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!!


  1. Now, if Brad popped in Saturday night, or Alison popped in Friday night, they could make Ol' Whisper some extra royalty money and have one of those "Opry moments" they talk about. Neither one of them appears to be booked the other night. I wonder what's keeping them from doing two shows and coming two shows closer to meeting their supposed obligations?

    1. It was good to hear some RARE Opry appearances from a couple of Opry MEMBERS. How about Brad Paisley. He even remembered where the circle is. Bob

  2. The line-up for Saturday night has been shifted around. No one has been added and no one has been taken off.

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

  3. Just saw that The Whites are going to be recognized for their 35th anniversary as Grand Ole Opry members tonight.

  4. I just know that there is not a precise answer to this question but I think it is worth posing. How does Opry management determine when and how they are going to recognize anniversaries?

    I don't think I missed anything so the recognition tonight for the Whites 35th was Ricky introducing them, their own words of thanks and gratefulness for being members and memories and Ricky's great words at the end. Then just words of recognition by Eddie as part of his announcer duties. I think this milestone might be timely for them and it sure seems like the right thing to do was for management to appear and at least give them something. I know there were four on stage but even a Hatch print would have been nice.

    Okay, I have no idea what the behind the scenes scenario might be. As humble as they are, maybe the Whites had a say in how it went. This really is not one of my negative posts, just an observation and well intentioned opinion.

    On a different note, has anyone ever seen a list of all the Opry announcers and their years at the podium? Part of my reason for asking is that some of the old broadcasts could be dated not only by artist and songs but by the announcer.

    Knightsville, IN

  5. Jim, I know behind the scenes there was a cake and a special poster made up for the night. The poster was also being sold in the Opry Shop. For some of the bigger anniversaries, such as a 25th or 50th, the Opry will have a reception backstage or in the old Studio A back of the Opry House, with some food and invited and honored guests.

    I know for years there was very little recognition of Opry anniversaries except for the 50th. Oh, of course, there would be casual mentions of Opry induction dates and years in the artist introductions, but nothing formal. Then it seems like toward the end of the Pete Fisher era, and now with Sally Williams, there is more of an emphasis on recognizing Opry anniversaries. There is no magic number, but it seems like it starts with 5 years and goes on every 5th year from there.

    Personally, I have no issue with it. If it gives the Opry member a special night, I am fine with it. (Although I am not so fine with the members who only seem to come to the Opry for a special recognition such as Reba, Dolly or Trisha). It gives them a moment to enjoy being in the spotlight.

    As to the list of Opry announcers, at one time I had a pretty good list of names and dates. I would have to go through my files and see if I can dig it up.

    1. Would love to seee the announcer list. Hope you can find it! Thanks.

  6. I do recall that for some anniversaries there might be a little presentation. I recall one for Billy Walker's 30th. When Hank Snow hit #40, they had the evening where he chose the guests and that's when the Glasers did that magnificent performance that was their last time together. But I also recall that it was Hairl Hensley who came out to do the presentation for Mr. Snow's 40th--not the top dogs of the company, who were out there for Mr. Acuff and Mr. Monroe and Mrs. Cannon at #50.

    1. I also seem to remember them giving Jimmy C a silver plate at one of his later anniversaries.


  7. I don't know guys!.....
    For someone like Brad, LIFE! IS! INSANE! Some of you know I was produced about a year ago by Milsap's lead guitar player. The reason we stopped? Ronnie began to have better health and tour more than he has in about a decade! Brad is 10 times more booked up, and living in Nashville, all these guys wanna do when they can, is see their wives and kids and Do NOTHING! Now I agree about more being done, because look at Carrie, but, the amount of work they have to do weekly is SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!! Let them go home and not be "on" when they can on one hand, but on the other, the opry is SOOOOO important! What's the middle ground?

  8. Here is one of my big issues with the Opry's management:

    It was posted earlier today on the Opry's Twitter page that they are going to honor Jesse McReynolds tonight upon his 55th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. 55 years!!!

    A month ago, the Opry announced that they are going to honor Trisha Yearwood upon her 20th anniversary as an Opry member with a special show.

