Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry!!!!
While the actual date is November 25, the Grand Ole Opry has traditionally held its annual birthday weekend during the month of October. Originally tied in to the Country Music Disc Jockey Convention, the birthday weekend is now a stand-alone event as the radio DJs (or what is left of them), generally get together in February.
As I am preparing to leave for Nashville in the morning, the Opry has not posted the line-ups as of yet for the shows this weekend. With it being the birthday weekend, there will be 2 shows each on Friday and Saturday night.
Those listed as "scheduled to appear" on Friday night include Grand Ole Opry members Vince Gill, Oak Ridge Boys, Diamond Rio, Pam Tillis, Ricky Skaggs, Connie Smith, The Whites and Mike Snider. Also joining that group will be guest artists Tracy Lawrence and Hunter Hays.
Vince Gill, Connie Smith, The Whites and Mike Snider are scheduled to return Saturday night, joined again by Tracy Lawrence, along with Steven Curtis Chapman and Jerrod Niemann. More to come.
The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree is to be hosted by Tim Atwood, former member of the Opry Staff Band, who has been working with Jeannie Seely, and has recorded a new CD.
In addition to the Opry shows, Tracy Lawrence will be doing the Saturday afternoon birthday concert and there will be fun, games and music all day at the Opry Plaza.
As I mentioned before, I will be there beginning Wednesday and right through the weekend. If anyone sees me, or recognizes me from my picture, please feel free to come down and say hi. I will be in the front of the auditorium each night and would love to put faces with names. It is always a chance to meet new friends and see a few old ones.
And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of October 5 & 6, 2007:
Friday October 5
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Bobby Bare; Tanya Tucker
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); The Whites; Chuck Wicks
9:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Blaine Larsen
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Carolina Rain
Saturday October 6
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith
7:00: Jack Ingram; Chuck Wicks; Mountain Heart; Whiskey Falls; Lee Greenwood
8:00: The Whites (host); Stu Phillips; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; George Hamilton IV; Cherryholmes
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Chuck Wicks
10:00: The Whites (host); Whiskey Falls; Mountain Heart
10:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jack Ingram; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Cherryholmes; Lee Greenwood
While the previous Saturday night was Porter Wagoner's final night on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, the Friday Night Opry of this weekend was Porter's final Friday Night Opry. On the original schedule, he was listed for Saturday night, but The Whites were moved into his spot on both shows. As mentioned last week, Porter made one final appearance on Tuesday October 9.
Now from 25 years ago, here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up from October 9 & 10, 1992:
Friday October 9
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown; Wilma Lee Cooper; The Whites; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy Dickens; Jan Howard; Osborne Brothers; Jeanne Pruett
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); The 4 Guys; Jean Shepard; Charlie Walker
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Mel McDaniel; Del Reeves
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jack Greene; Skeeter Davis; Jim & Jesse
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Mike Snider; Jeannie Seely; George Hamilton IV
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Stonewall Jackson; The Whites; Jimmy Dickens; Ray Pillow
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); The 4 Guys; Bill Carlisle; Osborne Brothers; Jim Ed Brown
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Del Reeves; Jean Shepard; Jim & Jesse; Justin Tubb
11:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jack Greene; Skeeter Davis; Johnny Russell
(You will notice 21 Opry members on the 1st show and 24 on the 2nd with no guests)
Saturday October 10
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Del Reeves (host); Riders In The Sky
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The 4 Guys; Jeannie Seely; Charlie Louvin; The Whites
7:30: Bill Monroe (host); George Hamilton IV; Skeeter Davis; Lionel Cartwright
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Anderson; Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Mike Snider; Roy Drusky; Charlie Walker; Jan Howard
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeanne Pruett; Ray Pillow; Wilma Lee Cooper; Lionel Cartwright
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Riders In The Sky
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Stonewall Jackson
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); The 4 Guys
10:45: Bill Monroe (host); Bill Carlisle; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Justin Tubb; Charlie Louvin
11:30: Charlie Walker (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Roy Drusky; Mike Snider
Finally, it was on Saturday October 6, 1990 that Garth Brooks became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
The Grand Ole Opry stage has long been hallowed ground to the man who ha sold more albums than any other country act. Garth made his debut on June 24, 1989, and wept tears of joy on the occasion. He joined the show's cast a year later, and he has always called that night one of the proudest moments of his unparalleled career.
