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Archives of Iowa Broadcasting: Don Francis Collection

AIB establishes and maintains a permanent collection of materials relating to the history, development and contribution of radio and television in Iowa.

Archives of Iowa Broadcasting

Finding Aid

Don Francis Collection


The purpose of the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting is to establish and maintain a permanent collection of materials relating to the history, development and contribution of radio and television in Iowa.

The Archives is committed to providing access to holdings. However, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with the donors. Due to the complexity and variety of audiovisual formats, most items will need to be digitally duplicated or transferred before access can be provided.



Abstract: Don Francis Collection contains unidentified Audio recordings in the form of 1/4-inch reel to reel tapes (7-inch reel).


Scope and Content Note

Extent: Four 1/4-inch reel to reel tapes (7-inch reel) in one box.

Physical Description: Reel to reel tapes are in a fair condition because some tape rounds are damaged.

Dates: No dates.

Subjects: Unidentified.

Related Material: None


Administrative Information

Restrictions: Some materials in this collection may be restricted under copyright. The Archives provides access to these items for the purpose of research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of Faire Use, outlined in section 107 of copyright law. User assumes all responsibility for obtaining permission for reproduction or use.

Preferred Citation: [item title/description], [date]; Don Francis Collection; Wartburg College Archives, Waverly, Iowa.

Acquisition Information: Donation.

Processing Information: Processing completed by L. A. on 10/01/2018


Biographical Sketch

History: Donald F. (Red) Blanchard was born in Pittsville, Wisconsin on July 24, 1914. He was known for being a successful comedian and Honorary Mayor of Pittsville, Wisconsin. When he was young he learned how to play the guitar, banjo, mandolin, etc. and those were the first steps of him becoming successful later. Blanchard got his inspiration from The WLS National Barn Dance, particularly by the old Blue Yodeler Jimmie Rodgers and Bradley Kincaid. His dream when he was young was to become a cowboy singer, which pushed him into learning cowboy rope tricks that he later used on stage and his reputation got around the town. Blanchard’s first appearance was on The National Barn Dance on WLS Chicago. For several years he worked with the Sage Riders where he became friendly with Dolph Hewitt. Most of Blanchet’s career focused around the Barn Dance, but he also played in some stations in Wisconsin and Iowa. After the Barn Dance show closed in 1969, Blanchet along with Hewitt went into business and ownership of some radio stations. Blanchard also wrote songs and made recordings for Kahill, Kapp, Columbia, Dot Records and a duet on “Oklahoma Hills” with Hewitt.


Hill – Billy Music dawt com, Donald (Red) Blanchard.

Baughman, Kenneth E., “THE WLS NATIONAL BARN DANCE."

ALLMUSIC, “Red Blanchard Biography."


Series Description

  1. Broadcast Recordings


Broadcast Recordings:

  • Includes Audio recordings by Don Francis in the form of 1/4-inch reel-to-reel tapes (7-inch reel).
  • 4 contents in 1 box.
  • Unarranged.

Container Listing





¼” reel


Don Francis


¼” reel


1st Cut Fritz Roblick


¼” reel


No Title


¼” reel


No Title



Other Finding Aids                  


See Also


For more information, contact:

Kay Grigsby, MSLIS
Grant Price Endowed Archivist
(319) 352-8457




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Vogel Library, Wartburg College   |   100 Wartburg Blvd, Waverly, IA, 50677 |   Phone: 319-352-8500   | Email: