Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 4/13 & 4/14

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend and during this week's Friday Night Opry, Diamond Rio will be celebrating 20 years as members of the Grand Ole Opry as they joined the Opry cast on April 18, 1998.

Diamond Rio, consisting of Marty Roe, Jimmy Olander, Gene Johnson, Dan Truman, Dana Williams, and Brian Prout, made their first Opry appearance in October 1991 and in 1998 became the first group since The Whites, who joined in 1984, to receive Opry membership. With their lighter-than-air harmonies and intricately woven instrumentation, this six-man group has been turning songs into standards since its 1991 debut album helped define the "young country" movement. Diamond Rio has been awarded Top Vocal Group honors a total of six times from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. The group has sold more than 10 million records, earning five gold and three platinum albums in the process.

Diamond Rio evolved from the Tennessee River Boys, a band that performed at the former Opryland theme park. Singer Marty Roe, guitarist Jimmy Olander and keyboardist Dan Truman left that group to form their own in 1986. Drummer Brian Prout and mandolin player Gene Johnson joined the new band in 1987. Bassist Dana Williams, a nephew of Opry members Sonny and Bobby Osborne, came on board two years later.

In 1991, Diamond Rio's first single, "Meet in the Middle," went to No. 1, the first group in country music history to top the charts with its debut. The band followed "Meet in the Middle" with the hits "Mirror, Mirror" and "Mama Don't Forget to Pray for Me." In all, Diamond Rio has placed more than 30 singles on Billboard magazine's country charts, including such chart-toppers as "How Your Love Makes Me Feel, "Beautiful Mess," and "I Believe." The 2001 hit ballad "One More Day" became a key song of healing after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The group's members told their story in an autobiography titled after one of their most popular hits, "A Beautiful Mess."

Joining Diamond Rio on the Friday Night Opry will be Grand Ole Opry members Connie Smith, Mike Snider, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, Riders In The Sky, Crystal Gayle, Craig Morgan, and Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press. Nice to see that 9 of the 12 acts scheduled are Opry members. The three guest artists all have appeared on the Opry before: Delta Rae, Love and Theft, and Mark Wills, who continues to be a regular guest on the Opry.

Friday April 13
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Love and Theft; Mike Snider
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Delta Rae
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Mark Wills; Crystal Gayle
8:45: Craig Morgan (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Diamond Rio

I wanted to mention Opry member Ricky Skaggs. For Ricky, this will be his 15th Opry appearance of the year, with only Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider and The Whites having appeared more. And while Ricky is starting to get up there in age, he still maintains a full touring schedule. It is really nice to see Ricky supporting the Opry as 2018 continues. It is also nice to see one of the Opry's newer members, Crystal Gayle, continue to support the show. Her appearances add a lot to the Opry line-ups.

Now to Saturday night were two artists will be making their Grand Ole Opry debuts. Beth Nielsen Chapman, a veteran in the music city, will be appearing for the first time on the Opry, along with the newest internet sensation Mason Ramsey. Mason has the nickname of "Yodeling Walmart Boy," who at the age of 11 recently appeared on the Ellen show, where he received an invitation to appear on the Grand Ole Opry. His most famous song, so far, is Hank Williams "Lovesick Blues." Dreams do come true and I hope Mason will enjoy this special moment in his young life.

Joining Beth and Mason on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will be Opry members Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Lorrie Morgan, Jesse McReynolds, Riders In The Sky, The Whites and Ricky Skaggs. Also guesting will be Natalie Stovall, Point Of Grace, and David Ball. David will also be hosting the Midnight Jamboree.

Saturday April 14
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); David Ball; Mike Snider
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Natalie Stovall; Jesse McReynolds
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Beth Nielsen Chapman; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Mason Ramsey; Point Of Grace

As mentioned, this will be the Grand Ole Opry debut for Beth Nielsen Chapman, who is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Her writing credits include Faith Hill's "This Kiss," Martina McBride's "Happy Girl," Lorrie Morgan's "Five Minutes," Willie Nelson's "Nothing I Can Do About It Now," Tanya Tucker's "Strong Enough to Bend," and Trisha Yearwood's "Down on My Knees." That is just a sampling of the hits she has written. She will be making numerous appearances in Nashville over the next several weeks in support of her new album "Hearts of Glass" which will be released later this month.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of April 11 & 12, 2008:

Friday April 11
8:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Rebecca Lynn Howard; T.G. Sheppard
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jamey Johnson
9:00: Jean Shepard (host); Carolina Rain; Gibson Brothers
9:30: Marty Stuart (host); Gene Watson; Josh Turner

Saturday April 12
1st show
6:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Wrights
7:00: Jason Aldean; Jewel; Jason Michael Carroll; John Anderson
8:00: Ray Pillow (host); Charlie Louvin; Jamey Johnson; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Joe Nichols

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); The Wrights; Jason Michael Carroll
10:00: Jeannie Seely (host); John Anderson; Jewel
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jason Aldean; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ray Pillow (host); Jamey Johnson; Joe Nichols

From 25 years ago, April 10, 1993, the 2nd Saturday in April:

1st show
6:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); The 4 Guys
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Jean Shepard; David Houston; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); Skeeter Davis; Jim & Jesse; Ronnie Milsap
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Charlie Walker; Del Reeves; Stonewall Jackson; Opry Square Dancers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Brother Oswald; Billy Walker; Jimmy C Newman; Bill Carlisle

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Roy Drusky; Jan Howard; Ronnie Milsap
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Hank Locklin
10:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); John Conlee
10:30: Jack Greene (host); Jean Shepard
10:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; David Houston; Ray Pillow
11:30: Del Reeves (host); Bill Carlisle; Skeeter Davis; Johnny Russell

Let me point out that the only non-Opry member on the show that night was Brother Oswald, who himself would become an Opry member in January 1995.

Looking back, it was 33 years ago, Saturday April 13, 1985 that the Grand Ole Opry was televised on TNN (The Nashville Network) for the 1st time. Those early shows on TNN were very basic. They stuck a couple of cameras on the stage and showed a 30 minute segment as it happened, minus the commercials. Originally, it was the 7:00 segment that was televised, later switching to the 7:30 portion. One special occasions, such as that first night, an entire hour was televised. As time went on, the production qualities got better, and more non-Opry members began appearing on the show. The shows continued on TNN until 2001 when the network switched formats and the Opry moved to CMT (Country Music Television).

For those who remember those early shows on TNN, they were fun to watch as you never knew what might happen. For example, the hosts, particularly Bill Monroe, would sometimes not look at the camera or go to a commercial naming the radio sponsor. Other times the timing would be off, with the segment either signing off in the middle of a song, or early with the television audience staring at at a red curtain. And let's not forget that there were times when the segment before the televised one would run over, with the announcers killing time. Management quickly figured out who made good television hosts and who did not. If it was an important show, such as the birthday bash or a new member, you could count on Roy Acuff hosting. Those were the days.

Here is the running order from Saturday April 13, 1985 when the Opry was first televised on TNN, an hour long show with the first 30 minutes hosted by Roy Acuff, and the second 30 by Porter Wagoner.

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Stonewall Jackson (host): Muddy Water
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Stonewall Jackson: The Rounder Called Cotton-Eyed Joe

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
Wilma Lee Cooper: Bury Me Beneath the Willow
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Joe Edwards: Ida Red

7:00: Shoney's
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
The 4 Guys: Shenandoah
Connie Smith: Once A Day/Louisiana Man
Minnie Pearl: Jealous Hearted Me
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'all Come
Dottie West: Ain't Nothing Like A Woman/A Lesson in Leaving/Here Comes My Baby
Jack Greene: Looking Back is Easier
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Eighth of January
Porter Wagoner: Everything I've Always Wanted

