At the State Fairs...

WLS at the Illinois State Fair in 1931
Both the Illinois and Indiana State Fairs in 1931 were launched by a visit of the whole Barn Dance crew from WLS on Saturday night, with a big celebration and entertainment.

At Springfield, Illinois, this Barn Dance was put on and broadcast direct from the State Arsenal before a crowd of about 3,000 people.

At Indianapolis, the big Amphitheatre on the fair grounds became The Old Hayloft for one Saturday night, and 7,000 folks came from all over Indiana.

The picture above shows the Prairie Farmer tent at the Illinois State Fair.

WLS at the Indiana State Fair in 1931 Here is part of the crowd in the Amphitheatre at Indianapolis. The only reason there weren't more was because there wasn't any more room.

It is a real treat for the radio artists to be able to see their audience face to face.

The management of the Indiana Fair said this was the biggest Saturday night crowd ever seen in the Amphitheatre.

Every Saturday night you hear the happy-go-lucky fiddling of Rube Tronson's cowboys.

Here's a picture of them the way they looked as they arrived at the historic barn dances at Springfield and at Indianapolis.

Rube himself is sitting on the front fender, second from the right.
Rube Tronson's Cowboys in 1931

WLS crew at Illinois State Fair in 1931 This is the crowd that entertained you from the studio on the Illinois State Fair grounds. Every morning at five o'clock, starting with the crowing of all the roosters in the poultry show, this crew started off the day with a smile.

Left to right, in the picture at the left: Arkie, Bill Vickland, Ralph Emerson, Hal 0'Halloran, Hugh Cross, Carl Davis, Hartford Taylor, Gene Ruppe, Tommy Rowe. In front, the Maple city 4.

One of the features of the Indianapolis barn dance was an exhibition of real old-time square dancing by a group of farm folks under the direction of Pete Lux.

Many people of this generation had never seen these beautiful old-fashioned dances before.
WLS square dancers

Return to the 1932 WLS Family Album index page

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