Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Grand Ole Opry 3/5 & 3/6

As we enter into March, the big news this weekend is the return of the Friday Night Opry. Hopefully the Friday night shows are here to stay and that they will be well supported by the public. 

Looking at what is lined up for this weekend, Grand Ole Opry members listed for the Friday Night Opry include regulars Jeannie Seely and Riders In The Sky. Also listed on the schedule is the Opry's newest member Rhonda Vincent. Nice to see that Rhonda is already taking her membership seriously. 

Guest artists on Friday night include Hall of Fame member Don Schlitz, along with Waylon Payne, and making his Opry debut, Willie Jones. 

Jeannie Seely and Riders In The Sky are back for Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, where they will be joined by member Chris Young. Guesting on Saturday will be very frequent Opry guest Elizabeth Cook, along with Jameson Rodgers, Whitney Duncan, Tenille Towns and comedian Henry Cho. 

Friday March 5
7:00: Jeannie Seely; Waylon Payne; Riders In The Sky; Willie Jones
8:00: Don Schlitz; Rhonda Vincent

Saturday March 6
7:00: Opry Square Dancers; Jeannie Seely; Whitney Duncan; Riders In The Sky; Henry Cho
8:00: Chris Young; Elizabeth Cook; Jameson Rodgers; Tenille Townes

While it is nice to see the Friday Night Opry back, sadly it is just a 90 minute show

As mentioned, Willie Jones will be making his Opry debut on Friday night. 

Willie Jones is a Shreveport, LA native who is a The Penthouse recording artist and Warner Chappell songwriter. He seamlessly blends hip-hop and country music, paving the way for a genre-expanding sound that’s truly signature to Jones himself. Armed with more than 1 million followers across social platforms, he recently debuted his own Apple Music show called “The Cross Roads Radio.” Willie is slated for Stagecoach 2021 and C2C London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Glasgow (health regulations pending). Jones just released his debut album ‘Right Now’ (The Penthouse / EMPIRE), amassing a cumulative stream count of 27.5M to date on Spotify, featuring the poignant patriotic single “American Dream.” The video clip of this anthem was jointly premiered on CMT and BET, a first for the networks. The rising artist has been covered by NPR All Things Considered, Forbes, Rolling Stone, E! News, PEOPLE, MTV and more. 

Now from 50 years ago, Saturday March 6, 1971: 

1st show
6:30: Tex Ritter (host); Bobby Lord; Lonzo and Oscar
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Willis Brothers; Stu Phillips; Ray Pillow
7:00: Roy Acuff (host); Roy Drusky; Skeeter Davis; Stringbean; Jim and Jesse
7:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Billy Grammer; Charlie Louvin and Diane McCall; Crook Brothers; Ernie Ashworth; Tommy Cash
8:00: Lester Flatt (host); Jean Shepard; Jimmy C Newman; Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Hank Locklin; Charlie Walker
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jim Ed Brown; Bob Luman; Fruit Jar Drinkers; George Hamilton; The 4 Guys

2nd show
9:30: Bill Monroe (host); Willis Brothers; George Hamilton IV; Bobby Lord; Stringbean; Lonzo and Oscar
10:00: Tex Ritter (host); Stu Phillips
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Jim and Jesse; Ray Pillow
10:30: Lester Flatt (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Louvin; Ernie Ashworth
10:45: Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host); Hank Locklin; Crook Brothers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Billy Grammer; Charlie Walker; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Jimmy C Newman; Tommy Cash; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Jim Ed Brown; The 4 Guys; Bob Luman

Looking back to March 5, 1983 which was the final night at the Opry for WSM radio personality and Grand Ole Opry announcer Chuck Morgan. 

Chuck Morgan recently posted this on his Facebook page and I hope he will not mind me sharing this: 

Saturday March 5, 1983 was my last night on The Grand Ole Opry.   Only a few times did I ever get called out to center stage and into the “circle”.    And the times that I got called out to the “circle”, it was always by the King of Country Music, Roy Acuff.    I was always very proud to announce Mr. Acuff’s portions of The Grand Ole Opry, usually sponsored by Martha White Flour.   And I loved reading that commercial copy on the Opry, and saying “Goodness gracious its good.”

What a tough decision it was to leave WSM, The Grand Ole Opry, Music Country Network, The Nashville Network and Nashville.

Larry Schmittou, owner of the Nashville Sounds,  called me in December of 1982 and told me that he taking a job with the Texas Rangers Baseball Club in Arlington, Texas and he said, I know it’s a shot in the dark, but how would you like to work in the big leagues?  I turned Larry down.    I had a lot of things going on, The Nashville Network was just starting up.   The Music Country Network was going strong in its first year.   It was the first ever satellite delivered radio show, my competition at the time was Larry King.  Larry talked politics, we talked country music and to the stars that came by night after night.   Announcing at The Grand Ole Opry, I loved the Opry and what it meant to country music and Nashville.

In December of 1982, I lost one of my good friends In Nashville and The Grand Ole Opry, Marty Robbins  I have hundreds of hours of me and Marty on the radio at WSM.   Sometimes, he would come by to visit with me on the radio a couple of times a week.   Sometimes he would call in from the road.   He was a great friend.   His passing had a big impact on me.    After that, I think I lost something on the air, something just didn’t feel right.   And that feeling continued after the first of the year.    I think Marty’s passing played a role in my decision to leave WSM and the Music Country Network. 

I thought more about being in big league baseball, I thought about what I would be doing when I was 50, would I still be playing records on the network or WSM?   I was Larry’s first PA guy with the Sounds, if I go to Texas, I will have to do more than just be a PA guy, he said something about selling program ads and promotions, whoa, I never had sold anything before.   More I thought about it, maybe I should go to Texas.    I didn’t know much about the Rangers other than Buddy Bell, Jim Sundberg and Charlie Hough.  And that the ballpark in Texas had a big Texas shaped scoreboard.  I had seen some Rangers games on USA Network’s Thursday Night Baseball. 

After thinking about it, I called Larry in late February and told him I was coming to join him in Texas.

After announcing Roy Acuff on the Martha White Flour portion of The Grand Ole Opry, 30 days later, almost to the day, I was announcing Buddy Bell playing 3rd base for the Texas Rangers.

Here is the running order from 36 years ago, Saturday March 5, 1983:

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
George Hamilton (host): I Love Music
Jeannie Seely: Roarin' & Runnin'
George Hamilton IV: 'Til I Can Gain Control Again

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): One Away From One Too Many Heartaches
Jim and Jesse: Freight Train
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Billy Walker: Looking Through the Eyes of Love

7:00: Shoney's
Bill Monroe (host): Love, Come Home
Skeeter Davis: Rock-A-Bye Boogie
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/I'm Movin' On/Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms/Night Train to Memphis/New River Train/Gotta Travel On/The Lord Made a Hobo Out of Me
Bill Monroe (host): The Old Crossroads Is Waiting

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Teddy Wilburn: Lovesick Blues
Lonzo and Oscar: Mountain Music
Roy Drusky: Always
Crook Brothers and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Bill Anderson: Thank You, Darling

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Wilma Lee Cooper: He Taught Them How
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Connie Smith: The Keys in the Mailbox/When God Dips His Love in My Heart

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Tangled Mind
The 4 Guys: I Don't Want Your Love Forever
Jan Howard: Lord, I Hope this Day is Good
Charlie Louvin and Diane Berry: Running Wild
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Saturday Night Hop
Hank Snow: Among My Souvenirs

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
The 4 Guys: Ruby Red
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
George Hamilton IV: 'Til I Can Gain Control Again
Ray Pillow: Your One Memory That I Would Like to Make Again
Bill Anderson: Thank You Darling

10:00: Little Debbie
Bill Monroe (host): Molly & Tenbrooks/Blue Moon of Kentucky
Billy Walker: One Away From One Too Many Heartaches
Vic Willis Trio: Faded Love
Bill Monroe: Right On

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Drusky (host): What About You
Bill Carlisle: I'm Movin'
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/I'm Movin' On/Wabash Cannonball/Night Train to Memphis/New River Train/Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms/The Lord Made a Hobo Out of Me
Roy Drusky: One Day at a Time

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Old Time Sunshine Song
Stu Phillips: The Great El Tigre
Jimmy Dickens: Geraldine
Roy Acuff: Glorybound Train

10:45: Beechnut
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Connie Smith: I've Got My Baby on My Mind
Crook Brothers and The Melvin Sloan Dancers
Stonewall Jackson: Angry Words

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Snowbird
Wilma Lee Cooper: He Taught Me How
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Dusty Miller
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's a Sunday
Kirk McGee: Milk'em In the Evening Blues
Hank Snow: Bluebird Island

11:30: Hardee's
Jimmy C Newman (host): (?)
Jan Howard: Gold Watch & Chain/Where No One Stands Alone
Charlie Louvin: I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow
Charlie Louvin, Buck Evans and Diane Berry: Red, Red Wine
Cajun Country: Little Cajun Queen

When I listen to my old Opry tapes and hear Chuck Morgan announcing a segment, I realize just how good he was. He was so smooth reading those commercials, and as he wrote, he was usually announcing Roy Acuff's segment on the 2nd show. 

