Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Grand Ole Opry 3/13 & 3/14

With all of the cancellations that are now taking place in the sporting and entertainment industries, it looks like it is all systems go as far as the Grand Ole Opry this weekend. And in looking at the line-ups, it would appear that it is the Opry's veterans who will be handling most of the load.

Grand Ole Opry members Connie Smith, Jeannie Seely and Mike Snider are scheduled for both nights. That trio will be joined on Friday night by Mark Wills, while on Saturday night Bobby Osborne, Bill Anderson and The Whites are listed.

Jerrod Niemann is scheduled to guest both nights. Joining him on Friday will be Hailey Whitters, Brandon Lay, Dusty Slay, Steven Curtis Chapman and Exile. Saturday's guest list, in addition to Jerrod, has Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Sam Williams and Locash listed.

Not the strongest of shows but solid.

Friday March 13
7:00: Mark Wills (host); Hailey Whitters; Brandon Lay
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Dusty Slay; Jerrod Niemann
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Steven Curtis Chapman
8:45: Jeannie Seely (host); Exile

Saturday March 14
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Mandy Barnett; Mike Snider
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Sam Williams; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
8:15: The Whites (host); Jerrod Niemann; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Connie Smith (host); Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper; Lee Greenwood

Of the 10 acts on the Friday Night Opry, 4 are Opry members, while 6 of the 10 on Saturday night are members of the Opry. Not as strong of a showing as in recent weeks.

Johnny Counterfit is the host of this week's Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.

And now from 25 years ago, the 2nd Saturday in March 1995:

1st show
6:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Jeanne Pruett
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; The Whites; Billy Walker; Jean Shepard
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Mel McDaniel; Alison Krauss; The Four Guys
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jack Greene; Charlie Walker; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Jeannie Seely (host); John Conlee; Joe Diffie

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Brother Oswald; Riders In The Sky; Mel McDaniel; The Whites
10:00: Lorrie Morgan (host); Alison Krauss
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host); The Four Guys
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Alison Krauss
10:45: Jean Shepard (host); Billy Walker; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: John Conlee (host); Jan Howard; Jeannie Seely
11:30: Johnny Russell (host); Jack Greene; Charlie Walker; Connie Smith

From 50 years ago, Saturday March 14, 1970:

7:30: Charlie Louvin (host); Justin Tubb; Lonzo and Oscar; Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Ernie Ashworth
8:00: Lester Flatt (host); Skeeter Davis; Stu Phillips; Crook Brothers; Del Wood
8:30: Bill Monroe (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Mel Tillis; Margie Bowes
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Stringbean; Fruit Jar Drinkers
9:30: Billy Walker (host); Willis Brothers; Grandpa Jones; The Four Guys; Diana Trask
10:00: Charlie Louvin (host); Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Ernie Ashworth; Margie Bowes
10:15: Stu Phillips (host); Skeeter Davis; Lonzo and Oscar
10:30: Mel Tillis (host); Justin Tubb; Del Wood
10:45: Bill Monroe (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Crook Brothers; Stringbean
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Willis Brothers; Jan Howard; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Billy Walker (host); Grandpa Jones; The Four Guys; Diana Trask

Looking back at a couple of dates in the history of the Grand Ole Opry, it was Saturday March 14, 1981 that the Opry was televised for the 4th and final time by PBS.

In the late 1970s, the executives of the Public Broadcasting System approached the management of the Grand Ole Opry with a proposal. They wanted to do what had never been done before: put an entire evening of the Grand Ole Opry on television.

PBS was faced with ever-increasing cuts in appropriations from the federal government and needed to expand the base of subscribers. It needed to reach new people, which in turn would increase contributions. It had never been able to reach grass-roots America. PBS, through the Grand Ole Opry, thought they could reach those people.

On Saturday March 4, 1978, the Opry was broadcast for the first time, coast to coast, live as it happened. The only concession to television came when PBS covered the radio commercials with backstage features and interviews. The artists were also instructed not to mention sponsor's names and the sponsor backdrop was darkened.

The night was repeated for the next four years, with 1981 being the final show. For the performers, it was a special night and many of the Opry's members wanted to be a part of it. And because they were on television, many "dressed up" for the occasion. I know for many of us Opry fans, the shows were wonderful and we wish we could see them once again. Some of us are lucky to have some of the shows in our collections.

