Historical society hosts 'Sampler Series' exploring history

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TROUT VALLEY – There was a time in America when Chicago was the epicenter of country music, when Saturday nights were reserved for the likes of Gene Autry.

“Nashville and the Nashville country community conveniently swept it under the rug, but believe it or not Chicago was the country music capital back then,” said Stephen Parry, producer of “The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance” documentary exploring the dance from 1924 through 1960.

Parry will talk about his research at 7 p.m. March 17, at the Trout Valley Barn, 167 Country Commons Road. It is the first of four Sampler Series lectures offered by the McHenry County Historical Society.

Other programs include:

• “Those Magnicent ‘Whizbang’ Traveling Salesmen of Illinois,” 3 p.m. March 31, McHenry County Historical Society Musuem, 6422 Main St., Union.

•“Roadside History of Illinois,” 7 p.m. April 7 at the museum.

•  “Behind the Badge,” 7 p.m. April 21, also at the museum.

Series tickets cost $35; $30 for society members. A $10 donation is requested for individual programs. For information or to buy tickets, call 815-923-2267 or visit www.gothistory.org.

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