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  • April 24, 2024 CDT

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  • Apr 12, 1924
    Chicago radio station WLS begins broadcasting, just one week before it starts airing "The National Barn Dance," a live show formatted similarly to the Grand Ole Opry, established 19 months later
    Apr 19, 1924
    Chicago radio station WLS broadcasts the first "National Barn Dance"
    Nov 2, 1925
    George D. Hay, an announcer with "The National Barn Dance" on Chicago's WLS Radio, takes over as the station manager of Nashville's WSM. By the end of the month, he institutes a new show, which later becomes the Grand Ole Opry
    Dec 1, 1931
    Gene Autry begins a stint on WLS Radio in Chicago, with his own show "Conqueror Record Time." He remains with the station three years before moving to California
    Mar 19, 1932
    WLS Radio's "National Barn Dance" moves to Chicago's Eighth Street Theater, a venue it will call home for the next 25 years
    Feb 21, 1949
    "The ABC Barn Dance" debuts on television. The music-and-comedy series features the stars of "The National Barn Dance" on WLS Radio in Chicago
    Nov 14, 1949
    "The ABC Barn Dance" ends a nine-month run on prime-time TV, where it highlighted the stars of WLS Radio's "The National Barn Dance" in Chicago
    Aug 31, 1957
    After 25 years in the same location, WLS' "National Barn Dance" emanates from Chicago's Eighth Street Theater for the last time. The show lasts three more years
    Apr 30, 1960
    "The WLS Barn Dance" ends a 36-year run
    May 1, 1960
    Chicago radio station WLS adopts a rock & roll format, a day after "The WLS Barn Dance" had its final broadcast

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