A quarter century of Saturday Night Country ... Live!

Musicians perform on the Merritt School stage at Saturday Night Country... Live! show.

MOUNTAIN IRON — More than a quarter century after the Range Country Show debuted in Palo, the show is still drawing country musicians and fans to Saturday Night Country... Live! at Merritt School in Mountain Iron. On Saturday, May 11, SNCL will feature "1/2 Way to Heaven" at 7 p.m. on the main stage, with "Willow River" performing in the hall at 6 p.m.

"SNCL has had a good year with several great musicians who we thank for donating their time and talent," show organizer and musician Billy Marolt said in an email. "Steve Carlson and his boy Kirby have been hosting the show, which has added much to the entertainment. We are looking forward to a great night this coming Saturday." Shows are held the second Saturday of the month.

June's show will feature the band "Night Shift," made up of former members of the band "40 Below," on the main stage and "Ely Ed" in the hallway.

There will be no SNCL show in July. "Then on Aug. 24 we bring SNCL to the Embarrass Region Fair," Marolt said.

The band "1/2 Way to Heaven" includes Holly Kloepfer, Charlie Stupca and Larry Koski of "Old Guys Rule" plus Pat Leloup and Hugh Leasure. "Willow River" features Laverne Heisterkamp, Sandy Gorill and Gordy Larson.

Admission is $7 at the door. Those 15 and younger are admitted free. Refreshments are available at intermission.

Marolt has become a regular at the show with his extensive music background, specializing in keyboards and saxophone. Marolt's wife Sue Marolt, who formerly was at Red Rock Radio in Eveleth, is active in promoting the show and encouraging more young people to get involved. Over the years the show has donated its profits to the music programs at nine area school districts.

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