Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 3/9 & 3/10

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the three shows this weekend. Yes, that is correct as Saturday night there are two shows scheduled. If there is anyone reading this who wants to go to the Opry this weekend, Saturday's 2nd show is for you. Looking at the ticket site, there are probably 3500 tickets still available for that 2nd show. Don't know what the Opry was thinking when they scheduled two, or if they thought they had someone else lined up and it fell through....who knows?

But as who will be appearing this weekend, there are only two Grand Ole Opry members who are scheduled for both nights: Jeannie Seely and Mike Snider. Joining those two on Friday night will be Riders In The Sky, Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press, and Country Music Hall of Fame members Bill Anderson and the Oak Ridge Boys, who will be signing in the Opry Shop after the show. Joining Jeannie and Mike on Saturday night will be Opry members Jesse McReynolds, The Whites, and Hall of Fame member Ronnie Milsap. Really nice to see Ronnie back at the Opry. I met Ronnie a couple of years ago and he really is a super nice guy.

Guest artists on the Friday Night Opry include Gene Watson (who cancelled his appearance on Opry Country Classics), Parmalee, Gary Mule Deer, frequent Opry guest Mark Wills, and making her Opry debut, Darci Lynne.

Gary Mule Deer is also scheduled for both shows on Saturday night, and he will be joined by Erin Enderlin, Jerrod Niemann, and Hall of Famer, and former Opry member, Bobby Bare.

Friday March 9
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mike Snider; Gene Watson
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Parmalee; Darci Lynne
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Wills
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Gary Mule Deer

Saturday March 10
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Erin Enderlin; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: The Whites (host); Jerrod Niemann
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Bare; Opry Square Dancers; Gary Mule Deer; Ronnie Milsap

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Ronnie Milsap
10:00: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Bobby Bare
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Erin Enderlin; Opry Square Dancers; Gary Mule Deer; Jerrod Niemann

Only 9 artists currently scheduled for Saturday night, and as with last week, just 3 segments.

As mentioned, Darci Lynn (Farmer) will be making her Opry debut on Friday night. This 13 year old lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As a child she was very shy so her parents encouraged her to participate in the International Cinderella Scholarship Program where she won the title International Mini Miss. At the pageant she met Laryssa Bonacquisti, a young ventriloquist who inspired Darci to try ventriloquism. Darci self taught herself. She asked her parents for a puppet and on her tenth birthday she received one as a gift.

In 2014 she entered Edmond's Got Talent and one first price. Since then she has worked with ventriloquy coach Gary Owen and vocal teacher Tiana. In 2015 she won first place in both the junior division at Oklahoma's Got Talent and Oklahoma Kids, and won Broadway, Specialty Acts, and overall Entertainer of the Year at American Kids in Branson, Missouri. In March 2016, Darci made Little Big Shots. In 2017, she competed in American's Got Talent. She performed with a girly rabbit named Petunia. After going through the competition, Darci was the winner of that season's America's Got Talent. Since then, she has appeared on numerous television shows and has performed nationally, including Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. She is currently on a nationwide tour.

And now, from the second weekend in March 10 years ago, the weekend of March 7 & 8, 2008:

Friday March 7
8:00: Marty Stuart (host); Tennessee Mafia Jug Band; Connie Smith; Sunny Sweeney
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; John Conlee; Rebecca Lynn Howard
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Jimmy Wayne
9:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Ernie Ashworth; Jean Shepard; The Whites

Saturday March 8
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Mel McDaniel; Sunny Sweeney
7:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jim Ed Brown; Lee Greenwood
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jack Greene; Jean Shepard; The Whites
8:00: Marty Stuart (host); Tennessee Mafia Jug Band; Jimmy C Newman; Tift Merritt; Opry Square Dancers. 
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mel Tillis; Charlie Daniels Band

