The 1954 WLS Family Album:
note: A number of WLS artists moved on to bigger and better gigs. Among
the Prairie Farmer station graduates featured in the 1954 Family Album were Pat
Buttram (b. Maxwell Emmett Buttram) George
Gobel, Rex Allen (b. Elvie Allen) and Smiley Burnette (b. Lester Alvin Burnett).
Alumnus Pat Buttram returned last September to "crack wise" as in days
of yore with his feuding partner, Jack
Holden. Jimmy James, Grace
Wilson and Uncle Otto are probably laughing at one of Pat's stories about
his summer trip to England with Gene Autry's Rodeo. He is now Gene's comedian
in western pictures and on network radio.
WLS alumnus George Gobel started to sing on the National Barn Dance in 1932 when
he was 13. A WLS star 8 years, he is now acclaimed as America's most promising
young TV comic. Here's George in 1953 with Alice Humecke Gobel, Gregg, 8 and Georgia,
3. Alice was George's boyhood sweetheart
Rex Allen with his wife Bonnie and sons Chico, 7, and Curtis, 4.
Smiley Burnette, known for many years as "Frog" in Western movies, "guested"
on the National Barn Dance last August. His first WLS appearances were with Gene
Autry in the early '30's. A Central Illinois boy, Smiley has more than made good
in Hollywood. The Burnettes have two girls and two boys.
to the 1954 WLS Family Album index page
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Rich Samuels (e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)