Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 12/1 & 12/2

On Friday December 1st, the Grand Ole Opry will be recognizing Marty Stuart upon his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Marty became an Opry member on Saturday November 28, 1992, just a week after the passing of Roy Acuff and at the time was a very popular choice to be joining the Opry's cast.

Last week, upon the actual anniversary, I printed a short recap of Marty's career. Just to add a few points, Marty is someone who really appreciates the history of country music and has been working the past several years on opening a museum in his home state of Mississippi. There is a lot to display and I am sure it will be a very nice museum. Personally, I wish it was being built in Nashville as it would be another great attraction in the city. However, I understand Marty wanting to put it in his home town and home state. Sadly, however, as Marty has been working on his museum project, and touring in support of his new CD, his Opry appearances have really declined. It's too bad because he is always appreciated at the Opry and the audience always responds to him very well. I know that entertainers want to tour and make the money when their careers are doing well, but I do wish Marty would find more time to do the Opry. We really need members like Marty to continue to come out and to support the show.

The last hour of each of the Friday night shows is being advertised as Marty Stuart "w/special guests." Connie Smith, as you would expect, and Charlie Worsham are the only acts listed, along with the square dancers, who will be making a special Friday appearance. When Marty Stuart's 25th anniversary was announced, I expected a bit more then what has been listed. Hopefully there are a few special guests, which will really make the night special.

In addition to Marty and Connie, Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for Friday night include Bill Anderson, John Conlee, Bobby Osborne and Old Crow Medicine Show, who have a connection with Marty as it was Marty who invited the group to become Opry members. Connie and John will also be on Saturday's show, along with members Mike Snider, The Whites, and Jeannie Seely.

The very talented Charlie Worsham is the only non-Opry member currently scheduled for Friday night, however on Saturday Maggie Rose, Shenandoah, Charles Esten and the legendary Wanda Jackson are scheduled to appear. Wanda has just written a new autobiography and she is currently selling autographed copies on her website. As to Charles Esten, who has made dozens of Opry appearances over the past several years, it will be interesting how much longer we see him on the Opry considering that next season is the final one for "Nashville."

Friday December 1
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: John Conlee (host); Old Crow Medicine Show
8:00: Marty Stuart (host) w/Special Guests; Connie Smith; Charlie Worsham; Opry Square Dancers

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: John Conlee (host); Old Crow Medicine Show
10:30: Marty Stuart (host) w/Special Guests; Connie Smith; Charlie Worsham; Opry Square Dancers

Saturday December 2
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); Maggie Rose; Mike Snider
7:30: Connie Smith (host); The Whites; Wanda Jackson
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Shenandoah; Opry Square Dancers; Charles Esten

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Maggie Rose; Mike Snider
10:00: Connie Smith (host); The Whites; Wanda Jackson
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Shenandoah; Opry Square Dancers; Charles Esten

While the quality is good, the line-ups are a little thin this weekend. For the second week in a row, it would appear that the Friday Night Opry is being run similar to the Tuesday night shows. I could be wrong and another guest will be scheduled for each of the first two segments, but for now we have just what is listed.  As to Saturday night, again I don't understand why only 3 segments, with the last hour being pretty thin. There are certainly additional artists scheduled that night who are capable of hosting. Hopefully they will add more.

For those who may not know, I will be in Nashville this weekend and will be attending all 4 shows and will report back on anything I see or hear in the coming week.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of November 30 & December 1, 2007:

Friday November 30
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; The Grascals
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Little Texas
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Ashley Monroe
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jean Shepard; Jedd Hughes

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); John Conlee; The Grascals
10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mike Snider; Little Texas
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); George Hamilton IV; Ashley Monroe
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jean Shepard; Jedd Hughes

Saturday December 1
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Joni Harms
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Jean Shepard; Mountain Heart
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Jeannie Seely; Bobby Osborne &  The Rocky Top X-Press
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); George Hamilton IV; Hal Ketchum; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Mel McDaniel; Ashley Monroe

