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Lee Mace's Ozark Opry
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Year Started:  1953

Lee Mace's Ozark Opry

Before every show, the audience would hear Lee Mace ask, "How many of you folks here came to have a good time?"

Lee Mace was born in a litle town of 74 people on a farm near Brumley, MO, just 10 miles away from teh Lake of the Ozarks. As a youngster, it was said he remembered going with his family to friends' homes for musical get togethers (sound familiar?) where "everyone picked and sang and had a grand time."

His trademark was playing a 'rousing, slapping, free-wheeling bass fiddle'.

It seems that back in 1953, they decided they didn't like living out of suitcases and wanted to settle down in the Lake of the Ozarks. And also knew that there was a lot of old-time country traditions and flavor that they wanted to preserve.

They started out renting a building almost next to the Bagnell Dam. (..."it would hold around 200 if some of'em brought their own chairs."), got some folks from nearby to perform and began putting on shows two nights a week. Soon, it was up to three shows a week. And later up to four.

In 1957, the Maces built a new Ozark Opry Auditorium that had an original seating capacity that grew to 1000 seats later. The Opry's season runs from Mid-April to Mid-October.

Back then, the Ozark Opry as also on TV each week in a half-hour show. It was on every Thursday evening at 6:30pm on KRCG-TV in Jefferson City, MO and also on KMOS-TV in Sedalia, MO. Back then, it ranked fourth in the Neilson ratings around the Columbia, MO, state capitol area. (This appears to have been around 1966 judging by the dates and times given in the brochure).

Lee Mace


Credits & Sources

  • Lee Mace's Ozark Opry; publication date unknown

Related Web Links  

Lee Mace's Ozark Opry