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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.

Sep 24, 2022

Relive an electric night under the tent in this special two-part episode of Tent Show Radio, featuring Grammy award-winning country-rock band The Mavericks. 

Founded in 1989 in Miami, Florida, The Mavericks - revered for their unique sound that fuses Tex-Mex, neotraditional country, Latin, and rockabilly influences - became one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful groups of the early 1990s with culture-crossing hits like “What A Crying Shame” and “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.” They conquered Europe with their feel-good party classic ‘Dance The Night Away’ which went on to sell 400,000 copies in the United Kingdom. After taking a hiatus, the group reunited in 2012, and re-establish themselves as one of the most exciting and joyfully entertaining touring acts on the planet. The Mavericks are true American originals, heirs to the great songwriting traditions of Cuba and Miami, of Nashville and San Antonio and Memphis.

This episode features recordings from The Mavericks' 2021 performance on the Big Top stage as play songs from across their iconic career.