Thursday, November 16, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 11/17 & 11/18

Sometimes the Opry is a little slow in getting the line-ups finalized and posted and this was one of those weeks. It took until early Thursday evening for the shows to be finalized and after everything was said and done, all four shows have pretty good variety and talent. Each of the shows feature several veterans and Hall of Fame members, bluegrass, comedy and rising young stars. Something for just about everyone.

Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for both nights, and hosting segments include Bill Anderson, Mike Snider, Connie Smith and Jeannie Seely. (it should be noted that Bill is hosting on both shows on Friday night but only on the first show Saturday). The only other Opry member scheduled this weekend is Bobby Osborne on Saturday night. I have stated my opinion before, but it is pretty sad that out of 64 Opry members, only four could be rounded up for a Saturday night show. I guess we should be pretty thankful that there are guest artists who are more than willing to appear on the Opry when asked.

As to those guest artist, there are a couple of interesting names on the Friday Night Opry, one of which is Larry Stephenson. Larry is a great bluegrass artist. I saw him on the Opry a few years back, along with hosting the Midnight Jamboree, and he did a great job. Very talented and he always has a good group working with him. Another act of interest are The Secret Sisters. If you have not seen or heard Laura and Lydia Rogers before, you are in for a treat. Very little instrumentation and great harmony. Each of their songs tell a story and they receive regular airplay on the SiriusXM Outlaw channel. William Michael Morgan is another of the young talents with a real country voice and he has reached the top of the country charts. Tucker Beathard, John Moreland, Mark Wills and comedian Dick Hardwick round out the line-up. Actually there is one more and I was saving her for last and that is Sylvia. Sylvia has several Top 10 records to her credit and after seeing her on the Opry Country Classics show in October, she still looks and sounds great. She has made several Opry appearances this past year and it is nice to see her making another.

Dick Hardwick will also be on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, where he will be joined by Holly Williams, Brook Eden, Aaron Tippin, Devin Dawson and LOCASH. As stated before, some good variety and some nice young talent on the Opry Saturday night.

Friday November 17
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Larry Stephenson Band; The Secret Sisters
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Tucker Beathard; Sylvia
8:00: Connie Smith (host); Dick Hardwick; William Michael Morgan
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); John Moreland; Mark Wills

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Larry Stephenson Band; The Secret Sisters
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Tucker Beathard; Sylvia
10:30: Connie Smith (host); Dick Hardwick; William Michael Morgan
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); John Moreland; Mark Wills

Saturday November 18
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Holly Williams; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Brooke Eden; Aaron Tippin
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Dick Hardwick; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Connie Smith (host); Devin Dawson; LOCASH

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Holly Williams; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Brooke Eden; Aaron Tippin
10:30: Connie Smith (host); Dick Hardwick; Opry Square Dancers; Devin Dawson; LOCASH

I did want to mention a couple of items from the Opry's health files this week. First, as was reported on various news outlets this week, Carrie Underwood fell at her home and broke her wrist. She is recovering well, but she was scheduled to be on the Opry Saturday December 9th. Because of her injury, she has cancelled those appearances. We have talked before about Carrie always making her 10 Opry appearances each year and those two shows that Saturday night would have put her at 10. So, though no fault of her own, Mrs. Fisher will come in at 8 shows this year. Still not a bad number for this superstar.

Secondly, Opry member Jesse McReynolds had a bit of a setback in his recovery and was hospitalized earlier this week. Apparently nothing serious (although at age 88 every hospital stay could be considered serious), and he was due to be sent home today. Based on pictures I saw of Jesse and his doctor, he looked in pretty good shape.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of November 16 & 17, 2007:

Friday November 16
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Keith Anderson
8:30: Ray Pillow (host); Chris Young
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Ashley Monroe; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Restless Heart

Saturday November 17
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman; Daryle Singletary
7:00: Van Zant; Eric Church; Nanci Griffith; Loretta Lynn
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; IIIrd Tyme Out; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jamey Johnson

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Daryle Singletary; Loretta Lynn
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Nanci Griffith
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); IIIrd Tyme Out; Eric Church; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jamey Johnson; Van Zant

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday November 21, 1992:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Jim Ed Brown: I Don't Want to Have to Marry You
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

6:45: Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Old Blue
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Riders In The Sky: How Does He Yodel
Grandpa Jones: Come & Dine

7:00: Shoney's
John Conlee (host): I'm Only Only In it for the Love
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore/Too Many Memories
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues

