Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 1/26 & 1/27

When you go back and look at the history of the Grand Ole Opry, every once in a while they have brought in an act that causes you to scratch your head and wonder how they will fit in. This week is one of those weeks as Sister Hazel is on the schedule for Friday night.

For those who are not familiar with the group, Sister Hazel is described as an "alternative rock band from Gainesville, Florida, whose style blends elements of jangle pop, folk rock, classic rock 'n roll and southern rock. Their music is characterized by highly melodic tunes and prominent harmonies."

Sister Hazel was formed in 1993 and has maintained the same basic line-up for the past 25 years. Their first album was released in 1994 and they have been recording since. The members of the group include Ken Block, Jett Beres, Andrew Copeland, Ryan Newell and Mark Trojanowski. According to Newell, their influences include Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page, Van Halen and Eric Clapton. It should be interesting to say the least when they are introduced by Riders In The Sky on Friday night.

As to the rest of the Grand Ole Opry members who will be appearing this weekend, besides the Riders, both nights will feature John Conlee, Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, The Whites and Connie Smith. Joining that group on Friday night will be the Opry's newest member Chris Young while no additional Opry member is listed for Saturday night.

In addition to Sister Hazel on Friday night, Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy is scheduled, along with William Michael Morgan and Chonda Pierce, who is also scheduled for Saturday night. Joining Chonda on Saturday evening will be Maggie Rose, Michael Ray, Flatt Lonesome, Holly Williams and Restless Heart. That all comes out to 11 artists each night.

Friday January 26
7:00: John Conlee (host); William Michael Morgan; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Sister Hazel; Charlie McCoy
8:00: Connie Smith (host); The Whites; Chonda Pierce
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Chris Young

Saturday January 27
7:00; Mike Snider (host); Maggie Rose; The Whites
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Michael Ray; Flatt Lonesome
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Chonda Pierce; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: John Conlee (host); Holly Williams; Restless Heart

Now here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up from the 4th weekend in January 10 years ago, January 25 & 26, 2008:

Friday January 25
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites; Ashton Shepherd
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Andy Griggs
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; The Steeldrivers
9:30: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Patti Page

Saturday January 26
1st show
6:30: The Whites (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Rockie Lynne
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Ray Pillow (host); Connie Smith; The Wrights
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; The Grascals; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Patti Page; Restless Heart

2nd show
9:30: The Whites (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Rockie Lynne
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band
10:30: Vince Gill (host); The Wrights; Patti Page; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Grascals; Restless Heart

From the last weekend in January 25 years ago, Saturday January 23, 1993:

1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Justin Tubb
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jimmy Dickens; Roy Drusky
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; John Conlee; Holly Dunn
7:30: Del Reeves (host); Radney Foster; Patty Loveless
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Ricky Skaggs; Connie Smith; The 4 Guys; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeanne Pruett; John Conlee; Stonewall Jackson; Holly Dunn
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host); Skeeter Davis; Billy Walker
10:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Patty Loveless
10:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Walker; Brother Oswald; Bill Carlisle
11:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jean Shepard; Ray Pillow; Jeannie Seely; Johnny Russell

Among the events that took place at the Grand Ole Opry during the 4th week of January, it was Saturday January 25, 1992 that Emmylou Harris became a member of the Opry. This will mark her 26th year as an Opry member.

God didn't make honky tonk angels, but if he had, he would have broken the mold with Emmylou Harris. With her crystal-clear soprano, lissome beauty, impeccable instincts, and uncompromising integrity, Emmylou redefined the image and role of women in country music. Few if any artists have so successfully erased boundaries between country, folk, and rock and roll.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Emmylou spent her youth in North Carolina and Virginia. as the daughter of a career Marine, her upbringing was not particularly musical. But during the 1960s she fell in love with folk music, especially Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, and began performing while still studying drama at the University of North Carolina. She moved to Greenwich Village in 1967 to join the burgeoning folk revival, sharing stages with Jerry Jeff Walker and David Bromberg, and released her first record in 1969. On the East Coast club circuit, she met Gram Parsons, and both her career and life changed forever. Gram, formally of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, became her mentor and singing partner, drawing her into the 1970s country rock movement and strengthening her ties to traditional country music. Emmylou toured and recorded with Gram until his death in 1973.

