Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 3/1 & 3/2

Some weekends have better Grand Ole Opry line-ups then others, and this weekend is one of those, as both the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will each feature an Opry member who makes very infrequent appearances on the show, with Brad Paisley appearing on Friday night and Alison Krauss on Saturday.

Brad has been an Opry member since 2001, while Alison goes back even further, joining the cast in 1993. They both have had Hall of Fame careers and it is just too bad that they haven't both found time to appear on the Opry more often.

Joining Brad on the Friday Night Opry will be Grand Ole Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider (both of whom are also appearing on Saturday night), Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, Bobby Osborne, Connie Smith, and another long lost Opry member, Marty Stuart.

Along with Alison, John and Mike, Saturday night's line-up also includes members Jeannie Seely, Jesse McReynolds, Riders In The Sky, and another appearance by Old Crow Medicine Show.

Guesting both nights will be comedian Gary Mule Deer, who I have to admit, is a very funny guy. He always brings it on each of his Opry appearances. Joining him on Friday night will be Shenandoah and making their Opry debut, King Calaway. Guesting on Saturday night, in addition to Gary, will be Brandon Lay, Smithfield, and making his Opry debut, Billy Strings.

Friday March 1
7:00; John Conlee (host); Mike Snider; Shenandoah
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Gary Mule Deer; The Whites
8:15: Marty Stuart (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Connie Smith
8:45: Brad Paisley (host); King Calaway

Saturday March 2
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Brandon Lay; Mike Snider
7:30: Old Crow Medicine Show (host); Billy Strings; Jesse McReynolds
8:15: John Conlee (host); Smithfield; Gary Mule Deer; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Alison Krauss

As mentioned, there are two acts who will be making their Opry debuts this weekend, King Calaway on the Friday Night Opry and Billy Strings on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry.

A multi-national super-group of harmony-singing, instrument-playing musicians, King Calaway makes country music for the modern world. (at least according to their bio on their website). The group was formed in 2018 and consists of Caleb Miller, Chris Deaton, Simon Dumas, Jordan Harvey, Chad Michael Jervis and Austin Luther. Among the groups influences are the Eagles, Keith Urban and Ed Sheeran. Like the Eagles, each member of King Calaway is also an adept, well-rounded musician.

There is no lead singer of the group, with each member sharing in the vocals. Their current music producer is Robert Deaton, who has won several Emmy Awards for his work on multiple award shows and hundreds of music videos.

The group bills themselves as "country stars for a new generation, singing songs that erase the boundaries between genres and countries." They claim that they aren't looking to repeat the sounds of their youth, and not looking to fit into a crowd, but to stand out.
William Apostol, known professionally as Billy Strings, was born in Lansing, Michigan. It was his stepfather, Terry Barber, who influenced his son, introducing Billy to bluegrass at an early age. He got his nickname, Billy Strings, from his aunt. While still young, his dad introduced him to bluegrass artists such as Doc Watson, Del McCoury, Bill Monroe, John Hartford, Ralph Stanley, Earl Scruggs and Larry Sparks, among others. He was also a rock fan, and enjoyed artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and Black Sabbath.

In 2016, the International Bluegrass Music Association awarded Billy with the Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year and in 2017 Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the Top Ten New Country Artists to Know. Also in 2017, he was named one of the six new rising stars of bluegrass by Acoustic Guitar and in March 2018, PBS announced that Billy was to be the inaugural performer at the new cave for the renowned series Bluegrass Underground in the caverns of Pelham, Tennessee.

Looking back in Grand Ole Opry history, it was Saturday March 1, 1980 that the Grand Ole Opry was televised on PBS. This was the 3rd of 4 years that the Opry was televised on PBS as part of their annual fundraising.

Here is the running order from that night 39 years ago:

1st show
6:00: Vietti
Del Reeves (host): Crazy Arms/My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You
Jean Shepard: Then He Touched Me
Wilburn Brothers: God Bless America Again
David Houston: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Del Reeves: Take Me to Your Heart & Let Me Live There

6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Charlie Louvin (host): I Don't Love You Anymore/Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep/See the Big Man Cry
Connie Smith: Satisfied
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Charlie Louvin: Love Don't Care

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): Don't Play Me No Songs About Texas
Skeeter Davis: It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
Ernie Ashworth: There's No Place I'd Rather Be Tonight
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter/We've Come a Long Way Baby
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong With the Way That We're Doing it Now
Jim and Jesse: Freight Train
Porter Wagoner: Everything I've Always Wanted

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Down in Union County
Minnie Pearl: Careless Love
Jimmy Dickens: Another Hell of a Night in Dixie
Crook Brothers and Tennessee Travelers: Durang's Hornpipe
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Stop That Ticklin' Me
Wilma Lee Cooper: A Daisy A Day
Ronnie Milsap: Back on My Mind Again/Why Don't You Spend the Night
The Four Guys: Let There Be Peace
Grandpa and Ramona Jones: Fallen Leaves

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Osborne Brothers: Take Me Home, Country Roads
Marion Worth: Someone Is Looking for Someone Like You
Roy Drusky: Welcome Home
Hank Snow and Kelly Foxton: Hasn't It Been Good Together
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Jean Shepard: Seven Lonely Days
Ronnie Milsap: I'm A Stand By My Woman Man/What Goes on When the Sun Goes Down/Day Dreams About Night Things
Charlie Louvin and Jim and Jesse: Show Boat Gambler
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Ray Pillow: Super Lady
Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life/Carroll County Accident/Green, Green Grass of Home

10:00: Little Debbie
Jack Greene (host): Yours for the Taking
Jeannie Seely: Since I Met 'Cha Boy
Vic Willis Trio: Last Cheater's Waltz
Jack Greene and Jeannie Seely: Fox on the Run

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Once More
Minnie Pearl: Jealous Hearted Me
Connie Smith: He was There All the Time
Roy Acuff: Lord, Don't Give Up on Me

10:30: Trailblazer
Grandpa Jones (host) w/Ramona Jones and Alisa Jones: Who Will Sing for Me
Skeeter Davis: The Old Rugged Cross; The King is Coming
Billy Grammer: When They Ring the Golden Bells/Kentucky
Jan Howard: I Will Survive

10:45: Beech-Nut
George Hamilton IV (host): Forever Young
Loretta Lynn and Sissy Spacek: You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man
Crook Brothers and The Tennessee Travelers: Rachel
George Hamilton IV: Close Your Eyes; I'll Be There in the Morning

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Stu Phillips: There's More to Love
Osborne Brothers: Country Boys and Georgia Mules are Fading Fast Away
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
The Four Guys: Fire
Hank Snow and Kelly Foxton: My First Night Alone

11:30: Budweiser
Marty Robbins (host): Tonight Carmen
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Couldn't Believe it Was True
Jimmy Dickens: Out Behind the Barn
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Cool Water/Muddy Water/Among My Souvenirs/The Great Speckled Bird/Love Me/El Paso City/You Gave a Mountain/Touch Me With Magic/She's Made of Faith/A White Sports Coat/What Are Friends for Anyways/El Paso

For those counting at home, Marty Robbins sang 13 songs and was on for almost 50 minutes. It is safe to say he took some liberties that night.

Besides those scheduled, Archie Campbell, Ernest Tubb and Don Gibson cancelled.

Finally, it was Saturday March 2, 1963 that Grand Ole Opry members Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas performed on the Opry for the final time.

Honky-tonk singer Hawkshaw Hawkins was billed as "eleven and a half yards of personality." As a youth, Harold Franklin Hawkins traded five trapped rabbits for his first guitar, and a short time later, at age fifteen, he entered and won a talent show on radio station WSAZ in Huntington, West Virginia. In addition to the fifteen-dollar prize, Hawkshaw got his first job working at the station. He later moved to WCHS in Charleston, West Virginia, and occasionally teamed as a duo with Clarence "Sherlock" Jack. In 1941, he briefly worked in a traveling show for a Lawrence, Massachusetts radio station and in a Baltimore shipyard before entering the military, where he spent the war years in the Pacific. While in the Philippines,  he performed on Manila radio station WJUM.

