Thursday, August 30, 2018

Grand Ole Opry 8/31 & 9/1

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this Labor Day weekend, with one show on Friday night and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry.

When looking at the two nights, Friday is definitely the better of the two with Grand Ole Opry members Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers and the Oak Ridge Boys leading the list. Additionally, Bill Anderson, Riders In The Sky, Mike Snider and Connie Smith are scheduled. While 6 Opry members are set for Friday night, it is back down to 4 on Saturday with Bill Anderson (the only member scheduled for both nights this weekend), Bobby Osborne, The Whites and Jeannie Seely listed. And with just that few Opry members, that means the Saturday show is down to just 3 segments.

The guest list on Friday night includes Sarah Darling, Flatt Lonesome, The McCrary Sisters, Rhonda Vincent, Dean Miller and Jamey Johnson. A pretty strong list. Dean, the son of Roger, will be in the Opry Shop after the show signing copies of his new tribute CD dedicated to his late father. And even though she can't seem to get that coveted invitation to join the Opry, Rhonda is back for another guest appearance.

Saturday night the Opry will see Erin Enderlin, Dan Tyminski, Jackie Lee, Chonda Pierce, David Ball and The Isaacs. Not a bad group but certainly not on par with the Friday night list.

Friday August 31
7:00: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); Sarah Darling; Mike Snider; Connie Smith
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Flatt Lonesome; The McCrary Sisters
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Rhonda Vincent; Dean Miller
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Jamey Johnson

Saturday September 1
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Erin Enderlin; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: The Whites (host); Grand Master Fiddle Champions; Dan Tyminski
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Jackie Lee; Opry Square Dancers; Chonda Pierce; David Ball; The Isaacs

One of the nice traditions that the Opry has is hosting the winners of the annual Grand Master Fiddle Championship. The contest used to take place in the Opryland theme park, however since the park has closed, it has moved to a smaller, less publicized venue. Still nice that the Opry recognizes the winner.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of August 29 & 30, 2008:

Friday August 29
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jean Shepard; Luke Bryan
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Wylie & The Wild West
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Restless Heart
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Stonewall Jackson; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Darryl Worley

Saturday August 30
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown w/Helen Cornelius; Rhonda Vincent
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jamie O'Neal; Opry Square Dancers
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); The Whites; Cherryholmes
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; The Time Jumpers

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rhonda Vincent
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Jamie O'Neal; Legacy Five
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); The Whites; Cherryholmes; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; The Time Jumpers

And from 50 years ago, Saturday August 31, 1968:

1st show
6:30: Bob Luman (host)
6:45: Ernie Ashworth (host)
7:00: Roy Acuff (host); Mel Tillis; Jeannie C. Riley
7:30: Stu Phillips (host); Dottie West; The Four Guys; Crook Brothers
8:00: Flatt & Scruggs (host); Ray Pillow; Leroy Van Dyke; Stringbean
8:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Bill Carlisle; Loretta Lynn; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Billy Parker

2nd show
9:30: Bob Luman (host); The Four Guys; Stringbean; Rita Faye; Ray Corbin
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); June Stearns; Bobby Lewis
10:15: Ernie Ashworth (host); Dottie West
10:30: Stu Phillips (host); Jeannie C. Riley
10:45: Ernest Tubb (host); Loretta Lynn; Crook Brothers
11:00: Ray Pillow (host); Mel Tillis; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Bill Carlisle (host); Leroy Van Dyke; Nat Stuckey

Nat Stuckey, who I am sure many of you remember and was on the Opry that night, was a successful disc jockey, songwriter, and recording artist. Nat, who was born on December 17, 1933, earned a degree in radio and TV from Arlington State College, then worked at KALT in Atlanta, Texas, as a disc jockey before spending two years in the Army. After his discharge he went back to KALT before joining KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana for eight years. KWKH featured the Louisiana Hayride and Nat was an announcer for the Hayride when he had his first hit, "Sweet Thang," for Paula Records in 1966.

In 1968, his first RCA single, "Plastic Saddle," reached the Top Ten. He continued to record for RCA until 1976, but had only two other Top Ten recordings, "Sweet Thang and Cisco" in 1969 and "Take Time to Love Her" in 1973. In 1976 he began recording for MCA but never had a major hit.

As a songwriter, however, he achieved success with "Waitin' in Your Welfare Line," at #1 hit for Buck Owens in 1965; "Pop-a-Top (#3, 1967) by Jim Ed Brown; and "Sweet Thang," a chart marker for Ernest Tubb and Loretta Lynn in 1967. After his recording career ended he had a successful career singing commercials, including some for Budweiser Beer. Nat Stuckey passed away from lung cancer at the age of 54 on August 24, 1988 and is buried in Shreveport.

