Radio stars (Sept 1933)

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RADIO STARS BARN DANCERS By WILSON BROWN 1", in my wanderings around the dial, 1 run into a program that suggests "old-time fiddlin*." J usually tune it right out. For some reason, that sort of music has never appealed to nic. That was, however, until recentl) It's different now. I've found a program that 1 like. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's the tempo of it, or the sincerity. Anyhow, its folks seem real. Regular barn dancers of the sort I used to see down home near the Ozarks. I'm referring to the WLS Barn Dancers, that program which comes out of Chicago to one of the biggest farm audiences in the world. The first night I heard it—yes. the first month, too— 1 was afraid that .something was being jnit over on mc. Radio studios have mighty clever actors in them, folks who sound like the real thing when they're actually some- thing else. Gradually, I came to believe in that WLS crowd, and one day. 1 decided to go uj) to Chicago to see lor mvself Well, sir, ] saw them. 1 watched them "fiddlin'." antl doing their other hill-billy stunts. Believe you me. they rr "real folks," as Edgar Guest would call them There were two in particular, Mac and Boh They'rt blind, both of them. Living in total darkness, it amaze- me how inuch sunshine they're able to bring into the lives of others. Mac is really Lester Mcl^'arland and lioh is Robert Gardner. They met for the first time about fifteen years ago in the Kentucky School for the Blind Kentucky is Mac's home .state, but Bol) conn from Tennessee. Al-'TEK graduation, they se|)arated for a while—.M;ii f \ to become a music teacher and Bob to tune ])iaIl<|^ Thev told me that neither of them was very happy dunn;: those days. They'd been together so much in school and come to depend on each other so much that it wasn't l<)ii<: before thev arranged to team together Next. the\ wen making iihonograph records for lirun.swick and pnttini; on a vaudeville act {( ontiiiued on payi 1'^ > Like honest-to-goodness old time fiddlin'? Then meet this grand bunch