Upon returning to civilian life, he joined the WWVA Jamboree and remained there until 1954; during this time he also had a CBS radio program. He developed a large following due not only to recordings featuring his rich, smooth, honky-tonk vocals, but also to his showmanship.

Hawkshaw first recorded successes were "Pan American" and "Doghouse Boogie" in 1948. The following year, 1949, he scored with "I Wasted a Nickel." In 1951 he had two Top Ten hits, "I Love You a Thousand Ways" and "I'm Waiting Just for You." His version of "Slow Poke" in 1952 reached both the country and pop charts.

On the strength of his record successes, Hawkshaw joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1955. It was not until four years later, though, that he made another hit, his 1959 "Soldier's Joy" which reached #15 on the Billboard charts. The following year, on November 26, 1960, he married country singer Jean Shepard; the ceremony was conducted on an auditorium stage in Wichita, Kansas. Late in 1962 he recorded a Justin Tubb song, "Lonesome 7-7203" that turned out to be his biggest hit. Unfortunately, he never lived to see it reach #1.

Loyd Estel "Cowboy" Copas possessed a strong tenor voice, distinctive phrasing, and flat-top guitar picking that gave his recordings a unique sound in an era dominated by instantly identifiable performers. One of six children, he began performing at fairs and talent contests with his brother, Marion, when both were teenagers. He was still a teenager when he teamed with local fiddler Lester Vernon Storer, known professionally as Natchee the Indian, and acquired the alliterative stage name Cowboy. His brother later recalled that Cowboy was advised by a college professor to say he was born on a ranch in Oklahoma, a locale deemed more colorful than the family farm in Blue Creek, Ohio. Cowboy Copas never professed to be a cowboy singer, however, and recorded virtually nothing with a western motif. His overall style might be described as occupying a middle ground
 between honky-tonk and the crossover approach of smooth vocalists such as Eddy Arnold and George Morgan.

In the early 1940s, he worked at WLW in Cincinnati and became affiliated there with King Records. He made his first record for the label, "Filipino Baby," during his first sessions with the label in 1944. When it was finally released two years later, in the summer of 1946, it became a #4 hit that helped but King on the map and propelled Copas to the Grand Ole Opry. In 1946 he joined Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys, with whom he worked briefly as a guitarist and featured vocalist. "Tragic Romance," "Signed, Sealed and Delivered," "Tennessee Waltz," "Kentucky Waltz," "Breeze," "The Strange Little Girl," and "Copy Cat" (a duet with his sixteen-year-old daughter Kathy) were among his hits. His tenor voice seemed best suited to lilting and melodious love songs, resulting in announcer Grant Turner's dubbing him Waltz King of the Grand Ole Opry.

Like many country artists, his career was temporarily muffled by the rock revolution, but he enjoyed a renaissance after signing with Starday in 1959. The album "Unforgettable" was made, with one cut serving to showcase his Martin guitar, which he played with a thumb pick. Consisting of verses found in several lyrical folksongs, "Alabam" was the highlight of the LP and, when released as a single in 1960, became a #1 hit. Thereafter, Cowboy Copas was consistently on the charts and recorded prolifically until his death.

With that, here is the running order from 56 years ago, Saturday March 2, 1963:

7:30: Kellogg's
George Morgan (host): Little Dutch Girl
Carter Family: 14 Caret Nothing
Jimmy Newman: Bayou Talk
Willis Brothers: Eat a Little More
George Morgan: Untie the Knot
Harold Morrison: Pretty Little Pink
June Carter: Comedy
Jimmy Newman: A Fallen Star
George Morgan: Down Memory Lane

8:00: Martha White
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host): Come Walk With Me
Billy Walker: I've Got A New Heartache
Wilburn Brothers: Roll Muddy River
Stringbean: Pretty Little Widow
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: There's A Higher Power
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Margie Bowes: Think it Over
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Wilburn Brothers: Trouble's Back in Town
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Philadelphia Lawyer

8:30: Stephens
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): Darkness on the Face of the Earth
Lonzo and Oscar: There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Bobby Lord: Out Behind the Barn
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Hawkshaw Hawkins: I Don't Apologize
Glaser Brothers: Lover's Farewell
Curly Fox: Instrumental
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Silver Threads and Golden Needles

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Cowboy Copas (host): You Don't Have to Be a Baby to Cry
Bill Monroe: (?)
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Cowboy Copas: Alabam'
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Carlisle: Shutter & Boards
Bill Monroe: (?)
Cowboy Copas: The Man Upstairs

9:30: Pet Milk
Roy Acuff (host): Plastic Heart
Jordanaires: (?)
Marion Worth: Shake Me; I Rattle
Cousin Jody: Lady Cop
Roy Acuff: The Wreck on the Highway
Brother Oswald: Roll on Buddy, Roll on
Justin Tubb: (?)
Jimmy Riddle: Fox Chase
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

10:00: Gates Rubber
George Morgan (host): Roly Poly
Curly Fox: (?)
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Satisfied
Del Wood: Bill Bailey
George Morgan: Who's Jealous Now

10:15: Luzianne
Wilburn Brothers (host): Day After Day
Bill Carlisle: Leave that Liar Alone
Margie Bowes: Within Your Crowd
Harold Morrison: The Cat Came Back
Wilburn Brothers: Not That I Care

10:30: Harvey's
Jimmy Newman (host): (?)
Carter Family: (?)
Billy Walker: Thank You for Calling
Jimmy Newman: (?)

10:45: Ford
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): Big Old Heartache
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Stringbean: There'll Be Moonshine in Them Old Kentucky Hills
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Lonesome 7-7203

11:00: Coca Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Little Pal
Jordanaires: (?)
Marion Worth: Tennessee Teardrops
Lonzo and Oscar: I'm My Own Grandpa
Roy Acuff and Brother Oswald: Stuck Up Blues
Sam and Kirk McGee: While I'm Away
Justin Tubb: (?)
Brother Oswald: John Hardy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbin Ridge
Roy Acuff: Shake My Mother's Hand for Me

11:30: SSS Tonic
Cowboy Copas (host): Down in Nashville, Tennessee
Bill Monroe: (?)
Roy Drusky: It Worries Me
Cousin Jody: Mockingbird
Archie Campbell: A Fool's Side of Town
Glaser Brothers: Odds & Ends
Bobby Lord: So Doggone Lonesome
Bill Monroe: (?)
Cowboy Copas: Flat Top

I did want to mention that the hosts for the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree this week will be the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. If you haven't seen this talented group, who play the music on which the Grand Ole Opry was founded on, you are missing it. They are great and I am sure they will do an awesome job hosting this week.

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

Monday, February 25, 2019

Tuesday Night Opry 2/26

Here is the posted line-up for this weeks Tuesday Night Opry:

7:00: Bill Anderson; Terri Clark
7:30: Bobby Bones; Kelsea Ballerini
8:15: Tommy Emmanuel & John Knowles; Aaron Lewis
8:45: Trace Adkins; Brothers Osborne

And just to clarify, it is not the Osborne Brothers, but the Brothers Osborne. Two different duos.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 2/22 & 2/23

Winter continues across the country and while Nashville is not getting the snow like the rest of the country, there has been no shortage of rain and some flooding. As always, I hope everyone is safe and taking care of things. As far as the Grand Ole Opry, the show goes on with one show each night Friday and Saturday.

The Grand Ole Opry's newest member, Mark Wills, is scheduled for both nights this weekend. Really nice to see him stepping right up to fulfill his membership obligations. He will be joined each night by Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson, Riders In The Sky and Mike Snider. Joining that quartet on Friday night will be Jeannie Seely, The Whites and Jesse McReynolds, while Connie Smith and Bobby Osborne and the boys are scheduled for Saturday.

Guesting both nights will be the duo of Williams & Ree. They appeared several times last year and received a great audience response. Joining them on Friday will be Stephanie Quayle, Tegan Marie, Eric Paslay and the legendary Moe Bandy. Moe will be signing copies of his new book, Lucky Me, following the show.

Saturday night's guest include Jaida Dreyer, Runaway June and making his Grand Ole Opry debut, Tony Jackson. I will mention that Thompson Square was also on the original line-up but has cancelled due to the death of Keifer Thompson's mother.