For those wondering, Chuck is still alive and working with the Texas Rangers, doing the announcing in their home ballpark. He is on Facebook and posts regularly and I do believe that he reads this blog on occasion. 

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry this weekend.  

Sunday, February 28, 2021

March Opry Highlights

 Welcome to March and the month that brings us Spring and a return to Daylight Savings Time, which means it doesn't get dark so early. I hope wherever you live that winter is coming to an end and as March rolls on, the temperatures rise and everyone is able to spend a little bit more time outside. As I always do each month, here are the important and historical dates that have taken place at the Grand Ole Opry, or with Opry members, during the month of March:

March 9, 1925: Ralph Sloan, the leader and founder of The Tennessee Travelers, was born. Ralph and his group joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1952 and continued under Ralph's leadership until his death in 1980. After Ralph passed away, his brother Melvin took over as the group's leader, changing the name to the Melvin Sloan Dancers. Melvin continued on until his retirement in 2002.

March 24, 1928: Kitty Cora Cline became the first female solo artist to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Kitty was at the Opry until March 31, 1934, when she decided to quit. The story goes that on that particular evening, she was on her way to the Opry and witnessed a serious car accident that bothered her so much that she refused to travel by car again. Thus, she quit performing.

March 31, 1934: Robert Lunn made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. After joining the Opry, he stayed until retiring in 1958. Robert, who was known for his sense of humor, spent some time working and touring with Roy Acuff. Robert Lunn passed away in 1966 after suffering a heart attack.

March 5, 1938: After an absence attributed to heath reasons, Opry founder George D. Hay returned to the Opry, more in a position as an announcer rather than the final authority figure at the Opry. 

March 16, 1946: Future Grand Ole Opry member Grandpa Jones made his first appearance on the Opry, appearing as a member of Pee Wee King's band.

March 1, 1952: Uncle Dave Macon, one of the Opry's earliest stars, made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Uncle Dave was one of the Opry's originals and was one of the first professional musicians to join the cast. Two weeks later, on March 22, Uncle Dave, who was one of the early members to have been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, passed away at the age of 82. Those who knew Dave wrote that he was quite a character. 

March 21, 1953: Bill Carlisle and the Carlisles made their first guest appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. Once Bill joined the Opry, he stayed until his death and almost made it 50 years at the Opry. 

March 1, 1958: After criticizing the management of WSM radio, Marty Robbins was fired as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Opry management quickly realized their mistake and Marty was quickly hired back.

March 2, 1963: Opry members Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins made their final appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. Several days later, the duo would pass away when the plane they were riding in crashed on the way back to Nashville. Copas, Hawkins, along with Opry member Patsy Cline and pilot Randy Hughes were returning after performing on a benefit show in Kansas City.

March 9, 1963: The Grand Ole Opry observed a moment of silence to honor Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Randy Hughes. Also honored was Jack Anglin of Johnny & Jack, who also passed away the previous week, in his case the result of injuries from an auto accident. In the tribute read by Opry manager Ott Devine, he said, "All of their friends standing with me tonight on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium know that it is impossible to put our thoughts, or feelings, our love for Patsy, Hank, Cope, Jack and Randy. And so we ask for a moment of silent prayer in tribute to them."

March 29, 1963: Texas Ruby Owens died in a fire at her home. Along with her husband Curly Fox, she came to the Opry in the 1940s. After Ruby's death, Curly remained at the Opry as a solo act.

March 2, 1964: Jim & Jesse McReynolds were invited to become members of the Grand Ole Opry. Later that week, they made their first appearance as Opry members. Jim & Jesse were very popular members of the Opry and along with their group the Virginia Boys, continued as members of the Opry until the death of Jim in December 2002. After Jim's death, Jesse has continued on at the Opry as his health has permitted.  Jesse, who will turn 91 this year and is the oldest male cast member of the Grand Ole Opry, will be celebrating his 57th consecutive year as a member of the Opry's cast.

March 7, 1964: Ernie Ashworth, along with Jim & Jesse, made his first appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Ernie, who was famous for his hit song, "Talk Back Trembling Lips" and for his colorful suit with flaming lips on it, remained an Opry member until his death on March 2, 2009.

March 28, 1964: Connie Smith made her first appearance as a guest on the Grand Ole Opry. Connie appeared at the invitation of Bill Anderson. Later that evening, Connie stopped by at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop and the Midnight Jamboree. A year later, in 1965, Connie became an Opry member.

March 9, 1968: Irene Ryan, who played the part of Granny on the very popular show, "The Beverly Hillbillies," made a guest appearance on the Opry.

March 15, 1968: The Byrds, featuring Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, made an appearance on the Friday Night Opry. They sang "Sing Me Back Home" and "Hickory Wind." The Byrds always considered it an honor to perform on the Opry and this appearance ended up being their only one. It was later reported that a few of the Opry's members were not thrilled over their appearance and the audience response was much the same. While Gram would never appear again on the Opry, Chris Hillman would return several times. 

March 28, 1970: Grand Ole Opry member Marty Robbins returned to the Opry for the first time since suffering a heart attack in January. As usual, he returned as the host of the 11:30 segment. Reporter Jerry Thompson, who was there that evening, wrote, "The sound from the jam-packed crowd was deafening. They couldn't hear the words to the songs that familiar figure behind the Opry mic was crooning, but there was no mistake. Marty Robbins was back where he belonged. Midway through the show, Robbins sat at the piano and told the audience, 'I had so many things I was going to say tonight. I want to thank all of my friends for their concern and I want to thank God for letting me be there. Now, I can't think of anything else to say, so I guess I'll have to sing for you.' And sing he did until 12:27 a.m. when the curtain closed amidst repeated shouts of 'more, more, more.'" This was one night that Ernest Tubb did not complain about the Midnight Jamboree starting late.

March 27, 1971: Jan Howard became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jan had been appearing on the Opry for several years before becoming an Opry member, and in fact, Opry member Bud Wendall had thought she was already a member. A popular duet partner of Bill Anderson's, once Jan became an official member, she fully supported the Opry and appeared on a regular basis. Jan passed away in March 2020, shortly after her 49th anniversary as an Opry member. 

March 9, 1974: The Grand Ole Opry had its final Saturday night show at the Ryman Auditorium. The Opry, which had been at the Ryman since 1943, was scheduled to move to the new Grand Ole Opry House the following weekend. It was a very emotional night as Minnie Pearl, among others, had trouble controlling their emotions at leaving the long time home of the Opry. 

March 15, 1974: The Grand Ole Opry conducted its final Friday Night Opry at the Ryman Auditorium. While the previous Saturday night was the final Grand Ole Opry show, this being the final show made for a very emotional night, so much so that both Bill Anderson and Charlie Walker forgot the words to their songs. The final segment this night was hosted by George Morgan, who concluded the show with his hit "Candy Kisses." This was also the final night that Bobby Bare was a member of the Grand Ole Opry as he left the Opry's cast when the show moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. It took many years, but Bobby would rejoin the Opry in 2018. After the Opry ended, Reverend Jimmie Snow hosted the final Grand Ole Gospel from the Ryman with guests Hank Snow, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, and the Carter Family, none of whom actually appeared on the Opry that night. The show concluded with the singing of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and as soon as they were finished, the signs were taken down and many of the items were immediately transferred to the new Opry House. After the Opry left, the Ryman stayed empty for many years, with the inside of the building looking exactly as the Opry left it when they moved in 1974.

March 16, 1974: With President Richard Nixon in attendance, the Grand Ole Opry had its first performance at the new Grand Ole Opry House. When President Nixon made his appearance, he became the first President to visit and perform on the Opry. As yes, he did perform, playing several songs on the piano. There was much discussion on who would be the first Opry member to perform on the show, and with the decision made to go in alphabetical order, Roy Acuff took the honors, followed by Bill Anderson. With pretty much every Opry member in attendance, both shows that night ran well past the allotted time. The Grand Ole Opry House was the first building built specifically for the Opry, and despite damage from the flood in 2010, the building has held up well and has now been the Opry's home for 45 years.

March 30, 1974: The Earl Scruggs Revue made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry. When Flatt & Scruggs broke up, both Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs maintained their Opry membership. While Lester enjoyed playing the Opry on a regular basis, Earl had a more progressive sound and enjoyed playing before different audiences. While he gave up his Opry membership, Earl would continue to come back and perform on the show.

