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.
Sonny Day and his Radio Raskals
Bill and Arline Wiltshire
Rose Lee (Rosalie) Maphis