Monday, August 8, 2022

Tuesday Night Opry 8/9 & Opry Country Classics 8/11

So, who else enjoyed Saturday night's Grand Ole Opry? I thought the John Anderson tribute was well done. John looked and sounded great, and those who appeared with him, honored him well. Sierra Hull was amazing, as was David Rawlings and Gillian Welch. While it was a short appearance, it was good to see Tyler Childers at the Opry. 

I know a few of us thought that John would certainly make a great Opry member, and maybe the show Saturday night will put him into the mix. Listening to those hits, it made me think that I never really appreciated John's career. Thanks again to the Opry for another great night of music. 

Now looking ahead to the mid-week shows, the Tuesday Night Opry will feature a trio of Opry members: Mark Wills, Mandy Barnett and Lauren Alaina. Also, on the schedule is another guest appearance by one of those artists in the mix, Scotty McCreery, along with comedian Henry Cho, a return appearance by Shy Carter and the Opry debut for Ben Rector. 

Tuesday August 9
7:00:  Mark Wills, Shy Carter, Mandy Barnett, Henry Cho
8:15: Scotty McCreery, Ben Rector, Lauren Alaina

Opry Country Classics returns for another show on Thursday night, hosted once again by Larry Gatlin. It appears that Jamey Johnson will be the spotlight artist for the show. 

Thursday August 11
Host: Larry Gatlin
Spotlight Artist: Jamey Johnson
Also Appearing, The Gatlin Brothers, T. Graham Brown, Jeannie Seely, Sunny Sweeny

A couple of very nice shows this week. 


Sunday, August 7, 2022

August Opry Highlights

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!! And where has summer gone? I can't believe that August has begun, and many children are returning to school. It has gone fast. I hope everyone is enjoying some great weather and warm temperatures, wherever you are. As usual, here are the important and historical events that have taken place in the history of the Grand Ole Opry, or regarding Opry members, during the month of August:

August 22, 1910: Country Music Hall of Fame member, and former Grand Ole Opry comedian, Rod Brasfield was born in Smithville, Mississippi. Rod joined the Opry in the late 1940s and was famous for his comedy routines with Minnie Pearl and June Carter, among others. Rod was a member of the Opry until he passed away in September 1958.

August 30, 1919: Muriel Ellen Deason, known professionally as Kitty Wells, was born in Nashville. Kitty, along with her husband Johnny Wright, were members of the Grand Ole Opry from the early 1950s until they left the show in December 1964 over a dispute regarding booking fees. Although they left the Opry cast, Kitty would come back to make a few guest appearances on the show. There are also some reports that she asked to rejoin the Opry cast in her later years, but the request was declined. Kitty passed away in July 2012.

August 8, 1921: Webb Pierce was born in West Monroe, Louisiana. Webb first appeared on the Opry in 1952 and joined the cast shortly after. He was an Opry member for a very short period of time as he figured out, he was losing out on a lot of money by not appearing on the road on Saturday nights. Webb would come back and make an occasional appearance in his later years. In 2001, after his death, Webb was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

August 28, 1925: The great guitarist Billy Grammer was born in Benton, Illinois. Billy joined the Opry in 1959 and was as well known for his guitar playing as he was for his singing. His career song was "Gotta Travel On." Billy remained a member of the Opry until his death in August 2011, after spending more than 50 years as an Opry member. Billy also gave the invocation on the night that the new Grand Ole Opry House opened in March 1974. 

August 12, 1927: The man known as "The Wagonmaster," Porter Wagoner was born in West Plains, Missouri. Porter came to the Opry in 1957 from the Ozark Jubilee, and he would remain a very popular Opry member until his death in October 2007, shortly after celebrating 50 years as a member of the Opry. During his long career, this Hall of Fame member had over 80 singles on the country charts and was instrumental in the career of a number of country music artists, including Norma Jean, Dolly Parton, Mel Tillis, Buck Trent and Patty Loveless, among others. Even to this day, Porter is missed at the Opry.

August 29, 1927: Jimmy C Newman was born in High Point, Louisiana. Jimmy joined the Opry in August 1956 and along with his Cajun Band, was a very popular member of the Opry. You could always count on a bouncy, Cajun sound whenever Jimmy appeared on the Opry. Jimmy passed away in June 2014 after a short illness.

August 4, 1931: Former Grand Ole Opry manager Hal Durham was born in McMinnville, Tennessee. After the Grand Ole Opry moved to Opryland and the new Grand Ole Opry House, Hal was asked by newly promoted Opry general manager Bud Wendall to come and help him out. It worked out pretty well and soon Hal was running the Opry. He received the official title of general manager in 1978 and would hold that position for the next 15 years. It should be noted that it was under Hal's direction attendance requirements were relaxed, and a number of members were added to the cast with no commitment to the show. After a long retirement, Hal passed away in March 2009.

August 20, 1935: Justin Tubb was born in San Antonio, Texas. Justin would follow in the footsteps of his famous father Ernest and became a successful country music singer, along with being a fine songwriter. Justin became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955, at the age of 20. At the time he was the Opry's youngest member. Justin remained with the Opry until his sudden death in January 1998.

August 14, 1941: Constance June Meador was born in Elkhart, Indiana. Better known as Connie Smith, she joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1965, left for a few years, then returned for good. In 2015 she celebrated 50 years as a member of the Opry. At the age of 81, and who can even believe that Connie sounds as good as ever and continues to appear regularly on the Opry. Not only does she continue to perform on the Opry, but she has also recently released a new album and still travels on the road, doing dates. 

August 11, 1946: Grand Ole Opry member John Conlee was born in Versailles, Kentucky. John, who has one of the unique voices in country music, joined the Opry in 1981 and remains a very active member of the cast. At the age of 76, John continues to tour and make new music.

August 11, 1952: Hank Williams was fired as a member of the Grand Ole Opry by Opry manager Jim Denny. Hank was fired because it was determined that his behavior and personal habits were detrimental to the Opry, and country music in general. Hank was very upset and disappointed at being fired and had hoped that one day he could return as an Opry member. However, Hank passed away and his Opry return never took place. While there are those who believe that Hank should be reinstated as an Opry member, it should be noted that only living individuals are considered as members, however Hank is recognized on the Opry's membership wall located backstage at the Opry House.