March 14, 1975: One year after the Opry House opened, the Cumberland River overflowed its banks, causing a flood that forced the Opry to move the shows that weekend to the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Nashville. It was also the weekend of the 1st anniversary of the Opry House, so the timing wasn't the best. At first, many thought the Opry would return to the Ryman for the weekend, but it was determined that the old building was in no shape to host a live show. Unlike the flood of 2010 which caused extensive damage to the Opry House, the 1975 flood just affected the parking lots and the surrounding area.

March 4, 1978: For the first time in the history of the Grand Ole Opry, an entire show was televised. PBS had approached Opry officials to see if there was any interest in televising the show as part of the annual fundraising drive that PBS conducts. The Opry agreed and it was considered such a great success that PBS would continue to televise an Opry show for the next three years. The Opry did agree to a few changes, including all references to their commercial sponsors, which included covering the sponsor's signs that appeared on the Opry stage and backdrop. (however, in looking at video from those nights, Martha White's sign appears to show through rather well and Roy Acuff did get in a few Martha White plugs). What made those nights so special, besides the quality of the line-ups, was the fact that the Opry did not change the show at all. The format remained the same, although several of the members dressed up a bit more than usual. These shows also gave people across the country who had never attended an Opry show, a chance to see the entire Opry as it happened.

March 10, 1979: James Brown appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. He appeared at the invitation of Porter Wagoner, who thought it would be a great idea. It was a tough night at the Opry as several of the Opry's members did not agree with Porter and decided not to appear that night. James was on stage for almost 20 minutes and would later say that he enjoyed performing on the show.

March 23, 1979: Lester Flatt returned to the Opry for the first time since the previous November. A brain hemorrhage kept Lester away. Sadly, Lester would battle heart and health issues for the last few years of his life. 

March 12, 1980: Ralph Sloan passed away. Ralph and the Tennessee Travelers had been at the Opry since 1952. Upon his death, brother Melvin took over the square dance group.

March 22, 1980: Opry member Marion Worth made her final appearance on the Opry. Marion joined the Opry in 1965 and while she didn't have a spectacular career in country music, she was a fairly popular member of the show. After leaving the Opry, Marion did a few shows in Las Vegas, then eventually retired. Marion passed away in December 1999.

March 22, 1980: On the same date as the final appearance of Opry member Marion Worth, Melvin Sloan officially took over as the leader of the Tennessee Travelers following the death several weeks earlier of his brother Ralph. With the change, the group became known as the Melvin Sloan Dancers.

March 28, 1980: Tom T Hall rejoined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Tom, who joined the Opry's cast in 1971, left the Opry shortly after the Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the new Grand Ole Opry House.  It was reported that Ernest Tubb ran into Tom T in the parking lot after a show at the Opry House and told him he needed to get back to the Opry. He did and for most of the 1980s, was a regular performer on the show. Tom T, who has been an Opry member for 50 years,  has not been on the Opry in several decades and is now retired.

March 1, 1982: Roy Acuff was honored with a two-hours special that was televised on ABC. An all-star cast of performers and entertainers honored Roy, including President Ronald Reagan, Vice-President George Bush, Minnie Pearl, Tom T. Hall, Bill Anderson, Chet Atkins, Charlie Daniels and Gene Autry.

March 5, 1983: Grand Old Opry announcer and WSM personality Chuck Morgan announced on the Opry for the final time. Chuck left the Opry and Nashville to begin work for the Texas Rangers, a position he still holds today. 

March 7, 1983: TNN, The Nashville Network, made its debut. This network would later become the television home of the Grand Ole Opry as a half hour of the show was televised live each Saturday night.

March 3, 1984: The Whites, consisting of Buck, Sharon and Cheryl, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be their 37th year as Opry members. The Whites have not appeared on the Opry since the Covid pandemic began and hopefully they will be back soon. 

March 7, 1986: Randy Travis made his first guest appearance on the Opry. He was introduced by Jimmy Dickens and sang, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." That evening, Randy was asked if her would like to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Later that year, in December, Randy would become an Opry member.

March 4, 1996: Grand Ole Opry legend Minnie Pearl passed away from complications after suffering a series of strokes. Minnie had been a Grand Ole Opry member for over 50 years and was perhaps the most loved member of the Opry.

March 9, 1996: Minnie Pearl was remembered at the Opry on the first Saturday night following her death. Wilma Lee Cooper, Jean Shepard, Jeanne Pruett, Skeeter Davis, Connie Smith and Jeannie Seely sang, "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" which was Minnie's favorite song.

March 15, 1996: Grand Ole Opry member Bill Monroe, an Opry member since 1939, made his final appearance on the Friday Night Opry. The following morning, Bill was admitted to Baptist Hospital after suffering a stroke.

March 16, 1996: Grand Ole Opry member Don Gibson made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Don had originally joined the Opry's cast in the late 1950s, and was fired in December 1964 for failing to meet the Opry's attendance requirements. He rejoined the cast years later, yet upon his return, he rarely appeared on the show. In fact, Don rarely performed anywhere. Don, who was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, passed away in November 2003.

March 14, 1998: Diamond Rio was invited to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. The accepted and officially became Opry members the following month.

March 13, 1999: Trisha Yearwood became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Trisha had been invited in January by Ricky Skaggs to join the cast. This will be her 22nd year as an Opry member.

March 17, 2000: Frequent Opry guest, and Sirius XM host, Elizabeth Cook made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Since her Opry debut, it has been reported that Elizabeth has made more guest appearances on the Opry than any other non-member. 

March 22, 2001: Opry member Johnny Russell was honored at a special benefit show at the Opry House. The show was held to raise funds for Johnny to help cover his mounting medical bills. Among those attending were Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Oak Ridge Boys, Ricky Skaggs and Ralph Emery. Johnny was one of the best loved members of the Opry and it was sad for all that Johnny had to turn for help from others during his final years. 

March 7, 2003: Long time Grand Ole Opry member Bill Carlisle made his final Grand Ole Opry appearance. A few days after this show, Bill suffered a stroke. Bill joined the Opry in November 1953 and 49 years later, Bill was appearing on the Opry most every weekend. The stroke ended Bill's performing career and he passed away on March 17.

March 22, 2003: Jimmy Wayne made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. While never becoming an Opry member, Jimmy would be a regular guest on the Opry over the next decade. 

March 15, 2008: Randy Travis surprised Carrie Underwood during a guest appearance on the Opry and invited Carrie to become the Opry's newest member. Several months later in May, Carrie was officially inducted into the Opry's cast.

March 21, 2008: Grand Ole Opry member Charlie Walker made his final appearance at the Opry. Charlie had joined the cast in 1967. Charlie would pass away later that year from cancer. In addition to being a member of the Opry's cast, Charlie was also a member of the Country Disc Jockey Hall of Fame.

March 2, 2009: Opry legend Ernie Ashworth passed away. Ernie had been an Opry member for 45 years. When every he appeared on the Opry, you could count on Ernie to wear the suit with the colorful lips on it. 

March 8, 2009: Grand Ole Opry member Hank Locklin passed away at the age of 91. Hank joined the Opry in 1960 and at the time of his death, was the Opry's oldest member. "Send Me The Pillow You Dream On" was one of Hank's classic numbers, as was his rendition of "Danny Boy" which he did every St. Patrick's Day. Earlier this year, Hank was the subject of a PBS show, which was very well done, and hopefully many of you had the chance to see it. 

March 1, 2011: It was announced that Grand Ole Opry members Reba McEntire and Jean Shepard had been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. For Jean, it was the culmination of a long career in country music.

March 2, 2012: Future Grand Ole Opry member Dustin Lynch made his first guest appearance on at the Grand Ole Opry. Dustin would join the Opry's cast in 2018.

March 6, 2012: Opry members Connie Smith and Garth Brooks were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Garth's election was no surprise, while for Connie, it was somewhat surprising. 

March 24, 2012: Carol Lee Cooper. the leader of the Carol Lee Singers, announced her retirement. Carol Lee originally came to the Opry with her parents, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper in 1957. Her retirement was the result of some voice and vocal issues that she had been experiencing. While she has been pretty quite since her retirement, there are those who have seen her around town and report that she still looks much the same. 

March 5, 2013: The Grand Ole Opry honored Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins on the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that took their lives, along with pilot Randy Hughes. Among those taking part in the tribute were Jean Shepard, Terri Clark, Mandy Barnett, John Conlee and Chuck Mead.

March 14, 2013: Opry member Jack Greene passed away after a long illness. Jack, who was formally a member of Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours, joined the Opry in December 1967. Jack always did a great job singing "There Goes My Everything" and "Statue of a Fool." Even in his later years, Jack never lost his great voice.

March 15, 2014: The Grand Ole Opry marked the 40th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry House with two special shows that featured Blake Shelton, Old Crow Medicine Show, Josh Turner, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Jimmy Dickens and Miranda Lambert.

March 6, 2017: It was announced that Sally Williams was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President of Programming & Artists Relations for Opry Entertainment and General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry. She previously had been the General Manager of the Ryman Auditorium. While there was great excitement for Sally coming to the Opry, her time there did not last long. 

