Monday, December 1, 2008

Minnie Pearl

On May 12, 2005, on the Centerville Square - yes, it is that type of town - a statue honoring the life and times of Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, known to the world as Minnie Pearl was unveiled. The bronze statue is fifteen-percent larger than life and was designed by renowned sculptor Bill Rains who captured her likeness brilliantly.

Ophelia, as she was known around these parts, was born in 1912 in Centerville, Tennessee. Her father was a sawmill operator.

In 1940, "Minnie Pearl" was born on the Grand Ole Opry stage and was called "Cousin Minnie." Her straw hat with the price tag hanging off of it and gingham dress became her trademark all over the world. After 35 years on stage, in 1975, she was the first comedienne to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. After a long illness, Minnie died in 1996 but her legacy remains. Several hospitals have areas that have been named for her.

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