Grand Ole Opry Member Ruth Poe Weir Dies
Former Grand Ole Opry cast member Ruth Poe Weir has passed away. Weir died on April 26; she was 90 years old.
Weir was born in Big Creek, Miss., in December 1924. She and her sister, Nelle Poe, moved to Bridgeport, Conn., in 1943, where they worked as radio inspectors for General Electric and formed the Poe Sisters; Ruth sang and played mandolin, while Nelle played guitar and sang background vocals.
The sisters traveled with a group of entertainers on the weekends, including with Ernest Tubb's performing group, which led to them joining the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1944, when Weir was only 19 years old.
Weir got married in 1945, and the sisters broke up their act shortly thereafter. They returned to the Opry stage for a brief period after their breakup, but they left for good in 1946.
"Our idols were the Delmore Bothers, and we tried to sing like them," Nelle Poe said (quote via TalentOnDisplay.com). "The Solemn Old Judge, George Hay, said we were the 'female Delmore Brothers.' I can't say what kind of music we sang -- some bluegrass, some country."
The sisters might have continued performing, if not for the advice of their father.
"We always did what our daddy said," Nelle Poe said. "He said when you get married, you should quit working and raise a family."
The Poe Sisters never made any commercial recordings, due to the shortage of materials during World War II, but 10 of their live Opry airchecks can be found on an LP that was released in Germany in 1989, The Poe Sisters, Early Stars of the Grand Ole Opry.
Funeral services were held for Weir on May 5, just outside of Nashville, Tenn. The Boot extends our condolences to her family.
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