CKNX Barn Dance
"CKNX Barn Dance." 'Canada's Largest Travelling Barn Dance,' a radio show heard Saturday nights 1937-63 on CKNX, Wingham, Ont. Patterned after the barn dances first heard on US radio in the 1920s (see Country music), the CKNX Barn Dance was the longest-lived show of its kind in Canada. At the initiative of W.T. 'Doc' Cruickshank, owner of CKNX and also a fiddler, barn dances began in the CKNX studio in the early 1930s. Broadcasts from outside locations on a circuit in west-central Ontario began in 1938. The earliest performers included the Gully Jumpers and George Wade and the Cornhuskers. By the late 1940s three bands were associated with the show: the CKNX Ranch Boys (led by Don and Cora Robertson), the Golden Prairie Cowboys, and the CKNX Barn Dance Gang (featuring Earl Heywood). Many stars in Canadian country music appeared on the show early in their careers, including Ward Allen, Maurice Bolyer, Al Cherney, Tommy Hunter, and the Mercey Brothers. Several leading US country performers also performed on the program. Though the barndance went off the air in 1963, it was revived on several occasions and was remounted by CKNX on a bi-annual basis in the Wingham area in 1983.