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David Leland (left) and JW Bigg (right).

By Molly Schecklman —


As Marvin Gaye once sang in his song What’s Goin’ On?, “You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some lovin’ here today. You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some understanding here today.” And that is exactly what the band Transistor Radio hopes to do at the Pioneer Grill here in Menomonie.


Transistor Radio is a local band that hopes to bring back the sounds of the 70s that were often heard on the transistor radio. And seeing that this device is way before our time, for those of you who don’t know, a transistor radio was a small, portable radio that was invented in the 50s and manufactured in the 1960s and 1970s. The transistor radio is considered one of the most popular electronic communication devices in history as it quickly allowed people to take music with them wherever they went.  

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The nostalgia connected to the original transistor radios of the ’70s is the inspiration behind the band’s sound.

The band firmly believes that some of the 70’s most unforgettable R&B and soul songs have been lost in today’s ever-changing society. The band’s formation is their attempt to bring history back to life.   Transistor Radio is made up of six members: JW Bigg and David Leland with vocals, Chris Connell on guitar, Jerod Kaszynski on saxophone, Scott Connell on bass, and John LeBrun on drums.  


The end of summer 2014 was when the band first formed.  “We met at an open mic at The Stones Throw in downtown Eau Claire.  Connell came up with the idea and Transistor Radio was born,” said LeBrun.  


When asked what the band’s favorite thing about performing was, LeBrun stated, “Helping people escape from their daily routine and letting the music take them back to another place and time.”  The band thoroughly enjoys performing and seeing the joy radiating through faces in the audience.

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Transistor Radio pictured from left to right: Chris Connell, JW Bigg, David Leland, Jrrod Kaszynski, and Scott Connell. TRANSISTOR RADIO/CONTRIBUTED

Even though Menomonie is home to UW–Stout, both produce very different audiences.  The hope that Menomonie will have a renewed appreciation for great music from the 70s and that Stout students will connect with the music are the band’s hopes.  “Our music still has a message that’s true for what’s going on in the world today,” said LeBrun.  


Transistor Radio will play at 8pm on February 6 at the Pioneer Grill and Saloon in Menomonie.


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