Archive for July 14th, 2007

Behind The Rope:Music, Kids, Memories and the Opry

ansley-and-tara.jpgIt’s fun to see a little girl look up to a big girl.  Jimmy Mattingly’s precious little girl adores our little girl.  The fun thing about being part of a band now for going on 4 years is the families have become a family.  I’d be lying if I said I talked to the other Grascal wives all the time, but, there’s a bond.  It’s fun seeing the other kids grow up.  I hope someday when all of us are old folks the Grascal Kids will enjoy the times they run into one of the other Grascal Kids.

811179530_87b185a5ba_m.jpg #2 and Noah Franklin had a good time messing around the dressing room.  You usually see musicians kids backstage.  There was a time when kids under 12 weren’t allowed backstage unless they were the child or grandchild of an artist.  That rule may still be in effect.  The reason it was put into place was because Wayne McGaha, son of the late Mac McGaha, ran into Sonny Osborne’s banjo neck when he was a kid.  Sonny was not happy. 

carol-lee-singers.jpgIt dawned on me last night standing behind the rope at the Opry, as I have done hundreds upon hundreds of times since I was a kid, that I’ve been looking at these three singers, Carol Lee Cooper, Norah Lee Allen and Dennis McCall, aka “The Carol Lee Singers” do their oohs and ahhs for a very long time.  The bizarre thing is, the three of them haven’t changed a bit since I was 12. 

I told this deep thought to the Drama Queen, about the 3 singers and she said “Uh, Mom…there’s, like, 4 of them.”  Smawty pants.   Yes, I know there are 4.  The guy that sings bass with Carol Lee now, (I don’t know his name) has probably only been there a decade.  The bass singer I think of when I think of the Carol Lee bunch is the late Herman Harper.  He appeared in the movie “Nashville”, along with the other Carol Lee Singers. 

We kid about this and we know, deep down it had nothing to do with it, but, see, Herman died of a brain aneurysm in 1993.  Several weeks before, Mr. Smiff, awaiting his turn on the Opry with Bobby and Sonny, bumped into Herman with his bass.  I think he feels somehow responsible.  Obviously not cause of the bass.  He didn’t bump him that hard.  Still.

Now, Bobo, we feel IS responsible for former Opry announcer Grant Turner’s passing in 1991.  Grant died of, I believe it was an abdominal anuerysm.  He died on a Saturday morning after announcing on the Opry the night before.  The night before, Bobby Osborne was standing next to Grant, chatting, when Bobo went up and cut one on Bobby. (Typical of this bunch.  Like a bunch of middle school boys, I tell you). 

 The next day, when we heard Grant had died, Mr. Smiff got on the phone to Bobo and said “Dude, I always knew that ass of yours would kill somebody!” 

They laugh cause they love, those crazy guys.  The Grascals do love the Grand Ole Opry as do I.  Even though lots about backstage at the Opry has changed through the years, it’s still, for me, like going to your grandmother’s house or something.  I don’t go everytime Mr. Smiff plays like I used to, but, it sure feels like home when I do.

bringing-down-da-house.jpgEverytime Mr. Smiff plays there, I’m about as proud as any person can be.  I’m always reminded of behind the rope cause that’s where me and Mr. Smiff finally “met” and where our relationship started. 

opry-sunset.jpg Even sunsets at the backstage parking lot at the Grand Ole Opry are special. 


Great Minds

terry-at-waffle-house.jpgIronic that Michael wrote this wonderful post about the Waffle House.  We ate there last night on the way home from the Opry.  I haven’t eaten there in ages. 

There’s a lot to see at the Waffle House.  There were some guys in a booth next to us.tyler-at-waffle-house.jpg (Behind the Manchild)  One got up and went next door to the Exxon station and brought one of the waitresses back a Red Bull.  It’s likely that was her boyfriend or something, but, regardless, it was interesting to me. 

One of the reasons I took this picture811039168_cb68d7c2ca_m.jpgwas because of the man in the background.  He was old and I wondered why a man who had to be in his 80’s, was out eating at the Waffle House at 11:00 at night, by himself?  He chain smoked and read a book the whole time.  I thought that was interesting.

Are all the planets lined up or something?  Pretty wild Michael wrote about it unbeknownst it was on my mind.

Thing is, we’ve eaten out a lot lately.  I can’t remember enjoying a meal out with my family more than I did this one.  Maybe it was because we had a wonderful evening together (The Drama Queen only rolled her eyes at me a dozen times), maybe it was cause the five of us  were crammed in this booth…maybe it was the interesting people. 

A Night At The Opry

tyler-terry-07.jpgThe Manchild is near about as tall as Mr. Smiff.  Mr. Smiff is a hair under 6’4.  I’m still amazed that this is that same little boy who used to pretend to do the weather.

ranger-doug.jpg#2 says to Ranger Doug “Didja know there’s gonna be a Toy Story 3?”  Ranger Doug says, “Yes, and they haven’t called us yet.”  I sure hope they do.  I think the Riders helped make Toy Story 2 so great.  Woody Paul is showing off the other Woody on his shirt.


Mr. Smiff says I look like his Hee Haw Honey in this one.  (Ivy, you shoulda never told me that!! Hee.)

gene-watson.jpgLegend Alert!  The Grascals crossing paths with the wonderful Gene Watson. 

connie.jpgLegend Alert II-Connie Smith gets prettier and prettier and sings better than ever.

sharon-cheryl-rosie.jpgThree of my favorite people…Sharon, Cheryl and Rosie White.  If I had to pick my top ten favorite singers…these girls are near the top of that list.  Country music is so great because sometimes you can admire artists and then when you grow up, you can call them friends.  That still blows my mind.

rosie-noah.jpgOnly at the Grand Ole Opry can you see a mom pushing a stroller with one hand and carrying a guitar in the other.  Rosie is great at multi-tasking.

trevor-on-the-bus.jpg#2 made quick pals with Donnie, the bus driver.  He was something of his “assistant”. 

It’s getting more and more rare that all 5 of us are together at things now that the older kids are busier.  We had a great time.  More pictures of a night at the Opry later.