Monday, June 02, 2008


The quarterly of the "Friends of the Missouri State Archives" (Spring 2008) includes an article on Lee Mace’s Ozark Opry on Highway 54 just south of Bagnell Dam. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has memories of being dragged kicking and screaming (err, led joyfully) into the Opry Auditorium by parents who were trying in vain to instill a love of country music in their Swinging Sixties offspring. I do remember enjoying the show once I resigned myself to being there-- so-- no hate mail from country music fans, please!

The article reveals that the Opry started as a twice a week show for 200 people in 1953, and grew to a twelve shows a week (in summer) auditorium that seated 1,200. I’m sure you could do the math if necessary, but I’ll save you the trouble: that’s 50,000 rumps in seats per month, even if the auditorium wasn’t full to capacity at each performance. Lee and wife Joyce (nee Williams) were doing all right, I reckon…

Lee Mace died on 16 June 1985, in an airplane accident that also killed flight instructor Lee Sopp.

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