Mountaineer Opry House in WV soon to close 

Mountaineer Opry House, the local hot spot for bluegrass music in the Huntington/Charleston area, has announced it will close its curtains for the last time this season. 

After more than 45 years the Mountaineer Opry House in Milton, West Virginia, near Huntington, is to close at the end of this year’s season, on June 2. On the bill for that final show is what is described as “a grand reunion of bands/artists from the MOH’S past.”

The reason for the closure is reported to be due to the sale of the premises. 

The Mountaineer Opry was started in 1971 by Paul King, whose family still owns the site. He ran the Mountaineer Opry until 1991, when King’s wife passed away and he lost interest in the running of the shows. 

Since then Larry Stephens and his wife, Mary, have managed the business, staging between 30 and 40 weekend shows each year. The venue holds about 500 people, with the average show generating an audience of about 100 people, many of them regulars. “But when we get someone in like Rhonda Vincent or Doyle Lawson, we can fill the place,” Stephens told the Charleston Gazette-Mail in 2012. Even with space for just 500, Mountaineer Opry House has been able to bring in an impressive schedule of nationally-known and award-winning performers, including Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, The Grascals, and Rhonda Vincent and The Rage. Many of these acts play there year after year. 

While booking Alison Krauss has not been financially possible the Stephens have been able to attract members of Union Station. 

The remaining shows at the Mountaineer Opry House are …

  • Saturday, May 5 – Circa Blue
  • Saturday, May 12 – Newtown Band 
  • Saturday, May 19 – Williamson Branch
  • Saturday, May 26 – Hammertowne 
  • Saturday, June 2 – A grand reunion of bands/artists from the MOH’S past

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.