Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 8/10 & 8/11

It is a big weekend at the Grand Ole Opry as there are two shows each on Friday and Saturday night. The reason? Grand Ole Opry member Carrie Underwood is appearing both nights. For Carrie, these will be Opry shows number five, six, seven and eight this year as she continues to uphold her commitment to the Opry. And in case anyone missed the big announcement today from Carrie, she will be going on a nationwide tour beginning in May 2019. Why the long wait? Because, as she also announced today, she is pregnant with her second child. Congratulations to Carrie and her husband Mike.

As to the rest of this weekends shows, both shows on Friday night will also feature Opry members the Oak Ridge Boys. For the Oaks, these will be Opry shows seven and eight for this year and they have more scheduled. It took this group years before they agreed to become Opry members, and much like Carrie, they have taken Opry membership very seriously.

Also appearing on Friday night for both shows will be members Bill Anderson, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. Joining them on the first show will be Jeannie Seely and Bobby Osborne, while Connie Smith is scheduled for just the second show. Saturday night, in addition to Carrie, has Opry members Mike Snider, Connie Smith, The Whites and Jeannie Seely scheduled for both shows.

Guesting on both nights will be frequent Opry guest Mark Wills. With these four appearances, that will give him 18 for the year. Why don't they just make this guy a member? Over the past number of years, he has certainly appeared more than the majority of the members.

Joining Mark on Friday night will be Runaway June, Mountain Heart and comedian Henry Cho. All are set for both shows. Saturday nights guest list, in addition to Mark, includes Jillian Jacqueline, The Grascals, Dom Flemons, and set for appearances 101 and 102, Charles Esten.

Friday August 10
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Runaway June; Mountain Heart
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Wills
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Henry Cho
8:30: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Runaway June; Mountain Heart
10:00: Connie Smith (host); Carrie Underwood
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Henry Cho
11:00: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Mark Wills

Saturday August 11
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jillian Jacqueline; Mark Wills
7:30: Connie Smith (host); The Grascals; Dom Flemons
8:00: The Whites (host); Charles Esten; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Jillian Jacqueline; Mark Wills
10:00: Connie Smith (host); Carrie Underwood
10:30: The Whites (host); Dom Flemons; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); The Grascals; Charles Esten

Four very nice shows this weekend!!!

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

Friday August 8
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Phil Stacey
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); George Hamilton IV; Mandy Barnett
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Rissi Palmer
9:30: Charley Pride (host); Eddy Raven; Carolina Rain

Saturday August 9
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Radney Foster
7:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Exile
8:00: Charley Pride (host); The Whites; T Graham Brown; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Radney Foster
10:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Exile
10:30: Charley Pride (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Riders In The Sky (host); T Graham Brown; Carrie Underwood

And from 25 years ago, here is the line-up for the first show on Saturday August 14, 1993:

1st show
6:30: Jack Greene (host); Jeanne Pruett
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jan Howard; Charlie Walker
7:00: Bill Monroe (host); Ernie Ashworth; Jim Ed Brown; Charlie Louvin; Skeeter Davis
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Martina McBride; ; Asleep at the Wheel
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Four Guys; The Whites; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; Ray Pillow; Roy Drusky; Mike Snider

Looking back in Grand Ole Opry history, it was Saturday August 11, 1979 that Guy Willis, a member of the Willis Brothers, performed on the Opry for the final time.

Originally known as the Oklahoma Wranglers, the Willis Brothers, consisting of Vic, Guy and Skeeter began their career at KGEF Radio in Shawnee, Oklahoma, later moving to Kansas City just prior to World War II. In addition to their musical careers, the Willis Brothers also performed on radio and television, along with appearing in movies. The Willis Brothers were also the first group to back Hank Williams (later becoming known as the original Drifting Cowboys), the first featured group on the Jubilee, USA shows in Springfield, Missouri, and were also among the first Country and Western entertainers to give a concert in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

After serving in World War II, the brothers (still known as the Oklahoma Wranglers) relocated to Nashville and in 1946 began performing on the Grand Ole Opry, becoming members. In 1949, they left the Opry to tour nationally with Eddy Arnold, returning as members in 1960 renamed as the Willis Brothers.

Although they recorded for a number of different record labels, including Mercury, Sterling, Coral, RCA, and CMH Records, the Willis Brothers had only four hits that made the country charts: "Give Me Forty Acres," which reached No. 9 in 1964; "A Six Foot Two by Four," No. 41 in 1965; and "Bob" reaching No. 14, along with "Somebody Knows My Dog," reaching No. 62, both in 1967.

Charles Ray Clayton, known as Skeeter, was the first to pass away, on January 28, 1976 at the age of 58. James Ulysses Harrod Lyn, known as Guy, passed away on April 13, 1981, while John Victor, Vic Willis, passed away on January 15, 1995.