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Jimmy C Newman; Hal Ketchum
10:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Sunny Sweeney; Lee Greenwood
10:30: Marty Stuart (host); Tennessee Mafia Jug Band; Jean Shepard; Tift Merritt; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mel Tillis; Charlie Daniels

So who remembers Tift Merritt? Well, for those who do not, Tift was born in Houston, Texas and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2000, she won the MerleFest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest and in 2002 she released her debut album "Bramble Rose." The Associated Press called it the best new album of the year. Her follow up album, "Tambourine" was released in 2004 and was nominated for a Grammy Award in the best country album of the year category. In 2005, she was nominated by the American Music Association for Album of the Year, Artist of the Year and Song of the Year. Still active, she released her latest album in January 2017. 

From Saturday March 13, 1993, 25 years ago: 

1st show
6:30: Jack Greene (host); Jan Howard
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeannie Seely
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; Skeeter Davis; The Whites; The 4 Guys
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Roy Drusky; Hank Locklin; Brother Oswald
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Louvin; Jimmy C Newman; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Riders In The Sky; Charlie Walker; Bill Carlisle

9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Ray Pillow; The Whites
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jack Greene
10:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); Stonewall Jackson
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Osborne Brothers
10:45: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jeannie Seely; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Justin Tubb; Charlie Walker; Riders In The Sky
11:30: The 4 Guys (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Louvin; Roy Drusky

Looking back at the 2nd weekend in March, Saturday March 13, 1999 saw Trisha Yearwood become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. 

Whether belting out one of her signature hits on the Grand Ole Opry stage or writing a best-selling cookbook, Trisha Yearwood approaches everything she does with an abundance of passion, integrity, and talent. The Georgia native knew she wanted to be a country singer by the time she was five years old. Winning a talent contest in Macon at 16 served to further fuel her creative desires. As a teen, she talked her parents into a family vacation in Nashville and after seeing her heroes on stage at the Grand Ole Opry, she knew there was nothing else she wanted to do. 

She moved to Music City to attend Belmont University, took a job as a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and began pursuing her dream. She worked as a receptionist at MTM Records and began singing demos. She met Garth Brooks when the two were hired to sing a duet demo for songwriter Kent Blazy. Garth introduced her to his producer, Allen Reynolds, who introduced her to Garth Fundis, who would become her friend and longtime producer. After five years in Nashville, Trisha signed with MCA Records and her first single, "She's in Love With the Boy," rocketed to the top of the country charts in 1991. Since then, Trisha has populated country radio with such memorable hits as "Wrong Side of Memphis," "The Woman Before Me," "XXXs and OOOs (An American Girl)," "Thinkin' About You," "The Song Remembers When," "Walkaway Joe," and "How Do I Live," as well as hit singles recorded with Garth, now her husband. Trisha has won Grammy Awards and has been recognized as a top female vocalist by both the CMA and ACM. 

Among all the accomplishments and accolades, being a member of the Grand Ole Opry holds special significance for Trisha. "My mother came here on her senior class trip from South Georgia," she says. "She wrote in her diary about seeing Hank Snow, Hawkshaw Hawkins and all those people. When I was inducted as a member of the Opry in 1999, she brought her diary and got Hank Snow to sign it. So it's not only about me, it's also about my whole family."  

Trisha was invited to become an Opry member on Saturday January 16, 1999 by Ricky Skaggs. It was the weekend that the Opry returned to the Ryman Auditorium for the first time since it left in March 1974. I was there that night and it was a great feeling to be back. As to Trisha, and what I find interesting, is that she had wanted to be an Opry member for a long time prior to being asked. However, Bob Whittaker resisted asking. Bob retired in September 1998 and was replaced by Steve Buchanan who had responsibility of the Opry until Pete Fisher was hired in June 1999. One of Steve's first moves was to honor Trisha's request to become an Opry member. 

