Thursday, June 20, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 6/21 & 6/22

I want to start out by mentioning, for those who are interested, that this week's Opry encore show on RFD-TV is from July 6, 1985, which was the night that Johnny Russell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The segment was hosted by Porter Wagoner and also features Dottie West. This will be one of the older shows they have shown and I remember it as a very good one.

As far as the Grand Ole Opry for this weekend, the line-up for this weekend has been posted,  Looking at Grand Ole Opry members, there are four scheduled for both nights: Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, The Whites and Riders In The Sky. On Friday night, that quartet will be joined by members Diamond Rio, Bobby Osborne and Ricky Skaggs. On Saturday night it will be Jesse McReynolds and Steve Wariner appearing.

Guesting on Friday night will be comedian Chonda Pierce, who seems to be making regular appearances on the Opry. She will be joined by Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy and frequent Opry guest Charles Esten, along with Levon.

Saturday night looks very interesting. One artist, Anna Vaus, will be making her Grand Ole Opry debut. Mo Pitney is also on the schedule. But the rest of the names are established artists. John Berry, one of the fine ballad singers, will be appearing. Rockabilly artist Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys are also scheduled, along with bluegrass artists The SteelDrivers. Finally, Junior Brown is scheduled to appear. Many consider Junior a Texas country music legend and every time I have seen Junior on the Opry, he has been outstanding.

Friday June 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Levon; Mike Snider
7:30: Diamond Rio (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Chonda Pierce
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie McCoy; Charles Esten
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites

Saturday June 22
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Mo Pitney; The Whites
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Anna Vaus; John Berry
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Jesse McReynolds; Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
8:45: Steve Wariner (host); Junior Brown; The SteelDrivers

Charlie McCoy will be the host of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree on Saturday night and Grand Ole Opry member Randy Travis will be visiting the Opry on Friday night, signing copies of his new autobiography. Additionally on Saturday night, Chuck Mead will be signing copies of his new album.

As mentioned, this will be the Grand Ole Opry debut for Anna Vaus. Anna, who is from California, released her debut EP last fall and as a newcomer, she has already made a name for herself. In 2016, she was chosen by Miranda Lambert as the first recipient of the Miranda Lambert Women Creators Fund, which awards a female singer/songwriter a scholarship to attend Belmont University. Later that year, she was featured in Belmont's Best of the Best Showcase. In 2017, Anna signed a publishing deal with Black River Entertainment. Anna has also been named of one of CMT's Next Women of Country Class of 2019. She has toured and opened for numerous country artists including Lee Ann Womack, Jon Pardi, Old Dominion and Hunter Hayes, as well as playing various Nashville venues including The Bluebird Cafe. On Saturday night, she can add the Grand Ole Opry to her list.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of June 19 & 20, 2009:

Friday June 19
7:00: Mike Snider (host); The Whites; Emily West
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Tracy Byrd
8:00: Marty Stuart (host); Jan Howard; George Hamilton IV; Connie Smith
8:30: Vince Gill (host); John Conlee; Alison Krauss

Saturday June 20
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rhonda Vincent
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Hal Ketchum; Point Of Grace
8:00: John Conlee (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jim Ed Brown; Sammy Johns; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Alison Krauss; The Whites

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Rhonda Vincent
10:00: Vince Gill (host); Mike Snider; Point Of Grace
10:30: John Conlee (host); Hal Ketchum; Sammy Johns; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Alison Krauss; The Whites

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday June 18, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Ray Pillow
6:45: Bill Anderson (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jeanne Pruett; Brother Oswald; Jan Howard; Stonewall Jackson
7:30: The Whites (host); Gold City Quartet; J. D. Sumner; Jake Hess
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Vince Gill; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Hank Locklin; The Four Guys

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Gold City Quartet; J. D. Sumner; Jake Hess
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeanne Pruett; Vince Gill
10:15: Bill Anderson (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
10:30: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard
10:45: The Whites (host); Stonewall Jackson; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host): Charlie Walker; Ray Pillow; Del Reeves
11:30: Johnny Russell (host); The Whites; Hank Locklin; Connie Smith

