Monday, September 30, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 10/4 & 10/5

Welcome to the month of October and with it being the first weekend in October, the Grand Ole Opry will be celebrating it's 94th birthday. It should be a fun time and I will be in Nashville beginning tomorrow, through the rest of the week. I am sure that I will be seeing many old friends, readers of the blog, and some new folks. I'll be hanging around the Grand Ole Opry House and Plaza area, so if you see me, please say hi.

The Grand Ole Opry will be celebrating it's birthday with two shows Friday and Saturday night, along with the Saturday afternoon birthday concert featuring Terri Clark.

Not taking anything away from the Friday Night Opry, but Saturday will be the big day, as in addition to Terri Clark's concert, the Opry Birthday Bash Plaza Party will also be taking place. There will be live music on the outdoor stage, food trucks, games and much more, including Opry bingo and other games sponsored by a variety of organizations.

As to the entertainment on the outdoor stage, the scheduled performers include Carson Peters & Iron Mountain, Jessica Rose, Waterloo Revival, Hannah Dasher, Anna Vaus, Filmore and Davisson Brothers. The music begins with Carson at 10:30 a.m. and continues until the start of the 2nd Opry show.

While the line-ups have not been posted yet for the weekend shows, I can tell you who is listed as "scheduled to appear." For the Friday Night Opry, the names listed include Kathy Mattea, Gene Watson, Dailey & Vincent, Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers.

The Gatlin Brothers and Kathy Mattea are also on the schedule for Saturday night, and they will be joined by Terri Clark, Lee Greenwood and Trace Adkins. If you are one of those who thinks that Trace has been doing a few of these birthday shows lately, you are right. In looking back at the most recent birthday weekends, Trace has appeared in 2018, 2015, 2014 and 2010. So he has a few of these weekends under his belt.

Obviously with only a few names listed for each of the weekend shows, there is still room for a few more. Hopefully, the line-ups will be filled out and we won't get short-changed on the number of artists appearing for the birthday weekend.

I'll update as I can.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the first weekend in October 2009:

Friday October 2
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jo Dee Messina
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; Caitlin Lynn; Mike Snider
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Terri Clark
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Mindy Smith; Carrie Underwood

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jo Dee Messina
10:00: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Caitlin Lynn; Mike Snider
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Terri Clark
11:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mindy Smith; Carrie Underwood

Saturday October 3
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Cherryholmes
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Grand Master Fiddle Champion; Gene Watson
8:00: Jean Shepard (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Restless Heart; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Hal Ketchum (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Whites

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Cherryholmes
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Grand Master Fiddle Champion; Gene Watson
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Stonewall Jackson; Restless Heart; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Whites

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday October 1, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jack Greene; Jan Howard; Brother Oswald; Jeanne Pruett
7:30: Bill Monroe (host); Ricky Skaggs; Vince Gill; Alison Krauss
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The Four Guys; Charlie Louvin; The Whites; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Boy Howdy; Roy Drusky; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Ray Pillow; Jeanne Pruett; Boy Howdy
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard
10:15: Jimmy Dickens (host); George Hamilton IV; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Ricky Skaggs; Vince Gill; Alison Krauss
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; The Whites; Del Reeves; Mike Snider
11:30: Johnny Russell (host)

Finally, from 50 years ago, Saturday October 4, 1969:

1st show
6:30: Willis Brothers (host); Linda Martel; Bobby Lewis
6:45: Billy Grammer (host): Liz Anderson; Jay Lee Webb
7:00: Bobby Lord (host); Jeannie Seely; Del Wood; Billy Troy Trio
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Johnny Carver; Bowes; Crook
8:00: Tex Ritter (host); Charlie Louvin; Marion Worth; Billy Ed Wheeler
8:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Osborne Brothers; Dolly Parton; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Buck Trent

2nd show
9:30: Bobby Lord (host); Willis Brothers; Jeannie Seely; Jay Lee Webb
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Bobby Lewis; Jimmy Riddle
10:15: Billy Grammer (host); Liz Anderson Billy Troy Trio
10:30: Tex Ritter (host); Del Wood; Linda Martel; Margie Bowes; Crook Brothers
11:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Dolly Parton; Johnny Carver; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Charlie Louvin (host); Marion Worth; Billy Ed Wheeler; Diane McCall

A name from that night that many may not recognize is Billy Troy.

Billy Troy, who is the son of Uncle Josh Graves, the legendary dobro player fro Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs,  has achieved an extensive and exciting career in the entertainment industry. Billy spent every Friday and Saturday night of his youth standing backstage at The Grand Ole Opry watching his dad perform for record crowds. Feeling the excitement during each and every one of those performances molded Billy into the entertainer he is today.

As a young man, Billy stood in the coveted spot himself performing for Opry audiences and also had the honor of being introduced by Mr. Roy Acuff. The standing ovations and encores he received after those shows, stay with him as some of the most memorable times in his life as an entertainer. Billy penned a musical play documenting the times he spent backstage with his dad which was fittingly titled “Backstage Memories” and toured nationwide to sold out venues.

Billy’s success as a Nashville songwriter and music producer have garnered him several Grammy nominations plus a Grammy finalist nod for his performance and production work in the bluegrass and country music fields. Billy’s highly successful series of “Pickin’ On” productions for CMH Records include the CDs: Pickin’ On the Beatles, Pickin’ On the Eagles, Pickin’ On Disney, which is featured in the Lion King Show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as, “Pickin’ On Christmas."

Billy Troy is still actively performing.

Many of the Grand Ole Opry birthday weekends have taken place during the month of October, and one of those weekends took place 28 years ago when the Opry celebrated its 66th birthday. Here is the line-up and running order from that weekend, October 4 & 5, 1991:

Friday October 4
1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis; Jim Ed Brown; Charlie Louvin; George Hamilton IV
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy C Newman; Wilma Lee Cooper; Bill Carlisle; Del Reeves
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Grandpa Jones; Connie Smith; Jim and Jesse
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Four Guys; Jeannie Seely
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Hank Locklin; Ray Pillow; Jimmy C Newman; Diamond Rio
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Grandpa Jones; Jim Ed Brown; Skeeter Davis
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); The Four Guys; George Hamilton IV; Charlie Louvin; Connie Smith
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Justin Tubb; Del Reeves; Mike Snider; David Houston
11:30: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Jim and Jesse; Johnny Russell

Saturday October 5
1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Bill Monroe (host): I'm Going Back to Old Kentucky
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Bill Monroe: Dark as the Night; Blue as the Day

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
George Hamilton IV: Till I Can Gain Control Again
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Charlie Walker: Drinking Champagne

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Funky Grass Band
Wilma Lee Cooper: Ghost Train
Bill Carlisle: Leave that Liar Alone
Roy Drusky: The Last Farewell
Osborne Brothers: Kentucky

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: You've Got Me Right Where You Want Me
Jim Ed Brown: Just for Old Time's Sake
Vince Gill: Little Liza Jane/When I Call Your Name
Grand Ole Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Jim and Jesse: When I Dream About the Southland
The Whites: Doing it By the Book
Bill Anderson: Still/Southern Fried
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sugar in the Goard
Grandpa Jones: Gooseberry Pie

8:30: Opryland
Hank Snow (host): Address Unknown
The Four Guys: Way Down Deep
Del Reeves: A Dozen Pair of Boots
Mike Snider: Old Joe Clark/Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Jeannie Seely: When He Leaves You
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): You Gotta Have a License
Osborne Brothers: Tennessee Hound Dog
Ray Pillow: The Days When You Were Still in Love With Me
Vince Gill: Look at Us/Crying Holy Unto the Lord/When I Call Your Name
Porter Wagoner: Big Wind

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Kitty Clyde
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Roy Drusky: Mississippi
Grandpa Jones: Tritzem Yodel

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Low & Lonely
Connie Smith: The Key's in the Mailbox/Satisfied
Grand Ole Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

10:30: Pet Milk
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime at a Time/Looking at the World Through A Windshield
David Houston: I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
Del Reeves: Lay A Little Lovin' on Me

10:45: B.C. Powder
Bill Monroe (host): Mary Jane, Won't You Be Mine
Charlie Walker: Drinking Champagne
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Monroe: Wicked Path of Sin

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): White Silver Sands
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
The Four Guys: We're Only Here for a Little White
Jim and Jesse: The Flower In the Desert
Hank Snow: That Lucky Old Sun

11:30: Creamette
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
The Whites: Love Is a Rose
Jeannie Seely: I'll Be Around (When It's Over)
Mike Snider: Foggy Mountain Breakdown/Putting on the Dog
Bill Anderson: Deck of Cards

There you have it for another Grand Ole Opry birthday weekend. For those who will be attending this weekend, I hope to see you and for those who cannot, I hope you listen.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Mid-Week Opry Shows 10/1; 10/2 and 10/3

Here is what I currently have for the upcoming mid-week Opry shows:

Tuesday October 1
7:00: Riders In The Sky; Jamie O'Neal
7:30: Bill Anderson; Matt Stell
8:15: David Ball; Carly Pearce
8:45: Po' Ramblin' Boys; Charles Esten

This will be the Opry debut for the Po' Ramblin' Boys

At a time when most people feel constantly distracted by technology and barraged by the news, authenticity and straightforward honesty are paramount. There’s something about the music of The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys that cuts right through the noise of the world and speaks plainly to the soul. Formed in the Smoky Mountains, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys are at once exactly what you would expect and not at all what you would expect from a tattooed East Tennessee Bluegrass outfit. No strangers to hard work, the boys are as much at home riding in their 1965 GM Tour bus as they are crawling underneath to fix it when it needs maintenance. But they take pride in being ambassadors of their genre, and the group has brought their music from rural bluegrass festival stages to the rock clubs of Europe, with stunning results. “I think to a certain extent everyone is just craving music that they can feel, and any music that feels real will reach any audience” says CJ Lewandowski, the groups founder, “We want to put bluegrass right where it’s least expected”.

 Lewandowski was working at Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Sevierville, TN when the band first formed. The distillery employed musicians to play for visitors seven days a week, and Lewandowski, who primarily plays Mandolin and sings, was occasionally hired to fill in when the entertainment didn’t show. Eventually, the distillery approached him about forming a band for a full time slot, so he reached out to long time music friends Jereme Brown, who plays banjo for the group, and Josh Rinkel, who plays guitar.  Also joining the group would be bassist Jasper Lorentzen. The four friends played multiple times a week for a year and half, honing their band sound, meanwhile word was spreading about their music.

