Posted by themusicsover on July 30, 2011
Trudy Stamper (Born Gertrude McClanahan)
DOB Unknown – July 30, 2011
Trudy Stamper was a country music pioneer who is perhaps best remembered for her tireless work on building the Grand Ole Opry brand. Born and raised in Nashville, Stamper moved to New York City after college in order to pursue a career on the stage. It was while back home visiting and talking up the theater scene, that she was overheard by an executive at the powerful WSM radio station and offered the chance to be one of the first female radio personalities in the United States. While at WSM, Stamper hosted a shopping program and acted in several of the station’s soap operas until eventually moving off microphone to a position in artist relations for the Grand Ole Opry. Through her New York connections, Stamper was able to bring the Opry to Carnegie Hall for two nights in 1947. The performances which included Minnie Pearl and Ernest Tubb, helped introduce the Opry and country music in general to more “cosmopolitan” audiences. She also handled Opry bookings and artist contracts for many years and eventually became the Public Relations Director for WSM and the Opry. In 1961, Stamper publicized the Opry’s second event at Carnegie Hall. That bill included Bill Monroe, Jim Reeves, Grandpa Jones, Faron Young, and one of her best friends, Patsy Cline. She retired from the music business in 1964. Trudy Stamper was 94 when she passed away on July 30, 2011.