2nd show
9:30; Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Joni Harms
10:00: Diamond Rio (host); Jean Shepard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Riders In The Sky
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mel McDaniel; Hal Ketchum; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Ashley Monroe; Mountain Heart

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday December 5, 1992:

1st show
6:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow
7:00: Jack Greene (host); The 4 Guys; Billy Walker; Connie Smith; Boxcar Willie
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Emmylou Harris
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jean Shepard; Brother Oswald; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Louvin; Jimmy Dickens

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Stonewall Jackson; Bill Carlisle; Emmylou Harris
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jack Greene; Jeanne Pruett
10:15: Bill Monroe (host); Jan Howard; Wilma Lee Cooper
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites
10:45: Boxcar Willie (host); Jeannie Seely; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The 4 Guys; Roy Drusky; Jean Shepard; Mike Snider
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Charlie Louvin; Jimmy C Newman; Johnny Russell

And from 50 years ago, Saturday December 2, 1967:

7:30: Willis Brothers (host); Ernie Ashworth; Glaser Brothers; Minnie Pearl
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Billy Grammer; Jim & Jesse; Crook Brothers; Del Wood
8:30: Roy Acuff (host); Tex Ritter; Harold Weakley; Archie Campbell
9:00: Charlie Louvin (host); Del Reeves; Osborne Brothers; Fruit Jar Drinkers
9:30: Hank Locklin (host); Willis Brothers; George Morgan; Norma Jean; The 4 Guys
10:00: Billy Grammer (host); Del Wood; Jim & Jesse
10:15: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Ernie Ashworth
10:30: Del Reeves (host); Glaser Brothers
10:45: Roy Acuff (host); Crook Brothers; Junior Huskey
11:00: Wilburn Brothers (host); Loretta Lynn; Charlie Louvin; Fruit Jar Drinkers; The 4 Guys; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Tex Ritter; Hank Locklin; Norma Jean; George Morgan; Don Winters

Looking back in Grand Ole Opry history, it was 39 years ago, Saturday December 2, 1978 that Grand Ole Opry member Bob Luman appeared on the Saturday night show for the final time.

Robert Glynn Luman was born in Blackjack, Texas on April 15, 1937. As he was being raised in Nacogdoches, Texas, his early interest in music was influenced by his father, who was a fiddle, guitar, and harmonica player. He attended high school in Kilgore and while in high school, Bob started his own band. He also played baseball and tried out with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but when he didn't make it in professional baseball, he decided to concentrate on music. In 1956, he won a talent contest promoted by the Future Farmers of America, which earned him an appearance on the Louisiana Hayride.

While on the Hayride, he formed a backup band called the Shadows, which featured James Burton, James Kirkland, and Butch White. In 1957, the band signed with Imperial Records. That same year, the band appeared on the Town Hall Party in Los Angeles and appeared in the movie Carnival Rock, where they backed up David Houston.

The following year, after being dropped by Imperial Records, Bob signed with Capital Records, where he released several singles. After refusing the request from Capital to change his name, he left that label and signed with Warner Bros. Records. In 1960, Bob was inducted into the United States Army, and while still in the Army, Warner released "Let's Think About Living," which reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 9 on the Billboard country music chart. After he left the Army in 1962, Bob moved to Nashville.

In 1968, he signed with Epic Records and had several hits with that label including "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers," and "Still Loving You. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Bob continued to tour, perform in Las Vegas and record and release successful records, including "When You Say Love," and "The Pay Phone." It is hard to believe that with these great records that Bob recorded, he never had a No. 1 record on the charts.  He also became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in September 1965. Bob is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.

Bob Luman passed away from pneumonia on December 27, 1978 at the age of 41.

While Saturday December 2, 1978 was Bob's last appearance on the Saturday Grand Ole Opry, his last appearance for any Opry show was the Friday Night Opry on December 15 of that year.

