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George D. Hay Society Hall of Honor inductions set for Aug. 20

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The George D. Hay Society of West Plains will hold its 16th annual Hall of Honor inductions beginning at 5 p.m. Aug. 20, at the Star Theatre in Willow Springs.

This year’s inductees are George Mason, of Harrison Ark., Dave and Darlene Gourley, of Houston, and Gordon McCann of Springfield.

According to society founder and CEO Eric Lewis, Mason is a world-renowned fiddle player who plays for the Amanda Cook Bluegrass Band and the Gourleys have performed their gospel music around the world, including performing with the Friend Brothers. McCann, Lewis adds, is a “very knowledgeable musician and encyclopedia on music in the Ozarks.”

A preshow performance will be given by Eric Lewis and his New Kentucky Colonels.

In addition to the inductions, awards will be presented to local and regional artists.

George D. Hay was founder of the Grand Ole Opry, inspired in 1919 by three musicians at a cabin hoedown in the Ozarks community of Old Town, near Thayer in Oregon County. He became program director for the new WSM station in 1925 in Nashville where he started the National Barndance radio show; in 1925 he officially called the program the Grand Ole Opry.

The Ozark’s Cabin Award will be presented to artists to commemorate the cabin where George D. Hay was inspired to create the the Grand Ole Opry.

A heritage award will be given to two recipients for the Ozarks’ connection to the Grand Ole Opry, along with several other awards.

Admission is free, though donations are welcome. All are welcome to join in the celebration of Ozarks Heritage. For more information about the event, call 417-293-3367.

The George D. Hay Society was founded in 2007. Many stars have been inducted into the hall of honor and the society has a museum display in the basement of the Harlin Museum on Worcester Street in West Plains. The Country Music Hall of Fame and WSM radio station are members of the society.

Learn more online at www.newkentuckycolonels.com and georgedhaysociety.homestead.org. 

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