Thursday, November 9, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 11/10 & 11/11

So, who all watched the Country Music Association Awards last night? I have to admit that I caught only part of the show, but from what I saw, it was definitely better show than the past few years. Among the highlights for me: a very nice tribute to Troy Gentry by Rascal Flatts, joined by Eddie Montgomery; Glen Campbell being honored, and winning an award with Willie Nelson (vocal event of the year), and of course Carrie Underwood. Several tributes were done to those we have lost this past year and each was very well done. I know everyone will not agree, which is ok, but I did think it was an improvement.

Now, as far as the Grand Ole Opry this week, the schedule has been posted for the shows this weekend, the second week of its winter run at the Ryman Auditorium. As with last week, and through the middle of December, there are two shows each night.

Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for both shows on Friday night include Jeannie Seely, The Whites, Mike Snider, Riders In The Sky and Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill. Jeannie and Mike, along with Vince on the 2nd show, will also be appearing on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, joined by Connie Smith, Bill Anderson and Bobby Osborne.

Gary Mule Deer will be guesting on all four shows, joined on Friday night by The Voice's Gwen Sebastian, Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy, Tracy Lawrence, and making his Opry debut, Lucas Hoge. Saturday night, in addition to Gary, will feature Steve Moakler, William Michael Morgan, Exile, and someone with a true country voice, David Ball.

Friday November 10
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Gwen Sebastian; The Whites
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Tracy Lawrence
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Lucas Hoge; Charlie McCoy
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Gary Mule Deer

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Gwen Sebastian; The Whites
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Tracy Lawrence
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Lucas Hoge; Charlie McCoy
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Gary Mule Deer

Saturday November 11
1st show
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Steve Moakler; Mike Snider
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Gary Mule Deer
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); David Ball; Opry Square Dancers; William Michael Morgan; Exile

2nd show
9:30: Connie Smith (host); Steve Moakler; Mike Snider
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Gary Mule Deer
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); David Ball; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); William Michael Morgan; Exile

As mentioned, Lucas Hoge will be making his Opry debut on the Friday Night Opry. In the course of his career, Lucas has been involved with rock, country and Christian music. He was also the host and star of Animal Planet's TV show, "Last Chance Highway," of which he also wrote and performed the show's theme song. Among his awards was the 2006 Country Album of the Year at the Los Angeles Music Awards, the same year that he was award the Christian Contemporary Singer/Songwriter of the Year. In 2011 he was nominated as the ICM's New Artist of the Year.

Lucas released his first CD, "In My Dreams," in 2002. His second album, "Dirt" followed in 2006. In July of this year he released "Dirty South," which debuted at No. 12 on Billboard's Top Country Albums Chart, and reached as high as No. 5. He currently records for Rebel Engine Entertainment.

In addition to tours in the United States, he has traveled to London and the Middle East to perform for American troops, and visited bases in dozens of countries as part of the Armed Forces Entertainment Wrangler National Patriot Tour. He is also the national spokesperson for Guardian Angels for a Soldiers Pet. Rolling Stone magazine has named Lucas one of the Top 10 artists you need to know for 2017. Overall he seems like a fine young man who has been making a name for himself over the past decade and I am sure he will be well received on the Opry this Friday night.

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

Friday November 9
8:00: John Conlee (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Josh Gracin
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Rhonda Vincent
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Chuck Wicks
9:30: Steve Wariner (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band

Saturday November 10
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mel McDaniel
7:00: Lorrie Morgan (host); Lonestar; Josh Gracin; Raul Malo
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; John Conlee; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Josh Gracin
10:00: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Raul Malo
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Lonestar; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; John Conlee

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday November 14, 1992:

1st show
6:30: The 4 Guys (host); The Whites
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jean Shepard
7:00: Jack Greene (host); Jeanne Pruett; Bill Carlisle; McCarters
7:30: John Conlee (host); David Houston; Mike Snider; Jerry Reed
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis; Brother Oswald; Roy Drusky; Charlie Louvin; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Billy Walker; Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Walker