From 19 years ago, Saturday March 13, 1999:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Skeeter Davis: I'll Fly Away
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya/Cajun Stripper

6:45: National Corvette Museum
Jim Ed Brown (host): Looking Back to See/Morning/Pop A Top/The 3 Bells

7:00: Shoney's/Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited Too Long
Janie Fricke: Bouncing Back/Don't Worry "Bout Me Baby
Porter Wagoner: Fireball Mail/Night Train to Memphis/Cabin in Gloryland
Rick Wayne: On the Line
Randy Scruggs: Black Mountain Rag
Steve Wariner: Holes in the Floor of Heaven
Trisha Yearwood: Wrong Side of Memphis/She's In Love With the Boy/Sweet Dreams

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): No Fair Falling in Love
Marty Stuart: Southern Accent
John Prine: Paradise
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Opry Square Dance Band: Rachel
Bill Anderson: Still

8:30: Physicians Mutual
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed
Ricky Skaggs: Little Maggie
The Whites: I Hear the Wind 'A Blowing
Vince Gill: Pretty Little Adriana/When I Call Your Name

2nd show
9:30: Blue Green Vacation Resort Development
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jimmy C Newman: Good Deal, Lucille
Trisha Yearwood: A Perfect Love/How Do I Live/She's In Love With the Boy
Porter Wagoner: I'll Fly Away

10:00: Lincoln Mercury
Vince Gill (host): Don't Come Crying to Me
Randy Scruggs: Soldier's Joy
Vince Gill: Whenever You Come Around

10:15: Ray Stevens Show
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take An Old Cold Tater
Mike Snider & Marty Stuart: Rawhide
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way

10:30: Epiphone
Marty Stuart (host): Doin' My Time
John Prine: Grandpa Was A Carpenter
Marty Stuart & John Prine: Angel From Montgomery

10:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Ricky Skaggs (host): I'm Lost & I'll Never Find the Way
Jean Shepard: The Tennessee Waltz
Opry Square Dance Band: Durang's Hornpipe
Ricky Skaggs: Connemara

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): Po' Folks
Holly Dunn: Daddy's Hands
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues
Jeannie Seely: Make the World Go Away
Billy Walker: Come A Little Bit Closer
Bill Anderson: The Paper

11:30: Opry Book
Johnny Russell: Folsom Prison Blues
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Del Reeves: Splish; Splash/Answer the Phone/Hound Dog
Stonewall Jackson: A Wound Time Can't Erase
Johnny Russell: Wabash Cannonball

Interesting that the last hour of the 2nd show was filled with a lot of folks who only appeared on that 2nd show: Holly Dunn, John Conlee, Jeannie Seely, Billy Walker, Johnny Russell, Jack Greene, Stonewall and Del Reeves. Also, you will note that Trisha Yearwood made the mention of Hank Snow signing her mother's diary the night she became a member. However, Hank was last at the Opry in 1996, so obviously Trisha is a little confused. I am guessing Hank signed the book when Trisha made her Opry debut some years earlier. 

Also from the 2nd weekend in March, March 9, 1963 saw the Opry dedicating the show and remembering Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and Randy Hughes, all of whom had died earlier in the week from the tragic plane crash, along with Jack Anglin who had died the day before in a car accident. 

March 9, 1974 was the final Saturday night show at the Ryman Auditorium. The following week the Opry moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. It was also Bobby Bare's final night as an Opry member as he left the cast when the show moved. March 10, 1979 was the night of the famous James Brown appearance, set up by Porter Wagoner, and finally, March 9, 1996 was the final Saturday night that longtime Opry member Bill Monroe performed on the show. 

