Retired Navy Admiral Hosts Vaudevillian Variety Show to support Whidbey’s public radio station

Posted in More Stories, Music, Theater and Dance

March 26, 2014

What does Rear Admiral Ret. Bill McDaniel have in common with 1) a towering Texan/Québécois singing cowboy who yodels, 2) a classically-trained Soprano 3) circus performers, 4) six local, women entrepreneurs and 5) a local, community-run, public radio station?

They are all putting on a fantastic. family-friendly Vaudevillian Variety show in Oak Harbor from  2:30 to 4:30 p.m. this Sunday, March 30 at Oak Harbor High School.

McDaniel is working with ‘Vaudeville’ producer Mary Rose Anderson of Coupeville and director Annie Zeller Horton of Greenbank. Together they are spearheading the variety show matinee to raise funds to pay musical licensing fees and studio rent for Whidbey Air public radio.

"Recipe for Disaster" performers get ready for the show (photo credit John Pendleton)

“Recipe for Disaster” performers Matt Hoar and Siobhan Wright (photo credit John Pendleton)

“Working with the variety show is not just fun and exiciting, but also a meaningful effort; the internet station provides a connection close to home for the sailors and officers who are deployed all over the world,” said McDaniel, who also joined the Whidbey Air Board of Directors last Spring.

The performers at the Vaudeville show will be the following:  singer/songwriter Karin Blaine of Clinton; musical duo “The Muse and eye” (Russell Clepper and Sarah Dial Primrose of Langley); belly dancer Gwendolyn Sipes of Freeland;  the dynamo music teacher from Oak Harbor High School, Darren McCoy of Oak Harbor;  accordion player David Locke of Freeland; classically-trained soprano Meredith Ellen Reichmann of Oak Harbor, singer/songwriter Lowell Sipes of Freeland, Honky Tonk County Classics Crooner Jack Hubbart of Oak Harbor; circus performers “Recipe for Disaster” (Matt Hoar of Freeland and Siobhan Wright of Langely) and actress/singer/Vaudevillian vamp Allenda Jenkins of Oak Harbor.

Allende Jenkins (photo courtesy Vaudeville show)

Allende Jenkins (photo courtesy Vaudeville show)

Tickets to the “Whidbey Air Public Radio’s ‘Isle of the Arts’ Visits Vaudeville” variety show are $10 for adults and $1 for kids 15-years-old and under. Concessions and fabulous door prizes, donated from businesses throughout Whibey Island, will be offered also.

“We want all ages—young and old—to celebrate Whidbey Island, which is why we made the tickets affordable,” said Kathy Baxter of Coupeville who is Chair of the Board .

“Hopefully, those who can afford to donate more to the radio station will do so, but it’s important to price the tickets so everyone can come and join in the fun this Sunday,” says Baxter.

“We want Whidbey Air Public Radio to build a strong community from Clinton to Deception Pass, and that’s what we want this Vaudeville variety show to do, too,” Baxter says.

Gwendolyn Sipes (photo courtesy of Vaudeville)

Gwendolyn Sipes (photo courtesy of Vaudeville)

Getting behind this spectacular event are six-women-owned businesses as sponsors:  Sue Taves and Jan Shannon of Whidbey Life Magazine in Langley, Avi Rostov of Click Music in Oak Harbor, Sarah Richards of Lavender Wind Store in Coupeville, Janet Burchfield of Front Street Realty in Coupeville and Amy Carpenter of AAC Design of Coupeville.

In support of women entrepreneurs on Whidbey Island during March—Women’s History Month, the Whidbey Weekly shopper is also sponsoring the variety show.  In addition, John Pendleton of Pendleton Imaging in Oak Harbor and Angela Mariti Newton of Coupecakes in Coupeville are receiving honory mention for their donations in-kind.

Whidbey Air Public Radio, based in Coupeville, streams radio programming over the internet and is produced and hosted by local volunteer talent from Clinton to Deception Pass. “Its longest running show is a talk show that showcases the “depth and breath of the island’s artistic community,” said Board member and  “Isle of the Arts” co-host Anderson.

Karin Blaine (photo courtesy of Vaudeville)

Karin Blaine (photo courtesy of Vaudeville)

“As an internet radio station, our station’s mission is to bring the sounds, colors, and flavors of the Whidbey Island area to the world,” said Anderson’s talk show cohort, Horton of Greenbank.

“Whidbey Air Public Radio is still kind of a fledgling operation. While it’s entirely volunteer-run, this community radio station boasts both a wide variety of shows and listeners, local, domestic and abroad,” said Horton, who is also a member of the Board of Directors.

The Muse & the Eye (photo courtesy of Vaudeville)

The Muse & the Eye (photo courtesy of Vaudeville)

“Isle of the Arts” specifically showcases artists, writers, musicians, actors, dancers, culinary artists—even circus performers and local vintners. It streams live on Mondays at 1 p.m. PST and is rebroadcast the following week  on Tuesday morning through early Monday morning. Finally, it is posted on the as a podcast.

“In the same spirit that the show ‘Isle of the Arts’ provides a venue for the talent from the Whidbey Island area, this fundraiser variety show will do the very same thing,” said producer Anderson.

“We want to ‘wow’ people who come to the Vaudeville show with just how rich the talent pool of performers is right here in our own backyard,”  said Horton.

“In addition, Locke on his accordion will be acting as the ‘Doc Severinson’ to Rear Admiral McDaniel’s ‘Johnny Carson’,” said Horton. “Together the two—the emcee and his sidekick—will provide entertaining distractions between the acts.”

Gwen Samuelson of Coupeville, a member of the Board, said, “Whidbey AIR has listeners who have made themselves known in Egypt, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, England, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Germany and France. And that’s just to name a few.  Plus our internet station has an audienceacross the United States. So we’re going to record this Vaudeville show and bring it to the world!”

“Whidbey Air is proud to have locally generated content, produced and hosted by Whidbey Island residents for the enjoyment of our island communities, as well as islanders serving and living abroad,” adds Baxter. “It’s Whidbey to the World,” she notes, repeating the station’s slogan.

Listeners can contact the radio station with their questions and comments by going to “contact us” on the website ( or by ‘liking’ the station’s Facebook page: “Whidbey Air Public Radio” and then posting messages there.

Tickets for the Sunday Vaudeville Variety Show are being sold both in advance and at the door.  Advance tickets are available in Oak Harbor at  Click Music on 7th Avenue. In Coupeville, they can be purchased at Lavender Wind store on Coveland and Linds Drugs on Main Street. In Greenbank, advance tickets can be purchased at the Greenbank Farms Cheese Store at Greenbank Farms. In Langely, they are available at Moonraker Books on 209 1st St.

NOTE:  SPECIAL ACCESS AND SEATING is available to elderly and disabled; please call or text the producer in advance at 515-451-3749 (cell). Or just arrive no less than 45 minutes in advance.

For more information about Whidbey Air Public Radio’s ‘Isle of the Arts’ Visits Vaudeville variety show”, call or text Producer Mary Rose Anderson at 515-451-3749 or email

(Pictured at the top: Rear Admiral (ret.) Bill McDaniel in uniform (photo courtesy of Vaudeville))

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