2nd show
9:30: Jack Greene (host); John Conlee; Wilma Lee Cooper; The Whites; Jerry Reed
10:00: The 4 Guys (host); McCarters
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host); Stonewall Jackson
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Mike Snider
10:45: Billy Walker (host); Bill Carlisle; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host): Jean Shepard; Justin Tubb; Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Louvin
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; Johnny Russell

Finally from 50 years ago, Saturday November 11, 1967:

7:30: Willis Brothers (host); Billy Grammer; Del Reeves; Ernie Ashworth; Del Wood
8:00: Bobby Lord (host); George Hamilton IV; Jim & Jesse; Crook Brothers; Harold Weakley
8:30: Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host); Stringbean; Archie Campbell; The 4 Guys; Margie Singleton; Leon Ashley
9:00: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Carlisle; George Morgan; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Norma Jean; Larry McNeely; Charlie Collins
9:30: Hank Snow (host); Willis Brothers; Bill Monroe; Dottie West; Billy Grammer; Bob Luman
10:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Stringbean; Ernie Ashworth
10:15: Jim & Jesse (host); Harold Weakley
10:30: Archie Campbell (host); Bill Carlisle
10:45: Roy Acuff (host); Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper; Crook Brothers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Bobby Lord; Dottie West; The 4 Guys; Sam & Kirk McGee
11:30: Bill Monroe (host); George Morgan; Bob Luman; Norma Jean; Jerry Green

Looking back into Grand Ole Opry history, it was on Saturday November 10, 1962 that the Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 37 birthday. Here is the running order from that night:

6:30: J. L. Perry
Willis Brothers (host): Big Daddy
Sonny James: Young Love
Carl Butler: Honky Tonkitis
Cousin Jody: Television Set
Merle Kilgore: Something Going On
Skeeter Willis: Sally Goodin
Melba Montgomery: Happy You; Lonely Me
Billy Deaton: (?)
Willis Brothers: Everlovin' Dixieland

7:00: Delited
Ray Price (host): Pride
Bill Carlisle: It Takes all Kinds
Billy Walker: Charlie's Shoes
Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule
Ferlin Husky: It Was You
Stringbean: Barnyard Banjo Picking
Texas Ruby: California Blues
Ray Price: Walking Slow

7:30: Pet Milk
Jim Reeves (host): I'm Gonna Change Everything
Glaser Brothers: I'm Losing Again
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Silver Threads & Golden Needles
Jimmy Dean: (?)
Jim Reeves: Pride Goes for A Fall
Jean Shepard: One Less Heartache
George Hamilton IV: If You Don't Know Me
Blue Boys: Wheels
Jim Reeves: Stand at Your Window

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Ballad of Jed Clampett
Cowboy Copas: Alabam
Jimmy Newman: Bayou Talk
Del Wood: China Town
Flatt & Scruggs: Coal Loading Johnny
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Justin Tubb: (?)
Crook Brothers: Lafayette
Flatt & Scruggs: Shucking the Corn

8:30: Bass Homes
Porter Wagoner (host): (?)
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Jordanaires: (?)
Patsy Cline: She's Got You
Leroy Van Dyke: Auctioneer
Porter Wagoner: (?)

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb (host): I'm Looking High & Low for My Baby
Wilburn Brothers: Trouble's Back in Town
Bill Monroe: Uncle Pen
Carter Family: The Sun's Gonna Shine In My Back Door Someday
Ernest Tubb: Rainbow at Midnight
Cousin Jody: Don't Make Love in A Buggy 'Cause Horses Carry Tales
Margie Bowes: I Really Don't Want to Know
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Ernest Tubb: (?)

9:30: Stephens
Faron Young (host): Back Track
George Morgan: Macht Nichts
Carl Butler: Don't Let Me Cross Over
Louvin Brothers: Must You Throw Dirt in My Face
Bill Anderson: Mama Sang A Song
Loretta Lynn: Success
George Jones: (?)
Faron Young: Going Steady

10:00: Gates Rubber
Jim Reeves (host): Billy Bayou
Willis Brothers: Goodnight Cincinnati; Good Morning Tennessee
Skeeter Davis: Something Precious
Jim Reeves: Adios Amigo
Blue Boys: Red River Rock

10:15: Corn Products
Ray Price (host): Crazy Arms
Stringbean: Pretty Polly
Bill Carlisle: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
Del Wood: Shiek of Araby
Ray Price: You Done Me Wrong

10:30: Harvey's
Marty Robbins (host): (?)
Flatt & Scruggs: The Ballad of Jed Clampett
Billy Walker: Willie the Weeper
Marty Robbins: (?)

