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George Hay

Forest Lawn Cemetery

 George Hay photo

George Hay was born in 1895.  He began working in radio as an editor for the Memphis Commercial Appeal.  He was given his first on-air assignment for the newspaper’s radio station in 1923.  He became well after having presented the news of President Harding’s death later that year.  Soon after this he joined the WLS station in Chicago where he became even more famous for having created the “Barn Dance.”  In 1925, he moved to WSM where he played the role of “Solemn Ole Judge.”  In this capacity he soon introduced a new Barn Dance during the NBC Music Appreciation Hour which he later described as the “Grand Ole Opry.”  This program became one of the most prominent music shows throughout rural America and was a Saturday night fixture for over 40 years.  Hay retired from radio in 1956 and died in 1968 in Virginia Beach.



Photo from Boston Globe, “George Hay, Originated Famed “Grand Ole Opry,” Boston Globe, May 10, 1968.  Also see Los Angeles Times, May 10, 1968 and New York Times, May 10, 1968.           

Biographical information provided by Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries.

Visitor Information

Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Office hours: Monday to Sunday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Free parking inside cemetery.

Admission Cost: Free

Address: 8100 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23505

Official web site for more information:

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