Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Grand Ole Opry 1/24 & 1/25

Isn't it fun trying to figure out who will be the next member of the Grand Ole Opry?

I say that because of the inconsistency in the selections. While Crystal Gayle and Gene Watson had to make hundreds of guest appearances over five decades before they got invited to join the cast, Dailey & Vincent were invited on their 100th appearance, while Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs received invites after appearing just a dozen or so times. Chris Janson literally begged to be asked to join the cast, and eventually was, while Rhonda Vincent, who has openly stated her desire to be an Opry member, still is on the outside waiting. And let's not forget Jamey Johnson who claims he was asked to join but wasn't asked to join. Not sure what is up with that one.

I realize that the Opry is a show with a lot of variety. By asking Crystal and Gene to join, they appease the older demographics, while Dailey & Vincent appeal to bluegrass fans and Kelsea and Luke are the hot young stars. And it all fits.

Gene Watson will make for a fine Grand Ole Opry member and I am sure there will be no issue with Gene making his Opry appearances in he future. At 76, he is still healthy, still touring and sounds as good as ever. The fan response to his invite has been overwhelming positive. I pass on my congratulations to Gene and look forward to his induction.

Following last weekend's great Grand Ole Opry shows, the Opry continues with another winner this weekend as both the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry offer strong line-ups that should result in both nights being sold out.

Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for both nights include Ricky Skaggs, Dailey & Vincent, John Conlee and The Whites. Jeannie Seely, Bill Anderson, Bobby Osborne, Connie Smith and Ricky Skaggs will join that group on Friday night. And let's not forget Marty Stuart. It is really nice to see him on the schedule, not only for this weekend but also next. Hopefully this will be the start of us seeing more of Marty at the Opry. The last couple of years his appearances have dropped off as he has been busy touring and working on other projects.

Saturday night will feature another appearance by Vince Gill. Like Marty, Vince has been busy the past couple of years with the Eagles and his own touring. As a result, his Opry appearances have dropped off. This will make it two weekends in a row with Vince at the Opry and he is also scheduled for next weekend also.

Also on the schedule for Saturday night are members Mike Snider and Chris Young.

There are only two guest artists scheduled for Friday night and those are Chonda Pierce and Charles Esten. Both are frequent guests on the Opry. Saturday night has David Nail, Holly Williams, and Caroline Jones.

Friday January 24
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); John Conlee; Dailey & Vincent
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Charles Esten
8:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Chonda Pierce
8:45: Marty Stuart (host); Connie Smith; Charley Pride

Saturday January 25
7:00: John Conlee (host); David Nail; Holly Williams
7:30: Dailey & Vincent (host); Caroline Jones; Mike Snider
8:15: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Vince Gill (host); Chris Young

So far in 2020, we have seen more Grand Ole Opry members on the schedule then non-members. This weekend continues the trend as of the 12 acts scheduled on Friday night, 10 are Opry members, while on Saturday night, 7 of the 10 are members of the Opry.

And now, here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up from 25 years ago, Saturday January 28, 1995:

1st show
6:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Riders In The Sky
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Roy Drusky; Stonewall Jackson; Jim and Jesse; Colleen Walters
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Del McCoury Band; Jan Howard; Billy Dean
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; Jack Greene; Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Four Guys; Jeannie Seely; Ricky Skaggs; The Whites

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jan Howard; Stonewall Jackson; Riders In The Sky; Ray Pillow
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Charlie Louvin and Bob Bates
10:15: Bill Monroe (host); Stu Phillips
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim and Jesse
10:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Del Reeves; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jack Greene; Charlie Walker; Connie Smith
11:30: Mike Snider (host); The Four Guys; Jeannie Seely; The Whites; Alan Jackson

Yes, that was the famous night where Alan Jackson called from his plane and asked if he could come by and do the Opry. He did two songs, "Don't Rock The Jukebox" and 'Chattahoochee." Those were still the days when you could expect a surprise or two when listening or attending the Opry.