August 16, 1952: Grandpa Jones, who had left Nashville for a short period of time, rejoined the cast of the Opry. Grandpa had first joined the show in the 1940s and when he came back, he stayed with the Opry until his death in 1998. Can it really be over 20 years since Grandpa passed away? Fortunately, we have the old Hee Haw shows that air on Circle TV to help us remember how funny and talented Grandpa was. 

August 29, 1953: James Clell Summey, known professionally as Cousin Jody officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jody first came to the Opry in 1938 as a part of Roy Acuff's group. He also performed with Pee Wee King and Eddy Arnold. While he appeared on the Opry many times as a solo artist, he also appeared with Lonzo & Oscar. While he was noted for his comedy skills, Jody was also a fabulous dobro player, and in fact it was Jody who first played the dobro on the Opry and helped to define the Acuff sound. Cousin Jody stayed as a member of the Opry until the early 1970s, when health issues forced him to retire. He passed away in August 1975.

August 14, 1954: Ernest Tubb took a leave of absence from the Grand Ole Opry. He was gone for a couple of months, returning in November of that year. What is strange about this is that while he was gone from the Opry, Ernest still hosted the Midnight Jamboree each week. Several reasons and rumors were given as to the reason for not appearing on the Opry, with health-related issues being the most common.

August 28, 1954: Stringbean, or "String Beans" as he was referred to during this period of time, left the cast of the Grand Ole Opry to join the Ramblin' Tommy Scott Show. He was gone for just a short period of time and returned to the Opry, where he would remain until his death in November 1973. Over the years, Stringbean's talents, especially his musical skills, have really become underappreciated.

August 4, 1956: As best as can be determined, Jimmy C Newman became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Except for a very brief period of time when Jimmy was absent from the show, Jimmy would remain with the Opry until his death in 2014. On a side note, when Jimmy first joined the Opry, the "C" was missing as at that point he had not dedicated himself to the Cajun sound that he would later become famous for. This was also the date that George Jones made his first guest appearance on the Opry. 

August 11, 1956: This is the date that George Jones first became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The dates have changed numerous times over the years as George would come and go from the Opry. Among other dates listed in various editions of the Grand Ole Opry History Picture Book are August 4, 1956; January 4, 1969 (he did rejoin the cast on that date after previously leaving), and in the 1979 edition of the book, a 1973 date is listed. Not that it all mattered as George wasn't on the Opry all that often, but whenever he did George received a great ovation. 

August 22, 1957: Former Grand Ole Opry member Holly Dunn was born in San Antonio. Texas. Holly was an Opry member for a number of years before retiring and leaving Nashville in 2003. After she left town, the Opry dropped her as a member. Holly passed away in November 2016 after a battle with cancer.

August 4, 1959: Skeeter Davis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. With the exception for a period on time in the 1970s when she was suspended from the Opry's cast, Skeeter was an Opry member until her death in 2004. Skeeter, who's biggest hit was "The End of the World" make her final Opry appearance in 2002, after which declining health forced her into retirement. Skeeter was always bouncy when on the Opry and brought a smile to a lot of faces. She is definitely one of those artists who is missed. 

August 8, 1959: Jim Reeves rejoined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Jim first joined the Opry in 1955. He had left the show a year earlier because of the demands on his career. While Jim did return, it wouldn't be for long. 

August 27, 1960: The Louisiana Hayride took place for the final time. Once considered a rival to the Opry, it would become more famous as being a "farm system" for new Opry members. As the recording industry became more established in Nashville, most of the Hayride's members left Shreveport and moved to music city, thus making it difficult for the Hayride to continue.

August 26, 1961: Future Grand Ole Opry member Ray Pillow made his debut on the Opry. Ray made a great impression and was invited back for more appearances, which eventually led to Ray becoming an Opry member in April 1966, 56 years ago. 

August 10, 1963: Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie, known collectively as The Browns, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. While Maxine and Bonnie left the act in 1967 due to family considerations, Jim Ed continued on as a solo member. Over the years, Maxine and Bonnie would return for guest appearances and it was always a special treat when they did. Jim Ed was an Opry member for over 50 years, before passing away in 2015. Bonnie passed away in 2016, while Maxine passed away in 2019.

August 23, 1963: Former Grand Ole Opry member Milton Estes died at the age of 49. Milton was originally a member of Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys and served as the group's announcer.

August 27, 1963: Former Grand Ole Opry manager Jim Denny passed away from cancer at the age of 52. When he became the Opry's manager, Jim was the first WSM employee to specifically be given that role. During his time with the Opry, he brought dozens of new members to the show including Webb Pierce, who would later be his partner in Cedarwood Publishing, one of the first music publishing companies to locate in Nashville. It was the success of Cedarwood that led to Jim leaving the Opry as WSM management viewed it as a conflict of interest. In 1966, Jim Denny was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

August 7, 1964: The Friday Night Frolics, which was still taking place at the WSM studio, moved to the Ryman Auditorium and was renamed the Friday Night Opry. Even with the move, it was still considered a secondary show in comparison to the Saturday night Opry. Now, there doesn't seem to be much difference between any of the Opry shows. 

August 8, 1964: The Osborne Brothers, Bobby and Sonny, became members of the Grand Ole Opry. While both are still considered members of the Grand Ole Opry, Sonny retired from performing in 2005, at which time Bobby continued with his own group, The Rocky Top X-Press. On this same date, Dottie West became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Dottie, who was finally elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame this past year, passed away in September 1991. While Sonny passed away in 2021, Bobby continues on the Opry and this year will be his 58th year as an Opry member. 

August 14, 1965: Bobby Bare became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Bobby stayed as an Opry member until March 1974, when he quit the cast as the show moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. 43 years later, on April 7, 2018, Bobby had his Opry membership reinstated, a move that was well received by everyone at the Opry. Bobby hasn't appeared on the Opry in several years and I know all of us wish him well. 

August 21, 1965: After changing the date several different times, this seems to be the date that the Opry recognizes as to when Connie Smith became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Originally the Opry listed the date as in June, then switched to the August date. What is interesting in either case is that Connie did not appear on the Opry on this date, but actually first appeared as on Opry member a month later, in September. Regardless, this will be Connie's 57th year as an Opry member. Also, Bob Luman joined the Opry on the same date as Connie.

August 28, 1965: After suffering serious injuries seven weeks earlier in a car accident, Roy Acuff returned to the Opry stage.

August 17, 1967: Charlie Walker became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Charlie, who is a member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame, came to the Opry from Texas, where he launched his very successful recording career. Charlie was always a very active member of the Opry and continued to perform on the show until his death in September 2008.

