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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.

May 2, 2024

On this episode of Tent Show Radio, experience the show that started it all as Big Top's famed house band the Blue Canvas Orchestra present Riding The Wind.

Created in 1985 by Warren Nelson and Betty Ferris, “Riding The Wind” was the first show performed on the Big Top Stage and 38 years later it remains a season highlight.

Ride the winds of time as you experience "illuminated musical history" of Bayfield and the Island Environs, with secrets of Red Cliff and Old LaPointe. Original music, evocative story-telling, and spectacular visuals lead you through a journey with lighthouse keepers, the Ojibwe, dreamers and schemers, voyageurs, fishermen, and more. Warren Nelson's original songs from this show have become classics. Come see it with friends for the first time or as so many have done, see and hear it again and again and again. Riding the Wind never loses its magic.




Michael Perry - Host
Phillip Anich - Announcer
Matt Jugeinhemer - Engineer
Gina Nagro - Marketing Support




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