Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 8/30 & 8/31

The Grand Ole Opry is closing out the month of August in fine style as the Opry will be playing host this weekend to Opry member Vince Gill, who will be appearing on all three shows in support of his new album "Okie." Not only will Vince be performing on all three shows, but he is the only artist scheduled on the closing segment each night. Additionally, after the Friday Night Opry, Vince will be giving an exclusive performance of his new album to a few select fans.

Besides Vince, the only other Grand Ole Opry member scheduled for both nights is Jeannie Seely. On the Friday Night Opry, those two will be joined by members Bill Anderson, The Whites, and Riders In The Sky, while on Saturday night Connie Smith, Bobby Osborne, Oak Ridge Boys, and the ever popular, Martina McBride round out the list.

Gary Mule Deer, who seems to be appearing on a lot of Opry shows lately, is scheduled to guest on all three shows this weekend. Joining him on Friday night will be Adam Doleac, Mark and Maggie O'Connor and Wendy Moten. And, as the Opry does every year, the Grand Master Fiddle Champions will be featured on the show.

On Saturday night, the only other guest besides Gary Mule Deer, will be Abby Anderson.

Friday August 30
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Adam Doleac; The Whites
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Gary Mule Deer; Mark and Maggie O'Connor
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Grand Master Fiddle Champions; Wendy Moten
8:45: Vince Gill

Saturday August 31
1st show
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Abby Anderson; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Martina McBride
8:00: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Gary Mule Deer; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Vince Gill

2nd show
9:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Abby Anderson; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
10:00: Connie Smith (host); Martina McBride
10:30: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Gary Mule Deer; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill

While there are only eight artists scheduled for Saturday night, there certainly is a lot of star power with Martina, Vince, and the Oaks.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of August 28 & 29, 2009:

Friday August 28
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Riders In The Sky; Cherryholmes
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jamie O'Neal
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jean Shepard; The Whites
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Ralph Stanley

Saturday August 29
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Daryle Singletary
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Jack Greene; Jean Shepard; Ralph Stanley
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; Clay Walker; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); John Conlee; Connie Smith

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday August 27, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Bill Carlisle
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host): Jan Howard; Stonewall Jackson; Jean Shepard; Brother Oswald
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Ronnie Milsap; Alison Krauss
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Connie Smith; Johnny Russell: Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeanne Pruett; The Four Guys; Ray Pillow; Jeannie Seely; Charley Walker

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Stonewall Jackson; Alison Krauss
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Skeeter Davis
10:15: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard
10:30: Jack Greene (host); Jeanne Pruett
10:45: Jimmy C Newman (host); Rhonda Vincent; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Ray Pillow; Ronnie Milsap
11:30: The Four Guys (host); Connie Smith; Jeannie Seely; Johnny Russell

Finally, looking back to 50 years ago, it was Saturday August 30, 1969 that an unknown 18 year old by the name of Crystal Gayle, made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry.

Crystal Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb in Paintsville, KY, on January 9. Her older sister was future superstar and Grand Ole Opry member Loretta Lynn, though Loretta had already left home by the time Brenda was born. To escape constant comparison to her sister, Crystal wisely developed her own vocal and musical style. She had 20 No. 1 country singles, beginning with "I'll Get Over You" and including her signature song, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue." That song earned Crystal a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and also made her album We Must Believe In Magic the first by a female country artist to go platinum.

The Grand Ole Opry holds a special place in Crystal's heart. "My first time to perform on the Opry, Loretta was sick and she talked them into letting me perform in her spot," Crystal told Country Stars Central. "I remember singing 'Ribbon of Darkness Over Me' in my little shiny dress my mother made me."

Pretty soon, Crystal was topping the charts and getting her own invitations to play the Opry. Crystal was awarded Female Vocalist of the Year in 1977 and 1978 by the Country Music Association Awards. The Academy of Country Music gave her the same award in 1976, 1977 and 1979.
Chart success continued for Crystal throughout the 1980s with hits including "Cry," "Talking In Your Sleep," "Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For," "Half The Way" and her duet with Eddie Rabbitt, "You And I."

In 2008 Crystal was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. In 2009 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Crystal continues to perform around the world.

While Crystal would continue to make guest appearances on the Opry, it wasn't until January 21, 2017 that she became an official member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Here is the running order from 50 years ago, Saturday August 30, 1969, the night Crystal Gayle made her Opry debut:

1st show
Jim and Jesse (host): (?)

Hank Locklin (host): (?)
Lonzo and Oscar: (?)

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

7:30: Standard Candy
Charlie Walker (host): Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Wilma Burgess: Let Me Be the Woman in Your Life
Bobby Lewis: Love Me & Make It All Better
Crook Brothers: Old Hen Cackle
Charlie Walker: Moffett, Oklahoma
Wilma Burgess: Break My Mind
Bobby Lewis: It's Such a Pretty World Today
Charlie Walker: Truck Driving Man
8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): John Henry
Margie Bowes: That Completely Destroys My Plans
Jerry Smith: Truck Stop
Louie Roberts: The Wreck of the Old 97
Lester Flatt: Cabin on the Hill
Margie Bowes: Understand Your Gal/Big City
Louie Roberts: Peace in the Valley/ Hey Good Lookin'
Uncle Josh: Just Joshin'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wow. Talk about a thin line-up for 1969. Obviously being the end of summer, most of the Opry's big names were out on the road doing fair dates and playing the various country music parks, with only Lester Flatt and Ernest Tubb being the only two Opry legends on the shows that night.

Including the Crook Brothers and Fruit Jar Drinkers, there were 10 Opry members on the first show, while on the second show there were 11 members, counting the McGees.

The 10:00 segment had no Opry members with Martha Carson, a former Opry member who was not welcomed back after taking a leave of absence many years before, opening and closing the segment. Why? Because Hank Locklin was supposed to have hosted and he wasn't there. Apparently between the first and second shows he skipped out and was late getting back.

Finally, when looking at those who guested that night, the biggest name would have been Martha Carson and probably followed by Bobby Lewis, with a drop off after that.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting on the blog and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Tuesday Night Opry 8/27 & Wednesday Night Opry 8/28

Headed toward the Labor Day weekend and with fair season in full bloom, the Opry has come up with a couple of nice mid-week Opry shows, which includes an appearance by long, lost Grand Ole Opry member Clint Black.

Tuesday August 27
7:00: Bill Anderson; Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
7:30: Gary Mule Deer, Dylan Scott
8:15: Carly Pearce; Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
8:45: Michael Ray; Zach Williams

Wednesday August 28
7:00: Dailey & Vincent; Jeannie Seely
7:30: Cody Jinks; Clint Black
8:15: Gwen Sebastian; Sawyer Brown
8:45: Gary Mule Deer; Ricky Skaggs

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 8/23 & 8/24

Before getting into the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this week, just a bit of news and comments to pass along.

First, in celebration of Dolly Parton's 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, a special limited time exhibit has been set up in Studio A at the Opry House to commemorate Dolly's Opry career.

The exhibit, “Dolly: My Opry Memories,”  will run Sept. 3 – Oct. 31. The exhibit will include 24 wardrobe pieces that Dolly has worn on stage at the Grand Ole Opry House and Ryman Auditorium over the past 50 years. The dresses on display in the Opry House’s historic Studio A will include the dress Parton wore on the evening of her Opry induction in 1969, the gown worn to perform a duet with Vince Gill on “I Will Always Love You” in 1995 and the outfit she wore to surprise Reba McEntire during McEntire’s 40th Opry celebration.

The exhibit will also include videos of Parton sharing some of her treasured Opry memories as well as performance clips that span the last five decades. (My first thought was that the video will probably be pretty short considering how few times Dolly has been at the Opry over the past 40 years).

The Grand Ole Opry’s months-long celebration of the icon also involves the transformation of radio station WSM’s Opry Nashville streaming channel to Dolly Radio. Over the course of the exhibit, the stream will feature a wide array of Parton’s hit songs, Opry performances, interviews and more. Dolly Radio will be available at and the station’s free mobile app.

Admission to "Dolly: My Opry Memories" is $17 or $12 when added to the purchase of an Opry backstage tour.

Dolly Parton will formally celebrate her 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday October 12, with two sold out shows. No other artists have been added to the schedule as of yet, but I am sure it will be a star-studded evening.

My personal opinion is that it is nice that the Grand Ole Opry is honoring Dolly, and she is a global icon and someone I do enjoy. However, it would mean more if she had actually supported the Opry and appeared on the show more than a handful of times over the past several decades. (Oh, and to be clear, I do like Dolly and she is certainly worthy of the honor).

Secondly, while I was away last weekend, I noticed a few comments regarding the recordings of WSM and Grand Ole Opry shows that have been posted on the internet. There were a few comments regarding the quality of the recordings and how great they are. I agree. As someone who has tapes of most of the Prince Albert shows, I can tell you that the shows posted have been cleaned up and the sound quality is amazing. is the site and you can type in the search bar as to what you are looking for. In the case of the Prince Albert shows, with over 100 in the file, the site is:

If you want to hear some great Grand Ole Opry shows from the past, I highly recommend this site.

Looking at the Grand Ole Opry line-ups for this weekend, Tanya Tucker is scheduled for the Friday Night Opry. Tanya, who is touring in support of her new album, has been mentioned on various sites as being one of the favorites to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2020. While it is way too soon to get into that speculation, I would attend to agree that she would be one of the early favorites and would be a strong candidate to be elected.

