Thursday, February 29, 2024

Grand Ole Opry 3/1 & 3/2

The month of March is upon us and it is going to be a busy month at the Grand Ole Opry. There are some very nice shows coming up this month, highlighted by Trisha Yearwood's 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and the 50th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry House. 

Before getting into the lineups for this week, the Grand Ole Opry announced the Opry NextStage Class of 2024. Opry NextStage is the program dedicated to supporting emerging artists and introducing them to country music fans. Handpicked by the Opry and sponsored by Tecovas, the Class of 2024 includes Anne Wilson, Charles Wesley Godwin, Chase Matthew, 49 Winchester, Ella Langley, Flatland Calvary, Josh Ross, Madeline Edwards and Wyatt Flores. Each of these acts have already made Opry appearances and we can expect to see each member of this class often in the coming year. 

Looking at the lineups for the shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry will feature members Del McCoury, Rhonda Vincent, Don Schlitz and Connie Smith. Opry NextStage artists Elvie Shane and Tenille Towns are listed, and rounding out the schedule is a return appearance by Taylor Hicks, and The Malpass Brothers. For those who might not be aware, The Malpass Brothers have been filming a television series in Texas. 

Saturday night has members Jeannie Seely and Mandy Barnett on the schedule. Also appearing and making their first Opry appearances of 2024 are Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. It is certainly nice to have both back, especially Ricky who has been busy out on the road. Frank Ray is guesting, as is Huntergirl, who will be making her Opry debut, comedian Karen Mills and Steve Earle

Speaking of The Whites. It will be a very special night for the family group as they will be celebrating their 40th year as members of the Grand Ole Opry. They joined the cast on March 2, 1984 and since joining the Opry, have been very loyal and dedicated members. 

Friday March 1
7:00: Rhonda Vincent, Tenille Towns, Taylor Hicks, The Malpass Brothers
8:15: Connie Smith, Elvie Shane, Del McCoury Band, Don Schlitz

Saturday March 2
7:00: Opry Square Dancers, Jeannie Seely, Frank Ray, The Whites, Steve Earle
8:15: Mandy Barnett, Karen Mills, Opry Square Dancers, Huntergirl, Ricky Skaggs

As mentioned, Huntergirl is making her Opry debut on Saturday and she wrote on her Instagram page: A dream I’ve had since I was a little girl is coming true next year, March 2nd. I will be making my debut at the @opry!! 馃┓This year has been full of so many blessings, and I’m so grateful to y’all for coming on this journey with me. Thank you for listening to my songs, coming to the shows, and following me this year. I love you all so much, and I wouldn’t be getting to live my dream if it wasn’t for your love and support. I hope to see you guys there when I step on the Grand Ole Opry stage. It will be a moment I’ll never forget.

I know many of us who saw her on American Idol and like me, were impressed, have been wondering when she would be appearing on the Opry. Finally, this Saturday night. 

Only two more Saturday night shows left at the Ryman Auditorium before the move to the new Grand Ole Opry House. Here is the lineup from the first show on Saturday March 2, 1974: 
6:30: Charlie Walker (host): Justin Tubb, Del Wood
6:45: Charlie Louvin (host): Diane McCall, Willis Brothers, Ernie Ashworth
7:00: Roy Acuff (host): Jean Shepard, Billy Grammer, Bill Carlisle
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host): Dolly Parton, Stonewall Jackson, Crook Brothers
8:00: Lester Flatt (host): Hank Locklin, Jimmy C Newman, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper
8:30: Hank Snow (host): Connie Smith, The 4 Guys, Stu Phillips, Fruit Jar Drinkers

Finally, March 2, 1963, was the final night that Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. Here is the running order from that final night: 

7:30: Kellogg's
George Morgan (host): Little Dutch Girl 
Carter Family: 14 Carat Nothing
Jimmy Newman: Bayou Talk
Willis Brothers: Eat A Little More
George Morgan: Untie The Know
Harold Morrison: Pretty Little Pink
June Carter: Comedy
Jimmy Newman: A Fallen Star
George Morgan: Down Memory Lane

8:00: Martha White
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host): Come Walk With Me
Billy Walker: I've Got A New Heartache
Wilburn Brothers: Rolly Muddy River
Stringbean: Pretty Little Widow
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: There's A Higher Power
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Margie Bowes: Think It Over
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Wilburn Brothers: Trouble's Back In Town
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Philadelphia Lawyer

8:30: Stephens
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): Darkness On The Face of The Earth
Lonzo and Oscar: There's A Hole In The Bottom of The Sea
Bobby Lord: Out Behind The Barn
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Hawkshaw Hawkins: I Don't Apologize
Glaser Brothers: Lover's Farewell
Curly Fox: (?)
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Silver Threads & Golden Needles

