Golden Days
Friendly Faces

A Musical Voyage to America's Emerald Isle

Golden Days and Friendly Faces - Intro

If a little bit of Ireland broke off and landed in northern Lake Michigan, it would probably look, and sound, a lot like Beaver Island.

Settled by immigrants from County Donegal in the 1800's, Gaelic was spoken on Beaver Island well into the 20th century.

God was good to them. They lucked out totally. 'Specially the ones who went to Beaver Island. Beaver Island was the closest I ever spiritually felt home.' --Aranmore resident Jerry Early

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3

Beaver Islanders have a distinctive musical tradition combining an Irish spirit with a uniquely American twist. It's also music that links the generations.

You can have a 19-year-old kid singing along with a song and a 70-year-old person singing along with a song, and I think that’s just awesome. --Beaver Island musician Danny Gillespie

Embark now on a musical voyage to America's "Emerald Isle" with Golden Days and Friendly Faces.

This program and Web page are the results of two years of research and field work by WMUK news director Andy Robins and announcer/producer Cara Lieurance. We hope you'll enjoy them, including extra interviews and music not included in the radio program as well as links to other Web pages about Beaver Island.