Many friends and fans filled a tent off Radio Road to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Ripon’s hometown radio station. They enjoyed listening to the music of the Tuba Dan Band as well as Johnnie Diamond and Kenny B. Guests ate birthday cake and participated in a diamond giveaway.
Many friends and fans filled a tent off Radio Road to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Ripon’s hometown radio station. They enjoyed listening to the music of the Tuba Dan Band as well as Johnnie Diamond and Kenny B. Guests ate birthday cake and participated in a diamond giveaway.

   Whether you know it as “AM 1600,” “WRPN” or “WCWC,” Ripon’s radio station proved last week it has many faithful listeners as it celebrated its 60th anniversary.

   The birthday bash off Radio Road featured music by the Tuba Dan band, free cake and beer, retro tunes by Johnnie Diamond and Kenny B, a 60th-anniversary diamond giveaway and, perhaps, a featured attraction, the staff — past and present — who have kept the radio station on the air since Arlow Bice created it 60 years ago.

   Among those returning to their audio alma mater were 1960s announcers Paul Vegas (Veleke) of Ripon, Bob Bandy (Hendee) of Berlin and Mike Engler of Chilton.

   Tuba Dan Jerabek, whose Saturday morning “Tuba Dan Polka Show” and Sunday morning gospel shows have been weekend mainstays for many years, performed with wife Lila on drums, son Danny on accordion and daughter-in-law Michelle on keyboards and saxophone.

   Station owner Tom Boysen rented a tent for guests to sit under while listening to the music. It was full, proving that for 60 years WRPN has sustained its legion of well wishers.

For more photos from the event, see the Sept. 21, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.