Friday February 22
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Stephanie Quayle; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Moe Bandy
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Williams & Ree; Tegan Marie
8:45: Mark Wills (host); Jesse McReynolds; Eric Paslay

Saturday February 23
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Jaida Dreyer; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Runaway June
8:15: Mark Wills (host); Williams & Ree; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Tony Jackson

It is really nice to see the Opry having Mark Wills, the newest member, hosting segments. Much like Chris Janson, I think Mark will do very well in that role, and let's face it, with the limited number of Opry members appearing on the show, the Opry needs new faces to host. Plus, Mark has been around the Opry long enough that he should know how the show runs.

One of the most talked about singers in Nashville today is Tony Jackson. Best known for his rendition of the George Jones classic "The Grand Tour," Tony continues to record and tour on the strength of his unique approach to traditional country. The former U.S. Marine arrived on the scene with his debut album Tony Jackson in 2017, and ha s garnered over 62 million Facebook views for his videos to date and has charted four singles. His recordings have included songs and/or appearances by one of the music industry's elite artists including Bill Anderson, Vince Gill, John Sebastian and Steve Cropper.

Tony will be presented on the Opry stage by Bill Anderson, who penned two songs on his debut album, "They Lived It Up," and "I Didn't Wake Up This Morning." Tony Jackson records on DDS Entertainment/Sony-Orchard.

In addition to his nationwide touring, Tony Jackson is also currently a headliner on the Old Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond, Virginia.

In case you were wondering what Tony's connection is to the Jimmy Dean show, it is because Jimmy's widow, Donna Dean Stevens, is one of Tony's managers and producers, along with Jim Della Croce.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from the final weekend in February ten years ago, the weekend of February 27 & 28, 2009. On the Friday Night Opry, Billy Grammer was recognized upon his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry and Jimmy Dickens returned to the Opry after an absence due to brain surgery.

Friday February 27
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mel McDaniel; Del McCoury Band
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jim Ed Brown; Mac Davis
9:00: Diamond Rio (host); Jack Greene; Billy Grammer; Jean Shepard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jan Howard; Mike Snider; Lee Greenwood

Saturday February 28
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jim Ed Brown; Hal Ketchum
7:30: Marty Stuart (host); Jean Shepard; Connie Smith; Infamous Stringdusters
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Billy Grammer; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Charlie Haden Family & Friends featuring Jack Black

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider; Hal Ketchum
10:00: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Infamous Stringdusters
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Charlie Haden Family & Friends featuring Jack Black

From 25 years ago, Saturday February 26, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bill Carlisle; Skeeter Davis
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Brother Oswald
7:00 Riders In The Sky (host); Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Walker; The Whites
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Patty Loveless; Ricky Skaggs
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Connie Smith; The Four Guys; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeanne Pruett; Billy Walker; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jeanne Pruett; J.D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Patty Loveless
10:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); Billy Walker
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky
10:45: The Four Guys (host); Stonewall Jackson; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Jimmy C Newman; Mike Snider
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Connie Smith; Ray Pillow; Johnny Russell

Finally, from 50 years ago, Saturday February 22, 1969. This was the final night that Flatt and Scruggs appeared on the Opry. The duo would break up officially several months later, with both Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs remaining with the Opry as individual members.

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Osborne Brothers: A World of Forgotten People
Jimmy Gately: Heavenly Sunshine
Lonzo and Oscar: Columbus Stockade Blues
Bill Anderson: It's My Life
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Jimmy Gately: Dirt Under Her Feet
Lonzo and Oscar: A King Size Cola and a Moon Pie
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

8:00: Martha White
Flatt and Scruggs (host): Shady Grove
Skeeter Davis: The Closest Thing to Love
Glaser Brothers: Gentle on My Mind
Cousin Jody: On Top of Old Smokey
Cousin Jake: Almost Persuaded #44
Skeeter Davis: Am I That Easy to Forget
Crook Brothers: Cotton-Eyed Joe

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Billy Grammer: The Hour of Separation
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Del Wood: Down at Papa Joe's
Roy Acuff: Waltz of the Wind
Billy Grammer: Mabel
Smoky Mountain Boys: Lee Highway Blues

9:00: Luzianne
Ernest Tubb (host): You Don't Have to be a Baby to Cry
George Morgan: Like a Bird
Margie Bowes: All the World is Lonely Now
Ernie Ashworth: Where Do You Go
Ernest Tubb: Saturday Satan; Sunday Saint
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
George Morgan: Wichita Lineman
Billy Parker: That's A Big World Out There

9:30: Kellogg's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Willis Brothers: Rambling Boy
Marion Worth: A Legend in My Time
Charlie Walker: Honky Tonk Season
Jim Ed Brown: Man and Wife Time
Marion Worth: You Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Jim Ed Brown: Honky Tonk Man

10:00: Fender
Jim Glaser (Glaser Brothers host): Please Take Me Back
Lonzo and Oscar: Out of Hand
Del Wood: Beer Barrel Polka
Glaser Brothers: Gone on the Other Hand

10:15: Pure
Willis Brothers (host): Give Me 40 Acres
Ernie Ashworth: Oh, Lonesome Me
Cousin Jody: Mockingbird
Willis Brothers: I Still Do

10:30: Buckley's
Archie Campbell (host): The Cockfight
Skeeter Davis: Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
Osborne Brothers: My Favorite Memory
Archie Campbell: Look Up; Look Down that Lonesome Road

10:45 Kent
Ernest Tubb (host): Letters Have No Arms
Billy Grammer: I'm Letting You Go
Crook Brothers: Texas Quick Step
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

11:00: Coca Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Night Train to Memphis
Willis Brothers: Bob/Give Me 40 Acres
Margie Bowes: Understand Your Gal/Big City
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin Hen
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Margie Bowes: Take Me As I Am or Let Me Go
Sam McGee: Under the Double Eagle

11:30: Lava
George Morgan (host): Like a Bird
Jim Ed Brown: Man and Wife Time
Jim Ed Brown and George Morgan: Now Is the Hour
Marion Worth: Almost Persuaded
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
George Morgan: Molly Darling
Jim Ed Brown: The Longest Beer of the Night
Marion Worth: Faded Love
Charlie Walker: Honky Tonk Season

As mentioned, Billy Grammer was honored upon his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry during the 2009 show.

"Gotta Travel On" put singer Billy Wayne Grammer on the musical map. Adapted from a 150-year-old British folk tune, that October 1958 release landed him on a trio of charts: country (#5), pop (#4), and r&b (#14). In addition, the million-selling record was the first hit for Monument Records and its founder, record producer Fred Foster. A 1961 release, "Bonaparte's Retreat b/w "The Kissing Tree," is estimated to have sold 500,000 units.

The eldest of thirteen children, Billy began playing guitar at five and from an early age played locally with fiddle father Arch Grammer. Billy Grammer made his radio debut on WJPF-Herrin, Illinois, in 1940. After military service in World War II he worked for Connie B. Gay at WARL-Arlington, Virginia. There Billy performed on Jimmy Dean's CBS-TV show (1957-58). Billy became a member of the Grand Ole Opry on February 27, 1959.

Billy designed the Grammer Flatt Top Guitar, donating his first model to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1969. The agile guitarist's sophisticated licks garnered numerous studio sessions with artists such as Eddy Arnold, Louis Armstrong, and Patti Page, and inspired other guitarists, such as Roy Clark. In 1965 he had his own syndicated TV series.

On May 12, 1972, Billy and his group were playing at a rally in Laurel, Maryland where Alabama governor George Wallace was shot. Billy also delivered the invocation for the Grand Ole Opry House opening on March 16, 1974, and in 1990 he was inducted into the Illinois Country Music Hall of Fame.

Billy Grammer was born on August 28, 1925 in Benton, Illinois. He passed away at the age of 85 on August 10, 2011. He had been in declining health since suffering a heart attack several months earlier. Billy also suffered from the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa and later in life became completely blind.

Surprisingly, Billy never had a number one record in his career.

Finally, it was 56 years ago, Saturday February 23, 1963 that Patsy Cline performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the final time. Patsy, who joined the Opry on January 9, 1960, would pass away a little over a week later, on March 5, as the result of a plane crash while returning home to Nashville.