The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys passion for bluegrass is as clear as it is contagious. With a heavy touring schedule across the United States and Europe and recently signed record deal with the esteemed Rounder Records, the Boys are well on their way to becoming the quintessential bluegrass band of their generation. Despite all of their recent success, they maintain a humble perspective. “Bluegrass has left such a mark on us that we feel like we owe something back to the music”, says Lewandowski. “We want to do something for the music to show our appreciation… There’s no telling what could have happened to us, what we would have become if we hadn’t found this music. It’s gotten us through a lot, the good and the bad. When I think about all of the damn medications that I didn’t have to take because I had music to turn to. We didn’t have to go to the doctor and pay for something to make us feel better, because we had this music, so we really want to honor it by bringing it out of the shadows and onto new stages and wider audiences. Because we know that if we can bring Bluegrass to new folks, those folks will come with us and support the bluegrass community.”

While the running order has not been posted for the Wednesday Night Opry on October 2, the list of performers scheduled to appear has been posted.

Scheduled to appear are Riders In The Sky, Zach Williams, Lindsay Ell, The Bacon Brothers, Dailey & Vincent, John Berry, Mandy Barnett and Mo Pitney

As far as Opry Country Classics on Thursday October 3, Larry Gatlin will be the host and Lorrie Morgan the Spotlight Artist. Also scheduled are The Gatlin Brothers, Louise Mandrell and Wade Hayes.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 9/27 & 9/28

I am sure the people who run the Grand Ole Opry are pretty happy this weekend as both of the shows are sold out. On the other hand, those attending cannot be particuarly happy with the line-ups. Sad to see just three Grand Ole Opry members (and one former member) on the schedule for Friday night and only two listed for Saturday. While I know a lot of the members are out on the road, I would think they could have done better for those attending.

The Grand Ole Opry members who are scheduled to appear on the Friday Night Opry are Joe Diffie, The Whites, and Dailey & Vincent, while former member Doug Kershaw is also scheduled. The two members listed for Saturday's Grand Ole Opry are Connie Smith and Bobby Osborne.

Guesting on Friday night will be Tegan Marie, The Isaacs, William Michael Morgan and Hannah Dasher. Guesting on Saturday night will be Craig Campbell, Linda Davis, Darryl Worley, Brad Upton, Kalie Shorr and Hall of Fame member Don Schlitz.

I did want to give mention to Doug Kershaw, who along with his brother Rusty, joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1957.

Doug Kershaw, along with Jimmy C Newman, is one of a handful of Cajun musicians who enjoyed success in mainstream country music. Doug, who was born in 1936, began his career as a child, performing with his mother, Mama Rita, a fiddler, guitarist and singer. In 1948 he formed the Continental Playboys with brothers Russell Lee (Rusty) and Nelson (Pee Wee), eventually getting on local radio in Louisiana. Rusty and Doug then began performing as a duo and as Rusty & Doug, they recorded a number of country songs for Feature Records before making their way to Nashville, where they signed with Hickory Records.

Performing in the close vocal harmony style popularized by the Everly Brothers, Rusty & Doug's career began to take off. In 1955 they appeared on the Louisiana Hayride before moving to the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling. In September 1957, their song "Love Me to Pieces" hit #14 on the charts, while "Hey Sheryl" went to #22. Later that year, the became members of the Grand Ole Opry. In 1958, both were drafted into the military and their careers went on hold.

After returning from the military, Rusty & Doug returned to the studio and recorded Cajun-flavored songs, including "Louisiana Man" which went to #10 on the charts and "Diggy Liggy Lo," which went to #14. In 1964 the brothers split and Doug went on to fame as the "Cajun Hippie," whose outrageous stage antics and driving performance made him a favorite of the musical counter'culture during the 1970s. Now into his 80s, Doug still tours and still performs as he will be doing on the Friday Night Opry this weekend.

Friday September 27
7:00: Joe Diffie; Tegan Marie
7:30: The Whites; The Isaacs
8:15: William Michael Morgan; Hannah Dasher
8:45: Doug Kershaw; Dailey & Vincent

Saturday September 28
7:00: Connie Smith; Craig Campbell
7:30: Linda Davis; Darryl Worley
8:15: Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Brad Upton; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Kalie Shorr; Don Schlitz

Hannah Dasher will be making her Opry debut on Friday night.

A Nashville transplant by way of Coastal Georgia with a dream and a six string, Hannah recently celebrated her first songwriting cut on Brad Paisley's new Love and War album. The track entitled, "Go To Bed Early”, also features Hannah on background vocals. Hannah is currently writing for Sony/ATV Nashville and Two Black Dogs Publishing, a new company formed by Jaren Johnston (multi-platinum hit songwriter, rock’n'roll guitar slinger, and frontman of the Cadillac Three). Over the last year, Dasher and Johnston have been working on her debut record, Heavy. With influences ranging from Dolly and Aretha to Eric Church and Tom Petty, some compare Hannah Dasher's sound to "Hot Chicken with Honey.”

“Hannah Dasher has a voice and personality I feel the country format desperately needs,” said Johnston. “Her ‘Dolly Parton on cocaine’ vibe puts her in a league of her own. She is a rock star plain and simple.”

Closing out the month of September, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the final weekend of September 2009:

Friday September 25
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Joey+Rory
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene; Steep Canyon Rangers
8:30: Pam Tillis (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; The Whites

Saturday September 26
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jim Ed Brown; Orleans
8:00: Pam Tillis (host); Charlie Louvin; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Craig Morgan

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday September 24, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Skeeter Davis
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Stonewall Jackson; Charlie Louvin; George Hamilton IV; Jan Howard
7:30: Billy Walker (host); Jeanne Pruett; Osborne Brothers; Skip Ewing
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Four Guys; Roy Drusky; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Jean Shepard; Hank Locklin; Jeannie Seely

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeanne Pruett; Brother Oswald; Jim Ed Brown; George Hamilton IV
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Charlie Louvin; Osborne Brothers
10:15: Bill Anderson (host); Skip Ewing
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); Roy Drusky
10:45: Billy Walker (host); Stonewall Jackson; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Hank Locklin; Jan Howard; The Four Guys
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; The Whites

Finally, from 50 years ago, Saturday September 27, 1969:

1st show
6:30: Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host); Del Wood; Duke of Paducah
6:45: Charlie Walker (host); The Four Guys; Peggy Little
7:00: Charlie Louvin (host); Jim and Jesse; Diana Trask; Louie Roberts
7:30: Billy Grammer (host); Jeannie Seely; Earl Scruggs Revue; Crook Brothers; The Tennessee Travelers
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Margie Bowes; Johnny and Jonie Mosby; Brother Oswald; Jimmy C Newman; Jimmy Riddle
8:30: Stu Phillips (host); Skeeter Davis; Willis Brothers; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Charlie Walker (host); Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Jeannie Seely; Johnny and Jonie Mosby
10:00: Charlie Louvin (host); The Four Guys; Diane McCall
10:15: Jim and Jesse (host); Del Wood; Peggy Little
10:30: Stu Phillips (host); Duke of Paducah; Diana Trask
10:45: Roy Acuff (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Crook Brothers; The Tennessee Travelers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Billy Grammer; Margie Bowes; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam and Kirk McGee
11:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Don Winters; Louie Roberts

To finish up this week, let's go back again to the year 1974 and the first year at the Grand Ole Opry House and September 28. Here is the running order from that night 45 years ago:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): Big Daddy
Jerry Clower: A Rat Killing
Willis Brothers: For the Good Times

6:45: Rudy's
Bill Monroe (host): Out in the Cold World
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Did You Think to Pray
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Bill Monroe: Poor White Folks

7:00: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Connie Smith: Louisiana Man
Jim Mundy: The River's Too Wide
Billy Grammer: Bonaparte's Retreat
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Jim Mundy: She's No Ordinary Woman
Billy Grammer: Under the Double Eagle

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Cottonfields/Night Train to Memphis
Jeanne Pruett: Welcome to the Sunshine Sweet Baby Jane
Mark Dalton: Cracker Jack
Crook Brothers: Soldier's Joy
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): The Baptism of Jesse Taylor
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Marion Worth: You're the Reason I'm Living
Grandpa Jones: I Don't Love Nobody
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited Too Long
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Grandpa Jones: Nashville on My Mind

8:30: Stephen's
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Stu Phillips: There Must be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Karen Wheeler: You're Smothering Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Stu Phillips: Love You All Over Again
Karen Wheeler: Born to Love & Satisfy
Stonewall Jackson: Washed My Hands in Muddy Water

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Monroe (host): Careless Love
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Del Wood: Beer Barrel Polka
Bill Monroe: I Want to Go with You
Jeanne Pruett: Hold to My Unchanging Love/Love Me/You Don't Need to Move a Mountain
Del Wood: There's a Big Wheel

10:00: Fender
Jerry Clower (host): (?)
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: This Old House
Stoney Cooper: Black Mountain Rag
Jerry Clower: A New Bull

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Mark Dalton: Cracker Jack
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

10:30: Trailblazer
Grandpa Jones (host): Freedom Lives in a Country Song
Connie Smith: I Never Knew (What That Song Meant Before)
Bill Carlisle: Have a Drink on Me
Grandpa and Ramona Jones: Fallen Leaves

10:45: Beech-Nut
Billy Grammer (host): Bonaparte's Retreat
Jim Mundy: The River's Too Wide
Crook Brothers: Gray Eagle
Billy Grammer: Somewhere My Love

11:00: Coca-Cola
Stu Phillips (host): Pride
Karen Wheeler: You're Smothering Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Soldier's Joy
Karen Wheeler: Born to Love & Satisfy
Sam McGee: Alabama Jubilee
Stu Phillips: Cottonfields/Detroit City/Catfish John

11:30: Elm Hill
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Marion Worth: Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed/You're the Reason I'm Living
Ronnie Robbins: If You Love Me, Let Me Know/Baby, Let the Music Play
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walking/Washed My Hands in Muddy Water/Waterloo

A couple of names from that night, beginning with Jim Mundy. Jim recorded for ABC Records between 1973 and 1976 and had some chart success. His best song was "The River's Too Wide," which was released in 1973 and went as high as #13 on the country charts. That song, along with "Come Home" received awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. Jim also recorded commercial tunes for Pillsbury, Union 76, Coca-Cola and Miller Brewing Company. His final chart success was in 1979.