August 5, 1968: Grand Ole Opry member Terri Clark was born in Montreal, Canada. As a Canadian, she would join Hank Snow and Stu Phillips as the only Opry members from the land up north.

August 31, 1968: Jeannie C. Riley made her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. While never becoming an Opry member, Jeannie would make several Opry appearances during that period, and was a very popular guest at the Opry. 

August 9, 1969: Grand Ole Opry member Norma Jean performed on the Opry for the final time as a member. Norma joined the Opry's cast as a member of Porter Wagoner's group. However, after Norma Jean left Porter's show and Porter hired Dolly Parton, Norma Jean left Nashville and moved back to her native Oklahoma. While not often, Norma Jean did make several appearances on the Opry later in her career. 

August 30, 1969: Crystal Gayle made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Crystal sang "Ribbon of Darkness" during her debut. Eventually Crystal would become a member of the Opry, many years later. 

August 12, 1972: David Houston became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. David was another of the artists who came to Nashville, and the Opry, via the Louisiana Hayride. His signature song was the great classic, "Almost Persuaded" which spent weeks at No. 1 on the country charts. David remained an Opry member until he passed away in November 1993.

August 8, 1975: Lester Flatt returned to the Grand Ole Opry for the first time since having heart surgery the previous month. While the surgery would be successful and Lester was able to continue his career, he continued to have health issues until he passed away. 

August 21, 1975: Grand Ole Opry member, and one of the original members, Sam McGee died in a tractor accident on his farm in Tennessee. He was 81. Along with his brother Kirk, he first performed on the WSM Barn Dance in 1926. During his time at the Opry, Sam would appear with various individuals and groups including the Dixieliners. Sam was the first Opry member to use an electric guitar on the show, after which George D. Hay told him to put it back in the case, take it home, and not bring it back.

August 11, 1976: Roy Acuff returned to the Grand Ole Opry stage after suffering a heart attack earlier in the year.

August 21, 1976: Future Grand Ole Opry member Charlie Daniels made his Grand Ole Opry debut. It would take several decades until Charlie fulfilled a lifelong dream to become an Opry member. 

August 11, 1979: Guy Willis, a member of The Willis Brothers, made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Along with his brothers Skeeter and Guy, The Willis Brothers joined the Opry in 1946, left to tour with Eddy Arnold, and returned in 1957.

August 7, 1981: B.J. Thomas became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. However, he did not remain with the Opry for very long, leaving just several years later. For B.J., Opry membership just did not turn out the way he thought it would.

August 22, 1981: Don Williams made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Don joined the cast in 1976, and much like B.J. Thomas a little later, found out that Opry membership just wasn't what he expected. And as with B.J. Don would return for a guest appearance or two. 

August 14, 1982: Grand Ole Opry legend Ernest Tubb made his final appearance on the Opry. Suffering from emphysema, Ernest had a difficult time breathing, which made singing very difficult. Not only was this his final Opry appearance, but it was also the final night that Ernest hosted the Midnight Jamboree. After his final appearances in Nashville, he made one more short, final tour in November before retiring and spending his remaining years at his home in Nashville.

August 27, 1982: B.J. Thomas made his final appearance as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. While his final appearance was on the Friday Night Opry, his last Saturday night appearance was earlier that year, in June. Although he left as a member, B.J. returned on occasion to guest on the show.

August 28, 1982: Just two weeks after the final Opry appearance by Ernest Tubb, Marty Robbins performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the final time. Marty had been a fixture as the host of the 11:30 segment of the show for years. Marty, who suffered from heart issues, would pass away in December.

August 6, 1983: After previously giving up her Opry membership, Norma Jean returned for a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

August 24, 1984: Rock artist Neil Young made his debut on the Opry stage. While he is best known for his rock appearances, and being a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Neil has written a number of country music songs.

August 1, 1987: Longtime member of Roy Acuff's group, Smoky Mountain Boy Howdy Forrester passed away. Howdy had last appeared on the Opry in June. 

August 22, 1987: Roy Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. When Roy joined the cast, there was some hesitation on his part, as he told Hal Durham that he could not guarantee how many shows he would appear on as he lived in Tulsa and only came to Nashville to film Hee Haw. However, that was fine with the Opry, thus when Roy was in Nashville to film or record, he would appear on the show. Roy, who was also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, passed away in November 2018.

August 29, 1987: Grand Ole Opry member Archie Campbell passed away in a Knoxville, Tennessee hospital at the age of 73. He had been in declining health, dealing with heart issues. Archie joined the Opry in 1958 and achieved some of his greatest success as a member of the cast of Hee Haw. Archie was known for his comedy and storytelling and often used one of the Opry's announcers as his straight man. In his later years, Archie would make most of his Opry appearances in the winter months, spending the prime tourist season performing at his theater in Gatlinburg.

August 6, 1988: Former Grand Ole Opry member Webb Pierce performed on the Opry for the final time. Webb was a member of the Opry for a short amount of time in the 1950s, when he was the hottest act in country music. Webb, however, found that he was missing out on too much money if he was in Nashville every Saturday night instead of out on the road. After giving up his Opry membership, Webb would still occasionally guest on the show.

August 12, 1988: Frequent Opry guest Kathy Mattea made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. There are many, including myself, who feel Kathy would make a great member of the Opry's cast. 

August 10, 1991: Vince Gill became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 31st year as an Opry member. On the night he joined, he was introduced by Roy Acuff. Over the years, Vince has made known his love of the Opry and has challenged others of his generation to support the show. Hopefully, after cutting his Opry appearances the past several years due to his commitment to the Eagles, Vince will be back more often at the Opry in the years to come.

August 24, 1991: Dottie West made her final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Her final song would be her big hit "Here Comes My Baby." Also, on that same night, Opry member Bill Monroe returned for a backstage visit while recovering from heart surgery. He did not perform that night but did walk out on stage. 

August 30, 1991: On her way to the Friday Night Opry, Dottie West was involved in a serious car accident at the entrance to Opryland, which would ultimately prove to be fatal. While Dottie put up a struggle and went through several surgeries, she would pass away a week later.

August 18, 1995: In a surprise appearance, Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley were invited by Porter Wagoner out on stage at the Opry, where the duo performed. Many, including myself, had thought that Jerry Lee never returned to the Opry after his initial appearance, however, I was proven wrong. 