8:00: Martha White
Bill Monroe (host): My Rose of Old Kentucky/Blue Moon of Kentucky
Ray Pillow: The Days When You Were Still in Love With Me
Jeannie Seely: (?)
Ed Bruce: When You Fall in Love; Everything's a Waltz. Giving Up Was Easy
Bill Monroe: Little Joe/Wheel Hoss

8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): Forever and One Day
Jan Howard: Why Lady Why
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Hank Snow: Nevertheless

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Dottie West: It's High Time/Blue Fiddle Waltz
The 4 Guys: Give Me Just One More Chance/Halfway to Paradise
Right Combination: Woke Up in Love
Porter Wagoner: Everything I've Always Wanted

10:00: Little Debbie
Charlie Walker (host): San Antonio Rose
Lorrie Morgan: Crazy
Charlie Walker: My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You

10:15: Sunbeam
Jack Greene (host): Walking on New Grass
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Jack Greene: Statue of a Fool

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Wilma Lee Cooper: A Daisy A Day
Roy Acuff: That's the Man I'm Looking For/I'll Fly Away

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bill Monroe (host): The Old, Old House
Connie Smith: Walkin' After Midnight
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Blake Williams: Bluegrass Breakdown

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Down the Trail of Aching Hearts
Jan Howard: My Baby's Got Good Timein'
George Hamilton IV: Abilene
Ed Bruce: When You Fall in Love, Everything's A Waltz/Giving Up Was Easy
Hank Snow: There's A Fool Such as I

11:30: Quincy's
Osborne Brothers (host): Listening to the Rain
Ray Pillow: You're One Memory That I'd Like to Make Again
Jeannie Seely: Tell Me Again
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Osborne Brothers: Nobody's Darling But Mine/Katy Hill

Finally, it was 27 years ago, Saturday April 13, 1991 that the Grand Ole Opry had the last of their "official" reunion shows. The first one took place in February 1974 and it allowed the Opry to invite many of the former members to perform on the show one last time before moving to the new Grand Ole Opry House. The show was such a success that it was scheduled every year thereafter, generally in April. Many former Grand Ole Opry members appeared on these reunion shows including Alcyone Beasley, DeFord Bailey, Curly Fox, Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright, Sid Harkreader, Pee Wee King, Duke of Paducah, Clyde Moody, Zeke Clements, and so many others. At times, these shows were referred to as "Old-Timer's Night" as many of those who returned were original members of the WSM Barn Dance. By 1991, most of those old-timers had passed away and there were fewer and fewer former members returning. In fact, the only former Opry members who returned for the 1991 show were Zeke Clements, Faron Young, Margie Bowes and Pee Wee King.

Here is the running order from that final official reunion show, April 13, 1991:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Grandpa Jones (host): Ball Headed End of A Broom
Bill Anderson: Still
Grandpa Jones: Dear Old Sunny South by the Sea

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Bill Monroe (host): Blue Moon of Kentucky
Ricky Skaggs: Let It Be You/Honey, Open that Door
Bill Monroe: Southern Flavor

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Coming
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
Jan Howard: Heartaches by the Number
Jim & Jesse: It's A Lonesome Feeling
The Whites: He Took Your Place
Porter Wagoner: Ol' Slewfoot

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy Dickens (host): Country Boy
Margie Bowes: When I Call Your Name
Zeke Clements: No More Smoke on the Water
Faron Young: Wine Me Up/Hello Walls
Jimmy Dickens: Another Bridge to Burn

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Pee Wee King: Tennessee Waltz
Charlie Louvin: When You Can Only Dream that Far/When I Stop Dreaming
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Bill Cheatham

8:30: Pops Rite
Hank Snow (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Skeeter Davis: Who's Gonna Tell Marie
Ray Pillow: That Ain't No Way to Treat My Heart
Riders In The Sky: How the Yodel was Born
John Conlee: Common Man
Hank Snow: My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Country Music Has Gone to Town
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Picture on the Wall
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/He is My Everything
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young
The Whites: Doing It By the Book
Porter Wagoner: I'll Go Down Swinging