Guesting with Tanya on the Friday Night Opry will be Moe Bandy. It is always a treat to hear Moe on the Opry. Joining those two will be Jason Crabb, Nicolle Gaylon, Hunter Hayes, and making her Opry debut, Caylee Hammack.

Grand Ole Opry members scheduled on Friday night include Jeannie Seely, Jesse McReynolds, The Whites, Connie Smith and Dailey & Vincent.

Jeannie, The Whites and Connie are also scheduled for Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, where that trio will be joined by members Bobby Osborne, Riders In The Sky, and Crystal Gayle.

Scheduled as guests on Saturday night are King Calaway, Austin Jenckes, Christian comedian Chonda Pierce, and legendary musician Tony Trischka.

Friday August 23
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jason Crabb; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: The Whites (host); Nicolle Galyon; Moe Bandy
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Caylee Hammack; Hunter Hayes
8:45: Dailey & Vincent (host); Tanya Tucker

Saturday August 24
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: The Whites (host); Tony Trischka; King Calaway
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Chonda Pierce; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Austin Jenckes; Crystal Gayle

Capitol Records Nashville’s Caylee Hammack, who is making her Opry debut on Friday night,  constantly felt like a self-described “hippie in a hillbilly town” in her tiny hometown of Ellaville, Georgia.  “I used to pray every night as a kid, ‘God, just please make me different. Don’t make me like everyone else,’” she remembers.

Hammack is indeed refreshingly different.  She’s a country expressionist, a grungy firebrand and a spiritual seeker.  And at only 24, she has already packed a full life into just a few years, using fake IDs to get gigs around South Georgia, turning down a college scholarship for a love that burned out just a few months later, sleeping in her car when she arrived in Nashville and then losing her home in an electrical fire.

“My dad has always said that the most beautiful and strongest things are forged in the fire,” she says. “Iron is nothing until you work it in a fire. Glass cannot be blown without intense heat. You can’t make anything beautiful or strong without a little heat.”

Tested by the fire, Caylee Hammack has been molded into an artist with incredible depth and a powerhouse voice that can effortlessly veer from fiery and demanding to quiet and vulnerable.  Her life experience and relentless curiosity have coalesced into a country cocktail that’s rooted in tradition but expands with shards of modern pop and rock. Her self-penned songs tug on her own life story – bad decisions, secret affairs, broken hearts, a quirky family lineage – as she invariably turns the lemons of her daring life into sonic lemonade.

And now here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of August 21 & 22, 2009:

Friday August 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Crystal Gayle
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jesse McReynolds and The Virginia Boys; The Whites
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Oak Ridge Boys

Saturday August 22
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Del McCoury Band
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Jack Greene; Joey+Rory
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Exile

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday August 20, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Jean Shepard (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jeanne Pruett
7:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Skeeter Davis; Brother Oswald; Mel McDaniel; Mike Snider
7:30: The Four Guys (host); Mac Davis; The Whites; Asleep At The Wheel
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Stonewall Jackson; Charlie Walker; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers; Colleen Walters
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Charlie Louvin; Ricky Skaggs

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeanne Pruett; Stonewall Jackson; Mac Davis
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jan Howard
10:15: Jean Shepard (host); Roy Drusky
10:30: Mike Snider (host); Ray Pillow
10:45: The Four Guys (host); Jim Ed Brown; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Asleep At The Wheel; The Whites; Mel McDaniel
11:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jeannie Seely; Charlie Walker; Rhonda Vincent

Finally, from 50 years ago, Saturday August 23, 1969:

1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown; The Four Guys
6:45: The Glaser Brothers; Del Wood
7:00: Bill Anderson; Stringbean; Jan Howard; Jack Barlow
7:30: George Hamilton IV; Bill Carlisle; Crook Brothers; The Tennessee Travelers; Audrey Williams
8:00: Billy Grammer; Loretta Lynn; Johnny Carver; Bill Price; Jimmy Payne
8:30: Jack Greene; Jeannie Seely; John Wesley Ryles; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Jim Ed Brown; Johnny Carver; Lorene Mann; Jack Barlow
10:00: The Four Guys; Del Wood: Jeanne Pruett
10:15: George Hamilton IV; Stringbean; George Lindsay; Penny DeHaven
10:30: Glaser Brothers; Loretta Lynn
10:45: Billy Grammer; Bill Carlisle; Crook Brothers; The Tennessee Travelers
11:00: Jack Greene; Jeannie Seely; Bill Price; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Roy Drusky; Del Reeves; John Wesley Ryles

It was another thin night for Opry members with many of the bigger names missing.

Now looking back, it was Saturday August 24, 1991 that Dottie West made her final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

Dottie West was one of country music's greatest female stars for 30 years. Her career began in 1959 when she made her first recording for Starday Records. She first made the national charts in 1963 and the following year had a blockbuster country hit with "Here Comes My Baby Back Again" which would earn her the Best Country Female Vocal Grammy Award. Her hits continued through the rest of the 1960's and into the 1970's, a highpoint being her song "Country Sunshine" in 1973 which earned her two more Grammy nominations and was used in an iconic Coca-Cola commercial.

In 1978 she recorded a duet album with pop/country superstar Kenny Rogers that brought her even greater fame and many awards, and launched Dottie's solo career to even new heights including three number records and her hits crossing over to chart on the pop/rock charts as well. This new music super-stardom for Dottie led to multiple appearances on all the major variety and talk shows of the era as well as acting gigs on "The Dukes of Hazard", "The Fall Guy" and "The Love Boat".

Dottie's career began to recede by 1985 with the last of her hits and fewer television appearances. She died in 1991 from injuries in a car accident at age 58 but will always be remembered as one of the great queens of country music.

Dottie became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in August 1964 and remained an Opry member until her death. Last year, she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, an honor that should have taken place decades ago.

Here is the running order from 28 years ago, Saturday August 24, 1991, the final appearance by Dottie West on the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Coming
Ernie Ashworth: Shamrock Motel
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home/Ol' Slewfoot

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Jim and Jesse (host): Dream of Me
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Jim and Jesse: A Flower in the Desert

7:00: Shoney's
Del Reeves (host): Girl on the Billboard
Billy Grammer: Steel Guitar Rag
Jean Shepard: IF You Can Live With It
Dottie West: I Can't Help It
David Houston: I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
Del Reeves: Good Time Charlie's

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
The McCarters: No Where to Go But Up/If I Could Stop Loving You
Clinton Gregory: If It Weren't for Country Music/Satisfy Me & I'll Satisfy You
Jimmy C Newman: Colinda/The Ring that Shines

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Stonewall Jackson: Side Steppin' the Blues/Muddy Water
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come This Far to Say Goodbye/Louisiana Man
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Roy Acuff: I Can't Help It

8:30: Opryland USA
Hank Snow (host): Tangled Mind
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young
Roy Drusky: Too Old to Die Young
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Johnson Mountain Boys: Maybe You'll Change Your Mind
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Connie Smith: The Key's in the Mailbox
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Billy Grammer: Steel Guitar Rag/Sentimental Journey/Gotta Travel On
Jeannie Seely: Too Far Gone
Porter Wagoner: I'll Go Down Swinging

10:00: Little Debbie
Del Reeves (host): Six Days on the Road/Truck Driving Man
Skeeter Davis: He Says the Same Things to Me
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Just A Friend
Wilma Lee Cooper: Gathering Flowers from The Hillside
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

10:30: Pet Milk
Jimmy C Newman (host): Pistol Packin' Mama
Jean Shepard: Days of Wine & Roses
Jimmy C Newman: Down on the Bayou

10:45: B.C. Powder
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
Clinton Gregory: Satisfy Me & I'll Satisfy You/Nobody's Darling But Mine
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Golden Slippers
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Geisha Girl
Jim and Jesse: When I Dream About the Southland
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Justin Tubb: Keep Me From Blowing Away
The McCarters: Everytime You Leave
Bill Carlisle: Gone Home
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me

11:30: Creamette
George Hamilton IV (host): Early Morning Rain
Stonewall Jackson: Side Steppin the Blues
Roy Drusky: I Really Don't Want to Know
Johnson Mountain Boys: Duncan & Brady/Springtime in Glory
George Hamilton IV: Life's Railway to Heaven

Dottie was not originally scheduled to appear this night as she was booked to perform in Ohio. However, at some point, that booking was cancelled at the last minute and Dottie ended up playing the Opry. It was the following Friday night, August 30 that Dottie was involved in the accident as she was being driven to the Opry, that ultimately would prove to be fatal.

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting on this week's blog and as usual, I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Tuesday Night Opry 8/20 & Wednesday Night Opry 8/21

The mid-week Grand Ole Opry shows continue with this week's Tuesday and Wednesday night shows:

Tuesday August 20
7:00: The Gatlin Brothers; Elizabeth Cook
7:30: Craig Morgan; Del McCoury Band
8:15: The Swon Brothers; Mark Wills
8:45: Ricky Skaggs

Nice to see 5 of the 7 artists scheduled are Opry members. Very solid line-up for the Tuesday show.