August 26, 1995: Grand Ole Opry member Dolly Parton made her first Opry appearance in over seven years. 

August 31, 1995: Former Grand Ole Opry and WSM announcer David Stone passed away at the age of 93. Along with his brother Harry, David helped to change to focus of the Opry from a regional show into a nationally recognized professional one. He helped to bring such artists, and professionals, as Pee Wee King, Roy Acuff, and Eddy Arnold to the Opry. Both Harry and David Stone have been largely forgotten but their impact on the Opry was tremendous. 

August 9, 1996: Hank Snow returned to the Grand Ole Opry for the first time that year. He had been suffering from respiratory issues. He performed three songs that night, including the hit, "I Don't Hurt Anymore." Hank would make just a few more Opry appearances before retiring the following month.

August 22, 1997: Future Grand Ole Opry member Mark Wills made his Opry debut. It would take several decades and dozens of appearances, but Mark would eventually become a member of the Opry. 

August 24, 1998: Grand Ole Opry member Jerry Clower died in a Jackson, Mississippi hospital after undergoing open heart surgery. He was 71. Jerry joined the Opry in November 1973, the last member to join the cast before the show moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House. A great comedian and storyteller, Jerry was loved by many.

August 26, 2000: Pam Tillis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. For Pam, this will be her 22nd year as an Opry member. Pam always felt bad that she became an Opry member before her father, Mel Tillis, however the Opry rectified that a few years later. 

August 18, 2001: The Grand Ole Opry moved the televised portion of the Opry from TNN to CMT, as TNN changed into Spike TV and changed their focus away from country music. The first show on CMT featured Vince Gill, who celebrated 10 years as an Opry member. Also appearing that night were Steve Wariner, Sonya Isaacs, Jimmy C. Newman, Brad Paisley, Elizabeth Cook and Loretta Lynn. Quite an impressive line-up for the televised portion.

August 10, 2002: During the televised portion of the Grand Ole Opry on CMT, the Dixie Chicks announced that Porter Wagoner and Bill Carlisle had been elected as the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Personally, I have always felt that the Hall of Fame did an injustice to both Porter and Bill by having the Dixie Chicks make the announcement as part of an Opry show. Nothing against the Dixie Chicks, I just thought the Hall of Fame should have made a bigger deal out of the announcement. In Porter's case, it was long overdue. It is still fun going back an looking at the tape of that night as Porter looked like he was biting his tongue and holding back what I think he really wanted to say.

August 23, 2002: Grand Ole Opry member Del Reeves made his final appearance on the Opry. Del entered a period of declining health that led to his retirement from the Opry. As with so many others of that generation, Del suffered from respiratory issues and emphysema, which would lead to his death several years later.

August 31, 2002: The Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 4,000 Saturday night broadcast. The Opry did a tribute to Minnie Pearl that featured Clint Black, Barbara Mandrell, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Steve Wariner. Almost 20 years later, the Opry will be celebrating show #5000 later this year in October. 

August 23, 2003: Trace Adkins became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be his 19th year as an Opry member. On the night of his induction, his idol Ronnie Milsap did the honors, assisted by Lorrie Morgan. Overall, Trace has been a pretty good Opry member. 

August 12, 2006: Grand Ole Opry member Jimmy C Newman was recognized upon his 50th year as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

August 25, 2010: In a special ceremony, Brad Paisley and Jimmy Dickens sang, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" as the historic center piece of wood was returned to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House after being damaged in the historic flood of May 2010. Thanks to extensive repair and renovation, the center circle was restored to its former condition. I can't believe that this took place over 10 years ago. 

August 5, 2011: Little Jimmy Dickens was named an honorary celebrity chef as the Grand Ole Opry held the grand opening for its new restaurant, the Opry Backstage Grill. 

August 6, 2011: The Oak Ridge Boys became members of the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry had wanted the quartet as members for years, however they had always declined due to their heavy touring schedule. However, 11 years ago the Oak Ridge Boys felt the time was right and they accepted the offer by Jimmy Dickens to join the cast. On the night they joined, the group sang, "Bobby Sue," "Amazing Grace," and of course, "Elvira." Every time they are on the Opry, they never fail to receive a standing ovation.

August 13, 2011: Vince Gill celebrated 20 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, in a show dedicated to Grand Ole Opry member Billy Grammer, who had passed away earlier in the week. Joining Vince that night, who opened the show performing Billy's great hit, "Gotta Travel On" were Amy Grant, Martina McBride, and Emmylou Harris, among others.

August 16, 2013: During a concert appearance in Cleveland, Ohio, Old Crow Medicine Show was surprised by Grand Ole Opry member Marty Stuart, who invited Old Crow to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. Of course, they accepted and a month later became official Opry members. Personally, this was one of the best moves the Opry had made in many years.

August 7, 2014: Earl White, the last remaining member of the Crook Brothers square dance band, passed away after a short illness. After the passing of Herman Crook, and then Lewis Crook, Earl continued as the fiddle player for the square dancers, joined by Charlie Collins before he passed away.

August 8, 2015: Connie Smith was honored for 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Marty Stuart hosted a one-hour segment of the show, which included Connie singing her monster hit, "Once A Day."

August 13, 2016: Vince Gill was honored upon his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Vince hosted two shows that night, both of which lasted over 3 hours. Vince was on stage the entire night, with both shows featuring Bill Anderson, Ashley Monroe, Rodney Crowell, Charlie Worsham, and of course, his wife, Amy Grant. As someone who was there, it was a spectacular night.

August 18, 2017: Grand Ole Opry member Hal Ketchum made his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Hal has been dealing with some medical issues that has forced his retirement from performing.

August 29, 2017: Chris Young was invited by Vince Gill to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Chris was formally inducted in October.

August 18, 2018: Bobby Bare made his last appearance on the Opry. Bobby, who had just rejoined the cast, is reportedly doing well, however it has been three years since his last appearance and from various reports, it would appear that he is retired from performing. 

August 21, 2018: Dustin Lynch was invited to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Trace Adkins handled the surprise announcement, which was a surprise to many. Dustin's Opry membership was one of those head scratchers but overall, he has honored the Opry with around 10 appearances each year. 

August 25, 2018: Grand Ole Opry President Steve Buchanan officially retired. He had made the announcement earlier that he would be leaving to pursue other opportunities. Also, Garth Brooks returned to the Opry that night. While Garth had made surprise appearances over the past decade, this was his first announced Opry appearance since October 2005.

