Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 8/17 & 8/18

After the big weekend with Carrie Underwood, it is back to normal this week at the Opry House, with one show each night. Interesting that Mark Wills is once again scheduled for both nights. No, I don't anticipate Mark becoming an Opry member, although worst things can happen, but he seems to be the person they are going to now to fill out the line-ups.

Besides Mark Wills, corporate comedian Dick Hardwick is also scheduled for both nights. On the Friday Night Opry, Mark and Dick will be joined by Mickey Guyton, Ryan Kinder and Don Schlitz, while on Saturday night Logan Brill and Waylon Payne will join the pair.

As far as Grand Ole Opry members this weekend, John Conlee, Mike Snider and Connie Smith are scheduled for both nights, with Dailey & Vincent, The Whites and Ricky Skaggs joining that trio on Friday night. Saturday night has Jeannie Seely, Bobby Osborne, Riders In The Sky, and the Opry's newest member, Bobby Bare listed.

Friday August 17
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mickey Guyton; Mike Snider
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Ryan Kinder; Don Schlitz
8:15: Dailey & Vincent (host); Dick Hardwick; Mark Wills
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites

Saturday August 18
7:00: John Conlee (host); Logan Brill; Mike Snider
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Mark Wills
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Dick Hardwick; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Waylon Payne; Bobby Bare

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

Friday August 15
8:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Connie Smith; Zac Brown Band
8:30: Ray Pillow (host); Elizabeth Cook; The Steeldrivers
9:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Point of Grace
9:30: Mel Tillis (host); Johnny Lee; Melissa Lawson

Saturday August 16
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Point of Grace
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Johnny Counterfit; Opry Square Dancers
8:00: Vince Gill (host); The Grascals; Melissa Lawson; Guy Clark

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Point of Grace
10:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Point of Grace
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Charlie Louvin; Guy Clark; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Melissa Lawson

Looking back, it was 51 year ago, Saturday August 19, 1967 that Charlie Walker became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Charles Levi Walker came from the cotton fields of Dallas County, Texas, to become one of country music's most popular disc jockeys and then one of the best shuffle-beat honky-tonk singers. A singer-guitarist with Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers in Dallas from 1943-1944, Charlie also worked daily remote broadcasts from Sellers Studio to Corpus Christi and other Texas outlets. With the Eighth Army Signal Corps in the Tokyo occupation forces, he became the first to broadcast country music to fellow soldiers in the Orient. Discharged in 1947, Charlie and his band the Texas Ramblers performed in and around Corpus Christi for several years.

Moving to San Antonio in 1951, he became KMAC's country disc jockey and built an enormous listenership with great records and great antics: His sign-on was "This is ol' poke salad, cotton-picking, boll-pulling, corn-shucking, snuff-dipping Charlie Walker." On Decca Records (1954-56) after a short previous stink with Imperial, Charlie had a regional hit, "Tell Her Lies and Feed Her Candy," and his first charted record, "Only You, Only You" (1956). Pappy Daily next signed Charlie to Mercury, but it was a chance with Columbia Records, thanks to Ray Price, that made possible Charlie's first big hit, "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down" (1958), which helped introduce the popular shuffle beat to country music.

Charlie remained San Antonio's top country disc jockey while building his own touring and recording career with a few widely spaced honky-tonk hits: "Who Will Buy the Wine" (1960), "Wild as a Wildcat" (1965) and "Don't Squeeze My Sharmon" (1967). The popularity of the latter convinced Charlie, who was also a top-notch golfer, to move to Nashville and join the Grand Ole Opry, where he remained a member for the rest of his life. He was the Opry's staunchest exponent of honky-tonk and western swing styles. And in case you forgot, it was Charlie Walker who portrayed Hawkshaw Hawkins in the 1985 film biography of Patsy Cline, "Sweet Dreams."

Charlie was born in Copeville, Texas on November 2, 1926. In addition to being a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Charlie was also a member of the Country Radio DJ Hall of Fame, elected in 1981. Charlie passed away at the age of 81 on September 12, 2008. His final appearance on the Opry was Friday March 21, 2008.

Here is the running order from Saturday August 19, 1967, the night Charlie Walker became an Opry member:

1st show
6:30: (?)
6:45: (?)