March 11, 2017: Dailey & Vincent became the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. The bluegrass duo had been extended an invitation by Marty Stuart in December, upon their 100th guest appearance on the show. This will be their 4th year as Opry members. 

March 20, 2018: Chris Janson became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Chris had made over 100 guest appearances on the show and had always said that his dream was to some day become a member of the Opry's cast. For Chris, this will be year 3 as an Opry member. 

March 1, 2019: The Whites were honored upon their 35th anniversary as members of the Grand Ole Opry. Ricky Skaggs and Opry general manager Sally Williams joined in the salute.

March 2, 2019: Grand Ole Opry member Jesse McReynolds was recognized upon his 55th anniversary as an Opry member. Jesse, along with his brother Jim, joined the Opry's cast on March 2, 1964. While his brother passed away in 2002, Jesse has continued as an Opry member. Old Crow Medicine Show joined in the salute to Jesse.

March 5, 2019: The Grand Ole Opry invited Kelsea Ballerini to become a member of the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Her formal induction would take place the following month.

March 13, 2020: With the Covid pandemic beginning to grip the country, and many sporting events and concerts cancelled, the Grand Ole Opry announced that the shows would continue on Saturday nights, with limited artists and no audiences. These one hour shows would be televised on Circle TV. 

March 14, 2020: The Grand Ole Opry was performed without an audience and the show was televised on the Circle network and on its webstream. This show featured Opry members Connie Smith, Bill Anderson and Jeannie Seely, along with Sam Williams, Mandy Barnett and Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper. 

March 29, 2020: Grand Ole Opry member Jan Howard passed away after a short period of declining health. Jan had been an Opry member for 49 years. 

March 30, 2020: Grand Ole Opry member Joe Diffie passed away after a short battle with Covid. Joe had joined the Opry in November 1993 and while he didn't make a lot of Opry appearances, you could count on Joe being at the Opry several times each year. He was always popular with the fans. 

There you have it for this month. I hope a lot of those dates bring back some memories.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Grand Ole Opry Saturday February 27

In looking at the Grand Ole Opry line-up for this week, the name that stands out is Opry member Travis Tritt, who will be making one of his very infrequent visits to the Opry. 

In some ways, you could say that he is celebrating his 29th year as a member of the Opry, as it was on Saturday February 29, 1992 that Travis became an Opry member. From the time he became a member, Travis could generally be counted on for a couple appearances each year, generally on Porter Wagoner's segments, as it was Porter who had inducted Travis as a member. For whatever reason, after Porter passed away in 2007, Travis stopped coming to the Opry and would not return again until 2017. Since then, he has been back a handful of times, last appearing in 2019. While not to speculate, his reappearance at the Opry in 2017 took place after Pete Fisher had left as the Opry's general manager. I guess everyone can form their own opinion. Regardless, I am happy to see Travis back at the Opry. 

Joining Travis this week at the Opry will be Carly Pearce, who if I am counting correctly, will be making her 80th guest appearance. She will be appearing in support of her new album 29, and is expected to sing music from the album. I think many of us ask the question each time Carly appears. "Will this be the week she is asked to become an Opry member?" That I cannot answer but I still expect it to happen at some point. 

Going through the rest of the schedule, besides Travis, Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for this week include Jeannie Seely, Mark Wills and Chris Janson. Comedian Chonda Pierce and Hailey Whitters fill out the show. 

7:00: Opry Square Dancers; Jeannie Seely; Carly Pearce; Mark Wills; Chonda Pierce
8:00: Chris Janson; Hailey Whitters; Travis Tritt

From 50 years ago, Saturday February 27, 1971:

1st show
6:30: Billy Grammer (host); Justin Tubb; Bill Carlisle
6:45: Hank Locklin (host); Norro Wilson; Freddy Weller
7:00: Charlie Walker (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Grandpa Jones
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Skeeter Davis; Willis Brothers; Crook Brothers
8:00: Lester Flatt (host); George Hamilton IV; Archie Campbell; Stringbean
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; The 4 Guys; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Stu Phillips

2nd show
9:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Willis Brothers; Hank Locklin; Justin Tubb; Bill Carlisle
10:00: Charlie Walker (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Norro Wilson
10:15: Billy Grammer (host); Grandpa Jones; Freddy Weller
10:30: Lester Flatt (host); Skeeter Davis; Stringbean
10:45: Roy Acuff (host); Archie Campbell and Lorene Mann; Crook Brothers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy C Newman; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); The 4 Guys; Stu Phillips

Now looking back, it was Saturday February 26, 2005 that Charlie Louvin was recognized upon his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. 

Charles Elzer Loudermilk was born on July 7, 1927. Born and raised in Alabama, Charlie began singing professionally with his brother Ira as a teenager on local radio programs in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The boys sang traditional and gospel music in the harmony style they had learned while performing in their church's choir.

After Charlie left the act briefly in 1945 to serve in World War II, the brothers moved first to Knoxville and later to Memphis, working as postal clerks by day while making appearances in the evening. Another brief disbandment due to Charlie's service in the Korean War led to the brothers' relocation to Birmingham, Alabama.

Primarily known as gospel artists, the Louvins were convinced by a sponsor that "you can't sell tobacco with gospel music," and began adding secular music to their repertoire. They began making appearances on the Grand Ole Opry during the 1950s, becoming official members in 1955. The Louvin Brothers released numerous singles, such as "When I Stop Dreaming", with over 20 recordings reaching the country music charts. Their rich harmonies served as an influence to later artists such as Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons and The Byrds.

By the 1960s Charlie and Ira's popularity had waned and the brothers split up in 1963. In 1965, Ira was killed in a car accident with Charlie continuing to perform solo, and maintaining his Opry membership.

While never having a No. 1 single as a solo artist, he did have several Top 10 singles including "I Don't Love You Anymore," "See the Big Man Cry," and "The Only Way Out (Is to Walk Over Me." Interestingly, two of the songs most associated with Charlie, "Will You Visit Me On Sundays" and "Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep," both failed to make the Top 20. His last single, "Back When We Were Young," was released in 2010 and failed to make the charts. 

In 2001, the Louvin Brothers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Charlie Louvin underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer on July 22, 2010. Doctors expected a full recovery, however Charlie died from its complications in the early morning of January 26, 2011. He was 83. 

Here is the running order from Saturday February 26, 2005, when Charlie was recognized upon his 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry: 

1st show
6:30: Cracker Barrel
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed
Connie Smith: (?)/I Keep Looking for a Reason
Lane Turner: (?)
Jimmy Dickens: What Will I Do Then

7:00: Tootsie's
Jeannie Seely (host): Burning that Old Memory
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya
Jack Greene: Statue of a Fool
David Lee Murphy: Nobody's Perfect/Party Crowd
Jeannie Seely: Make the World Go Away

7:30: Standard Candy
Ricky Skaggs (host): Black Eyed Susie
The Whites: Blue Letters/Doing it By the Book
Craig Morgan: Almost Home/That's What I Love About Sunday
Ricky Skaggs: The Family Who Prays

8:00: Martha White
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Charlie Louvin: What Are Those Things
Miranda Lambert: I Can't Be Bothered to Miss You Anymore/Me & Charlie Talking
Opry Square Dance Band: Cherokee Shuffle
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells

8:30: Tennessee Pride
Bill Anderson (host): Walk Out Backwards
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Mel McDaniel: Stand Up
Bill Anderson: Him & Me/Bright Lights & Country Music

2nd show
9:30: Cracker Barrel
Jimmy Dickens (host): Take an Old Cold Tater
Connie Smith: Love's Not Everything/Hearts Like Ours
David Lee Murphy: (?)/(?)
Jimmy Dickens: Life Turned Her That Way

10:00: Martha White
Ricky Skaggs (host): I Live a Simple Life
The Whites: Making Believe/Swing Down Chariot
Lane Turner: (?)/(?)
Ricky Skaggs: Sis Draper

10:30: Rutledge Hill Press
Jeannie Seely (host): Roarin' & Runnin'
Charlie Louvin: Must You Throw Dirt in My Face
Craig Morgan: That's What I Love About Sunday/When a Man Can't Get a Woman Off His Mind
Opry Square Dance Band: (?)
Jeannie Seely and Charlie Louvin: Think I'll Go Somewhere & Cry Myself To Sleep

11:00: Cracker Barrel
Bill Anderson (host): Liars 1; Believers 0
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/He Is My Everything
Miranda Lambert:  I Can't Be Bothered to Miss You Anymore/Me & Charlie Talking
Bill Anderson: The Corner of My Life

11:30: Opry Visa
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
Mel McDaniel: Louisiana Saturday Night/Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On/Stand Up
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter/Four Walls/He'll Have to Go/Blue Side of Lonesome

In his later years, especially after he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Charlie would complain about his Opry appearances being cut, blaming it on the fact that Hall of Fame members received a higher amount of pay for being on the Opry. 

