The Cumberland Valley Barn Dance got its start in Middlesboro in 1950. Plans are to document the Barn Dance and what happened to all those who once performed.

(Reprinted from the Daily News, March 28, 1950)

Cumberland Valley Barn Dance

Gets Nation-Wide Mutual Hook-Up

The Cumberland Valley Barn Dance today received the long awaited word from the Mutual Broadcasting Company, and the word received was good news, giving the local program a five month contract. For a coast to coast hookup over Mutualís Class A network.

The first Barn Dance on the National hookup will be broadcast Saturday April 8, for a five month period.

Programs will be held on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., (the site to be named later) and broadcast over Mutual through the facilities of WMIK.

Mutual Broadcasting Company has 536 stations. The local Barn dance will be broadcast over the Class A network of this group, which means the Middlesboro program will be on the air in New York and other metropolitan areas.

The afternoon time will be held before the major league baseball games and should help build the listening public.

Althought he site of the Barn Dance has nor been named by WMIK officials, it will probably be held at the Central School Auditorium or from the stage of the Manring Theater. Until last week the program had been held at the theater but last week was changed to the Central School Auditorium under the sponsorship of the Middlesboro PTA.

Mmebers of the Cumberland Valley Barn dance include: Jimmy Ballard, master of ceremonies and popular singer. The Rambling Swingsters, Wendall Carter, Jimmie Edan, Carl Smitty, Bill Taylor, Miss Bevarly Edan billed as the Queen of the Cumberlands. Miss Edan is a local high school student.

Conscious and Unconscious, two of the most popular comic members of the Barn Dance,

Amos, the colored lad who is featured in novelty numbers,

Fiddliní Paul Burchette, and

Buddy Canamar, WMIK announcer and promoter.

(Reprinted for the Daily News, March 29, 1950)

Plan to Put Míboro----On the Map

Barn Time Upíed

To One Hour By Mutual

The Mutual Broadcasting Company today informed officials of the WMIK Cumberland Valley Barn Dance that a one-hour program was being given to the show instead of the first announced half-hour show.

Officials were also informed that the show was already sold to a sponsor on a five month contract. Also additional good news was received to the fact the Barn Dance will go over the entire Mutual Network instead of just the Class A network. This means the local show will be heard over 536 stations on a national wide hook-up.

The first Mutual Broadcast of the local show will be held at the Central School Auditorium at 1:30 April 8. The Barn Dance is sponsored locally by the Middlesboro PTA.

Mutual officials stated today they were starting nationwide publicity to build up the program and were going "to put Middlesboro on the map."

Members of the Barn Dance will be at the Central School today in a special program for the purpose of taking pictures for the national publicity. A short program will be held and everyone is invited to attend

The regular Barn dance will be held this Saturday night at the Central School auditorium at 8 p.m. as usual.

(Reprinted for the Daily News, March 31, 1950)

Local Citizens

Think Barn Dance

Great For Míboro


Daily News Staff Writer

At the "Send-Off Rally" Wednesday for Jimmy Ballard and the Cumberland Valley Barn Dance, a Daily News inquiring reporter asked several prominent Middlesboro citizens how they felt about WMIKís Cumberland Valley Barn Dance going over Mutual Broadcasting Company starting April 8, at 1:30 p.m.

The programs will be one hour long and will eb held at the Central High School auditorium under the sponsorship of the Middlesboro PTA.

MAYOR SHERMAN CHASTEEN thought it was the greatest thing that ever happened in a long time.

MRS. KIRBY SMITH, JR., director of the Middlesboro Little Theater, said "I think it is wonderful to find such talent here, and I hope it encourages people to be more interested in dramatic and radio activities.

:I think itís wonderful," HAROLD PAGE, well known local resident, replied when asked what he thought. Mrs. "Windy" Carter, whose husband is in the Cumberland Valley Barn Dance, excitedly exclaimed, "We have all been so excited we cannot sleep. We just canít believe it."

LEE CAMPBELL, prominent merchant and treasurer of Kiwanis International, stated, ĎIt is very, very fine. I believe Kiwanis International will have a half hour program following Mutualís broadcast of the Cumberland Valley Barn Dance."

"It is one of the finest things that has happened in Middlesboro since we have had radio. It will attract the attention of the entire country to our city," said MRS. S.H. FLOWERS, club woman.

RE. JOHN S. PIPER replied, "Itís swell," and ROY FRAIM, commander of the American Legion, said, "Itís O.K. Middlesboro is well-known now , but with the Cumberland Valley Barn Dance on Mutual, it will be better known."

MRS. C.E. HUGHES, member of the Womanís Club , stated, "I think it is a splendid opportunity for the rest of the country to hear the delightful entertainment that it has been Middlesboroís privilege to produce."

(Reprinted for the Daily News, April 7, 1950)




The Cumberland Valley Barn Dance goes on "Big Time" tomorrow when the premiere for Mutual is held at the Central School Auditorium at 1:30 p.m.

The broadcast will be the first in the five month contract given the local show by Mutual for a coast to coast hook-up.

Mountain Music and homespun humor will be spotlighted when the lively "Cumberland Valley Barn Dance" is brought to listeners for a full hourís program.

The program will feature The Rambling Swingsters, vocalist, Bill Taylor and Little Beverly, instrumentalist Amos, comedy of Conscious and Unconscious, and the Jublileers Quartet, in a solid hour of round and square dances, folk and religious songs and instrumental specialties.

Jimmy Ballard will emcee these hoe-down sessions each Saturday.

The Barn dance has been a local radio and theater attraction for several months and is now playing to a capacity audience of 1400 each week.

The program is under the auspices of the Parent Teachers Association of Middlesboro.

To get the Barn Dance of to a big start, tomorrow a parade will be held in downtown Middlesboro. The parade will start at 12 noon at the First Baptist Church on Cumberland Ave. From the Church the Parade will go to the Central School.

Included in the parade, other than Barn Dance performers, will be the Bell County Band, and a "trick horse."

The route of the parade will be down Cumberland Avenue, to 20th Street, then to the school.

A capacity crowd is expected to attend the broadcast tomorrow.