Looking back in Grand Ole Opry history, it was Saturday August 30, 1969 that Crystal Gayle made her debut on the Opry.

Crystal Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb in Paintsville, Kentucky. Her older sister was future country music superstar and Grand Ole Opry member Loretta Lynn, though Loretta had already left home by the time Brenda was born.

The Grand Ole Opry has held a special place in Crystal's heart since even before she made her Opry debut on stage at the Ryman Auditorium at age 16. "My first time to perform on the Opry, Loretta was sick and she talked them into letting me perform in her spot," she recalls. "I remember singing 'Ribbon of Darkness' in my little shiny dress my mother made me."Both that dress and sister Loretta were on hand on January 21, 2017, when Crystal took her rightful place as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. It was a capstone for a career full of hits, honors, and awards.

To escape constant comparison to her sister in the early days of her recording career, Crystal developed her own vocal and musical style. She had 20 No. 1 country singles, beginning with "I'll Get Over You" and including her signature "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," which earned her a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and also propelled her album "We Must Believe In Magic" to become the first by a female country artist to go platinum. Among her many other chart successes are "Talking In You Sleep," "Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For," "Half The Way," "Wrong Road Again," "When I Dream," and "Ready For the Times To Get Better."

In 2008, Crystal was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009, and the honors kept coming in 2015, as she received the Academy of Country Music's Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. It is just a matter of time until Crystal becomes a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Here is the running order from 49 years ago, the night Crystal Gayle made her Opry debut:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jim and Jesse (host): (?)

6:45: Rudy's
Hank Locklin (host): (?)
Lonzo and Oscar: (?)

7:00: Luzianne
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Martha Carson: I'm Gonna Walk and Talk With My Lord
Jack Barlow: Birmingham Blues
Billy Grammer: Guitar Polka
Martha Carson: Shout; Shout; Shout; and Shine
Jack Barlow: Pauline
Billy Grammer: Beautiful Isle of Somewhere

7:30: Standard Candy
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Wilma Burgess: Let Me Be the Woman in Your Life
Bobby Lewis: Love Me and Make It All Better
Crook Brothers: Old Hen Cackle
Charlie Walker: Moffett, Oklahoma
Wilma Burgess: Break My Mind
Bobby Lewis: It's Such a Pretty World Today
Charlie Walker: Truck Driving Man

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): John Henry
Margie Bowes: That Completely Destroys My Plans
Jerry Smith: Truck Stop
Louie Roberts: The Wreck of the Old 97
Lester Flatt: Cabin on the Hill
Margie Bowes: Understand Your Gal/Big City
Louie Roberts: Peace in the Valley/Hey Good Lookin'
Uncle Josh: Just Joshin'

8:30: Stephens
Ernest Tubb (host): Answer the Phone
Crystal Gayle: Ribbon of Darkness
Jay Lee Webb: She's Looking Better By the Minute
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Billy Parker: I've Still Got a Long Way to Go
Jay Lee Webb: Wonderful World of Women
Ernest Tubb: Just a Drink Away

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Jim and Jesse (host): I'm Hoping that You're Hoping
Jean Shepard: Seven Lonely Days
Bobby Lewis: From Heaven to Heartache
Jerry Smith: Truck Stop
Jim and Jesse: Knoxville Girl
Jean Shepard: I'm Tied Around Your Finger
Bobby Lewis: 'Til Something Better Comes Along
Jim and Jesse: Johnny B. Goode

10:00: Fender
Martha Carson: Cryin' Holy Unto the Lord
Harold Weakley: You've Still Got a Place in My Heart
Martha Carson: Satisfied
Joe Edwards: Alabama Jubilee

10:15: Pure
Lonzo and Oscar (host): Hertz Rent-A-Chick
Wes Buchanan: Undo the Right
Jack Barlow: Birmingham Blues
Lonzo and Oscar: Making Plans

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Folsom Prison Blues
Wilma Burgess: Let Me Be the Woman in Your Life
John Sullivan: Greyhound Blues
Lester Flatt: Foggy Mountain Breakdown

10:45: Kent
Ernest Tubb (host): In the Jailhouse Now
Crystal Gayle: Johnny One Time
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On

11:00: Coca Cola
Billy Grammer (host): Jesus Is a Soul Man
Peggy Little: Sweet Baby Girl
Jay Lee Webb: Big Job
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Billy Grammer: Jesus Is a Soul Man
Peggy Little: Son of a Preacher Man
Sam and Kirk McGee: San Antonio Rose
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On/Whispering Hope

