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Sleepy Hollow Gang
WFIL Barn Dance
WFIL Hayloft Hoedown
CKLW Windsor, ON
WCAU Philadelphia, PA
WCBA Allentown, PA
WFIL Philadelphia, PA
WSAN Allentown, PA

About The Group

This biography is a story about two brothers and two sisters who started their musical paths apart, but later joined their efforts. Together they put together a dream that became known as Sleepy Hollow Ranch. The story is not just a biography, but also a glimpse into the history of the dream that those four people and others helped create at Sleepy Hollow Ranch.

The Murray Sisters as they became known were the daughters of Yugoslavian immigrant parents, Peter and Eva Bogdanovich. They settled in Paw Paw, West Virginia. But by the time 1930 rolls around, the family had moved to the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. The sisters real names were Sophie Murray and Julie Ruth Bogdanovich. It is here that their musical careers began.

WTMJ Baddger State Barn Dance - 1934 - Cast Postcard

In a May 1934 article, readers learn that the Murray Sisters had come to WTMJ in Milwaukee "...after a long stay at Shenandoah (Iowa)" and were well known for their harmony.

In 1934, the Murray Sisters then 22 and 18, with Sophie being older, as they had become known on stage, joined radio station WTMJ's Badger State Barn Dance program. Some of the other acts that were also on the show were Rocky Mountain Mary, the Anderson Trio and Happy Hank Jensen. One ad touts the show's entertainment as "Hill Billy Songs, Comedy, Yodelers and Dances." In those early days, the personal appearances would often be at the local movie theatres.

Badger State Barn Dance Ad Racine WI February 13 1934
Green County Fair Murray Sisters Madison WI August 8 1934

Murray Sisters - 1935 The Murray Sisters were one of the featured acts at the Sheboygan County fair in August of 1935. An article tells readers what to expect when the folks of the WTMJ Badger State Barn Dance provided the evening entertainment on Friday August 16, 1935. The local paper wrote that the barn dance troupe was a "versatile group of hilly billies, and well-known radio entertainers. They play not only the hilly billy type of song, but also modern and old-time ballads."

The first act mentioned was the Murray Sisters, a 'hilly billy harmony team.' They were from West Virginia and veterans of numerous radio broadcasts.

Other acts on the stage with the Murray Sisters were to be the Badger Ramblers, a group of four guys; the Owens Harmony Trio that sang hilly billy and old-time melodies; and Louisville Lou a ballad singer. Another act was Hiram, a comedian, saw soloist, dancer and guitar player. Rounding out the list was Rocky Mountain Mary, a yodeler; Curly Stemper, a cowboy baritone singer; Aloma Al, steel guitar player; Doc Wenzel on the piano and accordion along with Clem, Mirandy and Rebecca, the musical family. Acting as Master of Ceremonies was to be Happy Hank. (Note: The term 'hilly billy' is what the newspaper article used.)

Murray Sisters - WHO Iowa Barn Dance Frolic - 1939Later in 1935, news articles were showing that the Murray Sisters were now a part of the WHO Iowa Barn Dance Frolic, making numerous appearances around the state of Iowa. One example was a six day run by the 1936 edition of the Barn Dance in Waterloo at the Iowa Theatre. The Barn Dance then included ten acts. The cast included Sheriff Quigley and Tillie Boggs (purveyors of merriment from Sunset Corners); the Three Tune Tossers (playing melodies that are different); Red and his Arkansas Ramblers (a whirlwind hillbilly band); The Murray SIsters (WHO's melody girls from Wyoming); Tom Sawyer (a one-man band who plays tunes on anything from a dollar bill to a shot gun); Dell and Scotty (the Sunflower Girls); and Grandpa Peppers (who is always cutting capers.)

It is interesting to note at times how the radio stations would promote the various acts to listeners. The descriptions were sometimes not accurate, but were more to create an image in the listener's mind. WHO in a 1939 souvenir program described the Murray Sisters as "Wyoming Mountain Gals, not only charming singers, but honest-to-goodness sisters. Accompanying themselves on guitar and mandolin, the Murray Sisters, Sophie and Julie, specialize in ballads of the plains and the backwood trails, old-fashioned songs with a simple heart-appeal." They mentioned that their popularity stemmed from past appearances on vaudeville stages and various radio stations.

WHO Barn Dance Frolic with Murray Sisters - Sumner, Iowa April 2, 1936
Murray Sisters - Sumner, Iowa April 8, 1936

WHO Iowa Barn Dance Frolic October 1935 with Murray Sisters

Sleepy Hollow Cowboys and Cowgirls Folio 1940

Sleepy Hollow Cowboys and Cowgirls and the Vagabond Cowboys CKLW 1939

CKLW Radio Listing - Sleepy Hollow Ranch Initial Listing - October 11 1939

By mid-1936, Pete and Sophie had married. The Newman Brothers evidently had convinced the Murray Sisters to join forces as entertainers. From Iowa, they were next seen in Pennsylvania. On July 4, 1936, they were part of the 4th of July entertainment at Ephrata Park in Lancaster, PA. They were being heard on WCAU at the time with a half-hour daily show at 2:30pm. The Georgia Wildcats were also part of the entertainment.

In November of 1936, an article touting their appearance at the Coal Township High School stadium at 8:00pm provided a bit of a different picture of the group's makeup at that time. At the time the group consisted of three brothers and two cousins and the group was known for their unique cowboy songs. Sid Newman was known as "The Deacon" and had actually been featured by Hollywood studios. He wsa a disabled World War I veteran who trained his voice while he wss recuperating. Elmer and Ken Newman were his brothers, both talented singers and musicians. Glenn Newman was described as a "snappy bass fiddler" and "Lil Abner" Newman was the comedian of the group; his sidekick was "Icky" Newman. The article continued the ruse that the Murray Sisters hailed from "...the Wyoming mountains."

On December 2, 1936, the Uniontown Fire company presented a program at the Coal Township High School Auditorium featuring the Sleepy Hollow Cowboys. In perhaps a promotion left over from the Murray Sisters Iowas days at WHO, they were billed as the Wyoming Mountain Cowgirls. Even better, the short two paragraph article stated that the Sleepy Hollow Cowboys "...were a troupe of five performers, born and reared in the Everglades of Florida with a Seminole Indian tribe. They later moved to Arizona where they were educated along the lives of regular cowboys."

Sleepy Hollow Cowboys and Murray Sisters November 30 1936
Sleepy Hollow Cowboys July 4 1936

In April 1937, the Sleepy Hollow Cowboys and Cowgirls made their first appearance at the Boyertown High School Auditorium, presenting two shows. The shows were to benefit the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps Uniform fund. The show times were 7:45pm and 9:30pm. Before each show, local entertainers would present a skit. The local folks were Ralph (Jeff) Dottterer, Warren (Red) Knode, Lester (Les) Kolb and William (Bill) Eagle - Bill was also known as "Parade Bill". Red and Jeff got to see the Gang at the WCAU studios on an occasion before the shows. The next day, it was reported that over 1,200 people attended the shows.

