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Oregon's 150th Calls For A New Act

Fifty years ago, members of the Oregon Centennial Commission reviewed all the ways there were to celebrate their state's 100th birthday.

Historical reenactments were held, some men across the state grew beards in the style of western settlers and Harry Belafonte and Roy Rogers each performed at the centennial exposition in Portland.

And, the great adman and radio comedian Stan Freberg, who had never lived in Oregon, was commissioned to write an original musical, Oregon! Oregon! A Centennial Fable in Three Acts.

It was 150 years ago Saturday that Oregon joined the union, becoming the 33rd state.

NPR's Scott Simon speaks to Pink Martini musical director Thomas Lauderdale about the resurrection of Stan Freberg's historical musical for the state's sesquicentennial.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

United States & World MusicWeekend Edition Saturday