I don’t even know how to start this blog, so many things rush into my mind at the same time. Not only did we go to The Grand Ole Opry – a name that I’ve heard since I was a child, but we saw some excellent performers. Some established like Charlie Daniels and ‘Whispering’ Bill Anderson, and some new like Mark Wills or debuting like Midlands. The list of performers is here .
Jeannie Seely, who has been with the Opry since 1967, was the host for the first half of the evening and sang a few songs of her own. Her voice was still strong and her song I Don’t Need You was fantastic. She has not recorded this song yet, but if you were listening to the Opry live on air Saturday night you would have heard this – I’m hoping she records it.
The host for the second half of the set was Connie Smith – an Opry member since 1965 – and this was the second time we’d seen her this weekend. She does not look 75 and her voice was strong and clear. She introduced Bobby Osborn & The Rockytop express and they sang Rockytop which basically brought the house down – audience members were ‘Yeehaw-ing!’ and hooting and showing their Rockytop Tennessee pride – it was raucous and fantastic.
We were treated to so many good performances – Mark Wills did 3 songs of Merle Haggard’s: Silver wings, Misery & Gin, and Rambling man – and he did then extremely well and in Merle’s style – one song right after another with no break between them. It was fantastic. Merle’s music touched everyone.
But for me, and for many I believe, the main event was Charlie Daniels. At 81 I was expecting to enjoy his performance and, although I wanted to hear his signature ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ , I really did not expect that he would have the energy it would take to play that song. He sang Drinkin’ my Baby Goodbye
, and then another song that I’m afraid I can’t remember, because when I was sure he was done he said ‘the next song is one that’s been good to us over the years…’ and I knew it would be The Devil Went Down to Georgia. I felt like one of those teens that screamed and cried at the Beatles ( I didn’t actually cry but I did scream) – I was so excited! And you could see the absolute delight Charlie and the Band took in performing this song. Charlie was light on his feet, quick with the bow and grinning from ear to ear when he wasn’t belting out the lyrics. I am still in awe. It was one of the best performances we’ve seen this weekend and let’s remember that Warren and I have seen quite a few awesome performers since Thursday! When Charlie finished the Devil Went Down to Georgia, he left the stage to a standing ovation – the audience was just wild. Such an great moment!
When we left the Opry we exited through those big wooden doors feeling like we’d really witnessed something special. And we had. It was amazing to be at that icon – The Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville – Music City, and see Charlie Daniels! What a weekend! Lets recap: Thursday night the Merle Haggard Tribute concert where we saw EVERYONE including Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, Keith Richards! and then Friday we run into none other than John Hiatt at the ihop! And we round out the weekend with The Grand Ole Opry and Charlie Daniels! And all of this with my sweetheart – How could this get any better??
Well, we will see! Tomorrow we head off to Memphis and Graceland!! I can’t wait!