The WLS National Barndance

October 2nd, 1943

WLS first aired the National Barn Dance on April 19th, 1924. The NBC Network began airing a portion of the show in 1933.

The segments offered here date from the 10th anniversary of the first NBC feed.

The country content of the NBC portion of the Barndance seems to have been muted a bit to avoid scaring away the city folk. But the WLS-Prairie Farmer touch is still evident.

Listen to the broadcast:

[You will need RealPlayer to listen to this broadcast]

  • Segment 1 (runs 7:01): Joe Kelly,WLS announcer Jack Holden and comedian Pat Buttram open the show. The entire cast sings "Over the Shoulder", a distinctly un-country production number. The Hoosier Hotshots follow, and "Arkie, the Arkansas Woodchopper" (Luther Ossenbrink) calls a square dance leading into the first commercial.
  • Segment 2 (runs 6:42): Joe Kelly leads into an Alka Seltzer commercial read by Jack Holden while the square dance continues in the background. The square dance concludes and Arkie sings "I'm riding for a fall". Joe Kelly introduces a Pat Buttram comedy routine.
  • Segment 3 (runs 8:23): Following a number by Lulu Belle, Grace Wilson ("The Girl with a Million Friends") sings "A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet". Jack Holden reads a One-A-Day-Vitamin commercial. The Dinning Sisters sing "Down Home Rag".
  • Segment 4 (runs 7:35): The Hoosier Hot Shots sing "Pistol Packin' Mama" (the top hit of the day). The cast sings "We've Come a Long Way Together." Over "Seeing Nellie Home", Joe Kelly bumbles through a public service announcement for the National War Fund. With the show running late, the NBC announcer and chimes intervene before the presumed closing.

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