Video 1: Turn up your volume and listen closely to legendary Opry announcer Grant Turner! He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and took an all-night bus to Nashville to audition for WSM Radio in 1944.
Video 2: Grant was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1981. Grant started working for WSM Radio in 1944. He worked for several of WSM's programs before getting what he called the “big prize” when he became announcer for R. J. Reynolds’s NBC network half hour of the Opry. Turner was known for his diction, ingratiating personality, and professionalism.
Video 3: Grant Turner hosted the pre-show Opry Warmup Show for years. He would spin records and take requests on the Opry House stage. He worked Friday and Saturday night Opry shows, besides the summer matinees, until the night before he died.
Minnie Pearl was an Opry comedian character created and portrayed by Sarah Ophelia Colley, from Centerville, Tennessee. In the fall of 1940, an opportunity to perform at a banker’s convention in Centerville brought her to the attention of executives at radio station WSM in Nashville. On November 30, 1940, she made her Grand Ole Opry debut. Less than a week later, more than 300 cards, telegrams, and letters addressed to Minnie Pearl flooded the offices of WSM showing she stole the hearts and brought laughter to Opry lovers. Minnie Pearl was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1971. Minnie had a half-dozen albums and about twice as many singles scattered among the Bullet, King, RCA, Everest, and Starday labels. When she did sing, she exaggerated the flaws in her voice. Her big hit was called “Giddyup Go—Answer". Minnie was more commonly known for being the queen of country music.
Guess Who? Any guesses for who our featured Member Monday is? 1) Performed some of the hand claps on Buddy Holly’s tune “You’re the One.” 2) An Outlaw legend 3) He was The Balladeer on the television show, Dukes of Hazzard.
If you guessed Waylon Jennings, you were correct!
Waylon was an Outlaw Movement legend and a trailblazer for country music artists. Waylon’s big break came when he was tapped by Buddy Holly to play bass in Holly’s new band on a tour through the Midwest in late 1958 and early 1959. Jennings had several hit albums including compilation album with artists such as Willie Nelson and his wife, Jessi Colter.
Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter married in October of 1969. The pair worked on many projects together including the album Wanted! The Outlaws with Willie Nelson and Tompall Glaser. Kris Kristofferson once described Jennings and Colter’s relationship as “a beautiful love affair.