In 1975 she recorded her first major album, "Pieces of the Sky," introducing her Hot Band, which over the years,included such world-class players as James Burton, Albert Lee, Rodney Crowell, and Ricky Skaggs. Emmylou has enjoyed seven No. 1 hits and 27 Top 10 songs including "If I Could Only Win Your Love," "Together Again," "Sweet Dreams," "Making Believe," "To Daddy," and "Heartbreak Hill." The 2008 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee has 10 gold albums and 12 Grammy Awards, including one for her 1987 Trio album with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton as well as one for her work on the soundtrack to the motion picture "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Here is the running order from 26 years ago, Saturday January 25, 1992, the night Emmylou Harris became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Opry Tours
Boxcar Willie (host): Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/I'm Moving On/Gotta Travel On/Night Train to Memphis
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Boxcar Willie: Cowboys & Horses; Hobos & Trains

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
The 4 Guys: Tennessee
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): You Gotta Have A License
John Conlee: I Don't Remember Loving You
Osborne Brothers: Nearer My God to Thee
Lorrie Morgan: Except for Monday/Autumn's Not that Cold
Porter Wagoner: Wake Up, Jacob

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Vince Gill: Take Your Memory With You When You Go/When I Call Your Name/Drifting Too Far From the Shore
Emmylou Harris: Walls of Time/Blue Kentucky Girl

8:00: Martha White
Bill Monroe (host): Nine Pound Hammer
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
The Whites: Doing it By the Book
Del Reeves: There She Goes
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Monroe & Tom Ewing: Body & Soul

8:30: Opryland
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
Jimmy C Newman: Mottland
Riders In The Sky: Blue Shadows on the Trail
Jean Shepard: Let's All Go Down to the River/I Saw the Light/Will the Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/Somebody Touched Me
Bill Anderson: Still

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General Stores
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues
Emmylou Harris: Guitar Town
Emmylou Harris & Vince Gill: If You Needed Me
Porter Wagoner: Misery Loves Company

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Ol' Rattler
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Dreamed About Mama Last Night
Grandpa & Mark Jones: Arkansas Traveler

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Once More
George Hamilton IV: I'm Using My Bible for A Road Map/Cabin in Gloryland
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): True Life Blues
Roy Drusky: Too Old to Die Young
Boxcar Willie: Hobo Heaven
Bill Monroe: I'm Working on a Building

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take an Old Cold Tater
Vince Gill & Patty Loveless: When I Call Your Name
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Lafayette
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her that Way

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): You Can Have Her
Osborne Brothers: Low & Lonely
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Stonewall Jackson: Side Steppin' the Blues
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar

11:30: Cremette
Charlie Walker (host): Does Ft Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Riders In The Sky: How Does He Yodel
The Whites: Swing Down Chariot
Johnny Russell: No One Will Ever Know
Charlie Walker: Take Me Back to Tulsa

I know many of us are fans of Emmylou Harris and if there was one Opry member that disappoints me, it is Emmylou. She lives in Nashville and is very active in the community. She still makes personal appearances yet it has been since December 2014 that she has appeared on the Opry. As with everything else, I am sure there is a reason for it. On the advanced schedule for this weekend, she was listed however a few weeks later she was taken off. Let's hope there is no underlying issue with Emmylou and the Opry and that she gets back on the Opry soon.

There you have it for this week. Congratulations once again to Emmylou Harris and let's hope we see her again on the Opry, and much more often. Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!


