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Emerson Brothers, Part 1

The 2023 film, “Dreamin’ Wild,” which was based and filmed in the Spokane area, debuted this weekend in theatres across America. Based on a true story, the movie revolves around brothers Donnie and Joe Emerson finding newfound musical success after their 1979 debut album "Dreamin' Wild" is rediscovered three decades later.

In celebration of the film, we’re traveling back over ten years and brushing off archived editions of Johnson’s Improbable History of Pop, in which John Johnson interviews the real-life Donnie and Joe.

The first of this two-part series originally aired July 2012 and covers the duo's life growing up, original recording equipment, early recordings, discovery process, and the strangeness of needing to recreate themselves as the teenagers who recorded “Dreamin’ Wild” after the album rose to fame 30 years later.

Note: songs have been shortened for web publication.

Listen to Part 2 here.