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'Golden Age of Radio' coming for free performance

At 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5, the Wadena Public Library will host a free performance of "The Golden Age of Radio" at the Wadena Memorial Auditorium.

"The Golden Age of Radio" is an entertaining, interactive performance by acclaimed vocalist Prudence Johnson and celebrated pianist Dan Chouinard of classic radio standards from the 1930s and 40s brought to life with iconic photos and stories from the era. Johnson and Chouinard are frequent guests on National Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion."

The program features such toe-tapping favorites as "A Tisket a Tasket" and "Accentuate The Positive." Audience members are invited to sing along with Johnson and Chouinard on such classics as "Singin' in the Rain" and the "Beer Barrel Polka." Getting "gussied up" in period-appropriate or vintage-inspired attire is encouraged.

"This show offers a fantastic opportunity for all generations to learn about the history of radio while enjoying an amazing performance by two extraordinary musicians," said Renee Frethem, Wadena Public Library branch manager. "A show like this would usually cost $50 to attend. We're thrilled to be able to offer it for free."

Prudence Johnson's career has taken her from honky-tonks to Carnegie Hall, from the theater stage to the Silver Screen, from the Midwest to the Middle East. With her roots in folk and country music, Prudence developed a passion for jazz and the work of the 20th century's great songwriters, and found the perfect collaborator in pianist Dan Chouinard.

Chouinard is a Minneapolis native who plays, tours and records regularly with an ever-expanding roster of musicians and writers. He created the acclaimed radio series "The Singer's Voice," which is broadcast live every Sunday night from the Dakota Jazz Club.

To reserve tickets or for more information, call the Wadena Public Library at (218) 631-2476.