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Cowbody Copas (host): You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry
Bill Monroe: (?)
Roy Drusky: Second Hand Rose
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Cowbody Copas: Alabam'
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Carlisle: Shutter & Boards
Billl Monroe: (?)
Cowbody Copas: The Man Upstairs

9:30: Pet Milk
Roy Acuff (host): Plastic Heart
Jordanaires: (?)
Marion Worth: Shake Me; I Rattle
Cousin Jody: Lady Cop
Roy Acuff: The Wreck On The Highway
Brother Oswald: Roll on, Buddy, Roll On
Justin Tubb: (?)
Jimmy Riddle: Fox Chase
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

10:00: Gates Rubber
George Morgan (host): Roly Poly
Curly Fox: (?)
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Satisfied
Del Wood: Bill Bailey
George Morgan: Who's Jealous Now

10:15: Luzianne
Wilburn Brothers (host): Day After Day
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Margie Bowes: Within Your Crowd
Harold Morrison: The Cat Came Back
Wilburn Brothers: Not That I Care

10:30: Harvey's
Jimmy Newman (host): (?)
Carter Family: (?)
Billy Walker: Thank You For Calling
Jimmy Newman: (?)

10:45: Ford
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): Big Old Heartache
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Stringbean: There'll Be Moonshine In Them Old Kentucky Hills
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Lonesome 7-7203

11:00: Coca Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Little Pal
Jordanaires: (?)
Marion Worth: Tennessee Teardrops
Lonzo and Oscar: I'm My Own Grandpa
Roy Acuff and Brother Oswald: Stuck Up Blues
Sam and Kirk McGee: While I'm Away
Justin Tubb: (?)
Brother Oswald: John Hardy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Roy Acuff: Shake My Mother's Hand For Me

11:30: SSS Tonic
Cowboy Copas (host): Down In Nashville, Tennessee
Bill Monroe: (?)
Roy Drusky: It Worries Me
Cousin Jody: Mockingbird
Archie Campbell: A Fool's Side of Town
Glaser Brothers: Odds & Ends
Bobby Lord: So Doggone Lonesome
Bill Monroe: (?)
Cowboy Copas: Flat Top

As an FYI, Patsy Cline had made her final Opry appearance the week before. 

The three of them, along with Randy Hughes, would pass away on March 5 in that terrible airplane crash returning to Nashville from Kansas City. 

To finish it up for this week, there will be no Tuesday Night Opry. However, Opry Country Classics does return with Larry Gatlin once again hosting. 

Opry Country Classics
Thursday March 7
Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Lorrie Morgan
Also Appearing: Gatlin Brothers, Jeannie Seely, Brennen Leigh, Waylon Payne

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 25, 2024

Tuesday Night Opry 2/27

The Grand Ole Opry closes out the month of February with a very nice Tuesday Night Opry. Grand Ole Opry members Dailey & Vincent, Henry Cho and Jamey Johnson are on the schedule. Among the non-members appearing are Lainey Wilson and Asleep At The Wheel. Also listed is James Barker Band, who will be making their Opry debut. 

Tuesday February 27
7:00: Dailey & Vincent, James Barker Band, Henry Cho, Jamey Johnson
8:15: Asleep At The Wheel, Charles Wesley Godwin, Lainey Wilson

My guess is that the final hour will be taped for a future Opry Live show on Circle All Access. 

James Barker Band, who will be making their Opry debut, have fueled an incredible story over the last decade, largely on their own, from opening for local bands in dive bars to charting multiple No. 1 singles and hundreds of millions of global streams to headlining festivals and playing stages across North America and Europe. After landing their record-setting, GOLD-certified fourth No. 1 in Canada with "New Old Trucks" feat. 14x GRAMMY-nominated artist Dierks Bentley, the group currently holds the title of the most No. 1’s for a Canadian country group in the BDS/Mediabase era. With this, the multi-award-winning four-piece is continuing their meteoric ascent in Nashville.

Made up of James Barker (lead vocals/guitar), Taylor Abram (guitar/background vocals), Connor Stephen (drums), and Bobby Martin (bass), the members of James Barker Band grew up within an hour of each other in rural towns surrounding Toronto. In 2017 these best friends saw their hard work pay off when they sent their single “Chills” straight to the top of Billboard’s Canadian Hot 100 chart. From there, James Barker Band released a string of successful singles, including the GOLD-certified tracks “Wastin’ Whiskey,” “New Old Trucks,” “Over All Over Again,” “There's A Drink For That”, “Just Sayin',” “It's Working,” “Lawn Chair Lazy,” “Good Together,” “Summertime,” as well as Platinum-certified songs “Keep It Simple” and "Chills'' and a GOLD-certified EP (Game On). 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Grand Ole Opry 2/23 & 2/24

I think we are all very happy with the news that T. Graham Brown has been invited by Vince Gill to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Obviously, in my opinion, this is long overdue and well deserved. T. Graham has been guesting on the Opry for decades and many times, he has expressed his love and appreciation of the show. I am looking forward to his induction and I am very confident that T. Graham will be an outstanding Opry member. Congratulations to T. Graham. 

Now looking at this week's lineups, the Friday Night Opry will feature members Riders In The Sky, Connie Smith and Don Schlitz, while Jeannie Seely, Rhonda Vincent, Bill Anderson and Vince Gill are on the schedule for Saturday. For Vince, this will be his first appearance of 2024 as he has been busy touring with The Eagles. 

Exile is on the schedule for Friday night. Exile has been around for 60 years and they still sound as good as ever. While they have made it known that they would like to become Opry members, I don't see it happening any time soon. 

Joining Exile will be the fantastic Fisk Jubilee Singers, along with Miko Marks, George Birge and a couple of artists who will be making their Opry debuts: Carin Leon and James McMurtry. 

Saturday night will see another Opry debut with Matt Schuster, along with Larry Fleet, Cyndi Thompson and Wendy Moten. 

Friday February 23
7:00: Riders In The Sky, Miko Marks, George Birge, Connie Smith, Exile
8:15: Carin Leon, James McMurtry, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Don Schlitz

Saturday February 24
7:00: Opry Square Dancers, Jeannie Seely, Matt Schuster, Wendy Moten, Rhonda Vincent
8:15: Bill Anderson, Larry Fleet, Opry Square Dancers, Cyndi Thompson, Vince Gill

Carin Leon, who is from Hermosillo, located in the center of the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora, Le贸n was raised in a family where music was always present. Le贸n embarked on his musical journey at the age of 15, taking his first steps by learning to play the guitar and developing skills in singing and songwriting. In 2018, Le贸n released his debut album, Desvelada con Banda y Mariachi, which propelled him to quickly dominate the Regional Mexican music scene as a performer, singer and songwriter.

In 2021, he became the first Regional Mexican artist to participate in the Spotify Singles series and teamed up with country music star Walker Hayes for a Spanglish version of “Fancy Like” for Amazon Music Latin’s “La Cultura That Connects Us” campaign. In the same year, his album IN脡DITO debuted atop the Apple Music charts, reaching #1 on the Mexican Music chart and #3 on the Latin Music chart. IN脡DITO was named one of Billboard's 25 Best Latin Albums of 2021 and Le贸n also took part in the “Regional No More—Mexican Music Goes Global” panel as part of Billboard Latin Music Week.

Le贸n continued his rapid ascent in 2023, including a Latin Grammy win for Best Norte帽o Album for Colmillo de Leche and releasing two massive hit singles, with “Primera Cita” and “Seg煤n Qui茅n” each charting Top 25 on Spotify and Top 30 on Billboard Global 200. Throughout his young career Le贸n has received countless nominations and numerous awards, including an ASCAP Award for the song “Me La Avent茅” and a number of Premio Lo Nuestro Awards (“Regional Mexican Breakthrough Artist,” “Best Male Artist” and “Banda Song of the Year”). In addition, Le贸n won his first Latin Grammy for “Best Regional Mexican Song” in 2022 for the song “Como lo Hice Yo,” which was released in collaboration with Mexican pop group Matisse. 

James McMurtry is an American rock and folk rock/americana singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader, and occasional actor (Daisy Miller, Lonesome Dove, and narrator of Ghost Town: 24 Hours in Terlingua). He performs with veteran bandmates Daren Hess, Cornbread and Tim Holt.

He spent his first seven years in Ft. Worth but was raised mostly in Leesburg, Virginia and began performing in his teens. In 1987, a friend suggested that he enter the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk songwriter contest; he became one of six winners that year. At the same time, John Mellencamp was starring in a film based on a script by McMurtry's father, which gave McMurtry the opportunity to send a demo tape to Mellencamp. Mellencamp subsequently served as co-producer on McMurtry's debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland (1989). Over the next couple of decades, he has released numerous albums, some of which have been controversial. 

During restrictions on touring and live music imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, he started streaming several live acoustic performances a week on Facebook and YouTube. Currently living in the Austin area, he regularly plays a midnight set at The Continental Club on Wednesday nights after Jon Dee Graham, another Austin roots rock musician.

Matt Schuster, who is making his Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday night, comes from the heart of small-town Southern Illinois, Schuster's artistry resonates with the warmth of classic rock and the invigorating ambition of modern pop, redefining the sonic landscape of Nashville and beyond. Bold, effortlessly soulful and so undeniably invigorating it can stop you in your tracks, the 2023 Nashville Briefing Artist to Watch calls his style a smooth-yet-electrifying vision of new school “country rock.” His major-label debut track "Tell Me Tennessee” received rave reviews from MusicRow, crowning Schuster with the weekly DISCovery Award and calling his sound “one of the most innovative [they’ve] heard these days.” Meanwhile, his latest release “Last Fall” pushes Schuster further out into no-man’s land, mixing vivid lyrics and poetic imagery with the epic electricity powering his revived country-rock vision. 

