The Bessie Auten Collection of Country Music Memorabilia
We have put together some background information about the performers, radio stations, and groups mentioned in the collection of country music material that was put together by Bessie Auten of Milton, Pa when she worked for Radio Corral in Montgomery, Pa. in the 1940's and '50's. Bessie’s collection of country music memorabilia included promotional photographs, photo postcards, programs, souvenir albums, WWVA Jamboree Souvenir Albums (some with autographs of performers), and sheet music.
Listing the items in the collection is ongoing as is the background. Check back to see the newest listings and information gleaned from the internet.
Background information provided here is the result of online research on people, places, and groups that are mentioned on the items in this collection. Below is a summary of what we have learned and links to some of the most informative and interesting stories about the performers and radio stations who were involved in the country music industry and whose memories are kept alive in those stories and in this collection of photographs, programs, and ephemera.
Jim & Jane Claar & Radio Corral
In the 1940’s Jim and Jane Claar ran Radio Corral, an outdoor weekend country music concert series that was held near Montgomery, Pennsylvania which is not far from Williamsport. Many of the country music legends of the day performed on Radio Corral including the Carter Family, Roy Acuff, Hank Williams, Patsy Montana, Stoney and Wilma Lee Cooper, Pie Plant Pete and Bashful Joe, and Bob and Dean McNett. Bob McNett was in the legendary Drifting Cowboys band that backed Hank Williams. Bob and Dean took over the radio program in 1950 when the Claars retired. They continued to produce Radio Corral and radio programs of country music in Central Pennsylvania and in outdoor concerts until 1970.
Links to information on the radio stations and personalities mentioned in this collection.