August 5, 2019: Dan Rogers was promoted to Vice-President/Executive Producer of the Grand Ole Opry. Dan has been around the Opry for years and in the short time he has been in charge, he has already left his mark on the show adding members such as Lady A, Gene Watson, The Isaacs, Rhonda Vincent, Mandy Barnett, Carly Pearce, Lauren Alaina, and most recently, Jamey Johnson. 

August 10, 2019: Chely Wright returned for a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, her first appearance in 10 years. At one time there was a lot of talk about Chely becoming an Opry member, however it never happened. 

August 3, 2021: Carly Pearce was inducted as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Trisha Yearwood did the honors. Carly had made over 80 guest appearances on the show.

August 10, 2021: Just one week after Carly was inducted as an Opry member, Ricky Skaggs surprised The Isaacs during their performance on the Tuesday Night Opry to invite the family group to become members of the Opry. Their induction will take place in September. 

August 20, 2021: Tom T. Hall passed away. Tom T. originally joined the Opry in 1971. After the Opry left the Ryman Auditorium, Tom T. left the show, however he returned in 1980 at the invitation of Ernest Tubb. Tom T. Hall is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

August 21, 2021: Just one day after the death of Tom. T., former Grand Ole Opry member Don Everly passed away at the age of 85. The Everly Brothers, Don and Phil, came to the Opry in the early 1950s as part of a youth movement. However, their careers took off and off to California the brothers went. In 2001 they were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

There you have it for August. As usual, it was a busy month in Nashville and at the Grand Ole Opry.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Grand Ole Opry 8/5 & 8/6

Coming off a big weekend where the Grand Ole Opry recognized Barbara Mandrell upon her 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night will celebrate the influence and music of country music legend John Anderson. The Opry will bring to life a portion of the upcoming album release Something Borrowed, Something New: A Tribute To John Anderson, which is scheduled for release Friday, August 5 by Easy Eye Sound. 

Scheduled to perform are John Anderson with special guests Dan Auerbach and Tyler Childers along with Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Sierra Hull, Elizabeth Cook. The tribute will take place during the second hour of the show and will be televised live on Circle TV, along with the various social media sites. 

While there will be no Grand Ole Opry members on the Circle TV televised portion of the Opry on Saturday, Connie Smith, Riders In The Sky and John Conlee will be appearing during the first hour, along with Deana Carter. 

Looking at the Friday Night Opry, Opry members Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider and Riders In The Sky are listed, along with a return appearance by Suzy Bogguss, who was part of the Barbara Mandrell anniversary show last Saturday night. I know it has been mentioned several times, by myself and others, that Suzy would certainly make a great Opry member. 

John McEuen is scheduled for Friday night. Can you believe it has been 50 years since The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded and released their groundbreaking album "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?" Sadly, the vast majority of the artists, including Jimmy Martin, Earl Scruggs, Roy Acuff and Mother Maybelle Carter, who were part of that album, are no longer with us. However, while John McEuen is no longer a part of the Dirt Band, he has written a book about the historic recording: 

The highly celebrated Will The Circle be Unbroken, the seventh and perhaps most consequential album released by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in November. To mark this Golden Anniversary, John McEuen is releasing a book that details the making of the star-studded 3-LP set released in 1972.

John was not only the banjo player with the Dirt Band, he and his brother, William (Bill) who produced the recordings, were the driving force behind the whole project.  “This has been fifty years in the making. Will the Circle be Unbroken was a collaboration of many famous bluegrass and country-western players. In fact, the album played a significant role in furthering Vassar Clements to a much wider audience,” said John.

This book is filled with memories showcasing the recording of this album. Stories are shared by John McEuen, Marty Stuart, members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and many more. Photos Bill had taken during the recording sessions are included, which have never been seen until now.

This really sounds like a wonderful book and a must have for anyone who is a fan of the album. 

Also appearing on the Friday Night Opry will be Bryan White, CJ Solar, Carter Faith, and Dylan Schneider. Personally, I am happy to see Bryan back on the Opry. He has always been one of the favorites. 

Friday August 5
7:00: Jeannie Seely, CJ Solar, Mike Snider, Carter Faith, Bryan White
8:15: Dylan Schneider, John McEuen, Suzy Bogguss, Riders In The Sky

Saturday August 6
7:00: Opry Square Dancers, Connie Smith, John Conlee, Deana Carter, Riders In The Sky
8:00: Sierra Hull, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Elizabeth Cook, John Anderson w/Dan Auerbach and Tyler Childers

And now from 50 years ago, Saturday August 5, 1972: 

1st show
6:30: Stu Phillips (host); Diane Jordan
6:45: Stu Phillips (host); Anthony Armstrong Jones
7:00: Hank Locklin (host): Stringbean, Wilma Burgess
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Karne Wheeler, Hugh X Lewis, Crook Brothers
8:00: Billy Grammer (host); Mel Street, Stan Hitchcock
8:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Mac Wiseman, The 4 Guys; Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Stu Phillips (host); Wilma Burgess; Anthony Armstrong Jones
10:00: Stu Phillips (host); Diane Jordan
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Stringbean
10:30: Roy Acuff (host); Karen Wheeler
10:45: Billy Grammer (host); Hugh X Lewis; Crook Brothers
11:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Mel Street; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam and Kirk McGee
11:30: The 4 Guys (host); Mac Wiseman; Stan Hitchcock

(What a very thin night for Opry members. You could count the number of Opry members on both hands. On the first show, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper were scheduled on the 6:30 segment, with Stoney hosting, while they were also scheduled for the 9:30 segment on the second show, again with Stoney hosting. Because of the Coopers canceling, Stu Phillips hosted two segments on each show. Then on the second show, Roy Acuff also hosted a double segment as Hank Locklin hurt his foot and was unable to appear.)

