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Blanchard, Tom



Tom Blanchard was born in Gardiner, Maine, attended Bates College, and the Boston Lyceum School. Following the death of his first wife, he met Ruth Moore in 1921 in Blair, Nebraska, where he appeared on the Chautauqua circuit as a member of the New England Male Quartet. Ruth, born in Omaha, Nebraska, attended Dana College, Trinity Seminary, and Nebraska Wesleyan, followed by Boston Lyceum School where she studied music. They were married in 1923. In 1925, Tom and Ruth formed a duo and appeared with the Redpath and Dominion Chautauquas, where they performed unaccompanied duets, whistling duets, readings, sketches, and impersonations. After two years, Tom became a superintendent on the Gulf Coast Circuit. Beginning in 1927, they performed for radio stations in Nebraska and Iowa. Upon moving to Chicago in 1931, Tom had his own radio show on WGN, The Whistler and His Dog and later moved to network programs, with Ruth appearing with him on some of the shows. The year 1942 found them returning to Blair, where both taught school. In 1953 they moved to Alaska for two years, then returned to Blair. Tom became superintendent of the Washington County Schools in Nebraska in 1956.

KHodson 2006

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Tom and Ruth Blanchard Chautauqua Collection

Identifier: MsC0150.12

Chautauqua and radio performers. Correspondence, clippings, photographs, and ephemera.

Dates: 1907-1982; Majority of material found in 1920-1940