successful young artists. He burst on the scene with "Long Black Train," also the title of his 2003 platinum-selling debut album, and has since scored such chart-topping hits as "Your Man," "Would You Go With Me," and "All Over Me."

A graduate of Nashville's Belmont University, it was Josh's songwriting that first caught the attention of Music Row and led to a publishing deal then to a record deal, as well. His debut album sold more than a million copies and his second effort, "Your Man" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard magazine's Top Country Albums chart. His third album, 2007's "Everything Is Fine," yielded the hit "Firecracker," and his fourth studio album "Haywire," released in 2010, spawned the chart-topping tune "Why Don't We Just Dance." His 2012 album "Punching Bag" produced the hit "Time Is Love."

Inducted into the Opry in 2007, Josh says the camaraderie between artists backstage is something he treasures. "At the Opry, you just have to do a song or two and everything is already set up so it leaves time to mingle and get to know people," he says. "There's always so many artists here, it's like a reunion every weekend. You get to come here and see people you've known for a long time or you get to meet new people. It's a really cool way to network and get to know your fellow artists." He also appreciates the way the Opry helps him connect with fans. "The Opry draws in a lot of people from all over the country," he says." "That's the coolest thing about the Opry. Many different artists, old and new, can come and showcase their talent to a new crowd every weekend. That's been a great avenue of promotion and way to stay out there in front of the people and debut new music."

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of October 30 & 31, 1992:

Friday October 30
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Del Reeves; Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow; Billy Walker
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jeannie Seely; The 4 Guys; Stonewall Jackson
7:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; George Hamilton IV; Brother Oswald & The Smoky Mountain Boys
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Bill Carlisle
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy Dickens; Jack Greene; Osborne Brothers

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); George Hamilton IV: Bill Carlisle; The 4 Guys
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Del Reeves; Riders In The Sky; Billy Walker; Brother Oswald & The Smokey Mountain Boys
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Bill Anderson; Jean Shepard; Charlie Walker; Connie Smith
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jack Greene; Osborne Brothers; Justin Tubb; The Whites
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Jimmy C Newman; Johnny Russell

Saturday October 31
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeanne Pruett
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown; Ray Pillow
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Louvin; Jimmy Dickens; Osborne Brothers
7:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Riders In The Sky; Johnny Russell; Wilma Lee Cooper; Alison Krauss & Union Station
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard; Gerry Ford; George Hamilton IV; Roy Drusky; Brother Oswald & The Smoky Mountain Boys; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Del Reeves; The Whites; The 4 Guys; Jack Greene

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; Billy Walker; Alison Krauss & Union Station
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Mike Snider
10:15: Stonewall Jackson (host); George Hamilton IV
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Charlie Louvin; Bill Carlisle
10:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Justin Tubb; Osborne Brothers; Riders In The Sky
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; The Whites; Johnny Russell

Finally from 50 years ago, Saturday October 28, 1967:

1st show
6:30: Willis Brothers (host); Harold Weakly; Cousin Jody
6:45: Ernie Ashworth (host); Jan Howard; Hugh X Lewis
7:00: Del Reeves (host); Lonzo & Oscar; Charlie Walker; Rita Faye; Fred Carter
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; Jimmy Gately; Stringbean; Jerry Green
8:00: Ernest Tubb (host); Del Wood; Jeannie Seely; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers; Cal Smith
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Glaser Brothers; Marion Worth; Pete Sayers; Spider Wilson

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Willis Brothers; Jan Howard; Stringbean; Fruit Jar Drinkers
10:00: Ernest Tubb (host); Cousin Jody; Cal Smith
10:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Skeeter Davis;
10:30: Charlie Walker (host); Del Wood; Hugh X Lewis
10:45: Del Reeves (host); Lonzo & Oscar; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Glaser Brothers (host); Jeannie Seely; Fred Carter; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam & Kirk McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Marion Worth; Jerry Green; Pete Sayers; Don Winters

To finish it up for this week, it was 44 years ago, Saturday October 27, 1973 that Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Howard Gerald "Jerry" Clower was born in Liberty, Mississippi on September 28, 1926. After high school, he entered the Navy and was discharged in 1946. He studied agriculture at Mississippi State University, where he played on the college football team. After finishing school in 1951, he worked as a county agent and later as a seed salesman. In 1954, he began work at Mississippi Chemical as a fertilizer salesman. By that time, he had gained a reputation for telling stories to boost his sales. Tapes of his speaking engagements would up in the hands of Edwin Wilkes and Bud Andrews in Lubbock, Texas, who had him make a better quality recording which they promoted.

