SOURCE AWARD RECIPIENT
WSM, Gaylord Entertainment
Margaret Parker was born in Stewart County, Tennessee in 1924. She graduated from Dover High School in 1942 as valedictorian of her class of 39 graduates. Moving to Nashville in January 1943 she began working for The National Life and Accident Insurance Company, which owned WSM Radio. She was promoted to medical secretary in 1948. The doctors for whom she worked were only one floor above the famed WSM Studio C.
It was at that time she met and became friends with many of the musicians in the live orchestras as well as the performers and announcers, including, Irving Waugh, Owen Bradley, Delores Watson Seigenthaler, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Francis Craig, Harry Draper, Frances Williams Preston, members of the legendary "Waking Crew" and cast of Sunday Down South. In 1966, she transferred to WSM Radio and Television as Irving Waugh's administrative assistant.
During her tenure with Mr. Waugh, he became president WSM (1968) and, ultimately was the person who conceived the idea of Opryland, USA. Upon his retirement in 1977, she moved to Opryland Hotel as Corporate Sales Manager. She also worked, from time to time, in special events and programs and served as historian for the hotel.
On several occasions she was loaned to community endeavors, including as a Loaned Executive for three months with United Way and a fund raiser for new visitors Center at the Hermitage. She officially retired from the Gaylord Entertainment Company in January 1993 with 50 years of service but continued working on a part time basis until December of 2005 for a total of 62 years of service.
Margaret Parker died September 6, 2009