Looking back 50 years ago to Saturday February 23, 1974, the Grand Ole Opry presented its first Reunion Show, also known as "Old-Timer's Night." The first show was an opportunity for some of the Opry's former and retired members to come back to the Ryman Auditorium for a final time before the move to the new Grand Ole Opry House. 

From 50 years ago, Saturday February 23, 1974:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Willis Brothers (host): Big Daddy
Jim and Jesse: Paradise
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop/Give Me 40 Acres

6:45: Rudy's
Roy Drusky (host): Second Hand Rose
Jimmy C Newman: Potato Song
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Roy Drusky: Don't It Make You Want To Go Home

7:00: Rudy's
Roy Acuff (host): Whoa, Mule, Whoa
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Pee Wee King: Bonaparte's Retreat/Slowpoke
Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart: Tennessee Waltz
Sid Harkreader: Mockingbird Breakdown/How Beautiful Heaven Must Be
DeFord Bailey: Pan American/Fox Chase
Roy Acuff: I Saw The Light

7:30: Standard Candy
Jim Ed Brown (host): Southern Loving
David Houston: I Love You; I Love You; I Love You
Billy Grammer: Gotta Travel On
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Jim Ed Brown: The Old Lamplighter/Scarlet Ribbons/The Three Bells
David Houston: Good Things
Billy Grammer: How Great Thou Art

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Salty Dog Blues
Grandpa and Ramona Jones: Heading South with Nashville On My Mind
Charlie Louvin: Little Reasons/Will You Visit Me On Sundays/What Are Those Things
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: I Shall Not Be Moved
Bill Carlisle: Same Old Tale That The Crow Told Me
Lester Flatt: Is Anybody Going North To Cincinnati
Grandpa Jones: You Don't Love Me Like You Used To
Lester Flatt: Train 45

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Jean Shepard: Second Fiddle
Charlie Walker: Wanting My Woman Again
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way To Say Goodbye
Jean Shepard: At The Time
Hank Snow: I'm Moving On

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Clyde Moody: I Know What It Means To Be Lonesome
Curly Fox: The Old Gray Mule/Listen To The Mockingbird

10:00: Fender
David Houston (host): Living In A House Full of Love
Charlie Louvin: You're My Wife; She's My Woman
David Houston: Almost Persuaded

10:15: Union 76
Jimmy C Newman (host): Jambalaya
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: I Couldn't Care Less
Jim and Jesse: Paradise
Jimmy C Newman: Cry, Cry Darling

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Nine Pound Hammer
Grandpa Jones: Ol' Rattler Left Us Years Ago
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Lester Flatt: Homestead On The Farm

10:45: Beechnut
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Jim Ed Brown: Sometimes Sunshine
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Soldier's Joy
Billy Grammer: Just A Closer Walk with Thee

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Hello, Love
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Bill Carlisle: Have A Drink On Me
Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
Hank Snow: Paper Roses

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down/Wanting My Woman Again
Justin Tubb: Texas Dance Hall Girl/Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
Ronnie Robbins: Broke Down & Alone
Marty Robbins: I'm Wanting To/Don't Worry/Big Boss Man/They'll Never Take Her Love From Me/Love Me/I Couldn't Believe It Was True/Driftwood On The River/I'll Step Aside/El Paso

(Stonewall Jackson was scheduled for both shows but cancelled, while Roy Drusky was scheduled for only the early show. And, on an additional note, it was strange to see Roy Acuff opening the second show. Rarely did he open shows on the Opry). 

The reunion shows became an annual event where each year various former or retired Opry members would come back to make appearances on the Opry. 

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

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Tuesday Night Opry 2/20

The lineup has been posted for the Tuesday night show and it is not too bad. Grand Ole Opry members Crystal Gayle, Don Schlitz, Gary Mule Deer and Riders In The Sky are scheduled, as is T. Graham Brown, who should be an Opry member. Meanwhile, The Wilder Blue will be making their Opry debut. 

Tuesday February 20
7:00: T. Graham Brown, Corb Lund, Crystal Gayle, Don Schlitz
8:15: Sierra Ferrell, Gary Mule Deer, The Wilder Blue, Riders In The Sky

As mentioned, this will be the Opry debut for The Wilder Blue. The group has been around since 2019 and consists of primary frontman Zane Williams, Paul Eason, drummer Lyndon Hughes and bassist Sean Rodriguez, and Andy Rogers. Their music is described as "rock influenced country." 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Grand Ole Opry 2/16 & 2/17

Dolly Parton has finally spoken about Elle King's Grand Ole Opry performance at her birthday tribute show, and she isn't fresh out of forgiveness.

The queen of country music asked folks to forgive and forget during an interview with "Extra" that aired over the weekend. Parton addressed King's performance and showed why so many people are endeared by the blonde bombshell from Tennessee.