Here is the running order from Patsy's final show:

7:30: Kellogg's
Faron Young (host): Yellow Bandana
Willis Brothers: San Antonio Rose
Marion Worth: Shake Me; I Rattle
Harold Morrison: Beaver Creek
Faron Young: How Much I Must Have Loved You
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Merle Kilgore: I Am
Willis Brothers: Big Daddy
Faron Young: Hello Walls

8:00: Martha White
Ray Price (host): Heartaches by the Number
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Doin' My Time
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Patsy Cline: Leavin' On Your Mind
Ray Price: Walk Me to the Door
Crook Brothers: Love Somebody
Billy Walker: Charlie's Shoes
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Satisfied
Ray Price: Crazy Arms

8:30: Stephens
George Morgan (host): Mississippi
Cowboy Copas: Alabam'
Lefty Frizzell: (?)
Archie Campbell: Comedy
George Morgan: Almost
Curly Fox: (?)
Melba Montgomery: (?)
Cowboy Copas: Don't Shake Hands with the Devil
George Morgan: Rainbow in My Heart

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Roy Acuff (host): New River Train
June Stearns: Call Me Up
Bill Monroe: How Will I Explain About You
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Roy Acuff: Sweeter Than the Flowers
Brother Oswald: Southern Moon
Bill Monroe: Were You There
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
Roy Acuff: Stay a Little Longer
Howdy Forrester and Jimmy Riddle: Cowbell Polka

9:30: Pet Milk
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Glaser Brothers: Lover's Farewell
Sonny James: (?)
Cousin Jody: Lady Cop
Hank Snow: Beggar to a King
Margie Bowes: Think it Over
Sonny James: (?)
Glaser Brothers: I Wish I Had Never Seen Sunshine
Hank Snow: These Hands

10:00: Strietmann
Faron Young (host): Safely in Love
Marion Worth: Tennessee Teardrops
Curly Fox: (?)
Faron Young: Alone With You

10:15: Luzianne
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): Darkness on the Face of the Earth
George Morgan: Allegheny Rose
Del Wood: Blue Eagle
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Twenty Miles from Shore

10:30: Harvey's
Ray Price (host): (?)
Cowboy Copas: Filipino Baby
Patsy Cline: Bill Bailey
Ray Price: (?)

10:45: Sustaining
Roy Acuff (host): I Don't Know Why
Willis Brothers: Footprints in the Snow
Brother Oswald: Mountain Dew
Crook Brothers: Soldier's Joy
Roy Acuff: So Many Times

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Big Wheel
Bill Monroe: A Good Woman's Love
Billy Walker: Thank You For Calling
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: There's A Higher Power
Hank Snow: Yellow Roses
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Glaser Brothers: Odds and Ends
Sam and Kirk McGee: Freight Train Blues
Bill Monroe: Big Sandy Breakdown
Hank Snow: Wreck of the Old 97

11:30: SSS Tonic
Marty Robbins (host): Ruby Ann
Margie Bowes: Within Your Crowd
Sonny James: (?)
Cousin Jody: Mockingbird
Marty Robbins: Devil Woman
Don Winters: Too Many Times
Margie Bowes: I Really Don't Want to Know
Sonny James: (?)
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry

I wanted to mention to those who will be staying up late Saturday night that the legendary Leona Williams will be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. She always does a great job when hosting the show.

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and enjoys the Opry this weekend.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Tuesday Night Opry 2/19

Here is the line-up for this weeks Tuesday Night Opry:

7:00: Riders In The Sky; Mary Gauthier
7:30: Del McCoury Band; Steven Curtis Chapman
8:15: Lindsay Ell; Dustin Lynch; Trace Adkins

Nice to see one of the Opry's newest members making an appearance on the Opry.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 2/15 & 2/16

I want to start off with an apology for those of you who are having trouble commenting on the blog. As someone who is not a computer expert, I am not sure what happened as I didn't make any adjustments or changes on my end. Yesterday I went into the settings and made a verification adjustment, so hopefully that will help. If not, please let me know, which I am sure several of you will.

Now to the Grand Ole Opry this weekend that features a couple of interesting bookings. First, on Saturday night, Grand Ole Opry member Clint Black is scheduled. Clint is currently touring and it was nice of him to fit an Opry appearance into his schedule. This will be Clint's first appearance since June 2017, and prior to that appearance he had not appeared on the Opry since March 2014. Add it up and this will be his 4th Opry appearance in 5 years. Not a stellar record.

The other interesting guest scheduled is actor William Shatner, who will be appearing on the Friday Night Opry, along with Alabama member Jeff Cook. The Opry is advertising that this will be Shatner's Opry debut, although there is a report out there by Stacy Harris on her Music Row Report that he made a surprise appearance on the Opry several decades ago. I checked all my records and files and I can't find any Opry appearance by William Shatner. My guess is that if he did, it was a surprise walk-on that never got recorded, or perhaps it was at an awards show at the Opry House. Either way, he is scheduled to be there on Friday night.

Besides Clint Black, other Grand Ole Opry members scheduled this weekend include Mike Snider and Riders In The Sky for both Friday and Saturday night, while Larry Gatlin (minus his brothers), Bobby Osborne and Ricky Skaggs are listed for Friday, and Jeannie Seely, The Whites, Connie Smith and Steve Wariner are set for Saturday night. That comes out to 5 Opry members on Friday night and 7 on Saturday.

Guesting on the Friday Night Opry, in addition to William Shatner and Jeff Cook are Michael Tyler, Aaron Tippin, Holly Williams, Levi Hummon and the ever popular Hunter Hayes. Saturday night has Michael Ray, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Carly Pearce and making his Grand Ole Opry debut, Mitchell Tenpenny.

Friday February 15
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Michael Tyler; Aaron Tippin
7:30; Larry Gatlin (host); Holly Williams; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Levi Hummon; William Shatner with Jeff Cook
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Hunter Hayes

Saturday February 16
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Michael Ray; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Carly Pearce; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Mitchell Tenpenny; Clint Black

As mentioned, this will be the Opry debut for Mitchell Tenpenny. Mitchell was born in Nashville, Tennessee and so far in his career he has released one album and two extended plays through Riser House Records. He charted in 2018 with the single "Drunk Me," which was released on Columbia Records Nashville.

Mitchell grew up listening to country, rock and R&B and has cited Vince Gill, John Mayer and Michael Jackson among his musical influences. He is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in music business. His first album, "Black Crow" was released in 2015 and did not chart. His second one, "Telling All My Secrets" came out in late 2018 and peaked at #5 on the US Country Chart.

Finally, I will add that it is nice to see Jeff Cook scheduled, For those who may not know, Jeff suffers from Parkinson's disease and has been struggling with it for the past several years. Alabama is currently touring and Jeff continues to perform with the group.

Now from February 20 & 21, 2009, the 3rd weekend in February ten years ago:

Friday February 20
8:00: Steve Wariner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jeannie Seely; The Whites
8:30: Pam Tillis (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jack Greene; Connie Smith
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mel McDaniel; Buddy Jewell
9:30: Mike Snider (host); John Conlee; Jean Shepard; Lee Greenwood

Saturday February 21
7:00: Steve Wariner (host); The Whites; Jean Shepard; Mike Snider
7:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown; Joe Diffie
8:00: Mel Tillis (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Pam Tillis; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; John Conlee; Lady Antebellum

From 25 years ago, Saturday February 19, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Skeeter Davis
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Hank Locklin; Jean Shepard
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Charlie Louvin; Jeanne Pruett; Bill Carlisle; The Four Guys
7:30: Travis Tritt (host); Holly Dunn; Charley Pride; Jerry Reed
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Rhonda Vincent; The Whites; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith; Billy Walker

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Brother Oswald; Skeeter Davis; Jerry Reed
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Travis Tritt
10:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites
10:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeanne Pruett
10:45: Jack Greene (host); Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Holly Dunn; Charley Pride
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Rhonda Vincent; Charlie Louvin; Johnny Russell

Finally, from 50 years ago, Saturday February 15, 1969:

7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim and Jesse; Jan Howard; Ernie Ashworth
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Billy Walker; Jean Shepard; Del Wood; Joe Greene; Crook Brothers
8:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Bob Luman; Stu Phillips; Dolly Parton
9:00: George Morgan (host); Grandpa Jones; Margie Bowes; Fruit Jar Drinkers
9:30: Hank Snow (host); Willis Brothers; Billy Grammer
10:00: Billy Walker (host); Jim and Jesse; Jean Shepard
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); George Morgan; Del Wood
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Willis Brothers; Ernie Ashworth; Jan Howard
10:45: Porter Wagoner (host); Dolly Parton; Crook Brothers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Stu Phillips; Margie Bowes; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Billy Grammer; Louie Roberts; Don Winters

Looking back at past Grand Ole Opry dates, it was on Saturday February 16, 2002 that the Opry did a tribute to Waylon Jennings. Waylon had passed away three days earlier, on February 13, and while Waylon was never a member of the Opry, he played the Opry on occasion. He was also a friend to many of the Opry's members.