Wednesday August 21
7:00: Dailey & Vincent; William Michael Morgan
7:30: Jeannie Seely; Restless Heart
8:15: Striking Matches; Aaron Lewis
8:45: Ricky Skaggs

As with Tuesday night, Ricky will be closing out this show also. Another pretty solid show.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 8/16 & 8/17

Before getting into the Grand Ole Opry shows for this weekend, WSM made news this week when the station ended their experiment with an afternoon sports talk show as George Plaster left the station.

According to the Nashville Tennessean, the decision was made to "part ways," as George Plaster was quoted as saying. He wouldn't go into any other details on his quick departure. According to Ryman Hospitality, the owners of WSM, "we are evaluating our options for this time slot, and in the meantime we are looking forward to providing alternative programming for our listeners."

The show, which began on July 15, lasted less than a month. On Tuesday, after the news and weather update at 3 p.m., the station returned to playing country music in the time slot that George Plaster's show would normally have aired.

As someone who is somewhat familiar with the workings of radio, when there is a sudden departure such as this one, the immediate speculation is that management made a decision to terminate the program and to let the host go. By saying it was a mutual decision to "part ways," WSM management was taking the high road. Add to the fact that George Plaster was immediately taken off the air with no prior announcement makes it appear that George was notified right before airtime.

My guess is that the show suffered from too much negative feedback, probably a lost of advertisers, and trying to shoehorn itself into a competitive sports radio market in Nashville. WSM was probably looking for a quick turnaround in the station's ratings, and when that didn't happen, decided to make the move sooner than later to terminate the program.

While the sports program has ended, I still would not be surprised if management continued to fiddle with the format. WSM does not draw high ratings in the Nashville market and over the past several months, Ryman Hospitality has brought in some new people to operate the station. For now, it is back to country music in the drive-time slot.

As to to Grand Ole Opry this weekend, the Friday Night Opry will feature two more shows with Carrie Underwood. For Carrie, these will mark her 10th and 11th Opry shows for 2019. I am not sure how many more she has considering that she will be heading out on the road for a major tour, but I know we all appreciate her continued commitment to the Opry.

Grand Ole Opry members who will be appearing with Carrie on both shows Friday night include Bill Anderson, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, Mark Wills and Old Crow Medicine Show. Mike Snider is set for the first show while Bobby Osborne is scheduled for the second. That is a great collection of Opry members.

Old Crow Medicine Show and Mike Snider are back for Saturday night, and will be joined by members Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith and Jesse McReynolds.

Guesting on Friday night will be Sarah Darling, Sister Sadie, legendary guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and Sam Outlaw. Saturday night has Duke's of Hazzard star John Schneider scheduled, along with Stephanie Quayle, Lillie Mae, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, and one of my personal favorites, Carson Peters & Iron Mountain.

Friday August 16
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Sarah Darling; Sister Sadie
7:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Tommy Emmanuel
8:00: Old Crow Medicine Show (host); Mike Snider; Sam Outlaw
8:30: Mark Wills (host); Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Sarah Darling; Sister Sadie
10:00: Mark Wills (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Carrie Underwood
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Tommy Emmanuel
11:00: Old Crow Medicine Show (host); Sam Outlaw

Saturday August 17
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Stephanie Quayle; John Schneider
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Carson Peters & Iron Mountain; Lillie Mae
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Old Crow Medicine Show (host); Jesse McReynolds

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of August 14 & 15, 2009:

Friday August 14
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider; Justin McBride
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Rodney Atkins
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Jim Ed Brown; Riders In The Sky; The Whites
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Vince Gill

Saturday August 15
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Infamous Stringdusters
7:30: Vince Gill (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jack Greene; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
8:00: Mel Tillis (host); Stonewall Jackson; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Connie Smith; Jim Ed Brown; Josh Turner

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday August 13, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Bill Carlisle; Brother Oswald; Ramona Jones
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Ray Pillow; Johnny Russell; Skeeter Davis
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Dave & Sugar; Hank Locklin; Oak Ridge Boys
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeannie Seely; Charlie Walker; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Four Guys; Charlie Louvin; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; Skeeter Davis; Martina McBride
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Charlie Louvin
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host); Hank Locklin
10:30: Mike Snider (host); Russ & Becky Jeffers
10:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Roy Drusky; Barry and Holly Tashian
11:30: The Four Guys (host); Dave & Sugar; Connie Smith; Johnny Russell

And from 50 years ago, Saturday August 16, 1969:

1st show
6:30: Billy Grammer; Minnie Pearl
6:45: George Hamilton IV; Stringbean
7:00: Hank Locklin; Del Wood; Mel Tillis; Wilma Burgess
7:30: Roy Acuff; Wilburn Brothers; The Four Guys; Crook Brothers; Merle Kilgore; Brother Oswald
8:00: Tex Ritter; Loretta Lynn; Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Bill Carlisle
8:30: Ernest Tubb; Bobby Lord; Billy Parker; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Billy Grammer; The Four Guys; Harden Trio; Merle Kilgore
10:00: Mel Tillis; Stringbean; Roger Miller
10:15: Bobby Lord; Del Wood; Melba Montgomery
10:30: Roy Acuff; Hank Locklin; Bill Carlisle
10:45: Ernest Tubb; Peggy Sue; Crook Brothers
11:00: Wilburn Brothers; Loretta Lynn; Jerry Smith; Sam McGee
11:30: Tex Ritter; Dottie West; Don Winters; Melba Montgomery; Harold Weakley

Finally, going back to 1974 and continuing the look back to the first year in the new Grand Ole Opry House, here is the running order from that night 45 years ago, Saturday August 17, 1974:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): Truck Stop
Arlene Harden: Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)
Willis Brothers: Hillbilly Heaven

6:45: Rudy's
Lonzo and Oscar (host): Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
David Wilkins: Georgia Keeps Pulling on My Ring/Too Much Hold Back (and Not Enough Letting It Go)
Lonzo and Oscar: Mountain Dew

7:00: Rudy's
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host): Black Mountain Rag
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Del Wood: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: The Birds are Back
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink on Me
Del Wood: Alabama Jubilee
Carol Lee and Wilma Lee Cooper: Give Me the Roses While I Live

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Back in the Country
Dolly Parton: Jolene
Louie Roberts: Peace in the Valley
Crook Brothers and The Tennessee Travelers: Black Mountain Rag
Roy Acuff: Wabash Cannonball
Dolly Parton: Love is Like a Butterfly
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

8:00: Martha White
Billy Grammer (host): Bonaparte's Retreat
Jan Howard: Love is Like a Spinning Wheel
Nat Stuckey: Don't Pay the Ransom (I've Escaped)
Billy Grammer: Under the Double Eagle
Jan Howard: God Bless America Again
Nat Stuckey: It Hurts to Know the Feeling's Gone
Billy Grammer: Let Me Call You Sweetheart

7:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Marion Worth: You're the Reason I'm Living
Brian Shaw: The Devil Is A Woman
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Hank Snow: Paper Roses
Marion Worth: Kentucky Rose
Hank Snow: Hello Love

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Willis Brothers: Bob
Jan Howard: Poison Red Berries
Billy Grammer: Birth of the Blues
Willis Brothers: There Goes the Farm
Jan Howard: Seeing is Believing
Billy Grammer: Just A Closer Walk with Thee

10:00: Fender
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host): I'm Going Home on the Morning Train
Arlene Harden: Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)
Del Wood: Beer Barrell Polka
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die

10:15; Union 76
Bill Carlisle (host): No Help Wanted
Nat Stuckey: Sweet Thang/It Hurts to Know the Feeling's Gone
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Old Time Sunshine Song
Dolly Parton: Love Is Like a Butterfly/I Will Always Love You
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beech-Nut
Lonzo and Oscar (host): Charming Betsy
David Wilkins: Too Much Hold Back
Crook Brothers and The Tennessee Travelers: Ida Red
Lonzo and Oscar: From Your Shoulders to Mine

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Louie Roberts: Anytime/Bouquet of Roses/Cattle Call
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking in My Sleep
Hank Snow: I Keep Dreaming of You All the Time
Louie Roberts: Aloha
Sam McGee: Freight Train/I Don't Love Nobody/Rubber Dolly
Hank Snow: That's You & Me

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Marion Worth: You're the Reason I'm Living
Brian Shaw: Ohio, Why Did I Go
Ronnie Robbins: If You Love Me, Let Me Know
Marty Robbins: Love Me/Big Boss Man/I'm Wanting To/My Woman; My Woman; My Wife/El Paso

It was nice to see Nat Stuckey guesting on the Opry that night.

Reared in Atlanta in Cass County, Texas, Nat Stuckey attended Arlington State College, now the University of Texas at Arlington, from which he earned a radio and television degree.[1] Nat established himself as a radio announcer, first at KALT in Atlanta, Texas, and then at KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he worked alongside legendary announcer Frank Page and Louise Alley, a pioneer woman broadcaster and owner of an advertising agency. Along with Jim Reeves, Stuckey became a member of the former KWKH Country music show known as the Louisiana Hayride.

In 1965, Stuckey co-wrote Buck Owens' number-one single "Waitin' in Your Welfare Line". He then wrote and recorded "Sweet Thang" on Paula Records.

Another of Stuckey's compositions, "Pop a Top", was recorded by Jim Ed Brown on RCA Records in 1967. A year later, Stuckey signed with RCA himself. Among his hits for RCA were "Plastic Saddle" and "Sweet Thing and Cisco".

Stuckey teamed with Connie Smith on the duet of "Young Love", followed by another single and two albums. The duo was in the final nominations for a Grammy for their version of "Whispering Hope".

