The 1954 WLS Family Album:


Curator's 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).

Left: 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.

Right: 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

Left: Rex Allen with his wife Bonnie and sons Chico, 7, and Curtis, 4.

Right: 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.

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