Sleepy Hollow Cowboys Boyerstown April 26 1937
Sleepy Hollow Cowboys C Bar C Ranch September 24 1937

July 4th weekend saw the Cake Hotel announce a new policy by C. E. Bingaman which called for the presentation of floor shows. The opening attraction for this new policy was to be the Sleepy Hollow Cowboys who were being heard over the NBC chains. It was advertised as Sunbury's newest night club. The Sleepy Hollow group was booked for two nights. However, no children or minors were allowed to attend the shows.

That weekend was a busy one for the Sleepy Hollow gang. They were the entertainment at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in West Pottsgrove township at their annual festival. It was reported that about 8,000 people saw the fireworks display and were entertained by the Sleepy Hollow Cowboys and Cowgirls prior to the $400 worth of fireworks.

Sleepy Hollow Cowboys Vineland NJ April 7 1937
Sleepy Hollow Cowboys Hotel Cake August 6 1937

The Sleepy Hollow Cowboys were coming back from a broadcasting stint in Canada in mid-April 1938. They stopped off at a particular roadstand - Sleepy Hollow - which was along the Lincoln Highway near St. Clair Hollow. It seems this was not the first time they had made that stop. They were returning to do broadcasts over WCAU once again. An article mentions there were four men in the car and the mother of one of them.

The group felt at home stopping there for their group name was Sleepy Hollow Cowboys. The last time they had stopped there was in 1937. In another coincidence, it was discovered that one of the members of the Cowboys had the same surname as the Neiman brothers who ran the roadstand. It was the fourth time they had stopped there. The article then tells readers that the group took their name from a a place in Minnesota.

Sleepy Hollow Cowboys St. Gabriel's July 3 1937
Sleepy Hollow Cowboys East Petersburg Fire Co Festival August 1 1937

The group began to journey east. On October 11, 1939, they appeared over station CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, Canada based on our review of radio logs in the Detroit Free Press. A photo post card in our collection shows the group at CKLW and is marked 1939. It appears to have been a daily show for 15 minutes at 3:30pm. The last time the reader sees the Sleepy Hollow show listed for CKLW was on Friday, March 22, 1940. The following Monday, a Jamboree show had taken its slot. Perhaps this is when the move to what would become Sleepy Hollow Ranch on Pennsylvania Rte 663 between Quakertown and Pennsburg.

A 1986 article recounting the history of the park indicates that Pete and Sophie purchased the 23 acre tract that was in Milford Township that included a five-room house for $2,200, supposedly shortly after being married in 1936. Later, the two couples formed an equal partnership and began building the ranch with the help of about 100 employees.

The ranch opened to the public on May 4, 1940 and the first act to perform was The Georgia Crackers.

WFIL Barn Dance to WFHIL Hayloft Jamboree

A couple of things were happening at once in mid-1940. On June 1, 1940, the WFIL Barn Dance appears on the radio listings, airing on Saturday nights from 8:00pm to 9:00pm. On June 22, 1940, the show began to originate from Sleepy Hollow Ranch, the first indication seen of the new venue. Prior to that time, that time slot showed a WFIL-WJZ (New York, NY) Barn Dance.

WHO Barn Dance Frolic with Murray Sisters - Sumner, Iowa April 2, 1936
Murray Sisters - Sumner, Iowa April 8, 1936

Premiere WFIL Barn Dance Show - December 2 1944

In December of 1944, the barn dance show began a new era over WFIL. While still called the WFIL Barn Dance initially, other ads indicate the show would become known as the Hayloft Hoedown. This would begin a long run of popularity for the show and station that would last for years. As popularity grew, it became a Saturday night staple of the ABC radio network of about 175 stations. In April of 1946, the network broadcast was increased from 15 minutes to a half-hour due to the popularity of the show. In the first ad promoting the new show in November of 1944, Elmer Newman and His Sleepy Hollow Gang were listed as the main act in the cast listing.

In May of 1945, Jack Steck took over the reigns of the show and it was renamed the WFIL Hayloft Hoedown. The show's second anniversary broadcast originated at the Earle Theater at 11th and Market Streets in Philadelphia. At the time it was being heard over the ABC network of over 175 stations. It was also one of the few network programs originating from Philadelphia. Originally the show took place at the Town Hall, located at Broad and Race Streets. Jack served as both producer and master of ceremonies for the show.

WFIL Barn Dance Town Hall Hayloft Hoedown August 6, 1945 For the first few weeks of May 1945, the WFIL Barn Dance cast performed at the Sleepy Hollow Ranch as it re-opened for the 1945 season. On Saturday May 26, 1945, the radio listings now listed the WFIL Hayloft Hoedown at 10:00 for a half-hour broadcast. Thus, another iteration of barn dance type programs had started over the station.

The cast of that show included Carol Wynne, known as the Girl Next Door for her delivery of Western Ballads; Lew Carter, who was a veteran of the Marine landings on Tarawa and was known as the clown prince of the show; Jack Day was the popular cowboy baritone singer; Pop Johnston held fort as the dean of barn dance fiddlers; and, the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang including Elmer and Pete Newman; Sophie and Julie Murray; Monte Rosci and Pee Wee Miller (Mighty Mite of Music).

The show even had the attention of some magazines. Jenny Via offered a tip to the show concerning the Piano-Organ and accordion players on the show - Mil Spooner and Monty Rosci. Her advice was to add a good electric guitar man and form a 'Three Suns' trio that played hillbilly and western tunes. She further stated, 'Betcha an album of your recordings would command first place in anyone's music library.'

Lew Mel provided a bit of a review and insight of the show when he was invited to tag along with his friend Jack Howard during a visit to Philadelphia. He told readers that the "...show has a variety of talent that could not be beat." He described the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang as "...by far one of the smartest groups on the airwaves." He thought it was one of the finest hoedown shows possible. He wrote that he also noted the atmosphere of friendliness among the members of the cast, which seemed to give the show a bit of its popular spirit. He stated, "The group is one happy family with no one trying to out do the next fellow."

Ekner Newnan - National Hillbilly News Cover - August 1945

But was Jack Steck on board with the show? We learn in a 1946 article that the general manager of WFIL, Roger Clipp, just knew that a barn dance type program would be successful in Philadelphia. But Jack, who was well known in Philadelphia for his singing and comedy, tried to talk him out of it. But Mr. Clipp told Mr. Steck that he was putting him in charge of the show. And as we know, the rest is history.

One of the aspects of the show not written about elsewhere was Jack Steck's idea for a Trading Post. He asked for unusual objects from the audience and if anybody had that item, the audience member would take home a prize. Memory seems to tell us that a television game show of the modern era also had such a gimmick.

Trio numbers were at times done by Jack Steck, Carol Wynne and Jesse Rogers. A picture that would be worth seeing is one of Pop Johnson, the champion fiddler. It seems his trademark outfit was wearing a top hat and tails.