  1. I can't believe that it's almost that time of the year again when the Country Music Hall of Fame will announce it's inductees for 2018 all of that aside who do you guys see going into the Hall of Fame this year?

  2. The Emmylou induction is on YouTube. Mr. Acuff is very frail at this point. Now 26 years later, Mr. Acuff is gone, Vince and Emmylou are Hall of Famers, and Sister Hazel is playing the Opry. I'll stop there.

    1. I did a "quick" check and I do believe that was Roy Acuff's last appearance on the televised portion of the Opry that was on TNN.

  3. Sister Hazel was certainly not the name I was expecting to see this week, but I've learned to withhold judgment until they perform. Some have proven they have no business on the Opry stage, but then others like Kiefer Sutherland have put forth an honest effort that I can't complain about.

  4. I don't mind the idea of a group like Sister Hazel, whom I had never heard of, doing the Opry. As you'll all recall, James Brown did it. So did the Pointer Sisters. It's ok for the Opry to go beyond its usual boundaries.

    The problem is that the Opry now goes beyond the usual boundaries every week to the point of having no boundaries. I expected better from Sally Williams.

  5. Changes in the line-up for tonight. Connie Smith, Charlie McCoy and The Whites are out, Neal McCoy and Chris Janson are in.

    New schedule:
    7:00: John Conlee; William Michael Morgan; Mike Snider
    7:30: Riders In The Sky; Sister Hazel; Neal McCoy
    8:00: Jeannie Seely; Chonda Pierce
    8:30: Chris Janson; Chris Young

  6. The Friday Night Opry was broadcast live to New York where the Opry Stage opened tonight. Eddie Stubbs opened the show with Chris Young at the podium. They immediately went live to New York where Bill Cody, Colin Reed and Vince Gill were. Those three spoke a few words about the Opry and the opening of the club, then they went back to Nashville and Eddie Stubbs.

    And for those who were wondering: Sister Hazel was ok. As to Neal McCoy, he seemed a little "challenged" today. There were also some instrumental issues during his segment.

  7. Sister Hazel could have been worse but.......what does it say about the future of the Opry as a Country show when audience participation as far as joining in to sing is highest with all the non Country acts that appear regularly on the Opry?

    Did anyone listen to Jimmy Fortune last night with Eddie. Playing in bands as a youth, he knew and appreciated many types of music and has a broad range on his new CD. But last night, he was stating that in his travels he always hears fans wishing they could hear real Country Music and he said it wasn't just the older folks who were around when Ray Price and others put the songs out. It is all ages that want to hear the real thing or you might say older or traditional music. He did a song in studio that he said he had not done on stage or the radio and had not recorded. In it there is this line: When Roy Acuff went to heaven, Country Music went to hell!

    I really don't like it but I can agree with Micheal, I can tolerate the occasional guest that is in no way Country and dose't pretend to be. But when it is forced down our throats nearly every weekend it is too much.

    I know, I can turn the dial or turn it off. I'm too stubborn to let them do that to me and make me give up the last few years we have to hear Bill, Connie, Jeannie, Bobby and a few others.

    Knightsville, IN

  8. Jim, I know what you mean. I think it's also worth remembering that Ray Price became hated in Nashville when he put all of those strings on "Danny Boy" and went uptown. Eddy Arnold got a lot of flak, too. Change is ok. Being different is ok. But not just for the sake of change or being different, and the Opry increasingly suffers from that idea.

  9. Just one more thought on the Friday Night Opry. When Chris Janson was added, and then the last half hour with Chris and Chris Young was broadcast live to Opry City Stage in New York, I thought for a minute that this would have been the night that Chris Janson would be invited to become an Opry member. That thought came especially when Chris and Eddie started talking about Chris having made almost 200 guest appearances, Chris talking about how much he loved the Opry and what it meant to him and how happy he was with another No. 1 hit. I thought it would have made a perfect splash especially with the New York broadcast. But, as with the other times that we have speculated regarding Chris, nothing happened.

