The Baker Sisters, along with three guys, from 1955 at WHAL radio's studios. At bottom are, from left, the late Jack Finley, the late Ralph Locke and the late Marvin Richardson. Standing, from left, are Ann Locke Potter, Doris Baker Donovan and Wanda Baker Kelley. (Submitted photo)
Regular listeners to Shelbyville's old WHAL-1400 AM radio station in the 1950s were likely familiar with the Baker Sisters.
The Baker Sisters performed on WHAL each Saturday when the station's studios were located above Brantley's Drugs on the east side of the Shelbyville square.
"We were on WHAL at 12 noon Saturday for 30 minutes," group member Wanda Baker Kelley, who called me after my original blog post, remembers. "We sang at everything going on, and played schoolhouses at night."
Marvin Richardson was a comedian as well as musician, Wanda said.
The band performed from roughly 1954-1958 until Wanda's sisters got married. She kept singing a while longer until getting married as well, but went back on stage many years later at the Pickin' Parlor in Wartrace.
Among those fond memories of Wanda's are performances at Dunbar Cave near Clarksville, known for its great acoustics, and on Ernest Tubb's Midnight Jamboree on WSM radio following the Grand Ole Opry.
It would be great if anyone had audio of this, or any other, local group, or maybe other types of sounds from earlier days of Shelbyville radio. There are ways we could post or link to audio.
CAN YOU HELP? Jane Townes, a PhD candidate at MTSU, needs for her dissertation new or old images of buildings, furniture, cemeteries -- anything that existed on the landscape -- during the period 1860-1865. We're not talking Civil War military items, but what residents normally used in daily life. Current photos of period items/places would work well, she says. She can be reached at email@example.com. (Note that it's 'town', not 'townes' in the address.)
Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader submissions are welcome.