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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.

Feb 23, 2024

On this episode of Tent Show Radio, legendary Southern Rock band The Ozark Mountain Daredevils perform a career spanning set during their thrilling return to the Big Top stage.

One of Southern rock’s more inventive exponents, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils have always been indefinable in terms of music genres, producing sounds of country-rock and electric bluegrass all on the same record, writing lyrics both whimsical and poetic, and singing harmonies that send shivers up your spine. The Daredevils were formed in 1971 by the songwriting team of John Dillon, Randle Chowning, Larry Lee, and Steve Cash; with Michael "Supe" Granda and Buddy Brayfield completing the line-up.

When the band emerged with their self-titled debut in 1973, they evoked not only the spirit of the age but the place from which they sprang: Springfield, Missouri, and the Ozarks—a place of pop, rock, country, mountain music, and much more. The critically acclaimed record, recorded in London under the direction of producer Glyn Johns, contained the US Top 30 single "If You Wanna Get To Heaven", while a second success, "Jackie Blue', which reached #3, came from the band's follow-up collection, “It'll Shine When It Shines.” Recorded at Randle Chowning's ranch, these records achieved “gold” status and showcased the group’s strong harmonies and intuitive musicianship.

Following a hiatus, the Daredevils were reactivated in the late 1980’s by Dillon, Cash and Granda. The resulting album, “Modern History” found the band with a new lease on life as they carried on into the new millennium with a new line-up featuring Dillon, Cash, Granda, Ron Gremp (drums) and Bill Brown (guitar/vocals). In the years that followed, the Daredevils released a number of major label and independent record label recordings, traveled millions of miles performing throughout North America and Europe, and continued to grow and maintain a loyal and dedicated fan base throughout the world.

Now more than 50 years since their founding, their songs are still regularly played on Classic Radio stations. With two of the original co-founders still on board, John Dillon (guitar, mandolin, vocals) & Michael "Supe" Granda (bass, vocals), their current lineup of talented musicians includes Ron Gremp (drums), Ruell Chappell (vocals, percussion), Bill Jones (woodwinds, horns), Dave Painter (lead guitar), Nick Sibley (harmonica, guitar, vocals), Kelly Brown (keyboard), and Molly Healey (fiddle). With their signature sound and style remaining intact and vibrant, they continue to delight Dareheads with their live performances.



Michael Perry - Host

Phillip Anich - Announcer
Keenan McIntyre - Engineer
Gina Nagro - Marketing Support



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