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John Lamb, Published January 16 2013

Men’s chorus highlights songs from classic programming

FARGO – Television is all too often dismissed as the boob tube or the idiot box, but there’s more to it than just what is on the screen.

There’s also what comes out of the speakers.

Great Plains Harmony Men’s Chorus pays tribute to the golden age (and sounds) of the small screen this weekend with “TV Land.”

The shows highlight some of the most memorable songs from classic programming when TV shows had actual songs with lyrics, not just jingles or wordless snippets.

Some tunes served to set up the show. The theme to “Gilligan’s Island” served as the exposition, setting up the backstory for the castaways. Ditto for “The Brady Bunch.”

Then there are the songs to which we may recognize the melody but never even knew there were words. Andy Griffith singing his show’s theme, “Fishin’ Hole,” adds a different jazz twist to the song.

“I just think people like the retro shows as a lot of us grew up watched those,” says Jeff Irwin, of Great Plains Harmony Men’s Chorus. “A lot of those seem more memorable than the shows out there today.”

Irwin and other members of the group will dress as characters from classic shows including “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Addams Family” and even the cartoon “The Flintstones.” Between numbers they’ll re-enact favorite skits from the programs.

But wait, there’s more. The concerts will be emceed by Steve Poitras, who strings together all of the staged bits.

Irwin says a silent auction will also be held to help fund a trip for the group to a Barbershop Harmony Society competition in Toronto. He says it is only the second time in the group’s 60-year career it has qualified.

So get out and tune in this weekend to see what all the buzz is about.

If you go

What: Great Plains Harmony Men’s Chorus presents “TV Land”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: The Stage at Island Park, 333 4th St. S., Fargo

Info: Tickets from $8 to $15. (701) 235-6778.

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533