Thursday, April 5, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 4/6 & 4/7

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend and as usual, there is a lot of variety as  both nights will feature Hall of Fame members, comedy, bluegrass, classic country and newcomers, including one who will be making her Grand Ole Opry debut.

The Friday Night Opry will feature Grand Ole Opry members Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, Connie Smith, Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Steve Wariner, and returning to the Opry after being off last week, Jesse McReynolds. Jesse wrote that he was feeling a little under the weather last weekend, which led to his cancellation. The Whites, Jeannie, Mike, and Connie will also be appearing on Saturday night, and they will be joined by Bobby Osborne and Riders In The Sky.

Guest artists on Friday night include veterans Mark Wills, Restless Heart and Chuck Wicks, along with newcomers Cassadee Pope and Charlie Worsham. Charlie will also be appearing on Saturday night, joined by Hall of Famer Don Schlitz (repeating his appearance from last week), Stephanie Quayle, who will be making her Opry debut, and former Opry member and Hall of Fame member Bobby Bare, who will be appearing with his son, Bobby Bare, Jr. While it would be nice to hear them do "Daddy, What If"" again, somehow I don't think it would sound quite the same as it did back in 1974 when Bobby Jr. was eight years old.

Bobby Bare Jr. is now 51 years old and grew up in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in psychology. Bobby Jr. started his professional music career at the age of 30 when he said that he was someone who avoided "working a real job at any cost." In the 1990s, he led the roots rock group Bare, Jr., which was signed to Immortal Records, releasing two records. He also fronted a band called the Young Criminals Starvation League, and they released three studio albums. In 2010 he self-released "Storm-A Tree-My Mother's Head." Most of his songs incorporate humor and references to popular culture (sounds like his dad), with Shel Silverstein being a major influence on his career and songwriting. (Silverstein wrote "Daddy, What If?"). Bobby Jr. continues to record and make music, and has also worked on producing.

Friday April 6
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Mark Wills
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Cassadee Pope; Restless Heart
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds; Chuck Wicks
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Mike Snider; Charlie Worsham

Saturday April 7
7:00: The Whites (host); Mike Snider; Stephanie Quayle
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Bare w/Bobby Bare, Jr.
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Don Schlitz; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charlie Worsham

As mentioned, this will be the Grand Ole Opry debut for Stephanie Quayle. Stephanie, who is from Bozeman, Montana, was listed by Rolling Stone in May 2017 as one of the Top 10 artists to watch. She has toured with Chase Rice, LoCash, and Trace Adkins among others. In 2016 she released "Drinking with Dolly" which reached the Top 50 on Billboard's Indicator Chart. Her latest studio album, "Love the Way You See Me" was released in September 2017.

Now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from the first weekend in April ten years ago, the weekend of April 4 & 5, 2008:

Friday April 4
8:00: John Conlee (host); The Whites; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Wills
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Del McCoury Band
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; Terri Clark
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Tim Hensley; Emerson Drive

Saturday April 5
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jeff & Sheri Easter
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Restless Heart
8:00: Mel Tillis (host); Stu Phillips; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Mark Wills

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mel McDaniel; Jimmy C Newman
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Restless Heart
10:30: Mel Tillis (host); Jan Howard; Jeff & Sheri Easter; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Mark Wills

From Saturday April 3, 1993, the 1st Saturday in April 25 years ago:

1st show
6:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jan Howard
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Brother Oswald; The 4 Guys; Osborne Brothers; Jeannie Seely
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Sons of the San Joaquin; Colin Raye
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; Jimmy C Newman

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Stonewall Jackson; The 4 Guys; Charlie Walker; Sons of the San Joaquin
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
10:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); Colin Raye
10:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bill Carlisle
10:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith; Jim Ed Brown; Mike Snider
11:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Osborne Brothers; Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; Johnny Russell

For those who do not remember, Sons of the San Joaquin was a Western family band consisting of Jack, Joe, and Lon Hannah. They played in the style of the Sons of the Pioneers, and Roy Rogers called them "the only singing group alive who I feel sound like the original Sons of the Pioneers." They were inducted into the Western Music Association Hall of Fame in 2006, and several of their albums have been given awards by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Looking back to the first weekend in April, it was Saturday April 3, 1982 that one of the Opry's original members, DeFord Bailey made his final Grand Ole Opry appearance as part of that year's reunion show.