Here is the running order from that night 17 years ago, a show organized in part by Porter Wagoner, and featuring Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart and Hank Williams, Jr.

1st show
6:30: Bill Heard Chevrolet/Apple Barn
Jimmy Dickens (host): Me and My Big Loud Mouth
Jimmy C Newman: You Can Kiss My Ashley from Now On
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
John Conlee: Rockin' With You/The Old School
Jimmy Dickens: I Love Lucy Brown

7:00: Tootsie's/Rippy's/Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Theme from the Dukes of Hazard/Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys/Good Hearted Woman
Marty Stuart ,Travis Tritt and Hank Williams, Jr: Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line/Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way
Travis Tritt: Where Corn Don't Grow/I've Always Been Crazy
Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt and Hank Williams, Jr: Lonesome, Ornery, and Mean
Hank Williams, Jr: This Time's Gonna Be the Last Time/All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down/Family Tradition
Porter Wagoner, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt and Hank Williams, Jr: Outlaw's Reward

8:00: Martha White
Jean Shepard (host): Head Over Heels in Love with You
Charlie Louvin and Jennifer O'Brien: Something to Brag About
Lorrie Morgan: 29 Again and Holding
Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw: (?)
Opry Square Dance Band: Cherokee Shuffle

8:30: Physicians Mutual
Mike Snider (host): (?)
Steve Wariner: Kansas City Lights/Holes in the Floor of Heaven
Oak Ridge Boys: I'm Working on a Building/Life's Railway to Heaven/Elvira

2nd show
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take an Old Cold Tater
Jimmy C Newman: You Can Kiss My Ashley from Now On
John Conlee: Got Me Heart Set on You
Lorrie Morgan: Standing Tall
Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw: (?)
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her that Way

10:00: Lincoln Mercury/Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Steve Wariner: (?)
Travis Tritt: Best of Intentions/Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde

10:30: Honest Abe Homes/Joggin' In A Jug
Jeannie Seely (host): Those Memories
Jan Howard: Together When We Tried
Mel McDaniel: Louisiana Saturday Night/Stand Up
Opry Square Dance Band: Tennessee Waggoner
Jeannie Seely: Too Far Gone

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jean Shepard (host): Gone, Gone, Gone
Riders In The Sky: Rawhide/Red River Valley
Oak Ridge Boys: Working On a Building/One in a Million/Elvira
Jean Shepard: I'm Just an Old Bridge That You Keep Burning

11:30: Opry at the Ryman
Mike Snider (host): (?)
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You
Jack Greene: Walking on New Grass/This One Belongs to Me
Mike Snider: Arkansas Traveler

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

Tuesday Night Opry 2/12 & Wednesday Night Opry 2/13

There are two mid-week Opry shows this week, as in addition to the Tuesday Night Opry, on Wednesday night there will be a special show to honor Grand Ole Opry member Del McCoury.

The Tuesday Night Opry will feature a trio of Grand Ole Opry members: Dailey & Vincent, Connie Smith and Chris Janson.

Tuesday Night Opry 2/12:
7:00: Dailey & Vincent; Ashley Campbell
7:30: Travis Denning; Connie Smith
8:15: Justin Moore; Davisson Brothers Band; Chris Janson

The Davisson Brothers Band will be making their Opry debut, at the special invitation of Chris Janson.

The Davisson Brothers Band are "from the hills of West Virginia" and are comprised of brothers Chris Davisson and Donnie Davisson, along with Russell Reppert, and Aaron Regester. The group has been around since 2006 and in the course of their careers have recorded for several different record labels and have had several different management agencies representing them. Brothers Chris and Donnie were a part of the filming of long time friend Chris Janson's music video for his song "Fix a Drink." The groups latest album, Fighter, was released in May 2018.

Wednesday night, the Opry is having a special show in recognition of Grand Ole Opry member Del McCoury's 80th birthday, which took place on February 1st.

Del McCoury grew up in York County, Pennsylvania. At age 11, Del's older brother, G.C., introduced him to bluegrass through the music of Flatt & Scruggs. Before long, he had taken up the banjo, and by the early 1960s he was playing bluegrass in the honky tonks of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area. In 1963, Del made his first Grand Ole Opry appearances when he was recruited by Bill Monroe to join his Blue Grass Boys. Though he was hired as a banjo player, Bill soon made him into a guitar player and lead singer.

When Del left the band the following year, he continued as a lead singer, first during a brief stint in California with the Golden State Boys, and then back in Pennsylvania with his own band, the Dixie Pals. For the next quarter century, Del was a part-time musician, working as a logging truck driver to support his growing family while playing at bluegrass festivals on the weekends. Though he couldn't devote himself entirely to music, his reputation as a singer of unsurpassed intensity grew steadily.

Del's son Ronnie began playing with the band on a part-time basis in 1981 at age 14. Six years later, Robbie McCoury made his debut with the band. At the beginning of the '90s, Del and his family moved to Nashville to pursue music full-time as The Del McCoury Band. By the end of the decade, the band had become the top winner at the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual awards, eventually taking home nine IBMA Entertainer of the Year trophies. The Grand Ole Opry cam calling in 2003 fulfilling Del's lifelong dream of becoming a member.

Today, the Del McCoury Band enjoys the praise of traditional bluegrass lovers and tie-dyed clad "Del-Heads" alike. The Band's tour dates range from performing arts centers to hardcore bluegrass festivals. After years of playing hip, youth-oriented jamfests such as Bonnaroo and High Sierra, Del launched his own in 2008, the popular four-day DelFest in Cumberland, Maryland. Three years later, Del was elected to the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

The line-up of artists coming out Wednesday night to honor Del is an indication of how well Del is liked and respected in the music business, and at the Grand Ole Opry. One of those scheduled is Vince Gill, who for a few years on Opry appearances, used Del's group as his back up band.

It looks like Wednesday night will be a great night at the Grand Ole Opry House.

Wednesday Night Opry 2/13:
7:00: Marty Stuart; Sam Bush
7:30: Bela Fleck; The Travelin' McCourys
8:15: Vince Gill; Jesse McReynolds; Old Crow Medicine Show
8:45: Dierks Bentley; Del McCoury Band

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 2/8 & 2/9

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. Two very solid shows both of which will feature the return of Grand Ole Opry member Bill Anderson to the Opry stage. These will be Bill's first Opry appearances since the death of his long time companion Vicki Salas. I am sure Friday will be an emotional night and Bill will probably take a few moments and express his gratitude and appreciation to everyone who offered their prayers and kindness during his time of sorrow.

In addition to Bill, Grand Ole Opry members scheduled both nights this weekend include John Conlee, Riders In The Sky, Mike Snider and Dailey & Vincent. Friday night, that group will also include Connie Smith, Bobby Osborne and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, while on Saturday night, Jeannie Seely, The Whites and Old Crow Medicine Show are on the schedule.

Interesting to see Old Crow Medicine Show on the schedule as they have no announced dates for 2019 and reports were out that the group was going on hiatus. Since some of the group members were going off to do side projects, it will be interesting to see which members of the group will be at the Opry on Saturday night.

