Rhonda Vincent Message Board

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Hal Durham, former GM of the Grand Ole Opry, passed away over the weekend.

Hal taught me a VERY valuable life lesson.

My family "The Sally Mountain Show" performed in Branson, MO at Silver Dollar City when I was a teenager.

We played 5 days a week - playing 5 -one hour shows per day - Monday  - Friday.

(On Friday nights, we drove to a festival to perform on Saturday & Sunday, then  back to Silver Dollar City on Sunday nights, to perform once again at 8am on Monday morning.)

On this particular day, it was pouring rain.  There wasn't one person sitting in the audience; but yet we were performing like there was a full house.
I couldn't understand why Dad was making us continue to play. No one was there to hear us. Why couldn't we just sit and wait till the rain stopped?
But he said we were getting paid to play; and we were going to play no matter what. 

The very next week, the phone rang. My Dad answered. The man's voice said, "This is Hal Durham, the General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry, and I'd like to invite you and your famiy to perform here." My Dad said we would love to, and that we really appreciate Charlie Louvin recommending us to him.

Mr. Durham said, "It wasn't Charlie."
  He said, "My family and I were on vacation at Silver Dollar City last week.  We were waiting for the rain to pass, and was sitting just around the corner from where your family was playing."

That weekend, The Sally Mountain Show made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry!

From THAT moment on.....no matter where we were.......no matter how many people.....no matter if I could SEE any people. I learned to always play the best I could, cause YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS LISTENING, and you NEVER KNOW WHAT OPPORTNITY COULD BE NEXT,

Thank you Hal Durham, for one of the greatest highlights of my life......performing for the first time on the Grand Ole Opry!  
An experience I will never forget.        Rest In Peace

Following is the link to the full story in the Tennessean:

My thoughts and prayers go out to Hal's family and his Opry family.
Rhonda what a wonderful Tribute to Hal, my prayers go out also to his family. I do hope one day, I will be able to buy, a book written by the Vincent family of there life, it is with great joy, that I read, our see parts of your life, just as the story you just put to words, thanks.

 Linda and Whitey from Ind.
Charlie K

Great story and life lesson, Rhonda. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

It's so sad to hear of his passing.  He will certainly be missed by many.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family.  It's amazing the lessons we learn from others in life.  What a wonderful thing he taught y'all.
Rhonda, what a wonderful story about your family and the valuable lesson your Father taught you. Thanks for sharing.
Aaron Durham
Ms. Vincent,

Thank you so much for your story and condolences.  It meant a lot to me.  Hal was my "big" brother ( 2 & 1/2 years older).
He was a Class Act in all respects.

Aaron Durham
Don & Ann A.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Durham family.
Rhonda, what a wonderful story and life lesson.  A story I will pass on to our kids.
Robert Hall
My condolances and prayers go out to the Durham family as well..It's a great loss the the country music world..

I was also saddened to hear on Sunday while listening to the "Country Oldies" show that Dan Seals passed away last week too,at age 61,from Lymphoma .. ...they played several of his hit songs in tribute..
Gloria Boyd

Our prayers go out to the Durham family. May God give you strength during this time. Sounds like he was a very nice person. 

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