And from 50 years ago, Saturday June 21, 1969:

1st show
6:30/6:45: Stu Phillips: Norma Jean; Del Wood; Ernie Ashworth; Jack Greene
7:00: Hank Locklin; Grandpa Jones; Loretta Lynn; Stringbean
7:30: Bobby Lord; Bob Luman; Margie Bowes; Crook Brothers
8:00: Lester Flatt; Glaser Brothers; Hank Williams, Jr; Jerry Smith
8:30: Bill Anderson; Osborne Brothers; Jan Howard; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Bobby Lord; Stu Phillips; Norma Jean; Del Wood
10:00: Bob Luman; Grandpa Jones; Ernie Ashworth
10:15: Jack Greene; Loretta Lynn
10:30: Bill Anderson; Jan Howard; Stringbean
10:45: Lester Flatt; Hank Locklin; Crook Brothers
11:00: Glaser Brothers; Hank Williams, Jr; Jerry Smith; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins; Osborne Brothers; Margie Bowes; Ronnie Robbins

Looking back at past Grand Ole Opry dates, it was Saturday June 21, 2003 that Grand Ole Opry member Roy Drusky made his final Opry appearance.

Roy Drusky was born in Atlanta, Georgia on June 22, 1930. As a child, Roy was more focused on sports, especially baseball, than music. His mother, who was a church organist, kept pushing Roy to try music. After serving in the Navy, where Roy first began singing, he attended Emory University, during which time he also played country music with a group he founded, the Southern Ranch Boys. Besides his performing with his band, Roy also worked as a disc jockey.

In 1953 he signed with Starday Records. His first single was "Such a Fool." He later recorded for Columbia Records, however as with Starday, he had limited success. In 1960, after signing with Decca Records, where he worked with producer Owen Bradley, the single "Another" was released. The song, which was co-written by Roy, reached No. 2 on the country charts. That song was followed by "Anymore" which peaked at No. 3.

Roy's only No. 1 hit was a duet recorded with Priscilla Mitchell, "Yes Mr. Peters," which was released in 1965. However, he had a number of Top 10 hits including "Three Hearts in a Tangle," "I Went Out of My Way (To Make You Happy)," "Second Hand Rose," "Peel Me a Nanner," "All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers," "Such a Fool," "Long Long Texas Road," and "All My Hard Times," which was his final Top 10 record and was released in 1970.

Roy was also a very successful songwriter, having written a number of songs that became hits for others including "Alone With You," and "Country Girl," both recorded by Faron Young. He also appeared in movies and television.

Roy joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1959 and continued as a member until he passed away on September 23, 2004 from lung cancer.

Here is the running order from Saturday June 21, 2003, the final appearance by Roy Drusky on the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Tennessee Pride
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Connie Smith: Where Is My Castle
Jimmy C Newman: Big Mamou
Billy Yates: I'm Country/Choices
Jimmy Dickens: Mountain Dew

7:00: WSM Candy
BR5-49: Nuts/I'll Be Yours & You'll Be Mine
Jim Ed Brown: You Can Have Her
Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius: You Don't Bring Me Flowers
Mandy Barnett: Believe Me
Chuck Mead and Mandy Barnett: Jackson
Steve Azar: I'm the Under Dog/(?)
Oak Ridge Boys: I'm Glory Bound/Colors/Elvira
Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius: I Don't Want to Have to Marry You

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Lost All My Money
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Miranda Lambert: Honky-Tonk Blues/The Greyhound Bound for Nowhere
Opry Square Dance Band: Snowflake Reel

8:30: Tootsie's
Brad Paisley (host): Celebrity
Jesse McReynolds: As Long As I Live
Jean Shepard: Secret Love
Hal Ketchum: Stay Forever
Brad Paisley: Is It Raining at Your House

2nd show
9:30: Coca-Cola
Hal Ketchum (host): The Point of Rescue
Connie Smith: Ribbon of Darkness/I'm Looking for a Reason Not to Love You
BR5-49: She Ain't Talking to Me
Shotgun Boogie
Hal Ketchum: Dreams of Martina

