Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tuesday Night Opry 5/8 & Opry Country Classics 5/10

Let me state that last weekend was a good one for the Opry. They celebrated Charley Pride's 25th anniversary as a member and had a couple of pretty good shows to go along with it.

As far as the mid-week shows, the Tuesday Night Opry will feature Opry members Rascal Flatts, along with one of the newest members, Chris Janson. Opry Country Classics will feature Opry member Marty Stuart as the spotlight artist and the legendary Leroy Van Dyke is also on the schedule.

Tuesday Night Opry May 8
7:00: Bill Anderson; Kalie Shorr
7:30: Easton Corbin; Chris Janson
8:15: Jesse McReynolds; Steven Curtis Chapman
8:45: Rascal Flatts

Opry Country Classics Thursday May 10
Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Marty Stuart
Also Appearing: The Gatlin Brothers; Shelly Fairchild; Lucas Hoge; Leroy Van Dyke


  1. My apologies to any fans but the adult boy band just won't cut it with me. I'm not disappointed that they are not around that much. Just my two cents.

    Kind of a low spot for what has been a pretty good run of late for the Opry.

    Knightsville, IN

  2. I have strongly disliked Chris Janson since day one because I can do without elements of his personal testimony each time he is on stage, BUT he does pay attention to the Grand Ole Opry. Also not a fan of his style of Bro Country music. "Fix A Drink" is a dumpster fire.
    Speaking of hot dumpster fire garbage.... can someone explain the guitar picking by Rascal Flatts that sounded like background music in a porno... I dont see how they are country music, they are a pop rock glamour boy band.

  3. My daughter loves to hear Rascall Flats and is excited when they're on the 'Opry. She also loves Bill Anderson and loved Little Jimmy Dickens.
    My son and I love Chris Jansen. How many of today's artists have asked Eddie Stubbs to play his fiddle on a Hank Williams song during an 'Opry performance?
    Chris Jansen LOVES traditional country music, and the 'Opry. He does what he has to do to get played on today's "Country" radio.
    So ask yourself this question.....
    Are my forty year old kids the future audiences of the 'Opry, or should old 70 year farts like me be the target demographic of the 'Opry?

  4. It's been this way every generation. I personally do not listen to any country music (much) that was recorded after the dawn of the 21st century, and I'm 36. It's not the "country music", I grew up with. The music of the 80's (Earl Thomas Conley, The Forester Sisters, Dan Seals, etc), did not sound like the 60's and 70's era, you heard a lot of keyboards and different instruments, but you still could tell it was country. They dressed country and they felt Country. The commercial Country Music of the last 20 years (for the most part) is a generation of kids who found a genre they could sneak into and sing their pop and rock, because those fields would have never accepted them. "Murder on Music Row" is the most poignant song to discribe this. "Country Music" as a genre was slowly stolen. I blame producers and record companies, and the almighty dollar. The Opry, the CMA, and others must keep up with this or they will die. We'll just have a bunch of kids singing that has no clue who Cousin Jody was; or just how big Roy Acuff really was.

    In a way the artists have struggled with this for years; Herman Crook couldn't figure out how Bill Monroe was the "Father of Bluegrass", and Crook had been playing the same music (without vocals) for years; Roy Acuff fought against the rockabillys, such as Bob Luman and Rose Maddox; Jean Shepard, Grandpa Jones and others turned against the CMA; Shepard also refused to appear the night James Brown played; Travis Tritt spoke out against Billy Ray Cyrus and his "Acky Breaky" era.
    We are human people and for the most part we don't like change. I'm just going to listen to my oldies, love the Opry for what it is, follow this blog, and maybe help introduce the real country music to someone who has not grown up appreciate as I have.

    1. Same here, I am 45, and I dont possess anything in my music collection after 1998. After that if it is post 1995, its only strictly Bluegrass I listen to or cajun country music.

    2. "I'm just going to listen to my oldies, love the Opry for what it is, follow this blog, and maybe help introduce the real country music to someone who has not grown up appreciate as I have"

      Took this quote because that is what I do here in Spain when people ask me about country music. Just pay them the traditional stuff.

  5. David's post pretty well covered it. That's not to say I like or dislike Chris Janson's music, and I confess I don't need testimony from the stage, but that's me. I share David's distaste for most of today's music, but I honor Carrie and Chris for the commitment they have shown to the Opry, while I wonder why my kind of folks--say, Dolly Parton and Patty Loveless and Alison Krauss--only show up when the moon is purple.