DeFord Bailey was born on December 14, 1899 in Smith County, Tennessee. At the age of three he contracted polio and was confined to bed for a year. It was during this time that DeFord learned to play the harmonica and developed his unique style of playing. In 1918, he moved to Nashville and began to perform locally.

DeFord was discovered on the streets of Nashville by WSM Barn Dance regular Dr. Humphrey Bate, who brought him to the Opry, sponsoring him. He first appeared on June 19, 1926. On December 10, 1927, he debuted his trademark song, "Pan American Blues. It was George D. Hay, who one evening said prior to the start of the WSM Barn Dance on WSM, "For the past hour, we have been listening to music largely from Grand Opera, but from now on, we will present the Grand Ole Opry." After Hay's introduction, DeFord played "Pan American Blues," thus becoming the first performer to appear on the renamed Grand Ole Opry. DeFord was considered one of the Opry's most popular performers and appeared on the show until 1941, when he was fired because of what was described as a licensing conflict between BMI-ASCAP, which prevented him from playing his best-known songs on the radio. However, the feeling is that Hay fired him because of his race. After leaving the Opry, he spent the rest of his life shining shoes to make a living. However, thanks to the continued efforts of Opry stars Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl and Bill Monroe, DeFord was convinced  to return to the Opry, which he did in 1974, when he agreed to make one more appearance on what was the first of the Opry's annual reunion shows, or "Old Timer's Night." DeFord would make several more appearances until his final one on April 3, 1982. DeFord Bailey passed away on July 2, 1982.

Here is the running order from Saturday April 3, 1982, DeFord Bailey's final night at the Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jimmy C Newman (host): Louisiana Cajun Band
Ernie Ashworth: Irene
Jeannie Seely: It Turns Me Inside Out
Jimmy C Newman: Texa-Cajun

6:45: Rudy's
Roy Drusky (host): Billy Bayou
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Closed My Heart's Door
David Houston: Cotton Eyed Joe
Roy Drusky: Blues in My Heart

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'all Come
Kitty Wells: Amigo's Guitar
Johnny Wright: Ashes of Love
Zeke Clements: I'm So Lonesome Since You Went Away/Just A Little Lovin'
Vic Willis Trio: Faded Love
Mack Magaha: Rocky Top

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Monroe (host): Uncle Pen
Connie Smith: I Just Had You On My Mind
Curly Fox: Sweet Georgia Brown/The Old Gray Mule
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle
Bill Monroe: My Florida Sunshine

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jack Shook: Carry Me Back to the Lone Prairie
Alcyone Beasley: Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland
Jack Shook & Alcyone Beasley: Let the Rest of the World Go By
DeFord Bailey: Fox Chase/Cacklin' Hen/Pan American Blues/Lost John
Sid Harkreader: Never Alone Waltz/Red Wing Fiddlin'
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Paper Roses
The 4 Guys: It's High Time to Get Back on My Feet
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sugar Tree Stomp
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately that I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Hank Snow: Once More, You're Mine Again

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): You Make Everybody Feel Just Like Sunday
The 4 Guys: When Your House is Not a Home
Jeannie Seely: It Turns Me Inside Out
Wilburn Brothers: If I Can't Have All of You
Kitty Wells: It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels
Johnny Wright: Poison Love
Mack Magaha: Old Flames
Porter Wagoner: The Man in the Little White Suit/Ol' Slewfoot

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Monroe (host): Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Curly Fox: Alabama Jubilee
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby on My Mind
Carl Butler: Don't Let Me Cross Over

10:15: Sunbeam
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Wilma Lee Cooper: Walking My Lord Up Calvary's Hill
Zeke Clements: God Made it All; It Belongs to Him/Smoke on the Water
Jimmy C Newman: (?)

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Jack Shook: Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Alcyone Beasley: Silver Threads Among the Gold
Jack Shook & Alcyone Beasley: Someone Like You
Sid Harkreader: Amazing Grace/Sally Goodin

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): There'll Be Anyone Else But You For Me
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Lonzo & Oscar: Rocky  Top
Roy Drusky: Just A Closer Walk With Thee

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Down the Trail of Aching Hearts
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Hank Snow: I Don't Care Anymore

11:30: Bama
Marty Robbins (host): Don't Worry
Charlie Louvin: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight/We Could
Stonewall Jackson: Angry Words/Muddy Water
Marty Robbins: Devil Woman/That's All Right/Don't Let Me Touch You/Good Hearted Woman/18 Yellow Roses/I Don't Know Why/El Paso

What a great collection of former, and in some cases, original Opry members that night. As you would expect, the show ran way over, ending at 12:45 a.m. And it should also be noted that this night was also the final Opry show for Alcyone Beasley, who was a member of his father's Possum Hunters and is considered the first regular female performer to appear on the Opry.