Another name from that night was Mark Dalton. The only information I could find on Mark was that he was a guest on Mel Tillis' television show, which was on the air in 1974. Other than that, not much info could be found.

That takes care of it for this week. Next week is the Grand Ole Opry's 94th birthday bash. It should be a fun weekend with a lot of activities planned. As usual, I will be there for it all.

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

Monday, September 23, 2019

Mid-Week Opry 9/24; 9/25 & 9/26

Here are the line-ups for the upcoming mid-week shows:

Tuesday September 24
7:00: Connie Smith; Hailey Whitters
7:30: Henry Cho; Dailey & Vincent
8:15: Craig Morgan; Sawyer Brown; Dustin Lynch

A very solid Tuesday night show. Dustin Lynch, who last week celebrated his one year anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, continues his support of the show. And I am sure Craig Morgan will be singing his new single, 'The Father, My Son and The Holy Ghost" which has been receiving some great reviews. A big thanks should also go to Blake Shelton who has been promoting this very emotional song.

Wednesday September 25
7:00: Riders In The Sky; Jameson Rodgers
7:30: Jeannie Seely; The SteelDrivers
8:15: T.G. Sheppard; Chonda Pierce
8:45: Charlie Daniels Band

The Wednesday night show will be the Opry debut for Jamison Rodgers.

Raised in Batesville, Mississippi, singer-songwriter Jameson Rodgers brings together electrified rock & roll and Country songwriting on his new self-titled EP, released in January of 2018, with songs featured on Spotify’s New Boots and Wild Country playlists as well as Sirius XM’s On The Horizon. In 2018, Rodgers also received the AIMP Nashville Rising Artist-Writer of the Year nomination for the third annual AIMP (Association of Independent Music Publishers) Nashville Awards.

The former college baseball player, who landed a publishing deal with Combustion Music in 2014, scored his first songwriting cuts with Florida Georgia Lines “Wish You Were On It” and “Talk You Out Of It” in addition to co-writing Chris Lane’s new single “I Don’t Know About You.” His debut EP, released in 2016, features the streaming hit “Midnight Daydream.” In addition to opening shows for Sam Hunt and Old Dominion, Rodgers has been selling out clubs throughout the south and Midwest this year. He is currently on the Luke Combs Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour that kicked off in January.

Finally, the mid-week shows finish with Opry Country Classics on Thursday night.

Thursday September 26
Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: The Gatlin Brothers
Also Appearing: The Whites, Abby Anderson, Frankie Ballad, Wilson Fairchild

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 9/20 & 9/21

After watching the first four chapters of Ken Burns' "Country Music" most of what I have read has been very positive and personally, I am very pleased. There have been a few comments nick picking the series, especially comments regarding who was left out or received very little mention. But I don't think anyone can complain as to the amount of research that Ken has put into the shows and the amount of archival material that he has presented. I am anxious to see the final four shows which begin on Sunday.

Now to this week's Grand Ole Opry shows. In looking at the schedule, it is nice to see both Connie Smith, who is scheduled to appear on Friday night, and Jesse McReynolds, scheduled for Saturday night, both on the list for this week. Both cancelled out last Saturday night.

Joining Connie Smith on the Friday Night Opry will be members The Whites, Bobby Osborne, Oak Ridge Boys, Riders In The Sky and Old Crow Medicine Show, the last two groups also scheduled to appear on Saturday night. Joining Riders, Old Crow and Jesse on Saturday night will be Jeannie Seely, Dailey & Vincent and Bill Anderson.

Guesting both nights will be Jeanne Robertson. Joining Jeanne on Friday night will be Lauren Jenkins, Austin Jenckes and Wade Hayes. Saturday night, along with Jeanne, will be Charles Esten, Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy, and making her Grand Ole Opry debut, Tenille Arts.

Friday September 20
7:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Lauren Jenkins; The Whites
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Austin Jenckes; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:15: Old Crow Medicine Show (host); Wade Hayes
8:45: Oak Ridge Boys (host); Jeanne Robertson

Saturday September 21
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Tenille Arts; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeanne Robertson; Dailey & Vincent
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Charles Esten; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Old Crow Medicine Show (host); Charlie McCoy

I notice that both the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry are top heavy with the majority of the artists scheduled appearing during the first half of the show.

As mentioned, Saturday will be the Grand Ole Opry debut for Tenille Arts.

Born and raised in the small Canadian prairie town of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, her dream of performing took root at the tender age of eight. A neighbor overheard her singing a Shania Twain song in her back yard and encouraged her mom to help her pursue music.

After years of honing her craft and touring across Canada, Tenille began making the long trip to Nashville to advance her songwriting skills. Her determination and talent led to steadily increasing successes, as she earned a publishing deal in Nashville. Her 2016 self-titled debut EP peak at #1 on the iTunes Canada Top Country Album Chart and crack the Top 100 on the U.S. iTunes Country Album Chart.

Arts released her full-length album Rebel Child in October 2017, having written 10 of the 11 songs. It debuted at #2 on the iTunes Canada Top Country Album Chart, #12 on the AllGenres Chart and reached #17 in the United States. Tenille caught the attention of entertainment site, who named her one of their 2018 Artists to Watch.

Tenille’s hauntingly mysterious song “Cold Feet” help grow her fan base with a popular music video that reached #1 on the CMT 12 Pack Countdown. The song also received much critical acclaim including a feature by Tom Roland in Billboard Country – rare for an independent release.

She made her national television debut on January 29, 2018 performing her original song “Moment of Weakness” for millions of viewers on the hit ABC show The Bachelor. The song debuted in the Top 20 on the iTunes U.S. Top Country Songs Chart. Six weeks later, Tenille’s accomplishments were rewarded in a huge way, as she signed a recording deal with Reviver Records – home to David Lee Murphy and Michael Tyler.

Immediately after signing her deal, Reviver released her “I Hate This” single. The groundbreaking music video was partially shot in a set that could rotate 360 degrees. As the cameras rolled, so did the set...and Tenille. The clip premiered on CMT and continues to receive airplay nationwide.

In May of 2018, Tenille took home all five of the Saskatchewan Country Music Association Awards for which she was nominated. Her name was called time after time, as she was honored with “Female Artist of the Year,” “Songwriter of the Year,” “Album or EP of the Year” for Rebel Child, “Video of the Year” for “Cold Feet” and “Single of the Year” for “What He’s Into.”

As fall approached, The Bachelor producers invited Tenille to Los Angeles to film her second appearance singing an original song on the show. The episode is set to air January 21, 2019.

Rolling Stone named Tenille one of their “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know” in September, calling her “An edgy, Fearless-era Taylor Swift with crystalline vocals; ideal for hopeless romantics who are fire signs.” The feature went on to say: “‘I Hate This’ addresses the helplessness that comes with any broken relationship, with Arts’ voice drifting and lilting over a Dobro riff.”

And the answer to her most commonly asked question is yes, Arts is her real last name!

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the 3rd weekend in September 2009:

Friday September 18
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; George Hamilton IV; The Flatlanders
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jim Ed Brown; John Anderson
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Stonewall Jackson; Riders In The Sky; Suzy Bogguss
8:30: Vince Gill (host); Jan Howard; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; The Whites

Saturday September 19
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Buddy Jewell
7:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jack Greene; Jim Ed Brown; The Lovell Sisters
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); Ray Pillow; Josh Thompson; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: John Conlee (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Raul Malo

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday September 17, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Brother Oswald
6:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bill Carlisle; Jeanne Pruett
7:00: Jack Greene (host); Stonewall Jackson; The Whites; Lorrie Morgan
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Johnny Russell; Brenda Lee
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Four Guys; Ray Pillow; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jean Shepard; Charlie Walker

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeanne Pruett; Stonewall Jackson; Brenda Lee
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Lorrie Morgan
10:15: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites
10:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jean Shepard
10:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Ray Pillow; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Walker
11:30: Jack Greene (host); The Four Guys; Johnny Russell; Johnny Tillotson

It was an interesting night at the Grand Ole Opry 50 years ago, as on Saturday September 20, 1969, Bobby Bare rejoined the Grand Ole Opry. Bobby originally joined the cast in the early 1960s, then left. He came back in 1969 and stayed until 1974 when he left again. Bobby then had his Opry membership reinstated in 2018.

Here is the running order from that night 50 years ago, Saturday September 20, 1969 when Bobby rejoined the Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Jack Greene (host); Your Love Takes Care of Me
Stringbean: Mountain Dew
Jack Greene: The Key that Fits Her Door
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans

6:45: Rudy's
Osborne Brothers (host): Tennessee Hound Dog
The Four Guys: Games People Play
Doug Kershaw: Diggy Liggy Lo
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top

7:00: Luzianne
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Stu Phillips: Little Tin God
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Jean Shepard: Seven Lonely Days
Del Wood: Pony Boy
Willis Brothers: Buying Popcorn
Stu Phillips: The Wild Side of Life
Jean Shepard: I Thought of You/It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

7:30: Standard Candy
George Morgan (host): Like a Bird
Skeeter Davis: Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Grandpa Jones: Are You From Dixie
George Morgan: You Gave Me a Mountain
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Grandpa Jones: Give My Love to Nell

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Shady Grove
Jim Ed Brown: Free Born Man
Bobby Bare: Margie's at the Lincoln Park Inn
Victor Jordan: Home Sweet Home
Lester Flatt: Folsom Prison Blues
Jim Ed Brown: The Three Bells
Bobby Bare: Detroit City
Lester Flatt: Ballad of Jed Clampett

8:30: Stephens
Ernest Tubb (host): Two Glasses Joe
Marion Worth: Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Earl Scruggs: Shuckin' the Corn
Jim and Jesse: I'm Hoping that You're Hoping
Ernest Tubb: Dear Judge
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Gray Eagle
Marion Worth: Don't Worry
Randy and Gary Scruggs: If I Were a Carpenter
Billy Parker: Sing Me a Sad Song