Research finds little nuggets related to the show that readers might enjoy. Lew Carter who was the comedian of the Hayloft Hoedown went out to the Eastern Penetentiary to perform for the prisoners. A few days after he got back, a hand-made cigarette box came in the mail. It was so well done, it looked like something one would get from an expensive gift shop. Lew showed it off to the folks at the station and several asked how they could get one. Lew wrote the prisoners back to thank them for the gift and told them he could probably sell five or six of them if they could send them along and he would pay the going rate for them. The answer came in a letter to Lew, "We are making the six boxes for you. The price is high — one song." It was signed "A Lifer."

The Hayloft Hoedown also was influencing the public high school educational system in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. To tap into the hillbilly trend, several schools added Barn Dance Clubs to their after-school activities. Members of those clubs were taught hillbilly dance routines and songs. The clubs would hold an annual dance with the entire student body invited to attend. The student 'stars' would make guest appearances on local radio hillbilly shows. They would also make trips to various barn dances which professional entertainers conducted in the area.

Jack Steck continued to mix it up with the Hayloft Hoedown show. In the summer he began a new policy of trying to book a name guest star at each show held at the Town Hall. The first one was on June 30, 1945 and Foy Willing and His Riders of the Purple Sage were the guest stars. That same article mentioned that attendance at the shows was upwards to 1,500 people - paid admissions.

Perhaps the biggest aspect that arose from the WFIL Hayloft Hoedown show was that it began to air over the ABC network of radio stations and did so for many weeks and months. Ads have been seen touting over 225 consecutive weeks of broadcasts of the show.

The popularity of the WFIL Hayloft Hoedown caught on with the upper crust folks of Philadelphia. Jack Steck told Billboard magazine in 1946 that various entertainment units of the show had been booked for more than a dozen 'society parties' in the fall. But he was quick to note that there was no danger of seeing the hillbilly performers dressed in white tie and tails. He stated that 'special emphasis is placed, in arranging the bookings, that the performers are to appear in folk garb — hayseed and all.

The popularity of the show got the attention of sponsors. In 1946, it was reported that the Kold Kit Corporation would sponsor a half hour of the show at Town Hall at 10:00pm. The ABC network broadcast of the show was from 10:30pm to 11:00pm. The sponsor's contract was for 26 weeks. At the same time, the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang secured a sponsor for its WFIL shows - the Block Drug Company on Tuesday and Thursdays from 12:30pm to 12:55pm.

In May of 1946, the show celebrated its 100,000th person to pay admission to the Hayloft Hoedown at Town Hall. She ws Mrs. Florence Woods of Drexel Hill, PA. One of the prizes she received was a lunch date with the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang - dressed in full stage costumes. She also made an appearance with the group on the air with them as well.

The Sleepy Hollow Ranch may have caused one to thing of the cowboys on horseback in days gone by. But Pancake Pete Newman was aiming to change that. It was reported that in October of 1946 that he had applied for a pilot's license. Once approved, the idea was that the group would buy an airplane to enable them to travel from town to town for their personal appearances on their tours. Around that same time, the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang had completed some work for the Associated Transcription Company. It was also reported they were to make their first recordings for the Majestic record label in early October 1946.

It appears that the last show of the WFIL Hayloft Hoedown aired on Saturday, June 4, 1949. A Billboard ad for the Jolly Joyce Agency indicated the show had been on 225 weeks. No articles could be found about this sudden ending of the show.

WFIL Barn Dance Town Hall January 3, 1945
WFIL Barn Dance Town Hall March 7, 1945

Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang - 1949 - WFIL

It is interesting to note that in the same area were other venues potentially competing for the same audience attending Sleepy Hollow Ranch shows. One was Hickory Park, located at the junction of Routes 663 and 73. Another was the Circle J Ranch at the Quakertown Fairgrounds. Another was the C Bar C Ranch at Elverson where Routes 82 and 23 met Route 401.

But things were changing in the world. On October 16, 1940, both Elmer and Pete Newman registered to serve in the military service. In addition, their emcee, Hank Harrigan (aka Lester Williams) and their accordion player, Monty Rosci also filled out their draft card on the same date. One gets the sense that this was a tight knit group bonded like a family.

The group had a half-hour show each day over the local station WCBA/WSAN. At various times it was aired at 3:00pm or 11:30am. During 1941, Sleepy Hollow Ranch would run ads using the type of woodsy font found in their 1940 song folio. Ads were not always seen, but still one can see the many country music performers of the era that passed through their grounds.

In the latter part of 1941, one can also see that the group made appearances in the surrounding area beyond the Sleepy Hollow Ranch as well.

Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang Central Park August 14 1941
Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang Lehighton Fair Grounds September 12 1941

Over the years, many stars gave performances at the Sleepy Hollow Ranch. One of the more interesting names seen in the promotional ads was one of country music's earliest stars - Vernon Dalhart. He appeared there on Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29, 1941.

In 1940, the gang was heard twice a day; WEEU from 10:00am to 10:30am and then at 2:30pm to 3:00pm over WFIL.

In that first year, there many types of promotions going on to try and capture the interest of those attending the events at the Ranch. On one occasion, it might be ten baskets of groceries given away. Another promotion gave away two Farnsworth Table Model Radios. And they offered FREE parking. Imagine any entertainment venue offering that type of amenity in this modern age. One show was for the benefit of the Quakertown Hospital Fund Drive. In July 1940, ten watermelons were given away as gate prizes. August of 1940 saw a "gigantic amateur contest' with cash prizes; anyone over the age of 14 could compete. November 1, 1940 promoted a big halloween dance with cash awards for best costumes. On that same night, the Murray Sisters were to not only feature their western tunes, but also Yugoslavian songs. The November shows advertised that all shows were held in their steam heated auditorium. In 1941, one promotional item was a free electric washing machine.

In those days, the ads would promote the appearance of the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Cowboys and Cowgirls including the Murray Sisters, Elmer and his fiddle, Pete and his guitar, Monty on the accordion, Just Plain John singing his beautiful hymns and Hank Harrigan as his own busy self.

Below is a listing of acts that played at Sleepy Hollow Ranch during its inaugural seasons of 1940 and 1941 based upon information found in promotional ads.

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1940

WFIL Barn Dance Broadcast
Four Harlem Rhythmaires (Harlem's greatest Jive Harmony Singers)
Three Loose Nuts
Percy Kinsig and Gypsy Sweetheart
Calgary Kid (Allan Erwin?)
Delmore Brothers
Mort Lawrence (old city slicker) Buck Nation and Tex Ann with Cowboy Caravan
Willis Meyers and his Bar X Ranch Boys
Zeke Manners and His Gang
Horsehoe Mike and Cowboy Joe with Buckeye Four
Smokey Styer, blackface comedian
Breininger's Marimba Band
Dopey Duncan
Tumbleweed Ludy
Ramblin' Red Foley
Sons of the Pioneers
Smiley (Frog) Burnette and his Gang
The Four Dudes (CBS Stars - barbershop quartet)
The Gibsons (comedy bicycle team)
Captain Schremmer (ventriloquist, juggling w/Punch &ammp; Judy Show
Sons of the Purple Sage
Carrie Lee and Her Sunset Rangers
Annie Benton and his Eastern Gentlemen (dance band)
Elton Britt
Hank Briggs and the Seven Dudes
Five Radio Rubes
Percy Einsig (Pennsylvania Dutch Singer)
Ferry the Frog (Renowned Contortionist)
The Plainsmen
The Four Marshalls
The Grant Family (four clever tin-type imitators)
Ben Alley (WFIL artist)

