grant turner - Inducted 1975
Jesse Granderson "Grant" Turner was born May 17, 1912 in Baird, Texas, near Abilene. In 1928, while in high school, he performed as Ike and His Guitar announced for Abilene, TX. Turner majored in journalism in college and worked for Texas and Louisiana newspapers during the 1930s, but he returned to radio announcing in 1940 at KFRO in Longview, Texas before joining a station in Sherman, TX. In 1942, he moved to Knoxville, TN. Turner rode an all-night bus to Nashville and auditioned for WSM, where he joined the staff on June 6, 1944, which was D-Day, the day the Allies invaded Europe in World War II. He first announced early-morning programs, but a few months later joined George D. Hay's staff of Saturday night Grand Ole Opry announcers. In the late 1940s, Turner became announcer for R. J. Reynolds's NBC network half hour of the Grand Ole Opry, the Prince Albert Show, piped weekly to some 170 stations and some 10 million listeners by 1953. In the early 1950s, he hosted WSM's Mr. DJ, USA program, featuring guest DJs from around the nation. In the mid-1950s, Turner became the third regular announcer for Ernest Tubb's WSM Midnight Jamboree, a job he held until 1977.
Turner hosted the pre-Opry Grand Ole Opry Warmup Show-spinning records and taking requests on the Opry House stage for years. Besides the summer matinees, he worked the Friday and Saturday night Opry shows, until the night before he died. Turner was one of three original members to be inducted into the Country Music D J Hall of Fame in 1975. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1981. Turner died on October 19, 1991 in Nashville, TN.