Thursday, July 12, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 7/13 & 7/14

Looking at the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this weekend, it is once again the core group of Opry veterans and legends that make up the bulk of Opry members scheduled this weekend.

Mike Snider, Connie Smith and The Whites are scheduled, and hosting, both nights, with Bobby Osborne scheduled on Friday and Jeannie Seely on Saturday. Now, it is nice to see two more Opry members scheduled on Friday night, the Oak Ridge Boys and Crystal Gayle. Both of these Opry members have done a good job upholding their appearances on the show, and in fact, the Oaks are listed on the upcoming schedule for a number of shows. It all adds up to 6 Opry members on Friday night and 4 on Saturday. And for those who might have forgotten, there are currently 65 Opry members.

There is a nice list of guest artists this weekend. Steven Curtis Chapman is scheduled for both nights. Joining Steven on Friday will be Mo Pitney, Shenandoah and Cassadee Pope. Saturday night, in addition to Steven, will have Keith Anderson, Carolina Story, The Wild Feathers (yes, that is correct), and Dom Flemons, who is excellent. Joining that group will be bluegrass legend Larry Sparks and someone who I have always thought would have made a great Opry member, Kathy Mattea.

Friday July 13
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Mo Pitney; Shenandoah
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Steven Curtis Chapman
8:15: The Whites (host); Cassadee Pope
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Crystal Gayle

Saturday July 14
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Keith Anderson; Carolina Story
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Larry Sparks; The Wild Feathers
8:15: The Whites (host); Steven Curtis Chapman; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Dom Flemons; Kathy Mattea

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the 2nd weekend in July, 2008:

Friday July 11
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Bobby Osborne &  The Rocky Top X-Press; Jamie O'Neal
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Aaron Tippin
9:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jean Shepard; Lonestar

Saturday July 12
1st show
7:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Heidi Newfield; Phil Stacey; Radney Foster
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jypsi; Jimmy C Newman; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Fisher Stevenson; Jack Greene

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Heidi Newfield
10:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Phil Stacey; Radney Foster
10:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jean Shepard; Jypsi; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Fisher Stevenson; Jack Greene

The previous week was when the Opry switched to a 7:00 start for the first show on Saturday. This particular Saturday was the first of the 7:00 starts in which the first hour was televised. I always thought that was a horrible decision as the first hour long segment felt disjointed from the rest of the Opry. Later in the year, the Opry made the switch and when televised, it would be the last hour of the first show, beginning at 8:00.

Looking back, it was on Saturday July 14, 1973 that Grand Ole Opry members Tompall & The Glaser Brothers made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry.

The Glaser Brothers, Chuck, Jim, and Tompall, were born in Spalding, Nebraska. The brothers began singing at county fairs and in contests around the area when they were in their preteens. In 1957, the brothers got their big break when they appeared on the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Show and attracted the attention of several well-known country music stars, including Marty Robbins. Marty quickly signed them as backup singers on his albums and as solo artists on his record label. The brother's first single, "Five Penny Nickel" was released in 1958 on Robbin's Records.

Between 1960 and 1975, the trio recorded ten studio albums and charted nine singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts. In the 1960s, the brothers became members of the Grand Ole Opry. The group was one of the most rewarded groups in country music in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They went on to be known worldwide and were awarded Billboards International Group of the Year several times. The group took a hiatus from 1973 to 1978, during which time each brother pursued individual interests. They reunited in 1979 and released several singles and two albums including "Loving Her Was Easier" which went to No. 2 on the Billboard charts.

The brothers changed Nashville's country music machine in several ways. In 1962, the Glaser Brothers started a publishing company, and began to sign songwriters that the larger companies ignored. One of those songwriters was John Hartford, who wrote "Gentle on My Mind." In 1970, the brothers opened their own studio at 916 19th Ave. South in Nashville. Named Glaser Sound, it was often referred to as Hillbilly Central because it was a haven for artists who wanted to have more artistic control over their own music and careers. The studio included a publishing company, production company, talent agency, and design services for album covers. In that venue, creative experimentation thrived as new opportunities for songwriters and artists became commonplace. The studio was also at the center of the Outlaw movement that dominated country music in the 1970s.

Sadly, differences between the brothers resulted in the publishing company being sold in 1975. The same day of the sale, Chuck suffered a stroke. Following his recovery, he began to explore other lucrative business ventures including producing a syndicated television show and a children's album. Tompall and Jim continued their musical careers, achieving success as solo artists.

While the 1973 show was the final one for the Glaser Brothers as Opry members, they did reunite several times, returning to the Opry stage in 1983 and in 1990.

It was the January 1990, at the personal invitation of Grand Ole Opry member Hank Snow, that the  brothers reunited for one final show at the Opry. It was their last show together and they went out in style with a performance for the ages. The final show can be seen on YouTube and if you haven't watched it, I highly recommend it. It shows why the Glaser Brothers were one of the best harmony groups in the history of country music.

Tompall passed away in August 2013 at the age of 79. Chuck has retired from the music business, while Jim remains semi-active.

Here is the running order from 35 years ago, Saturday July 14, 1973, the night of the final appearance of the Glaser Brothers as members of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Charlie Walker: Soft Lips & Hard Liquor
Joe Edwards: Old Joe Clark

6:45: Rudy's
Justin Tubb (host): Lodi
Del Wood: Standing Room Only
Judy Bryte: Wabash Cannonball
Justin Tubb: Texas Dance Hall Girl

7:00: Rudy's
George Jones (host): White Lightening
Tammy Wynette: Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
The Four Guys: Cottonfields/Maria
Harold Morrison: Dueling Banjos
Patsy Sledd: Nothing Can Stop My Loving You
George Jones: A Picture of Me Without You
Tammy Wynette: Stand By Your Man
The Four Guys: Sing Me Back Home/I'll Fly Away/Jambalaya/She'll be Coming Round the Mountain/You Are My Sunshine/Shutters & Boards
George Jones & Tammy Wynette: We Go Together

7:30: Standard Candy
Tex Ritter (host): Fall Away
Stringbean: Cripple Creek
Willis Brothers: Cimmarron
Crook Brothers: Liberty
Tex Ritter: Green Grow the Lilacs
Stringbean: The Battle of New Orleans
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Charlie Louvin: Funny Man
Jimmy C Newman: Back Pocket Money
Penny DeHaven: This Time
Lester Flatt: The Girl I Love Don't Pay Me No Mind
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: Did You Ever
Jimmy C Newman: Diggy, Liggy Lo
Marty Stuart: Roanoke

8:30: Stephens
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
Mary Lou Turner: I Am Woman
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life
Mary Lou Turner: Take Me Home Country Roads
Johnny Carver: You Really Haven't Changed
Bill Anderson: All the Lonely Women in the World

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Tex Ritter (host): Boll Weevil
Willis Brothers: There Goes the Farm
Charlie Walker: The Lord Knows I'm Drinking
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Tex Ritter: The Streets of Larado
Judy Bryte: The Wreck of the Old 97
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Tex Ritter: High Noon

10:00: Fender
Charlie Louvin (host): Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink on Me/Rusty Old Halo
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: American Trilogy

10:15: Union 76
George Jones (host): She Thinks I Still Care
Tammy Wynette: Kids Say the Darndest Things
Harold Morrison: Dueling Banjos
Pasty Sledd: Pass Me By
George Jones/Tammy Wynette/Harold Morrison/Patsy Sledd: Let's All Go Down to the River

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Country Boy
Stringbean: Pretty Polly
Del Wood: Gloryland March
Lester Flatt & Marty Stuart: The Bluebirds Singing for Me

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bill Anderson (host): If You Can Live With It
Mary Lou Turner: The Shelter of My Eyes
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jimmy C Newman (host): Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues
The Four Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of A Dove
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Take Me Back to Tulsa
Jimmy C Newman: The Kind of Love I Can't Forget
The Four Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
Jimmy C Newman: Jole Blon

11:30: Elm Hill
Glaser Brothers (host): Release Me/Then I Turned and Walked Away Slowly/Many Tears Ago/You Win Again/Bouquet of Roses/There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
Johnny Carver: Tie a Yellow Ribbon
Penny DeHaven: Down in the Boondocks
Glaser Brothers: Rings
Johnny Carver: You Really Haven't Changed
Penny DeHaven: The Love of Your Life
Glaser Brothers: Faded Love/Rose of Old Pawnee/Just A Girl I Used to Know/I'll Hold You In My Heart/More & More

Safe to say that the Glaser Brothers went out in style!!

Finally, let's go way back to the golden days of the Grand Ole Opry, 62 years to be exact to Saturday July 14, 1956. (I am sure there are a few who remember those days).

7:30: Federal Fertilizer Co.
Roy Acuff (host): Coming From the Ball
Brother Oswald: John Hardy
Kitty Wells: Searching
Jug Band: Thirty Days
Howdy Forrester: Money Music

7:45: American Ace
Roy Acuff (host): John Henry
Johnny and Jack: I Want to be Loved
Marty Robbins: I'll Go On Alone
Roy Acuff: Lights in the Valley
Jimmy Riddle: Hot Canary

8:00: Martha White
Flatt and Scruggs: Theme
Ray Price (host): You Done Me Wrong
Flatt and Scruggs: Randy Lynn Rag
Possum Hunters: Black Berry Blossom
Carter Sisters: Sweet Talking Man
Ray Price: Crazy Arms
Odie and Jody: Blue Swede Shoes
George Morgan: Take A Look at Yourself
Flatt and Scruggs: Give Mother My Crown
Ray Price: Run Boy
Fiddle Tune: Fire in the Mountain

8:30: Prince Albert
Faron Young (host): Sweet Dreams
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Davis Sisters: Lonely and Blue
Fiddle Tune: Sally Goodin
Faron Young: Where Could I Go But to the Lord
Del Wood: Crazy
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Davis Sisters: Lying Brown Eyes
Chet Atkins: Avalon
Faron Young: Until I Met You
Fiddle Tune: Soldier's Joy

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Jordanaires: Theme
Marty Robbins (host): Long Tall Sally
Red Sovine: Hold Everything
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Stringbean: That's What I Like About the South
Marty Robbins: You Only Want Me When
Goldie Hill: Sample My Kissin'
Cowboy Copas: Any Old Time
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbin Ridge
Jordanaires: Shaking Bridges
Marty Robbins: That's Alright
Fiddle Tune: Leather Britches

9:30: Stephens
Carl Smith (host): Don't Tease Me
Louvin Brothers: Hoping That You're Hoping
Lonzo and Oscar: Charming Betsy
Anita Carter: A Tear Fell
Carl Smith: Doorstep to Heaven
Lew Childre: Hang out the Front Door Key
Justin Tubb: You Nearly Lose Your Mind
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Louvin Brothers: That's All He's Asking of Me
Carl Smith: Go Boy Go

10:00: Wall-Rite
George Morgan (host): Send for My Baby
Cowboy Copas: Don't Shake Hands with the Devil
Jimmy and Johnny: Till the End of the Worlds Roll On
George Morgan: Ever So Often
Fiddle Tune: Grey Eagle

10:15: Delited
Roy Acuff (host): New River Train
Kitty Wells: I'd Rather Stay Home
Johnny and Jack: Baby It's in the Making
Roy Acuff: This World is not My Home
Howdy Forrester: Indian Creek

10:30: Hester Battery
Marty Robbins (host): Respectfully Mrs. Brooks
Goldie Hill: I'm Beginning to Feel Mistreated
Stringbean: Hillbilly Fever
Marty Robbins: You Don't Owe Me a Thing
Fiddle Tune: Ragtime Annie

10:45: D-Con
Ray Price (host): Run Boy
Bill Monroe: On and On
Crook Brothers: Pretty Little Polly
Ray Price: I Loved You So Much I Let You Go
Fiddle Tune: Katy Hill

11:00: Coca Cola
Jordanaires: Theme
Carl Smith (host): If You Do Dear
Red Sovine: Best Years of My Life
Gully Jumpers: Ida Red
Lonzo and Oscar: Who Put the Fish in the Washer
Carl Smith: I've Changed
Sam and Kirk McGee: House of David Blues
Maybelle Carter: Wild Wood Flower
Jordanaires: The Lord's A Busy Man
Red Sovine: Missing You
Carl Smith: Doggone It Baby I'm In Love

11:30: Jamison
Jordanaires: Theme
Faron Young (host): I've Got Five Dollars
Louvin Brothers: I Don't Believe You've Me My Baby
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fruit Jar Breakdown
Lew Childre: Alabama Jubilee
Faron Young: You're Still Mine
Odie and Jody: Don't Make Love in a Buggy
Justin Tubb: Lucky, Lucky Someone Else
Louvin Brothers: Where Will You Build
Faron Young: Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young
Fiddle Tune: Sleepy Lou

Very, very nice Opry show from that era. Makes you wish those days were still here.

As always, I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Byron,
    Thanks for the great write-up on the Glaser Brothers! Their close harmony back-up really enhances Hank Snow's recording of "Beggar To A King."


    Anonymous in Kingman

  2. I was about half asleep, but didn't Dom Flemons just about tear the place down? What an ENTERTAINER!

  3. Great stuff, and what a night that was when the Glasers performed for Hank Snow's 40th!

    By the way, this weekend he wasn't at the Opry, but it marked Whisper's 57th anniversary as a member. I did a little calculating. If I'm correct, the only people with a longer tenure have been Herman and Lewis Crook, Jean Shepard, Jimmy C. Newman, Kirk McGee, and Stonewall Jackson (who was out for more than four years but his tenure adds up--although he obviously hasn't performed much there in ages).