Finally, with Travis Tritt appearing on the Opry this weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to post the line up from the night he was formally inducted as an Opry member 29 years ago, Saturday February 29, 1992, the only Grand Ole Opry member to have joined the cast of the Opry on February 29, leap year. 

1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; David Houston
6:45: Del Reeves (host); Charlie Louvin; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Mike Snider; Jean Shepard; Ray Pillow
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Trisha Yearwood; Travis Tritt
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; The Four Guys; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30; Hank Snow (host); The Whites; Stonewall Jackson; Boxcar Willie; Roy Drusky

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Louvin; Jeannie Seely; Travis Tritt
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Trisha Yearwood
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Mike Snider
10:30: Boxcar Willie (host); Wilma Lee Cooper
10:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Opry Square Dance Band; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Bill Carlisle; Justin Tubb; Del Reeves
11:30: The Four Guys (host); Roy Drusky; The Whites; Connie Smith

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Grand Ole Opry Saturday February 20

We are off and running for another week at the Grand Ole Opry. So, what did everyone think about last week's show? I will say that Steve Wariner and Tommy Emmanual are both awesome guitar players and it was a treat to watch them performing together on the Opry. Tommy is certainly no stranger to the Opry and I look forward to many more appearances by this great musician. 

Once again this week, the Opry will be performing just one show on Saturday night. The line-up features Grand Ole Opry regulars Jeannie Seely and Riders In The Sky, joined this week by Opry members Dailey & Vincent and Dustin Lynch. 

Guesting on the non-televised portion will be comedian Dusty Slay, while Jon Pardi and Lainey Wilson will be on the Circle portion of the show. 

7:00: Opry Square Dancers; Jeannie Seely; Dailey & Vincent; Riders In The Sky; Dusty Slay
8:00: Dustin Lynch; Jon Pardi; Lainey Wilson

Some might not be familiar with Lainey Wilson, who made her Grand Ole Opry on Valentine's Day 2020. 

Lainey Wilson has fast become one of Nashville’s most buzzed about newcomers thanks to a fiery live show and prolific songwriting. Wilson’s on-stage swagger combined with her memorable storytelling makes the singer a mainstay on countless artist to watch lists. On the Jay Joyce-produced Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’, the Louisiana native’s debut on BBR Music Group’s flagship imprint, Broken Bow Records, Wilson boldly introduces herself as a country artist unafraid to speak her truth while empowering listeners to do the same through her vulnerability. It is music with a message, delivered subtly and humbly.

A self-described old soul, Wilson has always been ahead of her time. At the age of nine she began writing songs about tequila and cigarettes. A family trip to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry that same year solidified her decision to one day move from her home of 300 people in Baskin, Louisiana, to Music City.

“I remember exactly where I was on the interstate in the backseat,” she says nostalgically in a warm Louisiana drawl. “I was staring at the Batman building and little Lainey at nine years old said, ‘This is home.’ I’ve always known it and I don’t know if it’s because I spoke it out loud and it manifested itself, but I’ve always known that I’d be here.”

Wilson’s childhood home was filled with music. Her father, a farmer who dreamed of a career in country music himself, would play Glen Campbell, Hank Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Buck Owens, while her grandfather would take Wilson to bluegrass festivals. All these influences combined with Wilson’s unapologetic honesty and descriptive lyrics can be heard throughout Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’.

In 2020 she made her Grand Ole Opry debut, a dream come true for nine-year-old Lainey. Since then, she has been named MusicRow’s Next Big Thing 2021 while Strings & Spurs included her on their “Country Artists to Watch in 2021” list. An alum of CMT’s Listen Up Class of 2019 and Next Women of Country, the singer-songwriter continues to garner recognition for her distinctive music. More recently, her music was featured for the third time in the hit television show Yellowstone starring Kevin Costner.

Wilson describes her music as bell-bottom country. “Country with a flare,” she explains. “Fresh, but also familiar.” Each song blends vivid country storytelling with strong female characters as heard on the deeply confessional title track “Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin.’” It’s no surprise that Wilson’s music is culled from her own life and the way she was raised with strong family values.

Nashville has been dealing with some serious winter weather over the past week. Hopefully it all clears out by Saturday for this sold-out Opry show. 

And now, from 50 years ago, Saturday February 20, 1971:

1st show
6:30: Stu Phillips (host); Stan Hitchcock; Connie Eaton and Dave Peel
6:45: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bill Carlisle; Martha Carson
7:00: Bill Monroe (host); James William Monroe; Earl Scruggs Revue; Grandpa Jones; George Morgan; Ernie Ashworth
7:30; Jack Greene (host); Jeannie Seely; Willis Brothers; Crook Brothers
8:00: Lester Flatt (host); Skeeter Davis; Wilma Lee Cooper; Stringbean
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Hank Locklin; Diana Trask; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Stu Phillips (host); Willis Brothers; Stan Hitchcock 
10:00: George Morgan (host); Connie Easton and Dave Peel; Grandpa Jones and Ramona Jones
10:15: Bill Monroe (host); James William Monroe; Earl Scruggs; Revue; Martha Carson
10:30: Lester Flatt (host); Skeeter Davis; Stringbean
10:45: Jack Greene (host); Jeannie Seely; Crook Brothers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Bill Carlisle; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Hank Locklin (host); Ernie Ashworth; Diana Task

A few cancellations that night: Stonewall Jackson cancelled on both shows, while Jimmy C Newman and Wilma Lee Cooper cancelled on the 2nd show. 

I know there are many who complain about the number of "non-country" acts who appear on the Grand Ole Opry. But in reality, it is nothing new as over the Opry's 95 years, there have been a number of acts who have appeared that weren't really considered mainstream country. Those have included James Brown, Pointer Sisters, The Byrds, Jim Nabors, and Perry Como among others.

On Saturday February 19, 1966 another of those acts, Peter, Paul and Mary appeared on the Opry. More noted as folk singers, there music appealed to many and there were many classic hits that came from this trio, including "Puff the Magic Dragan," Blowin' in the Wind," "Leaving on a Jet Plane," and "If I Had a Hammer." Formed in 1961, when they appeared on the Opry, they were still in the early stages of their career. 

Here is the running order from 55 years ago, Saturday February 19, 1966: 

7:30: Luzianne
Jimmy Newman (host): Jambalaya
Wilburn Brothers: Someone Before Me
Bobby Bare: Detroit City
Loretta Lynn: Dear Uncle Sam
Jimmy Newman: Big Mamou
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Wilburn Brothers: Its Another World
Loretta Lynn: Two Steps Forward
Bobby Bare: Four Strong Winds
Jimmy Newman: Cry, Cry Darling

8:00: Martha White
Hank Locklin (host): Flying South
Maybelle Carter: What You're Fighting For
Bob Luman: I'm Walkin'
Jim and Jesse: Johnny B Goode
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Pete Stamper: Comedy
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Bob Luman: Five Miles from Home

8:30: Stephens
Porter Wagoner (host0: Howdy Neighbor Howdy
Norma Jean: You're Driving Me Out of My Mind
Willie Nelson: One Day at a Time/Mr. Record Man/Hello Walls
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Porter Wagoner: Skid Row Joe
George McCormick: There's a Woman
Norma Jean: Go Cat Go
Willie Nelson: There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
Porter Wagoner: Dooley

9:00: Pet Milk
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Bill Monroe: I Live in the Past
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Tom & Jerry
Roy Acuff: The End of the World
Frank Latimer: Little Pal
Brother Oswald: Southern Moon
Bill Monroe: Swing Lo, Sweet Chariot

9:30: Kellogg's
Billy Walker (host): Come a Little Bit Closer
Willis Brothers: Gonna Swing 'Til the Rope Breaks
Marion Worth: Cryin' Time
Johnny Darrell: AS Long as the Wind Blows
Billy Walker: Matamoros
Harold Morrison: I'm a Bluebird
Willis Brothers: Love Thy Neighbor
Marion Worth: 21 Days of Darkness
Billy Walker: Down to My Last Cigarette

10:00: Schick
Wilburn Brothers (host): I'm Gonna Tie One On Tonight
Loretta Lynn: Happy Birthday
Bobby Bare: Blowin' in the Wind/A Worried Man
Wilburn Brothers: Someone Before Me

10:15: Pure
Willie Nelson (host): I Just Can't Let You Say Goodbye
Maybelle Carter: Liberty Dance
Bob Luman: Memphis
Willie Nelson: The Last Letter

10:30: Harvey's
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Norma Jean: I Wouldn't Buy a Used Car from Him
Del Wood: Alone With You
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home
Buck Trent and Mac McGaha: Turkey in the Straw

10:45: Newport
Bill Monroe (host): Blue Grass Swing
Jimmy Newman: Artificial Rose
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Archie Campbell: The Men in My Little Girl's Life

11:00: Coca Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Freight Train Blues
Hank Locklin: The Girls Get Prettier
Dottie West: Before the Ring on Your Finger Turns Green
Sam McGee: Railroad Blues
Roy Acuff: Green Back Dollar
Jim and Jesse: Dancing Molly
Fruit Jar Drinkers: (?)
Peter, Paul and Mary: If I Had a Hammer/(?)/(?)/Blowin' in the Wind

11:30: Lava
Bill Anderson (host): Bright Lights and Country Music
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Billy Walker: Circumstances
Marion Worth: Ever Since My Baby Went Away
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar
Willis Brothers: A 6ft 2 by 4
Billy Walker: Charlie's Shoes
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

Finally, I always like to remember Roy Acuff's 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, which took place on Saturday February 20, 1988. It was also the first appearance by Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton since their breakup a decade before. 