Here is the running order from 39 years ago, Saturday March 14, 1981:

1st show
6:00: Vietti
Tom T Hall (host): The Year That Clayton Delaney Died
Skeeter Davis: The Rose
Jack Greene: She's the Rock I'm Leaning On
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/Orange Blossom Special/Wabash Cannonball/Night Train to Memphis
Lonzo and Oscar: Whatever Happened to Saturday Night
Tom T Hall: Old Dogs, Children & Watermelon Wine

6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Del Reeves (host): Be Glad
Billy Grammer: Somebody Loves You
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Del Reeves: A Dozen Pair of Boots

6:45: Rudy's
Ernest Tubb (host): Walkin' the Floor Over You
Jeannie Seely: Roarin' and Running
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Ernest Tubb: Answer the Phone

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Jan Howard: The Story of Hondo Crouch
Jimmy C Newman and Wade B. Landry: Orange Blossom Special
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Legend of the Dogwood Tree
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Porter Wagoner: Trouble in Amen Corner

7:30: Standard Candy
Grandpa Jones (host): Are You From Dixie
Jean Shepard: Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Osborne Brothers: I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Liberty
Grandpa Jones and Family: Fair & Tender Ladies

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Minnie Pearl: Careless Love
Don Gibson: I Can't Stop Loving You/Oh, Lonesome Me
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Paper Roses
Jerry Clower: Nugene Ledbetter Tells a Lie
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
The Four Guys: Swing Down Chariot
Hank Snow and Kelly Foxton: Before the Next Teardrop Falls
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Ernest Tubb (host): Let's Say Goodbye Like We Said Hello
Tom T Hall: They All Knew Me
The Four Guys: Mama Rocked Us to Sleep with Country Music
Jack Greene: I'll Be There
Connie Smith: Give Them All to Jesus
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

10:00: Little Debbie
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Del Reeves: I Would Like to See You Again
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Porter Wagoner: Everything I've Always Wanted

10:15: Sunbeam
Grandpa Jones (host): Baptism of Jesse Taylor
Jean Shepard: Chime Bells
Ray Pillow: Too Many Memories
Grandpa Jones and Family: Neighbors

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Down in Union County
Minnie Pearl: Jealous Hearted Me
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chuck of Coal
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beechnut
Jimmy C Newman: Cajuns Dream
Osborne Brothers: Rank Strangers
Vic Willis Trio: American Trilogy
Crook Brothers and The Tennessee Travelers: Gray Eagle

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Cried a Mile
Billy Walker: You Gave Me a Mountain
Jerry Clower: Uncle Versie's Trial
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
David Houston: Texas Ida Red
Kirk McGee: Milk'em in the Evening Blues
Hank Snow and Kelly Foxton: Check

11:30: Bama
Marty Robbins (host): Singing the Blues
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Charlie Louvin: 10 Years; 3 Kids; 2 Loves Too Late
Stu Phillips: I Will
Marty Robbins: Tonight Carmen/Don't Worry/That's All Right/I Don't Know Why
Marty Robbins and Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Marty Robbins: Completely Out of Love/Love Me/Among My Souvenirs/El Paso City/Jumper Cable Man/Beyond the Reef/An Evening Prayer/Devil Woman/El Paso

For those who kept track at home, PBS ended the broadcast at 1:00 am Nashville time after Marty sang El Paso City. The entire show ran until 1:20 am.

Luckily I have a video of the 2nd show that night.

Finally, 21 years ago, March 13, 1999, Trisha Yearwood became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She had been asked by Ricky Skaggs in January, the night that the Opry returned to the Ryman Auditorium for the first time since 1974.

