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WRVA Old Dominion Barn Dance
WRVA
Richmond, VA
Year Started:  1946
Date Started:  September 19, 1946

WRVA Old Dominion Barn Dance

On September 19, 1953, they wrote that the WRVA Old Dominion Barn Dance celebrated their seventh birthday. That means they probably started around 1945 or so.

The show was aired over radio station WRVA every Saturday night at 7:30pm and again at 9:30pm.

Sunshine Sue was one of the best known stars back then and was actually one of their emcees.

One of the highlights of the show was that it helped CBS launch a hillbilly music series from coast to coast.

It was staged at the WRVA Theater in Richmond. And was one of six attactions billed as "Saturday Night - Country Style" on CBS.

The Old Dominion Barn Dance not only got recognition from being on the network, but also from several magazine articles. One of them, "Radio Album" gave them an award for "Outstanding Contribution to American Folk Music in Radio and Theater Entertainment". And on top of that, Governor William M. Tuck crowned Sunshine Sue "Queen of the Hillbillies" in 1949 and she had held it since then.

You can see some of the cast members below. Once in a while, they would add new, fresh acts to the show and top guest stars would make appearances on the show, too.

Last, but not least, each week, a half of the show was recorded on tape, then flown from Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts to Africa where it was then re-broadcast via the Armed Forces Radio Service network.


Bill and Arline Wiltshire


Slim Idaho


Joe Maphis


The Workman Twins


Rose Lee (Rosalie) Maphis


Smoky and Poky


Zag, The Ozark Mountain Boy

 

Credits & Sources

  • Country Song Roundup; No. 35; November 1954; American Folk Publications; Derby, CT