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Grandpa Jones (host): Little Pink
The 4 Guys: Tennessee
Lorrie Morgan: Sliver Wings & Golden Rings
Ramona Jones: Orange Blossom Special

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky: A Dear John Letter
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon

7:00: Shoney's/Standard Candy
Roy Acuff: Wabash Cannonball
Minnie Pearl: (MC)
Chet Atkins: The House of the Rising Sun
Pee Wee King: Tennessee Waltz
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Brother Oswald: Columbus Stockade Blues
Loretta Lynn; Coal Miner's Daughter
Loretta Lynn and Minnie Pearl: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Roy Acuff and Everyone: I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): 'Ol Slewfoot
The Whites: If It Ain't Love
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells
Porter Wagoner: A Satisfied Mind
Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton: The Last Thing on My Mind/Fight & Scratch/Holding onto Nothing/Just Someone I Used to Know/Daddy Was an Old Time Preacher Man/Rocky Top

8:30: Music Valley
Hank Snow (host): Address Unknown
Connie Smith: Walk Me to the Door
Osborne Brothers: Kentucky
Dottie West: Don't Go to Strangers
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Y'All Come
Skeeter Davis: My Last Date With You/Silver Threads and Golden Needles/The End of the World
Roy Drusky: Too Old to Die Young
Billy Walker: Funny How Time Slips Away
Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton: The Last Thing on My Mind/Fight & Scratch/Holding onto Nothing/Just Someone I Used to Know/Daddy Was an Old Time Preacher Man

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): Going Down the Country
Stonewall Jackson: Closer to the Vine
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Alisa Jones: Liberty

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Loretta Lynn: They Don't Make' Em Like Roy Acuff Anymore/Coal Miner's Daughter
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away/

10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky: A Dear John Letter
Hank Locklin: Danny Boy
Bill Anderson and Roy Acuff: I Wonder If God Likes Country Music

10:45: Heil Quaker
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
Charlie Louvin: In the Cross
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Rachel
Jim Ed Brown: Four Walls

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Bummin' Around
Wilma Lee Cooper: Philadelphia Lawyer
Justin Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Riders In The Sky: How the Yodel Was Born
Bill Carlisle: Worried Man Blues
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young
Hank Snow: The Prisoner's Song

11:30: B C Powder
Jack Greene (host): To Make A Long Story Longer, She's Still Home
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
The Whites: Alabama Jubilee
Johnny Russell: A Legend in My Time
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything/Statue of a Fool

A lot of members that night with many of them appearing only on the 2nd show

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

Saturday, February 13, 2021

10 Future Grand Ole Opry Members?

The following was posted on Saturday on a website called "Everything Nash" under the title "10 Country Artists Who Should Be Grand Ole Opry Members." No authors name was associated with the post. 

The Grand Ole Opry has served as validation for numerous country stars over the years, who count becoming a member of the hallowed institution as the pinnacle of their career. While the Opry has inducted several new and established artists in recent years, including Kelsea Ballerini, Dustin Lynch, Lady A and more, there are several artists who, perhaps surprisingly, have yet to officially become members. We found ten artists who deserve to be inducted.

1. Carly Pearce

If there was ever an artist that had earned the right to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, it’s Carly Pearce, and frankly, we don’t know why she hasn’t been invited yet. Pearce, who hasn’t been shy about her love of the institution, has already played the Opry more than 75 times — and wants to keep playing there for years to come.

“I associated playing the Grand Ole Opry with making it,” Pearce previously said. “When I played my debut, I was an Airbnb cleaner, so I had not made it. But I felt like in that moment, that the Opry took a chance on me. I didn’t have a song on the radio, but they just believed in what I was doing. I know people play the Opry, but I don’t feel like there’s another artist in my generation that’s really put in the work the way that I have with the Opry.”

Luke Combs was invited to join after he had played the Grand Ole Opry 16 times, so the fact that Pearce still hasn’t been inducted feels like a glaring, and frankly unfair, omission.

2. Luke Bryan

If the Grand Ole Opry was looking for country artists who had star appeal, they need not look any further than Luke Bryan. Not only is Bryan always willing to play the Opry — and has, often — but his career is hard to top in terms of success. Bryan’s superstar status could make him a Grand Ole Opry ambassador, especially if he was actually a member.

3. Tim McGraw

Like Bryan, Tim McGraw is a willing performer at the Grand Ole Opry, and has been for years. With more than three decades of making country music, it seems like McGraw is well past the window when he should have been invited.

4. Michael Ray

Michael Ray is one of the regular performers on the Grand Ole Opry stage, and has performed more than 50 times. Ray has made no secret of his love of country music, and has hinted that his third studio album will be as country as it comes. Between his outspoken affection for country music, especially traditional country music, and his respect for the Grand Ole Opry, Ray definitely deserves to at least be considered.

5. Lee Ann Womack

How Lee Ann Womack is not a member of the Grand Ole Opry is truly baffling. The country music star, like McGraw, has spent more than three decades making country music. Her voice, her songs, her music all seems to be the exact kind of music that the Grand Ole Opry celebrates. While we love honoring the new artists, it seems unfair that Womack is still sitting on the sidelines.

6. The Bellamy Brothers

The Bellamy Brothers, made up of Howard and David Bellamy, are true global pioneers for country music. The sibling duo has had a long, and very successful career, making music that they perform all over the world. With their dedication to country music, and their massive touring careers, the Bellamy Brothers could have rightfully been inducted years ago.

7. Ashley McBryde

When Ashley McBryde made her Opry debut, in 2017, she sang her autobiographical single, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” an emotional performance that proved how important the historic institution means to her. Almost four years after her debut, McBryde says being a member of the Grand Ole Opry is still one of her biggest professional goals.

“The Opry is one of the most important things to me in my whole career,” McBryde told Everything Nash. “I’ve never come into the building without saying hello to Minnie Pearl. I’ve never left the building without saying, ‘Goodnight, Minnie.’ I’ve never stepped right into the circle. I always put a toe in first. And then I always either point down to it or reach down and touch it when I leave. It’s such a sacred thing to me.”

8. Justin Moore

Justin Moore has spent more than a decade releasing pure country music, without giving in to any of the latest trends or hinting at any crossover appeal. Sure, he may not be able to perform at the Opry as much as some of his peers, especially since he lives in Arkansas, but he is a true champion of country music, and deserves to be recognized for his commitment to the industry.

9. Aaron Tippin

By now most people probably assume Aaron Tippin is already a member of the Grand Ole Opry, but in spite of his numerous appearances, he actually is not. With more than 30 years in country music, and his numerous performances on the Grand Ole Opry stage, Tippin has yet to become an official member. Hopefully, it’s just a case of better late than never.

10. Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery is one of the very few artists who have successfully transitioned from becoming famous on a reality TV talent show — in his case, American Idol, to a country music career. He made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry in 2011, shortly after his Idol win, and has been a frequent performer since then. While there might be a few who could rightfully be inducted before McCreery, his name at least deserves to be included in the list of hopeful future nominees.

I am sure there are some thoughts on these 10, so let me start with mine. There are a few names on this list who would make nice Grand Ole Opry members, and who have actually performed and have been guests on the Opry numerous times: Carly Pearce, Michael Ray, Ashley McBryde and Scotty McCreery. Those four at least have shown that they support the Opry, have appeared on the Opry, and have had positive things to say about the Opry. 

Luke Bryan has mentioned that he would like to be a member of the Opry. However, outside of a couple of appearances, I don't see him breaking down the stage door to appear. 

Tim McGraw " is a willing performer at the Grand Ole Opry and has been for years."? Gee, can anyone remember the last time Tim was at the Opry? Or Lee Ann Womack? I do seem to remember The Bellamy Brothers making an appearance a few years ago. Justin Moore has made a couple and I do remember Aaron Tippin making a few Opry appearances. 

