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Arkansas Jamboree Barndance
Little Rock, AR
Year Started:  1946

Arkansas Jamboree Barndance

As we amble along in our research, we discover some of the perhaps lesser known live radio shows of a bygone era that weren't on the clear channel powerhouse stations, but nonetheless, found their way to the airwaves to entertain the local fans.

In 1946, one such show was the Arkansas Jamboree Barndance airing over KRLA out of Little Rock, Arkansas on Saturday nights at 10:30pm. Headlining the show was a female singer / performer known to fans as "Little Shoe" who rose to fame on the WWVA Original Jamboree show in Wheeling, West Virginia.

It seems Little Shoe had been to a few stations since her stint at WWVA, moving to midwestern stations such as KMOX in St. Louis, Missouri, then later, KMBC in Kansas City, Missouri. Along the way she got the idea she could start her own barn dance show. But as she pitched her idea to other stations, she could find no takers.

Her career then took her north to Fort Wayne where she joined up with a group called the Cowboy Sweethearts. But alas, Little Shoe became disenchanted with life in the northern states and decided that she wanted to work in the south. Little Rock, Arkansas was that destination.

She noted in a 1946 article that the "Arkansas Jamboree Barn Dance" aired not only on Saturday nights at 10:30pm, but also each day except Sunday at 6:00pm (we think it was a typo and probably meant to be 6:00am), 12:00pm and 3:30pm as well. In all, there were about "...25 of the best hillbillies in that section of the country."

Frank Dudgeon

Armstrong Twins

Little Shoe

Credits & Sources

  • National Hillbilly News; April 1946; Huntington, WV