This collection documents several early country music radio performers, their sponsors and radio stations, mainly during the 1930s and 1940s. The collection includes promotional material for radio stations, country music performers, and sponsors in the form of songbooks, family photo albums, calendars, program histories, and autograph books. There are also performer photographs, print publications, advertising posters and an unpublished scrap book compiled by an unknown radio listener.
Much of these materials document the performers and programs heard on Chicago radio station WLS during the 1930s and early 1940s, especially National Barn Dance. Of particular importance among these are the WLS weekly program magazine Stand By! for the years 1935 - 1938.
There are also materials relating to the Grand Ole Opry and the Renfro Valley Barn Dance radio programs. Less well known programs, musicians, and radio stations are documented in such publications found in the collection as Rural Radio, and Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder. More broadly, the place of radio in American society during these years is covered in such publications as Radio Varieties, Radio Digest, and Radio Guide.