Guesting this weekend on the Friday Night Opry will be Tenille Townes, Michael Ray, RaeLynn and Tracy Lawrence. Saturday night will feature guest artists William Michael Morgan, Tegan Marie, Cassadee Pope, and making his Opry debut, comedian Dusty Slay.

Friday February 8
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider; Tenille Townes
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Connie Smith; Dailey & Vincent
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Michael Ray
8:45: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (host); RaeLynn; Tracy Lawrence

Saturday February 9
7:00: John Conlee (host); William Michael Morgan; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Tegan Marie; Dailey & Vincent
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); The Whites; Dusty Slay; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Bill Anderson (host); Cassadee Pope; Old Crow Medicine Show

That comes out to 12 artists each night, 8 of whom are Opry members.

As mentioned, Dusty Slay will be making his Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday night. Dusty is a stand-up comedian who recently signed a development deal with ABC for a Blue Collar Single Mom comedy based around his childhood. Additionally, he was invited to the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal as part of the 2018 New Faces and has appeared on several network shows including The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, NBC's Last Comic Standing, Laughs on FOX and he was a featured comedian on TMZ. He is also featured on numerous nationally syndicated radio programs.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from the second weekend in February ten years ago, the weekend of February 13 & 14, 2009

Friday February 13
8:00: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jason Crabb
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Terri Clark
9:00: Mike Snider (host); Stu Phillips; Connie Smith
9:30: Bob Nelson; Michael W. Smith

Saturday February 14
1st show
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Darryl Worley
7:30: The Whites (host); Jan Howard; Jack Greene; Kathy Mattea
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Ray Stevens; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Stonewall Jackson; Connie Smith; Restless Heart

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider; Darryl Worley
10:00: Jack Greene; Kathy Mattea
10:30: The Whites; Ray Stevens; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Connie Smith; Restless Heart

And from 25 years ago, Saturday February 12, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: The Whites (host); Stonewall Jackson
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Ray Pillow; Billy Walker; Hank Locklin; Shawn Camp
7:30: Jack Greene (host); Clinton Gregory; Hank Thompson; Jean Shepard
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Stu Phillips; Ronna Reeves; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Charlie Louvin and Bob Bates; Jeanne Pruett; Charlie Walker

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Brother Oswald; Charlie Louvin and Bob Bates; Jan Howard; Ray Pillow
10:00: The Four Guys (host); Jeanne Pruett
10:15: Jack Greene (host); Jean Shepard
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); The Whites
10:45: Bill Anderson (host); Hank Locklin; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Billy Walker (host); Stonewall Jackson; Ronna Reeves
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Charlie Walker; Clinton Gregory

Finally, from 50 years ago, Saturday February 8, 1969:

7:30: Billy Walker (host); Jim and Jesse; Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Glaser Brothers; George Morgan; Crook Brothers; Jim Glaser; Margie Bowes
8:30: Tex Ritter (host); Jack Greene; Billy Grammer; Bob Luman
9:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel Tillis; Wilma Lee Cooper; Stringbean; Dolly Parton; Ernie Ashworth; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Buck Trent
9:30: Hank Snow (host); Willis Brothers; Justin Tubb; Bill Carlisle;
10:00: Glaser Brothers (host); Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Billy Walker; Jim and Jesse; Billy Grammer
10:30: Tex Ritter (host); Jack Greene; George Morgan; Margie Bowes
10:45: Porter Wagoner (host); Dolly Parton; Crook Brothers; Stringbean
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Mel Tillis; Bob Luman; Wilma Lee Cooper; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Ernie Ashworth; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Justin Tubb; Bill Carlisle; Bob Bishop

Looking back into the history of the Grand Ole Opry, it was Saturday February 8, 1975 that Jimmy Dickens rejoined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry.

Jimmy Dickens had originally joined the Grand Ole Opry in August 1948 and he remembered how it all came about. "I was working in Saginaw, Michigan, on a small station there with a five-piece band, and Mr. Acuff came to our city. I had made his acquaintance before that in Cincinnati in 1945. And then in '48, why, he asked me if I would come down to the Grand Ole Opry, and at that particular time Red Foley had the network show for the Prince Albert people on NBC. I came as a guest."

Jimmy Dickens grew up in West Virginia and worked on several radio stations in the state. As many entertainers did in those days, he moved around a lot to various radio stations in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Topeka, and then Saginaw, where Roy Acuff discovered him.

Many don't remember, but when Jimmy came to Nashville and the Opry, he had no background as a recording artist. However, being on the Opry, he came to the attention of Columbia Records, and his first single was "Take an Old Cold Tater and Wait," which became a smash hit.

In 1957, Jimmy left the Grand Ole Opry to tour with the Phillip Morris Country Music Show. He claimed there were no hard feelings toward the Opry, but since Prince Albert was a prime sponsor on the Opry, and and a competing company of Phillip Morris, he had to give up his membership to go on the lucrative tour. During those 18 years that he was gone from the Opry's cast, Jimmy did make an occasional guest appearance.

On the night Jimmy rejoined the Opry's cast, he was introduced by Hank Snow, who said, "Jimmy is one of the greatest showmen of all time. It's like replacing the most important spoke in a wheel to have him back on the Opry. We need more Jimmy Dickenses."

Jimmy sang "Family Reunion" that night. As Jimmy said, "I thought it was appropriate. It's hard to put in words and say how you feel about being back in the family. It's been so long."

Here is the running order from 44 years ago, Saturday February 8, 1975, the night Jimmy Dickens returned as a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:00: Vietti
David Houston (host): She's All Woman/Baby; Baby/Living In a House Full of Love
Charlie Louvin: (?)
Ernie Ashworth: The High Cost of Living
David Houston: Nashville
Charlie Louvin: When You Have to Fly Alone
Ernie Ashworth: Love, I Finally Found It
Kenny Penny: Devil's Dream
David Houston: Almost Persuaded

6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Billy Walker (host): Smokey Places
Justin Tubb: Ramblin' Man
Jim and Jesse: Please Be My Love
Billy Walker: You Gave Me a Mountain

6:45: Rudy's
Jim Ed Brown (host): Don't Let Go
Billy Grammer: Wabash Cannonball/God Will Take Care of You
Jim Ed Brown: Pop A Top

7:00: Rudy's
Bill Monroe (host): I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Loretta Lynn: The Pill
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Did You Think to Pray
Bill Monroe: Bluegrass Breakdown

7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Marion Worth: Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Barbara Lea: Ain't Love Grand
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Porter Wagoner: Green Green Grass of Home/Cold Hard Facts of Life/The Carroll County Accident

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Wonder If You're Lonesome Too
Grandpa Jones: Ol' Rattler's Pup
Willis Brothers: Wild Side of Life
Stu Phillips: Loving You; Still Loving You
Lester Flatt: Great Big Woman and A Little Biddy Bottle of Wine
Grandpa and Ramona Jones: Fallen Leaves
Willis Brothers: Big Daddy
Lester Flatt: Foggy Mountain Breakdown

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
Jimmy Dickens: Family Reunion
Bill Carlisle: Shanghai Rooster
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Jeanne Pruett: Hold to My Unchanging Love/Love Me/You Don't Need to Move a Mountain/Satin Sheets
Hank Snow: Indian Love Call

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
David Houston (host): Jambalaya
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Billy Walker: Cross the Brazos at Waco
Charlie Louvin: Mary of the Wild Moor
David Houston: Good Things
Ernie Ashworth: The High Cost of Living
David Houston: Almost Persuaded

10:00: Fender
Bill Monroe (host): Never Again Will I Knock on Your Door
Jimmy C Newman: Potato Song
Jim and Jesse: Paradise
Bill Monroe: Mule Skinner Blues

10:15: Union 76
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Loretta Lynn: The Pill
Billy Grammer: What A Friend
Porter Wagoner: Carolina Moonshiner
Mack McGaha: Orange Blossom Special

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Little Maggie
Grandpa and Ramona Jones: Arkansas Traveler
Justin Tubb: Loving Arms
Lester Flatt: Let the Church Roll On

10:45: Beech-Nut
Jim Ed Brown (host): The 3 Bells
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Thank God I am Free
Crook Brothers/Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Ida Red
Jim Ed Brown: Southern Loving

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): You're Easy to Love
Jeanne Pruett: Just Like Your Daddy
Osborne Brothers: Ruby
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Jeanne Pruett: Welcome to the Sunshine
Sam McGee: Victor Rag
Hank Snow: My Mother

11:30: Elm Hill
Stu Phillips (host): Loving You; Still Loving You
Jimmy Dickens: I'm Little But I'm Loud/I Love Lucy Brown
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink on Me
Ronnie Robbins: Mama Tried/If You Love Me, Let Me Know
Stu Phillips: No One Knows

Once Jimmy Dickens came back to the Opry, he stayed as a beloved member until he passed away on January 2, 2015. While not a member the entire time, Jimmy was around the Opry for 66 years, a great achievement.

