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100 Greatest Women, #48: Lulu Belle

100 Greatest Women

#48

Lulu Belle

The Queen of All Radio.

Lulu Belle was born Myrtle Eleanor Cooper in North Carolina, the daughter of a convicted moonshiner. Her dad moved her family all around the country looking for ways to make big money, and when she was a teenager, they arrived in Chicago.

They arrived in the Windy City just as the stock market crashed, and she took odd jobs to help her family make ends meet. Her father was well aware of his daughter’s singing talents, and took her to audition for radio executives in the big city. Her confident drive impressed the folks at WLS, the most powerful country radio station in America. The station broadcast the National Barn Dance, which would become the prototype for country radio shows across the country. The boss of the show, John Lair, dubbed her Lulu Belle, and that became her performing name from that day on.

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