Here is the running order from Saturday December 2, 1978, Bob Luman's last appearance on the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
David Houston: Best Friends make the Worst Enemies
Charlie Walker: Lucille

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Monroe (host): A Used to Be
Stu Phillips: There Must be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Vic Willis & Curtis Young: Cimarron
Bill Monroe: The Old Cross Road is Waiting

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol Slewfoot
Wilma Lee Cooper: Big Midnight Special
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Wilburn Brothers: Mama's Shoe Box
Charlie Louvin: Hey, Daddy
Porter Wagoner: I'm Gonna Feed You Now/Big Wind

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball/Tennessee Special No. 9/ Sunshine Special
Jan Howard: I'll Remember the Good
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle
Herman Crook: Amazing Grace
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Are You From Dixie
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong with the Way That We're Doing it Now
Bob Luman: Let Me Make the Bright Lights Shine for You/The Pay Phone
Jim & Jesse: Ashes of Love
Bill Carlisle: Business Man
Grandpa & Ramona Jones: Mt. Laurel

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
The 4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Ray Pillow: Texas
Stonewall Jackson: My Favorite Sin
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin Hen
Hank Snow: Ramblin Rose

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Monroe (host): My Sweet Blue Eyed Darling
Charlie Walker: T for Texas
David Houston: Best Friends Make the Worst Enemies
Wilma Lee Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Vic Willis & Curtis Young: Shenendoah
Stu Phillips: Come Sundown
Bill Monroe: Cryin' Holy Unto the Lord

10:00: Fender
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Wilburn Brothers: What A Way to Go
Charlie Louvin: When I Was Your Man
Porter Wagoner: Ol Slewfoot

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Ball Knob, Arkansas
Billy Grammer: Faded Love
Jan Howard: It's A Heartache
Brother Oswald: Mountain Dew
Roy Acuff: Jesus Will Outshine Them All

10:30: Trailblazer
Grandpa Jones (host): Old Dan Tucker
Roy Drusky: Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong with the Way that We're Doing it Now
Grandpa Jones: Falling Leaves

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bob Luman (host): Good Hearted Woman
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: (?)
Bob Luman: A Satisfied Mind

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Rumba-Boogie
Ray Pillow: Dreams of A Dreamer/Another Day; Another Dollar
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Jim & Jesse: The Voice of My Darling
Kirk McGee: Chittling Cooking Time in Cheatham County
Hank Snow: Hobo Bill's Last Ride

11:30: Acme
Stonewall Jackson (host): A Wound Time Can't Erase
The 4 Guys: Let Your Love Show/Catfish John
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane/I Was on My Way to the Show
Stonewall Jackson: My Favorite Sin/Waterloo

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend and congratulations once again to Marty Stuart upon his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.


  1. The last time Wanda Jackson appeared on the 'Opry was a complete disaster, and I felt terrible for her.
    The band had no earthly idea what they were doing.
    Hopefully, she gets more cooperation from the band this time. She deserves better.

  2. Elizabeth Cook added for Friday night and Trace Atkins for Saturday. Makes it a little better.

  3. Thanks Byron.
    The shows were in need of some help. :)
    Trace and Elizabeth make great additions.

  4. Have a good time Byron. Looking forward to your photos. Bob

  5. A very nice show last night with Marty Stuart. Was very, very surprised that there was no presentation made it to him from the Opry. Considering that they seem to be recognizing every anniversary. I expected a little bit more from the Opry's management.

  6. Sorry folks, I don't usually call out names when making negative comments but what is Charles Esten really providing us each time he appears? I know the crowd applauds but he's a TV star so they don't know any better. I know the music can't remain the same and fit my old taste but couldn't it at least be tasteful? Wait, the second song he is doing on the second show has some steel guitar in it. Everything is ok now.

    Forgive me, I just can't help it.

    Knightsville, IN

  7. I was so happy for Wanda Jackson.
    The 'Opry band, or whoever backed her up, did a fine job, and she clearly enjoyed herself.
    Well done 'Opry!