Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Grand Ole Opry Saturday July 4

Happy Independence Day to Everyone. I hope that the fireworks in your neighborhood are safe and spectacular. I know a lot of cities and villages have cancelled, but I am sure there will be more than enough action taking place in the neighborhoods.

Last Saturday night was another in the long line of Saturday night performances that the Opry has been presenting during the current COVID-19 crisis. Brad Paisley made his second Opry appearance, joined this past week by Keb' Mo'. It was another outstanding show. For those who haven't seen it, I hope you will take the time to watch.

For the July 4th holiday, the Grand Ole Opry has come up with, what looks like on paper, another fine line-up. Grand Ole Opry members Oak Ridge Boys and Mark Wills are scheduled to appear, along with Opry favorite Sara Evans.

From 25 years ago, the first Saturday in July 1995:

Saturday July 1
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Bill Carlisle
7:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jeanne Pruett; George Hamilton IV; Jean Shepard; Brother Oswald
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Chet Atkins; George Jones
8:00: The Whites (host); Jan Howard; Stu Phillips; Lonesome River Band; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The Four Guys; Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; George Hamilton IV & V; Charlie Louvin; Ray Pillow
10:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Stonewall Jackson
10:15: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard
10:30: Charlie Walker (host); Hank Locklin
10:45: Mike Snider (host); Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith; Stu Phillips; Charles Whitstein;
11:30: The Four Guys (host); Jeannie Seely; Lonesome River Band; Johnny Russell

50 years ago, Saturday July 4, 1970:

1st show
6:30: Stu Phillips (host); Tommy Jones; Del Wood
6:45: Willis Brothers (host); The Four Guys; Cousin Jody
7:00: Roy Acuff (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Webb Pierce; Joe and Rose Lee Maphis; Johnny Bales
7:30: Glaser Brothers (host); John Hartford; Red Sovine; Crook Brothers
8:00: Billy Grammer (host); Merle Kilgore; Jean Shepard; Bobby Wright; Peggy Little
8:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Jack Greene; Diana Trask; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Billy Grammer (host); Willis Brothers; Jean Shepard; Cousin Jody
10:00: Willis Brothers (host); Del Wood; Joe and Rose Lee Maphis
10:15: The Four Guys (host); Bobby Wright; Peggy Little
10:30: Stu Phillips (host); Merle Kilgore; Red Sovine
10:45: Ernest Tubb (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Crook Brothers
11:00: Roy Acuff (host); Webb Pierce; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Johnny Bales
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Diana Trask; Louie Roberts

A little short on Opry members on that 4th of July night but overall, a good line-up.

It was 27 years ago, Saturday July 3, 1993 that Alison Krauss became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

By the time 17-year-old Alison Krauss first played the Grand Ole Opry in 1989 with her band Union Station, she’d already been gracing stages across the country for a decade, winning fiddle contests and impressing audiences with her subtle, captivating singing voice. Since then she has distinguished herself as one of the world’s most respected musicians and an accomplished record producer. She has collaborated with countless other artists, including Robert Plant of the legendary hard rock band Led Zeppelin. The spirit of camaraderie she has shown toward fellow musicians is the same one she says she witnessed early on at the Opry.

“When we first started coming to play, the staff band was always so encouraging to us and would come by and say they were rooting for us,” Alison says. “With all the people that have come through here, that they would take the time to find us and compliment us was really overwhelming.”

At 14, Alison recorded her first album, Too Late to Cry. By age 18, she earned a Grammy nomination for her 1989 release Two Highways. The following year, Alison won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Recording for I’ve Got That Old Feeling. When she joined the Opry at 21, she became the first bluegrass artist in 29 years to be inducted and the youngest cast member at the time.

Since her first win, Alison has become the most awarded female artist in the history of the Grammys, picking up five trophies for the 2008 album Raising Sand, a collaboration with Robert Plant which also led to a successful concert tour for the pair. Alison was also a part of the phenomenally successful old-time/bluegrass soundtrack album for the 2000 film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Collaboration is one of Alison’s great musical loves. In addition to performing on the Opry stage with fellow members including Brad Paisley, Patty Loveless and The Whites, she has also sung and played with guests ranging from bluegrass musicians Tony Rice, Rhonda Vincent and Dale Ann Bradley to rock singer John Waite, whom she joined on his ’80s pop smash “Missing You.”

Alison continues to release albums with Union Station and solo projects from time to time as well as guest on the albums of many other artists in a number of genres. And she still loves watching other Opry performers as often as possible.

“I used to come here and sit in the audience and watch Ricky Skaggs, Porter Wagoner, and John Conlee,” Alison says. “The amount of talent that wanders around backstage is shocking, and it sounds so beautiful out front. I love the way everybody watches everybody else play.”

Here is the running order from Saturday July 3, 1993, the night Alison became an Opry member:

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the Jukebox/A Dime at a Time/Looking at the World Through a Windshield
The Whites: Hangin' Around
Del Reeves: Bad News

6:45: Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Going Down the Country
Billy Walker: You Gave Me a Mountain
Grandpa Jones: Little Old Home Down in New Orleans

7:00: Shoney's
Jack Greene (host): I'll Be There
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Jeanne Pruett: I Oughta Feel Guilty
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chunk of Coal
Charlie Walker: There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/Statue of a Fool

7:30: Standard Candy
The Four Guys (host): If It's From the Country, It's coming From the Heart
George Hamilton IV; Has Anyone Here Seen Hank
Mike Snider: Battle Cry of Freedom/Get Your Hands Off My Knee and Load the Cannon
Alison Krauss: Atlanta, I Hear You Calling/Big Mon
The Four Guys: The Star Spangled Banner

