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About The Artist
Jimmy and Jaynane Wilt were a young brother sister duo who were performers on the Iowa Barn Dance Frolic over WHO in Des Moines, Iowa. Both were born in Des Moines. Jaynane was born in June 1929; Jimmy on May 1, 1925.
The young duo would do some 'themed' shows perhaps on the Barn Dance. One such show was in November of 1938 at the Shrine Auditorium. The show featured the 1938 Iowa Corn Husking Champion, Henry Peterson as well as Carl Seiler "king of huskers" form Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other guest performers included Winford Egli, harmonica; Winona Starner, a Swiss yodeler and accordionist; and, Norman and Mable Maxwell, singers of old songs. Jimmy and Jaynane were promoted as a "comedy song and dance act." Regular members of the Barn Dance cast would perform as well over the two hour and 15 minutes broadcast.
In December 1938, the young duo, 13 and 9 years of age, were part of a night of Croatian music. The show would include tamburitza serenaders playing native Croatian instruments. Guest performers would include Ralph Peer, ocarina player; Norman (The Bird Man) Erickson; Clark and his ventriloquist dummy and Winford Egli on Harmonica. Jimmy and Jaynane were "comedy singers and dancers." Harold Fair was to present the WHO parade band as part of a military concert that would occur during the last half hour of the Barn Dance.
They appeared on other WHO programs as well. In subsequent years, it appears that Jaynane began to perform as a solo act. She was a music student at the University of Iowa in Iowa City when her engagement was announced to Bill Zima in March of 1950.
Jimmy (James) went on to be a feature writer and editor at the Des Moines Register on the Sunday TV and Picture magazines from 1949 to 1968. He later formed the James F. Wilt Co., an advertising and public relations company. He was married to Lujean Kail Wilt; she passed away in 2019.
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