Looking back a few years earlier, it was on Saturday April 5, 1975 that Skeeter Davis returned to the Grand Ole Opry cast after being suspended in December 1973 when she made what were deemed politically inappropriate comments while appearing on the Opry.

As a result of her suspension, Skeeter missed the opening of the new Grand Ole Opry House and also lost a lot of show dates. In her autobiography "Bus Fare to Kentucky" she wrote that she would call the Opry each week to ask if she was scheduled but Bud Wendell would tell her not to come in. She asked if she was fired and was told they would just call it a suspension. She also wrote that while a few Opry members, specifically Teddy Wilburn, others stated that she should not have used the Opry stage to make a religious or political statement.

Skeeter then spent time overseas performing. She returned to Nashville upon the opening of the new Opry House, but was told she didn't need to attend. It was around this time that a number of Opry members started a petition asking that she be invited back. It took many more months, but after Bud Wendell was promoted and Hal Durham took over as the manager of the Opry, Skeeter was invited back. Skeeter specifically mentioned Jean Shepard, Kirk McGee, George Hamilton IV and Teddy Wilburn as those who supported her during the suspension and worked to get her back on the Opry. Once Skeeter returned, she would remain with the Opry until her death.

To remember Skeeter Davis, let's go back to Saturday April 5, 1975, the night Skeeter Davis returned to the Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Charlie Louvin (host): Freight Train Boogie
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Charlie Louvin: When You Have to Fly Alone/See the Big Man Cry

6:45: Rudy's
Ray Pillow (host): Countryfied
Stu Phillips: She Thinks I Still Care
Del Wood: The Entertainer
Ray Pillow: The Simple Things of Life

7:00: Rudy's
Bill Grammer (host): Lonesome Road Blues
Skeeter Davis: I Can't Help It
Lonzo & Oscar: When I Stop Dreaming
Ernie Ashworth: The High Cost of Living
Skeeter Davis: Bus Fare to Kentucky
Billy Grammer: What a Friend

7:30: Standard Candy
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Jimmy C Newman: Thibodeaux Cajun Band
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Jim & Jesse: Ashes of Love
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Old Joe Clark
Jimmy C Newman: Before the Next Teardrop Falls
Charlie Walker: Good Deal, Lucille

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Poor Ellen Smith
Justin Tubb: Sunshine Lady
Roy Acuff: Carry Me Back to the Mountains
Jeanne Pruett: Hold to My Unchanging Love/Love Me/You Don't Need to Move a Mountain/Satin Sheets
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: There's A Big Wheel

8:30: Stephens
Jack Greene (host) w/Jeannie Seely: If You're Going Down
Jeannie Seely: Catfish John
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
The 4 Guys: Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: He Can Be Mine

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
The 4 Guys (host): What About Me
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Bill Carlisle: Rough Stuff
Marion Worth: The Hands You're Holding Now
Ray Pillow: She's Doing It To Me Again
Del Wood: Alabama Jubilee
The 4 Guys: Cottonfields/Maria

10:00: Fender
Charlie Walker (host): Stay A Little Longer
Skeeter Davis: I Believe in Music
Lonzo & Oscar: Mountain Dew
Charlie Walker: The Last Supper

10:15: Union 76
Stu Phillips (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Rosemary Clooney: Half As Much

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Back in the Country
Jim & Jesse: Paradise
Billy Grammer: Peace in the Valley
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Big Midnight Special
Justin Tubb: Loving Arms
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Each Season Changes You

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jack Greene (host) w/Jeannie Seely: Take Me Home Country Roads
Jeannie Seely: The First Time
Jimmy C Newman: Potato Song
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: Delta Dirt
Sam McGee: Victor Rag

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Don't Worry
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy/Welcome to the Sunshine
Ronnie Robbins: Mama Tried/If You Love Me Let Me Know
Marty Robbins: Love Me/I'm Wanting To/Devil Woman/El Paso/Ka-Lu-A

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone has a very nice week and as always, enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!


  1. Jesse Mcreynolds is amazing at 88 years of age. He still tears it up and keeps getting funnier .

  2. Garth Brooks just re-inducted Bobby Bare back to the Opry. Has this ever been done. I mean Little Jimmy came back after a hiatus, but nobody ever came out on stage and extended an invite like this. So cool!!!!