10:45: De Con
Ferlin Husky (host): Wings of A Dove
Hank Locklin: Please Help Me I'm Falling
Glaser Brothers: Let Me Down Easy
Crook Brothers: Soldiers Joy
Simon Crum: (?)

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): Darkness on the Face of the Earth
Porter Wagoner: (?)
Louvin Brothers: (?)
Patsy Cline: Heartaches
Jordanaires: (?)
Jean Shepard: Two Shadows; 2 Voices; 2 Faces
George Hamilton IV: China Doll
Sam & Kirk McGee: Columbus Stockade Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Twenty Miles from Shore

11:30: SSS Tonic
George Morgan (host): Candy Kisses
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Jimmy Newman: I May Fall Again
Wilburn Brothers: Oh, Monah
Roy Drusky: It Worries Me
Margie Bowes: Judge Not
Cowboy Copas: Alabam'
Bill Anderson: Po' Folks
George Morgan: Almost

A pretty impressive show!!!

I hate to finish it up on a sad note, but it was 44 years ago this weekend, Saturday November 10, 1973 that Stringbean performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the final time.

David Akeman was born on June 17, 1915 in Annville, Jackson County, Kentucky. Taught by his father, he got his first real banjo at the age of 12 and began playing at local dances. He gained quite a reputation, but had difficulty making a living as a musician. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, building bridges and planting trees. Eventually, he entered a talent contest judged by singer-guitarist Asa Martin. He won the contest and joined Martin's band.

Originally a musician, he began to work on his comedy skills, eventually appearing on WLAP-AM in Lexington, Kentucky. Though the late 1930s, he was a part of several different groups. He also played semi-professional baseball, which led to a meeting with Bill Monroe, who fielded his own team. From 1943-1945, Stringbean played banjo in Monroe's band (when he left he was replaced by Earl Scruggs).

According to David, Stringbeans was a common vegetable around his house growing up, and one of his favorites, so he picked the moniker as his stage name. (Another version of the story is that when he was performing with Asa Martin, Ash forgot his name and called him "String Beans" because of his tall, thin build). Among the performers that Stringbean played with was Grandpa Jones, who would become his neighbor and one of his closest friends.

The Grand Ole Opry lists Stringbean's induction date as 1942. Other sources give the date as 1945. Not that it matters, as once Stringbean became a part of the Opry, he became a popular and loyal member. In 1969, he was selected for the cast of Hee Haw, where a new generation of fans discovered his talents for the first time.

Stringbean, along with Uncle Dave Macon, Grandpa Jones and Ralph Stanley, is considered one of the greatest old-time style banjo pickers of all time.

Here is the running order from Saturday November 10, 1973, Stringbean's final night:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): Little Red Wagon
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Willis Brothers: God Walks These Hills with Me

6:45: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Forget; Forgive Us #1
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Josie Brown: Precious Memories, Follow Me
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: When My Time Comes to Go

7:00: Rudy's
Tex Ritter (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Stringbean: Hillbilly Fever
Karen Wheeler: The First Time for Us
Tex Ritter: Green Grow the Lilacs
Stringbean: Y'All Come
Karen Wheeler: Listen, Spot
Tex Ritter: Fall Away

7:30: Standard Candy
Bobby Bare (host): Ride Me Down Easy
Jimmy Martin: Just Plain Yellow
Melba Montgomery: Crawdad Song
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore
Jimmy Martin: Tennessee
Melba Montgomery: Wrap Your Love Around Me
Bobby Bare: Detroit City

