Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Old-time radio takes the stage

Great Northern Radio Show opens season at Fortune Bay

Jodi Summit
Posted 9/28/16

TOWER- The Great Northern Radio Show kicked off its sixth season with a live show broadcast from the Fortune Bay Ballroom on Saturday, Sept. 24.

In front of a live audience, the show, a …

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Old-time radio takes the stage

Great Northern Radio Show opens season at Fortune Bay

Posted

TOWER- The Great Northern Radio Show kicked off its sixth season with a live show broadcast from the Fortune Bay Ballroom on Saturday, Sept. 24.

In front of a live audience, the show, a collaboration between writer/teacher Aaron Brown and Northern Community Radio KAXE/KBXE, brings the magic of live radio to audiences throughout northern Minnesota.

“When I was a kid, I used to make up shows and record them on cassette tape,” Brown told the audience before taking the show live.

The show featured a mix of humorous radio skits complete with sound effects, live music, and interludes that focused on Tower-Soudan’s past and future.

Brown told the live audience that his goal, and something he shared before each performance with all those who will be on the stage, is that one person, finding the show on the radio dial by chance, will have a smile brought to their face.

“We seek to bring joy,” he said. “And I hope that 75 percent of the time we are successful.”

The show’s programming is always grounded in its location- this time Tower-Soudan-Vermilion Reservation. Brown spoke about changes coming to the area, including the opening of the new state park campground and Lake Vermilion Cultural Center, the harbor project, and new medical/dental clinic and charter school.

He talked about the history of the Bois Forte Band on display at the Heritage Museum, and the fact that Bois Forte boasts more veterans per capita than any other community in the nation.

Mining for iron, and the more modern mining for neutrinos were a running theme. Al Lipke and Dr. Alec Habig, from the MINOS neutrino experiment, took to the stage, noting that 81 physicists have completed their PhD theses on the work in the lab. They noted that the lab space is currently empty, and a rotating series of skits had a hapless team of realtors trying to find the perfect buyer for the underground facility, on their new reality radio show called “Cave Hunters.”

Other skits featured Native American comic Rob Fairbanks, nicknamed the “Rez Reporter.”

Timberjay publisher Marshall Helmberger took to the stage to talk about changes coming to the Tower-Soudan area, with planned economic development.

Musical guests included the show’s new house band, Katie Houg and the Track Stars, Rich Mattson and the Northstars, and national recording artist and Bois Forte Band Member Keith Secola.

The show was also broadcast live on WKBFT Radio in Nett Lake, and was made possible with assistance from Brian Anderson and Fortune Bay Resort Casino, and funding from the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment.

The Great Northern Radio Show is a live radio variety show produced for 91.7 KAXE/90.5 KBXE, Northern Community Radio. The next show is set for Saturday, Nov. 12 at Lincoln Park Middle School in Duluth.

The show features music, sketches, performance and storytelling celebrating the talent and culture of northern Minnesota.

Our first show debuted Oct. 15, 2011, in Hibbing and has been on the road ever since. The show is written, produced and hosted by award-winning Minnesota author and KAXE commentator Aaron J. Brown in collaboration with dozens of talented musicians, performers and writers.

You can listen to a podcast of this show and past shows at http://greatnorthernradioshow.org/.

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