The Farmer Takes a Mike

Radio's outdated version of the U.S. farmer—a Mortimer Snerdish bumpkin borrowed from the burlesque stage—has changed radically in the last month. In a new quiz show called R.F.D. America (Mutual, Thurs. 9:30 p.m., E.S.T.), the real farmer turns out to be an alert, articulate, well-schooled young man—with no straw in his hair and no quid in his cheek.

The show originated with Radio Producer Louis G. Cowan, who got to thinking how important U.S. farm folk are in a hungry world. It occurred to him that radio had no adequate showcase for—or interest in—rural America; even Hooperatings are taken only...

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