After seven years with RCA, Stuckey signed with MCA Records. With Conway Twitty and David Barnes producing, his single "Sun Comin' Up" made the top 20, but none of his other MCA releases did. He last charted in 1978 with the number 26 single "The Days of Sand and Shovels".

Stuckey also went on to direct in producing sessions, along with announcing and singing jingles on hundreds of regional and national commercials. He wrote two jingles for Coca-Cola in the 1970s, recorded twenty-two spots of McDonald's, and was the singing voice on the last Spuds MacKenzie commercial for Budweiser. He continued recording jingles into the 1980s.

Another project was the ownership of Music Row Talent, Inc., a booking agency in Nashville, Tennessee, which was in business for twelve years. Through his Texas Promise Land Development Company, Nat began acquiring land in both Tennessee and Texas.

Shortly before Stuckey's death, Randy Travis released "Diggin' Up Bones", which Stuckey co-wrote.
On August 24, 1988, Stuckey died of lung cancer in a Nashville, Tennessee hospital.

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

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Tuesday Night Opry 8/13 & Wednesday Night Opry 8/14

For those of you who are going to the Tuesday Night Opry, or will be listening on WSM, you are in for a real treat as Grand Ole Opry members Carrie Underwood and the Oak Ridge Boys highlight the night, which has two shows scheduled. Also appearing will be Opry members Bill Anderson and Larry, Steve & Rudy, the Gatlin Brothers.

Tuesday August 13
1st show
7:00: Bill Anderson; Randy Houser
7:30: The Gatlin Brothers; Levi Hummon with Marcus Hummon
8:00: Henry Cho; Eric Paslay
8:30: Oak Ridge Boys; Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson; Levi Hummon with Marcus Hummon
10:00: The Gatlin Brothers; Carrie Underwood
10:30: Henry Cho; Eric Paslay
11:00: Oak Ridge Boys

Not only is Carrie scheduled for both shows on Tuesday night but she is also scheduled for the Friday Night Opry, with two shows on the docket.

Compared to the two Tuesday night shows, the Wednesday Night Opry is a little less solid. Currently only six acts scheduled, three of whom are Grand Ole Opry members.

Wednesday August 14
7:00: Dailey & Vincent; Russell Dickerson
7:30: Connie Smith; Mitchell Tenpenny
8:15: Aaron Weber
8:45: Josh Turner

This will be the Opry debut for comedian Aaron Weber.

Aaron is a standup comic born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. After barely graduating from Notre Dame in 2014, Aaron moved to Nashville and started doing standup. Since then, he's become a regular at Zanies Comedy Club and has performed in venues/clubs all over the Southeast. In 2018, Aaron competed in the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta and helped break the Guinness World Record for Longest stand-up comedy show.

He has performed comedy alongside a number of comedians, including regular Opry guest Henry Cho.

Comedian Aaron Weber is the manager of Good Friends Comedy Hour, a monthly standup comedy showcase in East Nashville featuring the best up-and-coming comics from Music City and beyond.

There you have it for the mid-week Opry shows.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 8/9 & 8/10

It seems like the past couple of weekends, the Grand Ole Opry has been fiddling with the format of the shows, obviously based on the number of Opry members who commit. This weekend, thanks to the core group of Opry veterans back on the schedule, the Opry is back to the usual weekend format for both nights.

There are four Grand Ole Opry members who will be hosting segments both nights: Jeannie Seely, Riders In The Sky, Connie Smith and Mark Wills. While not hosting, Mike Snider will be joining that group on Friday and Saturday. Following the pattern of splitting up the two veteran bluegrass members, Jesse McReynolds is scheduled for Friday night and Bobby Osborne is set for Saturday. That takes care of the Opry members on the schedule this weekend.

T. Graham Brown and Gary Mule Deer will be guesting both nights. Joining that duo on Friday night will be Lauren Jenkins, Levon, Rhett Walker and Mandy Barnett. Saturday night has Cale Dodds, Anna Vaus and Chely Wright on the schedule.

Chely Wright is the interesting name on Saturday night. There was a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s that she was considered the female version of Brad Paisley and was making quite a few guest appearances on the Opry. In fact, she was featured on the Opry's 75th anniversary album, doing a duet with Brad. Many thought for sure that at some point she would become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and she openly spoke of that desire. But after her hit single "Single White Female," her career fell off as her personal situation seemed to be receiving more publicity than her musical career. I will not go into all of the reasons here, but there are plenty of resources that are available to anyone who wishes to investigate. Personally, I am happy to see Chely doing well and coming back to the Opry.

Friday August 9
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Lauren Jenkins; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Levon; T. Graham Brown
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Jesse McReynolds; Rhett Walker
8:45: Mark Wills (host); Gary Mule Deer; Mandy Barnett

Saturday August 10
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Cale Dodds; Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Anna Vaus; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Chely Wright; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Mark Wills (host); Gary Mule Deer; T. Graham Brown

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of August 7 & 8, 2009:

Friday August 7
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Darryl Worley
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Sunny Sweeney
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host) w/Helen Cornelius; Stonewall Jackson; George Hamilton IV; Mark Wills
8:30: Charley Pride (host); Connie Smith; Jim Lauderdale

Saturday August 8
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; David Nail
7:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jack Greene; Jean Shepard
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Sunny Sweeney; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Charley Pride (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday August 6, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Jean Shepard (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeanne Pruett
7:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jan Howard; Brother Oswald; Stonewall Jackson; Mike Snider
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Skeeter Davis; Jimmy C Newman; The Sullivan Family
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jack Greene; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers; Colleen Walters
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Four Guys; Jeannie Seely; Doug Stone

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; Jan Howard; Doug Stone
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Roy Drusky; Skeeter Davis
10:15: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jean Shepard
10:30: Jeanne Pruett (host); Stonewall Jackson
10:45: Mike Snider (host); Charlie Walker; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith; Del Reeves; Charlie Louvin
11:30: Jack Greene (host); The Four Guys; Jeannie Seely

Looking back 50 years ago to Saturday August 9, 1969, this was the final night that Norma Jean performed as a member on the Grand Ole Opry.

Norma Jean Beasler was born January 30, 1938 in Wellston, Oklahoma, and grew up admiring country singer Kitty Wells, whom she considers her biggest influence. She got her start performing on radio stations in the Oklahoma City area; and by age 12, she had her own radio show on KLPR-AM. She toured Oklahoma with various bands, starting with Merl Lindsay and His Oklahoma Night Riders at age 16, followed by the Bill Gray Band at 18. Norma was the Bill Gray Band's full-time vocalist, and made guest appearances with major country stars. Early on, she befriended soon-to-be country star Wanda Jackson.

In 1955, she got a regular spot on the ABC-TV show Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, Missouri, where she stayed for two years and first received national exposure. Host Red Foley suggested calling her simply Norma Jean, and she made it official in 1958; she also became known on the program as Pretty Miss Norma Jean. She met Porter Wagoner on the show, and in 1959, signed a recording contract with Columbia Records. A string of unsuccessful singles followed, and she moved to Nashville, Tennessee where Wagoner invited her to audition for his syndicated weekly TV program, The Porter Wagoner Show. She became a regular on the show in 1961 and stayed for six years. Norma Jean toured and performed across the country with Wagoner, and RCA Victor producer Chet Atkins signed her to a recording contract with RCA Victor.

In 1963, Norma Jean released her first single with RCA Victor, "Let's Go All the Way". The song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard country charts. She released an album of the same name which spawned two more Top 40 hits, "I'm a Walking Advertisement (For the Blues)" followed by "Put Your Arm Around Her." Because of the singles' success, she was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry.

In late 1965, she released an album titled, Pretty Miss Norma Jean (titled after how Wagoner frequently introduced her on his television show). It was the most successful of her career, hitting number three on the Top Country Albums list. The first single from the album, "Go Cat Go", became a Top 10 hit, peaking at number eight. Two more singles were released, starting with "I Cried All the Way to the Bank," which also proved successful. After that, "I Wouldn't Buy a Used Car From Him", written by Harlan Howard, was another Top 10 hit, making her one of the most popular female country singers of the era. Fans appreciated the humor implicit in some of her recordings.

From 1965 to 1967, Norma Jean produced a series of solid country singles and albums and continued to appear on Wagoner's show. On television she projected a wholesome image, singing hurting and cheating songs relevant to her personal life.

Norma's biggest hit came in 1966. It was an unusual recording with Bobby Bare and Liz Anderson, "The Game of Triangles", a wife-husband-other woman drama that hit number five on the Billboard chart and earned the trio a Grammy nomination.

Norma Jean left Wagoner's show in 1967 after marrying Jody Taylor (whom she later divorced) and was replaced by newcomer Dolly Parton, who went on to become one of country music's leading female stars. Parton said later she had a hard time replacing Norma because she was so loved by country fans.

That year, her single, "Heaven Help the Working Girl" (an early feminist song) was a Top 20 hit, the last one of her career. Despite a lack of major country hits, her albums continued to sell, like 1967's Jackson Ain't a Very Big Town, which peaked at number 11 on the Top Country Albums list.

Norma Jean, at the age of 81, is still alive and active and continues to make appearances, particuarly in the Oklahoma and Texas regions of the country. She also continues to make new music and has a website that you can check her out on.

