A Prairie Home Companion

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GK sings with the Powdermilk Biscuit Band—Mary DuShane, Bob Douglas and Adam Granger—in the mid-‘70s. All three of the Biscuits will join us in July for our 40th Anniversary Celebration!

GK sings with the Powdermilk Biscuit Band—Mary DuShane, Bob Douglas and Adam Granger—in the mid-‘70s. All three of the Biscuits will join us in July for our 40th Anniversary Celebration!

In 1974, after writing a fact piece for the magazine about the Grand Ole Opry, I started up A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday evenings, a live variety show with room for a long monologue by me (‘It has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon…’), and found steady colleagues who did most of the work

- More on the history of the show from the introduction to the forthcoming Keillor Reader

I took a job at Minnesota Public Radio, the six to nine a.m. shift, played records and created a cheery on-air persona, the Old Scout, who rallied listeners to rise and shine and face the day with a smile. It was a good persona. I even started to believe in it myself. I was in an awkward marriage, I was absurdly self-conscious and timid and eager to please and arrogant, all at the same time, but I was lucky. On that early morning shift, I invented a town where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children are all above average. Businesses in that town advertised on my show—Jack’s Auto Repair, Bob’s Bank, Bunsen Motors, Bertha’s Kitty Boutique, the Chatterbox Café, the Sidetrack Tap, Skoglund’s Five & Dime, the Mercantile—and I talked about the women, men, and children, and that town, Lake Wobegon, became my magnum opus, unintentionally.

- Garrison describes the creation of Lake Wobegon in the introduction to his new book, The Keillor Reader

The News from Lake Wobegon for April 12, 2014
Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion

The News from Lake Wobegon for April 12, 2014

It’s been a beautiful week, the sun was shining and on Wednesday it got up to 70. There was a couple down by the lake, they were making out as if nobody could see them.

A bear wakes from hibernation and wanders into town, the Swansons return for a visit after 30 years away, and Pastor Liz announces that she is leaving to become the pastor at a Lutheran Church in Rome.

[Subscribe to the News from Lake Wobegon podcast]

[More from the April 12, 2014 broadcast]

From the Archives: GK onstage at The Fitzgerald Theater on January 17, 1987 (at that time it was still The World Theater and had just undergone a major restoration)

From the Archives: GK onstage at The Fitzgerald Theater on January 17, 1987 (at that time it was still The World Theater and had just undergone a major restoration)

Nickel Creek performs “The Rest of My Life” during our April 5 broadcast
[See all the photos from the 4/5/2014 broadcast]

Nickel Creek performs “The Rest of My Life” during our April 5 broadcast

[See all the photos from the 4/5/2014 broadcast]

Apr 9

I grew up in a tiny sect called the Plymouth Brethren, who referred to each other simply as Saints, and when other kids asked what church I belonged to, I usually said, ‘Lutheran,’ to avoid a big Q & A, though it felt weaselish, Jesus having said that He would deny those who denied His Name. But it was too much for me at that age to say I was one of the Saints. Merriam-Webster never gave us that name, capitalized, but you know, it felt thrilling, even subversive, to belong to an unknown tribe.

- A few thoughts on the legitimization of words and tribes in Garrison’s latest Post to the Host column

Apr 7

The News from Lake Wobegon for April 5, 2014
Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion

The News from Lake Wobegon for April 5, 2014

The fourth Sunday of Lent was last week and Easter is a couple of weeks away so that snow, that big snow that they got on Thursday was really tough on people.

The town deals with an early spring snowstorm and Mr. Berge finds himself in a tricky situation out on the rapidly thawing lake.

[Subscribe to the News from Lake Wobegon podcast]

[More from the April 5, 2014 broadcast]

Apr 5
Welcome back, Nickel Creek!

Welcome back, Nickel Creek!

Goodnight from The Town Hall!

Goodnight from The Town Hall!