Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 6/22 & 6/23

The line-ups have been posted for the two Grand Ole Opry shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Both line-ups feature a pretty solid list of artists.

Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for both nights include the usual regulars Jeannie Seely, The Whites, and Mike Snider, along with Ricky Skaggs and John Conlee. Joining those five on Friday night, and opening the show, will be Connie Smith. Saturday night, Bill Anderson and Bobby Osborne are scheduled.

Mark Willis, who is on the Opry more than the vast majority of its members, is scheduled for both nights this weekend, joined on Friday night by Waylon Payne, Brook Eden, Sirius personality Dallas Wayne, the great gospel group The Isaacs, and making his Opry debut, Paul Cauthen. Saturday night will see the Opry debut of Tenille Townes, along with the Steel Woods, comedian Chonda Pierce and veteran artist Collin Raye.

Friday June 22
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Waylon Payne; Mike Snider
7:30: John Conlee (host); Brooke Eden; Mark Wills
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Dallas Wayne; Paul Cauthen
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; The Isaacs

Saturday June 23
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mark Willis; Mike Snider
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Tenille Townes; The Steel Woods
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chonda Pierce; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Collin Raye

As mentioned, there are two artists who will be making their Opry debuts this weekend, Paul Cauthen on the Friday Night Opry and Tenille Townes on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry.

Paul Cauthen grew up in Tyler, Texas, where his grandfather was a songwriter and gospel song leader who, while in Lubbock, worked with Buddy Holly and Sonny Curtis. Cauthen said that it was his grandfather who taught him and his two sisters to sing harmony. His grandfather passed away when Paul was ten and he was so heartbroken that he gave up playing his guitar until his grandmother pushed him to begin playing again. Over time he was a co-founder of the group Sons of Fathers. The band earned glowing praise from Rolling Stone, NPR, and others, thanks to two albums that climbed into the Top 10 of the American Music Chart. Three years ago, he quit the band and went solo, playing a mixture of blues, gospel and rock-and-roll. The result is "My Gospel," and album that features songs about Earthy struggles to love, connect, and just get by. "I am not super religious," he says. "I don't believe God is this guy wearing a white cloak who comes down with wings and beautiful sandals. I do believe that people are put into other people's lives for reasons, and those reasons are unexplained. I believe that is God." Ultimately, Cauthen is on a mission: to make music he can be proud of that also serves a higher purpose. "On this album (of which he co-wrote all of the songs), I wanted to push a message that tells people that life's short. Love the ones you're with. Just take any opportunity to run with it. Don't think twice."

Tenille Townes is from Grande Prairie, Alberta Canada. She released her first single, "Home Now" in 2009 at the age of 15. She wrote the song from the perspective of a daughter whose father is posted in the war in Afghanistan, a topic she learned about in school. In 2011, she released her first album, "Real." That same year, at the age of 17, she was nominated for a Canadian Music Award for Female Artist of the Year. Her second album, "Light" was released in March 2013. Since then, she has not released any new material and this past April she signed a record deal with Columbia Nashville.

I wanted to take a moment and remember the late Roy Drusky, who performed on the Opry for the final time on Saturday June 21, 2003.

Roy, who joined the Opry on June 13, 1959, was known as a singer, songwriter, producer, actor and disc jockey, and was popular from the 1960s into the early 1970s. Known for his baritone voice, he was a fine ballad singer and was known for incorporating the Nashville sound into his recordings. He was also the very first artist to record a song written by Kris Kristofferson, "Jody and the Kid."

Roy was born on June 22, 1930 in Atlanta, Georgia. As a youngster, Roy enjoyed sports and it has been written in several places that he turned down a contract offer from the Cleveland Indians, after which he began his musical career. Roy, who attended Emory University and studied veterinary medicine, first sang while in the US Navy, and later with a country group he founded, the Southern Ranch Boys. In 1953, he signed with Starday Records and released his first single, "Such a Fool."

While establishing his own career, Roy also wrote. Faron Young recorded two of his songs, "Alone With You," and "Country Girl," both of which went to No. 1 on the country charts. He also wrote "Anymore" which was a hit for Teresa Brewer.

In 1960, Roy's own singing career hit the big time, recording "Another," and "Second Hand Rose," for Owen Bradley at Decca Records. In 1963, he moved to Mercury Records and had the hit, "Peel Me a Nanner," which was written by Bill Anderson. That was followed with his only No. 1 record, "Yes Mr. Peters," with Priscilla Mitchell.

In addition to his hit records and songwriting, Roy appeared on a number of country music programs, as well as several movies.

While Roy made his last appearance on the Billboard charts in 1974, he continued to record for smaller independent labels into the 1990s.

Roy passed away on September 23, 2004 at the age of 74, from lung cancer.

Here is the running order from Roy Drusky's last appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, 15 years ago on Saturday June 21, 2003. Roy appeared on the 2nd show that night and it was his only Opry appearance that year.

1st show
6:30: Tennessee Pride
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed
Connie Smith: Where is My Castle
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou
Billy Yates: I'm Country/Choices
Jimmy Dickens: Mountain Dew

7:00: WSM Candy
BR5-49: Gone Hillbilly Nuts
Jim Ed Brown (host): (?)/You Can Have Her
Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius: You Don't Bring Me Flowers
Mandy Barnett: Believe Me
Chuck Mead & Mandy Barnett: Jackson
Steve Azar: I Don't Have to Be Me 'Til Monday/I'm the Underdog
Oak Ridge Boys: I'm Glorybound/Colors/Elvia
Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius: I Don't Wanna Have to Marry You

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Lost All My Money
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Miranda Lambert: Honky-Tonk Blues/The Greyhound Bound for Nowhere
Opry Square Dance Band: Snowflake Reel

8:30: Tootsie's
Brad Paisley (host): Celebrity
Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys: As Long As I Live
Jean Shepard: Secret Love
Hal Ketchum: Stay Forever
Brad Paisley: Is it Raining at Your House

2nd show
9:30: Coca-Cola
Hal Ketchum (host): The Point of Rescue
Connie Smith: Ribbon of Darkness/I'm Looking for a Reason not to Love You
BR5-49: She Ain't Talking to Me/Shot Gun Boogie
Hal Ketchum: Dreams of Martina

10:00: Shotgun
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'all Come
Roy Drusky: Have I Stayed Away too Long
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream
Steve Azar: Indianola/Hey, Baby
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

10:30: WSM
Jean Shepard (host): Head Over Heels in Love with You
The Whites: Move it on Over
Oak Ridge Boys: I'm Glorybound/Colors
Opry Square Dance Band: Cherokee Shuffle
Jean Shepard: Satin Sheets

11:00: Cingular Wireless
Brad Paisley (host): Celebrity
Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys: Fiddle Patch
Billy Yates: Country
Mandy Barnett: No One Will Ever Know/Faded Love
Brad Paisley & Billy Yates: Farther Along

11:30: Saloon
Jeannie Seely (host): Anytime
Ray Pillow: That's No Way to Treat My Heart/I Wonder Who's Missing You Now
Miranda Lambert: Honky-Tonk Blues/The Greyhound Bound for Nowhere
Jeannie Seely: One Step Away from Coming Home

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


  1. One other thing of interest about Roy Drusky is that he helped establish the Nashville Office of SESAC in 1964, the Publishing writes organization and he ran the Nashville office for a time if I'm thinking correct.

    Roy Drusky was one of the few Opry stars appearing in the 80's and 90's we did not meet and only saw him in person on the Opry one time.

    Knightsville, IN

  2. Roy also hosted the Midnight Jamboree that night and was in fine voice. He was one of the Opry regulars that I had never met as well and I made a special trip to meet him after the Midnight Jamboree. It's a terrible shame that Opry stars like him (and people like Billy Grammer, Hank Locklin, Skeeter Davis, Margie Bowes, Marion Worth, Justin Tubb etc.) are forgotten except in the memories of people like us.

  3. Thanks for remembering that Roy did the Jamboree. I hadn't thought about it but now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure I taped that show so I now have look.

    I've said it many times here but I think it needs to be remembered so here I go. The people like those you mention and many others that have or will soon be forgotten, kept the Opry going though the late 70's into the 90's. If not for them, all these debut artist we see each week wouldn't have an Opry to appear on. And, the truth hurts sometimes so maybe that is why it bothers me to hear it, but it has been said here several times that the Opry became kind of stale in that period. It was just "my" special time. And, I know when that has been stated here it was out of love for the people and the show so I don't take offense to it.

    Knightsville, IN

  4. When we get to reminiscing I always hope Tompall and the Glaser Brothers ( Jim and Chuck ) won't be forgotten. They were, arguably , the very best harmony group ever on the Opry in the 50s thru 70s ------- Flushing, Michigan Dashmann -----

  5. I have great affection for the Opry stars of the 90s because that was the period of time when I first started attending the Opry regularly. And yes, I'll admit at the time I thought we were being cheated because the Opry acted like there would be some big superstar on the line up when, instead, we got 22 Opry regulars. Can you imagine 22 Opry stars on a show today!? Hindsight is 20/20. I learned to love the Opry because so many of those regulars were just so darn genuine, real people - unlike a lot of today's "country" stars who can't be bothered to interact with their fans, sign autographs and hideout in their buses like rock stars. I was at an veteran's fan club breakfast during CMA Fest this year when Darius Rucker walked in. We were told not to take pictures OF him - nevermind WITH him!?! And I met Josh Turner at an autograph session - he never said a word to me! It wasn't uncommon to find Charlie Louvin at the Waffle House after the Opry where he was more than glad to have you sit down and talk. I once wrote Hank Locklin a letter that included my phone number, the phone rang one day, he was on the other end and visited with me for half an hour! Same with Billy Walker - after ordering Golden Voice tickets on the phone from his wife, I said, "be sure and tell Billy I appreciate the way he's standing up to Opry management for the veterans" and she said, "Here, you tell him!" Or I wrote George Hamilton IV once with an offer to put together a concert for him in my hometown, which he accepted sight unseen, that led to a wonderful friendship that included visits backstage at the Opry (where I was invited inside the dressing rooms of people like Charlie Walker & Del Reeves) and dinner any time we were in Nashville. Or saying hello to Johnny Russell who was sitting in a folding chair in the alley behind the Ryman watching the people go by between shows. I had other interactions via mail with people like Oscar Sullivan, Skeeter Davis, Billy Grammer and even the great Walter Bailes. And, I remember how Wilma Lee Cooper would still come to the Opry Fan Club brunch during Fan Fair in her wheelchair, partially paralyzed, so she could sign autographs for her fans who she loved so much. I'm sure many of you here have similiar stories and I can only imagine what it might have been like to be around in the 50s & 60s when the greats were accessible and loved their fans. Justin Tubb was right when he wrote the song, "What's Wrong With the Way that We're Doing it Now?"

  6. I'm with 'ya brother.
    There are still some folks like the ones you've described.
    Rachel Hester (regular at Robert's Western World), Chris Scruggs (on every Friday night after the 'Opry), and others are happy to chat.
    Something seems to happen to entertainers of today when they become "big enough" stars, and lose all humility and gratitude for what their fans have made them.

  7. Could everybody that posts please put there name after there message so we know who were talking to when we respond. Thanks in advance. Bob

  8. What did I just hear????
    YODELING on the Grand Old 'Opry????
    Bless you Brooke Eden.
    Band had a good time too!

  9. Sorry Bob that was my post: OldtimeOpry

    1. Thanks for sharing OldtimeOpry...Bob

  10. First, I had not realized that the widows of both Roy Drusky and Sonny James died last September, within a couple of days of each other.

    Yodeling? Nat, I haven't heard Ranger Doug try it lately, but it might be that he's spent too much time at the chuck wagon with Side Meat? Jean Shepard was a great yodeler, but I heard one time she didn't like to do it too much because she didn't want to be identified for her yodeling as much as her singing. Glad somebody did it, though!

    Now to the discussion of country music stars. First, do you know the Tex Ritter story? He was at the Ryman one night and some guy was interviewing him for an article and said that Tex had been on Broadway, in radio and TV, movies, etc., and what was different about country music? As he was asking this, Tex walked into the men's room, unzipped, and began relieving himself into the urinal. Some fan ran into the men's room and said, "Mr. Ritter, could I have your autograph?" Tex paused what he was doing, turned to the fan, signed the autograph, turned back, and continued what he was doing (apparently not having, um, zipped back up in the interim). He looked at his interviewer and said, as only he could, "Suh, country singers are accessible."

    Well, they are. Now, my mother, who introduced me to country music and counted then-Louisiana Hayride star Jimmy C. Newman as her first crush (to give an idea of the era) used to say that Mr. Acuff was the king, but he seemed approachable--you would go up to him and expect to chat. Likewise Ernest Tubb. But she got the sense that with Bill Monroe and Hank Snow, they would be courteous, but they would maintain some distance. Having read about them and their difficult family lives, it's easy to understand why Mr. Monroe and Mr. Snow might have been less warm and fuzzy. But I never heard that they were nasty to their fans in the least.

    The idea that fans could not speak to Josh Turner or take photos of Darius Rucker brings to mind a story I read about Paul Gallico, who wrote "Snow Goose" and "The Poseidon Adventure." He had been a successful sportswriter in New York City and once saw a colleague come into an arena for a boxing match and stand down in front to make sure everybody saw him, and Gallico heard someone yell, "Sit down! You're only a sportswriter!" Well, we're talking about people who are "only" country singers, maybe superstars, but still not people who cured cancer. Without fans, as one of the old-timers might have put it, they ain't nuthin'.

    The sports reference (Byron and I are baseball fans, among other things) brings to mind my idol, Vin Scully, who broadcast for the Dodgers for only 67 years. Ross Porter, who worked with him for 28 of them, used to eat with him and take walks with him, and they would walk through stadiums together. He said in all that time, he never saw Vin be unpleasant to a fan. Never. And that's worth thinking about, because the fans--let's be honest--aren't always pleasant!

  11. I have been lucky in my visits to Nashville (since 1973) to have met a number of Grand Ole Opry members. There were those such as George Hamilton IV, Billy Walker, Del Reeves, Johnny Russell, Grandpa Jones, Jan Howard, Wilma Lee Cooper, Bill Carlisle, Porter Wagoner, Jim Ed Brown, Ronnie Milsap, Bill Anderson, Charlie Walker (just to name a few and I know I am forgetting many), who you could tell really enjoyed talking to the fans and appreciated all that the fans had done for them, such as calling radio stations requesting that the DJ play their records, buying concert tickets, buying their records, joining their fan clubs, etc. Then there were those, who I will not name, that you could tell were just going through the motions because someone, such as an agent or marketing assistant, told them they had to meet the fans, pose for pictures, etc. Just by their attitude, you could tell they had absolutely no interest in anything you were saying, or that the moment meant something special to that fan.

    Times have changed and it is a different world and a different group of artists, many who feel they are much too big and important to meet and talk to the fans who support them. Oh, they will maybe once or twice a year at the CMA Fest, or at a concert where they will charge extra money for a meet and greet (as if they need it).

    There is that old saying that you will meet the same people on the way down as you met on the way up. Some of these artists seem to have forgotten that saying and I think many of today's artists will pay the price when they fade (as they will), and they return to the county fair circuit or local clubs upon which they started.

    I will always appreciate the biggest of them all, Garth Brooks, who does seem to find time with the fans and does seem to appreciate all they have done for him. Maybe that is one reason why after almost 30 years, Garth can still sell out the biggest arenas, still have platinum records, and still is well loved by his fans.

  12. Skeeter Davis and Jean Shepard were two of the friendliest people you could ever meet. I met Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright at Oswald's and it was like talking to an old friend. All of the afore mentioned were so gracious to their fans and so down to earth. They were all giants in country music, but you wouldn't know it just by talking to them. I had to ask Earl Scruggs to move his car so I could leave and he was so polite and kind. There are very few left who really appreciate and respect their fans at no charge.

  13. I have gotten to speak to Connie Smith dozens of times and she always has been kind and gracious. Last February my son took me to see her in San Marcos and was with me in the meet and greet line, and when I told her he was my son, she pushed back her chair and stood up and reached for his hand to shake it. Totally impressed him and made me respect her even more.

  14. I'm enjoying reading everyone's stories in the comments. The most arrogant musical artists I've ever met were no-name bluegrass/old-time people. I was a webmaster for an old-time fiddle event for a couple of years, and I hope I never have to attend such an event again. I'm sure they're quite lovely to other "pickers," but they look down on "civilians" with disgust. I find most country stars to be infinitely nicer and down to earth. Even the biggest country stars I've met have been more than gracious with their time. Robert

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  16. Little Roy and Lizzie are 100% blue-grass entertainers. I saw them perform recently with a crowd of less than a hundred. They played an hour, took a short break, performed another thirty minutes, and stayed until everybody had a chance to talk to them.
    VERY friendly and good folks, not like the bunch you've described Robert. Exceptions to every rule, I guess! :)

    1. Yes, every "name" bluegrass act I've met was absolutely as nice as can be- Ralph Stanley II, Darrin Vincent, and on and on. It was the "local yokel" type pickers in my home town who really "put on airs." I'm talking about people who have never accomplished anything talking down to everyone. Every actual star I've ever met seemed very down to earth and friendly. Robert

    2. Who knows Robert, maybe they're "name" bluegrass acts because they treat their fans right! :)
      Probably has something to do with it.

  17. Thanks for clarifying Robert. If a local has set in with a national act once they think they are something. Some are but it still it isn't justifications to snub fans. I have not met too many Bluegrass acts but I have to say as I probably have before, that Jim and Jesse were always great, pleasant and interesting to talk to. Jim was always the most talkative.

    Oldtime Opry: Like me, I think you have disclosed some of those encounters and relationships with Opry stars before but it is sure great to hear it again. I have had some of the same experiences with the same folks but not nearly to the extent you describe.

    One thing I don't think I have related here is our visit to Charlie Louivin's museum when it was in Bellbucke, Tennessee in 1998. I think we spent more than two hours there and really didn't look at much of what they had on display. Charlie and his wife Betty were there and we spent most of our time visiting with them. Charlie took time to tape a liner for my brother's weekly classic Country radio show. Charlie talked about Roy Acuff and Oswald and about Ira and their time performing together. He showed us the newspaper clippings and photos of Ira's wreck. When we ask about getting something to Oswald at the Opry, Charlie offered to take us backstage. We ended up in the dressing room with Oswald, Charlie Collins, Earl White and Charlie Bush who had been close friends with Mr. Acuff and was Sam's father. That fifteen minutes might have been better than the entire evening we spent backstage later.

    As we were leaving Charlie's museum, he walked all the way out to the car with us, complemented me on the car and had a discussion about it. As I got in he shut the door!

    When I discuss this with people, both Country fans and non Country fans, I always explain that my enthusiasm about these encounters is not about me but about the artist. I'm proud that the musical people I like and admire were just regular people and almost all we have ever met were genuine and and good with the fans. And sometime, that is saying a lot because there are some among us that can be a challenge to put up with. I hope we have never been one of them!

    Just think, Roy Drusky started all this. One of the better discussions in while. Thanks to all!

    Knightsville, IN

    1. I'll wander off topic a little and compare my experience with musicians to my experience with football stars. The real stars I met like Joe Namath were a whole lot nicer than some of the "local football heroes" who maybe once scored a touchdown in a high school game and think their "hero" status ought to count for something when selling real estate or insurance forty years later.
      I am envious of those of you who have met many Opry stars. I have never met the McReynoldses,but some of my kinfolks know Jesse McReynolds and think the world of him. I'd love to see him perform at the Opry, but I live far away and rarely get to Tennessee.
      This is a great discussion.
      I enjoyed meeting many artists at the recent CMA Fest, and I was in the audience for interview sessions with Ricky Skaggs, Garth Brooks, and others, but I wish more Opry members were available to meet. I looked at the Opry-sponsored autograph signings, but actual Opry members were few and far between.
      I attended two Opry shows during my vacation- June 5 and June 12. The first had 6 Opry members, while the second had just 2. I enjoyed both shows, and take nothing away from any of the performers, but the first show packed more of a punch.Robert.

    2. Beautiful post Jim...Thanks for sharing.Bob

  18. Many of us were fortunate enough to have been in Nashville and the Opry during the Opryland days and the birthday weekends from years ago. In Opryland you had Jeanne Pruett with her restaurant, usually there each day to talk to fans and sign copies of her books. Oswald and Charlie Collins performed in the park everyday, and you would even see Roy Acuff walking around. Mike Snider and other Hee Haw acts were always performing and talking to fans. And you had Opry members performing daily in the park and greeting people.

    During the birthday weekend, Opry members were backstage when you did the free backstage tours on Saturday morning. There were numerous autograph, along with meet and greet opportunities for many of the Opry's members. I remember clearly the year that the birthday weekend fell on my wife's birthday and she was back in Ohio. My daughter and I bought a birthday card and decided to see how many Opry members and others who were performing that weekend either on the Opry or in Opryland would sign it. We ended up with dozens and dozens and we still have the card today. Not one artist turned us down. Those are among the many memories I have.

  19. Reading all of these comments makes me realize something. Many of us bemoan the changes at the Opry and the music in general these days, me as loud as anyone. But reading these comments should make most of us realize how blessed we have been to be old enough to have these experiences. These folks given us a lifetime of good memories. I am trying to put on paper....or in word file, all the experiences we have had over the past 25 years. That project alone could last me many months if not years.

    Bill Anderson is playing two nights in Scottsburg, Indiana in Spetember and about three weeks later two nights in Shipshewanna. I told my brother I was planning to go to both places and he questioned the short time between them. We have already seen Bill once this year and visited with him at the ROPE luncheon. But, how many of these folk show up within two or three hours of your house three times a year if you live beyond Nashville. If nothing else, I want to go to support them so the venues will keep booking them. It is kind of like Byron comparing belonging to a club or organization and not participating relative to Opry membership. We are all members of a invisible club of fans and participation includes attending the shows and supporting the artist we enjoy!

    For those in western Indiana or eastern Illinois, John Conlee is going to be at the Indaian Theater in Terre Haute in July.

    Knightsville, IN

  20. I have no ties to any artists or anyone within the music industry, but here is how I see the changes described from past artists to present. The artists who made their careers decades ago were true entertainers. They weren't just showcasing their singing, but also their personality in hopes that they would gain members to the invisible club of fans that Jim references and that the members of the club would buy their music and/or attend their shows. However, country artists today (at least the mainstream ones) end up having to focus their energy not on gaining fans, but on gaining favor with label and radio executives because those are the people that will make an artist go places. Not that an artist can't do it the old fashioned way, but it sure is easier if your label and radio pump up your single to #1 so everybody at least knows your name. I think in doing this today, many artists lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day it is still the fans who make their career and the label and radio people just help connect the artist to the fans.

  21. Today's big money marketing can buy all the #1 records they want. They won't be remembered in 10 years, let alone 40 or 50 years, just like those same singers won't be remembered. I mean really, how many Keith Urban, Darius Rucker or Little Big Town songs can you even name off the top of your head now? Remember any of these songs that were NOT number #1 records:

    Gentle on My Mind
    Coat of Many Colors
    I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
    Waltz Across Texas
    I Can't Stop Loving You

    I'd really be interested in hearing from this group if anyone ever met Hank Snow. What a fascinating personality and one of my all time favorites! There's a great YouTube video of Kayton Roberts talking about Hank and autographs:


  22. Oldtimeopry: We never met Hank and only got to see him on the Opry three times. However, I have some friends that used to take tour groups to the Opry and spent a good amount of time backstage with Mr. Acuff. I ask how Hank was to be around and they said he was a different character but always friendly whenever they were around him. I know that's not much but I always figured he was kind of distant and maybe hard to approach.

    Knightsville, IN

  23. The only person I have met personally that was once an Opry Member was Tom T. Hall. That was in 1998 when I was a grad student in Tallahassee at Florida State University. Met him at Borders Bookstore where he was watching some music. Afterwards I spike with him and he signed one of the front pages of my textbook. Ripped it out and framed it

  24. One year there was an Opry group putting on a show at the Florida state fair. I was in the long line to see Connie Smith that actually wound past where Jim Ed Brown was sitting. I remember I had on my "pledge of allegiance " t shirt and he asked me about it and we ended up talking for a half hour about faith and patriotism. Would you believe I forgot to ask for his autograph?