    One is a current star who has been an Opry member for 20 years, and I would be in those 20 years has made a grand total of about 20 appearances.

    The other is a legend. A Hall of Famer who has been a member for 55 years and has probably made well over 1,000 Opry appearances.

    Yet, the Opry would rather promote the artist who seldom visits the Opry over the one who is there just about every weekend.

  9. I agree Byron.

    We here all know and love Jesse(and Jim) but how many mainstream fans know who he is? Not saying they shouldn't but in reality, how many do?

    Trisha on the other hand, is the wife of the GOAT, not my tern, but one I here thrown around including on my local top 40 station. I don't follow either of them but I'm thinking she has a cook book out, maybe even a cooking show and she has had radio play in the past 20 or so years.

    I don't want to take too much away from the new team for it is an improvement over the last. And at least although not promoted, they have allowed artist to at least speak of their anniversary at length like the Whites last night where in the Fisher era that seemed to be out depending on who you were. But this comparison between Trisha and Jesse seems to come down to simple promotion, the most bang for the buck. It's the right thing to do to recognize Jesse, or the Whites st all, but for bottom line dollar of the brand, Trisha is the choice.

    I just wish there would have been a little more fanfare last night for Buck's sake!

    It will be interesting to see what takes place tonight and how the Old Crow team handles there part of it. Maybe they will all play together.

    While I have the mic, I wanted to say to E.Z. that I did go and look at some of his performances a few weeks back and he does a fine job singing and I enjoyed what I got to listen to.

    Knightsville, IN

  10. I may have been a little too critical in my comment on Trisha and Jesse. I understand from a business and entertainment standpoint that Trisha will sell tickets and put fans in the seats on a Tuesday night that might no otherwise draw a sold-out crowd. And I am sure there will be those who will buy tickets hoping that Garth will show up and help salute his wife.

    However, Jesse is one of the Opry's longest tenured members, with only a handful making it to 55 years. And I am happy that they shifted the line-up around and put him on in the closing segment. Yes, we have seen the Opry pick and choose who to honor and when. We are getting almost a full year's notice for Dolly's 50th, but we received little notice for Stu Phillips. Granted again, that Dolly is a mega-star and Stu is basically retired. I am not arguing that point. It is just when you reach 50 years, no matter who you are, it should be a big deal.

    I would have just like to have seen the Opry do a little better job promoting Jesse's 55th. And let's not forget, he is the Opry's senior member, in terms of age.

    1. Byron, I wouldn't worry too much about your opinion being too critical, it's not, it is actually 100% correct, no favoritism should be shown from one Opry member to another & I am sure the fine folks at the Opry can take everyone's opinion just fine & tonight's line-up should have always been what it is right now, with Jesse McReynold's being the last performer of the night.

      I really enjoyed Billy Strings music & Gary Mule Deer was absolutely hilarious two nights in a row & I am happy that Old Crow was on the Opry again tonight. I really do dig them.

      Congratulations to Jesse McReynolds on 55 years of Opry membership; he, Old Crow & all the others closed out the Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry just as they should have, like family. Very nice that Charlie Worsham walked on stage, he gets it.


  11. Byron:

    Pleas don't think I was critical of your comments. I couldn't agree more. People like Jesse who created their own style like his mandolin cross picking, has been on his day job as Eddie would say, for nearly 70 years, deserves a great celebration. And, the management and newer fans probably do not realize how much people like Jim and Jesse promoted and filled seats at the Opry in years long before Facebook. They played several road shows a week and constantly promoted the Opry and invited their fans to come to Nashville and see Opryland, the Opry and all the other artist. Jesse has done that for over 40 year since joining in '64. (I must say it was nice to hear the report about Chris Jansen doing the same today)

    What I was pointing out is actually sad. That name and face recognition trump loyalty, dedication, service and some might even say true artistry!

    I hope this is a great night for Jesse and that the crowd honors him with long applause and/or a standing ovation as they often do. I said it here many times, to me Jim and Jesse may be the most professional and kindest act to ever work out of the Opry. AND, made have made some of the best music ever.

