Before getting to the Grand Ole Opry and the shows this weekend, it was announced on the Tuesday Night Opry that Chris Janson will be officially inducted as an Opry member on Tuesday March 20. No other details were revealed, although I am sure they have lined up a special guest to do the actual induction. As of today, there is still only one show listed for that night. Personally, I just hate to see anyone not inducted as a member on any other night than Saturday. Saturday is the traditional night for the Grand Ole Opry, and it would have been nice to see the Saturday show still considered the "big" one, where the important events, such as inducting new members, takes place. It could be logistical as to why Tuesday night, as I know Chris is busy touring and perhaps that was the only night something could be lined up. Regardless, congratulations to Chris and I know it will be a big night for him.
While the "official" Grand Ole Opry line-up is not posted as of this posting (Thursday night). I have learned that the line-up is complete with Grand Ole Opry member Crystal Gayle scheduled for both nights. Joining her on Friday and Saturday will be members Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider and Connie Smith. Members scheduled for Friday night only are The Whites, Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press and Craig Morgan, while Bill Anderson and Steve Wariner are scheduled for Saturday night.
As to guest appearances, the Friday night Opry will feature Ryan Kinder, Mickey Guyton, Flatt Lonesome, Mo Pitney and it would appear, Dan Tyminski. Saturday night it looks like Natalie Stovall, Elizabeth Cook Charles Esten, Shenandoah and Troy Cassar-Daley are scheduled.
Friday February 23
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Ryan Kinder; Mike Snider
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Mickey Guyton; Flatt Lonesome
8:15: The Whites (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mo Pitney
8:45: Craig Morgan (host); Dan Tyminski; Crystal Gayle
Saturday February 24
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Natalie Stovall; Mike Snider
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Elizabeth Cook; Charles Esten
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Shenandoah; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Troy Cassar-Daley; Crystal Gayle
There you have it for this week's line-up. I will be in Nashville for both the Friday and Saturday Opry shows. If there are any updates to the line-up, or if I received some wrong information regarding the shows, I will post an update. Hopefully I will have the access.
Looking back to the 4th weekend of February 10 years ago, the weekend of February 22 & 23:
Friday February 22
8:00: The Whites (host); Jim Lauderdale; Ashley Monroe
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jack Greene; Emerson Drive
9:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Kathy Mattea
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; T. Graham Brown; Joe Nichols
Saturday February 23
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Jack Greene; Dan Tyminski Band
7:00: Jo Dee Messina; Keith Anderson; Tracy Byrd; Randy Owen
8:00: The Whites (host); Jan Howard; The Time Jumpers; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Restless Heart
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Dan Tyminski Band; Keith Anderson
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Randy Owen; Jo Dee Messina
10:30: The Whites (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Tracy Byrd; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: George Hamilton IV (host); The Time Jumpers; Restless Heart
25 years ago, Saturday February 27, 1993:
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis
6:45: Jack Greene (host); Roy Drusky; Jan Howard
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Bill Carlisle; Charlie Walker; Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Billy Walker (host); Kathy Mattea; Oak Ridge Boys
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Whites; The 4 Guys; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy Dickens; Grandpa Jones; Bill Monroe
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Ray Pillow; Jeanne Pruett; Oak Ridge Boys
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Kathy Mattea
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeannie Seely
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Brother Oswald; Charlie Louvin
10:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Stonewall Jackson; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Mike Snider; Jimmy C Newman; Justin Tubb
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; The 4 Guys; Johnny Russell
I would have to go back and double check the records, but I do believe that the reason all of the Hall of Fame members were on the last portion of the 1st show was because of a function that took place at the Opryland Hotel involving those artists.
It was on Saturday February 28, 1987 that Grand Ole Opry member Archie Campbell made his final appearance on the Opry.
An artist can fall into one or more of many categories. Archie Campbell was an artist who fit several. Born in Bulls Gap, in East Tennessee, Archie was an entertainer who excelled in both music and comedy. He was also a songwriter who wrote much of his material. Finally, he was a painter of note, a man capable of capturing on canvas anything from serious landscapes to humorous caricatures. In fact, Archie painted the beautiful 6 X 10 foot mural that to this day hangs in the artists' lounge backstage at the Grand Ole Opry House.
Perhaps Archie's earthy humor and love of mankind came from his childhood days in Bulls Gap. There, he, his brother and two sisters enjoyed a hilarious and happy rearing. He later studied art at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, North Carolina, but found the entertainment field was more lucrative than art. He moved to near-by Knoxville and began concentrating on it.
