Statewide Radio Variety Show Coming Live to Wishek, ND on April 9th

March 7, 2011

Fargo production company Prairie Airwaves has announced that the monthly radio program Dakota Air: The Radio Show will be performed to a live audience in Wishek at the Wishek Civic Center on Saturday, April 9th, 2011 at 7:30 p.m., and recorded for broadcast throughout the month on the statewide Prairie Public Broadcasting radio network.

Local performers and celebrities will join the Dakota Air cast to deliver a unique variety show that will highlight the talent and history of Wishek and McIntosh County.

Dakota Air: The Radio Show follows an old-fashioned radio variety format and is led by host and executive producer Merrill Piepkorn. Piepkorn said, “Had I not had the good fortune of marrying a beautiful Wishek girl (Connie Meidinger), I wouldn’t have met all the other great people from Wishek, learned about the colorful German-Russian culture or enjoyed homemade knoephla soup or Wishek sausage! I’m thrilled to bring this wonderful show to town to celebrate the culture and people who’ve contributed so much to our state.”

Each monthly show features music by The Radio Stars—a band introduced to the nation during Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” show in Bismarck in 2009—as well as original comedy by professional acting company “The Dakota Airheads” under the creative direction of humorist and writer Steve Stark.

Guest performers for the Wishek show include the Wishek High School Concert Choir; the St. Andrew’s Church Centennial Choir made up of the grandchildren of homesteading pioneers mirroring a sound and style that survived a 200 year migration from Germany to Russia to Dakota Territory; singer, actress and Ashley, ND native, Vicki Melchior; teen sensation singer and yodeler, Kristi Goldade; and a surprise accordion player.

In addition, the Wishek show will feature UND retired faculty member, author and humanities scholar Ronald J. Vossler, who will share his expertise about “Dakota Germans,” specifically Germans from Russia such as those who helped pioneer Wishek and the surrounding communities. Attendees can browse a display to learn more about the renowned Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at the NDSU Libraries, directed by NDSU bibliographer Michael Miller. The April show will also include bits of fascinating historical tidbits about the greater region surrounding Wishek.

Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door (all general admission), and are available through the Wishek Hospital and Clinics Foundation, 1007 4th Avenue South in Wishek (701-452-3156 or A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Wishek Hospital and Clinics Association Foundation.

The mission of Dakota Air: The Radio Show is to provide a high-quality, live radio show that entertains, educates and inspires audiences by featuring talent from across the region while showcasing a bit of culture and history about the location from which each show originates. In addition to Prairie Public’s radio broadcasts, the shows will also be available worldwide for playback at any time online at

Corporate sponsors are Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Farmers Union of North Dakota and Gate City Bank. Prairie Public is the radio-broadcast partner.

Dakota Air: The Radio Show takes place live monthly at locations across North Dakota, and the first season will run through June 4th, 2011. See for live and broadcast schedules. For more Wishek show information, contact the Wishek Hospital and Clinics Association Foundation at (701) 452-3156.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller