Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Grand Ole Opry May 16

Let's start off with the news that I am sure many have already seen or heard: The Grand Ole Opry has "officially" announced that all shows through June 6 are now cancelled. That also includes any shows at the Ryman Auditorium. The live-streaming of the Opry on Saturday night will continue on Circle. However, based on remarks on Monday by Colin Reed, the head of Ryman Hospitality, they don't expect live audience shows to resume until sometime in July, with increased social distancing and a possible reduction in the number of weekly Opry shows.

Really no surprise as it is still too early to have live shows taking place in theaters and arenas. It is certainly better to be safe then sorry.

Like other venues, the Opry is following the recommendations of the local health departments and other agencies in Nashville and Davidson County. I am also sure that when the Opry House does reopen for live shows, there will be a lot of changes in regards to entrances and exits, and perhaps even the capacity of the Opry House. I don't think they will start off with 4,400 people in the seats.

So until then, the one hour Saturday night shows will continue and this week will feature two Grand Ole Opry members and one guest as Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini and Morgan Evans will be performing. This will make the third week in a row that either a married couple or a committed couple will be on the Opry as Kelsea and her husband Morgan will be following in the footsteps of Blake/Gwen and Garth Trisha.

A final comment on last week's show: I hope that they never do the remote broadcast again. If you are going to be on the Opry, then be at the Opry House. Just my opinion.

And now from 25 years ago, Saturday May 13, 1995:

1st show
6:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Jeanne Pruett
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Brother Oswald; Jack Greene; Charlie Louvin; The Whites
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim and Jesse; George Hamilton IV; Wild Blue Country
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Stonewall Jackson; Jean Shepard; Ricky Skaggs; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Jim Ed Brown; The Four Guys; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Del Reeves; Jack Greene; Jeanne Pruett; Jim Ed Brown
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Mike Snider
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Wild Blue Country
10:45: Bill Monroe (host): Ricky Skaggs; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Billy Walker; The Four Guys; Stonewall Jackson
11:30: Johnny Russell (host); Charlie Walker Ray Pillow; Connie Smith

And from 50 years ago, Saturday May 16, 1970:

1st show
6:30: Osborne Brothers (host); Justin Tubb; John Alan Cameron
6:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Ray Pillow; Bill Carlisle
7:00: Bill Monroe (host); Stonewall Jackson; George Morgan; Willis Brothers
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Billy Grammer; Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Crook Brothers; Dizzy Dean
8:00: Lester Flatt (host); Dottie West; Charlie Louvin; Stu Phillips
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Marion Worth; Roy Rogers and Dale Evans; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Stonewall Jackson (host); Willis Brothers; Justin Tubb; Ray Pillow; Ernie Miller
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Osborne Brothers
10:15: Bill Monroe (host); George Morgan; Bill Carlisle; James William Monroe
10:30: Lester Flatt (host); Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper
10:45: Roy Acuff (host); John Allen Cameron; Crook Brothers; Dizzy Dean
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Dottie West; Billy Grammer; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Charlie Louvin (host); Marion Worth; Stu Phillips; Diane McCall

Yes, that was baseball Hall of Fame member Dizzy Dean on the Opry that night and yes, he did sing "Wabash Cannonball" on both shows with Roy. And a special appearance on the first show by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

Another name from that night was John Allen Cameron.

John Allen Cameron was born in Inverness County, Nova Scotia. In 1957 John Allan moved to Ottawa, Ontario where he studied to be a Roman Catholic priest through the Order of the Oblate Fathers. In 1964, a few months before ordination, Cameron obtained a dispensation from the church to pursue studies in education at St. Francis Xavier University, and eventually a career in music.

He was a regular on Singalong Jubilee in the 1960s and he was later host of two Canadian television series. The first was the Montreal-produced John Allan Cameron on CTV from 1975 to 1976, while the second was on CBC with the Halifax-produced The John Allan Cameron Show which ran from 1979 to 1981. He was also a guest star on Sharon, Lois & Bram's The Elephant Show in 1986. John Allan Cameron also was the host of Super Variety Tonight, a CBC television special that aired on Sunday, April 4, 1982.

Besides his numerous television and concert appearances, he performed at the Grand Ole Opry in 1970.

In January 2005, he was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome. Several benefit projects such as concerts and a tribute CD were produced to support costs resulting from his treatment of this cancer. John Allen Cameron passed away in November 2006.

Finally, it was on May 15, 1982 that Ricky Skaggs became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Who else finds it hard to believe that Ricky will be celebrating his 38th year as an Opry member.

