National Barn Dance (1944) APPROVED · 1h 16min · Comedy, Music · 24 September 1944
Made at the time when the National Barn Dance program, on radio station WLS (for World's Largest Store and owned by Sears & Roebuck) in Chicago, was as big on a national scale listening audience as "The Grand Ole Opry" out of Nashville. The film highlights the leading acts then performing on the program; comedian Pat Buttram (Pat Buttram), announcer Joe Kelly (Joe Kelly),(before his Quiz Kids stint), Lulubelle & Scotty (Scotty Wiseman and wife Myrtle Wiseman)), the Dinning Sisters trio, Arkie the Arkansas Wood Chooper (Luther W. Ossenbrink) and the Hoosier Hot Shots quartet, whose musical abilities and creativity were vastly underrated. The piffle of a story begins in the early days of radio (Calvin Coolidge was President) but otherwise seems to take place in 1944, which made things easier on the Art and Set directors. Agent John Berke (Charles Quigley) thinks advertising executive Mitcham (Robert Benchley) wants to put together a program of hillbilly performers---a term used until later years when Nashville went uptown and changed it to Country & Western---and hies himself down to a country town where Lulubelle (Myrtle Wiseman) & Scotty (Scott Wiseman) hold a barn dance in their barn every Saturday night featuring themselves and their farm hands, although it is not quite clear just what chores the Dinning Sisters perform. He signs all hands to a contract, brings them to Chicago and learns that Mitcham has no intentions of putting together such a program to be sponsored by the Garvey Soup Company owned by the Garveys (Charles Dingle and Mabel Paige). A bit of plot contrivance---a small bit--- changes all of that, and the National Barn Dance is born. - Written by Les Adams
Director(s): Hugh Bennett Cast: Jean Heather, Charles Quigley, Robert Benchley
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