1982: Brandywine Hall brings 'Opry' to Hancock County

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 05:00:55-05

GREENFIELD — The rise and fall of Brandywine Hall went just like the Jerry Reed song — “When you're hot, you're hot. When you’re not, you’re not.”

Reed was the first artist to play in the country-western hall that promised to bring family-oriented entertainment to Greenfield when it opened on Sept. 5, 1981.

It was one of several music halls in Hancock County at the time. Others included The Turning Point and The Big Texan. According to its advertising, Brandywine Hall offered, "Country 'opry' right in the heart of Hancock County.”

In addition to Reed, singers Tom T. Hall and Waylon Jennings also played at Brandywine.

Former WRTV reporter Phil Ponce visited the hall on Jan. 2, 1982, where he spoke with country music singer Roy Clark, who was in the midst of playing several shows.

Clark said he enjoyed the small, family friendly environment Brandywine offered.

“I’d rather 10,000 people at a dollar a head than to have it half full and at $10 dollars a head. I think clubs like this is where it’s going to happen,” Clark said.

Brandywine’s owners were optimistic for 1982 and they told Ponce audience development was on schedule. Additionally, they said the venue was exploring additional music genres with acts like Helen Reddy and Captain and Tennille.

But the good times at Brandywine Hall were short-lived.

Brandywine Hall canceled most of its shows a few months later leaving ticket holders in a lurch.

Hall management acquired a liquor license in June with the hope of improving business, but the venue’s lender filed to foreclose on the property in June 1982.