Back to Oral History
  • Oral History

Vito Pellettieri

May 24, 1968 OH356 31 min.


Stage manager of the Grand Ole Opry. Born November 30, 1889. Died April 14, 1977. Full name: Vito Mario Pellettieri. Career active 1930s-1960s. Successful career as a bandleader prior to joining WSM-Nashville. Hired in the early 1930s by WSM as the music librarian, he later was assigned to help manage the Opry.

Interview Summary

1968 May 24
(31 minutes)
Vito Pellettieri talks about the growth of country music from his perspective as stage manager of the Grand Ole Opry. Discussion includes his early work as a bandleader; his start with WSM as the music librarian; his assignment to the Opry and first experiences working as the stage manager; bringing organization to the Opry show; origin of the name the Fruit Jar Drinkers; selling Opry segments to advertisers; the development of the Opry format; the role of J. L. Frank in bringing talent to the Opry; the growth of the Opry; changes at the Opry during his tenure; the importance of Roy Acuff and Fred Rose to the country music industry; the importance of Paul Cohen and Owen Bradley to the success of the country recording industry; the role of Hubert Long in bringing talent to country music; his family background; comments on country performers including Hank Snow, Minnie Pearl, and Jim Reeves; changes in country music; and comments about the future of country music.

We use cookies in the following ways: (1) for system administration, (2) to assess the performance of the website, (3) to personalize your experience, content and ads, (4) to provide social media features, and (5) to analyze our traffic. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Please consult instructions for your web browser to disable or block cookies, or to receive a warning before a cookie is stored on your computer or mobile device. Read our Privacy Policy.