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Better Time's A' Comin'
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water
Jeannie Seely: One Step Away from Coming Home
Grandpa Jones: The Sweet Sunny South

10:15: Tennessee Pride
Roy Acuff (host): I'll Fly Away
Faron Young: It's Four in the Mornin/After the Loving/Hello Walls

10:30: Pet Milk
Ricky Skaggs (host): He Was Onto Something
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Ricky Skaggs: Lovin' Only Me

10:45: B.C. Powder
Bill Anderson (host): Son of the South
Jim & Jesse: Dream of Me
Opry Square Dance Band/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Rachel
Bill Anderson: Thank You Darling for Loving Me

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Frankie & Johnny
Jimmy Dickens: Me & My Big Loud Mouth
Justin Tubb: Keep Me From Blowing Away
John Conlee: Common Man/Rose Colored Glasses
Hank Snow: Whispering Rain

11:30: Creamette
Bill Monroe (host): Old Dangerfield
Mike Snider: Shuckin' the Corn
Charlie Louvin: In the Pines
Riders In The Sky: When the Bloom Is on the Sage
Charlie Walker: Deep Water
Bill Monroe: Dark as the Night; Blue as the Day

Wouldn't it be nice if the Opry would have another reunion show? There are still a few former and retired Opry members around: Barbara Mandrell, Jeanne Pruett, Ricky Van Shelton, Tom T Hall, Stonewall Jackson, Jan Howard, Norma Jean, Jim & Chuck Glaser, Leroy Van Dyke, Doug Kershaw, Don Everly, The 4 Guys, B.J. Thomas, Willie Nelson, Margie Bowes just to name a few.

Take care, have a great week, and enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. Did you by chance write that last part before last Saturday?

    1. You caught me!!! Yes, I did and it is corrected.

  2. Some will no doubt have an issue with the Opry having Mason Ramsey on the Saturday night show. The young man is talented, earnest and loves the Opry, but many will argue that he has not begun to pay his dues and that others are more deserving of the slot. While this may be true, inviting Mason to appear provides the Opry with widespread public attention as Mason is one of the hottest things going in social media today. The move makes the Opry look current and may provide an entry point for others to experience the Grand Ole Opry who may never have heard of it. And the kid is undeniably country! I think it's a great move by Opry management.

    1. I certainly get why some would make that argument, but my issue with it is that it assumes that Mason is replacing or bumping one of those people who did pay their dues. However, when you look at almost any Opry lineup in the last couple years, I get the sense that the Opry would love to be able to add 1-2 (or more) artists to each lineup, especially when they have so few that they go to the 1 hour segments. Instead, artists are getting a 3rd or 4th song to fill time because they can't come up with 12 artists in every show. Now, maybe I'm wrong and the Opry is saying no to worthy artists, but it just doesn't seem like it to me.

    2. @Woody - Mason Ramsey was on Ellen's tv show the other day and one of his wishes was to be on the Grand Ole Opry - Ellen told Mason that she has many "connections" and she was able to get him on the Opry for this coming Saturday night. The first thing he did? Started to cry from happiness. Can he yodel? Oh yes he can. Is he on the best segment of the night? Oh yes he is and why? Country Music Hall of Famer Ricky Skaggs will be the host of that last half hour - he seems to enjoy having these kids be on his segment i.e. Fiddlin' Carson Peters and now Mason Ramsey.

      You go Mason!!! Enjoy your time on the Opry; I will be listening in to hear you!!! :-)


  3. I personally am excited by what I'm starting to see with the lineups.
    Lots of traditional country acts, fewer "Nashville" TV stars, and young folks who seem to understand the music most of us love.
    I would love to attend either of these weekend shows.
    Keep up the good work 'Opry.

  4. Forgot to mention that there seem to be more folks on the shows, more with three acts every half hour instead of just two.

