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series: Hayloft Gang: The Story Of The National Barn Dance
air date: 12/10/12 3:00 AM
One of the most popular and longest running programs on radio was the National Barn Dance. Debuting in 1924, the show blended music, comedy and down-home theatrical skits. Preceding the success of the Grand Ole' Opry in Nashville by nearly two decades, the National Barn Dance was the flagship, setting the standard for hundreds of radio barn dances across the country. The program served two audiences -- the rural farm audiences as well as city listeners that had come from these communities and wanted to remember the "good old days." "The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance" tells the story of a changing America through the lens of one of early radio's most popular and influential programs -- a story never before documented on television. From the Great Migration of the 1920s to the Depression through the hardships of World War II, the Chicago-based WLS-AM variety show unified rural Americans with its nostalgic brand of traditional folk music and country humor, and helped define an identity for a struggling generation.
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