Michael Bertrand spoke of the radio barndance on WLS in the 20’s and specifically on the minstrelsy aspect of the shows.
Without getting into the details, I just want to post this quote from his presentation. It’s a wonderful thought and is applicable to most everything in today’s world as well:
“When listeners heard dialect through their radio transmitters, what exactly did they see?”
I mention this because I think we all conjure up visual images in the absence of being provided one. Especially when we read books, there’s an imaginary space in our minds that we situate stories within. On the radio, especially the kind of radio that is pre-television, serial soap operas and variety shows, it’s just the same. And of course every listener conjures a different image. What an idea, that every perspective is completely relative. Maybe it’s the same even when we are provided with visuals.
Another barndance based out of Nashville in the 20’s is still running today; it’s called the Grand Ole Opry.