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Minnie Pearl Chicken

Country music themed-restaurant chains have included Conway Twitty's ill-fated Twitty Burger fast food chain, whose demise actually inspired a tax court judge to pen a song in Twitty's honor [source: Kearney]. But one of the most ill-starred was Minnie Pearl Chicken, a chain that capitalized on the cornpone persona of Grand Ole Opry comedienne Minnie Pearl (aka Sarah Ophelia Colley). A would-be rival to KFC, Minnie Pearl's opened 567 restaurants and sold 2,700 franchises in the late 1960s [source: Peppiatt]. In the rush to expand, Minnie Pearl's management reportedly neglected the chicken recipe, which varied from franchise to franchise, and first-time customers seldom returned. After federal securities officials forced the company to redo its 1968 filing to show $1.2 million in losses, investors sued, and Minnie Pearl's eventually vanished [source: Carey].

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