Vintage Style #11: The Grand Ole Opry

I was lucky enough to stumble upon a 1976 Grand Ole Opry picture book to commemorate their 50th anniversary. As soon as I opened it, I knew this book must be mine - no price was too high. There in full color were page after page of some of the most hideous 70's fashions I've ever seen.

Before you get irritated with me for once again poking fun at 70's fashions, remember that (1) I love the 1970's and (2) I love 70's country music.  This is done with tongue planted firmly in cheek - pictures of me and my family during this time period were equally hideous.

So, check a few of the highlights from this glorious tome of fashion crimes.  If you want to see all the photos from the book and full sized (and without my commentary or attempts at humor), just jump to my Flickr music set.

Marty Robbins was one of the most prolific songwriters of all time. One of his biggest hits was "El Paso". It strikes me as odd to see him dressed like Rollo from Sanford & Son.

Lonzo & Oscar scored a mid seventies hit with "Did You Have to Bring That Up While I Was Eating"; and they apparently rode that wave of fame all the way to their own "ranch house" right next to KFC!

Here's Barbara Mandrell.  I actually liked her variety show with her sisters.... and those freakish Krofft puppets.

The Stoney Mountain Cloggers.  I like that their overalls are monogrammed. Candy is a fox, and Kal looks like a hillbilly version of Chris Klein.  Check out the Stoney Mountain Cougar on the left.

Okay, the fashion isn't too bad here. However, I could do without the bedazzled sweater.  If ever there was a woman who didn't need to "bling" her bosom, it's Dolly.

I'm no fashion designer, but I think Ernie Ashworth's black shoes don't go with his mustard & ketchup colored suit.  But then again, what would go with this suit - big red and yellow Ronald McDonald clown boots? I like the red sequin lips, nice touch.

The kitchen tablecloth fashion was big in the 1970's.  I'm especially fond of the Mr. Furley ascots on the men.

For some reason, this one really captures the essence of 70's style for me.  Maybe it's because this could easily be a picture from my own photo album. The carpet, the big white belt, the collars, the flaired pants, the hair....  Gilligan like.


  1. Awesome!

    I'm feeling inspired to get a Safari Suit or something else terrifyingly 70s!!!

  2. I hesitated commenting here (as I comment on all of Gilligan's other posts!) but my dad was a country music performer for most of my life--played the piano & sang, put out 4 45s (wrote all his own music) & was part of a weekly radio show for years, from the WWVA Jamboree in West Virginia.

    The weekly show always had a couple of big-name stars. We kids got to go almost every Saturday, and met Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charley Pride, the cast of Hee Haw. Lots of great memories there.

    Anyway--I just remember the performers clothes not getting really outlandish until the mid-70s in that industry. Seemed like the men just wore suits and the women long dresses.

    FYI, here's a couple links--one is my dad's first publicity photo for the Jamboree, the other 2 are my mom with Dolly Parton (around 1972) and Charley Pride (around 73).




  3. I like Freddie from Scooby Doo, but have oddly enough never wanted to wear an ascot.
    So women clog in their bare feet? I guess that picture was taken for guys who may have a foot fetish or the ladies were airing their clogging shoes out.

  4. The oldest kid in the last picture looks realllllly pissed off about something!

  5. No wonder outlaw country became so popular!

  6. One of the things I appreciate about your site is that you point out - quite accurately - that 70s fashions were unique in their awfulness. People are always trying to say that every decade has its share of silly and ugly fashions, but imho, the 70s were so weird and unique. Don't these photos just prove it?

  7. I like the very first photo. It's as if the designer couldn't decide which beige 'n' brown pattern would look least flattering.

  8. I kind of wish some of this clothing was still the fashion today. These days everybody looks the same and there was so much "flare" (no pun intended but its there anyway) in the 70's clothing.