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Jack Greene (host): Walking on New Grass
Willis Brothers: Alcohol & #2 Diesel Don't Mix
Osborne Brothers: Tennessee Hound Dog
Del Wood: Ballin' the Jack
Jack Greene: The Key that Fits Her Door
Willis Brothers: Bob
Osborne Brothers: Making Plans
Jack Greene: Statue of a Fool

10:00: Fender
Stu Phillips (host): Little Tin God
The Four Guys: Put a Little Love in Your Heart
Marion Worth: You Ain't Women Enough
Stu Phillips: Crystal Chandeliers

10:15: Pure
George Morgan (host): Candy Kisses
Jean Shepard: A Real Good Woman
Stringbean: Lonesome Road Blues
George Morgan: Really Don't Want to Know

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Little Maggie
Grandpa Jones: Banjo Sam
Skeeter Davis: Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
Lester Flatt: Before I Met You

10:45: Kent
Ernest Tubb (host): In the Jailhouse Now
Earl Scruggs: Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Ernest Tubb: Just a Drink Away

11:00: Coca-Cola
Archie Campbell (host): Scarlet Ribbons
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Dance all Night
Archie Campbell: The Cockfight
Bobby Bare: Margie's at the Lincoln Park Inn
Sam McGee: Faded Love

11:30: Lava
Jim Ed Brown (host): Looking Back to See
Doug Kershaw: Louisiana Man
Jim and Jesse: When I Stop Dreaming
Jim Ed Brown: Love of the Common People
Doug Kershaw: Battle of New Orleans
Jim and Jesse: Johnny B Goode
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter/The Three Bells/Pop a Top

I have heard that Bobby Bare has been feeling better lately and hopefully he continues to improve.

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

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Ken Burns Documentary "Country Music"

Finally, after years of research and interviews, "Country Music" the documentary produced and directed by noted filmmaker Ken Burns premiers tonight on PBS.

In the eight-part, 16 hour documentary, Emmy-award winning Burns examines country music through the decades from its hillbilly roots in Scotch-Irish ballads, hymns and blues to mainstream acceptance, perennial debates about what is or isn’t “authentic,” and today’s vast popularity and big business."

“Country music had always been sort-of on that big huge list of 1,000 things that you wanted to do,” said Burns, 66. “It’s phenomenally great music, about people who felt their stories weren’t being told. I think that’s utterly American.”

Since the beginning, country music has been a product of a hodgepodge of influences, from gospel to minstrel music and even rock and roll, that have come to reflect what Americans are going through and what they dream of. By listening to the stories of the genre’s pioneering musicians themselves, we take a journey from the 1920s to today, passing along historical moments like Gene Autry sparking a fever for the singing cowboy, Elvis — who started with ties to country music — giving girls an actual fever with his dance moves and music, and even Loretta Lynn being an accidental feminist as she sang about birth control in “The Pill.”

Like the history of this country itself, tradition and innovation collide throughout the genre’s history as country music is loved, fought and argued over by those who want to move it into the future and those who want it to stay the same.

Episodes, Dates and Times:

“The Rub” (Beginnings – 1933) – Sun., Sept. 15 at 8 p.m.

It’s the 1920s and ‘30s, radio and phonographs reign supreme, providing a new avenue for so-called “hillbilly music,” which originated in rural America, to reach new ears. Audiences can imagine turning on the radio and listening to country music greats like the Carter Family singing about keeping on the sunny side and Jimmie Rodgers — master of the blue yodel — whose careers were launched in those days.

“Hard Times” (1933 – 1945) – Mon., Sept. 16 at 8 p.m.

Country music’s uncanny ability to provide comfort to people during hard times develops during the Great Depression and World War II. Texas Swing, the Grand Ole Opry’s “King of Country Music” Roy Acuff and Gene Autry as a singing cowboy provide a much-needed distraction for their struggling audiences, whose record purchases help boost Nashville’s transformation into becoming the beating heart of the country music industry.

“The Hillbilly Shakespeare” (1945 – 1953) – Tues., Sept. 17 at 8 p.m.

After the war, bluegrass proliferated, and Hank Williams found widespread success with his deeply emotional song lyrics, which stemmed from his troubled life. He said he wasn’t responsible for writing hits like “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” because God himself deserved that writing credit, as he said, “I just hang on to the pen and God sends them through.” Legend also has it that even though he couldn’t read or write musical notes, he wrote “Hey Good Lookin’” in 15 minutes.

“I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1953 – 1963) – Wed., Sept. 18 at 8 p.m.

Marked by the birth of several iconic country stars, this period, which gave us Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley singing rockabilly, Ray Charles’ country record and Patsy Cline’s slick new Nashville Sound, epitomized by her runaway hit “Crazy” — which Willie Nelson, who wrote it, originally titled “Stupid” — would become the stuff of musical legend.

“The Sons and Daughters of America” (1964 – 1968) – Sun., Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.

The sixties were a time of change in the U.S. As Loretta Lynn unconsciously became a feminist with “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” and “The Pill,” audiences decided to set race aside and accept Charley Pride’s undeniable talent. In California, Merle Haggard, a devil-may-care young criminal at San Quentin State Prison, who in his freshman year of high school attended school a grand total of 10 days, was lucky enough to see Johnny Cash perform at the prison. Inspired by Cash, Haggard became “The Poet of the Common Man.”

“Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” (1968 – 1972)– Mon., Sept. 23 at 8 p.m.

Artists like Bob Dylan and the Byrds may not be associated with country music, but in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, like authentic country stars, they recorded in Nashville. Meanwhile, in aftermath of the Vietnam War, former Army captain and helicopter pilot turned songwriter, Kris Kristofferson, broke country music’s lyrical mold.

“Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” (1973 – 1983) – Tue., Sept. 24 at 8 p.m.

Singing along to the music of this time is almost inevitable. Dolly Parton wrote “I Will Always Love You” — which Whitney Huston gave new life to in 1992 — for a man who was reluctant to let her go. The song would rocket her to stardom in the country world and beyond. Meanwhile, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings were up to no good, to the delight of country music fans, launching the “Outlaw” movement, and all the amazing music that came along. Hank Williams, Jr. and Rosanne Cash also found success in this time, honoring the legacy of their country music royalty parentage.

“Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’” (1984 – 1996)– Wed., Sept. 25 at 8 p.m.

In the middle of radical change in the genre, “New Traditionalists” George Strait, Randy Travis and the Judds fight to keep country music true to its origins. Country phenomenon Garth Brooks finds widespread success, which yields him enough fans for a record-breaking autograph signing session that lasted more than 20 hours. A mature Johnny Cash looks on at the industry he had a large role in creating.

I know many of us will be watching and learning, and also paying attention to how much of the history Ken Burns covers, and how much of it he got right.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 9/13 & 9/14

The Grand Ole Opry has released the schedule for the two shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry.

Grand Ole Opry members Jeannie Seely and Bill Anderson will be appearing both night, joined on Friday by Bobby Osborne, Riders In The Sky, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. On Saturday night, the duo will be joined by Jesse McReynolds, Connie Smith and Mark Wills.

Exile will be guesting both nights, joined on Friday by Smithfield, Mason Ramsey, Suzy Bogguss, who would be on my short list of females who I think would make great Opry members, and in what I would call an "out of the box" artist, Yola, who will make making her Opry debut.

As mentioned, Exile is also scheduled to appear on Saturday night, where the group will be joined by Anna Vaus, Levi Hummon, Chris Shiflett, Paul Cauthen, and Ruston Kelly, who is the husband of Kacey Musgraves.

Friday September 13
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Smithfield; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Yola; Exile
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Mason Ramsey; Suzy Bogguss
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites

Saturday September 14
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Anna Vaus; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Levi Hummon; Chris Shiflett
8:15: Connie Smith; Ruston Kelly; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Mark Wills (host); Paul Cauthen; Exile

As mentioned Yola will be making her Opry debut this weekend.

Yola’s debut album Walk Through Fire, produced by Dan Auerbach, is a genre-bending release from one of the most powerful emerging British voices in music today. The singer/ songwriter first came to the attention of Auerbach (The Black Keys) after a chain of people, starting with her manager, forwarded a video of her performing in Nashville that eventually found itself in Auerbach’s inbox. Tastemaker media also saw promise in Yola’s early recordings and live performances in Nashville–NPR, Rolling Stone Country, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and Stereogum all praised Yola, comparing her to a diverse range of artists from the Staples Singers to Dolly Parton.

After watching the video, Auerbach set up a call and they connected quickly. Auerbach says “The moment I met Yola I was impressed. Her spirit fills the room, just like her voice...she has the ability to sing in a full roar or barely a whisper and that is a true gift. She made everyone in the studio an instant believer.”

“We knew we loved the Everlys,” Yola says. “Soul, Americana, singer/songwriters. When Dan and I talked we thought we’d explore what we loved, really go there.”

Auerbach assembled a writing team that included Yola, longtime John Prine collaborator Pat McLaughlin, and the legendary Dan Penn (“Dark End of the Street,” “Cry Like A Baby,” “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man,”), among others, to write together over five days in Auerbach’s Nashville studio. There was a fluidity to their collaboration, with loose boundaries that gave the assembled musicians a wide canvas.

For a girl raised on the coast of Southwest England, where she did not fit in and life was hard, finding herself in the easy camaraderie of Dan Auerbach’s studio was the realization of a childhood dream. Yola’s mother’s choice to raise her daughter in a small town outside of Bristol, where she could play outside, meant that Yola was “other” from the start. Between the isolation of being the only black family around, the family’s poverty, and a turbulent home life, Yola needed refuge, which she found in her mother’s record collection; among the albums she clung to was Aretha Franklin’s 1972 album, Young, Gifted & Black.

Inspired by those records, at age four she told her mother, “‘I’m going to write songs and sing’. I don’t know how I knew that, but I did. Even then.”

She later discovered Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Band’s Music from Big Pink as well as The Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo. These iconic records shaped her writing and helped her find her own unique voice—equal parts Mississippi mud, honeyed sunshine, and midnight musk.

To record her album Walk Through Fire, Auerbach assembled some of the most iconic session musicians performing today: bassist Dave Rowe (Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, Chrissie Hynde), keyboardist Bobby Wood (Elvis, Wilson Pickett, George Jones), drummer Gene Chrisman (Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Johnny Bush), steel player Russ Pahl (Don Williams, Leon Russell, Nikki Lane), and guitarist Billy Sanford (Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette). Guests also joined, including Vince Gill (whose tangled counter vocal is heard on “Keep Me Here”) and bluegrass icons Ronnie McCoury, Molly Tuttle, Stuart Duncan, and Charlie McCoy.