Vernon Dalhart 1941

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1941

Uncle Josh, Mary Lou and the Gang
Willis Myers and his Bar-X Ranch Boys
Texas Jim Robertson
Georgia Crackers
Vernon Dalhart
Adrian Rollini Trio
Cappy Barra Harmonica Boys
Sons of the Pioneers
Patsy Montana and Her Partners
The Doring Sisters (From NBC Plantation Party)
The 4 Polka Dots (NBC Harmonica Group)
Whitey Ford (Duke of Paducah)
Lulu Belle and Scotty
Hank Briggs and his Swing Billies
Slim and the Gloomchasers
Darling Sisters
Gracie and Harris (World Champion Jitterbug Dancers)
New York Vaudeville Acts
Zeke Manners and His Gang
Four Eton Boys (Former Model Minstrels)
3 Nit-Wits (Knock about Comedy)
Pop Johnson's Old-Timers
Tumbleweed Ludy
Shorty and His Radio Rascals
Eddie Peabody, the Banjo King
Eddie Conner's Trio
Hugh Cross and His Radio Pals
Shug Fisher
Major Bowes' All-Star Unit
Cousin Malcom Claire (Spareribs - Black Face Comedian from WLS)
Doll Brothers
Tom Emerson and His Mountaineers
Hoosier Hot Shots
Breinninger's Military Marimba Band
Zeb Carver and His Country Cousins
Happy Johnny and Gang
Betty Jay and the Plainsmen from WBAL - Baltimore, MD
Gene Austin
Sherrill Sisters (comediennes)
Slim Mitchell (cowboy singer)
Denver Darling and his Gang from Village Barn

Gene Austin and Georgia Crackers Sleepy Hollow Ranch September 6 1941
Texas Jim Robertson and Georgia Crackers Sleepy Hollow Ranch January 25 1941

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1942

Hugh Cross and his Radio Pals
Shug Fisher
Lulu Belle and Scotty
Shad-Rac Boys
Stars of Plantation Party
Duke of Paducah (Whitey Ford)
Cousin Lee, Sarah Lee and the Gang
Two Texans (From Denver, CO)
Dopey Duncan and the Melody Rangers
Brown Twins (Sensational Tap Dancers)
Happy Johnny and the Plainsmen (From WBAL - Baltimore)
Smokey & Henry (Black Face Comedians)
Hank Lawson and the Knights of the Road
Uncle Jack and Mary Lou and their Gang
William The Magician (Bringint his Spooks)

Hugh Croos and His Radio Pals with Shug Fisher Sleepy Hollow Ranch May 30 1942
Lulu Belle and Scotty Sleepy Hollow Ranch September 26 1942

In 1943, due to World War II, pleasure driving was banned. The Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang then went on USO tours.

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1944

Mac McGuire and his Harmony Rangers (WCAU)
Smilin' Dave and his Buckaroos
Harmonica Kings
Willis Myers Bar-X Ranch Boys (WSAN)
Breininger's Military Marimba Band
Cactus Rex (WTTM - Trenton)
The Arkansas Woodchopper
Musical Aces and Two Queens
Martinez Animal Circus
Sammy Weeks
Skunk Hollow Trio (Hillbilly Novelty Act)
Jesse Rodgers
Ranch Pals
Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys
Ford Rush (The Singin' High Sheriff)
Smokey and Henry (Black Face Comedians)
Hoosier Hot Shots
Pop Johnson and his Old Timers (Lots of comedy, singing and dancing)
Reg Kehoe and his All-Girl Marimba Band (Steel Pier - Atlantic City)
Dick Thomas
Betty Jay and the Plainsmen
MALE Bathing Beauty Contest
Big Amateur Contest
Kidoodlers (NBC Novelty Act)
Graybill's Animal Circus - Pnies, Dogs, Boxing Cats
Elton Britt
Riff Robbbin Trio
Broadway Buckaroos
Pat Buttram (The Winston County Flash)
The Three Loose Nuts (w/Jelly Bean Anderson, Brother of Rochester)
Meredith and Snoozer, The Dog With the Almost Human Brain)

Arkansas Woodchopper Sleepy Hollow Ranch June 24 1944
Roy Acuff Sleepy Hollow Ranch June 30 1944

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1945

Lulu Belle and Scotty
Chester Valley Boys (WFIL - Harmonica Wizards)
Tumbleweed Rangers (Direct from overseas USO Tour)
Meredith and Snoozer (The Dog with the Human Brain)
Hoosier Hot Shots
Jesse Rogers
Joe Edison - emcee (WEEU)
Three Loose Nuts (w/Jelly Bean Anderson, Brother of Rochester)
WLS Gloomchasters with Shorty Long
Pappy Howard and Champion Hill Billies (From Cleveland)
Happy Johnny and Gang (From Baltimore)
Barbary Coast Boys (Songs & Comedy of Gay 90's)

WFIL Barn Dance Gang Sleepy Hollow Ranch May 5 1945
Hoosier Hot Shots Sleepy Hollow Ranch June 2 1945

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1946

Rex Allen
Pappy Howard & His Kernels (From Cleveland)
Jimmy Walker and All-Western Stars
Slim Stuart (Stewart?) and the Saddle Sweethearts
Polly Jenkins and Musical Pals
Santa Fe Rangers (WFIL - Shorty Long, Rusty Keefer, Jack Day & Pee Wee Miller)
Red Foley
Down Homers
Jack Andrews and "Henry" (Greatest High Schooled Brahma Bull)
All-American Championship Rodeo
Tex Ritter and his Prairie Pals
The Arknasas Woodchopper
Chester Valley Boys
Hank Harrigan and Lew Carter
Billy Wilson (The Cowboy Poet)
Joe Edison (Ton of Fun Emcee)
Curley Bradley
Tom Mix
Georgia Yodelers (From WTTM - Trenton, NJ)
Johnny Olsen (Ladies Be Seated)
Jesse Rogers
Pioneer Band (Allentown, PA)
Barbary Coast Boys
Harry Ranch and His Kernels of Korn
Jack Dawson
Jack Steck
Carol Wynne (The Girl Next Door)

Tom Mix Sleepy Hollow Ranch June 15 1946
Tex Ritter Sleepy Hollow Ranch June 22 1946

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1947

Eddy Arnold
Jesse Rogers
Doc Hopkins
Roy Wiggins
Rod Brasfield
Mac McGuire and Squeezy (WIP)
All-American Championship Rodeo
Elton Britt
Dick Thomas (Sioux City Sue)
The Georgia Crackers (Hank, Slim & Bob Newman)
Red Caps
Rex Allen
Texas Jim Robertson
Lulu Belle and Scotty
Pappy Howard and His Connecticut Kernels
Slim Stuart and the Plainsmen
Tennessee Jed (ABC Radio Star)
Georgia Yodelers (WTTM)
Smokey and Henry (Famous Black Face Comedians)