Here is the running order from 50 years ago, Saturday August 9, 1969, the night Norma Jean appeared on the Opry for the final time as a member:

1st show
Willis Brothers (host): (?)
Del Wood: (?)

Wilburn Brothers (host): (?)
Bob Luman: (?)

7:00: Luzianne
Hank Locklin (host): Country Hall of Fame
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Carol Northcutt: (?)
Jimmy Newman: Jambalaya
Hank Locklin: Cuban Girl
Stringbean: Hot Corn; Cold Corn
Jimmy Newman: Cry, Cry Darling

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Stonewall Jackson: Angry Words
The Four Guys: Games People Play
Crook Brothers: Cacklin' Hen
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Stonewall Jackson: Never More Quote the Raven
The Four Guys: Over on the Other Side

8:00: Martha White
George Hamilton IV (host): Early Morning Rain
Norma Jean: Lonesome Number One
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle
Homesteaders: Love of the Common People
George Hamilton IV: Break My Mind
Norma Jean: Jackson Ain't A Very Big Town
Bill Carlisle: Rusty Old Halo
Homesteaders: Johnny B Goode

8:30: Stephens
Billy Walker (host): Smokey Places
Skeeter Davis: Both Sides Now
Ernie Ashworth: Love; I Finally Found It
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
Billy Walker: Better Homes & Gardens
Skeeter Davis: Lonesome Road Blues
Ernie Ashworth: Heartbreak Avenue
Billy Walker: Cattle Call

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Wilburn Brothers (host): We Need A Lot More Happiness
Willis Brothers: Buying Popcorn
Del Wood: (?)
Lorene Mann: Tell It All
Wilburn Brothers: Hurt Her Once for Me
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Wilburn Brothers: Orange Blossom Special/Medals for Mothers

10:00: Fender
Bob Luman (host): Johnny B Goode
The Four Guys: My Special Angel
Carol Northcutt: San Antonio Rose
Bob Luman: Guitar Man

10:15: Pure
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Roy Acuff: You Win Again
Brother Oswald: Tennessee Waltz

10:30: Buckley's
Billy Walker (host): From the Bottle to the Bottom
Norma Jean: Dusty Road
Stringbean: Ruby
Billy Walker: Better Homes & Gardens

10:45: Kent
Hank Locklin (host): Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Merle Kilgore: Honky Tonk Man
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Hank Locklin: Release Me/You've Still Got a Place in My Heart

11:00: Coca Cola
George Hamilton IV (host): Canadian Pacific
Skeeter Davis: Silver Threads & Golden Needles
Jimmy Newman: Boo Dan
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking in My Sleep
George Hamilton IV: Truck Driving Man
Skeeter Davis: Teach Me to Love You
Jimmy Newman: Louisiana Saturday Night
Sam McGee: Under the Double Eagle
George Hamilton IV: Early Morning Rain

11:30: Lava
Ernie Ashworth (host): Love; I've Finally Found It
Homesteaders: The Race is On
Charlie Louvin: Little Reasons
Ernie Ashworth: Where Do You Go
Homesteaders: Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line
Charlie Louvin: The Kind of Man I Am
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips

Norma Jean would come back to the Opry a time or two in her later years, but never on Porter's segment of the Opry.

As always, thank for reading and checking out the blog, and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tuesday Night Opry 8/6 & Wednesday Night Opry 8/7

The mid-week Grand Ole Opry shows are highlighted with appearances by two of the Opry's newest members: Kelsea Ballerini on Tuesday night and Dustin Lynch on Wednesday. Nice to see two of the Opry's youngest members stepping up to support the show.

Tuesday August 6
7:00: Jeannie Seely; Frankie Ballard
7:30: Del McCoury Band; Maggie Rose
8:15: Sundance Head; Dusty Slay
8:45: Kelsea Ballerini

Wednesday August 7
7:00: The Whites; Hailey Whitters
7:30: Gary Mule Deer; Sara Evans
8:15: Charlie McCoy; The Isaacs
8:45: Dustin Lynch; Old Crow Medicine Show

This will be the Opry debut for Hailey Whitters. Hailey is from Iowa and she released her debut album in 2015. She is also a writer. She has been opening concerts for various country artists and she is considered one of Nashville's rising unsigned artists. Other than that, there is not much to add other then I hope she has a successful Opry debut.

A couple of nice mid-week shows.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Dan Rogers Promoted

Opry Entertainment Group is promoting Dan Rogers to the newly created position of vp/executive producer of the Grand Ole Opry.

Rogers’ promotion comes as Sally Williams, general manager, Grand Ole Opry/senior vp, programming and artist relations, Opry Entertainment, exits Aug. 9 to join Live Nation as president of Nashville music and business strategy.

Affectionately known in the Nashville community as “Opry Dan,” Rogers began working at the famed institution as an intern in 1999 and has worked in various roles including marketing, communications, artist relations and production.

“The Opry is my home,” Rogers tells Billboard, “so I want to take care of the Opry just as I would take care of my own home. Home is the place you want to make sure that everybody under that roof is taken care of and feels special. And it’s a place you want them to come back to as well.”

Rogers’ previous title was director of communications and show producer. In his new post, he will continue his responsibilities for communications and overall show production and will expand his involvement in talent relations and logistics for the Opry’s more than 200 annual performances.

“He breathes and sleeps the Opry and there’s no better person to be in that role,” Opry Entertainment president Scott Bailey says of Rogers. “Any guy who can start out as an intern and elevate to arguably one of the most important positions in the company for one of the most important assets in country music, that’s the guy you want to bet on.”

Bailey says Opry members had been “tipped” that Rogers would be playing a larger role and feedback was enthusiastic. “They think it’s great! I wouldn’t say ‘a sigh of relief,’ but it was more of a ‘the trains will be running and running on time,’” he says.

Rogers is already focused on the Opry’s centennial in 2025. “I’ve seen the Opry from the side of a marketer who is hoping to drive ticket sales, but is also thinking about how we drive value to the artists that play the show,” he says. “With this 100-year mark are all the opportunities before us to continue reaching out to new artists to play the stage and to find new ways for people around the world to listen to the Opry.”

In addition to promoting Rogers, Opry Entertainment is looking for someone to fill the other half of Williams’ role: senior vp, programming and artist relations for Opry Entertainment.

“We’re going to lean into somebody who not only has strong artist relations, but also is -- not that Sally wasn’t thinking this way -- really putting a focus on the strategic side of where we take the Opry,” says Bailey.  “One of the things that is important to us is making sure the Opry is top of mind and being exposed to as many consumers and fans as possible. We also want to make sure we strengthen our relationship as it relates to the labels and the management teams.”

In April, Opryland Entertainment announced a joint venture with Gray Television to launch a linear television and digital subscription video on demand service. The new hire will be involved in the venture, which Bailey describes as “a TV network as well as an over the top subscription video on demand service not unlike Netflix for country music fans.”

Besides Rogers, the Opry’s current team includes Barbara Schaetz, vp business operations, Grand Ole Opry House; Gina Keltner, director of talent and logistics; and Jordan Pettit, director of artist relations and programming strategy.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

August Opry Highlights

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!! And where has summer gone? I can't believe that August has begun and many children are returning to school. It has gone fast. I hope everyone is enjoying some great weather and warm temperatures, where ever you are. As usual, here are the important and historical events that have taken place in the history of the Grand Ole Opry, or regarding Opry members, during the month of August:

August 22, 1910: Country Music Hall of Fame member, and former Grand Ole Opry comedian, Rod Brasfield was born in Smithville, Mississippi. Rod joined the Opry in the late 1940s and was famous for his comedy routines with Minnie Pearl and June Carter, among others. Rod was a member of the Opry until he passed away in September 1958.

August 30, 1919: Muriel Ellen Deason, known professionally as Kitty Wells, was born in Nashville. Kitty, along with her husband Johnny Wright, were members of the Grand Ole Opry from the early 1950s until they left the show in December 1964 over a dispute regarding booking fees. Although they left the Opry cast, Kitty would come back to make a few guest appearances on the show. There are also some reports that she asked to rejoin the Opry cast in her later years, but the request was declined. Kitty passed away in July 2012.

August 8, 1921: Webb Pierce was born in West Monroe, Louisiana. Webb first appeared on the Opry in 1952, and joined the cast shortly after. He was an Opry member for a very short period of time as he figured out he was losing out on a lot of money by not appearing on the road on Saturday nights. Webb would come back and make an occasional appearance in his later years. In 2001, after his death, Webb was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

August 28, 1925: The great guitarist Billy Grammer was born in Benton, Illinois. Billy joined the Opry in 1959 and was as well known for his guitar playing as he was for his singing. His career song was "Gotta Travel On." Billy remained a member of the Opry until his death in August 2011, after spending more than 50 years as an Opry member.

August 12, 1927: The man known as "The Wagonmaster," Porter Wagoner was born in West Plains, Missouri. Porter came to the Opry in 1957 from the Ozark Jubilee, and he would remain a very popular Opry member until his death in October 2007, shortly after celebrating 50 years as a member of the Opry. During his long career, this Hall of Fame member had over 80 singles on the country charts and was instrumental in the career of a number of country music artists, including Norma Jean, Dolly Parton, Mel Tillis, Buck Trent and Patty Loveless, among others. Even to this day, Porter is missed at the Opry.