    As to Opry City Stage in New York, while the Friday Night Opry was taking place, Vince Gill and Rhonda Vincent were entertaining in New York, and Bobby Osborne was making a visit as he was in New York for the Grammy Awards Sunday night. Bobby is nominated for a Grammy Award, the first nomination in his long career. Good luck and best wishes to Bobby and I hope he is a winner.

  10. No details available, but Tom T. Hall would appreciate your prayers and thoughts tonight.

  11. Wrapping up the weekend, Connie Smith missed both nights due to illness. The Whites also missed Saturday night and were replaced by William Michael Morgan.

    Emmylou Harris, who was on the advanced scheduled a while back for this weekend, is actually in New York for tonight's Grammy Awards show, in which she will be performing with Chris Stapleton. That would explain her cancellation.

  12. Emmylou also received a lifetime achievement Grammy last night.

  13. Chris Jansen is a better man than I am.
    I would tell the 'Opry I'm too busy to perform now that I'm a star and you
    A) apparently only need me when somebody gets sick and
    B) continue to offer memberships to folks who could absolutely care less about the 'Opry.
    Every time they don't offer him membership I get just a little less anxious to attend and listen to the 'Opry.

  14. I have to disagree with one of Nat's points. While the Opry has a ton of "deadbeat" members among its ranks, the recent invitations have gone to people who do seem to care and are supporting the Opry through their appearances. Maybe the jury is still out on if Chris Young will fit that mold, but certainly the two before him have worked out well.

    I say that, but will also say I would fully support Chris Jansen as a member.

  15. What's the update on Tom T Hall?

  16. Those who know are not offering any comment regarding Tom T. other than asking to keep him in your thoughts. Wish I had more to share, but I don't.

  17. Joe;
    Time will tell on the two latest, time will tell. :)
    Hope you're right.

    ps. Who was the one before Christ Young? Honestly can't remember :(

  18. Crystal Gayle and Dailey & Vincent joined in 2017, along with Chris Young.

  19. Crystal Gayle and Dailey & Vincent were the other two new members in 2017.

  20. In regards to Chris Jansen; here are my thoughts. I have nothing against him. He grew up less than 75 miles were I live in Missouri. I'm all for my home state, we have represented the Opry well over the years; Porter Wagoner, Ferlin Husky, The Duke of Paducah, Jan Howard, Leroy Van Dyke, etc. Yes, Chris had been a faithful guest act, we can all agree. But look at his statistics: From 2010 until present he only has had six charted singles. Three of which have been in the top 40; and of those 3, only two top tens. Of which, "Fix a Drink" only rose to #10. The smash "Buy Me A Boat" went to #2. We have a different Opry than we did in the days of Stu Phillips, Ray Pillow, Marion Worth, Margie Bowes. I believe today you are going to have to be a "superstar" or "legend" status to gain Opry membership. Jansen has just not achieved this. Crystal Gayle is a "legend"; Daily & Vincent are "superstars" in the bluegrass field; and we all know how big Chris Young is. I look at the group The Isaacs, and believe if the Opry ever wants a gospel act on the roll, they are a shoe in. They are superstars in the southern gospel field. While it may not be what we like, the Opry is going to statistically look at every corner when making new members. My thoughts and opinion only.

  21. The above on Chris Janson is probably true, but it also is clear that he is a credit to the show now. It’s clear that some neat things happen when he takes the circle. Word gets out. And I think the word on what Janson adds to the Opry is out, and likely makes a difference in ticket sales. Jus sayin.

  22. David B
    It is hard to argue with your analysis.
    I just know this. When I see or hear Chris Jansen, it is clear the crowd is thoroughly entertained.
    Some folks sell records, some folks entertain.
    As to my choice, I'll take the entertainer every time.
    The 'Opry may not agree.
    Clearly Dailey and Vincent can do both.