Narrated by Garrison Keillor, The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance tells the story of a changing America through the lens of one of the nation's most popular country music radio shows during the 1930s and 40s: the National Barn Dance.
Broadcast every Saturday night on WLS-AM out of Chicago, the variety show unified rural Americans with its nostalgic brand of traditional folk music and country humor, and helped define an identity for a struggling generation. From its first broadcast in 1924 to its last in 1960, the National Barn Dance served as a touchstone for rural citizens unsure of the future, or homesick transplants confronting the city.
In finding and serving this newfound audience, the National Barn Dance was a marketing pioneer, making millions for sponsors like Alka Seltzer. Moreover, it launched national superstars such as Gene Autry, Patsy Montana, Bradley Kincaid, Andy Williams, George Gobel, Pat Buttram, and Lulu Belle & Scotty.
The Hayloft Gang weaves rare performance footage, home movies, and candid photographs with first-hand accounts from fans and performers. In addition, interviews with historians, folklorists, and media experts reveal historical and cultural perspectives on the story.
- Stephen ParryProducer/Director
- Bob HerculesProducer