Thursday, April 26, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 4/27 & 4/28


Here are the line-ups:

Friday April 27
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Brooke Eden; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); A Thousand Horses; Eric Paslay
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Lynda Carter
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Carson Peters & Iron Mountain; Charles Esten

Saturday April 28
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); Lee Roy Parnell; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Mark Wills
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Bobby Bones; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Linda Davis

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Lee Roy Parnell; Mike Snider
10:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Mark Wills
10:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Bobby Bones; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Linda Davis

Friday night looks the better of the two nights this weekend and still plenty of tickets available for the 2nd show on Saturday.

As I write this post, the Grand Ole Opry line-ups have not yet been posted for this weekend. There is one show on Friday night and for this weekend, there are two shows on Saturday night, with lots of tickets available for the 2nd show.

Looking at those who are scheduled for the Friday Night Opry, the list is led by Hall of Fame member Vince Gill. Vince might have a tough decision to make as the Nashville Predators open the next round of the NHL playoffs on Friday night, with the game starting at 8:00 at the Bridgestone Arena. Most of you probably know that Vince is a big hockey fan and attends most of the games when he is in town. If he is planning on being downtown by face-off, his Opry appearance might have to be scheduled early in the show.

Other Opry members scheduled to appear include John Conlee, Riders In The Sky, and Mike Snider. Guest artists include A Thousand Horses, Eric Paslay, Charles Esten, Carson Peters and Iron Mountain, Brook Eden and "Wonder Woman" herself, Lynda Carter. A pretty solid list of names.

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry has Opry members Ricky Skaggs, Riders In The Sky, John Conlee, Mike Snider and The Whites currently listed for both shows. Guest artists include Bobby Bones and Mark Wills. Obviously a few spots to fill.


Wrapping up the month of April, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from the final weekend of the month ten years ago, the weekend of April 25 & 26, 2008:

Friday April 25
8:00: The Whites (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Dailey & Vincent
9:00: Ray Pillow (host); Ernie Ashworth; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys
9:30: John Conlee (host); Eddy Raven; Kathy Mattea

Saturday April 26
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Rebecca Lynn Howard
7:00: Trace Adkins (host); Ashton Shepherd; The Infamous Stringdusters; Crystal Gayle
8:00: Ray Pillow (host); Jan Howard; Eddy Raven; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: The Whites (host); Elizabeth Cook; The Grascals

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Crystal Gayle
10:00: Trace Adkins (host); The Infamous Stringdusters; Ashton Shepherd
10:30: Ray Pillow (host); Eddy Raven; Rebecca Lynn Howard; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: The Whites (host); Elizabeth Cook; The Grascals

Now from 25 years ago, the final Saturday in April 1993:

1st show
6:30: The 4 Guys (host); Teddy Wilburn
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jim Ed Brown
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Billy Walker; Charlie Louvin; Riders In The Sky
7:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jan Howard; Ray Pillow; Mark Collie
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Del Reeves; Oswald & Charlie; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Skeeter Davis; Bill Carlisle; Wilma Lee Cooper; Roy Drusky

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; Jeannie Seely; Stonewall Jackson; Mark Collie
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Riders In The Sky
10:15: Charlie Walker (host); The 4 Guys
10:30: Del Reeves (host); Charlie Louvin
10:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Roy Drusky; Jan Howard; Justin Tubb; Jimmy C Newman
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Skeeter Davis; Bill Carlisle; Mike Snider

Looking back to that final weekend in April, it was on Saturday April 28, 1973 that Conway Twitty made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Many have thought it should have come sooner.

And remembering back 52 years to Saturday April 30, 1966 when Ray Pillow became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Ray Pillow recalls it was his Uncle Roger who introduced him to music and was responsible for his first public performance. "I sort of got talked into substituting for a sick member of my uncle's band one night," Ray recalls. "When I walked out on stage to the microphone, I knew that was what I wanted to do for a lifetime! Music!." Thirty five years after joining the Opry, Ray got to introduce his 87-year-old uncle to the Opry stage. "I told the people that my uncle was the person that believed in me and wanted me to come to Nashville. I handed him a guitar and said Uncle Roger, you and I are going to sing." He brought the house down and got a standing ovation.