Digging a little deeper, here is the actual running order from that night: 

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms/Rudy's
Stu Phillips (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Diane Jordan: Cry
Stu Phillips: I'd Rather Be Sorry/That's A Chance I'll Have to Take
Anthony Armstrong Jones: Proud Mary
Don Wayne: Hank
Stu Phillips: Where No One Stands Alone

7:00: Rudy's
Hank Locklin (host): Country Hall of Fame
Stringbean: Old Joe Clark
Wilma Burgess: Help Me Make It Through the Night
Hank Locklin: She's As Close As I Can Get
Stringbean: Battle of New Orleans
Wilma Burgess: Never Ending Song of Love
Hank Locklin: Jealous Heart

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Karen Wheeler: Mule Skinner Blues
Hugh X Lewis: Welcome to My World
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Roy Acuff: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
Karen Wheeler: The First Time for Us
Hugh X Lewis: In the Misty Moonlight

8:00: Martha White
Billy Grammer (host): Bonaparte's Retreat
Mel Street: Big Blue Diamond
Stan Hitchcock: Dixie Belle
Billy Grammer: Wildwood Flower/Under the Double Eagle
Mel Street: Borrowed Angel
Stan Hitchcock: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Billy Grammer: Whispering Hope

8:30: Stephen's
Jimmy C Newman (host): Diggy Liggy Lo
Mac Wiseman: Jimmie Brown the Newsboy
The 4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Blackberry Blossom
Jimmy C Newman: Not As a Sweetheart, But Just As a Friend
Mac Wiseman: On Susie's Floor
The 4 Guys: Sweet Yesterday

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's/Fender
Stu Phillips (host): Crystal Chandeliers
Wilma Burgess: Welcome to My World
Anthony Armstrong Jones: Me & Bobby McGee
Stu Phillips: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Wilma Burgess: For The Good Times
Anthony Armstrong Jones: Statue of a Fool
Stu Phillips: Help Me Make It Through the Night
Diane Jordan: Cry
Stu Phillips: I'd Rather Be Sorry

10:15: Union 76/Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Tied Down
Stringbean: Ruby
Roy Acuff: Where The Soul of Man Never Dies/Little Pal
Karen Wheeler: Delta Dawn
Howdy Forrester: Sally Goodin
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:45: Beechnut
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Hugh X Lewis: Don't Be Angry
Crook Brothers: Chicken Reel
Billy Grammer: Power in the Blood

11:00: Coca Cola
Jimmy C Newman (host): Jambalaya
Mel Street: Big Blue Diamond
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Jimmy C Newman: A Fallen Star
Mel Street: Borrowed Angel
Sam and Kirk McGee: Southern Moon
Jimmy C Newman: Big Bayou

11:30: Elm Hill
The 4 Guys (host): Cottonfields/Mariah
Mac Wiseman: On Susie's Floor
Stan Hitchcock: Daily Satisfied
The 4 Guys: My Special Angel/On the Other Side
Mac Wiseman: Love Letters In the Sand
Stan Hitchcock: I'm Back In Baby's Arms/I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

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. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Tuesday Night Opry 8/2 & Opry Country Classics 8/4

The month of August brings a change to the mid-week Opry shows as the Wednesday Night Opry takes a break and Opry Country Classics makes a return.

So, who is ready for some Motley Crue at the Opry House? Well, if you are, the Tuesday Night Opry is where you want to be as Vince Neil will be making his Opry debut. I am not sure how this booking came about, but I am going to listen with an open mind. Now, there is a country connection (somewhat). In 2014, there was an album released titled Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Motley Crue, which included a duet with Vince Neil and Justin Moore. Other country acts on the album included Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, Aaron Lewis, Clare Bowen, LeAnn Rimes, The Mavericks, Darius Rucker, Brantley Gilbert and Gretchen Wilson, among several others. The album went to #5 on the Billboard Top 200, and up to #2 on the country charts. 

Joining Vince Neil on the Tuesday Night Opry will be Opry members Bill Anderson, Mandy Barnett and The Isaacs, along with The Swon Brothers, Travis Denning, Sister Sadie and Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots.

Tuesday August 
7:00: Mandy Barnett, Sister Sadie, Bill Anderson, Travis Denning
8:15: The Swon Brothers, Vince Neil, Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots, The Isaacs

Looking at Opry Country Classics, Larry Gatlin returns as the host, and the Spotlight Artist this week will be Lorrie Morgan. Also scheduled to appear are The Gatlin Brothers, The Malpass Brothers, Rhonda Vincent and Charlie McCoy. 

Now that is a nice-looking show. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Grand Ole Opry 7/29 & 7/30

The big news at the Grand Ole Opry this weekend will be the 50th anniversary of Barbara Mandrell as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. There are two shows on the schedule for Saturday night to honor Barbara, with Opry member Carrie Underwood leading the lineup. While not on the schedule, Barbara Mandrell will be in attendance for both shows and I am sure, will be introduced on stage at some point. 

In addition to Carrie Underwood, Grand Ole Opry members Connie Smith, Jeannie Seely and Mandy Barnett are also on the schedule to honor Barbara, while CeCe Winans, Janelle Arthur, Linda Davis and Suzy Bogguss will also be performing. 

I'm not going to dwell on Barbara's 50th all that much as there are a lot of opinions out there regarding whether or not she should be honored, based on the fact that she has been retired for several decades and her last Opry appearance was 25 years ago. But regardless, 50 years is still something special and Barbara has always held the Opry in high standards and has expressed her love of the Opry on numerous occasions. With that said, congratulations to Barbara Mandrell. 

While Barbara will be honored on Saturday night, there is also the Friday Night Opry this weekend. Grand Ole Opry members John Conlee, Mike Snider and Charlie McCoy are on the schedule, along with guest artists John Berry, comedian Killer Beaz, bluegrass star Dan Tyminski and making his Opry debut, Edwin McCain. 

Friday July 29

(As this is posted, the final lineup has not been completed). 

Saturday July 30
1st show
7:00: Opry Square Dancers, Jeannie Seely, Janelle Arthur, Connie Smith, Mandy Barnett
8:00: Linda Davis, Suzy Bogguss, CeCe Winans, Carrie Underwood 

2nd show
9:30: Opry Square Dancers, Connie Smith, Mandy Barnett, Carrie Underwood
10:30: CeCe Winans, Jeannie Seely, Linda Davis, Janelle Arthur, Suzy Bogguss

Interesting that the Saturday show consists of all female artists. This might be the first time we have seen this at the Opry, and as it looks right now, the Friday show could be an all-male lineup. And while there has been no live Opry show on Circle the past several weeks, the final hour on Saturday will be televised and streamed live. 

As mentioned, Edwin McCain is making his Opry debut this weekend. Edwin was born in Charleston and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. At the age of 48, this singer/songwriter is most famous for "I'll Be," and "I Could Not Ask For More." He is also known as the co-founder of Euphoria. 