Elton Britt Sleepy Hollow Ranch May 3 1947
Pappy Howard and his Connecticut Kernels Sleepy Hollow Ranch May 17 1947

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1949

ABC Hayloft Hoedown Stars
Eddy Arnold
Lulu Belle and Scotty
Sons of the Pioneers
Tom Mix
Curley Bradley
Dick Thomas
Buckeye Four
101 Ranch Boys
Red Caps
Jimmy Wakely and His Saddle Pals w/Sonny (Horse)
Jesse Rogers
Jack Day
Slim Stuart and the Plainsmen

ABC Hayloft Hoedown Stars Sleepy Hollow Ranch May 1 1949
Red Caps and 101 Ranch Boys Tex Ritter Sleepy Hollow Ranch June 24 1949

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1950

Smiley Burnette
Jack Day and the Singin' River Boys
Championship Rodeo
Eddy Arnold
Sunset Carson and his $20,000 Horse
Steve Gibson & The Five Red Caps
Johnny Olsen and Ladies Be Seated
Hawkshaw Hawkins
DeZurik Sisters (Cackle Sisters)
Nelson King (WCKY DJ)

Eddy Arnold Sleepy Hollow Ranch September 8 1950
Hawkshaw Hawkins Sleepy Hollow Ranch September 15 1950

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1952

Dopey Duncan and the Tophands
Pee Wee Miller and the Santa Fe Rangers
Carl Smith
Hank Snow
Cozy Morley (Corn Cob Humor)
Carter Sisters with June Carter
101 Ranch Boys
Bill Haley and the Saddlemen
Johnny Olsen TV Show
Lawson's Original Bums
Elton Britt
Tim Holt
Ray Whitley
Hawkshaw Hawkins
Bingo, the Movie Chimpanzee

Hawkshaw Hawkins Sleepy Hollow Ranch May 17 1952
Carter Sisters Sleepy Hollow Ranch August 2 1952

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1953

Pat Buttram
Hawkshaw Hawkins
Homer and Jethro
Ray Whitley
Rex Trailer
Dick Thomas
Eckert Family
Jimmy Wakely

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1954

Bill Haley and the Comets
Carl Smith
Jimmy Dean
Rex Trailer and Goldrush
Curly Herdman
Red Foley
Rex Allen
Little Jimmy Dickens and the Country Boys
Slim Whitman
Jesse Rogers and Sally Starr
Texas Jim Robertson
Homer and Jethro
Mac McGuire
Hank Snow
Jimmy Wakely
Jack Valentine (Star of Action in the Afternoon)
Ferguson Trio
Georgia Crackers
Lone Pine and Betty Cody
Elton Britt
Tootsie Hippodrome TV Show
Reidel, The Magician

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1955

Bill Haley and the Comets
Jack Valentine and the Ferguson Trio
Texas Tommy with his pony and dog act
Smiley Burnette
Mac McGuire
Curly Gibson
Jesse Rogers
Sally Starr
Curly Herdman
Marvin Rainwater
Dick Thomas

Bill Haley and the Comets Sleepy Hollow Ranch May 13 1955
Smiley Burnette Sleepy Hollow Ranch May 27 1955

Bob and Uncle Elmer Newman - WKAP - June 1956

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1957

Marvin Rainwater
Rusty and Doug (Kershaw)
George Jones
Curly Herdman
Lou Graham
Sunshine Boys (Gospel Quartet)
Harmonica Rascals

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1958

Susnhine Boys
Cook Brothers (From WWVA Jamboree)
Buck Benson and his Radio Troupe
The Charioteers (Quartet from Bing Crosby Shows)
Tommy Schaffer
Bill Haley and the Comets
Shorty Long
Jesse Rogers
Olsen & Johnson (Hellzapoppin' Revue)
Al Rex and His Meteors (Formerly with Billy Haley)
Igo (The TV Ghoul)
Sally Starr

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1959

Grandpa Jones and his Grandchildren
Buck Benson and his Country Neighbors
The Premiers (Rock 'n' Roll Group)
Bill Haley and the Comets
The Cook Brothers (WWVA Jamboree)

Acts appearing at Sleepy Hollow Ranch 1960

Wanda Jackson
The Cook Brothers
Ozark Jubilee Personalities
Suzi Arden
The Roof Rockers (Rock 'n' Roll)
Little Jimmy Dickens

Hayloft Hoedown Folio 1948

Pancake Time Ad 1949 Browsing through articles over time, it would appear that that year of 1949 was one of the busier and perhaps lucrative ones for the gang. The new recording contract with a major label. The two Newman brothers also had their own radio shows over local stations.

Allentown's new radio station WAEB was promoting "Pancake Time" at 6:30am - a Monday through Saturday morning radio show.

Around that same time, WFIL-TV announced a new program. It was to be called "Wiffil Ranch". The premise was that it would give viewers a taste of life of the cowboys of the Old West. It made its debut on July 18, 1949. None other than Pancake Pete Newman was to host the half-hour show that would air at 6:00pm. The first film featured was "Phantom of the West".

Pete was to tell the viewing audience about "Western people and customs." It appears the target audience may have included the kids. The show was to organize a group known as "Pony Express Riders." The kids were to be asked to write Pancake Pete at the WFIL-TV studios.

Out of nowhere sometimes, little items buried in articles reveal some personal tidbits about a member or two in the group. Penny Britt (the wife of Elton Britt) told readers in one article that Julie and Elmer named their cocker spaniel after Rex Allen because both Rex and the dog were 'blondes'.

Sometimes it was not always about being on stage. Cash Box reported in January of 1953 that Pancake Pete Newman had an hour long show that aired over WNAR in Norristown, PA and WSAN in Allentown, PA, spinning records from his own library at Sleepy Hollow Ranch.

That was not all that was happening in early 1953. Cash Box later reported that the gang was taking a two week break to do some remodeling work at the Ranch. A new arena was built in a different location to provide a larger ring and seating capacity as well as other general overhaul work.

A feature story on the Sleepy Hollow Story in Billboard in June of 1954 provided some insight into Ranch operations and history. The article noted that before the park opened in 1940, the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang had been sponsored by Drug Trade Products of Chicago for ten years.

In 1954, there were eight members of the Newman family active in the management and entertainment at Sleepy Hollow Ranch. Ken (Pancake Pete) Newman and Sophie Murray's children MaryEva and Dan were one side of the family. Dan (Elmer) Newman and Julie Murray's children Danny and Charlie were the other side of the family. Kenny and Danny were the older children and developed into performers. MaryEva and Charlie were also trying their hands at entertainment. The other members of the entertainment family were Monty Rosci, the accordionist and Hank Harrigan, a West Virginia native, who had been with the group since 1940.

Entertainment offerings to the public were free dancing and kiddie rides. They had just received a license to sell liquor in December 1953. The admission fee in 1954 was 50 cents for adults and a 25 cents for children ten to 16. Rodeos and midget auto racing were a part of the entertainment during the season and the separate admission was $1.50 and 50 cents. The normal admission fee did include the entertainment which usually consisted of up to a half dozen acts that alternated during the day and night. Picnic space and parking was free. The parking lot could hold 1,500 cars.