Ray came to Nashville in 1961 as a regional winner in the Pet Milk Talent Contest. He came in second in the national finals, and his performance landed him a guest spot on the Opry. That stoked his desire even more for a country music career. He soon released his first two singles, "Take You Hands Off My Heart," and "Thank You, Ma'am." In 1965 Capital Records released his first album "Presenting Ray Pillow" and by late 1968 he was a star. That was the year he teamed with Opry member Jean Shepard on a pair of hits, the Top 10 "I'll Take the Dog," and "Mr. Do-It-Yourself." Between those two singles he became an official Opry member.

In addition to his own performing career, Ray has helped shape the professional paths of others including Lee Greenwood. His publishing company published many of Lee's hits including the 1985 Country Music Association Song of the Year, "God Bless the USA." Ray is well known on Music Roy as a publisher who can match the right artist with the right song and recording company. In 1994 the state of Virginia added him to its Country Music Hall of Fame.

Here is the running order from Saturday April 30, 1966, the night Ray Pillow became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

7:30: Luzianne
Billy Walker (host): How Do You Ask Someone to Love You
George Hamilton IV: Big Steel Railroad
The Homesteaders: Flowers on the Wall
Cousin Jody: Steel Guitar Rag
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Curly Fox: Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey
George Hamilton IV: Write Me a Picture
The Homesteaders: Doing Down the Mountain
Billy Walker: Charlie's Shoes

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): Nine Pound Hammer
Bobby Bare: Four Strong Winds
Grandpa Jones: (?)
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
Flatt & Scruggs: I Know What it Means to Be Lonesome
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Bobby Bare: Detroit City
Grandpa Jones: Old Rattler
Flatt & Scruggs: Foggy Mountain Breakdown

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Tennessee Central No. 9
Wilburn Brothers: It's Another World
Marion Worth: One Has My Name, The Other My Heart
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Roy Acuff: Wreck on the Highway
Wilburn Brothers: Trouble's Back in Town
Brother Oswald: Roll On Buddy, Roll On

9:00: Pet Milk
Ernest Tubb (host): Jealous Lovin' Heart
Glaser Brothers: A Girl Like You
Ray Pillow: Common Colds & Broken Hearts
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Margie Bowes: That Completely Destroyed My Plans
Glaser Brothers: Teardrops Till Dawn
Ray Pillow: Even the Bad Times Are Good
Leon Rhodes: Leon's Guitar Boogie

9:30: Kellogg's
Willis Brothers (host): Give Me 40 Acres
Carter Family: It Ain't Me Babe
Waylon Jennings: Time to Bum Again
June Carter: Tall Loverman
Willis Brothers: Love Thy Neighbor
Harold Weakley: To Mommy, In Care of God
Carter Family: Wildwood Flower
Skeeter Davis: A Maiden's Prayer

10:00: Schick
Billy Walker (host): Cross the Brazos at Waco
Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule
Cousin Jody: Wabash Blues
Billy Walker: Cattle Call

10:15: Pure
Wilburn Brothers (host): I'm Gonna Tie One on Tonight
Del Wood: Night Train to Memphis
Wilburn Brothers: Someone Before Me
Don Helms: The World is Waiting for the Sunrise

10:30: Harvey's
Bobby Bare (host): Man of Constant Sorrow
Grandpa Jones: I Don't Love Nobody
Bobby Bare: 500 Miles
Grandpa Jones: 8 More Miles to Louisville
Bobby Bare: It Ain't Me Babe/Blowing in the Wind/Worried Man Blues

10:45: Newport
Ernest Tubb (host): Till My Getup Has Got Up and Gone
Jack Greene: Born to Lose
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Ernest Tubb: Half A Mind