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

Monday, February 4, 2019

Tuesday Night Opry 2/5

With the Grand Ole Opry returning to the Grand Ole Opry House, it also means that the Tuesday Night Opry will be resuming with the first show this Tuesday night.

7:00: Jeannie Seely; Dailey & Vincent
7:30: Hayes Carll; Jason Crabb
8:15: Jimmie Allen; Restless Heart
8:45: Chris Janson

The Tuesday show will make the Opry debut of Hayes Carll. Hayes is from The Woodlands, Texas and he has been noted for his plainspoken poetry and sarcastic humor. He released his debut album in 2002 and was voted Best New Act by the Houston Press. He released his second album, Little Rock, in 2004. That album was the first self-released album to reach #1 on the American Chart. He was nominated for Best Album by the Americana Music Association in 2011 and in 2016 he was nominated for a Grammy Award for 'Chances Are."

Looks like a good Tuesday night show.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

February Opry Highlights

Welcome to February, or as we say here in Ohio, the dead of winter!! But on the positive side, pitchers and catchers report to spring training in few weeks which means spring is right around the corner, so we have that to look forward to. Now, as usual, here are the important or historical events that have taken place at the Grand Ole Opry, or in regards to members of the Opry, during the month of February:

February 9, 1914: Grand Ole Opry legend Ernest Tubb was born in Crisp, Texas. Ernest came to the Opry in the early 1940s and immediately became of the Opry's most important and influential members. He was known fro helping new artists and that list includes Hank Snow, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Jack Greene and Cal Smith, among many others. In 1947 he opened the first Ernest Tubb Record Shop and shortly after started the Midnight Jamboree. Ernest was one of the first members to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and he was a proud supporter of country music and those who came from the state of Texas. Ernest remained an Opry member until his death in 1984, after a period of declining health.

February 18, 1914: Early Grand Ole Opry member Frank Kuczynski was born. Perhaps that name does not ring a bell but his stage name does: Pee Wee King. Pee Wee, along with his Golden West Cowboys, became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1937 and was one of the first professional entertainers to join the cast. Many people forget that Pee Wee came before Roy Acuff. He left the Opry after World War II and moved to Louisville, Kentucky to work in television and eventually his show was broadcast in Chicago, Cincinnati and Cleveland, in addition to Louisville. He always said he would have stayed in Nashville and at the Opry if WSM had branched into television, which they would do later. While leaving the Opry as a member, Pee Wee was a frequent guest. Elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1974, Pee Wee passed away in 2000 at the age of 86. Pee Wee also wrote an autobiography that is an excellent read and a book that I highly recommend.

February 1, 1917: Mary Jane Dezurik was born in Royalton, Minnesota. Along with her sister Carolyn, these former Opry members were known as the Cackle Sisters. They came to the Opry in the 1940s, staying for only a short period of time, eventually moving to Cincinnati. Mary Jane passed away in 1981.

February 25, 1927: Ralph Stanley was born in the Clinch Mountains of Virginia. This bluegrass legend joined the Grand Ole Opry in January 2000. Ralph passed away in 2016. Some believe that Ralph should receive consideration in regards to the Country Music Hall of Fame, of which I would not disagree.

February 1, 1928: Harry Stone joined WSM radio as a staff announcer. Harry would eventually become the general manager of WSM and become responsible for the Opry. While in that position, he would often clash with Opry founder George D. Hay over the direction of the show. While Judge Hay wanted to keep the rural flavor of the show, Harry saw the value of the show to the National Life & Insurance Company, the owners of WSM, and felt that the show should move into a more professional direction. It was during Harry's time that the Opry moved away from local, amateur talent and began bringing in professional and paid entertainers. Harry remained with WSM until 1950, when he left to pursue new opportunities.

February 17, 1931: Uncle Jimmy Thompson, the first artist to perform on what is now called the Grand Ole Opry passed away. Uncle Jimmy was a part of the Barn Dance until 1927.

February 25, 1932: Faron Young was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1951 Faron joined the Louisiana Hayride, where he stayed until 1954. He then moved to Nashville, becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Faron remained an Opry member until he was fired in December 1964 for failing to meet the required number of annual appearances. While he never rejoined the show, Faron would come back and make occasional guest appearances.

February 2, 1935: The Missouri Mountaineers made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Alcyone Bate described the Mountaineers, who were founded by Jack Shook, as a "sort of Sons of Pioneers group." They stayed with the Opry until 1939.

February 5, 1938: Roy Acuff and his Crazy Tennesseans made their second appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. His first appearance had taken place several months earlier and was not considered a success. This time around, Roy performed "The Great Speckled Bird" and WSM was overwhelmed with an avalanche of mail. As a result, Roy was asked to become an Opry regular, or member, and it became official on February 19. Along with Pee Wee King, Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe and Eddy Arnold, Roy would help lead the shift of the Opry's focus to professional singers rather than the instrumental groups that had been the main focus of the show. The week after he joined, Harry Stone suggested to Roy that the name of his group be changed and since Roy was from the Knoxville area, he went with Smoky Mountain Boys. Except for a brief year in the 1940s, Roy would remain with the Opry until his death in November 1992.

February 18, 1939: The Andrew Brothers became members of the Grand Ole Opry. They were brought to the Opry specifically to replace the Delmore Brothers, who had left the show. While I have never heard The Andrew Brothers, I have heard that they were fine harmony singers.

February 13, 1943: Ernest Tubb became an official member of the Grand Ole Opry.

February 21, 1948: Jimmy Dickens made his first guest appearance on the Opry. He performed "John Henry" and "I Dreamed of An Old Love Affair." Several months later, Jimmy would become a member of the Opry.

February 2, 1949: Future Grand Ole Opry member Hank Snow met current Opry member Ernest Tubb for the first time. The meeting led to the efforts by Ernest to get Hank on the Opry, which finally took place in January 1950.

February 26, 1949: Rose Maddox and her brothers made their debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Rose and the group would later become Opry members, however their stay at the Opry was very short. There are several different versions as to why they left.

February 18, 1950: One of the Opry's early competitors, the WSB Barn Dance, based in Atlanta, Georgia, took place for the final time. The show, which started on November 16, 1940, was a very popular regional show.

February 23, 1952: Del Wood made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. She came to the Opry after "Down Yonder" her famous instrumental single, sold over a million copies the previous year. When Del accepted the invitation to perform on the Opry, she turned down a two week engagement to play with Bob Crosby and his orchestra. Del became an Opry member the following year and would remain an Opry member until her death in October 1989.

February 7, 1953: Marty Robbins made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. He performed two numbers, "Ain't You Ashamed" and "Good Night Cincinnati, Good Mornin' Tennessee." Marty's debut was a success and he would shortly after become an Opry member.

February 26, 1955: The Louvin Brothers, Charlie and Ira, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. Some consider them the greatest brother duo in the history of country music. Ira passed away on June 20, 1965 from injuries in an automobile accident that also took the life of his wife and another couple. Charlie would remain a member of the Opry, and have a successful solo career, until his death in January 2011. (As a note, some publications list February 10 as the date the Louvin Brothers joined the Opry).

February 19, 1957: Webb Pierce resigned as a member of the Opry. Webb's time at the Opry was fairly short as he quickly realized the amount of money he was losing by having to be in Nashville every Saturday night.