After serving in the Navy, Archie returned to Knoxville, where he had a radio show on WNOX, featuring guests like Chet Atkins and Carl Smith. Moving to Nashville in 1958, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, signed an RCA recording contract and then spent the subsequent years wallowing in radio, TV, movie, personal appearances, hit records and script writing success. Archie was known as a comic and writer on "Hee Haw." Archie also had a number of hit records including "Rindercella," Beeping Sleauty," "Pee Little Thrigs," "Trouble in the Amen Corner," and "Rojo." Archie had the rare ability to combine comedy with music, and he could handle the guitar, ukulele, and bass with self-taught proficiency. In 1969 he was honored by the Country Music Association as Comedian of the Year. Besides appearing on "Hee Haw", Archie also hosted "Yesteryear In Nashville" which was on TNN.
Archie was also an accomplished golfer and built one of the first lighted golf courses in the United States. As a painter, he also owned an art gallery and served on the school board in Knoxville, Tennessee. He also operated and performed for a number of years at his theater in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Once the theater went into operation, Archie would spend the summers in Gatlinburg, thus the majority of his Opry appearances would take place during the winter months. Archie Campbell passed away on August 29, 1987 after suffering a heart attack. He is buried near Powell, Tennessee and his childhood home on Main Street in Bulls Gap has been preserved as a memorial.
Here you go, from Saturday February 28, 1987 the final night that Archie Campbell performed on the Grand Ole Opry:
Stonewall Jackson (host): Muddy Water
The 4 Guys: Love, Love, Love
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'/Waterloo
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Skeeter Davis: My Last Date With You/Silver Threads & Golden Needles/The End of the World
Hank Snow (host): Right or Wrong
Charlie Walker: Roly, Poly
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/Orange Blossom Special/Wabash Cannonball/Night Train to Memphis
Dottie West: Your Cheatin' Heart/Are You Happy Baby
Hank Snow: The Next Voice You Hear
7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jim Ed Brown: Scarlet Ribbons/The 3 Bells
Connie Smith: Walk Me to the Door
George Hamilton IV: Break My Mind
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Greenback Dollar
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away
8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Osborne Brothers: Beneath Still Waters
Jack Greene: Our Time
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
The Whites: I Wonder Who's Holding My Baby Tonight
Porter Wagoner: Milwaukee, Here I Come
8:30: Music Valley Drive
Grandpa Jones (host): My Happy Little Home in Arkansas
Billy Walker: She Goes Walking Thru My Mind/Sing Me A Love Song to Baby
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Roy Drusky: Always
Del Reeves: While I Play Those Honky-Tonk Songs; She Sings Amazing Grace
Grandpa Jones: Time
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Lorrie Morgan: Lone Star State of Mind
The 4 Guys: Bop
Dottie West: It's High Time/Faded Love
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name
10:00: Little Debbie
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/I'm Moving On/Wabash Cannonball/Night Train to Memphis/Life's Railway to Heaven
10:30: Pet Milk
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Jean Shepard: Are You Teasing Me
Charlie Louvin: Please Help Me
Grandpa Jones: Here Comes the Champion
10:45: Heil Quaker
Jim Ed Brown (host): Everyday People
Roy Drusky: I'll Hold You In My Heart
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Jim Ed Brown: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Hank Snow (host): White Silver Sands
Connie Smith: Walkin' After Midnight
Osborne Brothers: Kentucky
The Whites: Makin' Believe/Pins & Needles
Hank Snow: Am I That Easy to Forget
Del Reeves (host): The Race is On
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours/Satin Sheets
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me
Jack Greene; Midnight Tennessee Woman/There Goes My Everything/Statue of A Fool
In case anyone was wondering why Hank Snow was hosting at 7:00, he was hosting the televised portion on TNN that night. Originally the 7:00 segment was televised, later moved to 7:30.
One last thought on Archie Campbell: the more I listen to old Opry shows featuring Archie, and watching the reruns of Hee Haw, the more I am convinced that Archie deserves a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame. While the odds are against him, someday it might happen. He as a comic genius who could also sing a heartfelt song when asked. It is too bad that he passed away at too soon.
Looking at other Opry events from the last weekend in February, DeFord Bailey returned to the Opry for the 1st of what became an annual reunion show, often called Old-Timer's Night. DeFord was one of the Opry's originals until he was fired by George D. Hay in 1941. He had been asked numerous times to return, always turning down the invitations. Finally, thanks to Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, and Minnie Pearl, among others, DeFord returned, as he would several more times before he passed away.
Also, it was on February 24, 2001 that Wilma Lee Cooper suffered a stroke while performing on the first show that night, which would end her performing career. Wilma Lee, who came to the Opry in 1957 with her husband Stoney and daughter Carol Lee, would only make two more appearances on the Opry stage following her stroke: in 2007 in honor of her 50th anniversary as an Opry member and in 2010 at the reopening of the Opry House.
Last but not least, it was 26 years ago, Saturday February 29, 1992 that Travis Tritt became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. After an absence of 10 years, Travis returned to the Opry last year to be recognized upon his 25th anniversary as a member of the Opry. It was nice to see him back, and he needs to come back more often.
There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend and as always, I will report back on my observations when I return next week.