Remembering when Chicago was a hub of country music
Beginning in the early 1920s, the sounds of a typical Saturday night in some Chicago households sounded less like the big city and more like a small town. National Barn Dance premiered on WLS the same week that radio station got underway. The show was a honky-tonk good time. It featured live country-music acts, comedy and theatrical skits. And it was popular – National Barn Dance ran for more than four decades. A new documentary, The Hayloft Gang: The Story of National Barn Dance, explores the music and fans that defined the show. Freelance reporter Robert Loerzel sat down with director Steve Parry to discuss the film. Parry said the show put Chicago on the country map in a way most people probably don’t remember.