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Jean Shepard: Bouquet of Roses
Brother Oswald: Mountain Dew
Charlie Louvin: See the Big Man Cry
Porter Wagoner: Happy Birthday Margaret Smathers
Opry Square Dance Band and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar in the Goard
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Address Unknown
Skeeter Davis: Lovesick Blues
Ray Pillow: Someone Had to Teach You
Jan Howard: You Don't Know Me
Roy Drusky: Son, Go Bring My Children Home
Hank Snow: I've Done at Least One Thing That Was Good in My Life

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'all Come
Del Reeves: There She Goes
Stonewall Jackson: Side-Steppin' the Blues
Alison Krauss: (?)Molly & Tenbrooks
Porter Wagoner: Wabash Cannonball/The Precious Jewel/Fireball Mail/Night Train to Memphis/The Great Speckled Bird/On A Highway Headed South

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Ball Headed End of the Broom
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Gloryland March
The Whites: Keep on the Sunny Side
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home

10:15: Sunbeam/Tennessee Pride
The Four Guys (host): We're Only Here for a Little While
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
The Four Guys: Swing Down Chariot

10:30: Piccadilly
Charlie Walker (host): Right or Wrong
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
Charlie Walker: There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere

10:45: Opry Book
Jimmy C Newman (host): Colinda
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Opry Square Dance Band and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sail Away Ladies
Jimmy C Newman: Cajun's Dream

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Ancient History
Roy Drusky: Mississippi
Justin Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Jack Greene: Walking on New Grass/Statue of a Fool
Hank Snow: The Prisoner's Song/Are You Lonesome Tonight

11:30: General Jackson
George Hamilton IV: This Land is Your Land
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore
Jan Howard: Wayfaring Stranger
Mike Snider: Bells of St. Mary's
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young

When Alison joined the Opry, I really thought we would see more of her on the show. However, she appears just a couple of times each year. And for those who are interested, Garth handled Alison's induction that night.

There you have it for this week. Thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this Saturday night.


  1. I really, really, really wish Alison were there more often, and it has, I confess, soured me on her slightly. But she also sings like an angel. And my favorite performance of hers, oddly enough, is so far removed from country and bluegrass that it astounds me, but I'm going to share and recommend it. Byron spoke of how she loves to collaborate with others. She was part of a collection by the great cellist Yo Yo Ma, and sang "Simple Gifts," a Shaker hymn. It's incredible:

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  3. 7:00: Roy Acuff (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Webb Pierce; Joe and Rose Lee Maphis; Johnny Bales

    I would have loved to see this with Johnnie Bailes making a guest appearance. Roy was always loyal to him even after the Opry and WSM fired them in the 40's. Also curious if Webb performed with Johnnie on the show as they were also friends and recorded together in the 50's.

    1. 7:00 Luzianne
      Roy Acuff: Wabash Cannonball
      Earl Scruggs Revue: (?)
      Webb Pierce: The Man You Want Me to Be
      Joe and Rose Lee Maphis: Country Girl's Courtship
      Roy Acuff: You Win Again
      Earl Scruggs Revue: You Ain't Going Nowhere
      Webb Pierce and Johnny Bailes: Whiskey Is the Devil
      Howdy Forrester: (?)

      Sorry for the misspelling on the original post.

  4. OK, changed my vote - tonight was THE BEST of the Opry modified shows. The Opry Band was back (sadly without Jimmy Capps) and the three separate segments for each performer was great. AND, all the performers were top notch - Mark was really good (as always), Sara Evans did a good job (she has an amazing voice), and THE BEST FOR LAST, The "Mighty" Oak Ridge Boys - can't say enough about them - such talent, professionalism and wonderful music. (from Anonymous in PA)

  5. Mark Wills and Sara Evans were spot on tonight with Tommy white playing great steel and dobro ------- Always love " suds in the bucket and clothes left on the line " . The Oaks are showing their age now --- still wonderful singing, though ----I wish I liked them more ---- time for William Golden to grow up, shave the beard and take off the shades --- Dashmann, Flushing, Michigan ---

  6. With it being July 4th, I was in and out so I did not catch all of Mark Wills or Sara Evans. I did see the last half hour with the Oak Ridge Boys. When Duane Allen started singing, at least on the cable, the sound seemed a little off. My wife speculated that they were running all four microphones through just one amp for the television portion. Anyways, that was her guess. It did seem better after the first commercial break.

    The Oaks really tried and did well, but obviously, they are an act that feeds off a live audience. Nice that they did a couple of gospel songs and the tribute to Jimmy Capps. I noticed on Elvira that Joe especially, was dancing and moving around as he normally does and I thought the band members were starting to wonder for a minute what happened to the six foot social distancing guideline. I think Joe realized where he was and quickly moved back.

    Hard to believe that William Lee is now 81, Duane and Richard both 77 and Joe 72. I know it seems hard to believe, but then again, they have been around as a group a long, long time.

    Again, it was a very good show last night and the Opry continues to deliver on these one hour Saturday night shows. As Nashville continues in Phase 2, and does not seem ready anytime soon to be back in Phase 3, I think these shows will be continuing for a while.

  7. I hope that if the Opry keeps the 3-act shows they switch to last night's format - it seemed to flow much better by letting each have their own highlight - three great veteran entertainers

  8. Even though I am sometimes critical, I am grateful for any Opry shows at all and especially thankful for the musicians who have the courage and sense of duty to contribute each week ! The Circle remains unbroken ---- maybe another dose of wonderful Bluegrass one of these weeks ????? Please ???? Dashmann, Flushing, Michigan

  9. RIP Charlie Daniels passed away earlier today :