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Ray McCay
and the Swingbillies

Little is known at this time about Rusty Ruben and his Radio Gang other than an advertisement in a Mankato, Minnesota newspaper for a personal appearance at the State Theatre in September of 1939.

Back then, movie theatres would often book other entertainment as part of the movie billing. On this occasion, Rusty and his Radio Gang were going to be appearing on a Sunday through Tuesday, September 10 - 12, 1939. The ad mentions continuous shows, with the doors opening at 2:00pm.

The ad mentions that folks had heard "...this whirlwind barnayrd jamboree on the air, Now see the whole darn gang - In Person!"

Rusty's gang included:

  • Happy Yappy, the Musical Comedian
  • Tex Richards, whirlwind emcee
  • Uncle Jim Dunn, barnyard mimic
  • Freddie Stone, violin trickster
  • Pewee, novelty accordionist
  • Betty Lou Robertson, radio songbird

The movie at the Grand Theatre was "Hell's Kitchen" featuring the Dead End Kids.

The price of admission to the show, before 3:00pm was just 25cents. After 3:00pm, the price of admission was 35 cents. But kids, were always 10 cents.

Credits & Sources

  • Cowboy Songs; No. 31; January-February 1954; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT

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