  5. First. In my day to day life, I am an educator. You guys WOULD NOT BELIEVE the amount of 14 to 18 year old kids, who don't even know the name Hank Williams that are currently walking around singing "Love Sick Blues" and really REALLY liking it! That alone is reason enough to give this Mayson kid his dream. That's another thing! He's 11 years old, AND IT'S HIS DREAM! First, how many 11 year olds today can even tell you what the Opry is, let alone say it's their biggest dream to perform there? I promise ya folks the list is really REALLY short!
    Second. Are we all forgetting that the opry is not always suppose to be a place you have to have a hit to play? Uncle Jimmie was an old man from the hills! Dolly was just a kid just like Mayson who was a fan and asked to sing! Josh turner had no deal, no hit song at all at his debut! Mr. Accuff was unknown! So, this logic actually goes against the fundamental way the show started. YOU GO YOUNG MAN! Show the young folks what country is in a way none of us EVER COULD! Live your dream while you're young! Stand in that circle realizing more, FAR MORE of why you're there and what it means than most!

  6. Just wanted to make clear...I am 100% in favor of the Opry's decision to invite Mason Ramsey to appear on the Saturday night show. 100%! I teared up watching the kid on Ellen. As I said, he is talented, earnest and loves the Opry. It is GREAT to hear that others on here feel the same way! I will definitely be listening with excitement as Ricky (who has walked in those boots) brings him on stage!

  7. Jesse McReynolds cancelled tonight. Both he and his wife Joy posted that Jesse was a little dizzy today and wanted to take it easy. Hopefully nothing serious and Jesse will be back next week.

  8. He was very good. Crowd really responded.

  9. This is what makes the Opry so great: a 102 year old and an 11 year old both performing on the same night.

    1. And I thought both were equally as terrific.

      Violet really kept Mike Snider on his toes with all of her funny quips and she was so good on the fiddle - then I heard one or two more fiddles chime in - sounded so sweet.

      And I totally enjoyed Mason Ramsey - he's the "Emisunshine" of a few years ago - very comfortable on stage and towards their audience and the audience responded very well towards him. I sure could tell just how much Ricky Skaggs enjoyed having Mason on his segment. He took the time to chat with him and have him perform another song. So much fun ... last night will stay with Mason for the rest of his life, no matter where life takes him. I only wish great things for him.

      Looking forward to the ACM's tonight; the newest Opry member, Chris Janson, has the "coveted" last spot on the show tonight as I read - I have never heard that the last performance is coveted - would anyone happen to know what makes it so coveted - that the last performance would be the most remembered one? Not for me - I will always remember the BEST performance of the night regardless of where it fell in within the 3-hour span of time. The song he is going to do is supposed to be a wildly popular one when he is in concert. You go Chris!!! He will be in the Chicago area in July; planning on seeing him in full concert and I am so looking forward to seeing him. I've been a big fan of his since his first Opry performance five years ago.


  10. Who was on with Mike? I thought it was the lady that was on with him about a year ago that played and made her own fiddles? I did not have the internet up and WSM was not coming in so good.

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Jim, it was Violet Hensley. And yes, she is the female fiddle maker from the Ozark Mountains.

  11. Did anybody listen to the WSM broadcast of the Daryle Singletary tribute? I thought it was fantastic. One standing ovation after another. Bob

    1. The broadcast of the tribute is repeated today at 3:00 PM Central time on WSM. Bob

  12. Listened to the Daryle Singletary tribute today.
    Thanks for the heads up on the rebroadcast.

    Eddie Stubbs gave one of the best prayers I've heard in a long time. He would be a fine preacher. I'm not joking, it was a very moving prayer.

    And all of the performers did a great job of showing their admiration of Daryle and traditional country music.

    1. Nat: Your Welcome. Glad you got to listen to it. Your right about the prayer from Eddie. It was SUPER. Standing Ovation for Eddie. Bob