The youngest of six children, Garth grew up in Yukon, Oklahoma, an oil town near Oklahoma City. He first moved to Nashville in 1985, only to return home 23 hours later. After completing a degree in advertising at Oklahoma State University, he ventured back to Music City in 1987 and within six months signed a recording contract with Capital Records. Garth's first single, "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)." from his self-titled debut album, hit No. 8 on the charts. More big hits followed: "Not Counting You," "The Dance," and "If Tomorrow Never Comes." The only male artist to have four albums, "No Fences," "Ropin' the Wind," "The Hits." and "Double Live," each exceed sales of 10 million, Garth places second only to The Beatles as the best-selling act of all time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Garth has received nearly every accolade the recording industry can bestow upon an artist, including two Grammys, 11 Country Music Association awards and 24 Billboard Music awards. He's also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1997, Garth's Central Park concert in New York drew the largest crowd the park had ever seen. The HBO special, "Garth Live from Central Park" was the year's most-watched cable television special.
Recently returning to touring after a lengthy absence from the road, Garth continues to draw record crowds where ever he performs. Garth is one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame and is married to fellow Opry member Trisha Yearwood.
Here is the running order from 27 years ago, Saturday October 6, 1990, the night Garth Brooks became an Opry member:
Bill Monroe (host): Monroe's Hornpipe
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Bill Monroe: I Am A Pilgrim
Grandpa Jones (host): Stop that Ticklin' Me
Charlie Louvin: If You Can Only Dream That Far
Jan Howard: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Grandpa Jones: Old Camp Meeting Time
Tom T Hall (host): Country Is
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
Alan Jackson: Here In the Real World/Honky-Tonk Dream
Tom T Hall: Ravishing Ruby
7:30: Standard Candy
Johnny Russell (host): Got No Reason Now for Going Home
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Garth Brooks: Friends in Low Places/If Tomorrow Never Comes/The Dance
8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jim & Jesse: The Rider in the Rain/The Border Ride
Jean Shepard: Someone's Gotta Cry/I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down/San Antonio Rose
Opry Square Dance Band/The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Patti on the Turnpike
8:30: Pops Rite
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Billy Walker: Tennessee Waltz
The Whites: Love is a Rose
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come this Far to Say Goodbye
Roy Drusky: Too Old to Die Young
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me
9:30: Dollar General
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Skeeter Davis: If I Don't Have You
Charlie Louvin: The Weapon of Prayer
Stonewall Jackson: Angry Words
Ray Pillow: One Memory to Another
Jan Howard: You Don't Know Me
Grandpa Jones: The Southbound Rolls Away
10:00: Little Debbie
Tom T Hall (host): The Year that Clayton Delaney Died
Alan Jackson: Wanted, One Good Hearted Woman/Home
Tom T Hall: I Love
Roy Acuff (host): I Couldn't Believe It Was True
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle/Knothole
10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): I'm On My Way Back to the Old Home
Charlie Walker: A Way to Free Myself
Bill Monroe: I Have Found a Way
10:45: B.C. Powder
Jack Greene (host): This Old Boy's Tennessee Born Again
Roy Drusky: It's My Way of Loving You
Opry Square Dance Band/The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Ragtime Annie
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Hank Snow (host): Frankie & Hohnny
The Whites: Swing Down Chariot
Jim & Jesse: You Are the One
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Jean Shepard: Love's Gonna Live Here
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Connie Smith: I Never Once Stopped Loving You
Garth Brooks: Friends in Low Places/The Dance
Johnny Russell: The Promise Land
Bill Anderson: Still
(One other note from that night: it was the Grand Ole Opry debut of Alan Jackson. Alan, of course, would eventually become an Opry member himself.
There you have it for this week. Once again, a very happy 92nd birthday to the Grand Ole Opry and hopefully it is a fun weekend in the Music City. For those listening, I hope each of you enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!