CALUMET -- The Red Metal Radio Show (RMRS) will return to the stage of the Calumet Theatre and to Eagle Country Radio, WCUP-FM, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18, for a live broadcast of entertaining Copper Country history. This will be the third annual broadcast of the show. Once again it is one of several events in Main Street Calumet’s Heritage Days.*
Cast members of the 2010 Red Metal Radio Show are pictured here. At far left is Oren Tikkanen, producer and co-host, and at far right is announcer Dick Storm of Eagle Radio. (Keweenaw Now file photo)
Oren Tikkanen, producer and co-host of the RMRS, says that the 2011 show is called "The Keweenaw according to Mac" and is based on the book, Keweenaw Character, by the late local historian, storyteller, and park designer, David "Mac" Frimodig.
"We looked at Mac’s book, and fell in love with the way he brought out the human experience of living here in the Keweenaw in the old days," Tikkanen explains. "The Frimodig family kindly gave us permission to base the show on Mac’s book, and we have adapted parts of it for radio."
Kris Kyro Johnson -- co-writer of the show’s script, co-host of the program, and featured singer -- adds, "Mac covers many of the communities in the Copper Country and a lot of interesting people, and we had to narrow our choices down. We let Mac guide us to Centennial Heights, Ahmeek, and Gay -- and we learn about Johan Salmela’s accordion, Tootsie the Bear, the Ten-Dollar Baby, silent movies in Ahmeek, and Banjo Jim. We also find out about Francis Jacker, the lighthouse keeper and writer, (and) his Ojibwa wife, Ikwesins; and we hear how Nanabozho, the Ojibwa hero of many legends, gave the porcupine his quills. And much, much more."
Music for this edition of the RMRS will be performed live onstage by Bob Norden’s Parade Band, with Benjie Brotherton on trumpet, clarinetist Debra Zei, drummer Sherrie Pellegrini, Roger Laub on tuba, and Bob Norden on trombone. Dave Bezotte, the stage pianist, will sing a song based on Keweenaw history. Also, RMRS regulars Melissa Lewis and Doug Bacon will perform some songs from the days of old-time radio.
Those attending the live performance at the Calumet Theatre are asked to plan on arriving around 6:30 p.m., and no one will be admitted after 6:50 p.m.
"We go live on the air at 7 p.m.," says Tikkanen, "so we must have everyone in their seats. The musicians will performing starting at 6:30, so there is a bonus for those who come early."
Ticket information can be obtained by calling the Calumet Theatre at 337-2610.
The broadcast show can be heard simultaneously on WCUP-FM, 105.7.
* Click here to read about the 2011 Heritage Days celebration this week, Aug. 15-20.