Minnie Pearl

October 25, 1912 – March 4, 1996

All together now: “How-DEEE!”

The stage of the Grand Ole Opry is hallowed ground. Whether it was the historic stage of the famed Ryman Auditorium, or the newfangled stage at the modern Opry House, setting foot upon it can be life-changing for anyone with the fortune to do so. It transforms performers. None more literally than a young comedienne named Sarah Colley, who stepped onto the Opry stage and became…Minnie Pearl.

With her trademark frilly dresses and legendary “price tag” hat, Minnie Pearl regaled audiences with folksy stories of her fictional hometown of “Grinder’s Switch.” Tales of her wacky kin and townsfolk – as well as healthy doses of self-deprecation – became her go-to bit for decades. But, she was no one-trick pony. Pearl studied theater in college. She sang. She danced. In short, she entertained. And audiences loved her. She became one of the most endearing and enduring personalities in country music circles…and beyond. She worked with everyone from Elvis to Dean Martin to Pee-Wee Herman. Pearl was a fixture on television throughout the ’70s and ’80s. She appeared on a number of talk and game shows and famously co-starred on the long running hit, Hee Haw.

She survived breast-cancer and became a spokesperson for the hospital that treated her…which would eventually bear her (real) name. In 1991, she suffered a stroke and spent the rest of her life in a nursing facility. She died in 1996 at the age of 83.


Mt. Hope Cemetery – Franklin, TN

Specific Location

Enter the cemetery from Magnolia Drive and go straight. Turn left after the fourth section (Section K) and the CANNON family plot will be on your left just before a tree and a small concrete path.


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