To finish it up for this week, let's go back to that final Saturday night at the Ryman, 44 years ago on Saturday March 9, 1974: 

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): Give Me 40 Acres
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Willis Brothers: Cool Water

6:45: Rudy's
Bobby Bare (host): Detroit City
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Ernie Ashworth: Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
Bobby Bare: The Mermaids

7:00: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Under the Double Eagle/Black Mountain Rag/Wildwood Flower
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Nine Pound Hammer
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: To My Mansion in the Sky
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeanne Pruett: You Don't Need to Move a Mountain
Lonzo & Oscar: Charming Betsy
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Roy Acuff: Back in the Country
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets

8:00: Martha White
Wilburn Brothers (host): Roll Muddy River
Justin Tubb: Rambling Man
Jody Miller: Good News
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Wilburn Brothers: Knoxville Girl
Justin Tubb: Texas Dance Hall Girl
Jody Miller: Let's All Go Down to the River

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Jan Howard: My Kind of People
The 4 Guys: Let Me Be There
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Hank Snow: Brand On My Heart
Jan Howard: Sunshine on My Shoulders
The 4 Guys: Top of the World
Hank Snow: Hello Love

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bobby Bare (host): Come Sundown
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Philadelphia Lawyer
Bobby Bare: Blowing in the Wind/Worried Man Blues/Gotta Travel On
Skeeter Willis: Maiden's Prayer
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Shall Not Be Moved
Bobby Bare & Bobby Bare, Jr: Daddy, What if?

10:00: Fender
Stu Phillips (host): Pride
Jody Miller: Darling, You Can Always Come Back Home
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): When I Lay My Burdens Down
Minnie Pearl: Jealous Loving Heart

10:30: Trailblazer
Wilburn Brothers (host): It Looks Like the Sun's Gonna Shine
Lonzo & Oscar: Traces of Life
Wilburn Brothers: God Bless American Again

10:45: Beech-Nut
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Jerry Clower: The Coon Hunt
Crook Brothers: Liberty
Hank Snow: How Great Thou Art

11:00: Coca-Cola 
Hank Snow (host): In the Misty Moonlight
Jan Howard: Where No One Stands Alone
The 4 Guys: Streaking With My Baby on a Bright & Sunny Afternoon
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbin' Ridge
Tanya Tucker: Delta Dawn
Sam McGee: Freight Train/ Victor Rag/I Don't Love Nobody
Hank Snow: I Don't Hurt Anymore

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): I Walk Alone
Jeanne Pruett: You Don't Need to Move a Mountain/Satin Sheets
Justin Tubb: Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Big Boss Man/I'm Wanting To/Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms/Love Me/Now Is the Hour

I think you can tell what a lot of Opry members felt about the Ryman as to who was, and was not there, that final Saturday night. 

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


  1. I think it's obvious why 2 shows this Saturday. Milsap is still considered a big enough name like say, Brad or Carrie to make them hope he'll sell tickets. I mean yes it's been over 20 years, but he is third on the list still of most #1s in country music history, and his cross over success was larger and longer lasting than most peoples. He still has a huge name.

  2. .....So who remembers Tift Merritt?....

    I do. And I remember her saying from the 'Opry stage (with a clear feeling of emotion) that "my parents are so proud" that she was singing on the stage of the 'Opry.
    Sounded sincere to me, and a lot better than "How you all doin'"

    I'm disappointed that there are so many tickets available for the second show.

  3. Gene Watson cancelled the Tuesday night taping of Larry's Country Diner (which was having its first show from the new CabaRay Theater). (CabaRay is owned by Ray Stevens and his showcase). Regarding the second show, seems odd about sales unless it was added very recently; often when we were attending the Opry and there were two show, we bought them at the same time. The Opryland Hotel and other places will start giving them away to put bodies in the seats!

  4. Went to the 'Opry website to look at Saturday's second show ticket availability.
    They will have to give away a LOT of empty seats, or the 'Opry House will be a complete ghost town.

    1. If you, in advance, could count on a 2nd Opry show, there would be more tickets sold when people plan their trips . This one was almost a surprise !!!!!! Flushing , Mich dashmann

  5. Hey Guys,

    The 2018 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees will be announced on Tuesday, March 27 and will be hosted by Garth Brooks, & Trisha Yearwood.

