Wilma Lee Cooper passes

It has been announced today that Wilma Lee Cooper died earlier this week. She was 90 years old.

Her family says that she died at home on Tuesday, September 13, from natural causes. There will be no memorial or funeral service.

Wilma Lee had a long career in bluegrass music performing alongside her husband, Dale (Stoney) Cooper on fiddle. She was a boisterous singer and a natural entertainer. Their career together spanned the 1940s up to through the ’60s, and they worked the Grand Ole Opry until Stoney passed in 1977. Afterwards, she kept a band going until until her own retirement 10 years ago.

Wilma Lee is remembered by her many friends around Nashville and across the country as a gracious woman with a great sweetness to her personality.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • May she rest in peace. Only recently I posted my recording of Wilma Lee from the Berkshire Mtns. Festival in 1977, which was not long after Stoney had passed. Here it is in her memory…
    http://frobbi.org/audio/WilmaLee_with_Tex-Berkshire77-a.mp3

  • fdwil111

    Wilma Lee and Stoney were principally responsible for my interest in whatever we want to call our music. They said “mountain music”. They were the first live group I met, with Ab Cole, Buck Graves, Wilma and Stoney when I was a young teen. The take-home message was that really nice people could make truly excellent music. That message has stayed with me for almost 60 years and that is what I still expect from all our professionals.