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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Memorial Service Saturday For 'Midwestern Hayride' Star Judy Perkins

Mike Martini

Judy Perkins (Sinclair), the last of the original "Midwestern Hayride" stars, will be remembered at a memorial service 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Maple Knoll Village Chapel, 11100 Springfield Pike, Springdale.

Perkins died Sept. 9 at 92.

She was one of WLWT-TV's first big stars, coming here from Nashville in 1948 months after Cincinnati's first TV station began broadcasting. She performed on the weekly "Midwestern Hayride" country music show when it aired nationwide on NBC in the summer of 1951, and most summers through the 1950s.

She also co-hosted WLWT-TV's "Morning Matinee" in 1952 with Ernie Lee.

As I wrote on Sept. 13,the Michigan native debuted on Chicago's WLS-AM talent show at age 16. She performed with Eddie Arnold, Cowboy Copas, Minnie Pearl, Bradley Kinkaid, Little Jimmy Dickens, Fiddlin' Red Herron, Ralph Ballard and other major country stars in the 1940s and '50s. She accompanied herself on guitar and sang hymns, ballads, spirituals and hillbilly music.

Before coming to WLW, she worked briefly at WKRC-AM in the 1940s, and performed on radio stations in Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis.

Speaking at the memorial service will be broadcasting historian Mike Martini, president of the Media Heritageradio/TV archives and a host/producer at Maple Knoll's WMKV-FM who frequently interviewed Perkins; and her nephew, Mike Kyser.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.