The prompt for this weeks Sepia Saturday is hats. The ladies in Alan's image are very stylish wearing delicate hats on their tenderly upswept hair. Would I have an image to compliment Alan's? Of course I do.

I give you two unknown ladies in what can only be described as Minnie Pearl style hats. You be the judge.

Click on image to see it larger.

Don't know Minnie Pearl? Well, I'm sorry you missed her. She was a firecracker!
Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon (October 25, 1912 – March 4, 1996), known professionally as Minnie Pearl, was an American country comedienne who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years (from 1940 to 1991) and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1991.

Sarah Colley was born in Centerville, in Hickman County, Tennessee, about 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Nashville. She was the youngest of the five daughters of a prosperous lumberman in Centerville. She graduated from Ward-Belmont College (now Belmont University), at the time Nashville's most prestigious school for young ladies, where her major was theater studies and dance was a particular interest. After graduation she taught dance for several years

Her first professional theatrical job was with the Wayne P. Sewell Production Company, a touring theater company based in Atlanta, for which she produced and directed plays and musicals for local organizations in small towns throughout the southeastern United States.

As part of her work with the Sewell company, she made brief appearances at civic organizations to promote the group's shows. She developed her Minnie Pearl routine during this period. While producing an amateur musical comedy in Baileyton, Alabama, she met a mountain woman whose style and talk became the basis for "Cousin Minnie Pearl". Her first stage performance as Minnie Pearl was in 1939 in Aiken, South Carolina. The following year, executives from Nashville radio station WSM-AM saw her perform at a bankers' convention in Centerville and gave her an opportunity to appear on the Grand Ole Opry on November 30, 1940. The success of her debut on the show began an association with the Grand Ole Opry that continued for more than 50 years.

Pearl's comedy was gentle satire of rural Southern culture, often called "hillbilly" culture. Pearl always dressed in styleless "down home" dresses and wore a hat with a price tag hanging from it, displaying the price of $1.98. Her catch phrase was "How-w-w-DEE-E-E-E! I'm jes' so proud to be here!" delivered in a loud holler. After she became an established star, her audiences usually shouted "How-w-w-DEE-E-E-E!" back. Pearl's humor was often self-deprecating, and involved her unsuccessful attempts at attracting the attention of "a feller" and, particularly in later years, her age. She also told monologues involving her comical 'ne'er-do-well' relatives, notably "Uncle Nabob" and "Brother", who was simultaneously both slow-witted and wise. She usually closed her monologues with the exit line, "I love you so much it hurts!" She also sang comic novelty songs.

Pearl's comic material derived heavily from her hometown of Centerville, which in her act she called Grinder's Switch. Grinder's Switch is a community just outside of Centerville that consisted of little more than a railroad switch. Those who knew her recognized that the characters were largely based on real residents of Centerville. So much traffic resulted from fans and tourists looking for Grinder's Switch that the Hickman County Highway Department eventually changed the designation on the "Grinder's Switch" road sign to "Hickman Springs Road." (SOURCE: Wikipedia)


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  1. The lady on the left has a definite Minnie Pearl-esque quality. I enjoyed reading this little bio and can hear that HOW-w-w-DEE-E-E-E as clear as anything. Unforgettable performer and lady.

  2. When I saw the title of your post, the word "HowwwwDDDeeee!" immediately came to mind. :) Minnie Pearl was a smart and talented woman. She had such a gift when it came to comedy and the Grand Ole Opry's not the same without her. Fun post!

  3. Hi there, new follower. Yes, I remember Minnie Pearl. I can still hear that twangy voice of hers.... Thanks for sharing this.

    The Overnight Bestseller

  4. Great story and being a foreigner, wholly unknown to me. Was she a kind of Bette Midler avant la lettre? (Hope I am not insulting anyone!)

  5. Minnie Pearl was a classic.

    Love the hats in your photo.


  6. Never heard of her, until now, I like the idea of putting on the hat to be in character. Women comedians of that era seemed to have long careers. Great clip, the second double act was funny too.

  7. The lady on the left certainly has that "lantern jaw" of Minnie Pearl - she could an impersonation for sure!

  8. Absolutely too cool, and yes they were quite the hats! A lovely post as well. I always love a good firecracker!

  9. I'd never herd of her either; she was certainly a character.

  10. Oh ya! Those are definitely Minnie Pearl type hats. Just missing the price tags. Great post!

  11. Awww, I bet those women were not trying to be Minnie Pearl before her time. I think Minnie Pearl was trying to look like them!

    i am going to try one more time but if those *&%$ capchas give me yet another "wrong answer" I'll have to give it a pass.

  12. Awesome! Fun to learn more about Minnie Pearl. I enjoyed Hee-Haw, even though I couldn't let my friends know that at the time. My Grandma J. used to play Minnie Pearl at the talent shows when she went on cruises.

    The video was wonderful too. Thank you.

    Kathy M.

  13. They may look like Minnie Pearl from Tennessee, but I wouldn't bet they sound like her. Being from Minnesota they might not even understand her, since Norwegian or Swedish might be their first language. A super photo though.

  14. I remember Minnie quite well. Boy, that brings me back a while!!! I also remember hearing for the first time the Canadian singer K.D. Lang on Hee Haw. Never stopped loving her singing!!

  15. I'm very glad to hear that so many people remember Minnie Pearl. And I'm glad to have introduced her to those who never knew her.

  16. It looks as if they are wearing victorian style dresses. Minnie Pearl is new to me - an early Lucille Ball?

    1. I think the main difference is that Lucy was sort of always playing Lucy, even when not in character. Minnie was a character that could be easily turned on and off. Both were beloved.

  17. Felix0912/03/2012

    Gosh, I miss Minnie Pearl; she was such a hoot! And, incidentally, I live within a couple hours' drive of Mora, Minnesota. Regardless, I'm clueless about the two ladies in the photo.