Country Church of Hollywood was built as an actual reproduction of a
country church from the late 1800’s. It was located in beautiful a
park-like setting on a hill in the center of Hollywood at the corner of
Argyle and Yucca Streets, one block from
the famed corner of Hollywood and Vine. It was formally dedicated on
April 15, 1934.
The Country Church of Hollywood had its
beginnings as a religious radio broadcast and was founded by Dr.
William B. Hogg, an associate of Dr. Paul Rader. The program first
aired on radio station KFAC on January 2, 1933, a year before the
actual Country Church was built. On September 30, 1934 the program
began broadcasting coast to coast over the Columbia Broadcasting System
(CBS). After Dr. Hogg's death, January 14, 1937, the program was
continued by his widow, Virginia Hogg, known on the broadcast as
“Sister Sarah.” Airing of the program continued into the early 1960’s.
During its long run it was one of the most popular religious radio
programs on the air.
The broadcast format was a radio drama set
in the mythical rural community of “Goose Creek.” Dr. Hogg and his wife
played the roles of a country parson and his wife, Josiah and Sarah
Hopkins. "Meetin' Time” was highlighted with hymns and a message by the
participants in the
program included Rudy Atwood at the piano and
the Goose Creek Quartet, whose members over the years included Thurl
Ravenscroft, Bill Days, John Knox, Art Jaissle, Bill MacDougall, Herman
Hosier, Al Harlan, Jack Coleman, Dick Brown, John Lundberg and Ken
Brown. On October 3, 1937 Rudy Atwood and the Goose Creek Quartet
joined Dr. Charles E. Fuller’s nationwide broadcast where they also
became known as the Old Fashioned Revival Hour Quartet, and served in
both ministries for over twenty years.
Each year for decades Sister Sarah hosted
the Country Church radio program weekly and then on Sundays. She always
ended the broadcast with the same closing remarks.
The final service of the Country
Church of Hollywood was held on April 27th in 1997, after a 64 year
ministry known throughout the world. While this chapter of the Country
Church of Hollywood has ended, its influence continues on through
various publications and recordings, as well as in the hearts of all
whose lives were
touched by its ministry.
LIST OF PUBLICATIONS
(links are to downloadable files when available;
otherwise to information on Google Books, WorldCat or Amazon.com)
Here are some samples:
McDannell, editor (Princeton Univ. Press, 2001)
"Early Christian Radio and
Religious Nostalgia" by Philip Goff
AUDIO FILES and RECORDINGS:
- Excerpts from Little Country
Church of Hollywood radio
- Little Country Church of
Hollywood Radio Broadcasts (MP3 format) -
Each broadcast is approximately 15 minutes in duration.
- Thurl Ravenscroft
was the original bass singer for the Goose Creek Quartet on the "Little
Country Church of Hollywood" radio broadcast. He also
served as the narrator and played the role of "Elijah 'Lige' Gupton"
and "Grandpa Hortle" on the program. Thurl
later appeared on many other recording sessions. His
greatest claim to fame is for providing the voice for "Tony the Tiger"
on the TV commercials for Kellogg's cereals.