10:00: Shotgun
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Roy Drusky: Have I Stayed Away Too Long
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream
Steve Azar: The End of Indianola: Hey, Baby
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

10:30: WSM
Jean Shepard (host): Head Over Heels In Love with You
The Whites: Move it On Over
Oak Ridge Boys: I'm Glory Bound/Colors
Opry Square Dance Band: Cherokee Shuffle
Jean Shepard: Satin Sheets

11:00: Singular Wireless
Brad Paisley (host): Celebrity
Jesse McReynolds: Fiddle Patch
Billy Yates: Country
Mandy Barnett: Faded Love
Brad Paisley and Billy Yates: Farther Along

Jeannie Seely (host): Anytime
Ray Pillow: That Ain't No Way to Treat My Heart/I Wonder Who's Missing You Now
Miranda Lambert: Honky-Tonk Blues/The Greyhound Bound for Nowhere
Jeannie Seely: One Step Away from Coming Home

I always thought that Roy had one of the smoothest voices in country music.

Let's not forget another date as it was 39 years ago, Saturday June 21, 1980 that Boxcar Willie made his Grand Ole Opry debut.

1st show
6:30: Justin Tubb (host); Del Wood
6:45: Jimmy C Newman (host); Ernie Ashworth
7:00: Billy Walker (host); David Houston; Vic Willis Trio; Lulu Roman
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; Boxcar Willie; Crook Brothers; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Stu Phillips; Bill Carlisle; Wilma Lee Cooper
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Ray Pillow; The Four Guys; Roy Drusky; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Kelly Foxton

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); The Four Guys; Ernie Ashworth; Del Wood
10:00: Billy Walker (host); David Houston
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Vic Willis Trio
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Connie Smith; Boxcar Willie
10:45: Roy Drusky (host); Justin Tubb; Crook Brothers; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Bill Carlisle; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Kirk McGee; Kelly Foxton
11:30: Ray Pillow (host); Stu Phillips; Wilma Lee Cooper

Boxcar Willie became an immediate hit on the Grand Ole Opry, and a crowd favorite. He was also a personal favorite of Roy Acuff, which helped when it came to becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry, which Boxcar did on February 21, 1981, at the age of 49. Boxcar would remain an Opry member until he passed away on April 12, 1999.

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend!!


  1. Looks like Mo Pitney has been added to the first segment on Saturday night!

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Add him to my list of potential members as well. He’s real.

  2. I was always a big Roy Drusky fan, and I noticed something interesting about the lineup: Brad Paisley actually did the Opry! Wow!

    When Johnny Russell became a member, Mr. Acuff was out for a few months, and he paid tribute to him. I suspect he would have wanted Mr. Acuff to do the honors if he could have. NO offense to Porter Wagoner, who was great as always.

  3. Did anyone ever see the chair that Mr. Acuff gave to Johnny at some point? Seems like it was for him to use when he would hang out on stage during the shoe. I probably have it on tape somewhere but I'm going from memory here. Seems like it might have been a big wooden rocker. I can't remember if it was before or after Johnny became a member. Anyone have more insight?

    Roy Drusky was always one of our favorites. We liked his singing and choice of songs in latter days on the Opry as well as the great songs he wrote early in his career. And he did some hard Country recordings early on for Decca that I'm pretty sure Pete Drake played steel on. Unfortunatly, he is one of the few we never got to meet and it looks like Ray Pillow is going to be another!

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Jim, one of my favorite Russell lines is when he said he went into Mr. Acuff's dressing room. Mr. Acuff said, "What are you doing here?" Johnny said, "I thought you might like to chew the fat." Pause. "And he bit me."

  4. Michael, thanks for that. I can here him pause and say "Roy Acuff bit me"!

    It was good to see that 85 show on RFD last night. It hadn't occurred to me that this was one of those two long stretches that Mr. Acuff was away ill. I don't think he returned until October.

    Knightsville, IN