Excerpted from Nashville’s Mother Church:  The History of Ryman Auditorium by William U. Eiland, ©1994:

One such act gaining nationwide exposure was Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, whose song San Antonio Rose (YouTube Link) was the best-selling record of 1939. One of his guest appearances at the Opry caused an incident which Minnie Pearl describes best:

Bob Wills was young and handsome in that devil-may-care sort of way. When he did all that Texas hollering, that “Ah-haaa,” some of the ladies would go all to pieces. He was the first person to park a bus in front of the Ryman, and what a sight they were coming out of it. He and the Playboys and San Antonio Rose all dressed in white cowboy outfits. Well, as you know, the Ryman has that semicircular balcony that curves around over the wings of the stage, and one of the ladies up there could not control herself when she saw Bob Wills. She stood up, started to shout, and fell out of the balcony directly onto the stage– a real showstopper since they had to stop and pick her up.

She said that retelling the story reminded her of a routine she did with Rod Brasfield, who told her, “Miss Minnie, I shot my dog.”

“Why?” asked Minnie. “Was he mad?”

“Well, he wasn’t very happy about it,” replied Brasfield.

So, when people asked her if the lady who fell out of the balcony was hurt by the fall, Miss Minnie always answered, “Well, it didn’t help her any.”



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