Here is the running order from that night:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Skeeter Davis: I'll Fly Away
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya/Cajun Stripper

6:45: National Corvette Museum
Jim Ed Brown (host): Looking Back to See/Morning/Pop A Top/The 3 Bells

7:00: Shoney's/Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Bill Carlisle: I've Waited Too Long
Janie Fricke: Bouncing Back/Don't Worry 'Bout Me Baby
Porter Wagoner: Fireball Mail/Night Train to Memphis/Cabin in Gloryland
Rick "L.D." Wayne: On the Line
Randy Scruggs: Black Mountain Rag
Steve Wariner: Holes in the Floor of Heaven
Trisha Yearwood: Living on the Wrong Side of Memphis/She's In Love with the Boy/Sweet Dreams

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): No Fair Falling in Love
Marty Stuart: Southern Accent
John Prine: Paradise
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Rachel
Bill Anderson: Still

8:30: Physician's Mutual
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Ricky Skaggs: Little Maggie
The Whites: I Hear the Wind A' Blowin
Vince Gill: Pretty Little Adriana/When I Call Your Name

2nd show
9:30: Blue Green Vacation Resort Development
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Jimmy C Newman: Good Deal Lucille
Trisha Yearwood: A Perfect Love/How Do I Live/She's In Love with the Boy
Porter Wagoner: I'll Fly Away

10:00: Lincoln Mercury
Vince Gill (host): Don't Come Crying to Me
Randy Scruggs: Soldier's Joy
Vince Gill: Whenever You Come Around

10:15: Ray Stevens Show
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take an Old Cold Tater
Mike Snider and Marty Stuart: Rawhide
Jimmy Dickens: Live Turned Her That Way

10:30: Epiphone
Marty Stuart (host): Doin' My Time
John Prine: Grandpa Was a Carpenter
John Prine and Marty Stuart: Angel from Montgomery

10:45: Joggin' In A Jug
Ricky Skaggs (host): I'm Lost; I'll Never Find the Way
Jean Shepard: Tennessee Waltz
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Durang's Hornpipe
Ricky Skaggs: Connemara

11:00: Coca Cola
Bill Anderson (host): Po' Folks
Holly Dunn: Daddy's Hands
John Conlee: Friday Night Blues
Jeannie Seely: Make the World Go Away
Billy Walker: Come A Little Bit Closer
Bill Anderson: The Paper

11:30: Opry Book
Johnny Russell (host): Folsom Prison Blues
Jack Greene: Statue of a Fool
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Del Reeves: Splish; Splash/Answer the Phone/Hound Dog
Stonewall Jackson: A Wound Time Can't Erase
Johnny Russell: Wabash Cannonball

As someone who was there that night, what a fantastic night. Both shows were great.

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend. (And congratulations to Trisha Yearwood upon her 21st anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry).


  1. Who do you guys see going into the Hall of Fame this year?.

  2. Changes in the line-up. Mandy Barnett has replaced Locash and Lee Greenwood has been added for Saturday night.

    I would expect the Opry line-up over the next month or so to be very fluid as last minute cancellations could be taking place as some artists will not be performing until the virus emergency has passed. Would also expect some that have concerts on the road that have been cancelled might want to support the Opry.

    As I write this on Thursday afternoon, I have heard nothing about limiting attendance, cancelling shows or moving the show unto the WSM studio. I mention that because here in Ohio, the governor has prohibited any public gatherings of more than 250 people.

  3. I'm curious if Jim and Nat like Steven? E. Z.

    1. Haven't heard him all that often, but I really enjoyed him on Coffee, Country and Cody.
      I believe he's a fine human being and I enjoy what little country music of his that I've heard.

  4. I tell you, betwen the cancellation of NBA, March Madness, NHL; Spring Training and delaying MLB season by and extra few weeks, if they were to cancel the Opry starting this weekend it Will no tbe the virus that kills me... Cancelling all my interests and hobbies above Will!!!!!

  5. About an hour before the start of Opry Country Classics and I have noticed that the Opry has not updated their Twitter feed since yesterday. You would think that they would be updating with some basic information, especially considering all that is going on in the entertainment business right now.

  6. From the Opry's Facebook page:
    The safety of our employees, guests and artists is our top priority, and we are currently making decisions along with artists and their representatives during this rapidly changing situation.
    We will be updating you tomorrow about Grand Ole Opry shows and tour schedules. In the meantime, if you are unable to attend a previously-scheduled tour or Grand Ole Opry show, please send us a message at with your name, order number and phone number for a refund or to reschedule for a later date.
    For all other Opry House events, we are working with artists to evaluate possible postponements and/or rescheduled shows. Guests will receive updated information as soon as we have it. We thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

  7. Wow! this is Amazing! Do you know your hidden name meaning ? Click here to find your hidden name meaning