7:00: Luzianne
Hank Locklin (host): Please Help Me I'm Falling
The Four Guys: Walking in the Sunshine
June Stearns: Habit, Not Desire
Pete Drake: I'm Just a Guitar (Everybody Picks on Me)
Hank Locklin: Hasta Luego
Bobby Barnett: Down Came the World
The Four Guys: Ruby, Don't Take Your Guns to Town
Jerry Whitehurst: (?)
Hank Locklin: Jambalaya

7:30: Cordite
Billy Walker (host): Let's Think About Living
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Mel Tillis: Goodbye Wheeling
Margie Singleton: Ode to Billy Joe
Billy Walker: Bare With Me a Little Longer
Leon Ashley: Laura
Del Wood: Are You from Dixie
Mel Tillis: Life Turned Her that Way
Billy Walker; Del Rio

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Night Train to Memphis
Jim & Jesse: The Ballad of Thunder Road
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Lafayette: Crook Brothers
Loretta Lynn: If You're Not Gone Too Long
Larry McNeely: (?)
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

8:30: Stephens
Ray Pillow (host): Thank You Ma'am
Marion Worth: If I Kiss You, Will You Go Away
Jerry Green: Sally Was a Good Old Girl
Bobby Jenkins: Lovesick Blues
Ray Pillow: I Just Want to be Left Alone
Curtis McPeake: The World is Waiting for the Sunrise
Johnny Carver: It's Such a Pretty World
Marion Worth: You Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
Ray Pillow: Take Your Hands off My Heart

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Billy Walker (host): Cross the Brazos at Waco
Willis Brothers: Somebody Knows My Dog
Pete Sayers: Wash My Face in the Morning Dew
Del Wood: Ballin' the Jack
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Billy Walker: Cattle Call

10:00: Schick
Ray Pillow (host): If' Is a Mighty Big Word
Margie Singleton: Ode to Billy Joe
Leon Ashley: Laura
Ray Pillow: Six Days on the Road

10:15: Pure
George Morgan (host): I Couldn't See
Mel Tillis: The Fugitive
Loretta Lynn: Don't Come Home a Drinkin'
George Morgan: You're the Only Good Thing

10:30: Buckley's
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball/The Sinking of the Great Titanic
Harold Weakley: Almost Persuaded
Roy Acuff: Put My Little Shoes Away

10:45: Kent
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Hank Locklin: Release Me

11:00: Coca-Cola
Bill Anderson (host): I Got the Fever/Get While the Getting's Good
The Four Guys: Roll Muddy River
Jimmy Gatley: Crying Don't Pay
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire on the Mountain
Bill Anderson: Papa
Sam McGee: Spanish Two-Step
The Four Guys: Shenandoah
Bill Anderson: No One's Gonna Hurt You Anymore

11:30: Lava
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Marion Worth: Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Jerry Green: Danny Boy
Jim & Jesse: Diesel on My Tail
Bobby Sykes: Living a Lie
Don Winters: Chime Bells
Marion Worth: A Legend in My Time
Marty Robbins: Tonight Carmen/Begging to You/Ribbon of Darkness/Don't Worry/The Shoe Goes on the Other Foot Tonight

There you have it for this week. Coming up on Tuesday night will be two big shows featuring Trace Adkins, Vince Gill and Eddie Montgomery among others. It will be a celebration of Trace's 15th year as an Opry member. Then next Saturday night, two shows with Garth!!

With that, I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Took it upon myself to answer the inevitable questions that will come up ; Bill Boyd with the Cowboy Ramblers and William Boyd who played kindly western movie star Hopalong Cassidy were two completely different people ----- Flushing, Michigan Dashmann

  2. Nice that Becky Brown was introduced on stage last night. She was in the Opry Shop signing copies of her new book.

    1. She was also on Bill and Charlie's morning show on WSM.
      She revealed that she actually divorced Jim Ed while he was trying to win her back following his affair with his singing partner.
      It was a great interview. She's a wonderful lady.

    2. Nat, ages ago, I found a profile of Jimmy C. Newman, and it talked about how he and Miss Mae had over Jim Ed and Becky as part of the effort to get them back together. I would guess it took considerable strength on Becky's part when Jim Ed performed with her again, and it speaks well for Becky.

    3. Thanks for the insight Michael.
      It's hard to NOT speak well of Becky. :)
      I didn't know Jim Ed performed again with his "girlfriend."

    4. Jim Ed and Helen appeared together on the Opry a lot of times.

  3. I wish entertainers would realize that some of us listen on the radio and once we've heard the same joke sketch word-for-word every week for two or three weeks in a row, it would be good to come up with some new material. (I am thinking of this Dick Hardwick and the other recent one -- Billy Bones?) I don't think the entertainers or Opry management really realize that there is a huge radio audience. They sometimes act like the people in the Opry house are the only ones listening, and for the first time. Games and dance-offs didn't play well on radio either. I think they have cut back on that part though. Just a thought.

    1. I agree with the games and dance-offs, but I personally don't mind hearing the same jokes over and over again.

      Jimmy Dickens told the same ones for what, sixty years?

  4. Charlie played Cowboy Copas in "Sweet Dreams." Hawkshaw was portrayed by Frank Knapp.