Now from 50 years ago, Saturday July 29, 1972: 

1st show
6:30: Billy Walker (host), Ernie Ashworth
6:45: Jim Ed Brown (host), Del Wood
7:00: Bill Anderson (host), Jan Howard, Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall, Jimmy Gately
7:30: Roy Acuff (host), Bobby Lord, Billy Grammer, Crook Brothers
8:00: Del Reeves (host), Charlie Walker, Stu Phillips, The 4 Guys
8:30: Hank Snow (host), Wilburn Brothers, Marion Worth, Fruit Jar Drinkers

2nd show
9:30: Billy Walker (host), Charlie Louvin and Diane McCall, Del Wood
10:00: Bill Anderson (host), Jan Howard
10:15: Jim Ed Brown (host), Stu Phillips
10:30: Roy Acuff (host), Billy Grammer
10:45: Del Reeves (host). Bobby Lord, Crook Brothers
11:00: Hank Snow (host), Charlie Walker, Fruit Jar Drinkers, Sam McGee
11:30: Wilburn Brothers (host), Marion Worth, The 4 Guys

(Ernie Ashworth was only scheduled on the 1st show)

Tompall & The Glaser Brothers were Grand Ole Opry members from 1960 until they broke up and gave up their membership, last appearing on the Opry as members on July 14, 1973. In the early 1980's the brothers (Tompall, Jim and Chuck) were back together and had chart success with "Lovin' Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)." The song went to #2 on the Country Charts, while the album by the same name made it into the Top 40. It was their first Top 10 single since "Rings" in 1971 and would be the last Top 10 single of their career. 

After they left the Opry in 1973, the assumption was that they never returned until the night 1990 when they returned at the invitation of Hank Snow, to honor Hank upon his 40th anniversary as an Opry member. However, in doing some research, I have found that they actually returned to the Opry on July 30, 1983, during the brief period that they were back together, recording and touring. 

Here is the running order from Saturday July 30, 1983, the night in which Tompall & The Glaser Brothers returned to the Grand Ole Opry: 

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Ray Pillow (host): Too Many Memories
Wilma Lee Cooper: God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign
Ray Pillow: All You Have to Do Is to Come Back Home

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): Detour
Skeeter Davis: I Ain't Never
Billy Walker: You Gave Me a Mountain

7:00: Shoney's
Jack Greene (host): There's a Whole Lot About a Woman That a Man Don't Know
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours/Back-to-Back
Billy Grammer: I Was Born in Renfro Valley
Teddy Wilburn: If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong, Do It Right
Jack Greene: Midnight Tennessee Woman/There Goes My Everything

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Charlie Louvin: No Relief in Sight
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Lafayette
Bill Anderson: From Rock N' Roll to The Rock of Ages

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Vic Willis Trio: Faded Love/Colorado
Bill Carlisle: Little Liza Jane
George Hamilton IV: Abilene
Connie Smith: Once A Day/Sing, Sing, Sing

8:30: Acme
Hank Snow (host): I'm Movin' On
The 4 Guys: Made in The USA
David Houston: E.T. Means Ernest Tubb to Me
Tompall & The Glaser Brothers: Lovin' Her Was Easier Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bile Them Cabbage Down
Hank Snow: Oahu Rose

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Bill Anderson (host): Son of the South
The 4 Guys: New Looks from An Old Love Again
Skeeter Davis: How Could I Make You Love Me
Ray Pillow: Julie Loves Boston More Than Me
Wilma Lee Cooper: A Daisey a Day
Bill Anderson: Thank You Darling for Loving Me

10:00: Little Debbie
Billy Walker (host): Cross the Brazos at Waco
Jeanne Pruett: A Poor Man's Woman
Billy Walker: Behind Closed Doors

10:15: Sunbeam
Jack Greene (host): Happy Tracks
Billy Grammer: When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver
Jack Greene: The Rock I'm Leaning On

10:30: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Sunshine Special
Charlie Louvin: Love At Home
Teddy Wilburn: Ain't Your Memory Got No Pride at All
Roy Acuff: I'll Fly Away

10:45: Beechnut
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Connie Smith: Because I Love You. That's Why
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Gray Eagle
Stonewall Jackson: Muddy Water

11:00: Coca Cola
Hank Snow (host): Forever and One Day
David Houston: My Elusive Dreams
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Kirk McGee: Blue Night
Hank Snow: Bluebird Island

11:30: Hardee's
George Hamilton IV (host): Break My Mind
Vic Willis Trio: American Trilogy
Bill Carlisle: Leave That Liar Alone
Tompall & The Glaser Brothers: Release Me/Then I Turned & Walked Slowly Away/Many Tears Ago/You Win Again/Bouquet of Roses
George Hamilton IV: Forever Young

As you would have expected, the appeared-on Hank Snow's portion on the early show, while they appeared on the closing segment on the second show and did a melody of songs that they were famous for. 

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and commenting and congratulations again to Barbara Mandrell, as she will be honored this weekend in celebration of her 50th anniversary aa a member of the Grand Ole Opry. I will be in Nashville this weekend and will be attending both shows on Saturday night as well as the Friday Night Opry. As always, I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry this weekend. 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Tuesday Night Opry 7/26 & Wednesday Night Opry 7/27

Here are the lineups for the mid-week Opry shows: 

Tuesday July 26
7:00: Jeannie Seely, Breland, Maggie Rose, Earls of Leicester
8:15: Wade Bowen, Dusty Slay, Lorrie Morgan, Jamey Johnson

Wednesday July 27
7:00: Mandy Barnett, Zach Top, Mike Snider, Tom Douglas
8:15: Kelsey Waldon, Charlie McCoy, Easton Corbin, The Isaacs

Three Opry members on Tuesday and four on Wednesday. Nice to see Earls of Leicester back on the Opry. It has been a while since they last appeared. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Grand Ole Opry 7/22 & 7/23

It's another summer weekend at the Grand Ole Opry as the lineups have been posted for all three shows this weekend as in addition to the Friday and Saturday night shows, the Opry once again has a Sunday show on the schedule. 

Looking specifically at the Friday Night Opry, Opry members Mandy Barnett, John Conlee, Connie Smith and Dailey & Vincent are listed on the schedule. It is especially nice to see Connie listed as she has been missing for the past several weeks, and in fact, canceled her last scheduled appearance. 

Saturday's Grand Ole Opry will feature Opry members Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Bill Anderson, Rhonda Vincent and Craig Morgan, who will be closing out the show. 