For a number of years, Jerry would sell copies of his record at his speaking engagements. However, Wilkes sent a copy of Jerry's recordings to Grant Tuner at WSM and it was played on the air. After that, MCA Records offered Jerry a contract. Once MCA began distribution in 1971, "Jerry Clower from Yazoo City, Mississippi Talkin'" retailed more than a million dollars over 10 months and stayed in the top 20 on the country charts for 30 weeks, and "The Coon Hunt" was awarded a platinum record for sales in excess of $1 million. During the coarse of his career, Jerry made 27 albums, all with MCA with the exception of one, "Ain't God Good" that was recorded during a worship service and released, with MCA's blessing, on another label.

By the early 1970s, Jerry was doing stage shows and was being hired as a motivational speaker. He co-hosted a radio show called Country Crossroads with Bill Mack and Leroy Van Dyke, that aired in syndication for 40 years. A television version of the show was later produced, also staring Jerry,.

Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry on October 27, 1973 and remained an Opry member until his death on August 24, 1998 at the age of 71 following heart bypass surgery. When Jerry joined the Opry cast, he was the last member to join prior to the Opry's move to the new Grand Ole Opry House.

Here is the running order from Saturday October 27, 1973, the night Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Osborne Brothers (host): Fireball Mail
Bill Carlisle: What Kinda Deal is This
Sonny Osborne: Earl's Breakdown

6:45: Rudy's
Willis Brothers (host): Chant of the Plains
Louie Roberts: Singing the Blues/Lovesick Blues
Willis Brothers: Cool Water

7:00: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die
Jim & Jesse: A Bird with Broken Wing's Can't Fly
Hank Wada: Columbus Stockade Blues
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Don't Care (If Tomorrow Never Comes)
Jim & Jesse: Ashes of Love
Hank Wada: Jambalaya
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Shall Not be Moved

7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host); Wake Up, Jacob
Dolly Parton: Joshua
Crook Brothers: Cray Eagle
Harold Weakley: Is Anyone Going to San Antone
Dolly Parton: My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Daddy was an Old Time Preacher Man
Mack McGaha: Mockingbird/Orange Blossom Special
Porter Wagoner: What Ain't to Be Just Might Happen

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Klide
Del Wood: There's a Big Wheel
Jerry Clower: I'm That Country
Grandpa Jones: Any Old Time
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Miller's Cave
Bobby Bare: Ride Me Down Easy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me
Bobby Bare: Come Sundown
Ray Pillow: I Wish Somebody Loved Me That Much
Hank Snow: Tammy

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Osborne Brothers (host): Rocky Top
Willis Brothers: Pretty Diamonds
Louie Roberts: Way Out There
Del Wood: There's a Big Wheel
Osborne Brothers: You Win Again/Today I Started Loving You Again
Willis Brothers: Bob
Osborne Brothers: Ruby

10:00: Fender
Jim & Jesse (host): I've Been Everywhere
Bill Carlisle: Jack of All Trades
Jim & Jesse: Johnny B Goode

10:15: Union 76
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Dolly Parton: My Tennessee Mountain Home
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: We Found It/If Teardrops Were Pennies

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Cottonfields/Night Train to Memphis
Grandpa Jones: Banjo Sam
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Little Darling Pal of Mine
Larry McNeely: Breakaway

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bobby Bare (host): Detroit City
Jerry Clower: The Coon Hunt
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): The Wreck of the Old 97/One More Ride
Ray Pillow: She's Doing it to Me Again
Hank Wada: Columbus Stockade Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Old hen Cackle
Hank Snow: Black Diamond
Sam McGee: Worry, Worry Blues
Hank Snow: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Mary Lou Turner: Slipping Away/Poor Sweet Baby
Marty Mitchell: Washed My Hands in Muddy Water/You Gave Me a Mountain
Marty Robbins: Love Me/Big Boss Man/Don't Worry/It's Not Love/El Paso

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend and Happy Birthday to Bill Anderson!!!


  1. Happy Birthday Bill Anderson - first learned of you when my husband introduced me to real country music in 1975! Recently, RFD-TV (which I only see in our vacation home) ran a series called "The Songwriters", what a GREAT show and probably a DVD package - anyway, Don Schlitz was one of the highlighted writers who told the background stories behind the songs and actually played and sang their own words/music. So glad I saw that and yes he is very worthy of the induction. I hope we can listen Saturday night. (Anonymous in PA)

  2. The Grand Ole Opry did a very nice job honoring Bill Anderson last night. They had balloons, cake, and so much more on stage as many of the artists who were on last night joined him, specifically Steve Wariner, Jeannie Seely, Riders In The Sky and Jan Howard, who surprised everyone with a unannounced appearance. Jan did not sing but she joined Bill and the others on stage. Several of the artists sang Bill Anderson songs during their spots. Again, very nice of the Opry to do this to a very special Opry member.

  3. Tuesday Night Opry 10/31:

    7:00: Bill Anderson; Smithfield
    7:30: Riders In The Sky; Mandy Barnett
    8:15: Jeannie Seely; Dailey & Vincent
    8:45: Charlie Daniels Band

    Nice line-up for the mid-week show.