  6. David B and Michael,
    I totally agree with every word each of you has said.
    I get just as frustrated with some of the acts on the 'Opry that have no idea what country music is about.
    My rant was my way of saying the 'Opry is in a tough spot. If they don't feature some folks who have had success in today's country radio or television, they can't fill the house and our traditional country music is heard by way fewer people.
    I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.
    I'm glad they have Rascall Flats and Chris Jansen on regularly, and have decided to love the 'Opry pretty much no matter what! :)

    1. My frustration is that the Opry misses most of the today's best traditional country music that I hear elsewhere. The Texas scene is stacked with traditional-leaning artists. Texas artists of yesteryear like Gene Watson and Texas artists of today like Sunny Sweeney have played the Opry many, many, many times as guests, but they aren't offered membership. The Opry also missed out on Chris Stapleton's dominance from 2015-present. He had the best selling country album in years & five Grammy awards, but I guess the Opry is too busy chasing tertiary pop country acts and internet memes to notice ? I want the Ole Opry to be Grand again. Robert

    2. I agree. I would love to see Amber Digby, Justin Trevino and The Quebe Sisters more at the Opry. Also, Teea Goens and Mandy Barnett are not appearing as often as they did under old management.
      Chris Stapleton may not be asked to appear due to touring scheduling conflicts. He's very big right now.

  7. Who is "filling the house" - at the prices for tickets now and those acts (exceptions being Bill Anderson, Jesse McReynolds, Leroy Van Dyke, Marty Stuart; gave up on Larry a while back) - is it the younger demographic paying or the 70+ demographic - always a lot of grey hair when we used to attend but have no desire to go back (and we were pretty much regulars)

  8. The question in my mind is how much longer can us 70+ folks be counted on to fill the house (if indeed we are now)?
    I am no fan of today's country music or a great number of acts I see on the 'Opry, and wish more young artists who understand what traditional country music is all about were allowed to appear more often.
    I just know that 'Opry Country Classics, held at the Ryman, sells far fewer tickets than the 'Opry itself, wherever it happens to be held.
    Carrie Underwood has basically sold out the 'Opry House for both shows this weekend.
    Can't build the future appealing only to old farts like me, have to try to appeal to everybody.

  9. Why the hell Larry Gatlin and his Brothers sings three times in a row "Houston" "Broken Lady" and "All the Gold" at the Opry Country Classics show?? They have many good songs, but almost in every show sings the same stuff....boring autopilot!!

    1. My guess would be what I call the Acuff Doctrine, "Sing what brought you there."

  10. I can agree with much of what has been said here and I have probably said enough in the past to not bore with it again.

    David hit the nail pretty square on the head. I have contended that for the most part from the 40's through the early 2000's Country music was recognizable as such in the writing and singing style. Instrumentation was one of the biggest changes. After the early 2000's and the coming of the network star search shows the basics of Country seemed to be overrun with Southern Rock, boy band music and just a mess of folks that as David said slipped in doing their non Country thing because they were not good enough to fit the other genre's. And they brought youth to a music wrought with over 30 performers and the demographic attentive folks in sales saw dollar signs. I have used the Island of Misfits as term before.

    So, Rascall Flats drew my ire. No matter how much youth or others may like them, they are a prime example of how far Country has strayed from the tree, let alone the roots. I can't judge them as great or terrible because I don't "get them". And, I'm not judging their talent. Again, what they do is just not what I think of as Country talent. Change is a must but radical change, maybe not so much.

    I understand, I don't have to listen and my generation can't sustain the Opry or anything else. We have to pass it on and hope that the next generation carries the torch and passes it again. But that torch should have a good dose of the past generation or what are you passing on. Nothing, you are just stomping out what gave you the path to walk in.

    Good discussion folks!

    Knightsville, IN

  11. Very thoughtful Jim.
    My recent comments were not aimed at you.
    I agree that traditional country music needs to be preserved, and that Rascall Flats ain't exactly doing it. :)

    My point was that popular acts like them bring folks to the 'Opry, and while I wish all acts were traditional, I understand the dilemma the 'Opry finds itself in. They can't listen to every old fart (including me) who demands that every act pass some kind of country legitimacy test to ever appear on the 'Opry stage.

    But I haven't lost hope. We've got a community radio station, and on Saturday morning they play a loose mixture of country/bluegrass/Americana. It's pretty much an Americana show, but today they played Haggard, Jones, Junior Brown and a few others we all enjoy.
    They also played Joshua Hedley this morning, who is playing right now on WSM during the intermission and recently appeared on the 'Opry to great applause.
    I hate to say it, but I like the stuff the local community station plays a lot more than a lot of the stuff I hear coming from the 'Opry.
    I absolutely like it a LOT better than the "country music" station in Bloomington.
    Americana may save us. College-crowd kids seem to dig music that is authentic, not the cookie-cutter "dirt-road tail-gate whiskey bro country" crap.


  12. Hey Nat....thanks....I didn't take anything personal and hope I don't come across that way either. There is no place for that here. We all love the Opry but we all probably have a little bit different taste. Talking about might bring someone along or expose them to something they were not willing to check out.

    I like your last line about the dirt-road et all. Just about sums a lot of it up.