Media Life: Breningers mark longevity milestone with “Old Radio Theater” special

25 years for KVMR program; Variety at Thunder Valley venue; New Riders of Purple Sage no strangers to area
By: Gus Thomson, Journal
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Dave Breninger, Placer County Water Agency’s general manager, is marking 25 years on the air with Old Radio Theater this Sunday. It’s the astounding 937th broadcast of a show that started on Grass Valley’s KNCO and eventually found a long-term home at community supported KVMR in Nevada City 20 years ago. Breninger and his wife, retired school principal Linda Breninger, record Old Radio Theater in their home studio in Roseville, utilizing the thousands of recordings of vintage shows and stars amassed over the years. Where else would you be able to hear a 1940s Christmas broadcast of the Grass Valley Cornish Carol Choir, a “This is London” World War II program by Edward R. Murrow or a “Fireside Chat” by President Franklin Roosevelt mixed in with “theater for the mind” radio plays from the Golden Age of Radio? The answer would be nowhere else in this area. The Oct. 31 anniversary program will be marked with a special documentary narrated by the Breningers entitled “Old Radio Programs Never Die.” It’s a tribute to the golden voices of radio’s distant past. In keeping with the Halloween spirit, “Old Radio Theater” will also dust off “Three Skeleton Key,” a chiller from a 1949 broadcast of “Escape.” The fun and the memories roll in a special two-hour broadcast starting at 7 p.m. Sunday on your dial at 89.5 FM. Casino readies for Winter A little outside the Media Life bailiwick but worth a pre-Halloween shout-out, Edgar Winter will make a timely appearance at the Thunder Valley Casino-Resort on Saturday. Winter’s last time in Placer County was an Auburn one, with a well-received headliner’s role at the BBQ & Blues music fest at the fairgrounds. The man behind the instrumental hit “Frankenstein” is ranked near the top of the Media Life list of favorite interviews. Winter took the time before the 2005 summertime BBQ & Blues to talk about his hits and his groundbreaking synthesizer use. Thunder Valley’s new concert venue has expanded the area’s entertainment options in a big way, with plenty of variety across a wide demographic. Winter’s Halloween Eve show will be followed by appearances at the Roseville-area venue by Debbie Reynolds (Nov. 7), Filipino singing star Lani Misalucha (Nov. 27), Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Dec. 4) and Tony Orlando (Dec. 21). Purple pantheon Closer to home, Auburn concert impresario Scott Holbrook reminds that the New Riders of the Purple Sage are on for an Auburn Event Center gig Nov. 27 and have a song in their pantheon with a local connection. It’s “Sutter’s Mill,” an album cut from the Bay Area band’s 1972 album “Gypsy Cowboy” that pays homage to the place where gold was first discovered in California – 162 years ago and about a dozen miles from Auburn. The band’s “Sutter’s Mill” is not to be confused with Dan Fogelberg’s “Sutter’s Mill,” a bluegrass-tinged tune written for the 1990 CD “High Country Snows.” The New Riders lineup includes original members Buddy Cage and David Nelson. Nelson’s continued presence brings up another connection to Auburn. Local resident Pete Grant will be playing slide guitar for opening act the Bob Woods Band. Nelson, founding guitarist with NRPS, is a childhood friend of Grant and the two shared the same stage often during the 1960s. More information on the concert can be had at