The "Old Time Radio Variety Hour" is a Christmas program performed to a live audience on Sat.
Dec. 10 at Wyoming Seventh Day Adventist Church on 44th St SW .
The production is courtesy of Strong Tower Radio affiliate WNHG-FM (89.7) which signed on
locally last summer as part of the Strong Tower network. The event offers a peek behind the
curtain of the medium's "golden era."
"You can see how radio was produced in the old days with live music and radio drama with
sound effects," said Tom Mejeur, Strong Tower production and marketing director.
Special musical guest is the Strong Tower Radio Quartet, a foursome which specializes in gospel
acapella and barbershop harmonies. The group has recorded several CDs (the latest, "Are You
Ready?) and has a repertoire of Christmas music which will be featured at Saturday's
Area music artists and groups are also on the bill, including Testify, the Wyoming church's mens' octet which sings throughout West Michigan. A group of students from Grand Rapids Adventist Academy will also perform. "It's a real variety show with plenty of Christmas music," Mejeur noted.
Although not performed live on the air, the program will be recorded for broadcast on a later
date. "But because it's live, last minute things always come up," Mejeur said of the uncertainty
when the "on air" light signals.
A RADIO PRESENCE
The 11-station Strong Tower network includes some programs of old, including rebroadcasts of
"Night Sounds with Bill Pearce" which aired on Christian radio many years ago. "Ranger Bill," a
half hour radio serial targeted for kids, has roots that go back to the 1950s. There's also a
children's story hour.
There are also Bible study, teaching and interview programs and music interspersed during their
24 hour broadcast day.
Just this year Mejeur began his duties with Strong Tower Radio, which started in 2009 with a
single station in Cadillac, Mich. "I was impressed with the mix of programs, which includes
racial and ethnic diversity touching real issues," he said.
The network has other Michigan outlets in Lansing, Alpena, Harrison, Mio, Gladwin, several in
the Upper Peninsula, and one in Illinois.
(See a program schedule at the network website,)
Mejeur says the Grand Rapids station (which takes its WNHG call letters from the phrase "Near
to the Heart of God) hopes to develop locally produced programs as fund raising and opportunities allow.
The Strong Tower Radio Quartet performed in Holland last June at a fundraising concert which
helped launch the new Grand Rapids-based 89.7 FM frequency. Now they're back for a
Christmas-themed program to eventually be aired on the new station.
"It's like the old radio variety programs with talent across the spectrum – from kids to the 'well-
seasoned' performers," said Mejeur of the special presentation.
*"Old Time Radio Variety Hour" a Christmas program presented live featuring the Strong Tower
Radio Quartet, a radio drama and other special guests. Produced by Strong Tower Radio,
*6 p.m. Sat. Dec. 10
*Wyoming Seventh Day Adventist Church, 2580 44th St. SW, Wyoming
*Admission: Free, donations will be received. Registration is optional online or for
more info call
877-278-5512 or visit www.strongtowerradio.org.