Thursday, July 19, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 7/20 & 7/21

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend and two items stand out. First, no Mike Snider this weekend. I only say that because, if my thought process is right, he has only missed one weekend so far this year. The second item is Charles Esten closing the Friday Night Opry, and the only guest for that segment. It is his 100th Opry appearance, so there is probably something special planned for him that evening.

Other than that, two pretty nice shows this weekend. Grand Ole Opry members Jeannie Seely and Dailey & Vincent are scheduled for both nights. Joining those two on Friday night will be members Bobby Osborne, Diamond Rio and Bill Anderson, while on Saturday night we see that Connie Smith, The Whites and the Oak Ridge Boys on listed.

Guesting on Friday night, in addition to Charles Esten, will be Charlie Worsham, The Isaacs, Mason Ramsey and Hunter Hayes. Saturday night Amber Digby, Jim Lauderdale, Pure Prairie League, Tegan Marie and Jason Crabb are on the schedule.

Friday July 20
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Worsham; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Hunter Hayes
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Mason Ramsey; The Isaacs
8:45: Dailey & Vincent (host); Charles Esten

Saturday July 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Amber Digby; The Whites
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Jim Lauderdale; Pure Prairie League
8:15: Dailey & Vincent (host); Tegan Marie; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Jason Crabb

As mentioned, two very nice shows this weekend!!

I wanted to mention one more item in regards to Charles Esten. I know many consider him an actor playing the role of a country music singer. He is certainly not the first, nor will he be the last. However, as someone who has seen him numerous times on the Opry, the guy does a very nice job and the audience loves him. I know it is hard to separate "Deacon" from Charles. But, he does a nice job with his guitar work and he knows how to play it up to the audience. And most of all, he looks like he is having fun. I credit him with continuing to be on the Opry even though "Nashville" has been cancelled, which is more than I can say for a few of the other stars from the show, and he has appeared on the Opry more times than the majority of Opry members. Just on that fact alone, he has my appreciation and thanks.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the 3rd weekend in July 2008:

Friday July 18
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Doug Stone
8:30: Ray Pillow (host); Connie Smith; Randy Kohrs
9:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jan Howard; The Vanderbilt Kennedy Music Camp Performers; Ashley Monroe
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Billy Dean; Gene Watson

Saturday July 19
1st show
7:00: Josh Turner; Steve Wariner; Tift Merritt; Mel Tillis
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Stonewall Jackson; Doug Stone; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Randy Kohrs; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Doug Stone
10:00: Steve Wariner (host); Charlie Louvin; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Tift Merritt
10:30: Mel Tillis (host); Kenyon Lockry; Josh Turner; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Randy Kohrs; Connie Smith

Now from 50 years ago, Saturday July 20, 1968:

1st show
6:30: Billy Walker (host); Charlie Louvin; Lonzo and Oscar
6:45: The Four Guys (host); Stringbean
7:00: Jim & Jesse (host); Jeannie Seely; Charlie Walker; Ernie Ashworth; Roy Drusky
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Monroe; Tex Ritter; Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper; Crook Brothers
8:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Bob Luman; Ray Pillow; Del Wood; Lefty Frizzell; Cousin Jody
8:30: Hank Locklin (host); Del Reeves; Marion Worth; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Bill Carlisle

2nd show
9:30: Billy Walker (host); Charlie Louvin; Lonzo and Oscar; Del Wood; The Four Guys
10:00: Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host); Stringbean; Lefty Frizzell
10:15: Bill Monroe (host); Ernie Ashworth
10:30: Hank Locklin (host); George Hamilton IV; Del Reeves
10:45: Roy Acuff (host); Charlie Walker; Crook Brothers
11:00: Tex Ritter (host); Jim & Jesse; Jeannie Seely; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Bob Luman; Marion Worth; Bill Carlisle; Cousin Jody
Finally, it was 45 years ago, Saturday July 21, 1973 that Jeanne Pruett became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Norma Jean Bowman was born in Pell City, Alabama. She grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and by the time she entered high school, she was singing. In 1956, after her marriage to Jack Pruett, she moved to Nashville. Jack Pruett played guitar, eventually  becoming a guitarist for Marty Robbins. Over time, Marty hired Jeanne as a secretary at his publishing company, while writing songs on the side.

She first started recording for RCA Records in 1963, releasing several singles, none of which reached the country charts. In 1969, Jeanne signed with Decca Records and had her first chart single with "Hold on to My Unchanging Love" in 1971. While only reaching No. 66 on the Billboard charts, it encouraged Jeanne to continue and her next single, "Love Me" made it up to No. 34. In May 1973, she struck it big with her career record "Satin Sheets." The song reached No. 1 on the charts, spending three weeks in that spot. Thanks to the song, Jeanne was nominated for several CMA Awards, and was offered membership into the Grand Ole Opry.

While "Satin Sheets" was her only No. 1 hit, she did have several other Top 10 singles including "I'm Your Woman," "Back to Back," "Temporarily Yours," and "It's Too Late," released in 1980 and was her final Top 10 single. She last charted in 1987 with "Rented Room."

As her chart success faded, Jeanne continued recording and releasing new albums. She also hosted a cooking show on TNN, wrote a series of cookbooks and operated a restaurant "Feedin' Friends" at Opryland, where she would be on many days talking to her fans and signing cookbooks. (and yes, I still have my signed copies).

In 2006, Jeanne announced that she was retiring from performing and has led a quite life on her farm outside of Nashville with her second husband Eddy Fulton. Occasionally she can still be spotted backstage at the Opry. Jeanne has recently written her autobiography, Miss Satin Sheets, I Remember. It is an excellent book, and as you would expect, very truthful and opinionated. I highly recommend that you get a copy.

Now, here is the running order from July 21, 1973, the night Jeanne Pruett became an Opry member:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Tex Ritter (host): Boll Weevil
The Four Guys: Turn Around, Look at Me
Tex Ritter: Fall Away

6:45: Rudy's
Tex Ritter (host): There's A New Moon Over My Shoulders
Ernie Ashworth: My Love for You
Tex Ritter: High Noon

7:00: Rudy's
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Hank Williams, Jr: Hank/Your Cheatin' Heart
Sandi Burnette: Stand By Your Man
Hank Williams, Jr: Cajun Baby
Sandi Burnette: Delta Dawn

7:30: Standard Candy
Osborne Brothers (host): Rocky Top
Jean Shepard: Virginia
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Osborne Brothers: You Win Again/Today I Started Loving You Again
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Osborne Brothers: Ruby

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Wake Up Jacob
Dolly Parton: Traveling Man
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: If Teardrops Were Pennies
Porter Wagoner: Katy Did
Jeanne Pruett: Love Me
Dolly Parton: Joshua

8:30: Stephens
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Arlene Harden: Special Day
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Goodin
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special
Arlene Harden: Walk With Me Jimmy
Billy Grammer: Peace in the Valley

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Tex Ritter (host): Wayward Wind
Bob Luman: When You Say Love
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Sandi Burnette: Stand By Your Man
Bob Luman: Honky-Tonk Man
Tex Ritter: I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven

10:00: Fender
Osborne Brothers (host): Midnight Flyer
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Osborne Brothers: Nine Pound Hammer

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Stringbean: Hillbilly Fever
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:30: Trailblazer
Porter Wagoner (host): Wake Up Jacob
Dolly Parton: Traveling Man
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: If Teardrops Were Pennies/Daddy Was an Old Time Preacher Man

10:45: Beech-Nut
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Jerry Clower: Comedy
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special

11:00: Coca Cola
The Four Guys (host): Cottonfields/Maria
Arlene Harden: Special Day
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
The Four Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of a Dove
Arlene Harden: Will You Walk with Me Jimmy
Sam McGee: When the Wagon was New
The Four Guys: Turn Your Radio On

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Louie Roberts: How Great Thou Art/Just A Little Lovin/Anytime/Bouquet of Roses/Cattle Call
Don Winters: Jambalaya
Marty Robbins: I Walk Alone/They'll Never Take Her Love from Me/Big Boss Man/Love Me/Don't Worry/I'll Step Aside/Letters Have No Arms/Long Gone Lonesome Blues

There you have it for this week and as always, I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!


  1. I've never seen Charles Esten, nor the television show he was on, but I applaud him for playing the Grand Ole Opry a hundred times. I figure you don't get to do that unless you've impressed a whole lot of people along the way.Robert


    2. "WHY NOT RHONDA ?" You're preaching to the choir. I have no earthly idea how she's not already an Opry member. I love her new "Bluegrass Legends" deal, too. Robert

  2. Agree with the first comment on Charles Esten. I don't listen to every Opry broadcast and he is not one I would ever seek out to listen to, but I do thank him for continuing to come back and I assume that people do like him if the Opry continues to ask him back. On another note, is this Dailey and Vincent's first chance to host, especially on the Saturday show?

    PS Hunter Hayes' name is misspelled in the paragraph above the schedule (schedule is correct though).

    1. Joe, I need to hire you as my proof reader!! My thanks and correction has been noted.

      As to Dailey & Vincent, this will be their 9th time hosting a segment so for this year and their 5th time on a Saturday night. So I would say that they have settled into the hosting rotation.

    2. Apparently I need to pay less attention to proofreading and more attention to the actual lineups.

  3. I think I may have mentioned it here before, but I went to the Opry last fall planning not to like Charles Esten, because I thought he was just an actor. I was wrong. He is an outstanding guitarist and a solid entertainer. I hope to see him on my next visit.

  4. In the past week I have been introduced to the music of Flatt Lonesome. My reaction is simply, "Wow!" Does anyone else think that they might be Opry members down the road. Another artist that to me fills a unique role is Jim Lauderdale. I also think he would be a good addition.

  5. I agree with all the comments on Rhonda Vincent. She's one of my favorites. Bob

  6. Are there any updates on Jesse McReynolds?