Carolina Barn Dance (WBRM)
It began in 1949 on Friday night on a little 1,000 watt radio station out of Marion,
North Carolina on WBRM. The show itself originated from Spruce Pine, NC,
a town that held then only about 3,000 folks. It was nestled up about the
3,000 foot level in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The show started off
in a small auditorium that held about 600 folks; plans were in the works
in 1950 to build a 1,500 seat facility to "...accommodate the
people who are turned away each week."
The show started with some music to get the listeners attention and then
as the music faded, up to the microphone the show's emcee stepped
up and announced,
"Hello Neighbors, this is 'Cal' Calhoun sending your way the first
edition of THE CAROLINA BARN DANCE!"
Cal picked all the acts, most practically right out of the amateur contests
he had held over several counties. His musical tastes must have been pretty
good as just about all of them were hits right from the start. The show
became a hit with the listening audiences and became known as "Your Favorite
In 1950, some of the folks featured on the hour-long show included the
legendary Stanley Brothers, Carter and Ralph and their Clinch Mountain Boys
who were recording for Columbia at the time. Other notable acts included
folks such as Clyde Miller and Betty & Buck, a father and daughter team.
The show also had some guest star appearances from other name hillbilly
entertainers who were in the area such as Bill Monroe, Claude Casey,
The Briarhoppers, and Whitey and Hogan.
The Buchanan Brothers
The Burleson Sisters