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Night Train to Memphis
Grandpa Jones: Mountain Dew
Jimmy Driftwood: Run, Johnny Run/Tennessee Stud
Roy Acuff: Wabash Cannonball
Grandpa & Ramona Jones: Orange Blossom Special
Brother Oswald: Roll On, Buddy

8:30: Stephens
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Marion Worth: Paper Roses
Billy Grammer, Jr.: Orange Blossom Special
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldiers Joy
Billy Grammer: I'm Letting You Go
Marion Worth: Me & Bobby McGee
Billy Grammer: Just A Closer Walk with Thee

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Willis Brothers (host): Give Me 40 Acres
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Jimmy Martin: Honey, You Don't Know My Mind
Josie Brown: Precious Memories Follow Me
Skeeter Davis: Maiden's Prayer
Johnny Carver: Tonight Someone's Falling in Love
Jimmy Martin: Who'll Sing for Me When I Am Gone

10:00: Fender
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Little Darling Pal of Mine
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink on Me/No Help Wanted
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Coming Down from God

10:15: Union 76
Tex Ritter (host): There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder
Stringbean: Gonna Make Myself a Name/Hot Corn; Cold Corn
Tex Ritter: Willie, the Wondering Gypsy & Me

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Ball Knob, Arkansas
Grandpa & Ramona Jones: Bright Morning Stars are Rising
Jimmy Driftwood: The Mixed Up Family

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bobby Bare (host): Four Strong Winds
Karen Wheeler: The First Time for Us
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Bobby Bare: Detroit City

11:00: Coca-Cola
Billy Grammer (host): Bonaparte's Retreat
Melba Montgomery: Don't Keep Me Lonely Too Long
Billy Grammer, Jr.: Orange Blossom Special
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love
Melba Montgomery: Let's All Go Down to the River
Sam McGee; Worry, Worry Blues
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): I Walk Alone
Marion Worth: Paper Roses/Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed
Ronnie Robbins: Too Much Love Between Us/Mama Tried
Marty Robbins: Love Me/Big Boss Man/Crawling on My Knees/Don't Worry/El Paso

Stringbean and Estelle were killed after they returned home from the Opry that night. Their killers were waiting for them in their home with the intention of robbing them, as the rumor was that Stringbean, who grew up in the depression, did not believe in banks and kept a large amount of money hidden in their house. A confrontation took place after Stringbean returned home and he was shot. When Estelle tried to run, she was chased down and killed herself.

After the death of Stringbean, many of the Opry stars were in a panic. Roy Acuff was especially concerned and it would eventually lead to him living in a house at Opryland, although that was a few years in the future. Grandpa Jones, who discovered Stringbean's body, left Nashville and moved to Arkansas, where he and Ramona operated and performed in a dinner theater. In a sense, the innocence of Nashville was broken that night.

One last thought regarding Stringbean: There are many, myself included, who think that if Stringbean had lived and continued to make a name for himself on the Opry and Hee Haw, he would have eventually been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Stringbean was such a great musician and comedian and it is too bad that so many people have forgotten that aspect of his life and career.

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


  1. Byron,
    I quit watching the CMA awards show years ago, but my wife told me to watch it, because she thought I would enjoy it.
    It was so much better than years past, I could not believe it.
    Carrie singing "softly and tenderly Jesus is calling" made her cry, and me cry too.
    Show ended with Alan Jackson and "Don't Rock the Juke Box."
    Seemed to me like the CMA association suddenly figured out what country music is all about and (apparently) have quit trying (for the moment) to turn it into something the lawyers and music and network executives prefer.
    I also noted that unlike Hollywood award shows, it ended at 11:00 PM ON THE DOT.

  2. For those interested, here is what I have for this week's Tuesday Night Opry:

    7:00: John Conlee; Walker McGuire
    7:30: Linda Davis; Ricky Skaggs
    8:15: Lori McKenna; Steven Curtis Chapman
    8:45: Cam; Craig Morgan

    Also of note: saw that Carrie Underwood tripped at her home and has a broken wrist. Glad it wasn't more serious and a full recovery.

  3. Eddie Stubbs did a nice interview with Connie Smith tonight. He played some of the songs from her new Christmas cd "Joy To The World." Bob