Sunday, June 13, 2010

Old Dominion Barn Dance, pt 1

I've had a stack of old 8x10s (press photos) pretty much all my life. I never knew who those people were, never looked them up or anything, but still hung them on the wall in frames because they are cool and kind of funny. Decided to scan them and share, and in the process I looked them up.

These things are from WWII era, from a radio show on WRVA Virginia call the Old Dominion Barn Dance. During these times, radio ruled, and these radio shows were not only heard locally (and attended live) but sent overseas for the entertainment of soldiers away from home. Here's some more info on it, and a video about The Barn Dance, Sunshine Sue, and the whole gang.

Here she is, the first "Queen of the Hillbillies," Sunshine Sue (real name Mary Arlene Higdon). Caption below. Click any of these pics for a larger view.
"Sunshine Sue is Mrs. John Workman and is mighty proud of her "Big Sugarfoot" and little Billy Boy who was born in Richmond in 1941. Sue, along with John and his brother Sam, under the direction of WRVA, keep the Old Dominion Barn Dance rolling and strive daily to please you radio friends. Sue is the only "Femcee" of an nationally known Barn Dance. Born in Southeastern Iowa, as were the Workman brothers. She has been singing your favorite homespun songs on WRVA since January of 1940. As well as radio work, her interest is in being a housewife and mother."
The autographs on these are printed on, as they are on lots of press photos. Continuing in the series, which will take up a few posts here on the Oasis, are Benny and Curley.
"Yodeling Benny Kissinger and Fiddlin' Curley Collins are perennial favorites of the Barn Dance listeners. Benny was born in Fairchance, Pa. Started his radio career at the age of 15 in Fairmount, W. Va. Whether it's a Western cowboy ballad or an Irish ballad, the folks love to hear Benny sing. Curley was born in Catlettsburg, Ky. Started in radio at the age of 14 in Huntington, W. Va. Curley plays guitar, fiddle, and does fine MC work."

More to come! Gotta love these fashions!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Just like the blind DJ in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" I just loves me some OLD TIMEY music!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Lora Rothen said...

Great Site and thanks for the information. I've found an old WWVA poster advertising an event held June 7, 1942 at Lernerville Amusement Park in Sarver, PA which I am hanging in Cooper Station Restaurant located on the old Lerner farm. Pop Eckler is the headliner with Curley Collins and the Kissinger Brothers featured separately. There is also a billing for Little Brother Leon "Poodgie" Smith but I haven't located any information about him. Very interesting stuff!

Blueberry said...

Thanks for dropping by!