Saturday I’m kicking off season four of the The Huckleberry Radio Hour, an old-time radio show broadcast live on 1470AM-WFNT from the historic Colwell Opera House at Genesee County Parks Crossroads Village.
Michigan’s only regularly-scheduled live radio variety show will open the season June 18 with special guest artist singer/songwriter Claudia Schmidt, along with regulars Neil Woodward, the Flint Jubilee Quartet, Gary Weisenberg and the Huckleberry Players. The show is hosted, written and produced by Michael J. Thorp.
The show is Michigan and Great Lakes centric and uses my book to tell our story. The idea for my next book, “The Legend of the Abominable Huckleberry”, came from the show, and its location; Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad. You can see the cover here on this site.
The July 16 show will feature a Flint-area favorite singer/songwriter/humorist, Dan Hall. On November 26, the show will be part of the opening of the annual month-long celebration Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic, and will feature the popular Irish folk band Finvara’s Wren.
The Huckleberry Radio Hour features the Huckleberry Players performing our soap opera, As the Village Turns, a village history lesson presented by the Village schoolmarm, and some of Michigan’s best musicians. The sound effects, in the tradition of old-time radio, are made by local actor and director, Jon Coggins.
Michigan’s versatile troubadour, Neil Woodward, pairs with keyboard and bass player Gary Weisenberg to form the Huckleberry Pickers, who perform at each show.
The Huckleberry Radio Hour also spotlights the remarkable four-part harmonies of the Flint Institute of Music’s Flint Jubilee Quartet, under the direction of Sylvia Pittman.
The Huckleberry Radio Hour begins with a pre-show at 6:30 p.m. when the opera house audience members learn how they can participate and make the “live” audience lively. The show starts at 7 p.m.
“When you think of the Huckleberry Radio Hour, think of those classic radio shows such as the Grand Ole Opry, the Jack Benny Program, and A Prairie Home Companion,” says Thorp. “The fun difference is that this show is all about Michigan.”
For tickets to be in the opera house audience go to www.geneseecountyparks.org.