Let's be honest. Outside of Carly, Michael or Ashley (and you can count Luke if you wish), I don't remember any of the others at any time making a statement that they would love to be Grand Ole Opry members. Maybe that is why they haven't been asked. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Grand Ole Opry Saturday February 13

Before getting into the line-up for this Saturday night, just a reminder that on Sunday night, NBC will present "Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music." Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley, who are celebrating their 10 and 20 year anniversaries as Opry members, respectively, will co-host the special, which is a retrospective of the Opry's history and features, among others, Opry members Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks Carrie Underwood, Marty Stuart, Old Crow Medicine Show, Little Big Town and Trisha Yearwood. 

The special will also highlight memorable moments in the Opry's 90 year history, but will also feature Darius Rucker surprising Lady A with an invitation to join the Opry will taping their rendition of "Forever and Ever, Amen," Additionally, Kane Brown will be making his Grand Ole Opry debut. 

In addition to Lady A's cover of the Randy Travis classic, Kelsea Ballerini will deliver Alison Krauss' “When You Say Nothing at All," while Dierks Bentley and newly inducted Country Music Hall of Fame member Marty Stuart unite on Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson's 1983 hit "Pancho & Lefty." Alongside the performances, the special will also showcase archival footage, interviews with Opry members and more.

“This special is going to capture so much of what makes the Opry a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience. 10-year Opry member Blake and 20-year member Brad guide us through a powerful Opry debut, an Opry membership invitation given to one of country’s most awarded vocal groups, performances of some of today’s chart-topping hits and timeless songs that have rung out from the Opry stage for decades, and a look back at cherished members of the Opry family and musical moments that have come to define the Opry we know today," Opry Vice President and Executive Producer Dan Rogers previews in a press release.

Hopefully the special will not forget those Opry members from years ago who have passed on, or the legends and veterans who are still members of the Opry today. But based on the advanced advertising for the special, I am not holding out much hope other than a quick video montage. 

Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music, which was filmed over the past several months at the Opry House, airs on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 9PM ET on NBC.

Now looking ahead to Saturday night, once again we see Opry members Jeannie Seely and Riders In The Sky headlining the broadcast, joined this week by Opry member Steve Wariner. Guesting this week will be Charles Esten, who we used to see on the Opry numerous times while "Nashville" was on the air, comedian Henry Cho, Ashley McBryde and guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. I had to double check on Charles Esten and should note that he has guested on the Opry over 100 times. 

Saturday February 13

7:00: Opry Square Dancers; Jeannie Seely; Riders In The Sky; Charles Esten; Henry Cho
8:00: Steve Wariner; Ashley McBryde; Tommy Emmanuel

Now from 50 years ago, Saturday February 13, 1971: 

1st show
6:30: Hank Locklin (host); Ernie Ashworth; Del Wood
6:45: Billy Grammer (host); Harold Weakley; Cousin Jody
7:00: Bill Monroe (host); Stu Phillips; Earl Scruggs Revue; Del Reeves
7:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Bill Carlisle; Leroy Van Dyke; Crook Brothers
8:00: Lester Flatt (host); Willis Brothers; Jim and Jesse; Peggy Little
8:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Skeeter Davis; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Hank Locklin (host); Willis Brothers; Ernie Ashworth; Del Wood
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Billy Grammer
10:15: Jim Ed Brown (host); Del Reeves; Stu Phillips
10:30: Lester Flatt (host); Leroy Van Dyke; Bill Carlisle
10:45: Ernest Tubb (host); Skeeter Davis; Crook Brothers
11:00: Jim and Jesse (host); Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Peggy Little; Claude Gray; Don Winters

Now looking way back to 66 years ago, Saturday February 13, 1954: 

7:30: Warren Paint
Roy Acuff: Sweep Around Your Back Door
Lew Childre: Southern Hospitality
Dot and Smokey: Waltz of the Wind
Howdy Forrester: Black Mountain Rag

7:45: American Ace
Roy Acuff: No One Will Ever Know
Johnny and Jack: Love Trap
Kitty Wells: Cheating is a Sin
Jimmy Riddle: Steamboat Bill
Roy Acuff: Radio Station S-A-V-E-D
Oswald: Roll Along Jordan

8:00: Martha White
Ernest Tubb: Jealous Loving Heart
Bill Monroe: Memories of Mother and Dad
Hank Snow: You Broke The Chains That Held Our Heart
June Carter: Little Too Far
Ernest Tubb: I'm With A Crowd But So Alone
Possum Hunters: Bill Cheatham
Carlisles: I Need A Little Help
Cowboy Copas: The Man Upstairs
Bill Monroe: Goodby Old Pal
Fiddle Tune: Bully of the Town
Ernest Tubb: Daisey May

8:30: Prince Albert
Jimmy Dickens: You'd Better Not Do That
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Onie Wheeler: When We All Get Together
Square Dancers: Sally Goodin
Jimmy Dickens: Take Up Thy Cross
Moon Mullican: The Cherokee Boogie
Rod Brasfield: Comedy
Onie Wheeler: Run Em Off
String Bean: Lonesome Road Blues
Jimmy Dickens: I Just Gotta See You Once More
Fiddle Tune: Katy Hill

9:00: Royal Crown Cola
Roy Acuff: Night Train To Memphis
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cotton Eyed Joe
George Morgan: Love, Love, Love
Jug Band: Jesse Polka
Webb Pierce: Slowly
Lonzo and Oscar: Let's Live A Little No. 2
Ray Price: Turn Your Radio On
Roy Acuff: To Be Selected
Oswald: The Nashville Blues
Howdy Forrester: Grey Eagle

9:30: Martha White
Carl Smith: What Am I Going To Do
Jimmy Dickens: Side Meat and Cabbage
Anita Carter: There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Marty Robbins: Isle of Golden Dreams
Martha Carson: Bye and Bye
Carl Smith: Who'll Buy My Heartaches
Jimmy Dickens: Thick and Thin
Chet Atkins: Country Gentleman
Marty Robbins: It's A Long, Long Ride
Fiddle Tune: Soldiers Joy

10:00: Wallrite
George Morgan: Look What Followed Me Home
Carlisles: Tain't Nice
Bill Monroe: Don't Put Off Until Tomorrow
Blue Grass Boys: Monroe's Hornpipe
George Morgan: The First Time I Told You A Lie

10:15: Dr. Le Gear
Hank Snow: No Golden Tomorrow Ahead
Ray Price: You Always Get By
Tommy Vaden: Leather Britches
Cowboy Copas: A Heartbreak Ago
Hank Snow: Within This Broken Heart of Mine

10:30: Jefferson Island Salt
Ernest Tubb: I'm Not Looking For An Angel
Jimmy Dickens: You All Come
Marty Robbins: Don't Make Me Ashamed
Mother Maybelle: You Are My Flower
Moon Mullican: You Don't Have To Be a Baby To Cry
Ernest Tubb: Remember Me, I'm The One Who Loves You
Jordanaires: Tattler's Wagon
Chet Atkins: Little Old Lady
Jimmy Dickens: What About You
Fiddle Tune: Ricketts Hornpipe

11:00: O-Cello-O
Roy Acuff: Freight Train Blues
Martha Carson: I'm Gonna Walk and Talk With My Lord
Bobby Hebb: Mr. Spoons
Gang: Where The Soul of Man Never Dies
Howdy Forrester: Bill Cheatham

11:15: Hester Battery
Carl Smith: Doggone It Baby I'm In Love
Johnny and Jack: Cheated Out of Love
String Bean: Free A Little Bird
Gully Jumpers: Tennessee Wagoner
Carl Smith: The Orchid Means Goodby

11:30: W.E. Stephens
Hank Snow: Wasted Love
Lew Childre: Snow White Horse
Lonza and Oscar: It Can't Be Done
Crook Brothers: Alabama Gal
Hank Snow: Act I, Act II, Act III

11:45: Mathewson Chemical Co. 
Webb Pierce: You Just Can't Be True
Sam and Kirk McGee: Waiting For A Letter
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire In The Mountain
Ken Marvin; When I Stop Loving You
Webb Pierce: It's Been So Long

A note about Ken Marvin (Lloyd George), who you might remember as as the original Lonzo, who partnered up with Rollin Sullivan to form "Lonzo and Oscar and Winston County Pea Pickers." They were originally a part of Eddy Arnold's road show, and appeared with Eddy in the mid 1940s. In 1947, Eddy let the duo go and they were signed by Steve Sholes to RCA Victor and he helped to get them on the Grand Ole Opry. Later recording on Capital Records, Lonzo and Oscar had success with a number of songs. In January 1950, Lonzo (Ken Marvin) decided to quit the act, as he was tired of the comedy and wanted to make serious country music. He was replaced by Johnny Sullivan.

Meanwhile, Ken Marvin continued recording throughout the 1950s; he released many songs on the Capitol, Mercury, RCA Victor, Intro, Todd, and Briar labels. In the 1960s, he changed his stage name from Ken Marvin to his real name, Lloyd George, where he released songs on Imperial Records. Ken Marvin's best known song is "Uh-Huh Honey", which nearly became a hit. He was also a disc jockey on WSKY in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1956. After Lloyd quit making records, later in his life, he started booking shows for Bill Monroe.