And from 50 years ago, Saturday January 24, 1970:

7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Stringbean; The Four Guys; Jan Howard; Bill Carlisle
8:00: Lester Flatt (host); Billy Walker; Bob Luman; Jean Shepard; Crook Brothers
8:30: Roy Acuff (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Archie Campbell; Jimmy C Newman; Jim and Jesse; Ernie Ashworth
9:00: Ernest Tubb (host); Glaser Brothers; Osborne Brothers; Billy Parker; Fruit Jar Drinkers
9:30: Bill Monroe (host); Hank Locklin; Willis Brothers; Mel Tillis
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Stringbean; Snuffy Miller
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Jean Shepard; Bill Carlisle
10:30: Lester Flatt (host); Billy Walker; Bob Luman; Archie and Phil Campbell
10:45: Ernest Tubb (host); Willis Brothers; Ernie Ashworth; Crook Brothers
11:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mel Tillis; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Jim and Jesse; Sam McGee
11:30: Glaser Brothers (host); Hank Locklin; Osborne Brothers; Justin Tubb

Looking back into the history of the Grand Ole Opry, it was on Saturday January 25, 1992 that Emmylou Harris became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

God didn’t make honky tonk angels, but if he had, he would have broken the mold with Emmylou Harris. With her crystal-clear soprano, lissome beauty, impeccable instincts, and uncompromising integrity, Emmylou redefined the image and role of women in country music. Few if any artists have so successfully erased boundaries between country, folk, and rock and roll.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Emmylou spent her youth in North Carolina and Virginia. As the daughter of a career Marine, her upbringing was not particularly musical. But during the ’60s she fell in love with folk music — especially Bob Dylan and Joan Baez — and began performing while studying drama at the University of North Carolina. She moved to Greenwich Village in 1967 to join the burgeoning folk revival, sharing stages with Jerry Jeff Walker and David Bromberg, and released her first record in 1969.

On the East Coast club circuit, she met Gram Parsons, and both her career and life changed forever. Gram, formerly of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, became her mentor and singing partner, drawing her into the ’70s country rock movement and strengthening her ties to traditional country music. Emmylou toured and recorded with Gram until his death in 1973.

In 1975 she recorded her first major album, Pieces of the Sky, introducing her Hot Band, which, over the years, included such world-class players as James Burton, Albert Lee, Rodney Crowell and Ricky Skaggs.

Emmylou has enjoyed seven No. 1 hits and 27 Top 10 songs including “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” “Together Again,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Making Believe,” “To Daddy” and “Heartbreak Hill.”

The 2008 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee has 10 gold albums and 12 Grammy Awards, including one for her 1987 Trio album with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. In 1999, Billboard magazine recognized her distinguished career achievements with its highest accolade — the Century Award. Emmylou has continued earning high praises and award nominations for her music.

The night she joined the Grand Ole Opry, Emmylou summed up her feelings about her music: “Music is like food, sustenance. You certainly don’t do it for the spotlight. You do it for the amazing exhilaration of singing, the feeling of the music going through you.”

Here is the running order from 28 years ago, Saturday January 25, 1992, the night Emmylou Harris became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Opry Tours
Boxcar Willie (host): Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/I' Movin' On/Gotta Travel On/Night Train to Memphis
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Boxcar Willie: Cowboys & Horses; Hobos & Trains

6:45: Country Music Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
The Four Guys: Tennessee
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): You Gotta Have a License
John Conlee: I Don't Remember Loving You
Osborne Brothers: Nearer My God to Thee
Lorrie Morgan: Except for Monday/Autumn's Not That Cold
Porter Wagoner: Wack Up Jacob

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Vince Gill: Take You Memory With You When You Go/When I Call Your Name/Drifting Too Far From the Shore
Emmylou Harris: Walls of Time/Blue Kentucky Girl

8:00: Martha White
Bill Monroe (host): Nine Pound Hammer
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
The Whites: Doing it By the Book
Del Reeves: There She Goes
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Monroe and Tom Ewing: Body & Soul

8:30: Opryland
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
Jimmy C Newman: Mottland
Riders In The Sky: Blue Shadows on the Trail
Jean Shepard: Let's All Go Down to the River/I Saw the Light/Will the Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/Somebody Touched Me
Bill Anderson: Still

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General Store
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues
Emmylou Harris: Guitar Town
Emmylou Harris and Vince Gill: If You Needed Me
Porter Wagoner: Misery Loves Company

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Ol' Rattler
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Dreamed of Mama Last Night
Grandpa and Mark Jones: Arkansas Traveler

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Once More
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore
George Hamilton IV: I'm Using My Bible for a Road Map/Cabin in Gloryland
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin

10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): True Life Blues
Roy Drusky: Too Old to Die Young
Boxcar Willie: Hobo Heaven
Bill Monroe: I'm Working on a Building

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take an Old Cold Tater
Vince Gill and Patty Loveless: When I Call Your Name
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Lafayette
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way

11:00: Coca Cola
Bill Anderson (host): You Can Have Her
Osborne Brothers: Low and Lonely
Jeannie Seely: Go Down Swinging
Stonewall Jackson: Side-Steppin' the Blues
Jean Shepard: Slippin' Away
Bill Carlisle: Too Old to Cut the Mustard
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar

11:30: Creamette
Charlie Walker (host): Does Ft. Worth Every Cross Your Mind
Riders In The Sky: How Does He Yodel
The Whites: Swing Down Chariot
Johnny Russell: No One Will Ever Know
Charlie Walker: Take Me Back to Tulsa

Certainly two very nice shows that night.