The ranch opens on Sundays at 10:00am and the first stage show is at 1:00pm. The shows ran in half-hour intervals at that time. Booking of the acts at the Ranch was handled by the Jolly Joyce Agency along with Harry Cooke, Earl Kurtze and Dotty Nunnemaker.

Stars such as Eddy Arnold would net 70 per cent of the gross. Another 10 per cent was to cover the cost of newspaper, advertising and operating expenses. Other revenue streams for the Ranch were the leasing of rides and concession space, giving them 25 per cent of the gross. At that time, the Ranch had two kiddie rides. The Ranch also ran its own restaurant, soft drink stand and bingo concession.

With the 1954 season, the group was thining of expanding to two weekend shows (Saturday and Sunday).

The Sleepy Hollow Inn was open year-round and free square dancing was offered on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, with no admission fee.

The Music In The Air Changed

Like many barn dance and hillbilly music shows of the era, the Sleepy Hollow Ranch entertainment scene also felt the impact of the wave of rockabilly and rock and roll. The acts appearing at the Ranch were of a different mix, catering to a new generation of music fans. Bill Haley and the Comets were an example of this change. Bill's popularity was such that he made several appearances at the Ranch.

The years of 1958 and 1959 saw Bill Haley appearing once again along with such groups as The Comets and The Premiers.

In 1960, a few ads indicate the shifting musical scene. One ad touts The Roof Rockers (promoted as rock 'n roll) as well as Wanda Jackson who was perhaps a bit rockabilly at the time. But during that same time, stars such as Little Jimmy Dickens and Ozark Jubilee personalities were to appear.

Local Sponsor: Freese's Farmers Market, Auction & More

Sponsors always seem to find a way into the history of the artists of that older era. During the research of this group and venue, one such sponsor stood out a bit. It was Freese's Farmer's Market and Auction. For about a year around 1950, they ran ads that featured not only their store, but would have country music acts appearing at the store to draw fans as well. The store featured auctions, a Farmer's Market, social party, used cars, furniture showrooms and Nettles' Restaurant. It was located on North State Street in Pottstown, PA. There were a variety of acts booked for these Friday evening specials, both known and lesser-known. On special occasions, the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang were the featured entertainment. Such was the case on May 20, 1950 for Freese's 12th Anniversary.

Freese's was not your normal grocery store in case that is what you are thinking. One ad mentions they could accommodate up to 33,000 cars - no charge. Another ad tells the reader they were literaly a large farmer's market. They had over 110 stalls under one roof. The shopper could find everything from smoked meats from five well known butchers, dressed poultry, farm eggss, at least ten popular fruit and vegetable stall houlders, Lehigh and Lancaster County potatoes, swiss and sharp cheese, fresh oysters and clams, homemade baked goods, candies, cigars, tobgaccos, potato chips, cider, vinegar, ice cream, waffles, sodas, birch beer, cookies, novelties, toys, hardware, records, gold fish, white mice, auto accessories,mdeicines, liiniments, jewlery, new cooking utensils, electric applicances, religious books, cut flowers and potted plants, clothes, storm windows and screens. One could even buy a car from a local dealer. You could buy wholesale or retail. In addition to the Nettle's restaurant that served full course home cooked meals, there were six other restaurants. Nettle's Restaurant was owned and operated by Harvey and Grandy Nettles; the couple had been married almost 70 years when Grandy passed away in 2012. Daniel Freese owned Freese's Market and Auction which he began to build section by section in 1939. He sold the property to Berman Truck Mart in 1971. He died at the age of 86 in 1975.

Freese Ad Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang August 18 1949
Freese Ad Shorty Long April 20 1949

Freese Ad Pete Saber and his Singing Hillbilly Gang January 6 1950
Freese Ad Oley Valley Hoedowners January 20 1950

Freese Ad - Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang 12th Anniversary Promo May 19, 1949

Swing Yer Partner (1953)

The TV Listings show that in the fall of 1953, the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang were part of a televsion show that aired late nights over Channel 6 (WFIL) called "Swing Yer Partner".

It appeared to be a hoedown type of show. Another article in 1954 mentions that the Rambling Hoedowners played square dance music on the show. No other information was found about this apparent short-lived show.

However, searches also show that the show was also broadcast over WFIL radio (AM 560) at the same time as the television show. It is this author's guess that the show aired from the Sleepy Hollow Inn where square dancing was offered several nights a week.

Freese Ad - Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang Swing Yer Partner TV Show Pic 1953

Swing Yer Partner - TV Broadcast July 26 1953
Swing Yer Partner - Radio Broadcast August 7 1953

Delaware Valley Barn Dance

Delaware Valley Barn Dance TV Listing September 15 1955

In the fall of 1955, the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang became part of a television show called the Delaware Valley Barn Dance on channel 12. The Half-hour show aired on Thursday nights at 9:00pm on channel 12 - WPFH - out of Wilmington, Delaware.

It featured the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang, Jimmy Carter and his Pioneers and square dancing. Based on the television listings reviewed, the show appears to have run its course in June of 1956. The last few weeks of the show saw the TV listings simply list the show as 'barn dance'. The last listing was June 23, 1956 on a Saturday night.

The TV Listings never mentioned any guest stars or if there were other members of the cast. But some hints were found in newspaper articles that seem to indicate that the Ertman Sisters were a part of the show as well as Barbara Shirley.

Other research found that James (Jimmy) Carter, a former DJ on radio station WEEZ in Brookhaven passed away at the age of 47 in February 1967 after a brief illness. He lived in Chester, Pennsylvania. Another 'ad' for King Jack's Super Market featured Jimmy and his band appearing at the store and seemed to indicate King Jack's was a sponsor of the show.

Notable Personal Appearances ‐ Eddy Arnold

Of all the acts that appeared at Sleepy Hollow Ranch over the years from 1940 through 1963, the most popular appears to have been Eddy Arnold. Hank Harrigan recalled in a 1986 interview that Eddy pulled in about 8,000 people in 1944. But an article in the National Hillbilly News indicate he surpassed that in 1947 with a crowd over 11,000. The Ranch arranged for three more Sunday bookings of Arnold. Based on the ads in 1947, the June 22, 1947 show may have been the one with the large crowd. This was a time in Eddy's career where he hosted the Checkerboard Jamboree show over WSM. Notice the listing of Roy Wiggins, Eddy's steel player at the time, in one of the ads.

Eddy Arnold Sleepy Hollow Ranch June 21 1947
Eddy Arnold Sleepy Hollow Ranch September 14 1947

Eddy Arnold Sleepy Hollow Ranch - July 20 1947

Eddy Arnold Sleepy Hollow Ranch - August 16 1947

Songwriting Credits

It seems Elmer Newman got the itch to try songwriting around 1946 and over a period of three months he wrote 17 songs and five of them were recorded.

