Barbara Jean Riggle was from Linton, Indiana, a bit south and west of Bloomington
on Route 54. In the 1950s, a new television station, WTTV, went on the air
and audiences came to know the popular group of entertainers on
the Hayloft Frolic show, hosted by Uncle Bob Hardy.
Barbara Jean took to singing at a very early age. In fact, she began to learn
how to yodel when she was just ten years old by listening to a legendary female
yodeler she heard over the radio from the WLS National Barn Dance
in Chicago - Patsy Montana.
Her talents were hard to ignore. In 1952, Uncle Bob and the Hayloft Frolic gang invited Barbara
to join the troupe, both in front of the television cameras as well as on
their personal appearance tours throughout southern Indiana and eastern Illinois.
Uncle Bob described her as having a "...smooth singing style" that endeared her to fans
when she did other songs of the day as well as the inspirational gospen selections.
As time went on, the Hayloft Frolic expanded their television reach to include a bit
of northern Indiana. Audiences tuning into Muncie's station, WLBC, were able
to see Barbara Jean and all the other regulars of the Hayloft Frolic.
Barbara Jean also appeared on the Pee Wee King show when it aired out of Chicago, Illinois
and on Randy Atcher's show in Louisville, Kentucky.
Barbara Jean still resides in Linton, married and her voice can still be heard doing
those inspiring gospel melodies.
Credits & Sources
- Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to express
its appreciation to Uncle Bob Hardy for providing his recollection
of Barbara Jean's career.