August 29, 1927: Jimmy C Newman was born in High Point, Louisiana. Jimmy joined the Opry in August 1956 and along with his Cajun Band, was a very popular member of the Opry. You could always count on a bouncy, Cajun sound whenever Jimmy appeared on the Opry. Jimmy passed away in June 2014 after a short illness.

August 4, 1931: Former Grand Ole Opry manager Hal Durham was born in McMinnville, Tennessee. After the Grand Ole Opry moved to Opryland and the new Grand Ole Opry House, Hal was asked by newly promoted Opry general manager Bud Wendall to come and help him out. It worked out pretty well and soon Hal was running the Opry. He received the official title of general manager in 1978 and would hold that position for the next 15 years. It should be noted that it was under Hal's direction attendance requirements were relaxed, and a number of members were added to the cast with no commitment to the show. After a long retirement, Hal passed away in March 2009.

March 20, 1935: Justin Tubb was born in San Antonio, Texas. Justin would follow in the footsteps of his famous father Ernest and became a successful country music singer, along with being a fine songwriter. Justin became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955, at the age of 20. At the time he was the Opry's youngest member. Justin remained with the Opry until his sudden death in January 1998.

August 14, 1941: Constance June Meador was born in Elkhart, Indiana. Better known as Connie Smith, she joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1965, left for a few years, then returned for good. In 2015 she celebrated 50 years as a member of the Opry. At the age of 78, and who can even believe that, Connie sounds as good as ever and continues to appear regularly on the Opry, where she can usually be found hosting a segment.

August 11, 1946: Grand Ole Opry member John Conlee was born in Versallies, Kentucky. John, who has one of the unique voices in country music, joined the Opry in 1981 and remains a very active member of the cast. At the age of 73, John continues to tour and make new music.

August 11, 1952: Hank Williams was fired as a member of the Grand Ole Opry by Opry manager Jim Denny. Hank was fired because it was determined that his behavior and personal habits were detrimental to the Opry, and country music in general. Hank was very upset and disappointed at being fired and had hoped that one day he could return as an Opry member. However, Hank passed away and his Opry return never took place. While there are those who believe that Hank should be reinstated as an Opry member, it should be noted that only living individuals are considered as members, however Hank is recognized on the Opry's membership wall located backstage at the Opry House.

August 16, 1952: Grandpa Jones, who had left Nashville for a short period of time, rejoined the cast of the Opry. Grandpa had first joined the show in the 1940s and when he came back, he stayed with the Opry until his death in 1998. Can it really be over 20 years since Grandpa passed away?

August 29, 1953: James Clell Summey, known professionally as Cousin Jody officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jody first came to the Opry in 1938 as a part of Roy Acuff's group. He also performed with Pee Wee King and Eddy Arnold. While he appeared on the Opry many times as a solo artist, he also appeared with Lonzo & Oscar. While he was noted for his comedy skills, Jody was also a fabulous dobro player, and in fact it was Jody who first played the dobro on the Opry and helped to define the Acuff sound. Cousin Jody stayed as a member of the Opry until the early 1970s, when health issues forced him to retire. He passed away in August 1975.

August 14, 1954: Ernest Tubb took a leave of absence from the Grand Ole Opry. He was gone for a couple of months, returning in November of that year. What is strange about this is that while he was gone from the Opry, Ernest still hosted the Midnight Jamboree each week. Several reasons and rumors were given as to the reason for not appearing on the Opry, with health related issues being the most common.

August 28, 1954: Stringbean, or "String Beans" as he was referred to during this period of time, left the cast of the Grand Ole Opry to join the Ramblin' Tommy Scott Show. He was gone for just a short period of time and returned to the Opry, where he would remain until his death in November 1973. Over the years, Stringbean's talents, especially his musical skills, have really become underappreciated.

August 4, 1956: As best as can be determined, Jimmy C Newman became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Except for a very brief period of time when Jimmy was absent from the show, Jimmy would remain with the Opry until his death in 2014. On a side note, when Jimmy first joined the Opry, the "C" was missing as at that point he had not dedicated himself to the cajun sound that he would later become famous for.

August 11, 1956: This is the date that George Jones first became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The dates have changed numerous times over the years as George would come and go from the Opry. Among other dates listed in various editions of the Grand Ole Opry History Picture Book are August 4, 1956; January 4, 1969 (he did rejoin the cast on that date after previously leaving), and in the 1979 edition of the book, a 1973 date is listed. Not that it all mattered as George wasn't on the Opry all that often, but whenever he did George received a great ovation.

August 22, 1957: Former Grand Ole Opry member Holly Dunn was born in San Antonio. Texas. Holly was an Opry member for a number of years before retiring and leaving Nashville in 2003. After she left town, the Opry dropped her as a member. Holly passed away in November 2016 after a battle with cancer.

August 4, 1959: Skeeter Davis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. With the exception for a period on time in the 1970s when she was suspended from the Opry's cast, Skeeter was an Opry member until her death in 2004. Skeeter, who's biggest hit was "The End of the World" make her final Opry appearance in 2002, after which declining health forced her into retirement. Skeeter was always bouncy when on the Opry and brought a smile to a lot of faces.

August 8, 1959: Jim Reeves rejoined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Jim first joined the Opry in 1955. He had left the show a year earlier because of the demands on his career.

August 27, 1960: The Louisiana Hayride took place for the final time. Once considered a rival to the Opry, it would become more famous as being a "farm system" for new Opry members. As the recording industry became more established in Nashville, most of the Hayride's members left Shreveport and moved to music city, thus making it difficult for the Hayride to continue.

August 26, 1961: Future Grand Ole Opry member Ray Pillow made his debut on the Opry. Ray made a great impression and was invited back for more appearances, which eventually led to Ray becoming an Opry member in April 1966.

August 10, 1963: Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie, known collectively as The Browns, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. While Maxine and Bonnie left the act in 1967 due to family considerations, Jim Ed continued on as a solo member. Over the years, Maxine and Bonnie would return for guest appearances and it was always a special treat when they did. Jim Ed was an Opry member for over 50 years, before passing away in 2015. Bonnie passed away in 2016, while Maxine passed away this past year.

August 23, 1963: Former Grand Ole Opry member Milton Estes died at the age of 49. Milton was originally a member of Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys and served as the groups announcer.

August 27, 1963: Former Grand Ole Opry manager Jim Denny passed away from cancer at the age of 52. When he became the Opry's manager, Jim was the first WSM employee to specifically be given that role. During his time with the Opry, he brought dozens of new members to the show including Webb Pierce, who would later be his partner in Cedarwood Publishing, one of the first music publishing companies to locate in Nashville. It was the success of Cedarwood that led to Jim leaving the Opry as WSM management viewed it as a conflict of interest. In 1966, Jim Denny was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

August 8, 1964: The Osborne Brothers, Bobby and Sonny, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. While both are still considered members of the Grand Ole Opry, Sonny retired from performing in 2005, at which time Bobby continued with his own group, The Rocky Top X-Press. On this same date, Dottie West became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Dottie, who was finally elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame this past year, passed away in September 1991.

August 14, 1965: Bobby Bare became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Bobby stayed as an Opry member until March 1974, when he quit the cast as the show moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. 43 years later, on April 7, 2018, Bobby had his Opry membership reinstated, a move that was well received by everyone at the Opry.

August 21, 1965: After changing the date several different times, this seems to be the date that the Opry recognizes as to when Connie Smith became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Originally the Opry listed the date as in June, then switched to the August date. What is interesting in either case is that Connie did not appear on the Opry on this date, but actually first appeared as on Opry member a month later, in September. Regardless, this will be Connie's 53rd year as an Opry member. Also, Bob Luman joined the Opry on the same date as Connie.

August 28, 1965: After suffering serious injuries seven weeks earlier in a car accident, Roy Acuff returned to the Opry stage.

August 17, 1967: Charlie Walker became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Charlie, who is a member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame, came to the Opry from Texas, where he launched his very successful recording career. Charlie was always a very active member of the Opry, and continued to perform on the show until his death in September 2008.

August 5, 1968: Grand Ole Opry member Terri Clark was born in Montreal, Canada. As a Canadian, she would join Hank Snow and Stu Phillips as the only Opry members from the land up north.

August 9, 1969: Grand Ole Opry member Norma Jean performed on the Opry for the final time as a member. Norma joined the Opry's cast as a member of Porter Wagoner's group. However, after Norma Jean left Porter's show and Porter hired Dolly Parton, Norma Jean left Nashville and moved back to her native Oklahoma.

August 12, 1972: David Houston became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. David was another of the artists who came to Nashville, and the Opry, via the Louisiana Hayride. His signature song was the great classic, "Almost Persuaded" which spent weeks at No. 1 on the country charts. David remained an Opry member until he passed away in November 1993.

August 21, 1975: Grand Ole Opry member, and on of the original members, Sam McGee died in a tractor accident on his farm in Tennessee. He was 81. Along with his brother Kirk, he first performed on the WSM Barn Dance in 1926. During his time at the Opry, Sam would appear with various individuals and groups including the Dixieliners. Sam was the first Opry member to use an electric guitar on the show, after which George D. Hay told him to put it back in the case, take it home, and not bring it back.

August 11, 1976: Roy Acuff returned to the Grand Ole Opry stage after suffering a heart attack earlier in the year.

August 11, 1979: Guy Willis, a member of The Willis Brothers, made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Along with his brothers Skeeter and Guy, The Willis Brothers joined the Opry in 1946, left to tour with Eddy Arnold, and returned in 1957.

