b. Donald F. Blanchard, 24 July 1914, Pittsville, Wisconsin, USA, d. 24 February 1980. Little is known of his early years until 1931, when, playing guitar, singing and at times also adding comedy in his act, Blanchard first appeared on the National Barn Dance on WLS Chicago. Initially he played with Rube Tronson’s Texas Cowboys, but later, he worked for several years with the Sage Riders, where he first became friendly with Dolph Hewitt. Although he did at times play on some other stations, especially in Wisconsin and Iowa, he devoted most of his career to theBarn Dance programme. When the programme moved from WLS to WGN in 1960, he moved with it and stayed until theNational Barn Dance finally closed in 1969, appearing regularly in the televised portion of the show from 1963 to the end. He then, along with Hewitt, went into business, including the ownership of some radio stations. During his career, he made recordings for Kahill, Columbia, Kapp and Dot Records, a duet with Hewitt on ‘Oklahoma Hills’ being perhaps the best-known. He also wrote a few songs, one typical country weepie being ‘I’m Lonesome In The Saddle Since My Old Horse Died’.
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