CALUMET -- The Red Metal Radio Show will take to the airwaves for the fifth straight year with a live broadcast on K-Bear, WHKB-FM, 102.3, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, from the historic Calumet Theatre. The show, which is part of Main Street Calumet’s Heritage Days, has always focused on some aspect of local history or culture, and this year takes on the topic of the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike.
Red Metal Radio Show co-hosts Oren Tikkanen and Kris Kyro Johnson will offer a dramatic trip into the past with radio "coverage" of the 1913-14 Copper Miners' Strike at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Aug. 15, in the Calumet Theatre. Here -- in the stage performance of the show at the theatre during Finn Fest on June 20, 2013 -- they tell the story of the strike with the help of local actors and actual journalists Dick Storm and Todd Van Dyke. The show will be broadcast on K-Bear, WHKB-FM, 102.3 and streamed live on the K-Bear Web site. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)
The show’s writer, producer, and host is Oren Tikkanen, who says that this year’s topic is a dramatic departure from previous shows.
"We’ve usually taken a nostalgic, light-hearted approach to looking back at the boom times of the Copper Country," Tikkanen notes, "but there’s nothing light-hearted about the Copper Strike. It was deadly serious, and we take it seriously. But it’s a great story and it’s our story and we are glad to be telling it."
As usual, the Red Metal Radio Show uses "the magic of radio" to carry the listener into the past through the sounds and voices of bygone days. Tikkanen says that the format of this program is "radio news coverage" of the Strike.
"We are fortunate that we have two real-life radio newsmen with us," Tikkanen adds. "When you hear Dick Storm and Todd Van Dyke interviewing James MacNaughton from Calumet and Hecla, and Big Annie Clemenc from the union, it gives a sense of immediacy to these events from 100 years ago.”
Tikkanen reports that the show has been expanded for this year because of the topic: "We’ve gone to a two-hour format so that we can cover some of the most important events and issues in the Strike story -- and even then, we’ve had to cut out a great deal. We hope our show will stimulate people to read the history books and delve into the archives and find the important points that we may have missed."
The public is encouraged to be part of the audience at the Calumet Theatre, and ticket information is available at 337-2610.
"We already performed the show for Finnfest USA in June as a stage presentation," Tikkanen explains, "and the audience feedback was very positive. People felt like they were really there in 1913 listening to the news, and they said our reporting was fair and balanced."
Since this is a live radio broadcast, audience members are requested to be in their seats by 6:50 p.m. The show will be streamed live on the K-Bear website for those who are outside the broadcast range.