UPDATE: I watched The Bobby Aro story on WDSE last night and it was well worth it. If you were a Bobby Aro fan in the day you’ll be amazed at the memories, but even if you’re younger, like me, you’ll hear a story about a radio star with a compelling personal story who did amazing work smack dab in the middle of the woods of northern Minnesota. The show’s anchor leg includes video of Bobby Aro singing “Highway #7″ in Finland, backed by a 1980-vintage urban cowboy band. It is absolutely triumphant.
You can catch the replays Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. on 2ndChance (the station’s digital broadcast alternative) and Sunday, Dec. 8, at 5:30 p.m. on PBS North. I strongly encourage you to do so. I see they are also offering the video and Bobby Aro CDs as a premium for pledging your support to WDSE.
ORGINAL POST: Bobby Aro, the great Finnish polka star from northern Minnesota’s Iron Range, will be celebrated on a special program tonight airing on WDSE-PBS North at 7 p.m. (Channel 8 in the Duluth TV market).
The Bobby Aro Story reflects on the famed 1950-90’s Northern Minnesota disc jockey, singer/songwriter and entertainer who put St. Louis County’s Hwy #7 on the map. Aro’s Finn-glish novelty songs are well known throughout the Finnish communities of the US and Canada.
Having grown up on St. Louis County Highway 7, now known as the Bobby Aro Memorial Highway, this story hits home for me. Aro’s son Casey and his wife Lyn looked out for me as a kid. Lyn was my high school speech coach and Casey’s been on my radio show since.
The Finnish immigrant experience on northern Minnesota’s Iron Range is a big part of our history, and thus American history. Bobby Aro was the face and voice of that experience.
The Hibbing Daily Tribune has more in today’s edition.