Reflecting on the recording experience Yola says, “Here in Nashville, people have such high levels of experience, you let them be free and create.”

Yola concludes, in what could be a mission statement for her life, “To be vulnerable is terrifying but to walk through fire with a smile on your face is about as liberating as anything can be. In some ways, I was reborn in that fire.”

I am not sure if Ruston Kelly has appeared on the Opry previously with Kacey Musgraves, but regardless, here is a little information on Ruston.

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Ruston Kelly is in the midst of a landmark year following the release of his full-length debut album, Dying Star, out now on Rounder Records. With a storytelling sensibility that constantly shifts from candid to poetic, Kelly details his experience with addiction, which included time in rehab and an overdose in early 2016.

Rooted in a delicately sculpted sound that shows every nuance of his vocal delivery, Dying Star captures all the chaos and heartbreak on the way to finding redemption. The album landed on several "Best of 2018" lists including Rolling Stone, Paste, UPROXX, American Songwriter and NPR Music, who praises, “Kelly digs down deep on Dying Star to fearlessly put forth a set of songs steeped in emotional twists, turns, and complications…This here is powerful stuff." Additionally, Kelly's song "Mockingbird" was recently nominated for Song of the Year at the 2019 Americana Music Association Honors & Awards. He'll continue to tour extensively throughout 2019 with an extensive headline run this fall as well as several festival performances including Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza, John Prine's "All The Best Fest" and more. Ruston Kelly’s Brightly Burst Tour begins this Fall starting in September.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the second weekend in September 2009:

Friday September 11
7:00: Steve Wariner (host); Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Stonewall Jackson; Joe Diffie
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Pam Tillis
8:30: Marty Stuart (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jim Ed Brown; Connie Smith

Saturday September 12
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Infamous Stringdusters
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jack Greene; Jean Shepard
8:00: Mike Snider (host); Jan Howard; The Carter Twins; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Pam Tillis

Notice anything special about the Friday Night Opry? If your guess was that the show was made up of only members of the Grand Ole Opry, you are correct. I mention it because very rarely do we see that any longer.

Now from 25 years ago, Saturday September 10, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
6:45: Jeanne Pruett (host); Bill Carlisle
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Brother Oswald; Justin Tubb; The Four Guys; Ray Pillow
7:30: Jack Greene (host); Jimmie Davis; Jean Shepard; Mark Collie
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Charlie Walker; Nashville Bluegrass Band; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; Jeannie Seely; Billy Walker; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Walker; Mark Collie
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Roy Drusky
10:15: Jimmy C Newman (host); Ray Pillow
10:30: Bill Anderson (host)l Jeanne Pruett
10:45: Jack Greene (host); Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The Four Guys; Charlie Louvin; Nashville Bluegrass Band
11:30: Billy Walker (host); The Whites; Mike Snider

Looking at the Grand Ole Opry line-up from 50 years ago, Saturday September 13, 1969, it was the night that the Earl Scruggs Revue made their debut as members of the Grand Ole Opry.

After breaking up with Lester Flatt in early 1969, Earl Scruggs put together his own, more progressive group, The Earl Scruggs Review. The group consisted of two of his sons, Randy (guitar) and Gary (bass) and later Vassar Clements (fiddle), Josh Graves (Dobro) and Scruggs' youngest son, Steve (drums).

The Earl Scruggs Revue gained popularity on college campuses, live shows and festivals and appeared on the bill with acts like Steppenwolf, The Byrds and James Taylor. They recorded for Columbia Records and made frequent network television appearances though the 1970s. Their album I Saw the Light with a Little Help from my Friends featured Linda Ronstadt, Arlo Guthrie, Tracy Nelson, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. This collaboration sparked enthusiasm by the latter to make the album Will the Circle be Unbroken. Earl and Louise Scruggs made phone calls to eminent country stars like Roy Acuff and "Mother" Maybelle Carter to get them to participate in this project to bring a unique combination of older players with young ones. Bill Monroe refused to participate saying he had to remain true to the style he pioneered, and this "is not bluegrass." The album became a classic, and was selected for the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of works of unusual merit.

Earl had to retire from the road in 1980 due to back problems, but the Earl Scruggs Revue did not part ways until 1982. Despite the group's commercial success, they were never embraced by bluegrass or country music purists.

The Earl Scruggs Revue was only at the Opry for several years before moving on, with Earl giving up his Opry membership. Earl would continue to collaborate with other country and bluegrass artists for the remainder of his life and would make guest appearances on the Opry. There was also a report that Earl expressed a desire to rejoin the Opry later in his life, however that request was denied.

Here is the running order from 50 years ago, Saturday September 13, 1969, the night that the Earl Scruggs Revue made their Opry debut:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
George Hamilton IV (host): Canadian Pacific
The Four Guys: My Special Angel
Leona Williams: Once More
George Hamilton IV: Break My Mind

6:45: Rudy's
Stu Phillips (host): That's A Chance I'll Have to Take
Liz Anderson: Mama Spank
Bobby Lewis: 'Til Something Better Comes Along
Stu Phillips: Little Tin God

7:00: Luzianne
Billy Walker (host): Better Homes & Gardens
Skeeter and Vic Willis: Buying Popcorn
Stringbean: Little Pink
Diana Trask: Children
Billy Walker: You Gave Me a Mountain
Skeeter Willis: A Maiden's Prayer
Diana Trask: There Goes My Everything

7:30: Standard Candy
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Ray Pillow: You Don't Care What Happens to Me
Martha Carson: Swing Down, Chariot
Crook Brothers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Billy Grammer: Peace on Earth Begins Today
Johnny Carver: Sweet Wine
Ray Pillow: Working Man's Blues
Martha Carson: Let the Light Shine on Me

8:00: Martha White
Charlie Walker (host): Truck Driving Man
Ernie Ashworth: My Love for You
Lonzo and Oscar: Rocky Top
Merle Kilgore: Folsom Prison Blues
Charlie Walker: Moffitt; Oklahoma
Ernie Ashworth: Love, I Finally Found It
Lonzo and Oscar: Hertz, Rent A Chick
Merle Kilgore: Wolverton Mountain
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down

8:30: Stephens
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Earl Scruggs Revue: Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Linda Martel: All I Have to Offer You is Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Old Hen Cackle
Roy Acuff: Branded Wherever I Go
Randy Scruggs: If I Were A Carpenter
Linda Martel: Color Him Father

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
George Hamilton IV (host): Early Morning Rain
Willis Brothers: Buying Popcorn
The Four Guys: Love of the Common People
Liz Anderson: Excedrin Headache #99
George Hamilton IV: Urge for Going
Willis Brothers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
The Four Guys: The Games People Play
Liz Anderson: If the Creeks Don't Rise
George Hamilton IV: Abilene

10:00: Fender
Billy Walker (host): Things
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Bobby Lewis: Love Me & Make it All Better
Billy Walker: Cattle Call

10:15: Pure
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Earl Scruggs Revue: Reuben
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:30: Trailblazer
Stu Phillips (host): Do What 'Cha Do Do Well
Leona Williams: Once More
Merle Kilgore: Ring of Fire
Stu Phillips: Little Tin God

10:45: Kent
Ray Pillow (host): Wonderful Day
Diana Trask: Children
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Ray Pillow: Take Your Hands off My Heavy Heart

11:00: Coca Cola
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Ernie Ashworth: A New Heart
Martha Carson: This Old House
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Billy Grammer: Jesus Is A Soul Man
Ernie Ashworth: You Can't Pick a Rose in December
Martha Carson: Shout & Shine
Kirk McGee: Milk Cow Blues

11:30: Lava
Charlie Walker (host): San Antonio Rose
Lonzo and Oscar: Lonesome Road Blues
Linda Martel: All I Have to Offer You is Me
Johnny Carver: Proud Mary
Charlie Walker: Jambalaya
Lonzo and Oscar: Making Plans
Linda Martel: Color Him Father
Johnny Carver: That's Your Hang Up, Baby

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

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Mid-Week Opry Shows 9/10; 9/11; & 9/12

Here are the upcoming mid-week Opry Show:

Tuesday Night Opry September 10
7:00: Connie Smith; Charlie Worsham
7:30: Jade Bird; Parmalee
8:15: Dailey & Vincent; Henry Cho
8:45: Easton Corbin; Lee Greenwood

Wednesday Night Opry September 11
7:00: Jeannie Seely; Joshua Hedley
7:30: Rory Feek and Paul Overstreet; Russell Dickerson
8:15: Lindsay Ell; Del McCoury Band
8:45: Dustin Lynch

Opry Country Classics Thursday September 12
Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Oak Ridge Boys
Also Appearing: Gatlin Brothers; William Michael Morgan; Mason Ramsey

I know there were some comments made when Dustin Lynch joined the Opry's cast and how committed he would be to the Opry. His Wednesday night appearance will be his 9th of the year so I think it is safe to say that he will have honored his commitment to the Opry by the end of the year.

And nice to see Rory Feek on the Opry, along with Paul Overstreet.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 9/6 & 9/7

With Crystal Gayle being ill and being forced to cancel her Opry appearances for this weekend, it kind of threw a wrench into the line-ups for this weekend. When all was said and done, it ended with some decent line-ups for this weekend.

The Whites and Connie Smith are the only two Grand Ole Opry members who will be appearing both nights. Joining The Whites and Connie on the Friday Night Opry will be members Bobby Osborne and Bill Anderson. Joining the duo on Saturday night will be Dailey & Vincent, Jesse McReynolds and Ricky Skaggs. Tough to see only four Opry members on Friday and five on Saturday.

A couple of guest artists will be appearing on both nights and Clare Bowen and Williams & Rae are set to appear. The legendary Gene Watson is set for Friday along with veteran artist John Berry. They will be joined by Adam Hambrick, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, and making their Opry debut, Seaforth.

On Saturday night, in addition to Clare and Williams & Rae, Travis Denning is on the scheduled, along with Sylvia and making his Opry debut, CJ Solar.