I have posted it before, but here it is again, the running order from the night Ricky joined the Opry cast:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jack Greene (host): I Need Somebody Bad Tonight
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/Orange Blossom Special/Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms/Night Train to Memphis
Jack Greene: You Are My Treasure

6:45: Rudy's
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Jeannie Seely: I'm Almost Ready
Stonewall Jackson: Me & You & A Dog Named Boo

7:00: Shoney's
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Jim and Jesse: Then I'll Stop Going for You
Charlie Louvin: The House on the Hill
Connie Smith: I Just Had You on My Mind
Justin Tubb: Texas Dance Hall Girl
Archie Campbell: Comedy

7:30: Standard Candy
Ernest Tubb (host): Driving Nails in My Coffin
Jean Shepard: America, Tighten Up Your Belts
Billy Walker; Welcome Back to My Heart
Ricky Skaggs: Cryin' My Heart Out Over You/Blue Moon of Kentucky
Crook Brothers and The Tennessee Travelers: Lafayette
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jimmy C Newman: (?)
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Tennessee Ernie Ford: Get A Little Dirt on Your Hands/Sixteen Tons
Roy Acuff and Tennessee Ernie Ford: I'll Fly Away

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Paper Roses
The Four Guys: It's High Time to Get Back on My Feet
Roy Drusky: Blues in My Heart
Wilburn Brothers: What You Think is Fair
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sugar Tree Stomp
Hank Snow: I Keep Dreaming of You All the Time

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Ernest Tubb (host): The Women Make A Fool Out of Me
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk of Coal
Ernie Ashworth: Memphis Memory
Ricky Skaggs: Cryin' My Heart Out Over You
Bill Carlisle: Elvia
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/Orange Blossom Special/Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms/Night Train to Memphis
Ernest Tubb: Journey's End

10:00: Little Debbie
Billy Walker (host): Welcome Back to My Heart
Ray Pillow: My Love Belongs to You
Vic Willis Trio: Faded Love
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors

10:15: Sunbeam
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Jeannie Seely: You Don't Need Me, But You Will
Archie Campbell: Comedy

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Billy Grammer: The Prisoner's Song
Connie Smith: Once A Day/Sing, Sing, Sing

10:45: Beechnut
Jimmy C Newman (host): La Cajun Band
Jean Shepard: America, Tighten Up Your Belt
Crook Brothers and The Tennessee Travelers: Arkansas Traveler
Cajun Country: Cajun Stripper

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): From A Jack to a King
Charlie Walker: T for Texas
Justin Tubb: Travelin' Singing Man
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin' Hen
Jan Howard: Beneath Still Waters
Kirk McGee: Victory Rag/Freight Train
Hank Snow: I'm Movin' On

11:30: Bama
Marty Robbins (host): Ribbon of Darkness
The Four Guys: Marie, the Dawn is Breaking
Roy Drusky: There'll Never Be Anyone Else But You For Me
Wilburn Brothers: What You Think is Fair
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Cool Water/That's All Right/18 Yellow Roses/I Don't Know Why/Devil Woman/Begging to You/Jumper Cable Man/Return to Me/Beyond the Reef/Good Hearted Woman/El Paso

Also of note was an appearance by Tennessee Ernie Ford on the 1st show. Ernie didn't get to Nashville often but when he did, he would usually stop by the Opry. Ernie was personal friends with the ownership of Martha White, so when he did appear on the show it generally was on the Martha White sponsored segment.

There you have it for this week. As always, my thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry on Saturday night.


  1. I must say I enjoyed WSM’s Opry archive show last weekend. While, I had heard records by The Willis Brothers, I had never heard them during a live show before (I only remember the Vic Willis Trio). They were excellent entertainers and in some ways reminded me of Riders in The Sky.

  2. Not a lot of comments about the show last night. I thought it was fine.

  3. I confess I didn't watch after the first few minutes. I saw who was on, and I was glad they were on, and it was fine but ... well, Turner Classic Movies was airing a Buster Keaton movie, and I couldn't pass THAT up!

  4. My post (before the show) never uploaded ? (said to count me out, didn't care for the entertainers and didn't want to endure Bobby Bones again)

  5. Michael, I did exactly the same thing ---- flipped back and forth though several times --- Dashmann

  6. While I am pleased and thrilled that they have kept the Opry going each Saturday night, I am thinking that the current format of 2 or 3 artists with no bands is just getting a little stale and has lost that special feeling.

    Perhaps it needs a shake-up. Even with social distancing, I think they could safely add bluegrass artists with their bands. With the lifting of many of the restrictions in Tennessee, this could be the time for the Opry to move a little forward, still with no audience.

    1. When you figure they are having three artists and there might be up to three musicians behind them, spreading out a band and doing a concert should be no problem.