August 7, 1981: B.J. Thomas became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. However, he did not remain with the Opry for very long, leaving just several years later. For B.J., Opry membership just did not turn out the way he thought it would.

August 22, 1981: Don Williams made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Don joined the cast in 1976, and much like B.J. Thomas a little later, found out that Opry membership just wasn't what he expected.

August 14, 1982: Grand Ole Opry legend Ernest Tubb made his final appearance on the Opry. Suffering from emphysema, Ernest had a difficult time breathing, which made singing very difficult. Not only was this his final Opry appearance, but it was also the final night that Ernest hosted the Midnight Jamboree. After his final appearances in Nashville, he made one more short, final tour in November before retiring and spending his remaining years at his home in Nashville.

August 28, 1982: Just two weeks after the final Opry appearance by Ernest Tubb, Marty Robbins performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the final time. Marty had been a fixture as the host of the 11:30 segment of the show for years. Marty, who suffered from heart issues, would pass away in December.

August 6, 1983: After previously giving up her Opry membership, Norma Jean returned for a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

August 24, 1984: Rock artist Neil Young made his debut on the Opry stage. While he is best known for his rock appearances, and being a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Neil has written a number of country music songs.

August 22, 1987: Roy Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. When Roy joined the cast, there was some hesitation on his part, as he told Hal Durham that he could not guarantee how many shows he would appear on as he lived in Tulsa and only came to Nashville to film Hee Haw. However, that was fine with the Opry, thus when Roy was in Nashville to film or record, he would appear on the show. Roy, who was also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, passed away in November 2018. 

August 29, 1987: Grand Ole Opry member Archie Campbell passed away in a Knoxville, Tennessee hospital at the age of 73. He had been in declining health, dealing with heart issues. Archie joined the Opry in 1958 and achieved some of his greatest success as a member of the cast of Hee Haw. Archie was known for his comedy and story telling and often used one of the Opry's announcers as his straight man. In his later years, Archie would make most of his Opry appearances in the winter months, spending the prime tourist season performing at his theater in Gatlinburg.

August 6, 1988: Former Grand Ole Opry member Webb Pierce performed on the Opry for the final time. Webb was a member of the Opry for a short amount of time in the 1950s, when he was the hottest act in country music. Webb, however, found that he was missing out on too much money if he was in Nashville every Saturday night instead of out on the road. After giving up his Opry membership, Webb would still occasionally guest on the show.

August 10, 1991: Vince Gill became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 28th year as an Opry member. On the night he joined, he was introduced by Roy Acuff. Over the years, Vince has made known his love of the Opry and has challenged others of his generation to support the show. Hopefully, after cutting his Opry appearances the past several years due to his commitment to the Eagles, Vince will be back more often at the Opry in the years to come. 

August 30, 1991: On her way to the Friday Night Opry, Dottie West was involved in a serious car accident at the entrance to Opryland, which would ultimately prove to be fatal. While Dottie put up a struggle and went through several surgeries, she would pass away a week later.

August 31, 1995: Former Grand Ole Opry and WSM announcer David Stone passed away at the age of 93. Along with his brother Harry, David helped to change to focus of the Opry from a regional show into a nationally recognized professional one. He helped to bring such artists, and professionals, as Pee Wee King, Roy Acuff, and Eddy Arnold to the Opry.

August 9, 1996: Hank Snow returned to the Grand Ole Opry for the first time that year. He had been suffering from respiratory issues. He performed three songs that night, including the hit, "I Don't Hurt Anymore." Hank would make just a few more Opry appearances before retiring the following month.

August 24, 1998: Grand Ole Opry member Jerry Clower died in a Jackson, Mississippi hospital after undergoing open heart surgery. He was 71. Jerry joined the Opry in November 1973, the last member to join the cast before the show moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. A great comedian and storyteller, Jerry was loved by many.

August 26, 2000: Pam Tillis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. For Pam, this will be her 19th year as an Opry member.

August 18, 2001: The Grand Ole Opry moved the televised portion of the Opry from TNN to CMT, as TNN changed into Spike TV and changed their focus away from country music. The first show on CMT featured Vince Gill, who celebrated 10 years as an Opry member. Also appearing that night were Steve Wariner, Sonya Isaacs, Jimmy C. Newman, Brad Paisley, Elizabeth Cook and Loretta Lynn. Quite an impressive line-up for the televised portion.

August 10, 2002: During the televised portion of the Grand Ole Opry on CMT, the Dixie Chicks announced that Porter Wagoner and Bill Carlisle had been elected as the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Personally, I have always felt that the Hall of Fame did an injustice to both Porter and Bill by having the Dixie Chicks make the announcement as part of an Opry show. Nothing against the Dixie Chicks, I just thought the Hall of Fame should have made a bigger deal out of the announcement. In Porter's case, it was long overdue. It is still fun going back an looking at the tape of that night as Porter looked like he was biting his tongue and holding back what I think he really wanted to say.

August 23, 2002: Grand Ole Opry member Del Reeves made his final appearance on the Opry. Del entered a period of declining health that led to his retirement from the Opry. As with so many others of that generation, Del suffered from respiratory issues and emphysema, which would lead to his death several years later.

August 31, 2002: The Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 4,000 Saturday night broadcast. The Opry did a tribute to Minnie Pearl that featured Clint Black, Barbara Mandrell, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Steve Wariner.

August 23, 2003: Trace Adkins became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 16th year as an Opry member. On the night of his induction, his idol Ronnie Milsap did the honors, assisted by Lorrie Morgan.

August 12, 2006: Grand Ole Opry member Jimmy C Newman was recognized upon his 50th year as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

August 25, 2010: In a special ceremony, Brad Paisley and Jimmy Dickens sang, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" as the historic center piece of wood was returned to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House after being damaged in the historic flood of May 2010. Thanks to extensive repair and renovation, the center circle was restored to its former condition.

August 6, 2011: The Oak Ridge Boys became members of the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry had wanted the quartet as members for years, however they had always declined due to their heavy touring schedule. However, 8 years ago the Oak Ridge Boys felt the time was right and they accepted the offer by Jimmy Dickens to join the cast. On the night they joined, the group sang, "Bobby Sue," "Amazing Grace," and of course, "Elvira." Every time they are on the Opry, they never fail to receive a standing ovation.

August 13, 2011: Vince Gill celebrated 20 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, in a show dedicated to Grand Ole Opry member Billy Grammer, who had passed away earlier in the week. Joining Vince that night, who opened the show performing Billy's great hit, "Gotta Travel On" were Amy Grant, Martina McBride, and Emmylou Harris, among others.

August 16, 2013: During a concert appearance in Cleveland, Ohio, Old Crow Medicine Show was surprised by Grand Ole Opry member Marty Stuart, who invited Old Crow to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. Of course, they accepted and a month later became official Opry members. Personally, this was one of the best moves the Opry had made in many years.

August 7, 2014: Earl White, the last remaining member of the Crook Brothers square dance band, passed away after a short illness. After the passing of Herman Crook, and then Lewis Crook, Earl continued as the fiddle player for the square dancers, joined by Charlie Collins before he passed away.

August 8, 2015: Connie Smith was honored for 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Marty Stuart hosted a one hour segment of the show, which included Connie singing her monster hit, "Once A Day."

August 13, 2016: Vince Gill was honored upon his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Vince hosted two shows that night, both of which lasted over 3 hours. Vince as on stage the entire night, with both shows featuring Bill Anderson, Ashley Monroe, Rodney Crowell, Charlie Worsham, and of course, his wife, Amy Grant. As someone who was there, it was a spectacular night.

August 29, 2017: Chris Young was invited by Vince Gill to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Chris was formally inducted in October.

August 21, 2018: Dustin Lynch was invited to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Trace Adkins handled the surprise announcement, which was a surprise to many.

August 25, 2018: Grand Ole Opry President Steve Buchanan officially retired. He had made the announcement earlier that he would be leaving to pursue other opportunities. Also, Garth Brooks returned to the Opry that night. While Garth had made surprise appearances over the past decade, this was his first announced Opry appearance since October 2005.

There you have it for July. As usual, it was a busy month in Nashville and at the Grand Ole Opry. 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 8/2 & 8/3

Welcome to August!! The Grand Ole Opry rolls on with two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry

Looking at the line-ups. the only Grand Ole Opry member scheduled for both nights are Riders In The Sky. Mike Snider is back on Friday night, after missing a few weeks, along with Bill Anderson, Dailey & Vincent, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. Saturday night, joining the Riders will be members Jeannie Seely and Jesse McReynolds.

As to the guest list, listed for Friday night are Shelly Fairchild, John Berry, Drew Baldridge, Shenandoah, Gone West featuring Colbie Caillat and The Isaacs. Saturday night has Eric Paslay, comedian Henry Cho, Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy, Charles Esten and Gary P Nunn on the schedule. I am not 100% positive, as his career goes back 50 years, but I do believe that this is Gary's Opry debut.

Friday August 2
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Shelly Fairchild; John Berry
7:30: Dailey & Vincent (host); Drew Baldridge; Shenandoah
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Mike Snider; Gone West featuring Colbie Caillat
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; The Isaacs

Saturday August 3
7:00: Riders In The Sky; Eric Paslay
7:30: Jeannie Seely; Henry Cho
8:15: Jesse McReynolds; Gary P Nunn; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Charlie McCoy; Charles Esten

While Friday's show looks pretty solid, it would appear that we have another Saturday night with no hosts. I am not in charge of booking, and I don't know the specific circumstances, but I would think Mike Snider or The Whites, or both, could have been scheduled for Saturday. Just my thoughts.

