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.


  1. Yikes to those lineups this weekend.

    I noticed in an Opry email today they did an article with their archivist highlighting their work, especially in light of the Ken Burns documentary. I found it particularly interesting that the documentary ended up saving some photos from being lost to the 2010 Nashville flood as the Opry team had already digitized the photos before the flood destroyed the original. 1)I can only imagine how much history was lost for good as a result of that flood. 2) I knew the film was a multi-year project, but I had no idea it went back 10+ years.

  2. Pretty sad to see the lineup look like this. Actually sad and painful.

    However, by the numbers, it matches the number of artist I counted on the 2009 weekend or real close. The difference is that many of the artist were allowed or ask to do both nights. Even this weekend, The Whites, Connie and Bobby could have probably worked both nights and helped a little. And in 2009 many more were members. We all know that is what is making such a difference these day.

    If I had never been, paid as much as $90 to come, and this is what I paid for, I would probably think twice about coming back. We hooked you once though! I always thought as a business, you wanted repeat customers!

    I must say as Byron posted these old lineups, there were times in the past the lineups were weaker than I think of. Still, such as the 1974 show, there were more artist on that Saturday night than both this weekend and certainly more members.

    We do know that in the 80's and part of the 90's it was common to have two dozen acts on a show and sometimes four times a weekend.

    As I think about this in closing, the building of Opryland and the new house were kind of an impossible Utopia that at the time they and we all thought would last forever for the artist and fans. As Larry Gatlin would say, we all have to cross that Big River and once those who created the Utopia crossed over and business models changed, it has become hard to stay the course. I guess we are blessed it has lasted in as much of a recognizable state as it has all these years. Here's hoping it is still recognizable at 100!

    Knightsville, IN

  3. What is the Anniversary weekend looking like? Sure hope they can pull it off with a lot better than this weekend.

    1. So far they have Terri Clark, Lee Greenwood, Kathy Mattea, and Trace Adkins. Bob

  4. Sure can tell Sally Williams is no longer with the Opry.


  5. I guess we must realize the majority of the people attending the Opry now have a ABC's "Nashville" TV show perspective of the Opry. They probably do not know what to expect. They may walk away seeing six or eight artists and be totally happy.

    Those of us who have followed the Opry, as fans and historians, know what he was. Byron's past lineups prove they were packed full of artists, big and unknown, legendary and up and coming.

    I am not convinced they could not be the same again. There are artists I'm sure who would jump and the chance of playing the Opry. Most of them appear three of four times a year. Off the top of my head, names that come to mind--- Aaron Tippin, Tracy Bryd, Gene Watson, Kathy Mattea, Suzy Boggus, T. Graham Brown, Tracy Bryd, Sara Evans, The Grascals, Neal McCoy (ok those are the veterans), then you have Holly Williams, Elizabeth Cook, Scotty McCreery, Amber Digby, Teea Goens and other younger artists.

    The Opry is a as big as it will ever be from now on. No more weekly backstage "Family Reunions". The current membership will preform as they want to, and guests will hope for maybe one to three times a years. That's it. For fans, they'll pay "x" amount of money to go see "The Opry". For the most part it'll just a casual stop on their Nashville tour.

    In a nut shell the romanticism is gone. For us FayFare bloggers it will always remain.

  6. Vince Gill, Dierks Bentley, Steve Wariner, Marty Stuart, Trace Adkins, Martina McBride, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Little Big Town, Old Crow Medicine Show--to name a few, none of them is on tour. Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker begin separate European tours in about 10 days. Emmylou Harris is performing in Philadelphia tonight and her next show is in California Thursday night.

    I don't want to hear any of them claim how much the Opry means to them if they can't show up.

    1. Of those names mentioned by Mike, here are their 2019 Opry appearances:

      Old Crow Medicine Show: 15
      Vince Gill: 14
      Trace Adkins: 6
      Little Big Town: 4
      Marty Stuart: 3
      Darius Rucker: 3
      Martina McBride: 3
      Brad Paisley: 1
      Garth Brooks: 1
      Trisha Yearwood: 1
      Dierks Bentley: 1
      Emmylou Harris: 1

      Year to date, there have been 82 Friday and Saturday night Opry shows.

