The Tennessee Barn Dance (circa 1944)
The WNOX Tennessee Barn Dance was the Saturday night version of the weekly radio program The Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round. This hugely popular and long-running radio program was broadcast from the old Lyric Theatre (formerly Staub’s) on Gay Street during the 1930s and 1940s. The live performances usually packed the theater with ticket buyers. Host Lowell Blanchard would, on occasion, mix and match musicians with the hope that a certain band line-up might gel and catch on with the public. Identified here are Wally Fowler (sitting), Tony Cianciola, accordion, and a very young Chet Atkins on (what else!) guitar.