Last week, I took a look at the available jazz old time radio out there. Now, for old time country and Western fans, this post is for you.
1) Hank Williams
Hank Williams, Sr. had two seperate radio shows. The first was his “Health and Happiness Show” from 1949, of which there are four episodes available on the Internet Archive, and his Mother’s Best Flour Show which ran in 1950-51, which the Old Time Radio Researchers has released as a certified set with 67 episodes.
2) Gene Autry
The singing cowboy has a wide variety of his Melody Ranch Recordings available at the Internet Archive.
3) Johnny Cash
The one recording of the Johnny Cash show available provides an interesting glimpse of an American legend in the making. The recording comes from 1954, the year before Cash’s first record hit the market. A 22-year old Cash was hosting his very broadcast and sounded quite a bit nervous. It’s a very different Johnny Cash who would sing songs like “Ring of Fire” and “Boy Named Sue” with such gusto and confidence. Worth a listen for a different look at the man in Black.
4) Grand Ole Opry
If you think of country music, the first place you think of is the Grand Ole Opry. The archive has 30 recordings with such stars as Minnie Pearl, Roy Acuff, and Red Foley. Speaking of Foley, eight episodes of his show are available as well.
5) Pat O’Daniel and His Hillbilly Boys
The OTRR has a good collection this interesting 1930s radio show from Texas. It also includes a fascinating story of how Pat O’Daniel used the radio show to build a political career that include stints as Governor of Texas and U.S. Senator.
6) Pinto Pete and His Ranch Hands:
Anothers 1930s show featuring 15 minutes of Cowboy music.
7) Armed Forces Radio Programs
Just like with jazz, Soldiers who loved country music were entertained with some of their favorites. First was Melody Roundup which was hosted by many stars that would be fans of country and cowboy and music such as Lum and Abner, Roy Rogers, and Bill Boyd (best known for playing Hopalong Cassidy on the radio). A later show sponsored by the Navy and Airforce was Country Music Time.
8) 10-2-4 Ranch
Sponsored by Dr. Pepper which urged people to Dr. Pepper at 10, 2, and 4 to help with energy sags in the middle of the day, this 15 minute show featured good country music.
In our third part, we’ll look at some of the shows that featured music as a matter of course, along with some classical music, and other miscellaneous music shows.