Opry Veteran Ruth Poe Weir Dead at 90
Former Grand Ole Opry cast member Ruth Poe Weir has passed away at the age of 90.
Nashville's The Tennessean newspaper reports Ruth Poe was born in December of 1924 in Big Creek, Miss., and learned to play the mandolin during her childhood there.
In the 1940s, Ruth and her older sister, Nelle, moved to Bridgeport, Conn., where they found work inspecting radios for General Electric. They formed a duo called the Poe Sisters, with Ruth playing mandolin and singing lead, while Nelle played guitar and provided harmony vocals.
It was during their stint in Connecticut that the sisters began to perform on a local radio station, and they also began to tour regionally over the weekends. In 1944 the Poe Sisters landed a tour with Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours, and in June of that year they were invited to join the cast of the Grand Ole Opry.
According to the Bluegrass Unlimited, Ruth Poe played a mandolin loaned to her by bluegrass legend Bill Monroe during her time on the Opry, which turned out to be short-lived. Ruth and Nelle Poe were both married by 1946, and they ended their musical partnership when Nelle moved back to Connecticut with her husband.
The Poe Sisters never made any professional studio recordings, but a handful of their Opry live airchecks were captured and released on a 10-song vinyl LP in Germany in 1989, titled The Poe Sisters, Early Stars of the Grand Ole Opry. The duo have been inducted into the Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame and the George D. Hay Music Hall of Fame.
Ruth Poe Weir passed away in Nashville on April 26. No cause of death has been reported. A graveside service took place on Tuesday (May 5) at the Holt Cemetery in Franklin, a suburb of Nashville.
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