Our collection includes numerous song folios and magazines with song lyrics. Here are songs that are credited to one of the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang members:

  • Within This Broken Heart of Mine
    Jimmy Walker, Slim Stuart and Elmer Newman
    (Jack Howard Publications - 1947)
  • I Courted The Sunshine And Married The Rain
    Elmer Newman and Billy Wilson
  • I've Lived A Lifetime For You
    Elmer Newman and Ray Whitley
    (Bourne Inc. - 1947)
  • It's Hard To Say Goodbye
    Elmer Newman and Pancake Pete Newman
    (Jack Howard Publications, Inc. - 1946)
  • Don't Stand In God's Way
    Elmer Newman and Bob Newman
    (Jack Howard Publications, Inc. - 1948)
  • I'm Gonna Straddle My Saddle
    Dr. Louis Menakar, Ted Donofrio and Pancake Pete Newman
    (Jack Howard Publications - 1948)

Recording History / Information

Pancake Pete Newman fell ill in early 1947. His doctor ordered him to go to Florida to recuperate. The expectation was that he would stay there for about a month. As soon as he returned, the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang was scheduled to record four sides for the Majestic label.

Research indicates the group recorded for Majestic in July of 1946 and December of 1947.

In the 1940's, the group made several recordings with the Majestic label. As sometimes the case, the trade publications would review the new releases. One such review was in Cash Box in July 1947. The group had released "I'm Lonesome Now" b/w "I Was Never Nearer Heaven In My Life" on Majestic 11012. Cash Box told readers, "The Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang step out to offer ops a pair of sides that may attract phono play in spots that go for lots of wailing. The topside tune "I'm Lonesome Now," shows piper Elmer Newman in the tonsil department, as he runs thru this tear-jerker in slow tempo. Usual string accompaniment fills the bill throughout, with vocal efforts hogging the lime. On the backing with the Murray Sisters doing "I Was Never Nearer Heaven In My Life," the ensemble blends well as they offer more moody stuff. You take it from here."

Monty Rosci - Personal Appearance Ad Cowboy Records 1948 In 1946, a new record label, Cowboy Records, was being led by Jack Howard of Philadelphia and songwriter James E. Myers ("Side Saddle Joe", "Westward Bound"). A short blurb in a magazine indicated the label had recorded eight sides with the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang and eight sides with the Santa Fe Rangers. The Sleepy Hollow Gang recordings included recordings by Monty Rosci doing accordion solos.

In January 1949, it was reported that the group had signed a three year deal with the RCA Victor label. Cash Box reviewed one of their latest offerings — "Till The End Of The World" b/w "Three Wishes" on RCA Victor 21-0036. Cash Box wrote: "Here's one platter that has just about everything. The Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang open the topside with some lively melody, grand lyrics and great backgrounding to make "Till The End Of The World" one of the best westerns cut in many a moon. The flip, "Three Wishes," is just as good and sounds just as lively, lilting and happy as the topside. Both sides have moneymaker pressed right into them."

Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang Majestic 11006 B 1946

Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang Varsity 8081 1950

Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang Cowboy CR-103-B 1946

Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang RCA Victor 21-0056-A 1949

November 3, 1963 — A Fire Burns The Ranch

Sleepy Hollow Ranch Burns Headline Nov 4 1963 Early Sunday morning November 3, 1963, Sleepy Hollow Ranch met an unexpected fate — a fiery end. The fire was discovered by a passing motorist around 5:40am Sunday morning. By the time the first fire company arrived, the bunkhouse type building as engulfed in flames. In all, firemen from five volunteer depqrtments in Bucks and Montgomery Counties (Pennsburg, Milford Township, East Greenville, Red Hill and Green Lane) battled the blaze.

The motorist woke up one of the owners - Daniel Newman (who lived next to the ranch). He ran 300 yards to a neighbor's house to notify the Pennsburg Fire Department.

Over 100 firemen were on the scene. Fire Chief Harold Boardman of Milford Township said the firemen had enough water but the fire had a 'good head start.'

WSAN Radio Log Nov 9 1963 The news reported that the Newman's had insurance, but probably not sufficient to cover the estimated $50,000 in losses. The insurance covered the combination of the dance hall, retaurant and bar.

The fire also burned two of the four concession stands near the burning building, but firemen were able to put out the flames before those were badly damaged. A small fire in the rear of the property in a wooded area was also put out.

According to a news report, Sleepy Hollow Ranch was closed around 2:30am Sunday morning by one of the bartenders. He told Fire Marshal William D. Underkuffler of Upper Bucks County that when he left, he saw no sign of a fire. An accompanying picture showed the venue had been leveled. The 100 by 80 foot one-story frame building was gone.

The gang at Sleepy Hollow had a Saturday morning radio show over WSAN, which was celebrating its 40th anniversary in 1963. One wonders what listeners might have heard from them the week after the fire.

In May of 1945, the 11.9 acre property was put up for sale. It included a modern three bedroom home with an apartment above; a basement with a large recreation room, built-in bar and fireplace. Also included were garages and horse stables. The sale included 7 rustic log cabin concession stands and a 45x45 rotunda. Acres of parking. A 150x250 rodeo arena with a seating capacity of 2,000. Liquor (bar) license was also part of the offering.

Revival Concerts — August 17, 1986 & August 20, 1989

The Milford Historical and Preservation Society put together a reunion concert of sorts to conjur up memories of the days of old when the Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang were hosting many of country music's great performers. They former members of the 'family' came from far and wide to attend. Hank Harrigan (his real name was Lester Williams) brought his accorion with him from Florida where he was living in retirement. Monty Rosci, by then a retired jeweler living in Haverstown, drove up for the reunion. Julie Newman, one of the two Murray Sisters, drove in from her home in Richland Township to join her son Charlie who brought a banjo and steel guitar.

Monty Rosci enjoyed the scene, pointing to the large crowd assembled in front of a temporary stage. He noted, "See the people here. They love things like this."

Julie was having a ball relating that many said her voice is still the same though she knows it wasn't, but enjoyed the compliments all the same. She said folks kept coming up to her and asking, "Remember me?".

Even though rain dampened the audience that day, the band played two concerts to crowds of 3,000 each time. Their concert may have given some of the younger fans a taste of the music that was played in a by gone era.

A few years later, another "Sleepy Hollow" day was held and over 5,000 people showed up on the farm of Robert and Linda Duck to the Uppder Bucks. But there were hoops to go through to enable the historical society and the Ducks to hold the concert, but in the end, the concert was held. Old Sleepy Hollow regulars showed up - Hank Harrigan who was an announcer, Monty Rosci was on the scene once again along with Julie Newman.

As one might expect, other events were held similar to what was held in the past - horseback riders competing in riding events, conventional races such as the barrel race. The Sleepy Hollow Gang, the Newman Brothers and other old-timers took the stage for the second performance at 7:00pm to close the day. Mr. Duck said that in 1986, the Milford Historical Society netted $8,000. He was hopeful they raised more this go around.

