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Barbara Jean Riggle
Hayloft Frolic

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.

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