What did Dolly Parton say about Elle King's Grand Ole Opry performance?

“Elle is really a great artist,” Parton said during the interview. “She’s a great girl, and she’s been going through hard things lately. She just had a little too much to drink, so let’s just forgive that and forget it and move on, ‘cause she felt worse than anyone ever could,” Parton said.

There you have it. If Dolly is willing to forgive, we all should. 

Moving on, the Grand Ole Opry has posted the lineups for the shows this upcoming weekend. The weekend will feature the usual Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. 

On the Friday Night Opry, Opry members Connie Smith, Mark Wills and Riders In The Sky are on the schedule. 

It's always a pleasure to see Kathy Mattea on the schedule. Kathy is one of the ones on my list that I feel should have been an Opry member years ago. I don't know if it will ever happen for her or not, but I would really love to see her someday join the cast. Also appearing will be Country Music Hall of Fame member Dean Dillon, along with Chase Matthew, Mitchell Tenpenny and making her Opry debut, Lola Kirke. 

Mark Wills will be making it a two-show weekend as he will be back on Saturday night, along with Bill Anderson, John Conlee, Gary Mule Deer, and adding to her record number of Opry appearances, Jeannie Seely. 

Deana Carter leads the list of non-members, appearing along with Jake Worthington and Camille Parker, who will be making her Opry debut. 

Friday February 16
7:00: Mark Wills, Connie Smith, Lola Kirke, Chase Matthew
8:15: Dean Dillon, Kathy Mattea, Mitchell Tenpenny, Riders In The Sky

Saturday February 17
7:00: Opry Square Dancers, Mark Wills, Jeannie Seely, Camille Parker, John Conlee
8:15: Bill Anderson, Jake Worthington, Opry Square Dancers, Gary Mule Deer, Deana Carter

As mentioned, Lola Kirke will be making her Opry debut on Friday night. Here is the press release announcing her debut: 

November 27, 2023 – Lola Kirke will make her Grand Ole Opry debut on February 16th, and she received a hell of a gift to mark the occasion. Rosanne Cash extended the offer to Kirke to make her Opry debut and gifted her one of June Carter Cash’s dresses for Kirke to wear during her debut. Kirke’s Opry debut comes on the same day she will release her new EP Country Curious, which was produced by Elle King and features contributions from First Aid Kit and Rosanne Cash. Kirke also recently took The New Yorker to a line dancing class in NYC as they learned a new line dance to Country Curious standout “He Says Y’All,” a “Talk of the Town” piece about the night is in the current issue.

“I have no problem dying so long as it happens after February 16th,” says Kirke of her Opry debut.

Country Curious showcases a young woman finding her musical footing in a thrilling way. In addition to collaborations with King, Cash and First Aid Kit on Country Curious, Kirke got to write songs with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters, including Aaron Ratiere (Miranda Lambert, Midland), Jon Decious (Ashley McBryde), Mary Kutter (Bailey Zimmerman, Nate Smith) and Jason Nix (Lainey Wilson). Kirke has lived in Nashville since 2020 and has made it her goal to immerse herself in the city’s world-renowned songwriting community and continue to refine her craft.

“What I’ve long loved about Country is the room it gives for women to be extremely dynamic and have that heart and that toughness and the ability to be domestic and wild,” Kirke says. “There’s also a space for men to cry. I’ve never heard so many references to men crying as I have in Country music. Those contradictions are so interesting to me.”

Kirke will tour in support of Country Curious, including an appearance at Stagecoach in April. 

Here is the article regarding Camille Parker and her Opry debut on Saturday night: 

Camille Parker had an onstage moment that she'll never forget while performing at Whiskey Jam, the long-running, weekly Nashville staple showcasing live music.  Madeline Edwards surprised Parker with a very special invitation: to make her Grand Ole Opry debut. 

"Camille is one of the hardest workers I know. She's one of the most determined people I know, and as two people that chose to leave everything and chase a dream and move to Nashville, you're one of my closest friends," Edwards said. Then, Edwards encouraged cheers from the crowd as she made the official invitation to Parker, saying, "You are about to make your Grand Ole Opry debut!" 

Parker was visibly shocked and overwhelmed with joy following the ask, jumping up and down and hugging Edwards while exiting the stage. On Instagram, the Opry left her a very special comment, "See you soon, @iamcamilleparker!"

It is the first time in over 900 Whiskey Jam shows that an Opry debut has been made during the show. Whiskey Jam founder Ward Guenther grabbed the microphone to address the cheering crowd saying, "She is for real! That is the first time that's ever happened on the Whiskey Jam stage and I'm so glad it's for you, Camille!" 

Parker's latest release, EP After The Whiskey Pt. 1, is out now. No word yet on her Opry debut date, but it will undoubtedly be an incredibly special night when she steps into that iconic circle for the first time. 

I noticed that both of these Opry debut invitations were presented to Kirke and Camille by non-Opry members. I just found that interesting. I also noticed the Kirke's new EP was produced by Elle King. 

