Grant Turner

Past DJ Hall of Fame Inductees
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 at college and worked for Texas and Louisiana newspapers during the 1930s, but he returned to radio announcing in 1940 at KFRO in Longview, TX., 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. Turner became announcer for R. J. Reynolds's NBC network half hour of the Grand Ole Opry, in the late 1940s: 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, and in the mid-1950s became the third regular announcer for Ernest Tubb's WSM Midnight Jamboree, a job he held until 1977

Turner for years hosted the pre-Opry Grand Ole Opry Warmup Show-spinning records and taking requests on the Opry House stag. He worked the Friday and Saturday night Opry shows, besides the summer matinees, until the night before he died. Grant 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.