Carol Lee Cooper, longtime Grand Ole Opry background vocalist, brought her Opry career to a close on Saturday, March 24. A portion of the show, hosted by her friend Marty Stuart, was performed in her honor. During the segment, Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher presented Carol Lee with a framed print commemorating her years of service.
Following the presentation, Marty and his band, the Fabulous Superlatives, treated the audience to a rendition of “Carol Lee”, a song written and sung by Marty’s band member Kenny Vaughan. Afterwards, while Carol Lee sat center stage, Marty held her hand and closed the segment with the gospel song “The Unseen Hand.”
“For thousands of Grand Ole Opry fans over the years the sound of the Carol Lee Singers has become wonderfully familiar over the Opry airwaves,” Pete Fisher said. “For all of us at the Opry, Carol Lee has and always will be family. We are so pleased to celebrate her long Opry career with her tonight and look forward to hearing about her future successes.”
“This wonderful Opry family will always have a special place in my heart,” Carol Lee said. “I’m proud to have spent so much of my life here around the music and people I love. I am blessed to have so many good things and interesting projects in store for me, and I already look forward to sharing them with everyone here.”
Carol Lee first appeared on the Opry Stage with her parents, Opry members Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, in 1956. She formed and has led the Carol Lee Singers, named by Opry great Roy Acuff, on Opry background vocals since 1972. The Carol Lee Singers’ other members, Norah Lee Allen, Rod Fletcher, and Dennis McCall, will continue performing at the Opry as ‘The Opry Singers.’