By Randal L. Hall
Within the Nineteen Thirties radio stations stuffed the airwaves with courses and musical performances approximately rural american citizens -- farmers and small-town citizens suffering in the course of the nice melancholy. the most renowned of those exhibits was once Lum and Abner, the brainchild of Chester "Chet" Lauck and Norris "Tuffy" Goff, younger businessmen from Arkansas. starting in 1931 and lasting for greater than 20 years, the convey revolved round the lives of standard humans within the fictional neighborhood of Pine Ridge, in response to the hamlet of Waters, Arkansas. The name characters, who're farmers, neighborhood officers, and the keepers of the Jot 'Em Down shop, be capable of entangle themselves in quite a few hilarious dilemmas. The program's light humor and sometimes advanced characters had extensive charm either to rural southerners, who have been familiar with being the butt of jokes within the nationwide media, and to city listeners who have been occupied with descriptions of lifestyles within the American nation-state. Lum and Abner was once characterised by way of the snappy, verbal comedic dueling that grew to become well known on radio courses of the Thirties. utilizing this layout, Lauck and Goff allowed their characters to subvert conventional authority and to poke enjoyable at universal misconceptions approximately rural lifestyles. The exhibit additionally featured hillbilly and different well known song, an innovation that drew a much bigger viewers. for this reason, Arkansas skilled a growth in tourism, and southern listeners started to immerse themselves in a brand new nationwide pop culture. In Lum and Abner: Rural the USA and the Golden Age of Radio, historian Randal L. corridor explains the historical past and significance of this system, its creators, and its nationwide viewers. He additionally offers a treasure trove of twenty-nine formerly unavailable scripts from the show's earliest interval, scripts that demonstrate a lot concerning the nice melancholy, rural existence, hillbilly stereotypes, and a seminal interval of yankee radio.
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Additional resources for Lum and Abner: Rural America and the Golden Age of Radio (New Directions in Southern History)
75 Huddleston, who owned a fishing camp with tourist cabins in addition to his store, would later become known as the state’s goodwill ambassador. He hosted a continual stream of visitors to Pine Ridge, and before World War II, with the support of Lauck and Goff, he toured nationally with country music bands and performers from Pine Ridge as a way to promote the area’s tourist potential as well as the program. ” Huddleston would sometimes be on the road for months at a time with the Pine Ridge Silver Cornet Band (named for a band on the program that supported Lum’s bid for president in 1936 on the Demopublican ticket); and the Midwest received especially intensive coverage because of its particular potential for tourism in Arkansas.
He played the bazooka, a primitive musical instrument that he had invented, and revived the Arkansas Traveler, an itinerant outsider relating tall tales of primitive locals whom he encountered in the state. This not-so-complimentary figure had long been a part of Arkansas’s backwoods image, and Burns employed the stereotype while spinning yarns about outlandish (and fictional) hillbilly relatives back home—characters such as Aunt Doody, Uncle Slug, and Grandpa Snazzy. With Paramount, he also made four films with like themes between 1937 and 1940.
Close to their rural background, but perhaps sufficiently separated from it to allow for a twinge of nostalgia, these new urban midwesterners could use the program to weld together the disparate aspects of their modern life. 39 The sociable and the Midwest contributed in crucial ways to Lum and Abner’s gradual rise; however, the show soon appealed to an even more expansive audience. Lum and Abner tapped into the deep-seated concerns of all Americans during the 1930s: the two comics gained a loyal audience by presenting an attractive vision of how to ameliorate rising national concern about community life.