In Memoriam 1912-1996
Minnie Pearl was a comedian played by Hickman County native Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon. She was on the Grand Ole Opry from 1940 to 1991 and on the television show Hee Haw for 22 years before a stroke abruptly ended her career.
She is known for saying, "Howdy! I'm jes' so proud to be here!" at the beginning of each show. Minnie Pearl made a small Tennessee railroad switch famous. Grinders Switch was an imaginary town where "... there are no wars, no disease, and no quarrels and where your main worry was whether your feller was going to kiss you in the moonlight."
Minnie Pearl was the first woman inducted into the National Comedy Hall of Fame. She joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1975 and received the National Medal of Arts in 1992. On the night after her death, Dan Miller, WSMV anchor, simply said, "Thank you, Minnie, for showing us the right way to be a star."