Monday, January 18, 2010

Roots of Country Music

While country music was born in the hills of Southwest Virginia, Arlington played a critical role in the development of the country music industry.

The radio station WARL was located on Lee Hwy between Harrison and George Mason. WARL had a show called "Town and Country Time" that supposedly gave birth to the term country and Patsy Cline became famour from her live performances on the show. Most recently the building served as a Whitman-Walker clinic, but you can still see the huge (still in use) radio tower behind the building.

I came across some interesting bit of information from a Washington Post article from August 19, 1953 about WARL. On Saturdays during the summer of '53, the station held "lawn parties" in which the live show moved to the lawn of the station. I searched old Billboard magazines and found the performances contined into the summers of '54 and '55. During the summer of '54 Jimmy Dean, Roy Clark, and Patsy Cline performed at the Saturday evening show.

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