Friday September 6
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Adam Hambrick; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: The Whites (host); Clare Bowen; Gene Watson
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Seaforth; Williams & Rae; Darin & Brooke Aldridge; John Berry

Saturday September 7
7:00: Dailey & Vincent (host); Travis Denning; Sylvia
7:30: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Clare Bowen
8:15: Connie Smith (host); CJ Solar; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Williams & Rae

A little slim on Saturday night.

As mentioned, Seaforth and CJ Solar will be making their Grand Ole Opry debuts this weekend.

Seaforth — the country-pop duo featuring songwriters Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson — is proof that there's strength in numbers.

Years before their hook-heavy music brought them halfway across the world, Jordan and Thompson grew up in the same Sydney, Australia suburb. They were childhood friends, crossing paths for the first time at three years old and sharing a number of experiences, from soccer games to high-school classes, during the years that followed. Somewhere along the way, they found themselves drawn to similar music, too, listening to modern songwriters like Keith Urban one minute and old-school acts like the Beatles the next.

That Sydney suburb was called Seaforth. It was an inspiring hometown — warm, sunny, and located right on the harbor — and it gave the boys a place to cut their teeth as artists.

Years later, Jordan and Thompson both found themselves in Nashville, having traveled to Tennessee for a songwriting trip together. There, in the same city that helped transform one of their heroes, Keith Urban, from Australia's best-kept secret into a global phenomenon, they decided to officially team up and form a collaborative project that highlighted their genre-jumping songwriting chops, elastic voices, and layered harmonies. Now an official duo, they aspired to permanently relocate to Nashville…but not before nodding to their shared roots by naming the band Seaforth.

CJ Solar has seen many dreams come true since he started writing, recording and touring, but few dreams compare to the call he received from the Grand Ole Opry inviting him to make his debut appearance on the hallowed stage. The MusicRow “Independent Artist of the Year” will perform in the famous circle for the first time.

“It’s been a dream of mine to stand on the circle, since I attended my first Opry performance with my parents on a trip to Nashville when I was 12 . . . it inspired me to move to Nashville and want to make Country music,” said CJ. “Always said this was the biggest bucket list moment for me in Nashville, and I can’t believe it’s happening!!”

CJ was in seventh grade during that family trip to Music City. The visit included many of the traditional Nashville destinations, but the Opry was highest on everyone’s list. Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton performed on the show that night, and CJ distinctly remembers making a quality decision to follow in their footsteps.

Ironically, CJ interned for and was later signed as a staff writer at Sea Gayle Music, a Nashville music publishing company co-owned by Brad Paisley. CJ co-wrote every song on his Get Away With It and Hard One To Turn Down EPs and his upcoming EP, and he celebrated his first #1 Country single as a songwriter with Morgan Wallen’s “Up Down” featuring Florida Georgia Line.

Last week, fans received news of the release of CJ’s new single, “Coming My Way,” to Country radio on August 27, 2019. The single will be the title track to his upcoming third EP.

Congratulations to both Seaforth and CJ Solar as they have made their way to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of September 4 & 5, 2009:

Friday September 4
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Luke Bryan
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Andy Griggs
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mark Wills
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Stu Phillips; Jack Greene; The Whites

Saturday September 5
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Emily West
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Blaine Larsen
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Johnny Counterfit; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Blaine Larsen
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Legacy Five
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Charlie Louvin; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Emily West; Connie Smith

From the 1st weekend in September 25 years ago, Saturday September 3, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Brother Oswald
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Bill Carlisle
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jeanne Pruett; Hank Locklin; Wilma Lee Cooper
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Connie Smith; Speer Family
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Four Guys; Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Louvin; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Skeeter Davis; Charlie Walker; Mike Snider; Monty Grover

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Louvin; Jeannie Pruett; Jimmy C Newman; Colleen Walters
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Hank Locklin
10:15: Jimmy Dickens (host); Ray Pillow
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Roy Drusky
10:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Skeeter Davis; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Connie Smith; The Four Guys
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Carolee Singers; Charlie Walker

And from 50 years ago, Saturday September 6, 1969:

1st show
6:30: Willis Brothers (host); Del Wood
6:45: Ray Pillow (host); Bill Carlisle
7:00: Roy Acuff (host); Charlie Louvin; Johnny Darrell; Linda Martel
7:30: Stonewall Jackson (host); Ernie Ashworth; Margie Bowes; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers; Don Winters
8:00: Billy Grammer (host); Martha Carson; Compton Brothers; Jimmy C Newman
8:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Dottie West; Stu Phillips; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Billy Parker

2nd show
9:30: Ray Pillow (host); Willis Brothers; Dottie West; Del Wood
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Charlie Louvin; Penny DeHaven
10:15: Stonewall Jackson (host); Johnny Darrell; Compton Brothers
10:30: Billy Grammer (host); Ernie Ashworth; Linda Martel
10:45: Ernest Tubb (host); Margie Bowes; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Martha Carson; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Walter Propst; Sam and Kirk McGee
11:30: Stu Phillips (host); Melba Montgomery; Don Winters; Joe Edwards

Everytime I see Martha Carson's name on the schedule I smile because when she wanted to come back from her leave of absence, the Opry management said there was no room for her, and she wrote that she never came back. Yet, as the line-ups indicate, she made numerous guest appearances on the Opry. But she was never reinstated as a member.

Looking at past line-ups, and continuing with 1974, the year that the new Grand Ole Opry House opened, let's go back to the line-up from 45 years ago, Saturday September 7, 1974:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Jimmy Dickens: Lonesome Road Blues/I'd Rather Sleep in Peace
Stonewall Jackson: Waterloo

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Leona Williams: Yes, Ma'am (He Found Me in A Honky Tonk)
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special
Billy Grammer: How Great Thou Art

7:00: Rudy's
Roy Acuff (host): Cottonfields/Night Train to Memphis
The Four Guys: Maria
Jerry Clower: She Coon of Women's Lib
Roy Acuff: Carry Me Back to the Mountains
The Four Guys: Catfish John
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

7:30: Standard Candy
Willis Brothers (host): Truck Stop
Connie Smith: I Never Knew What That Song Meant Before
Ray Pillow: She's Doing it to Me Again
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Mississippi Sawyer
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Ray Pillow: Countryfried
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres

8:00: Martha White
George Jones (host) and Tammy Wynette: We Loved it Away
Tammy Wynette: Woman to Woman
Patsy Sledd: Chip; Chip
Harold Morrison: Ole Slewfoot
George Jones: The Grand Tour
Tammy Wynette: Take Me to Your World
The Jones Boys: Old Joe Clark
Tina Jones: Delta Dawn
George Jones and Tammy Wynette: The Jet Set

8:30: Stephens
Stu Phillips (host): If You Love Me; Let Me Know
Karen Wheeler: Listen, Spot
Ernie Ashworth: Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Karen Wheeler: What Can I Do
Ernie Ashworth: Heartbreak Avenue

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Willis Brothers: There Goes the Farm
Connie Smith: Dallas
Stonewall Jackson: Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Connie Smith: Down in the Valley
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walking/Waterloo

10:00: Fender
George Jones (host) with Tammy Wynette: We're Gonna Hold On
Tammy Wynette: I Don't Wanna Play House
George Jones: White Lightening
George Jones and Tammy Wynette: Take Me
Faron Young: Wine Me Up/Hello Walls

10:15: Union 76
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Billy Grammer, Jr.: Orange Blossom Special
Billy Grammer: The Old Rugged Cross

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
The Four Guys: Let Me Be There
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird/I Saw the Light

10:45: Beech-Nut
Jerry Clower (host): A New Bull
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Lost Indian
Jerry Clower: The New Fed

11:00: Coca-Cola
Ray Pillow (host): Countryfried
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
Leona Williams: Pass Me By
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Goodin
Jimmy Dickens: We Could
Sam McGee: San Antonio Rose
Ray Pillow: Excuse Me/Slippin' Around

11:30: Elm Hill
Stu Phillips (host): Catfish John
Karen Wheeler: What Can I Do
Ronnie Robbins: If You Love Me, Let Me Know/Baby, Let the Music Play
Karen Wheeler: Listen, Spot
Stu Phillips: Why Me Lord

A couple of items from that night: Porter Wagoner and Marion Worth both cancelled, while Faron Young was surprised, unannounced appearance on the 2nd show. Jimmy Dickens, who was on both shows that night, was a guest as he did not rejoin the Opry until the following year.

Finally, on the first show, the George Jones portion was basically an abbreviated version of his road show.

To finish it up, and going way back, here is the running order from 72 years ago, Saturday September 6, 1947:

8:00: Purina
Oklahoma Wranglers: Cindy
Hank Penny: To be selected
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Marie and Clyde: Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar
Hank Penny: To be selected
Jamup and Honey: Jokes
Bill Monroe: Little Community Church
Lonzo and Oscar: Take Those Cold Feet Out of My Back
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Oklahoma Wranglers: I Still Do

8:30: Warren Paint & Color Co.
Lew Childre: Riding on the Elevated
Paul Howard: Breakin' It Off Too Far
Milton Estes: To be selected
Clyde Moody: I Worship You
Johnny and Jack: Don't Monkey Around My Widow When I Am Gone
Possum Hunters: Pull Off Your Overcoat
Jimmy Selph: That's Why I Worry
Lew Childre: Liza Up Summon Tree

9:00: Royal Crown
Golden West Cowboys: Keep Those Icy Fingers Off of Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Old Joe Clark
Roy Acuff: Leaf of Love
Bradley Kincaid: Red Light Ahead
Oswald: Late Last Night My Willie Came Home
Cowboy Copas: If I Bring Home the Bacon
York Brothers: New Mississippi Blues
Roy Acuff: This World Is Not My Home
Golden West Cowboys: Southland Polka
Chaser: Spanish Twostep

9:30: Prince Albert
Red Foley: Rocking Chair Money
Old Timers: Oh Monah
Jimmy Wakely: Somebody's Rose
Rod Brasfield: Jokes
Red Foley: What Are You Gonna Do
Jimmy Wakely: You Can't Break the Chains of Love
Minnie Pearl: Jokes
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Clyde
Fowler Quartet: I'm on My Way to Cannon's Land
Red Foley: Chained to a Memory
Square Dance: Arkansas Traveler

