On tonight's Grand Ole Opry, Carol Lee Cooper announced her retirement. She appeared on Marty Stuart's segment and received a great ovation from the audience. In addition, she received a special framed poster from Opry general manager Pete Fisher, and was joined on stage by the other Carol Lee Singers. (I will say that Marty treated her like gold on stage tonight).
For those of us to follow the Opry, this is not a real surprise. Carol Lee has battled health and voice issues for the past year, and has not been on the Opry stage since last winter. She was on a YouTube video about a month ago with Larry Black where she talked briefly about being healthy again and praising God for her recovery.
I am happy that Opry management gave her some nice recognition before she left the Opry. I know it had been speculated earlier, on other websites and addressed on this one, that Carol Lee had been fired right after her mom, Wilma Lee Cooper, had passed away. I did not believe that story then and still do not believe it now. I think her retirement was her decision.
It is really the end of another era at the Opry. Carol Lee has been around the show since her parents came in the late 1950s. She performed with them and was part of her mothers act after Stoney Cooper passed away. And of course all the years leading the Carol Lee Singers. She also spent a few years as the announcer on the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.
Here is hoping that Carol Lee enjoys her retirement and that her health continues to improve. It would be nice if Larry Black would have her as a guest on his show, Larry's Country Dinner and maybe we will hear more from her on the Opry Country Reunion shows on RFD.
Carol Lee, thanks for the memories. You will be missed.