As the countdown continues to the 50th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry House, here is the lineup from 50 years ago, Saturday February 16, 1974: 

1st show
6:30: Stonewall Jackson (host): Del Wood, Ernie Ashworth
6:45: Bill Monroe (host): Billy Grammer, Jim and Jesse
7:00: Roy Acuff (host): Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, Minnie Pearl, Bill Carlisle
7:30: Bill Anderson (host): Bob Luman, Willis Brothers, Crook Brothers, Tennessee Travelers
8:00: Lester Flatt (host): Grandpa and Ramona Jones, George Morgan, Stu Phillips, Marty Stuart
8:30: Hank Snow (host): David Houston, Fruit Jar Drinkers, Justin Tubb

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host): Willis Brothers, Jim and Jesse, Ernie Ashworth, Jimmy Gatley
10:00: Bill Monroe (host): Bob Luman, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper
10:15: Stonewall Jackson (host): Ray Pillow, Del Wood
10:30: Lester Flatt (host): Grandpa Jones, Bill Carlisle, Paul Warren
10:45: Roy Acuff (host): Crook Brothers, Tennessee Travelers
11:00: Hank Snow (host): Stu Phillips, Fruit Jar Drinkers, Sam McGee
11:30: George Morgan (host): David Houston, Shoji Tabuchi, Justin Tubb, Roy Wiggins

(Marion Worth cancelled for both shows, while Billy Grammer only appeared on the early show and Ray Pillow on the late show). 

To finish it up, on Saturday February 17, 2001, Brad Paisley became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Brad, who had been appearing on the Opry numerous times as a guest, was invited in December 2000 by Jimmy Dickens and Jeannie Seely. I have to say, that among the many disappointments among Opry members, Brad appears pretty close to the top of the list. As with most of the up-and-coming stars of that period, when he joined Brad professed his love of the Opry and said he would be there. He also said the same thing after the death of Jimmy Dickens. However, his actions speak otherwise. Over the past decade, Brad has made very few Opry appearances. 

Here is the running order from 23 years ago, the night Brad Paisley became a member of the Grand Ole Opry: 

1st show
6:30: Barn
Porter Wagoner (host): Fireball Mail/Night Train To Memphis
Connie Smith: Satisfied
Bill Carlisle: Gone Home
Don Edwards: Saddle Tramp/I'm Kin To The Wind
Porter Wagoner: Brewster's Farm

7:00: Shoney's/Standard Candy
Steve Wariner (host): Burning The Roadhouse Down
BR5-49: The Price of Love
Mel McDaniel: Louisiana Saturday Night
The Whites: Keep On The Sunny Side
Elizabeth Cook: I'm Not Lisa
Trisha Yearwood: The Perfect Love/How Do I Live
Steve Wariner: I Just Do
Brad Paisley: Two People Fall In Love/Me Neither

8:00: Martha White
Jeannie Seely (host): Anytime
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Del Reeves: Bells of Southern Bell
Billy Walker: A Million & One
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Bill Cheatham
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me

8:30: Physicians Mutual
John Conlee (host): She Can't Say That Anymore
Lee Ann Womack: I Hope You Dance/Somebody's Knocking
Vince Gill: Love Wants A Second Chance/Forever in Mind
John Conlee: Rose Colored Glasses

2nd show
Porter Wagoner (host): Howdy Neighbor Howdy
Lee Ann Womack: Never Again, Again/Ashes By Now
Vince Gill: Love Wants A Second Chance/When I Call Your Name
Porter Wagoner: Misery Loves Company

10:00: Lincoln Mercury/Management & Storage
Jeannie Seely (host): You Don't Need Me but You Will
Billy Walker: Faded Lights & Lonesome People/You Gave Me A Mountain
BR5-49: Georgia On A Fast Train
John Shepard: If You Got The Time; We've Got The Beer/Ghost From The Opry
Jeannie Seely: Leaving & Saying Goodbye

10:30: Folex/Joggin In A Jug
John Conlee (host): Domestic Life
Mel McDaniel: Louisiana Saturday Night/Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On
Elizabeth Cook: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Opry Square Dance Band and The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Tennessee Wagoner
John Conlee: The Backside of 30/Rose Colored Glasses

11:00: Coca Cola
Steve Wariner (host): Burning The Roadhouse Down
Trisha Yearwood: Living On The Wrong Side of Memphis/Down On My Knees/She's In Love with The Boy
Brad Paisley: The Streets of Bakersfield/Two People Fell In Love
Steve Wariner and Brad Paisley: Nothing but The Taillights

11:30: Pigeon Forge
Charlie Walker (host): Cherokee Maiden
Connie Smith: Ain't Had No Lovin'/You've Got Me Right Where You Want Me
Don Edwards: The Master's Call/The Ghost Train
Charlie Walker: Smoke; Smoke; Smoke

Well, I don't think anyone complained about the lineup that night. A very solid show.

