Former Grand Ole Opry GM Hal Durham Passes
March 30, 2009 at 6:57 AM (PT)
ALL ACCESS sends condolences to the family of former GRAND OLE OPRY General Manager and GAYLORD Country WSM-A/NASHVILLE announcer HAL DURHAM. DURHAM passed away over the weekend at his home in CAPE CORAL, FL at the age of 77.
He served four years as Manager of the OPRY, and began his 15-year run as General Manager in 1978, succeeding E.W. "BUD" WENDALL. Under his tenure, he allowed full drum sets to be used on the OPRY stage and "significantly relaxed" the membership requirements for artists with regard to required personal appearances. DURHAM also served as the WSM-A PD before working as an OPRY executive.
Some of the notable artists that DURHAM signed as OPRY members were GARTH BROOKS, ALISON KRAUSS, RICKY SKAGGS, ALAN JACKSON, RIDERS IN THE SKY, The WHITES and REBA McENTIRE.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced. Read more about his life in today's (3/30) TENNESSEAN.