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Tom Owens
WLS National Barn Dance
WLS Chicago, IL
WMT Cedar Rapids, IA

Back then, when you heard the square dance caller on the old Barn Dance shows, you were probably hearing Tom Owens, who they said had called more square dances than anybody.

Even back in 1935, there may have been a generation gap, for they wrote that the '...younger generation may not understand exaclty what it signifies when the caller stands up with the sing-song shout all the way through the dance.'

The square dances were called 'these old style dances' in the WLS Family Album of 1935 and even still, they became a staple of shows such as this and the Grand Ole Opry. They were said to be '...more intricate than some of the modern dances, and they involve many complicated figures.' The dancers followed the lead of the caller, hearing such things as "Circle Four" or "Do See Do" or "Circle to the left" and many other evolutions. But there was always some way to tell when a dance was coming to an end when you might here a caller such as Tom sing out "Promenade all, you know where, I don't care."

Appearance History This Month
 
June 29, 1935
Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds
Davenport, IA
WLS National Barn Dance (Sponsored by Scott County Farm Bureau)
 
June 30, 1935
Ripon Auditorium
Ripon, WI
WLS on Parade
 
June 6, 1937
Pilsen Pavilion
Chicago, IL

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Recordings
 
Challenge
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  104 A Buffalo Girls (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
  104 B Ocean Waves (With Calls) (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
  105 A Irish Washerwoman (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
  105 B King's Head (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
  106 A Stoney Point Barn Dance (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
  106 B Hell On The Wabash (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
  107 A Buckwheat Batter (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
  107 B Mcleod's Reel (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
  306 B Buffalo Girls (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
 
Mercury
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  2022 A A New Ten Gallon Hat
  2022 B You Can't Cry Over My Shoulders
  6006 A Down By The Railroad Track
  6006 B Freight Train Blues
  6018 A Baby You Done Flubbed Your Dub With Me
  6018 B Don't Say You Love Me If You Don't Mean It
  6086 A Just Because
  6086 B My Darling, Tell Me True
 
Silvertone
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  3106 A Buckwheat Batter (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
  3106 B Irish Washerwoman (w/The WLS Barn Dance Trio)
  3108 A Stoney Point
  3108 B Buffalo Girls


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