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First broadcast in 1994, Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour radio program showcasing the best live recordings from acclaimed music acts and entertainers who grace the Big Top Chautauqua stage each summer in beautiful Bayfield, WI. In the program's nearly 30 year history it has featured artists like Johnny Cash, B.B King, Brandi Carlile, Willie Nelson, Don McLean, and many more. Hosted by celebrated New York Times best-selling author Michael Perry-who weaves stories and humor throughout each episode - Tent Show Radio features performances from renowned national & regional artists, with regular appearances featuring Big Top’s own unique brand of shows that feature songs and stories performed by its acclaimed house band, The Blue Canvas Orchestra.


Tent Show Radio is independently produced by Big Top Chautauqua, a non-profit performing arts organization, with a mission to present performances and events that celebrate history and the environment - along with their annual summer concert series - nestled in the woods on the shores of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands.

Jul 4, 2020

About This Episode

About This Episode Tonight the Big Top Chautauqua makes way for two women of power…the big note brassy blues of Joyanne Parker, and the retro-current all-her-own-sounds of Nicole Atkins.

Armed with a guitar and a voice that manages to sound all bluesy and brokenhearted and yet blasts like a locomotive wrapped in brass, Joyann Parker sounds above all like she sings from deep in the soul, wherever it resides.

Born in New Jersey, and her earliest musical influences came from her parents record stash—The Ronettes, Johnny Cash, The Beach Boys, Cass Elliott—but since then she has built a repertoire arising from other geographies and other genres over a career that has seen her develop a distinctive voice blending everything from belters to ballads. A self-starter from the day she started teaching her self to play guitar at the age of 13, she’s a testament to time, talent and tenacity, a performer who digs deep within to create songs of strength and vulnerability, please welcome Nicole Atkins.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at

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