Ken Marvin passed away in October 1991. 

There you have it for this week. As always thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night and if you so wish, will tune into the NBC special on Sunday night. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Grand Ole Opry Saturday February 6

Well, it is finally here. After a wait of almost a year, Rhonda Vincent will be formally inducted on Saturday night as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Happily, I will be heading down this weekend and will be at the Opry on Saturday night. 

Bluegrass award-winner Rhonda Vincent began her professional music career at the age of five, playing drums with her family’s band, the Sally Mountain Show. She picked up the mandolin at eight and the fiddle at ten, performing with the family band at festivals on weekends.

Rhonda struck out on her own, singing with the Grand Ole Opry’s Jim Ed Brown. Her opportunity eventually led to a deal with Rebel Records. Her work caught the attention of Giant Nashville’s president, James Stroud, who signed Vincent to record two contemporary country albums.

After Giant, she signed with Rounder Records where her passion for traditional bluegrass music flourished. She made her label debut in 2000 with Back Home Again, recorded with her band, The Rage. She showcases her hard-driving, high-energy contemporary bluegrass on The Storm Still Rages in 2001, One Step Ahead in 2003, Ragin’ Live in 2005, All American Bluegrass Girl in 2006, and Good Thing Going in 2008.

In 2000, Vincent won her first in a string of seven Female Vocalist of the Year Awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association. In 2001, she won the Entertainer of the Year Award. In 2011, Vincent released a collaboration album with Gene Watson titled Your Money and My Good Looks.

During the Friday Night Opry on February 28, Rhonda was surprised by Opry member Jeannie Seely with an invitation to become the Opry's newest member. For many of us, it was a long overdue invite as Rhonda has appeared as a guest dozens and dozens of times over her career and has always expressed a desire to be an Opry member one day. Sadly, due to Covid and the various restrictions in place, it took almost a year for her formal induction to take place. Happily, it will finally happen. 

Looking at the rest of the line-up for Saturday night, once again it will be Opry "regulars" Jeannie Seely and Riders In The Sky fronting the show, along with members Mark Wills and Dierks Bentley. Guesting this weekend will be songwriter and Hall of Fame member Don Schlitz and making his Grand Ole Opry debut, Parker McCollum. 

7:00: Jeannie Seely; Riders In The Sky; Mark Wills; Don Schlitz
8:00: Dierks Bentley; Parker McCollum; Rhonda Vincent

It will be interesting who will do Rhonda's induction. With Covid and social distancing, it will be interesting for sure. 

As previously mentioned, Parker McCollum will be making his Grand Ole Opry debut this weekend. 

Parker McCollum was born in 1992 and raised in Conroe, Texas. Early in his life he listened to classic country musicians such as Willie Nelson, Buck Owens and Porter Wagoner, and his family introduced him to red dirt musicians such as Cross Canadian Ragweed, Pat Green and Chris Knight. Working summers on a cattle ranch with his grandfather,[6] McCollum was further exposed to artists such as Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, and Steve Earle.

In elementary school McCollum learned violin and played in the school orchestra, and he started learning guitar at age thirteen. At thirteen he also began writing his own music, mixing genres such as Texas country music, Americana, and indie rock. After performing at a number of local open mics with his guitar, he started learning harmonica at age fifteen. By sixteen he was securing gigs at local venues, and he continued to work on his material through high school. After graduation he moved to Austin, Texas, where he began attending college.

McCollum continued to perform as a singer-songwriter while living in Austin, and he also went on his first tour with the Texas band Six Market Blvd. The tour inspired the lyrics for his first single, "Highway", which was released on June 5, 2013, and later included on his debut EP A Red Town View. Released on November 19, 2013. 

McCollum's debut album The Limestone Kid, was released on February 24, 2015. Recorded at Cedar Creek Recording in Austin, it included styles such as Americana, Texas country, and folk-rock. 

McCollum released an EP titled Probably Wrong: Session One on July 7, 2017. It was his first release to appear on the Billboard charts, debuting at No. 6 on Heatseekers Albums, No. 14 on Independent Albums chart, and No. 15 on Country Album Sales chart. Probably Wrong Session Two was released shortly after on September 8, 2017. The full 10-track Probably Wrong album was released on November 10, 2017.

McCollum signed with Universal Music Group on June 27, 2019. His first single under the label was "Pretty Heart". On October 16, 2020, McCollum released the EP, Hollywood Gold.

Now from 50 years ago, Saturday February 6, 1971: 

1st show
6:30: Hank Locklin (host); Bill Carlisle
6:45: Tex Ritter (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Louvin and Diane McCall
7:00: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis; Grandpa Jones; Wilma Lee Cooper
7:30; Porter Wagoner (host); Dolly Parton; Earl Scruggs Revue; Crook Brothers; Stringbean
8:00: Lester Flatt (host); Bobby Bare; Tom T. Hall; David Houston; Barbara Mandrell
8:30: Hank Snow (host0; Billy Walker; Billy Grammer; Jimmy C Newman; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Willis Brothers

2nd show
9:30: Charlie Louvin (host); Willis Brothers; Jean Shepard; Diane McCall
10:00: Tex Ritter (host); Earl Scruggs Revue; Dillards; Grandpa Jones
10:15: Bill Monroe (host); Skeeter Davis; Stringbean
10:30: Lester Flatt (host); Hank Locklin; Bill Carlisle
10:45: Porter Wagoner (host); Dolly Parton; David Houston; Crook Brothers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Bobby Bare; Tom T. Hall; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam McGee
11:30: Billy Walker (host); Jimmy C Newman; Billy Grammer; Margie Bowes

Looking back, it was on Saturday February 7, 1976 that Grand Ole Opry member Ronnie Milsap made his first Saturday night appearance as an Opry member. It was a big weekend for Ronnie has he had officially became an Opry member the night before, during the Friday Night Opry. 

Here is the running order from 45 years ago, Saturday February 7, 1976: 

1st show
6:30; Mrs. Grissoms
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line/The World Each Day
Billy Grammer: That's Life/God Will Take Care of You

6:45: Rudy's
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host): Curly Headed Baby
Skeeter Davis: Love Will Keep Us Together
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Wilma Lee Cooper: The Tramp on the Street

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): On A Highway Headed South
Barbara Mandrell: Standing Room Only
Roy Drusky: Sunrise
Ernie Ashworth: Wichita Woman
Barbara Mandrell: Steel Guitar Rag
Roy Drusky: One Day at a Time
Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life/The Carroll County Accident/Green, Green Grass of Home/Indian Creek

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Don Gibson: Sweet Dreams
Marion Worth: You Win Again
Justin Tubb: Looking Back to See
Roy Acuff: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Gray Eagle
Don Gibson: Oh, Lonesome Me

8:00: Martha White
Osborne Brothers (host): Smokey Mountain Smoke
Grandpa Jones: Ball Headed End of the Broom
Connie Smith: "Til I Kissed You
Charlie Louvin and Pam Dickerson: Don't It Seem to Rain A Lot in Our Lives
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Stu Phillips: A Castle; A Cabin
Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Ronnie Milsap: Day Dreams
Bill Carlisle: I'm Moving
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Brush Arbor: White Line
Hank Snow: The Next Voice You Hear

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Roy Drusky (host): Alone With You
Willis Brothers: Bob
Don Gibson: I Can't Stop Loving You
Skeeter Davis: One Tin Soldier
Justin Tubb: As Long As There's A Sunday
Don Gibson: Blue, Blue Day
Roy Drusky: Bouquet of Roses

10:00: Fender
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Sunshine
Barbara Mandrell: Satisfied
Del Wood: The Entertainer
Porter Wagoner: The Last One to Touch Me

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Traveling the Highway Home
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Heartbreak Street
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird/I Saw the Light

10:30: Trailblazer
Grandpa Jones (host): Nashville on My Mind
Osborne Brothers: Smokey Mountain Smoke
Billy Grammer: That's Life
Grandpa Jones: Make Me A Pallet Down on the Floor

10:45: Beechnut
Hank Locklin (host): The Sweetest Mistake I Every Made
Connie Smith: 'Til I Kissed You
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Cotton Eyed Joe
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Tangled Mind
Stu Phillips: Only You Can Hush the Wind
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Ernie Ashworth: Wichita Woman
Kirk McGee: My Darling Rose Malone
Hank Snow: Mary Ann Regrets

11:30: Elm Hill
Charlie Louvin (host): I Just Want Out
Jeanne Pruett: Break Me Mind/Satin Sheets
Ronnie Milsap: Lovesick Blues/Just in Case/Day Dreams
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
Charlie Louvin and Pam Dickerson: If I Could Only Win Your Love

Congratulations to Ronnie Milsap upon his 45th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. 

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry this Saturday night, when Rhonda Vincent officially joins the cast of the Grand Ole Opry.