    1. My picks for the hall of fame will be Hank Jr., Dottie West,Archie Campbell,Bradley Kincaid,Don Rich,Tanya Tucker.

  6. Hmmm. If it's Garth and Trisha hosting, that means it can't be Trisha's year. Or can it?

    Is Garth hosting a clue? Garth went in the same year as Connie so maybe it's Marty's year. He's free that day. Garth and Steve Wariner are friends. Garth loves Buck so it could be Don Rich's year. Garth loves Keith Whitley and Lorrie's on the Opry that night.


  7. With Garth & Trisha both "hosting", it is possible there may be both a male and female inducted this year. While I believe the modern category is screaming Brooks & Dunn, there is a strong possibility of Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Marty Stuart or The Judds. The door on the Veterans category is so large I hate to open it. There was much controversy this past year when many realized Jerry Lee Lewis was not in the Hall of Fame; a possibility? But with Trisha included in the induction ceremony, there is a strong chance it is Crystal Gayle, Tanya Tucker or at long last Dottie West. Then you can't help but believe Ray Stevens, Hank, Jr. and The Gatlins aren't close to going in. For me personally, of those I mentioned, I believe Ricky Skaggs and Hank, Jr., should be the inductees. It's just time. In a perfect world, Bradley Kincaid & Stonewall Jackson would go in, but sadly those chances are probably at a zero. There has not been a tie since 2010, with Ferlin Husky and Jimmy Dean. Perhaps 2018 will be a lucky year like that.

  8. In other words, all we know is that we don't know! They do a good job of keeping it a secret, I will say that.

    By the way, Byron mentioned that second show on the night of Trisha Yearwood's induction. Two things. One, that was when the one-hour telecast looked nothing like the actual Opry, and a lot of those lineups were unbalanced. Two, wasn't that the last time Trisha did the Opry? Sarcasm alert!

  9. Anybody hear T. Graham Brown on the Midnight Jamboree? He was Joanne Cash Yates guest. Bob

  10. When discussing the voting for the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the politics involved, let's not forget the scandal that took place this past year involving Kirt Webster's Webster's Public Relations. Thanks to the agency's public relations efforts, a number of their clients were elected over the past several years to the Country Music Hall of Fame: Charlie Daniels, Kenny Rogers, Don Williams, Roy Clark and the Oak Ridge Boys to name several.

    Of bigger concern could be to the artists that they represented and are considered some of the top candidates for the Hall of Fame this year: Crystal Gayle, Tanya Tucker, Hank Williams, Jr. and The Judds, to name a few. Not saying at all that any of the agency's clients were involved in any of the activities or cover up that took place involving Kirt Webster, just that these artists will not have the agency behind them, promoting them. These artists have all signed with other agencies, but how much influence those representatives will have on the voters, as Kirt did, remains to be seen.

    As to Garth and Trisha hosting, I don't believe it means anything. When looking at the host of the ceremony in the past, the names have included Kix Brooks, Brenda Lee, Vince Gill, Bill Anderson among others. I would be surprised if Garth and Trisha even would know who the new inductees are until the morning of the announcement. I do think that the Hall did well in getting those two involved in the announcement.

    Favorites: who knows. There are surprises every year and I have given up trying to guess. Whoever it is, I know they all will be deserving.

  11. Byron,

    Has anything of not like the Webster deal ever happened before. I guess I missed this, didn't realize there was anything that bad that went on. Too bad because some could see that as a black cloud over these members.

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Just to clarify, Kirt Webster did what a good public relations guy should be doing: promoting his artists. It just seemed like that over the past several years, artists that were associated with his agency were considered favorites to get elected.

      The scandal that took place did not involve any Hall of Fame voting or any irregularities involving voting. I just wanted to make that clear.

    2. Thanks Byron, I guess my lack of knowledge or understanding served a purpose.

      Knightsville, IN