T  H  E      P  E  R  F  O  R  M  E  R  S

 

 

HOMER AND JETHRO
Homer (Henry Haynes) and Jethro (Kenneth Burns) were musical satirists that joined the NBD in about 1951 from Hoot 'n Holler, Tennessee.  The pair gave backwoods twists to popular songs such as "How Much Is That Houn' Dawg In The Winder?"  Near midnight, Homer and Jethro would often dress in nightgowns and appear with a night lamp to sing a bedtime song.
 

 

 

HOOSIER HOTSHOTS
The Hot Shots, whose tooting, scraping and pounding on a weird menagerie of instruments and doodads created a unique and popular musical sound.  Their specialty was what they called the "Zither," a glorified washboard adorned with bells, horns and other gadgets.  Paul Trietsch (of "Are You Ready Hezzie?" fame) played it with thimbles on his fingers. 

 

 

 

 

BRADLEY KINCAID
One of the early-era musicians that gained his popularity mainly through the NBD, Bradley Kincaid joined WLS in 1926.  His tenor voice and "houn' dawg" guitar paved the way for the southern folk singers that followed him in the years to come.  In an attempt to aid aspiring guitar players, Kincaid and WLS published a songbook entitled "Bradley Kincaid's Mountain Ballads" which had sold over 10,000 copies by the time he left WLS in 1931. 
 

 

 

LITTLE GENEVIEVE
His real name was Ted Morse, a talented trumpet player.  But for the NBD, this 250 pound man donned a ruffled baby dress and bonnet to portray Little Genevieve, the Barn Dance's crybaby throughout the 1940's.  Morse was also a member of the comedy instrumental group known as the Virginia Hams.

 

 

 

LULU BELLE AND SCOTTY
Both initially appeared on WLS separately, but when banjo picker and North Carolina mountaineer Skyland Scotty Wiseman married Lulu Belle (Myrtle Cooper) in 1934, it was feared that the sweetheart routine they had worked up would come to an end.  However, the two became more popular than ever.  The duo would spend some 25 years in front of NBD audiences at WLS. In 1936, Lulu Belle was voted "National Radio Queen."
 

 

 

 MAC AND BOB
 One of the most revered teams in radio during the 30's and 40's, Mac (Lester MacFarland) and Bob (Robert Gardner) were both blind. In addition to the NBD, the two also appeared on a number of WLS programs and were especially beloved for their singing of hymns on Morning Devotions with Dr. John Holland.

 

 

 

 

 

MAPLE CITY FOUR
The Maple City Four were one of Prairie Farmer publisher Burridge Butler's favorites.  From LaPorte, Indiana (Maple City), Al Rice, Art Janes, Pat Petterson and Fritz Meissner debuted at WLS in about 1926.  They specialized in barbershop harmony, but clowned around with comedy and minstrel skits.  One of their instruments was a home-made bagpipe known as a "showerbath wheeze."

 

 

 

THE PRAIRIE RAMBLERS featuring PATSY MONTANA
Chosen as one of the three most popular acts on WLS in the mid 1930's, this group consisted of Tex Atchison, Salty Holmes, Chick Hurt and Jack Taylor, from Kentucky, as well as Patsy Montana (Ruby Blevens) a native of Arkansas.  The repertoire included cowboy sons, mountain music, old-fashioned spirituals and comedy.  Fiddler Tex Achison played left-handed. 

 

 

 

 

 

MAX TERHUNE
Max was known to fans as the Hoosier Mimic.  During his stay from 1931 to 1935, he supplied audiences with just about every sound imaginable.  Anything from cat and dog fights to a streetcar on an icy track were well within Max's talents.  He later appeared in several movies for Republic Pictures, who signed him to a Term Player contract(s) which ran from 1936 to 1939. Terhune became 'Lullaby' Joslin, one of the Three Mesquiteers, and he would appear in twenty-one consecutive sagebrush adventures. He also created voices for cartoons by Walt Disney.

Read and see more about Max here.

 

 

 

UNCLE EZRA
He was the Old Jumpin' Jenny Wren who owned the fictitious station E-Z-R-A, characterized as "a powerful five-watter down in Rosedale, the friendly little city," and who invariably rushed in late asking, "...hain't missed nuthin'...have I?"  His quaint humor and kindly philosophy made him a NBD favorite.  In real life Uncle Ezra was actually Patrick Barrett.

 

 

 

THE WESTERNERS
Louise Massey and her Westerners were a family group from New Mexico, which got their start in Chautauqua and Lyceum appearances.  The group appeared regularly on the NBD and WLS in the mid thirties and again in the early forties.  One listener in Iowa even kept track of how many songs the Westerners sang - 3,292 songs in person and 501 recordings!

 

 

 

 

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