Congratulations to Brad Paisley upon his Opry anniversary and hopefully we will see Brad back at the Opry soon. 

That covers it for this week. Thanks for reading and commenting and I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry this weekend.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Tuesday Night Opry 2/13

The Tuesday Night Opry this week promises to have a special moment as Gene Watson and The Bellamy Brothers will be debuting their new song. 

Gene Watson posted:

The wait is over. Save the love song of the year "Forever Ain't Long Enough" on your favorite streaming service! Check out the video and don't forget to tune in to the Grand Ole Opry to hear the song performed for the first time on Feb. 13th! 

And as with last year, the Opry is offering "The Opry's Sweet Thing/Premium Lounge Package." The package includes:
A champagne toast
Chocolate covered strawberries.
A rose
Exclusive access to the Circle Room premium lounge with
Unlimited drinks from a private bar
Special hors d’oevres
A visit from one of the night’s artists.

 Available only for the Opry shows on Tuesday, Feb. 13, Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17
*Not valid without a show ticket on the same date.

I hope all who purchase the package enjoy it. 

Looking at who will be performing on the Tuesday Night Opry members Jeannie Seely and Riders In The Sky will be joining Gene Watson, while non-members The Kody Norris Show, Maggie Rose and Tommy Emmanual will be on along with The Bellamy Brothers. 

Tuesday February 13
7:00: Jeannie Seely, The Kody Norris Show, Dolton Dover, Tommy Emmanual
8:15: Riders In The Sky, Gene Watson, Maggie Rose, The Bellamy Brothers

For those who have not heard The Kody Norris Show, I highly recommend this award winning bluegrass group. They are amazing. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Grand Ole Opry 2/9 & 2/10

It's Super Bowl Weekend!!! Although my Cleveland Browns did not make it to the big game this year (in fact, they have never made it to the big game), it should still be a good one. Grand Ole Opry member Reba McEntire will be singing the national anthem prior to the game, while Usher will be the star of the halftime show. An interesting fact about Usher is that he is a minority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

While Reba will not be at the Opry this weekend, Opry members Old Crow Medicine Show will be, and they are scheduled to close out the show both Friday and Saturday night. Joining the group on Friday night will be members Riders In The Sky and Connie Smith. Also scheduled on Friday night is John Conlee, who will be recognized upon his 43rd anniversary as an Opry member. John joined by cast on February 7, 1981. 

In addition to Old Crow Medicine Show on Saturday night, Jeannie Seely, Mandy Barnett and Don Schlitz are also on the schedule. 

Maddie & Tae will make it three weekends in a row as the duo is on the schedule for Friday night. Also appearing will be Carlos DeFord Bailey, the grandson of DeFord Bailey. Rounding out the list is Spencer Crandall and making their Opry debut, Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band. 

The War and Treaty are on the list for Saturday night, along with Sam Williams, Carter Faith and making their Opry debut, The Dead South.

Friday February 9
7:00: Riders In The Sky, Spencer Crandall, John Conlee, Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band
8:15: Connie Smith, Maddie & Tae, Carlos DeFord Bailey, Old Crow Medicine Show

Saturday February 10
7:00: Opry Square Dancers, Jeannie Seely, Carter Faith, Sam Williams, The Dead South
8:15: Mandy Barnett, Don Schlitz, Opry Square Dancers, The War and Treaty, Old Crow Medicine Show

As mentioned, two acts will be making their Opry debuts this weekend: Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band on Friday night and The Dead South on Saturday. 

Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band is based in Northern California and has opened for prestigious bands, including Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives and David Grisman Bluegrass Experience. The band has played at venues such as IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Festival, CBA’s Father's Day Bluegrass Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, SF’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Delfest, and Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. Internationally, the band toured in Japan in 2023 and in 2022, headlined at Bluegrass in La Roche, France. In 2019, they toured throughout Finland, culminating at Kaustinen Folk Music Festival. In 2018, the band was featured on a TEDTalk by Nashville-based singer/songwriter Phoebe Hunt. 

Founded in 2016 as a Duo band, brothers Miles and Teo Quale formed the bluegrass band in 2017 and since then, they have continued to make waves in the world of bluegrass and acoustic music.

The Dead South is from the Canadian prairies and is a four-piece acoustic set that specializes in three-part harmonies. The group plays a little bit of everything: progressive bluegrass, alternative Americana, country, folk and western. 

