24th Annual Sunday Mornin’ Country, Fan Fair 2003

Sunday Mornin’ Country          

 

Grand Ole Opry House, June 8, 2003:

 

       Kathy and I decide to go to the Grand Ole Opry for the 24th Annual Sunday Mornin’ Country show. Since it’s our very first trip to Nashville, we couldn’t possibly miss the now famous venue where country music began to gain prestige and national prominence and grow to prosper so very, very well. A visit to the Grand Ole Opry House is a must! This Sunday Morning Country show is hosted by Brenda Lee and co-hosted by Eddie Stubbs from WSM radio, under the auspices of the Music City Christian Fellowship. The show will feature: Jimmy Capps Band, Carol Lee Singers and Country Chorale, directed by Joe Babcock.

    

Brenda Lee

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Brenda Lee, from Georgia, performs a stellar version of, “Let It Shine.” The historic vocal group the Jordanaires comes on next and moves the audience enormously with the patriotic song, “God Bless The USA.” Jan Howard comes on to the Opry stage to perform, “I’m Going Home.”

    

Jordanaires

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Boots Randolph graces the stage and opens with a touching rendition of the patriotic classic, “America.” He follows that with a spirited rendition of, “When The Saints Go Marching In.” For his third number he performs a tribute to Bill Carlisle called, “Yakety Yak Sax.” Boots Randolph is simply divine and gets the audience really up and involved.

    

Boots Randolph

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Joe Babcock comes out next and plays, “Rusty Ole Nail.” He carries on eloquently with the songs, “I Done This Job All By Myself,” and “Gone Home.” Tremendous!  

    

Joe Babcock of Hee Haw

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Ray Stevens comes to the Opry House stage to a huge ovation from the sold out crowd. He sings, “Ahab The Arab,” which everyone sings along to. He carrys on with, “Guitar Sam,” followed by, “You Don’t Know Me, But I Know You.” Ray continues an outstanding set of music with, “The Squirrel Went Berserk,” followed by, “The Streak.” The last and most beautiful arrangement is of the song, “Everything Is Beautiful.” Ray introduces the band members: Jimmy Katz, Charlie McCoy and Tom Wild.

    

Ray Stevens

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Ricki Skaggs comes on next and plays some tremendous mandolin instrumental music with Joe Edwards, Boots Randolph and Ray Stevens. The next country icon to grace the Opry stage is Lulu Roman. She speaks of her Hee Haw days with Miss Minnie and Roy Acuff. She performs the extraordinary gospel tune, “That’s The Man I’m Looking For.” Lulu Roman demonstrates her exquisite vocal talents.

    

Lulu Roman

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Gospel music fills the Opry House with Jim Ed Brown singing, “He Will Set Your Fields On Fire.” Penny DeHaven comes out next to sing, “Precious Love Of Jesus” and “My Savior’s Precious Blood.” Penny shows why she is one of the most loved gospel singers in the world. George Hamilton IV sings a gospel tune written by George Hamilton V called, “We Will Meet Again.”

    

Penny DeHaven

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       The Fox Brothers are next up and do a rousing rendition of a number one Christian music hit, “Red, White and Blue.” They guys can really sing up a storm! 

    

The Fox Brothers

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Jeannie Seely performs a poignant gospel arrangement called, “Me and Jesus.” She has a gorgeous voice.

    

Jeannie Seeley

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Porter Wagoner performs, “When The Road Is Calling Yonder,” and “The Green, Green Grass Of Home.” The audience is swooning.

    

Porter Wagoner

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Roni Stoneman plays next, “Blessed Safe And Blissful Shores.” This song is a slow reverent ballad, then changes to a pickin’ frenzy to showcase her incredible chops and then returns to a sweet ballad to finish up.

    

Roni Stoneman

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       The Crabb family comes on next to perform a Christian composition, “He Chose The Cross.” The Crabb Family is comprised of four singers with piano and bass. The Crabb Family is amazing. Their vocal harmonies have a quality only family genealogy can create. Their stage presence and charisma is very uplifting and inspiring.  

    

The Crabb family

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Stu Phillips sings a song about a recent news story concerning the nine trapped miners in Pennsylvania, “The 10th Man.” His singing is very heartfelt and sincere. The Hager Brothers sing, “The Hee Haw Love Song” and “Oh How Lucky I Am,” their gratitude song. They put a smile on everyone’s face.

    

Hager Brothers

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Vestal Goodman sings, “What Heaven Meant To Me.” Vestal comments that this is Sunday evening country.  

    

Vestal Goodman

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Vestal recites a long gospel narration, then a large ensemble of vocalists performs, “Let There Be Peace On Earth” and “Halleluiah.” This extraordinary vocal ensemble fills the entire stage. The next outstanding tune is, “I Saw The Light.” The closing, show stopping, arrangement by the ensemble is, “May The Circle Be Unbroken.”

    

Ensemble Finale

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       This Sunday Mornin’ Country show was stupendous! The Grand Ole Opry House in all its magnificent glory. All the greatest stars, which made country music rise to its greatness and establish its worldwide popularity, entertain us all in one magnificent show. Kathy and I are filled with genuine and sincere emotion, as I’m sure everyone here is also. This is traditional country and gospel at its best, sung by all the original stars of the Opry House. We could not have come all the way to Nashville without seeing this amazing concert, with these great performers, and witnessing the grand tradition of the Grand Ole Opry House.

Halleluiah!


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A.J. Alfaro

and.the.beat.goes.on@worldnet.att.net