      How many of the above named mentioned do you think will be at the Opry in two weeks to help honor another Opry member who will be celebrating her 1st Opry performing appearance in 8 years? Just asking for a friend.

    2. I would happily delete Vince and Old Crow from the above list. The others, and especially Marty, should be ashamed of themselves.

  7. How does the "invitation to the weekly Opry" work these days - years ago, the secretary started at the beginning of the week calling the members and asking if they were available for Fri and/or Sat shows. Of course with the shortened number of slots now available and the trend to add "new" artists, I guess they don't have to call many members any more. What I am saying, are they even asking Vince, Dierks, Steve, Marty etc, or are they supposed to be calling and saying put me on.

  8. Coming off the Ken Burns series, which provided a thought provoking documentary, I guess I am still wondering what the future of country music might be in the next few years.

    Kind of an up an down week for me as the series left me optimistic and despite the sad individual stories of some artists, it still gave me hope. Last night went to see T. Graham Brown and Johnny Rodriguez in concert. T was 100% on and has such a strong voice. Johnny hustled to include all his hits. His first comment on stage was “ I am here to play country music” and that he did.
    Tonight I tuned in to the Opry and find it to be seriously lacking.
    It sure seems there are artists that could be available to perform. Not sure what it takes to get them there.
    Overall, a good country week.
    Can’t end without mentioning my sincere thanks to Byron for his dedication.

  9. I'm way behind most of you here on the Ken Burns series. I just got through the second show tonight. There will always be things you can question or pick at and I'm one of the best at that probably. So, I won't even go there with this series.

    What I see is something that a lot of people are paying attention to and for maybe the first time in a long time, or maybe ever, the people that most of us cherish as artist are getting some recognition for what they did for American music and culture. I think this second show really brought that home with the WWII era. It was haunting to here the entire recording of Elton Britt and A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere behind scenes from the war and discussion of how the music was exposed to folks beyond the south. Further, how the music reflected the pride and patriotism in America at the time.

    I have to think that there are supporters and viewers of PBS who probably watch everything they broadcast if they even have a passing interest. Think of the education they are getting if they have never liked or listened to much Country music. Just maybe they have a new found respect for that twangy hillbilly music that was something they thought to be laughed at like jokes on Hee Haw!

    Regardless of where the music goes or what the Opry chooses to program in the future, I couldn't help but think how proud I am of this music we love. And, how lucky my brother and I have been to have lived in a time when many of these people were still around to enjoy and even more lucky and thankful we met some and saw many in person.

    One thing left unsaid in the second show was to circle back on the spite that the Nashville elite had for the music that was mentioned earlier. After Roy Acuff came to town, NBC started carrying the Opry, Acuff Rose was formed and BMI was created, Nashville began to look at the hicks and their music different. I did not realize how early and how BMI came to be!

    Finally, I found the fact that when Gene Autry passed, he was among the top 400 richest people in America, and the only entertainer, to be pretty cool!

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Jim, today is the anniversary of his birth, and I thought of what Pat Buttram, his old sidekick, used to say: "Gene used to ride off into the sunset. Now he owns it."

  10. Michael, thanks, I wasn't on top of that, didn't realize this was his birthday. I like Roy Rogers but Gene always seemed to be just a nothch above in my book. Of course I am not old enough to remember the TV show from around '52 but I love watching them on the Western Channel when they used to show them. Gene, Pat and Gail Davis made a good team.

    Knightsville, IN

  11. Last rant for tonight ---- artists who perform the same songs on both shows on a 2 show evening do a disservice to radio listeners and those fans who care enough about the Opry to attend both shows that night. Opry management should encourage the performers to do different songs on each show to show respect for both audiences --- Dashmann, Flushing, Michigan