After Guy retired, due to declining health, Vic continued on the Opry, first as a solo act, then formed the Vic Willis Trio with C.W. Mitchell and Curtis Young, which debuted on the Opry in November 1980.

Here is the running order from Saturday August 11, 1979, the final night that Guy Willis of the Willis Brothers, appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, and the final night that the Willis Brothers were listed on the Opry program:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Wilburn Brothers (host): Heartaches by the Number
Harold Morrison: Foggy Mountain Top
Wilburn Brothers: Because He Lives

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Bonaparte's Retreat
Willis Brothers: Sioux City Sue
Billy Grammer: Cincinnati Rag

7:00: Shoney's
Charlie Walker (host): Don't Play Me No Songs about Texas
Hank Locklin: I Can't Stop Loving You/Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Mel McDaniel: God Made Love/Play Her Back to Yesterday
Linda Nail: Why Don't You Love Me
Charlie Walker: Milkcow Blues

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Charlie Louvin: Love Don't Care Whose House It Lives In/Mama's Angels
Carolee Singers: The Song the Holy Angels Cannot Sing
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Billy in the Low Ground
Herman Crook: Will the Circle Be Unbroken

8:00: Martha White
Stonewall Jackson (host): A Wound Time Can't Erase
Connie Smith: When God Dips His Love in My Heart/He Was There all the Time
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
The Four Guys: Cottonfields/Mariah/Why I'm Walkin'

8:30: Acme
Bill Monroe (host): I'll Never Love No One Else But My Darling
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Johnny Carver: Tie A Yellow Ribbon/Afternoon Delight
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Bill Monroe: Walk Softly on this Heart of Mine

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Charlie Walker (host): Don't Play Me No Songs About Texas
Billy Grammer: San Antonio Rose/I'm Letting You Go
Willis Brothers: Take Me Back to Tulsa
Mel McDaniel: God Made Love/Play Her Back to Yesterday
Charlie Walker: Wild Side of Life

10:00: Fender
Wilburn Brothers (host): Fraulein
Harold Morrison: Tennessee
Wilburn Brothers: Knoxville Girl

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Back in the Country
Brother Oswald: Mountain Dew
Roy Acuff: The Great Judgement Morning/I'll Fly Away

10:30: Trailblazer
Stonewall Jackson (host): My Favorite Sin
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Linda Nail: Satisfied
Stonewall Jackson: Come on Home

10:45: Beech-Nut
Charlie Louvin (host): I Don't Love You Anymore/I Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep/See the Big Man Cry
Connie Smith: He Set Me Free
Crook Brothers/Tennessee Travelers: Black Mountain Rag
Mr. C.M. Loudermilk: Instrumental

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Monroe (host): Little Cabin Home on the Hill
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Bill Monroe: I Saw the Light
Duke of Paducah: Comedy
Bill Monroe: Little Joe

11:30: Little Debbie
The Four Guys (host): Fire
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Tale That the Crow Told Me/Gone Home
Johnny Carver: Lay Down, Sally/Rose Colored Glasses
The Four Guys: Forever in Bluejeans

A name some may not remember from that night is Linda Nail. Linda came to Nashville in 1973 from Wabash, Arkansas. She auditioned at Opryland and became part of the Country Music USA show at the park, performing there for the next seven years. As part of the show, she portrayed Barbara Mandrell, Tammy Wynette, and Minnie Pearl. At the same time, she was pursuing her own singing career, recording for Paragon and Ridgetop Records.

Linda appeared on the Opry many times, making her first appearance as a guest of Roy Acuff. She also made television appearances on the Ralph Emery and Porter Wagoner shows, in addition to appearing on WSM radio. She also toured with Glen Campbell, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Boots Randolph and Ronnie Prophet. Most recently, Linda and her husband own and operated Castle Recording Studio in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, where she sings demos for studio clients as well as producing.

Finally, it was 27 years ago, Saturday August 10, 1991 that Vince Gill became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Del Reeves (host): Girl on the Billboard
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Del Reeves: A Dozen Pair of Boots

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Charlie Walker: Drinking Champagne/Take Me Back to Tulsa

7:00: Shoney's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Everyday People
Jan Howard: You Don't Know Me
Billy Walker: You Gave Me A Mountain
Wilma Lee Cooper: Wildwood Flower
Ray Pillow: That Ain't No Way to Treat My Heart
Jim Ed Brown: Scarlet Ribbons

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top/Kentucky
Vince Gill: Look at Us/When I Call Your Name

8:00: Martha White
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Jeannie Seely: Too Far Gone
Boxcar Willie: Cowboys & Horses; Hobos & Trains
Roy Drusky: Wings of A Dove
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sugar in the Gourd
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya

8:30: Pops Rite
Hank Snow (host): A Vanishing Breed
Jean Shepard: Home in San Antone/Time Changes Everything/Roly Poly
The Four Guys: Tennessee
Mike Snider: Shuckin the Corn
Hank Snow: I Almost Lost My Mind

