The Jamboree in Wheeling
Ivan M. Tribe, Jacob L. Bapst
Beginning in the mid-1920s, radio stations that catered to rural audiences sponsored programs featuring country music, generically termed "barn dances." Ranking second in terms of longevity and perhaps in significance to the Grand Ole Opry from WSM Nashville came the Jamboree in Wheeling, West Virginia. It became the springboard for such country stars as Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, Hawkshaw Hawkins, the Osborne Brothers, Doc and Chickie Williams, Lee Moore, Big Slim the Lone Cowboy, and most recently, Brad Paisley. Under slightly varying names, the Jamboree flourished from 1933 through 2005 over the airwaves of 50,000-watt WWVA 1170 AM and now airs on WWOV 101.1 FM.