MAMMOTH SPRING -- Music will fill the streets of downtown Mammoth Spring every Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The George D. Hay Music Hall of Fame has moved into its new location at 271 Main Street (the old Mammoth Spring Floral building). A different band will appear at the theater each Saturday. A donation of $3 will be asked for adults attending the show. Children 10 and under will be admitted free.
The organization is 501 C-3 and all donations made are tax deductible.
The organization is 120 strong and has members from all over the United States.
The hall of fame president Bob Ross said the organization was founded to honor Grand Ole Opry founder George D, Hay and the city of Mammoth Spring for their part in the creation of the Grand Ole Opry. History shows that Hay, also known as the Solemn Old Judge, got the idea for the opry after a trip to Mammoth Spring in 1919.
Ross told the story, "Hay worked for the Commercial Appeal, a Memphis newspaper, and was sent to Mammoth Spring to cover the funeral of a a soldier killed in WWII. The burial was where Hay called 30 minutes out of town up in the mountains. After the funeral, the reporter came back to town and a stranger on the street who happened to be a fiddle player in a band invited him to a hoedown that was to be held that evening on the Missouri-Arkansas stateline in a log cabin." Ross said Hay was impressed with the musicians and dancers. "Several years later the events that night in the cabin in the Ozark Mountains inspired him to start a country music radio show on WSM is Nashville. That was in 1925 and it became the Grand Ole Opry," Ross said.
The local George D. Hay Music Hall of Fame Theater has elected officers. They are: Bob Ross, president; Marion Patterson, vice president; Bonnie Cohen, secretary; Gail Foster, treasurer; Gill Razhina, sergeant at arms; Melburn Oakes, board member; Thelma Anderson, board member; and Tom Frey, board member.
Besides the show on Saturday night, the group holds an awards show the third Sunday of every September. This will be their seventh year to present the awards show. Ross said the awards show also presents a hoedown award to a local artists. This past year two hoedown awards were presented. They went to Mickey Beach and Roy Fuller, members of the Southern Drifters Band.
Several area businesses sponsor the music theater. They include: FNBC, Simmons First National Bank, Out Back Gun and Pawn, Allen American Realty, Country Cottage, Brown Furniture and Appliance, Hirsch Feed and Jones Body Shop. Any business that is interested in being a sponsor can call Ross at 417-264-7015 or Marion Patterson at 417-264-7213.
The Old Country Band from Paragould will be performing Jan. 24 at the theater