Barn Dance memories

If you've seen Ken Burns's latest documentary on country music, you may remember hearing about Chicago's WLS Radio and its popular National Barn Dance program. First airing in 1924, the show combined music, comedy, and skits and would inspire several imitations, including Nashville's Grand Ole Opry.

The WLS Barn Dance and its performers were loved by people across the country. These WLS Family Albums and scrapbook were lovingly collected by two local fans--Ilene Richardson Holt and Delores Holt Lowery, young ladies growing up in rural Cuba City and Benton. They date from 1934-1950.

From the 1934 WLS Family Album

From the 1937 WLS Family Album.

 Autographs of WLS performers "Jolly Joe" Kelly and Floyd "Salty" Holmes in Ilene Richardson Holt's scrapbook.

For more on the history of the WLS Barn Dance: When Chicago Was a Center of Country Music


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