Continuing the look back to 50 years ago, here is the running order from Saturday February 9, 1974, as the countdown to the new Grand Ole Opry House continues: 

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Charlie Louvin (host): Let Her Go; God Bless Her
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Jimmy C Newman: Potato Song
Charlie Louvin: Did You Ever

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): I've Changed My Mind
Stonewall Jackson: Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Billy Walker: How Great Thou Art

7:00: Rudy's
Jack Greene (host): Take Me Home Country Roads
Jeannie Seely: Can I Sleep In Your Arms Tonight Mister
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Little Darling Pal of Mine
Jim and Jesse: Diesel On My Tail
Ernie Ashworth: Honky Tonk Hardwood Floors
Jack Greene: It's Time To Cross That Bridge
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Coming Down From God
Jack Greene and Jeannie Seely: If It Ain't Love (Leave It Alone)

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilburn Brothers: The City's Going Country
Grandpa and Ramona Jones: Nashville On My Mind
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Tale That The Crow Told Me
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Black Mountain Rag
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Grandpa Jones: Ol' Rattler

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host): Salty Dog Blues
Barbara Mandell: Burning The Midnight Oil
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Lester Flatt and Marty Stuart: The Bluebirds Singing For Me
Charlie Walker: Wanting My Woman Again
Archie Campbell: Making Friends
Lester Flatt: Rawhide

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Hello Love
The 4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way To Say Goodbye
Marion Worth: Paper Roses
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Goodin
The 4 Guys: Catfish John
Stu Phillips: Pride
Hank Snow: I'm Moving On

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Wilburn Brothers (host): Roll Muddy River
Willis Brothers: Truck Stop
Billy Walker: I've Changed My Mind
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Billy Walker: You Have Me A Mountain
Jimmy C Newman: Jambalaya
Jeanne Pruett: Hold To My Unchanging Love

10:00: Fender
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Charlie Louvin: You're My Wife; She's My Woman
Jim and Jesse: Freight Train
Ernie Ashworth: Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Cottonfields/Night Train To Memphis
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: I'm Going Home On The Morning Train

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Black Smoke's A Rising
Grandpa and Ramona Jones: Mt. Laurel
Bill Carlisle: A Dollar Ain't A Dollar Anymore
Nashville Grass: Fall Is A Lonesome Time For Me

10:45: Beechnut
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Charlie Walker: Wanting My Woman Again
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Mississippi Sawyer
Tommy Jones: Orange Blossom Special

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Snowbird
The 4 Guys: Down By The Lazy River
Marion Worth: Delta Dawn
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
The 4 Guys: Hello Walls/Big Bad John/Wings of A Dove
Sam McGee: Farewell Blues/Alabama Jubilee/Just Because
Hank Snow: Paper Roses

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): I Couldn't Believe It Was True
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way To Say Goodbye
Barbara Mandrell and Ronnie Shaw: I Love You; I Love You; I Love You
Barbara Mandrell: Baptism of Jesse Taylor
Marty Robbins: Don't Worry/Love Me/I'm Wanting To/Big Boss Man/Letters Have No Arms/Singing The Blues

(George Morgan was scheduled for both shows but cancelled). 

Finally, as mentioned, John Conlee will be recognized upon his 43rd anniversary as an Opry member on Friday night. John joined the Opry on Saturday February 7, 1981. Here is the running order from that night: 

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Ernie Ashworth: Mind Your Own Business
Stonewall Jackson: Ol' Chunk of Coal

6:45: Rudy's
Charlie Walker (host): Crazy Arms
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong with The Way That We're Doing It Now
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
Charlie Walker: Don't Play Me No Songs About Texas

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Jimmy Dickens: Take An Old Cold Tater
John Conlee: She Can't Say That Anymore/What I Had with You/Rose Colored Glasses
Connie Smith: When God Dips His Love In My Heart
Porter Wagoner: What I've Always Wanted/On A Highway Headed South

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: Slipping Away
Jim & Jesse: Truck Stops & Pretty Girls
Vic Willis Trio: Last Cheater's Waltz
Crook Brothers & The Tennessee Travelers: Durang's Hornpipe
Roy Acuff: That's The Man I'm Looking For

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): I Love You Drops
Skeeter Davis: The Rose
Wilburn Brothers: Making Plans
Ray Pillow: Countryfied
Lonzo & Oscar: Green, Green Grass of Home
Bill Anderson: Mr. Peepers

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): Storms Never Last
The 4 Guys: Fire
Charlie Louvin: Mama's Angels
Roy Drusky: Don't It Make You Want To Go Home
Stu Phillips: I Will
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Bailey
Hank Snow & Kelly Foxton: Check

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner, The 4 Guys, Jimmy Dickens, Billy Grammer, David Houston, Two's Company
10:00: Jack Greene, John Conlee
10:15: Roy Acuff, Jan Howard, Bill Carlisle, Carolee Singers
10:30: Bill Anderson, Jean Shepard, Jim & Jesse
10:45: Charlie Louvin, Connie Smith, Crook Brothers, Tennessee Travelers
11:00: Hank Snow, Skeeter Davis, Fruit Jar Drinkers, Stu Phillips, Kirk McGee, Kelly Foxton
11:30: Roy Drusky, Lonzo & Oscar, Ray Pillow, Opry Staff Band

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