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Legendary Broadcaster Hairl Hensley Of WSM Fame Dies

January 1, 2018

The news that the famed voice and personality of Hairl Hensley has been stilled is making for sadness among listeners of WSM and the Grand Ole Opry.


He was considered the dean of Grand Ole Opry announcers and worked at WKDA, WLAC and WSM. He was inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame in 1995.

Hensley was a native of East Tennessee and originally hoped to pursue a career as a country musician but began working as a broadcaster while still in high school, according to The Tennessean archives.  He moved to Nashville in the 1960s and was hired at WSM in 1972.  He was one of the longest serving Opry announcers, doing it for 35 years.

  1. December 15, 2018 10:21 PM

    And then there was my personal favorite announcer at the Opry!

  2. December 15, 2018 10:20 PM

    Glad you are finding my old postings on the Opry, WSM, and related material. As you can tell I am very fond of those ‘magic waves’ that brought Nashville to my small rural home in Hancock. I worked in radio and it was partly due to Opry broadcasts on Saturday nights–with the announcers making introductions and doing live commercials which struck me as something I needed to do, too.

    Was at the Opry two times–and GOO Goo Clusters were a must!! What a great memory.

    And Martha White Flour!!

  3. Rooster permalink
    December 15, 2018 9:16 PM

    I grew up hearing this man’s voice as part of my life,like Walter Cronkite,and Johnny Carson. I enjoyed his sunrise WSM 650 Radio Shows,such as “Early Bird gets the Bluegrass”, and “Orange POssum Special”, and in the early 1970s it was “Opry Star Spotlight” on Fri Nites,after the Fri Nite Opry and Grand Ole Gospel went off the Air.
    One thing besides Hairl , Standard Candy Co. dropped sponsorship from the Opry around 2007. For years, Hairl Hensley, and Harold Weakly (later Carol Lee Cooper),would sing the jingle with audience encouragement and help,- “Go Get a Goo Goo,they’re Goooood”. Good Goos, were a product of Standard Candy Co..
    God bless you Mr Hairl Hensley.

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