Family Information:

  • Kenneth ("Pete") Newman (B: 1917 D: 2000)
  • Sophie Murray (B: 1913 D: 2010)
    • Married: June 1936
  • Daniel ("Elmer") Newman (B: 1907 D: 1969)
  • Julie Murray (B: 1915 D: 2012)
    • Married: October 1937

Credits & Sources

  • 1920 United States Federal Census
  • 1930 United States Federal Census
  • The Journal Times; Uptown Theatre Ad; February 13, 1934; Racine, WI
  • Badger State Barn Dance Featured At The Oshkosh; May 19, 1934; Oshkosh Northwestern; Oshkosh, WI
  • County Fair, Which Opens Thursday, To Have Many Worth While Features; August 13, 1935; Sheboygan Press; Sheboygan, WI
  • WHO Barn Dance Frolics At Iowa For Six-Day Run; September 29, 1935; The Courier; Waterloo,IA
  • Mountain Music, City Slickers, Irish Film; September 30, 1935; The Courier; Waterloo,IA
  • WHO Barn Dance Frolic Coming; October 19, 1935; Muscatine Journal; Muscatine,IA
  • Radio Stars At Strand Theater; October 26, 1935; Muscatine Journal; Muscatine,IA
  • On The Air; July 2, 1936; The Mercury; Pottstown, PA
  • 7 Stars of Air Waves To Give Program here; November 30, 1936; Shamokin News-Dispatch; Shamokin, PA
  • Fire Company To Offer Program; December 2, 1936; Shamokin News-Dispatch; Shamokin, PA
  • Legion Drum Corpos Books Cowboy Troupe; April 4, 1937; The Mercury; Pottstown, PA
  • Veterans To Visit Broadcasting Studio; April 24, 1937; The Mercury; Pottstown, PA
  • Cowboys Appear In Benefit Tonight; April 27, 1937; The Mercury; Pottstown, PA
  • More Than 1200 Hear Radio Cowboy Troupe; April 28, 1937; The Mercury; Pottstown, PA
  • To Present Floor Shows At Cake Hotel Grille; July 3, 1937; The Daily Item; Sunbury, PA
  • Fireworks Display Closes Festival; July 5, 1937; The Mercury; Pottstown, PA
  • Cowboys Stop Off At Roadstand Again; April 15, 1938; Latrobe Bulletin; Latrobe, PA
  • Folk and Western Reviews; July 14, 1947; Cash Box; New York, NY
  • Folk and Western Reviews; April 23, 1949; Cash Box; New York, NY
  • The Cash Box Folk And Western Roundup; January 1, 1953; Cash Box; New York, NY
  • The Cash Box Folk And Western Roundup; January 31, 1953; Cash Box; New York, NY
  • What The Radio Offers Today; October 11, 1939; Detroit Free Press; Detroit, MI
  • What The Radio Offers Today; March 22, 1940; Detroit Free Press; Detroit, MI
  • What The Radio Offers Today; March 25, 1940; Detroit Free Press; Detroit, MI
  • Hayloft Hoedown; Lew Mel; September 1945; National Hillbilly News; Poster Show Print Co; Huntington, WV
  • American Folk Tunes; July 14, 1945; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes; November 10, 1945; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes; April 20, 1946; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes; April 27, 1946; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes; May 11, 1946; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes; May 25, 1946; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes; August 24, 1946; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes; September 14, 1946; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes; October 5, 1946; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • American Folk Tunes; March 1, 1947; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • A New Recording Company; June 1946; National Hillbilly News; Poster Show Print Co; Huntington, WV
  • Arnold Pulls'em In July / August 1947; National Hillbilly News; Poster Show Print Co; Huntington, WV
  • Philly Record Co. Signing Top Names; January / February 1948; National Hillbilly News; Mr. & Mrs. Orville Via; Huntington, WV
  • On The Inside With Jenny Via; January / February 1948; National Hillbilly News; Mr. & Mrs. Orville Via; Huntington, WV
  • America's Fastest Growing Western - Hillbilly Network Show - Hayloft Hoedown; Arlie Kinkade; July 1946; National Hillbilly News; Mr. & Mrs. Orville Via; Huntington, WV
  • Cast Marks Second Year of 'Hoedown'; May 25, 1947; Philadelphia, Inquirer; Philadelphia, PA
  • It's Happening Here; Frank Brookhouser; January 12, 1949; Philadelphia, Inquirer; Philadelphia, PA
  • This, That 'n' The Other; May / June 1949; National Hillbilly News; Mr. & Mrs. Orville Via; Huntington, WV
  • 'Wiffil Ranch' Set For Debut On TV; July 18, 1949; Philadelphia, Inquirer; Philadelphia, PA
  • Sleepy Hollow Gang Record Two Tunes; March / April 1950; National Hillbilly News; Mr. & Mrs. Orville Via; Huntington, WV
  • Country Chatter and Platters; Penny Britt; December 1950; Country Song Roundup Issue No. 9; Charlton Pub. Co.; Derby, CT
  • Eats, Drinks, Names Country Park Formula - Sleepy Hollow Story; June 26, 1954; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • Complete Television Programs For Today; June 23, 1956; Philadelphia, Inquirer; Philadelphia, PA
  • Dr. Smith To Emcee Show; June 16, 1961; The Daily Intelligencer; Doylestown, PA
  • Sleepy Hollow Ranch Leveled By $50,000 Fire; November 4, 1963; The Morning Call; Allentown, PA
  • Fire Damages Sleepy Hollow; November 7, 1963; News Herald; Perkasie, PA
  • Nationally Known Sleepy Hollow Ranch; May 17, 1964; Phildelphia Inquirer; Philadelphia, PA
  • Action Line; July 24, 1971; Philadelphia, Inquirer; Philadelphia, PA
  • Revival Walkes Sleepy Hollow Gang; Popular Country and Western Band Reunites in Milford Twp.; August 18, 1986; The Morning Call; Allentown, PA
  • Country Sound Back In U. Bucks; Chuck Ayers;; August 21, 1989; The Morning Call; Allentown, PA

Sound Sample—(YouTube Video Format)

Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  CR-102 A Westward Bound
  CR-102 B Just Say So Long and Not Good-Bye
  CR-103 A It's Hard to Say Good-Bye
  CR-103 B Do You Think It's Fair
  CR-104 A Sleepy Hollow Polka
  CR-104 B Dilly Dally Polka
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  11002 A I Hang My Head And Cry
  11002 B Don't You Cry Over Me
  11006 A Hobo Bill's Last Ride
  11006 B Peach Pickin' Time Down In Georgia
  11011 A Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
  11011 B Keep On The Sunny Side
  11012 A I'm Lonesome Now
  11012 B I Was Never Nearer Heaven In My Life
  6023 A I Wasn't Born Yesterday
  6023 B Within This Broken Heart Of Mine
  6028 A No Reason Left To Care
  6028 B I Feel Better Since I Got Your Letter
RCA Victor
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  21-0036 A Till The End Of The World (v/Murray Sisters)
  21-0036 B Three Wishes (v/Pete Newman)
  48-0065 A Texas Lil
  48-0065 B A Letter Asking For My Broken Heart
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  8082 A Hobo Bill's Last Ride
  8082 B Peach Picking Time In Georgia
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  8081 A Keep On The Sunnyside
  8081 B I Hang My Head And Cry

Group Lists


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