Gary P Nunn, who is out of Texas, has been performing for 50 years and it was announced earlier this year that he will be retiring in 2020.  He was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma and moved to Brownfield, Texas as a sixth grader. Nunn began his musical career as a 7th grader in a garage band in Brownfield, TX. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Texas Tech University and South Plains College, while he also played with a Levelland, Texas rock band The Sparkles during the 1960s. In addition to the Sparkles, he played in such bands as the Shucks with former Cricket J.I. Allison, and the Night Spots with Don Caldwell.

In 1968 he transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. Nunn was there at the start of the “cosmic cowboy” movement with one of Austin’s favorite bands, The Lavender Hill Express, with the late Rusty Wier. Nunn immersed himself further in the local music scene, playing bass for Michael Martin Murphey, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Willie Nelson. From there he became a member of the Lost Gonzo Band. Jerry Jeff Walker and the Lost Gonzo Band (including Nunn) released six albums through MCA Records over the course of four years. The Lost Gonzo Band parted ways with Walker in 1977, after which they produced three albums for MCA and Capitol Records, finally disbanding in 1980. Nunn then moved on to pursue a solo career.

In 1985, Nunn moved to a family farm in Oklahoma, and he established the Terlingua North Chili Cook-Off and Music Festival there, where now-popular acts like Pat Green and Cross Canadian Ragweed played early in their careers. “It seems every time we had a young and upcoming band up there, it was like they hit a diving board and just sprung into the air,” Nunn notes. And within today’s thriving Texas and Red dirt (music) scene, he’s a revered elder statesman to countless performers and songwriters who teethed and grew up on his music. “They’ve let me know I inspired them and showed them how it could be done.” Nunn moved back to the Austin area in 2003.

Nunn's songs have been recorded by various nationally-known country artists, including Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Murphey, Tracy Nelson, David Allan Coe, Rosanne Cash, and Willie Nelson among others. With a continuing array of successful solo albums and an army of fans, Nunn has made a permanent mark on the Texas/Southwestern/Country/Folk music scene.

Along with being a touring performer, he has appeared on countless programs such as Nashville Now, The Nashville Network's Texas Connection, music videos and special appearances on TNN, Austin City Limits, Texas Rangers (baseball) games (singing the National Anthem), and other appearances too numerous to mention.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of July 31 & August 1, 2009:

Friday July 31
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jonathan Singleton & The Grove
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Ray Pillow; Buddy Jewell
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds and The Virginia Boys; Chris Young
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper; Jamie O'Neal

Saturday August 1
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Trent Tomlinson
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Ashton Shepherd
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Jason Crabb; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Louvin; George Hamilton IV w/Live Issue; Restless Heart

And from 50 years ago, Saturday August 2, 1969:

1st show
6:30: Jack Greene; The Four Guys
6:45: Bill Monroe; Del Wood; Linda Martel
7:00: Bill Anderson; Jan Howard; Jay Lee Webb; Jerry Smith
7:30: Roy Acuff; George Morgan; Wilma Burgess; Crook Brothers; Jimmy Payne
8:00: Lester Flatt; Ray Pillow; Stringbean; Lorene Mann
8:30: Ernest Tubb; Hank Locklin; Louie Roberts; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Billy Parker

2nd show
9:30: Bill Monroe; The Four Guys; Stringbean; Jimmy Payne
10:00: Roy Acuff; Jerry Smith; Linda Martel
10:15: Lester Flatt; Del Wood; George Morgan
10:30: Bill Anderson; Jan Howard; Jay Lee Webb
10:45: Ernest Tubb; Wilma Burgess; Crook Brothers
11:00: Ray Pillow; Lorene Mann; Jack Greene; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Hank Locklin; Jeanne Pruett; Louie Roberts

A pretty thin night for Opry members. And remember in 1969 Jan Howard and Jeanne Pruett were not Opry members at that time.

Finally, Marty Robbins was scheduled to host that final segment, however he had a heart attack that week as was not on.

Continuing with the theme from last week, and looking back to 1974, the first year that the Opry was in the new Grand Ole Opry House, here is the running order from 45 years ago, Saturday August 3, 1974:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Stu Phillips (host): Catfish John
Ernie Ashworth: Each Moment Spent with You
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): Odds & Ends; Bits & Pieces
Connie Smith: I Never Knew What that Song Meant Before/Amazing Grace
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down

7:00: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Leona Williams: Break My Mind
Louie Roberts: Make the World Go Away
Billy Grammer: I Was Sorta Wondering
Brother Oswald: Columbus Stockade Blues
Leona Williams: Dallas
Billy Grammer: What A Friend

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy C Newman (host): Jambalaya
Karen Wheeler: Born to Love & Satisfy
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Crook Brothers and The Tennessee Travelers: Sally Goodin
Jimmy C Newman: A Fallen Star
Karen Wheeler: What Can I Do to Make You Happy
Del Wood: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Jimmy C Newman: Dropping Out of Sight

8:00: Martha White
George Morgan (host): You Turn Me On
Connie Eaton: Let Me Be There
Dick Feller: Making the Best of A Bad Situation
George Morgan: Red Rose from the Blue Side of Town
Connie Eaton: I Can't Stop Loving You
Dick Feller: Biff, The Friendly Purple Bear
George Morgan: Almost/I Can't Help It

8:30: Stephens
Bobby Lord (host): Wake Me Up Early in the Morning
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
David Rogers: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Bobby Lord: Fall Away
Jeanne Pruett: Love Me
David Rogers: Hey There, Girl
Bobby Lord: Hawkeye

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Charlie Walker (host): My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You
Connie Smith: Just One Time
Ernie Ashworth: Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
Charlie Walker; Odds & Ends; Bits & Pieces
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Charlie Walker: It Is No Secret

10:00: Fender
Jimmy C Newman (host): Diggy Liggy Lo
Leona Williams: Dallas
Brother Oswald: John Hardy
Jimmy C Newman: Potato Song

10:15: Union 76
Billy Grammer (host): Wabash Cannonball
Karen Wheeler: Born to Love & Satisfy/What Can I Do to Make You Happy
Billy Grammer: Whispering Hope

10:30: Trailblazer
Stu Phillips (host): If You Love Me, Let Me Know
Del Wood: There's A Big Wheel
Louie Roberts: Make the World Go Away
Stu Phillips: Why Me Lord

10:45: Beech-Nut
George Morgan (host): Mr. Ting-A-Ling
Dick Feller: Making the Best of a Bad Situation
Crook Brothers and The Tennessee Travelers: Liberty
George Morgan: Who, At My Door, Is Standing

11:00: Coca Cola
Bobby Lord (host): Mississippi
Connie Eaton: Let Me Be There
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking in My Sleep
Bobby Lord: You & Me Against the World
Connie Eaton: I Can't Stop Loving You
Sam McGee: Victor Rag/Freight Train
Bobby Lord: Live Your Life Out Loud

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets/Count Me Out
David Rogers: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms/Hey There, Girl
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Love Me/Big Boss Man/My Woman; My Woman; My Wife/Long Gone Lonesome Blues

Again, a pretty thin night as many of the Opry's biggest names were missing: Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Bill Monroe, Porter Wagoner, Bill Anderson, Minnie Pearl. Thankfully, Marty was on the 2nd show.

So looking at that night, who remembers Dick Feller?

Best-known for a brief run of country novelty hits in the mid-'70s, Dick Feller was also a songwriter responsible for several hits by other artists, most notably his oftentime writing partner, Jerry Reed.

Feller was born in Bronaugh, MO, in 1943, and started performing and writing in his late teens; he moved to Nashville for a brief period, then went to Los Angeles, where he played in a band and made some demos of his songs. He returned to Nashville in 1966, where he worked as a session musician and in touring bands behind Mel Tillis, Skeeter Davis, and others. Eventually, he landed a songwriting contract with Johnny Cash's publishing company, and wrote the singer's 1972 Top Five hit "Any Old Wind That Blows." The following year, Feller's "Lord Mr. Ford" -- originally written for Jimmy Dean -- became a number one hit for Jerry Reed, who quickly signed Feller to his own publishing staff; Reed went on to record numerous Feller compositions, among them "East Bound and Down" and "I'm Just a Redneck in a Rock and Roll Bar." Meanwhile, Feller also landed a record deal of his own with United Artists, and released his debut single, "Biff, the Friendly Purple Bear," in 1973. 1974 was his best year as a solo artist, bringing two hits in "Makin' the Best of a Bad Situation" and the Top Ten "The Credit Card Song"; his final chart entry came with 1975's "Uncle Hiram and the Homemade Beer."

Even if Feller had an obvious penchant for novelty humor, he could also play it straight, as evidenced by John Denver's 1981 hit version of the ballad "Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone)." In 1977, Feller and Reed collaborated on material for the hit film Smokey and the Bandit, which gave Feller his biggest exposure ever. He recorded only sporadically after that, drifting out of the music business after a self-titled 1984 album on the small Audiograph label.

At last report, at the age of 76, Dick Feller is still alive.

And there you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry this weekend.