10:00: Wall Rite
Bill Monroe: Blue Brass Special
Quartet: Shining Path
Marie and Clyde: One Little Too Late
Lester: Honey Suckle Rose
Bill and Lester: Mother's Only Sleeping

10:15: Weather House
Roy Acuff: The Longest Train
Jimmy Riddle: Dark Town Strutters Ball
Jug Band: Detour
Roy Acuff: I Dreamed I Searched Heaven for You
Poem: Roy

10:30: O'Bryan Brothers
Milton Estes: Sky Ball Paint
Clyde Moody: If I Had Me Life to Live Over
Bradley Kincaid: Lightening Express
Johnny and Jack: This World Can't Stand Long
Milton Estes: Foggy Mountain Top

10:45: Oven Magic
Oklahoma Wranglers: Cowboy Has to Sing
Wally Fowler: Let's Ride That Plane
Lew and String Beans: Working on a Building
Crook Brothers: Grieving My Heart Out for You
Oklahoma Wranglers: Grab Your Saddle Horn and Blow

11:00: Eddy Arnold Song Book
Bradley Kincaid: The First Whippoorwill
Lily Belle: Tears on My Pillow
Lonzo and Oscar: Old McDonald Had a Farm
Bradley Kincaid: Tow Little Shoes

11:15: Ernest Tubb Song Book
Clyde Moody: Shenandoah Waltz
Oklahoma Wranglers: Down Home Rag
Grandpa Jones: Get Things Ready for Me
Clyde Moody: If You Need Me I Will Be Around
Oklahoma Wranglers: Take Me Back to Tulsa

11:30: Mountain View Nursery
Golden West Cowboys: Three Strikes and You Are Out
Old Hickory Singers: When It Is Prayer Meeting Time in the Hollow
Gully Jumpers: Chinese Breakdown
York Brothers: If I Knew I'd Never Love You
Golden West Cowboys: Keep Those Icy Fingers Of of My Back

11:45: Artist Service
Paul Howard: Lazy Morning
Robert Lunn: New River Train
Sam and Kirk: Trouble in Mind Today
Fruit Jar Drinkers: I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover
Paul Howard: San Antone Rose

Looking at that show, there are some great song titles listed there, many of which you don't of anymore.

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

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Tuesday Night Opry 9/3; Wednesday Night Opry 9/4; Opry Country Classics 9/5

With September upon us, in addition to the Tuesday and Wednesday mid-week Opry shows, Opry Country Classics is back for the fall run of shows that will last for the next several months.

Tuesday September 3
7:00: Riders In The Sky; Kalie Shorr
7:30: Jeannie Seely; Steven Curtis Chapman
8:15: Jimmy Allen; Neal McCoy
8:45: Dusty Slay; Ricky Skaggs

Wednesday September 4
7:00: Connie Smith; Maggie Rose
7:30: Del McCoury Band; Marcus King
8:15: Sister Hazel; Jeff Allen
8:45: Ashley McBryde; Scotty McCreery

The noteworthy event for the Wednesday night show is the Opry debut of Marcus King.

Marcus King, who is noted as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, is the leader of the Marcus King Band.  Raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Marcus was brought up on the blues, playing shows as a pre-teen sideman with his father, the fellow bluesman Marvin King. The band includes drummer Jack Ryan, bassist Stephen Campbell, trumpet/trombone player Justin Johnson, sax player Dean Mitchell, and keyboard player, Simon Thomas George.

The Marcus King Band released their debut album, Soul Insight on October 30, 2015 on Warren Haynes' Evil Teen Records. Soul Insight reached No. 8 on the Billboard Blues Albums Chart.

The band's second full-length LP and first album for Fantasy Records, The Marcus King Band, was released on October 7, 2016. The album was produced by Haynes and recorded at Carriage House Studios in Stamford, Connecticut.[4] The Marcus King Band reached No. 2 on the Billboard Blues Albums Chart.

On August 22, 2018, it was announced the band would release their third full-length LP, Carolina Confessions, on October 5, 2018, via Fantasy Records. The album was recorded at RCA Studio A in Nashville, and produced and mixed by Dave Cobb. While not entering the Billboard 200, it was the band's first entry on the magazine's US Top Current Albums chart, peaking at No. 55, and was another No. 2 hit on the Blues chart for them. The album also reached No. 2 on the Heatseekers Albums chart.

As previously mentioned, Opry Country Classics is back for the fall run with the shows taking place at the Ryman Auditorium. For the show this week, Larry Gatlin will be the host and the spotlight artist is Crystal Gayle.

Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Crystal Gayle
Also Appearing: The Gatlin Brothers; Mandy Barnett; Don Schlitz; Mo Pitney

Some nice shows this week.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September Opry Historical Highlights

It is hard to believe that summer is just about over and it's time for football. For those of us in Ohio, that means The Ohio State Buckeyes are #1 in our eyes and will once again be contending for a national championship. It also means another year of frustration for the Cleveland Browns. For everyone else, I am sure each of you have your own local professional or college team that you will be following. While the seasons change, it is business as usual at the Grand Ole Opry and as I do each month, here are the important and historical events that have taken place during the month of September, either involving the Opry or Opry members.

September 15, 1903: The "King of Country Music" Roy Acuff was born in Maynardsville, Tennessee. Roy came to the Opry in 1938, and except for a brief period of time, would remain a part of the Opry until his death in 1992. I think it is safe to say that Roy has been the most influential member in the history of the Opry.

September 13, 1911: Bill Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass Music" was born in Rosine, Kentucky. Bill came to the Opry in October 1939 and never left.

September 17, 1923: Hank Williams was born, Really nothing else needs to be said. While his time at the Opry was relatively short, it was very eventful and historical in many ways.

September 26, 1925: One of the most popular members in the history of the Grand Ole Opry, Marty Robbins was born near Glendale, Arizona. Marty came to the Opry in 1953, and shortly after that first appearance, he became an Opry member. Marty, who made the 11:30 segment into his own personal concert, stayed with the Opry until his death in December 1982.

September 26, 1926: Jerry Clower was born near Liberty, Mississippi. This former fertilizer salesman joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1973, and was the last member to join the cast before the Opry moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House in March 1974. Jerry, who was a great comedian and story teller, passed away in 1998 following heart surgery.

September 1, 1931: Lecil Travis Martin, better known as "Boxcar Willie" was born in Sterratt, Texas. Boxcar made his debut on the Opry in 1980 at the age of 49. Roy Acuff loved him, and Boxcar became an Opry member the following year. One of the early performers who operated his own theater in Branson, Boxcar passed away in 1999.

September 12, 1931: The "Possum" George Jones was born in Saratoga, Texas. George originally came to the Opry in 1956, and throughout his career, he would come and go. He was still an Opry member when he passed away in 2013. Although his Opry appearances were few and far between, George was always proud of his Opry membership and it is noted in one of the displays at the George Jones Museum in downtown Nashville.

September 8, 1932: Probably the greatest female singer in the history of country music, Patsy Cline was born in Winchester, Virginia. Patsy joined the Opry in January 1960, simply by asking, as being an Opry member was one of her earliest dreams. Patsy, who influenced so many other females, passed away in March 1963 at the age of 30.

September 11, 1938: Country Music Hall of Fame members, The Delmore Brothers, made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry. One of the early members, this duo influenced many other brother acts that followed. While popular at the Opry, they left due to a disagreement with Opry founder George D. Hay.

September 5, 1945: Wally Fowler became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Wally was the founder of the Oak Ridge Quartet, who eventually became known as the Oak Ridge Boys. After Wally joined the Opry, he was frequently featured on the Prince Albert portion, where he would traditionally sing a gospel song. Later in life, Wally ran into some financial problems that led to him selling the rights to the Oak Ridge Quartet name. Wally passed away in 1994.

August 11, 1946: Grand Ole Opry member John Conlee was born. It might be just me, but I find it hard to believe that John will be 73 years ago.

September 18, 1947: The Grand Ole Opry brought a country music show for the first time to Carnegie Hall in New York city. Opry members featured on that first show included the headliners, Ernest Tubb and Minnie Pearl. The show as scheduled for a two night run and both nights were sold out. Here is how Ernest Tubb remembered those nights, "The radio and newspaper people ignored us the first night we were there, but we turned away six thousand people and the next night, every reporter was there." Billboard magazine reported that "such screaming and wild applause after each number hasn't been heard in town since Frank Sinatra brought out the bobbysoxers at the Paramount." The shows were so successful that country music, and the Opry, would make a return visit.

September 11, 1948: It would appear that this was the last night that Eddy Arnold appeared as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. At the time, Eddy was the Opry's biggest star and he left the Opry to headline his own CBS network radio show. Eddy would later do an interview with Ralph Emery in which he talked about leaving the Opry. "I thought I had done as much as I could do there. I had two network radio programs outside the Opry." On his final night as a member, Eddy finished his set and stood on the stage looking out over the Ryman Auditorium. He thanked Harry Stone, WSM, and the Opry fans, and then turned to walk away from the microphone. Harold Bradley, who backed Eddy on guitar that night, would say, "We went around the curtain and he and Minnie Pearl hugged and both of them cried like babies because he was leaving." Eddy also created some controversy because he was the first "star" to leave the Opry and not return. Irving Waugh of WSM said, "We hated to see Eddy leave. But, as I recall, it didn't make that much difference to the Opry. At that stage, people were lined up all the way around the block to get in. New people, including Hank Williams were coming all the time." By the way, after Eddy left the Opry, he never came back.

September 24, 1948: WSM began the Friday Night Frolics, later to be known as the Friday Night Opry. The show took place from Studio C at WSM, where it would remain until moving to the Ryman Auditorium in 1964. The show was created originally as a way to keep Eddy Arnold on WSM radio.

September 25, 1948: George Morgan became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was brought to the show specifically to replace the recently departed Eddy Arnold. George came to the Opry from the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree.

September 13, 1952: Webb Pierce made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Webb would become an Opry member a year later to help fill the void after Hank Williams was fired. Webb was an Opry member until February 1957, when he left after a dispute with management over booking fees and commissions that were being charged for road shows.

September 26, 1953: Skeeter Davis made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Skeeter would later become an Opry member, joining in 1959.

September 10, 1955: Justin Tubb became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This popular singer and songwriter was the youngest member of the cast when he joined. The son of Opry legend Ernest Tubb, Justin would remain an Opry member until his death in 1998 at the age of 62.