February 23, 1957: Porter Wagoner became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. It is safe to say that Porter was one of the Opry's most popular and colorful members and in his later years, was considered the face of the Opry. Porter had made his first guest appearance in 1956 and would later say, "The first night I appeared on the Opry, I came off the stage and went back to the dressing room area, and I met Roy Acuff in the hallway there. And he came up to me and he said, 'Porter, I was awful glad that you're becoming a part of the Grand Ole Opry. We need more of your kind of people here,'" The night of his first appearance, he was introduced by Carl Smith, who would later became close friends with Porter. Porter remained an Opry member until his death in October 2007, shortly after celebrating 50 years as an Opry member.

February 27, 1959: Billy Grammer joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Famous for "Gotta Travel On" Billy was also a fine guitar player and maker. Billy was a member for 52 years, passing away in August 2011. Billy also gave the innovation at the opening of the new Grand Ole Opry House in March 1974.

February 6, 1960: George Hamilton IV became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. George, who passed away in September 2014, was an Opry member for 54 years. From my own personal experience, George was one of the nicest guys in country music and it was always a joy and pleasure to sit and talk to him.

February 23, 1963: Patsy Cline made her final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Less than two weeks later, she would die in a plane crash that also took the lives of Opry members Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins, along with Randy Hughes.

February 12, 1966: After taking a leave of absence from the Grand Ole Opry in December 1964, Minnie Pearl returned to the Opry.

February 11, 1967: The Four Guys made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. As the story has been told many times, they were brought back for several encores. Even the the group never had a hit record, they were such a success with their stage presence that they were asked to become Opry members, were they remained until fired in April 2000.

February 22, 1969: Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs made their final appearance together on the Opry. The duo had joined the Opry in 1955, however creative differences caused the two to go their separate ways. While they broke up several months later, each remained as individual members of the Opry.

February 6, 1971: The Grand Ole Opry began performing two Saturday night Opry shows on a regular basis. Prior to that date, the Saturday show ran 7:30 to midnight, although on special occasions the Opry would break it up into two shows, depending on artist and audience demand.

February 11, 1972: Grand Ole Gospel Time, hosted by the Reverend Jimmie Snow, made its debut after the Friday Night Opry. The show would continue for the next 23 years and feature many of the Opry's members, along with other guests including Johnny and June Carter Cash and Dennis Weaver. While the hour long show took place after the Friday Night Opry, it was not aired on WSM until Sunday morning.

February 23, 1974: Former Grand Ole Opry member DeFord Bailey returned to the show for the first time since he was fired by Opry founder George D. Hay in 1941. DeFord appeared at the personal invitation of Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl, who for years had been trying to convince DeFord to return to the Opry. Before passing away, DeFord would make several more appearances, most often on the Opry's annual reunion shows.

February 8, 1975: After an absence of 18 years, Jimmy Dickens rejoined the cast as a member of the Opry. He was introduced that night by Hank Snow, who noted how much Jimmy had been missed at the Opry and how good it was to have him back. As you might expect, Jimmy sang "Family Reunion." Unlike the first time he joined in 1948, this time Jimmy stayed, until passing away in January 2015.

February 6, 1976: Ronnie Milsap became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Ronnie's 43rd year as an Opry member.

February 7, 1981: John Conlee became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be John's 38th year as an Opry member. As an Opry member, John has been very popular and well received. After he first appeared on the Opry, he was quoted as saying, "I made sure to stand on the circle from the stage of the old Ryman. That circle has been so important to me because so many big stars had stood on that wooden flooring."

February 21, 1981: Just two weeks after John Conlee joined the cast, Boxcar Willie became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Boxcar became a country music star late in life, thanks to his hobo character and his late night television commercials promoting his train album. Boxcar had first appeared on the Opry in June 1980 after being discovered in England by Wesley Rose, who brought Boxcar to the attention of Roy Acuff. Lecil Travis Martin passed away in April 1999.

February 28, 1987: Grand Ole Opry member Archie Campbell made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Archie, who was also known as a star of Hee Haw, passed away in August 1987.

February 20, 1988: The Grand Ole Opry honored Roy Acuff for 50 years of Opry membership. TNN devoted an entire hour long segment to Roy that featured Loretta Lynn and Minnie Pearl. On an additional note, on the same night that Roy Acuff celebrated his 50th Opry anniversary, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton reunited at the Opry for the first time in 14 years.

February 24, 1991: Webb Pierce passed away in Nashville. Webb came to Nashville in 1952 from the Louisiana Hayride and quickly made his first Grand Ole Opry appearance on the Prince Albert portion of the show. When he joined the cast in 1953 he was considered the replacement for Hank Williams. In the 1950s, Webb was one of the biggest acts in country music and because of his heavy touring, he only stayed at the Opry for a couple of years. Webb was also a very successful business man and was involved with one of the first publishing companies in Nashville. In 2001, a decade after his death, Webb was finally elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

February 29, 1992: Travis Tritt became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 27th year as an Opry member. Sadly, Travis has made only two Opry appearances in the last decade, once to be honored for 25 years of Opry membership, and then last year at a special Opry show that saluted Ray Charles.

February 18, 1995: WSM and Grand Ole Opry announcer Charlie Douglas announced the Grand Ole Opry for the final time. Charlie retired from WSM after coming to the station in 1984.

February 21, 1998: The Grand Ole Opry honored long-time member Grandpa Jones, who passed away earlier in the week from complications of a stroke suffered after an Opry performance. At the show that night, Bill Carlisle, Vince Gill, Ramona Jones and Grandpa's children led the cast in singing "Fallen Leaves," one of the great songs that Grandpa wrote.

February 17, 2001: Brad Paisley became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Brad's 18th year as an Opry member. On the night that Brad joined the cast, he wore the bright yellow jacket that Buck Owens wore on the cover of the 1966 "Live at Carnegie Hall" album.

February 24, 2001: While performing on the first show that evening, Grand Ole Opry member Wilma Lee Cooper suffered a stroke which would end her performing career. Wilma Lee did return to the Opry several times after the stroke, once to be honored for 50 years as a member of the Opry, and then when the Grand Ole Opry House reopened after the flood in September 2010.

 February 16, 2002: Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt and Hank Williams, Jr. performed together on the Opry in tribute to Waylon Jennings, who had recently passed away. Porter Wagoner was the host of the segment and the four performers  spent an hour on stage singing various Waylon songs and telling Waylon stories.

February 18, 2003: Grand Ole Opry member Johnny Paycheck passed away following a long illness. Johnny joined the Opry in November 1997, at the urging of Johnny Russell. However, within a few years, declining health forced Johnny into retirement. At the time of his death. Johnny was in such poor financial shape that George Jones paid for a cemetery plot in which Johnny was buried.

February 4, 2005: Bluegrass group The Grascals made their debut on the Grand Ole Opry. While never becoming Opry members, they group continues to make guest appearances.

February 26, 2005: Opry member Charlie Louvin was honored for 50 years of Opry membership. He appeared on both Opry shows that night in addition to hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.

February 16, 2008: Former Grand Ole Opry member Bobby Lord passed away in Florida at the age of 74. Bobby was a popular Opry member who joined the cast in the mid 1960s, leaving in the mid-1970s. At the time, he left Nashville and moved to Florida and got involved in real estate.

February 27, 2009: Opry member Billy Grammer was honored for 50 years of Opry membership. On the same night that Billy was recognized, Jimmy Dickens returned to the Opry after an absence of six weeks following brain surgery.

February 26, 2015: The Grand Ole Opry House was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

February 24, 2017: Grand Ole Opry member Roy Clark performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the final time. Roy joined the Opry's cast in August 1987. Roy passed away on November 15, 2018.

February 28, 2017: Travis Tritt returned to the Opry stage for the first time since 2007, upon the occasion of his 25th year as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

February 8, 2018: Steve Buchanan, President of the Grand Ole Opry, announced his retirement. Steve was instrumental in bringing in Pete Fisher as the Opry's general manager, and in expanding the Opry brand in Nashville and beyond. Steve was also the executive producer of "Nashville," which included the Opry and several of its members in many of their shows. An argument can be made that Steve would be a solid candidate for the Country Music Hall of Fame in the contributors category.

There you have it for the month of February.