Youd know her right of f
the batthe silly dress, the Mary Jane shoes, and that straw hat
with the $1.98 price tag still dangling from the brim. And then the Howdee!
Sure enough, it was Minnie Pearlplain-looking, unlucky in
love, but ever sunny and smiling.
The jump from Sarah Ophelia Colley to Minnie Pearl was
not really planned. She was born in Centerville, Tennessee in 1912. Her
parents were well-to-do, cultured people, and they gave Sarah a good education.
She attended Ward-Belmont College, studied drama, and had her sights set
on Broadway, but found herself performing with a troupe that staged amateur
shows throughout the South. In 1936, after a lodging mix-up in a little
Alabama town, a family offered to put her up. The woman of the house became
the model for Minnie Pearl. Sarah began to perfect the character, and
after some influential people saw her perform at a bankers convention,
she was invited to appear on The Grand Ole Opry.
Few women were doing monologues on radio back then, and
only Minnie Pearl was making a name for herself, telling stories about
country life and her hometown.
America's Beloved Minnie Pearl, Starday Records,
Howdy!, Sunset Records, LP.