Past Event

Play That Hot Fiddle: Old time Radio and the Life of Southern Illinois Swing Fiddler "Pappy" Wade Ray

A Road Scholar Program by Dennis Stroughmatt

Born in 1916 in southern Indiana from a southeastern Illinois family, the child prodigy fiddler and singer Wade Ray, developed into one of the most endearing entertainers in country and western swing music. Through the medium of radio on shows such as “The Pappy Cheshire Show” on KMOX in St. Louis and the “National Barn Dance” on WLS in Chicago, Wade Ray gained national prestige along side performers such as Patsy Montana and Rex Allen.

Pappy Wade Ray

Presenting the fast swing fiddling and humorous stories of his mentor Wade Ray, Dennis Stroughmatt will lead audiences through the early years of Old Time Radio and share how music brought America through The Great Depression, WWII, and beyond.

This presentation will also be accompanied by rare video of Wade Ray and personal memorabilia from the Wade Ray collection.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Peggy Drane at

Learn more about Dennis Stroughmatt, this program, and how to book it.