11:30: Lava
Charlie Walker (host): Honky Tonk Season
Rita Faye: The Last Thing on My Mind
Louie Roberts: Love's on My Mind
Charlie Walker: Moffett, Oklahoma
Louie Roberts: Peace in the Valley/Hey Good Looking
Charlie Walker: San Antonio Rose/Pick My Up on Your Way Down

It is obvious when looking at the line-up that there were not many Opry members on the show that night. Also, on the second show, Hank Locklin apparently missed his spot on hosting, which resulted in the 10:00 segment having no Opry members performing and Martha Carson headlining it.

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


  1. I remember listening the night that Martha Carson headlined the Fender portion. I don't remember Crystal Gayle from that night, but I remember thinking how strange to have a nonmember hosting a show. I later mentioned to some of my Opry fan friends and they didn't believe me. Not only had there not been female hosts on the Opry, but a nonmember?

  2. Flatt Lonesome did a great job tonight. From the remarks they made, they enjoyed being at the Opry. In my opinion, they would make great Opry members.

  3. Larry Gatlin, Bill Anderson and then Jamey Johnson, Emmylou Harris and Larry Gatlin who sang togheter, made a wonderful job in memory of Roger Miller. Especially Larry did one of the best he ever did in the last years on the Opry, as he sang If I ever see Utah again! Just amazing!! Go here the podcast on WSMonline in some days!
    Sven from Switzerland

  4. Really a nice surprise to see and hear Emmylou on the Opry last night. It was her first Opry appearance since 2014. (She is on the upcoming schedule for December 7).

    A great show in tribute to Roger Miller. Dean Miller, Roger's son, was also on the Opry last night. The show spotlighted some of the new music from the Roger Miller tribute album that is currently being released.

    1. Byron, I agree, it was great to hear Emmylou last night, it's too bad the last time she appeared was four years ago but she and Jamey Johnson sang my very favorite Roger Miller song, "Husbands and Wives." Happy to learn that Emmylou is scheduled for a December 7th appearance.

      As always, Flatt Lonesome were just terrific (and @Bruce Ligon I agree with you on Flatt Lonesome becoming Opry members.)

      While I am very happy with where Sally Williams is taking the Opry and how she is able to get her Opry members to appear more than ever; I wish some music that has gone away with some artist's deaths be brought back, such as Cajun music, sure do miss the Alligator man and his music.

      The entire show and its theme was just terrific and the entire cast at the very end of the show come together to pay tribute to Roger Miller, was just so wonderful; it doesn't happen that often when the entire cast come together on the stage.

      For me though, the highlight of the entire show was how Jamey Johnson, of whom I am a big fan of, made it perfectly clear to Opry management that he is very much interested in being a member; going as far as to say he's been appearing for 13 years on the Opry stage, good for him, maybe Opry management isn't aware. He is a quiet guy when on stage, so it took me aback that he would make such a bold announcement that he was the newest Opry member - while that wasn't true of course, I did dig the way he went about letting Opry management know just how interested he is in becoming a member (Chris Janson voiced his opinion on becoming a member at almost every appearance until he became a member and he still voices his thanks for the opportunity to be a member.) I think the Opry needs a little "outlaw music" - haha! Every time Jamey Johnson appears on the Opry staged he is very well received by the audience, so I totally support Jamey becoming an Opry member. :-)


  5. On that 1969 show there are some interesting none member names. Bobby Lewis made a good showing. From Heaven To Heartache was one of his bigger records. He is still around and has recently recorded for Heart of Texas. A regular at the ROPE Luncheon, he was not there this June. The song ET closed his first set with, Just A Drink Away was written by Bobby and Billy Parker.

    ET must have had a big influence on who was appearing that night helping fill out the line up. Crystal, Jay Lee Webb, Billy Parker and Bobby Lewis all had associations with ET.

    Rita Faye was the daughter of Smiley and Kitty Wilson who appeared on the Opry with so many acts. It is amazing the tangled web of connections between all of these folk. One of the neat songs Eddie Stubbs plays by Ferlin Husky is The Waltz You Saved For Me that Smiley and Kitty sand as a trio with him. What a record. I guess Smiley eventually ran the Wil-Helm Agency which managed Loretta and I would assume helped Crystal, Peggy Sue and Jay Lee. They were also close friends to Jean Shepard and Hawk.

    This was a pretty weak show for members!

    Knightsville, IN