7:30: Standard Candy
Billy Walker (host): Coffee Brown Eyes
David Houston: Secret Love
Jean Shepard: I'm Just an Old Bridge That You Keep Burning
Stacy Dean Campbell: Singing the Blues/Poor Man's Rose
Billy Walker: Let Me Faith Begin to Move

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Brother Oswald: Hawaiian March
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Forked Deer
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream/Happy Cajun

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): The Wreck of the Old 97/One More Ride
The 4 Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah
Charlie Louvin & Monroe Fields: Must You Throw Dirt in My Face
Mike Snider: Foggy Mountain Breakdown/Eating Chicken Necks & Wings
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Hank Snow: My First Night Alone

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Roy Drusky: Somewhere My Love
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Porter Wagoner: An Old Log Cabin for Sale/Dooley

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Kitty Klide
Riders In The Sky: Boots & Saddle
Grandpa Jones: It's Raining Here this Morning

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
John Conlee (host): The Backside of 30
Stacy Dean Campbell: Poor Man's Rose
John Conlee: Rose Colored Glasses

10:30: Randy Travis Enterprises
Osborne Brothers (host): A Pain in the Heart & Blues on My Mind
Jean Shepard: I Don't See How I Can Make It With You Gone
Terry Eldridge: You Own Set of Rules
David Crowe: Sally Goodin

10:45: B.C. Poweder
The 4 Guys (host): Operator, Get Me Jesus on the Phone
Mike Snider: Soldier's Joy/Angeline the Baker
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Blackberry Blossom
The 4 Guys: Head on Over to the Twist & Shout

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): That Heart Belongs to Me
The Whites: Doing it By the Book
Charlie Walker: Who Will Buy the Wine
Justin Tubb: Thanks Troubadour, Thanks
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter
Hank Snow: Brand on My Heart

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Big Mamou
Charlie Louvin & Monroe Fields: My Baby's Gone
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Johnny Russell: Me & Bobby McGee
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

One name from the night that some might not remember, and who was featured on the TNN televised segment was Stacy Dean Campbell. Stacy was born on July 27, 1967 in Carlsbad, New Mexico. His father was a gospel singer, touring with several quartets and who, along with other members of "The Singing Campbell Family" is an inductee in the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Raised by his mother in Oklahoma and New Mexico, Stacy began his music career singing in clubs around the Oklahoma University campus and then moved to Nashville. In 1991 he signed a contract to became a staff songwriter for Tree Music, and released his first album as a solo artist on Columbia Records in 1992. Three singles from his debut album reached the Billboard Country Singles chart.

In 1995, he released a follow-up album on Columbia, the in 1999 he moved to the Warner Brothers label and shifted his focus to making an album that featured more of his songwriting. The result was "Ashes of Old Love" which reached No. 3 on the Americana Music Chart. In 2000, he and Dean Miller co-wrote Trace Adkins' single "I'm Gonna Love You Anyway."

In 2001, he left the music business and returned to New Mexico where he began work on a writing project and in 2004, his first novel "Cottonwood" was published. Included with the book was a CD which featured 12 original tracks inspired by the novel and written by Campbell. In recent years, he has expanded his career and moved behind the scenes, working as a director-writer in music videos and short films. He is the creator of the Americana Travel series, "Bronco Roads," a syndicated travel series that showcases life in the American West, and in which he serves as the host.

Finally, a look back 50 years to Saturday November 18, 1967:

7:30: Roy Drusky (host); Norma Jean; Stu Phillips; Minnie Pearl; Cousin Jody
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Osborne Brothers; Margie Bowes; Stringbean; Crook Brothers
8:30: Billy Walker (host); Tex Ritter; Loretta Lynn; Archie Campbell; Del Wood
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; Del Reeves; Grandpa Jones; Jan Howard; Fruit Jar Drinkers
9:30: Hank Locklin (host); Marion Worth; Bob Luman; Lonzo & Oscar; Kenny Price
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Norma Jean; Stringbean
10:15: Billy Walker (host); Margie Bowes; Del Wood; Stu Phillips
10:30: Tex Ritter (host); Loretta Lynn; Cousin Jody
10:45: Del Reeves (host); Osborne Brothers; Crook Brothers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; Grandpa Jones; Sam & Kirk McGee
11:30: Hank Locklin (host); Marion Worth; Bob Luman; Lonzo & Oscar; Kenny Price

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


  1. Nice to see Kenny Price back in 67. I've always thought he would have been a nice member. No clue if he was ever asked.

    Also, Byron, do you think they are looking for members to perform weekly these days? Or just the few needed to fill the host spot? It is clearly a different Opry all together.

  2. I believe Eddie Stubbs just said that Sylvia is under the weather and will not be on the Opry.

    Bill Anderson is doing the Midnite Jamboree and noted on his website he could not do the second Opry show Saturday.

    Knightsville, IN

  3. Sylvia cancelled for Friday. I think Eddie Stubbs said she has the flu. Bob

  4. You guys are on it. Thanks for the update. Hope she is feeling better soon.

    Jim, I forgot the Bill was hosting the Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night. With the taping out on Music Valley Drive at 10, it makes it impossible for Bill to do the 2nd Opry show at the Ryman.

    David, I kind of agree with you. I think that in today's Opry, management is content to have "regulars" who host segments: (Bill Anderson, Connie Smith, Jeannie Seely, Riders In The Sky, The Whites, Mike Snider, John Conlee etc.), then the semi-regulars (Vince Gill, Lorrie Morgan, etc.), one of the bluegrass acts (Bobby or Jesse), then are content with the rest of the members showing up about one a month. Obviously, the emphasis is on guest artists to give the show a lot of variety and younger talent (which more of the guest artists are). Based on some of the line-ups I have seen, it would not surprise me that if too many members were available on any given Friday or Saturday night, management is telling some of them "thanks, but no thanks." Just a theory.

  5. I remember reading in an old picture/history book that the process used to be a phone call to each member each week to check availability when the schedule was built then book all the available members. Fast forward today and I'm pretty sure I read somewhere Josh Turner talking about how he was only asked to be the Opry certain times when he would play more. I know when Pete Fisher came to the Opry I read that he worked the Opry more like a booking agent to get some of the bigger Opry members confirmed on the calendar in advance so they'd already be booked. Wasn't a fan of the way Pete treated the regulars but he did seem to get more of the bigger Opry members to play using this strategy -- which is why we see advanced promotion of upcoming appearance. I'd say it's also much different now that so many of the stars don't actually live in Nashville anymore. And, honestly, as much as I hate to say it, there are just not many of the veterans left. Maybe it would be nice to see Stonewall once in a while and Ray Pillow a little more and I'd love for Jan to sing once in a while. Who else besides Stu Phillips (who seems to have lost his voice?) It's staggering to see some of the past line-ups even from the 90s and count how many of them are gone and weren't replaced by members who were consistent in their appearances. (oldtimeopry)

    1. I remember the Josh Turner situation well. Here was a younger member with hits on the charts who actually wanted to do the Opry and he was told, no thanks!! Yet, before he became a member, there was no issue as to how many times he appeared and there were a few years where he was on the Opry dozens of times, usually promoting "Long Black Train."

      Perhaps Pete when the decisions were being made as to new Opry members during Pete's time, there was an understanding as to how many times the new members could actually be on the Opry. Doesn't seem the case now, especially with Daily & Vincent, who have been on the Opry many, many times since joining.

      And then we wonder why some of the younger members don't come around very much.

  6. Linda Davis has replaced Sylvia for tonight.

  7. Byron,
    I have ben highly critical of members who don't make 'Opry appearances, but you have offered great insight here.
    Maybe they don't even get asked....

    Does not answer my other complaint, though, and that is folks like Chris Jansen (greater than 200 appearances) NOT being asked to be members.

  8. The "Grand Ole Opry" show should be the Grand Ole Opry members with maybe the member bringing a guest, as years past, occasionally. Especially these days with the shortened time of the show. Not the majority of the show being new-no-names. When you go to an event billed as the "Grand Ole Opry" that is what you expect to get. If you are going to a music festival or variety concert then the acts are mixed with the new and veteran (usually in ascending order to the featured act). Yes, the old system was based on the secretary calling Members on Monday to see if they were available - they definitely are not making those calls any longer! Still very frustrated and still not planning to go back anytime soon!! Too costly for what you get!!

    1. You're exactly right! Opry management these days (and for the last several years) has a very different idea of how to schedule their members for shows. I had a tendency to blame the artists for this but it seems from the recent posted comments, its management.

  9. I tend to take my whole family to the 'Opry every now and then.
    They almost always enjoy the old acts more, because the established acts have learned over the years how to entertain a crowd. They have personality and aren't afraid to do whatever it takes to make the crowd feel like they're gotten their money's worth.
    Shouldn't the kids trying to break into country music today at least have some vague idea how to entertain?
    The 'Opry used to call itself "the greatest show on earth."