Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Brush Creek Follies story

Today we look at the hillbilly side of Kansas City:

The Brush Creek Follies were a live barn dance stage show that originated from various Kansas City auditoriums, mostly from the Invanhoe Temple. The show became, apart from the National Barn Dance, the most successful show of its type during the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The show first aired in 1938 over KMBC. The stage looked usually like an old barn to create a rural atmosphere. One of the first stars was Colorado Pete, a cowboy and western singer who had been with KMBC from 1933 on. His real name was George Martin and he stayed with the Follies until the end. Kit & Kay also were favorites with the audiences. The twins originated from Missouri and had played old-time music with their two older sisters since the early 1930s.

Tex Owens, writer of "Cattle Call", also appeared on the show. Other regulars were Sally Carson (later famous under the name of Bonnie Lou), the Oklahoma Wranglers, the Rhythm Riders, Dwight Butcher and Little Shoe. Hiram Higsby was the emcee.

The Brush Creek Follies shows came to an end in the mid-1950s, I guess in 1955 or so. The barn dance show type was regarded as antiquated and TV made its way into the homes of the people.

2 comments:

Larry Holman said...

I saw Colorado pete and kit and kay in Corder and Higginsville, MO in the late fortys and used to listen to them on the radio, but lost track of them in the fiftys. Did they make any records, if so are they available. I enjoy country music and at one time was fan club member
of Don Sulivan

Nicolas Martin said...

There's now a comprehensive Wikipedia entry for Bonnie Lou, which is 90 and living in Cincinnati.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnie_Lou

Ther is also a new Facebook fan page devoted to her with loads of photos.

https://www.facebook.com/BonnieLouFans