Guesting on Friday will be Jessica Willis Fisher, the legendary Dale Watson, Bobby Bones, and making his Opry debut, Corey Asbury. Debuting on the Opry Saturday night is Riley Clemmons, who will be appearing along with Texas Hill, and Billy Dean. There was a time when Billy was on the Opry quite a few times and it is nice to see him back on the Opry again.

Friday July 22
7:00: Mandy Barnett, John Conlee, Jessica Willis Fisher, Dale Watson
8:15: Connie Smith, Bobby Bones, Cory Asbury, Dailey & Vincent

Saturday July 23
7:00: Opry Square Dancers, Jeannie Seely, Texas Hill, Mike Snider, Billy Dean
8:15: Bill Anderson, Riley Clemmons, Opry Square Dancers, Rhonda Vincent, Craig Morgan

Cory Asbury began singing in church at the age of 14 and was a full-time performer by the time he turned 21. His 2009 independent release, Let Me See Your Eyes, officially launched his recording career, leading to a contract with Bethel Music Collective in 2015. That alliance produced Asbury’s seminal album Reckless Love, a 2018 project that landed on the top of the Billboard Christian Albums chart, leading Asbury to two Dove Awards and a 2019 Grammy nomination. The title track spent 18 weeks at #1, earning Asbury Billboard, ASCAP, and BMI Christian Song of the Year honors. Currently, the title track has been certified Double Platinum with over 2.8 million equivalent units. Later in 2019, Asbury released his follow-up LP, To Love A Fool, featuring the single “The Father’s House,” which has now been certified Gold with more than 676,000 equivalent units. To date, Asbury has generated 871.76 million domestic U.S. streams, 37.6 million video views, 2.1 million monthly Spotify listeners, and 1.6 billion audience impressions.

Riley Clemmons has accumulated over 210 million global streams and 50 million YouTube video views since the beginning of her almost decade long career. After spending years honing her craft in writers’ rooms, Riley sky-rocketed onto the scene with her 2017 Capitol CMG debut single “Broken Prayers,” which has generating over 30 million global streams since its release. Her 2018 self-titled debut quickly entered the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart, debuting at No. 13. Her latest single, “Keep On Hoping,” has become Riley’s fastest growing single, garnering over 5 million streams across digital platforms in its first 8 weeks and climbing the radio airplay and Billboard charts.

In 2021, she was nominated as Female Artist of the Year at the 9th Annual K-LOVE Fan Awards, marking a first in her career in addition to becoming the youngest nominee in the show’s history.

As mentioned, the Opry has scheduled a couple of Sunday night shows. The show this week will feature Opry members Rhonda Vincent and Connie Smith, while Sara Evans and LOCASH are also on the schedule, as is guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and comedian Henry Cho. 

Sunday July 24
7:00: Rhonda Vincent, Jordan Davis, Connie Smith, Tommy Emmanuel
Sara Evans, Henry Cho, LOCAH

Now from 50 years ago, Saturday July 22, 1972: 

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Billy Grammer (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilma Burgess: Misty Blue
Billy Grammer: Under the Double Eagle/Peace in the Valley

6:45: Rudy's
George Morgan (host): Too Young
Peggy Sue: Bread Upon the Water
George Morgan: Easy Loving
Joe Edwards and Leon Rhodes: Freight Train

7:00: Shoney's
Bill Anderson (host): I Got the Fever
Jan Howard: Let Him Have It
The 4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Bill Anderson and Jan Howard: I Thank God for You
Jimmy Gately: Sweet, Sweet Loving
The 4 Guys: Don't It Make You Want to Go Home
Bill Anderson: All the Lonely Women in the World

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: White Dove
Connie Smith: Just For What I Am
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
Roy Acuff: Stream Line Cannonball
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: There's a Higher Power
Connie Smith: Farther Along

8:00: Martha White
Porter Wagoner (host): What Ain't to Be Just Might Happen
Dolly Parton: Touch Your Woman
Stu Phillips: Crystal Chandeliers
Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton: Lost Forever in Your Kisses
Dolly Parton: Joshua
Stu Phillips: I'd Rather Be Sorry
Porter Wagoner: Wake Up Jacob
Wagonmasters: Mockingbird
Mac Magaha: Orange Blossom Special

8:30: Stephens
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper (host): There's a Big Wheel
Jeanne Pruett: Love Me
Duke of Paducah: If You Knew Susie
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Walking in My Sleep
Brush Arbors: Proud Mary
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper: Coming Down from God

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Wilma Burgess: Help Me Make It Through the Night
Billy Grammer: Guitar Polka/He Touched Me
Wilma Burgess: Make the World Go Away
Harold Weakley: Where No One Stands Alone
Billy Grammer: Detroit City

10:00: Fender
George Morgan (host): Easy Loving
Connie Smith: Too Much to Gain to Lose
George Morgan: Too Young

10:15: Union 76
Bill Anderson (host): But You Know I Love You
Jan Howard: Love is Like a Spinning Wheel
Jimmy Gately: Sweet, Sweet Loving
Bill Anderson: Quits

10:30: Trailblazer
Porter Wagoner (host): What Ain't to Be Just Might Happen
Dolly Parton: Mule Skinner Blues
Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton: Daddy Was an Old Time Preacher Man
Speck Rhodes: Long Handle Time in Tennessee

10:45: Beechnut
The 4 Guys (host): Cotton Fields/Mariah
Peggy Sue: Bread Upon the Water
Crook Brothers: Ida Red
The 4 Guys: On the Other Side

11:00: Coca Cola
Roy Acuff (host): Little Pal
Minnie Pearl: Careless Love
Governor Winfield Dunn: Lovesick Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird
Duke of Paducah: If You Knew Susie
Sam McGee: San Antonio Rose

11:30: Elm Hill
Stu Phillips (host): Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/You Win Again/Release Me
Jeanne Pruett: Hold to My Unchanging Love
Brush Arbors: Oklahoma Hearts
Stu Phillips: Me & Bobby McGee/That's A Chance I'll Have to Take

(As with the week before, Hank Snow canceled. He was scheduled to host the 8:30 and 11:00 segments that. Speaking of the 11:00 segment, that turned into something special with Roy Acuff hosting, and Minnie Pearl making an appearance, along with the Governor of Tennesse and a couple of the Opry's old-timers. Definitely something special). 

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.