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Del Reeves (host): Bells of Southern Bell
Skeeter Davis: Oh Happy Day
Vic Willis Trio: Colorado
Teddy Wilburn: Somebody's Back in Town
Bill Carlisle: Business Man
Del Reeves: Luckenbach Texas

10:00: Little Debbie
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
Charlie Louvin: When I Stop Dreaming
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Just a Friend
Vince Gill: Pocket Full of Gold/When I Call Your Name

10:30: Pet Milk
Charlie Walker (host): San Antonio Rose
Jan Howard: Somebody's Always Saying Goodbye
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jimmy C Newman (host): Big Mamou
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Blackberry Blossom
Jimmy C Newman: (?)

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Between Fire and Water
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Justin Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Osborne Brothers: Bluegrass Melodies/Midnight Flyer
Hank Snow: I've Done at Least One Thing That Was Good in My Life

11:30: Creamette
Boxcar Willie (host): Train Melody
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
The Four Guys: Elvira/Elizabeth/Old Flames/Church on the Cumberland Road/Dumas Walker
Mike Snider: Snuff Dipper
Boxcar Willie: Cowboys & Horses; Hobos & Trains

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


  1. Byron: I agree with you on Mark Wills. Bob

  2. I will be at the Opry both nights this weekend, early shows. Look for pics on facebook.

    1. Have fun Danny. I'll be listening and looking for your pictures. Bob

  3. Something cute about that 1979 lineup: the 10:45 segment with Charlie Louvin had an instrument by a "Mr. C.M. Loudermilk." Given Mr. Louvin's original last name, I wonder if that might just have been a relative!

  4. For those who missed it, Garth Brooks is returning to the Opry on Saturday August 25.

    1. When was the last appearance by Garth that was announced in advanced? I know he has appeared a couple times per year, either as a surprise performer or to assist with an induction/invitation, but I'm not sure if he has had a "scheduled" appearance since he came out of retirement.

    2. Joe, just off the top of my head without double checking my records, I think it was October 15, 2005, the night of the Opry's 80th birthday. His next appearance after that was in 2008, the night Carrie Underwood was inducted as a new member, but that was a surprise appearance. His next show was June 19, 2015 when he and Trisha Yearwood showed up to do a few duets after the death of Jim Ed Brown. He then did a surprise appearance on November 4, 2016. Safe to say that up until this year, Garth has not been around the Opry a lot.

    3. Even this year, those appearances have been surprises and/or non-performing appearances. I couldn't remember any "scheduled" appearances since he came out of retirement, but I trust you a lot more than myself. That said, I don't ask/say this to slam him as I understand why he would feel the need to not publicize his appearances and in fact I think it plays a part in helping the Opry overall (although I also understand those who would criticize him for being "above the Opry" by not allowing his appearances to be advertised). Part of the lure to the Opry is you never know just what will happen and what lineup you will get so to see him suddenly show up gives people that thought that maybe the random ticket they buy might be the night that Garth shows up as well.

  5. I appreciate Carrie Underwood's integrity and commitment to the Opry and her membership status. And I think we have had the discussion here before about certain artist getting more, maybe much more, than union scale, Mr Acuff has been mentioned. I'm sure Carrie is loosing money playing the Opry but I bet it is not at total financial waste.

    Now to my point which you knew was coming. Having Carrie and Connie on the same portion is quite an exhibit in contrasts. Both have strong clear voices......but what a difference.

    That's all the old gray hair I am becoming has to say! Except, compliments to Carrie for giving us four shows this weekend!

    Knightsville, IN

  6. Wills totally deserves membership! And even those of you who don't like modern country artists at all had to LOVE the song he did tonight! Mrs. Fisher is LITERALLY one of the biggest stars in all of music period. We've got to be thankful that she is so supportive because sad as it truly is, the opry needs her far more than she needs it.

  7. From that 1979 lineup, Johnny Carver is an example of someone (like Mark Wills) who made several guest appearances but never got Opry membership. The decade of the 70s did not produce many Opry members at all, perhaps the lowest in its history.

    1. David, here is the list from the 70s: Tom T. Hall (71); Jan Howard (71); David Houston (72); Barbara Mandrell (72); Jeanne Pruett (73); Jerry Clower (73); Jimmy Dickens-rejoined (75); Ronnie Milsap (76); Don Williams (76); Gatlin Brothers (76).

      So there was a flurry on new members during the first half of the decade, then a dry spell after 76.

  8. I would certainly agree with membership for Mark Wills, Byron. Talented, humble and genuine.

  9. I would certainly agree with membership for Mark Wills, Byron. Talented, humble and genuine.

  10. I think that ANYBODY who has appeared 100 times or more on the 'Opry should be given a membership. Simple enough.