While I am happy that Emmylou is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, I thought when she joined she would be around more. Especially knowing how much she values the history of country music. When Emmylou does appear on the Opry, she favors the show when it is at the Ryman Auditorium during the winter months.

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for taking the time to read and thanks for commenting. It is appreciated.

And as always, I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend as it looks like another strong weekend.


  1. Emmylou's 1992 induction can be viewed on YouTube. I am told that is the last TNN Opry TV broadcast that Roy Acuff hosted, some seven months prior to his death. He was very frail and raspy voiced at this point. Knowing his health issues you can tell in the audio that he probably had fluid built up. Boxcar Willie appeared with him doing the "Whistle" for the "Wabash Cannonball". And Mr. Acuff "made" Vince Gill do "When I Call Your Name", which Mr. Acuff loved.

  2. First! I was so excited about last weeks shows, I texted Byron in between which I never do on a show night! I'm also very excited for this weekend! I am curious. Do our, uh, veteran listeners like Jim and Dashman like Vince? He is the most awarded act in country music history, and one of the greatest guitar players in the world in country or out. I just hope you guys don't dislike him or feel he is not pulling his weight as a member? As busy as he is, I still think he does his best to do his part.

    1. E.Z.-Yes, I like and enjoy Vince Gill. He occasionally sings something that I'm not crazy about but a lot of people have through the years. Roy Acuff did a song called Sixteen Chickens and a Tambourine which was okay for what it was supposed to be but I never pick it as something I want hear if I am going through an LP.

      Vince is one of those folks who likes all types of music but I am sure that he means everything he says about the veterans he was able to become friends with and perform with. He understands and respects the history and importance of the Opry. The story he tells often about that night in 1992 that he sang When I Call Your Name and Mr. Acuff stood right beside him with tears in his eyes speaks well of that. The only time I have seen him in person is at the Opry. I missed him twice about an hour and two hours from me but I still want to see him in concert at least once.

      Knightsville, IN

  3. In my mind, Vince and Carrie are the only two superstars who regularly appear on the 'Opry.
    It will be a very cold day in a very hot place when I don't give them both props.
    Garth, Brad, Dolly, Reba, Alan, Emmylou et. al. make about one appearance a decade. When they do, the always tell the crowd how much the 'Opry means to them.
    Data might prove me wrong, but I doubt it.

    1. Nat: I agree with you. As I said last weekend, I softened just a bit on Alan after those two Friday appearances but I still have issues with him not coming around more.

      Brad told Tater "We'll take it from hear". I'm not sure where he went with it but I'm not really missing him.

      Knightsville, IN

    2. Jim,
      I went to Little Jimmie's funeral at the 'Opry House.
      I heard Brad say that, but like you, I don't believe it was said with much sincerity.

  4. It's good to see Marty Stuart on this weekend and next. Byron mentioned that Marty has been touring and involved in projects.

    One of those projects is the effort to restore Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis 4-8-4 steam locomotive #576. This is the engine that was on display in Centennial Park in Nashville since the 50's and appeared on album covers of Johnny Cash, Hank Snow and Lester Flatt and Mac Wiseman among others. It was also on the cover of LIFE with Johnny Cash standing by the drivers. Harry Stinson is active with the group and even had some photos appear in Railfan & Railroad magazine early this year including him holding a copy of that LIFE magazine. Marty and the band have recorded a song titled "The Duchess(Queen of the Dixie Line)" as a fund raiser to help restore the loco. It will eventually run out of Nashville east to near Lebanon and then return pulling excursions and dinner trains. Look it up on the net either through Marty, the song or Nashville steam engine 576.

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Jim: Thanks for sharing that info from Marty Stuart and Harry Stinson. Bob

    2. Don't misunderstand me when I say I'm all for Marty, but I suspect he could have carved out a couple of hours on a Friday or Saturday night a little more often!

  5. Jim,
    I'd LOVE to ride that train.
    "Come along and ride this train!"
    Good for Marty!

  6. Vince Gill is one of the most fun and pure country artists to see ----I love Vince Gill !!! Dashmann

  7. Anyone find it a little odd that the Opry Cruise and the Country Family Reunion Cruise is the same week?

    If I was a cruiser the CFR trip would be may choice for sure!

    Knightsville, IN