September 24, 1956: WSM radio fired Grand Ole Opry manager Jim Denny. Jim had started with WSM and the Opry back in the early days of the show and was involved behind the scenes in various capacities including being in charge of the Opry's concession business, where he saw for the first time how much money the Opry was making and how much more potential there was. Over time, he became not only the Opry's manager, but a powerful force at WSM and the Opry. In fact, too powerful for some. He was fired from the Opry because he refused to give up his ownership of Cedarwood Publishing Company, which the Opry viewed as a conflict of interest. Shortly after his death, Jim Denny would become one of the early members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

September 25, 1956: Following the firing of Jim Denny, Dee Kilpatrick was names the Grand Ole Opry's "general director," a new title. He was also named the manager of the WSM Artists' Service Bureau, which was the Opry's in-house booking agency. Dee, a former record company executive, said at the time, "They asked me what I thought was wrong. We'll, back when I was working with Mercury Records, I was at the Opry almost every Saturday night I was in town, and I could look at the audience and see what was wrong. The Opry didn't appeal to the younger audiences that you have to have if you're going to keep growing. All I could see were older people and little teeny kids. There weren't any teenagers." Kilpatrick would begin to add younger acts to the Opry's cast, including the Everly Brothers and Porter Wagoner. If nothing else, Dee recognized one of the Opry's biggest problems, which would continue on for many, many years.

September 29, 1956: Rose Maddox joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Rose did not stay at the Opry for very long, as several of the Opry's members, including Roy Acuff, did not care for her style or stage appearance.

September 6, 1958: Grand Ole Opry member Rod Brasfield made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Rod was remembered for his appearances on the Prince Albert portion of the Opry, along with fellow comedian Minnie Pearl.

September 13, 1958: Ben Smathers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers became members of the Grand Ole Opry. For most of their years, the Stoney Mountain Cloggers would rotate every other weekend as the featured square dancers, backing up groups such as the Crook Brothers and the Fruit Jar Drinkers. Ben Smathers passed away in 1990, and the Cloggers would remain a part of the Opry until 1993.

September 30, 1958: Grand Ole Opry member Marty Stuart was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Before beginning his solo career, Marty was a part of Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass and Johnny Cash's touring band. Marty joined the Opry in November 1992.

September 17, 1960: Loretta Lynn made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Loretta, who would go on to have one of the most amazing careers of any female in the history of country music, would become an Opry member several years later, in 1962.

September 16, 1961: Leroy Van Dyke made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Leroy would become an Opry member in October of 1962. He stayed as an Opry member for just a couple of years as he was let go from the show for failing to appear the required number of times. Since then, he has been back to guest on the Opry, including an appearance earlier this year. Approaching the age of 90, Leroy is still touring and sounding good.

September 25, 1962: Country Music Hall of Fame member, and legend, Loretta Lynn became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Loretta's 56th year as a member. Currently, Loretta has been recovering after suffering a stroke and then having hip surgery. However, she has a new album coming out and seems well on the road to recovery.

September 27, 1963: The National Life and Accident Insurance Company purchased the Ryman Auditorium from the city of Nashville for a reported $200,000. WSM, which operated the building, immediately changed the name of the building to the Grand Ole Opry House, even though everyone still called it the Ryman. By becoming the owners of the building. National Life was able to make some much needed repairs to the place to bring it up to code.

September 11, 1964: The Friday Night Frolics moved from WSM Studio C to the Ryman Auditorium, and renamed the Friday Night Opry.

September 18, 1965: While the Opry recognizes an August date as to when she became a member of the Grand Ole Opry,  this is the date that Connie first appeared on the Opry as a member.

September 16, 1967: Jeannie Seely became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jeannie was one of the first female artists to host a segment at the Opry on a regular basis. Now entering her 52nd year as an Opry member, Jeannie has become one of the most reliable regulars on the show.

September 19, 1968: Former Grand Ole Opry member Red Foley passed away in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Red came to the Opry in 1946 and stayed for a decade before moving on to Springfield, Missouri. While at the Opry, he was the host of the Prince Albert portion of the show. He passed away while on a tour.

September 13, 1969: Earl Scruggs made his first appearance as a solo member of the Grand Ole Opry. Earlier in the year, he and Lester Flatt ended their partnership, with each pursuing solo careers. On the Opry that night, Earl performed "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" with his sons Gary and Randy.

September 17, 1977: Reba McEntire made her first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Several years later, Reba would become an Opry member.

September 15, 1979: Stevie Wonder made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. He sang "Behind Closed Doors" in a duet with Skeeter Davis.

September 6, 1984: Ernest Tubb passed away in a Nashville hospital after a long illness. Ernest had been in declining health for a number of years and had last appeared on the Opry in August 1982. He joined the Opry in 1943 and in 1965 Ernest was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

September 9, 1989: Del Wood made her final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Del, who had joined the Opry in the early 1950s on the strength of her hit, "Down Yonder" passed away a month later at the age of 69 after suffering a stroke.

September 4, 1991: Grand Ole Opry member Dottie West passed away in a Nashville hospital as a result of injuries suffered in an earlier car accident. Dottie had been a part of the Opry's cast since 1964. She had a great career and influenced a number of female artists.

September 4, 1992: Former Grand Ole Opry member Carl Butler died in Franklin, Tennessee. Carl first appeared on the Opry in 1948 and along with his wife Pearl, joined the cast in 1962. Not only was Carl a great singer, but he was also known as a fine songwriter. Carl and Pearl did not say as Opry members for very long, and after leaving the Opry the couple continued to tour. After Pearl's death, Carl would occasionally appear on the Opry.

September 11, 1993: The Stoney Mountain Cloggers made their final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

September 29, 1993: Bob Whittaker became the general manager of the Grand Ole Opry, replacing Hal Durham who was promoted within the company. Bob would remain with the Opry until retiring in 1998.

September 6, 1996: Grand Ole Opry legend Hank Snow made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Hank was in declining health and made a low key decision to retire. Hank passed away in 1999, just two weeks short of his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

September 9, 1996: Grand Ole Opry, and bluegrass legend, Bill Monroe passed away, Bill had been in declining heath since suffering a stroke earlier in the year. Bill had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1939 and he brought the sound of bluegrass to the Opry stage.

September 20, 1997: During a guest appearance on the Opry, Johnny Paycheck was asked by Opry general manager Bob Whittaker if he would like to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Of course, Johnny said yes and was inducted later in the year.

September 12, 1998: President of the Grand Ole Opry Group Bob Whittaker announced his retirement. Bob had replaced Hal Durham as the Opry's general manager and later as Opry group president. Bob would eventually be replaced as the Opry's general manager by Pete Fisher, who took over the following June.

September 28, 2002: After an absence of 10 years, Tanya Tucker made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. She was joined on stage by the Jordanaires.

September 13, 2003: The United States Postal Service unveiled a stamp featuring Roy Acuff. The ceremony took place at the Grand Ole Opry House.

September 20, 2004: Grand Ole Opry member Skeeter Davis passed away in Nashville at the age of 72. Skeeter had battled cancer and other health related issues for a number of years. Skeeter was always known for her bright outfits and her big smile that brought a lot of joy to those watching her perform.

September 23, 2004: Just days after the death of Skeeter Davis, another long time Grand Ole Opry member passed away as Roy Drusky died after a battle with lung cancer. Roy joined the Opry in the late 1950s and was known for his smooth voice and great ballad songs.

September 8, 2007: Grand Ole Opry member Hank Locklin made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

September 29, 2007: During a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, Josh Turner was asked by Roy Clark if he would like to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Of course, Josh said yes and would join the cast a month later. Also, on the same night, Porter Wagoner made his final Saturday night appearance on the Opry.

September 28, 2010: The Grand Ole Opry House reopened after being renovated following the flood that stuck Nashville the previous May. Since the flood, the Opry had moved around to several different venues, with the majority of time spent at the Ryman Auditorium. On the reopening night, the final hour was televised by GAC and the segment opened with the cast coming out and singing "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." Brad Paisley and Jimmy Dickens led the way. Also during that night's show, Blake Shelton was asked by Trace Adkins to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

September 13, 2011: Grand Ole Opry legend Wilma Lee Cooper passed away. Wilma and her husband Stoney joined the Opry in 1957, coming to Nashville from the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree. After Stoney's death, Wilma Lee continued on as a solo member of the Opry. In February 2001, she suffered a stroke while performing on the show, which ended her performing career. She did return to the Opry stage in 2007 upon her 50th anniversary as an Opry member, and again in September 2010 upon the reopening of the Grand Ole Opry House.

September 13, 2011: George Jones made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. It was a show that celebrated George's 80th birthday and included Alan Jackson, Joe Diffie, Lee Ann Womack and the Oak Ridge Boys.

September 27, 2011: Rascal Flatts was invited to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. They were officially inducted in October during the Opry's 86th birthday weekend. This will be their 8th year as Opry members.

September 27, 2011: Johnny Wright passed away in Nashville. He was the husband of Kitty Wells and a former member of the Grand Ole Opry, performing as part of Johnny & Jack.

September 6, 2014: Long time Grand Ole Opry member George Hamilton IV appeared on the Opry for the final time. During his performance, he sang his big hit "Abilene." After a short illness, George passed away several weeks later, on September 17.

September 25, 2016: Grand Ole Opry legend, and Country Music Hall of Fame member Jean Shepard passed away. Jean last appeared on the Opry in November 2015, when she was honored on her 60th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, becoming the only female to have been an Opry member for that period of time.

September 8, 2017: Grand Ole Opry member Troy Gentry passed died as a result of a helicopter crash. Troy, who was half of the duo Montgomery Gentry, was 40. Along with Eddie Montgomery, the group joined the Opry on June 23, 2009. On the same day, former Grand Ole Opry member Don Williams passed away. Don had been a member in the 1970s, however he left the cast a few years after joining.

September 16, 2017: Grand Ole Opry member Jeannie Seely celebrated her 50th year as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Even after 50 years of membership, Jeannie can be found most Friday and Saturday nights hosting a segment of the Opry, as she remains a popular member of the Opry.

September 18, 2018: Dustin Lynch became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. While his membership was a surprise to many, if his first year is any indication, Dustin will be a good Opry member.