11:00: Coca-Cola
Roy Acuff (host): The Great Speckled Bird
Glaser Brothers: Same Old Memories
Margie Bowes: Big City
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Sam McGee: Wheels
Ray Pillow: Thank You, Ma'am
Onie Wheeler: Too Hot to Handle

11:30: Lava
Willis Brothers (host): Gonna Swing Till My Rope Breaks
George Hamilton IV: Abilene
Waylon Jennings: Anita, You're Dreaming
Archie Campbell: The Men in My Little Girl's Life
Willis Brothers: A 6 Ft 2 by 4
Marion Worth: Cryin' Time
George Hamilton IV: Truck Driving Man
Willis Brothers: God Walks These Hills with Me

There you have it for this week. Congratulations to Ray Pillow on his 52nd anniversary as an Opry member.

I will be off this weekend, thus the short post. If I get a chance to update, I will try (at least to get the full line-ups posted).

Have a great weekend!!!


  1. Byron, do you have the lineup for when Conway Twitty appeared? Also, what took so long to get him on? What are your thoughts?

    1. Yes, I do have that lineup and will post it when I get back Sunday night. Not sure as to why it took him so long to appear on the Opry.

      Also, Vince canceled for tonight. Replaced by Jeannie Seely.

    2. As much as I enjoy Conway, I've always been told there was a Elder of the Opry that didn't want a "rocker turned Country" on the Opry. The same gentleman didn't like Bob Luman very well either. And I have nothing against the Elder. He had his believes and stood firm on them, and the Opry remained so wonderful as long as he was alive.
      It's funny because up to point (73) Conway was not very controversial. This was the same year "You've Never Been This Far Before" came out, and made him the "country king of the bedroom" so to speak.
      Conway had a reputation of not kissing butt. He never won a solo CMA award until he was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame.
      This first appearance I believe was to boost his daughter, Joni. Who appeared with him if memory serves me right.
      I would be curious to know how many times Conway did play the Opry. My guess is 5 or less. Maybe a few more.

    3. David, for what it's worth, I've seen a clip of Bob Luman performing where he needed an instrumentalist and used a band member who worked for the elder I think you're thinking of. So maybe that "feuding" was a little more for show or eventually wore off?

    4. Perhaps you are referring to one of the best videos on youtube....

    5. David, I would have to look up Conway's appearances, but I would say that 5 would probably be on the high side. Thinking off the top of my head, I can't even think of another time he was on the Opry, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was on one of the TNN Opry shows. Just my guess.

    6. Here is the lineup from Conway's 1st Opry appearance:

      1st show
      6:30: Billy Grammer (host); Willis Brothers
      6:45: Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host); Stan Hitchcock
      7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Lonzo & Oscar; Del Wood; Mary Lou Turner; Jimmy Gately
      7:30: Archie Campbell (host); Jimmy C Newman; Ray Pillow; Crook Brothers; Tommy Jones
      8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Bobby Lewis; Conway Twitty; Kathy Twitty
      8:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Stu Phillips; 4 Guys; Fruit Jar Drinkers

      2nd show
      9:30: Billy Grammer (host); Willis Brothers; Lonzo & Oscar; Del Wood
      10:00: Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host); Ray Pillow
      10:15: Archie Campbell (host); Stan Hitchcock; Tommy Jones
      10:30: Roy Acuff (host); Conway Twitty; Kathy Twitty
      10:45: Ernest Tubb (host); Bobby Lewis; Crook Brothers
      11:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Louie Roberts; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
      11:30: Stu Phillips (host); 4 Guys; Diane Jordan

      Really thin as to Opry members. A lot of the big names missing.

      As for Conway, on the first show he did "She Needs Someone to Hold Her" "Hello Darling" and with his daughter he did "Don't Cry Joni" and "Jackson." On the 2nd show, he did "Baby's Gone" and "She Needs Someone to Hold Her" and with Kathy he did "Don't Cry Joni" and "Daddy Frank."

    7. Funny thing. Byron is right: "Really thin as to Opry members." And more than twice as many as usually appear on a show today.

  2. Bobby Bones.
    Sorry I missed that! :)