Dubbed “The Nation’s Station,” WLW-AM went on the air in Cincinnati in 1922 and was a pioneer broadcaster of hillbilly music. Some of the early entertainers were Cousin Bob and his Kinfolk and Bradley Kincaid. John Lair used WLW as an interim stop for the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, between WLS in Chicago and its final home in Renfro Valley, Kentucky. In 1939, the Boone County Jamboree was founded and, because of WLW’s 50,000 watts of clear channel power (at one time 500,000 watts), the station attracted some of the best musicians of the day. The Boone County Jamboree was eventually phased out and the Midwestern Hayride was born in 1945, went to TV in 1948, and continued until the early 1970s.

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