    Knightsville, IN

  12. Not to take anything away from Jesse (who is a living treasure that deserves every honor possible) but although she is basically retired I believe the Great Jan Howard (who turns 90 on the 13th of this month) is the Opry's senior member in age. Jesse celebrates his 90th in July. Incredible to think that Jan will be 90!

  13. Thanks for remembering Jan. I would never want to slight her in any way! I have never been clear on her birth year and that may be the way she wants it. I've seen '30 and '32 both in print.

    I sure miss her on the Opry. In years long past, I din't always enjoy 100% of her song choices but they were just that, her choice. An example would be "I Will Survive" which was listed in one of the lineups in this post. One song she liked to do of one of her hero's, Ray Price, was "I'd Rather Be Sorry". I'm not sure we ever coordinated it with me requesting and her doing it but in letter or email we often talked about liking it.

    Hope she is doing well.


    1. Jim, I've seen 1929 and 1931, so maybe Jan doesn't want us to know!

      She would do some songs that Harlan wrote. After what she said in her book, I was amazed she would.

  14. Maybe it's just me but it seems like after Hank and Harlan passed, Jeannie and Jan both have sang more of there songs and talked about them a little more. Of course she didn't have much choice but to sing songs Harlan penned when seven of her first nine Billboard charted records were written or co-written by him! Two were duets with Wynn Stewart and Bill Anderson. The One You Slip Around With, I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again, What Makes A Man Wonder, Evil On Your Mind, and Any Old Way You Do were the solos in that order.

    As I have said before, there are some really good recordings those Jan Howard Decca LP's.

    And it's hard to believe her book is around 30 years old now. Wish I had time to read it again. Some of what she went through with husbands and children really sticks with you. I have to say that the book really made me take an interest in her and dig into her music more even though the book was more about her life than her music.


  15. I thought Old Crow's Ketch did an OUTSTANDING job honoring Jesse last night. We just couldn't have asked for better. Jesse was reflective, talked about Jim and did the first song they did on the Opry (which I cannot seem to remember but is on the tip of my tongue.) Made me tear up, when the audience gave him a standing ovation. Hold on tight to what we have while we have it. We will not see people like Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Bill Anderson, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn pass this way again. Old Crow gets the legacy of the Opry and honors it. How cool was it that Billy Strings on his Opry debut and Jesse on his 55th anniversary were both on the same segment hosted by Old Crow! And to close with Jesse and Old Crow and Riders doing Night Train to Memphis was fantastic and the people were on their feet when the curtain went down. Hold on tight to what we have while we have it. We will not see people like Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Bill Anderson, Bobby Bare, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn pass this way again. As Brother Oswald once told me when he was signing an autograph for me, "this pen is just like I am: fading away."(oldtimeopry)

  16. Oldtimeopry:

    Great observation about last night. Old Crow was a good fit with Jesse. I believe the song title is "I don't Love Nobody But You".

    That sure sounds like Oswald. Funny how a little comment from thses folks can stick with us. The one time we met Mr. Acuff backstage, Os was there too and he signed one of our LP's. He signed it upside down, my fault, the way I handed it to him. Mr. Acuff looked at it and said "Damn it Os, turn it around and sign it right". What a team.

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Jim, that is a story for the ages.

      I'll never forget watching Bill Anderson's "Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry," and Mr. Acuff and his gang were doing "Back in the Country." Os came in early on the chorus and when they finished, Mr. Acuff looked at him and said, "43 years, Oswald, and I think that's the first time you ever came in early!"

  17. I'll Never Love Nobody But You

    I think that is more accurate.


  18. How long does it take for WSM to post the Opry archives; we missed Tony Jackson last week and Jesse McReynolds last night.

    1. It varies. Sometimes they post it in a week. Sometimes they post two weeks at the same time. Bob

    2. Thanks Bob. I checked again today and they are all there and up to date. Great shows, on my, that Tony Jackson is fantastic.

    3. Your welcome. Glad to help you out. Enjoy. Bob

  19. I have two friends in Nashville that had there wedding reception on Jim and Jesse's farm. It doesn't get any better than that. Bob

  20. Who do you guys see going into the Hall of Fame this year?.